Around 3 years back, we had the chance to review the Intuos3 tablet made by Wacom. We found this piece of technology extremely impressive to use. In recent times, the company have replaced this older Intuos3 system with a new Intuos4 system and today, we will be comparing the two and seeing how this tablet performs.
I was fortunate enough to get a medium size Intuos4 in for testing and after using the tablet for the last few months; I am very impressed with the improvements. The first major change I noticed in the review process was the design. The Intuos4 is a completely redesigned tablet from the ground up just keeping the principles from the Intuos3 in mind. During my time using the Intuos3 I was always annoyed by having function buttons on both sides of the pad, they often got brushed against by my hand while using the pen or were inconvenient. The Intos4 features just one set of buttons with an ambidextrous design that will appeal to both right and left hand artists.
Wacom opted to go with a black design on the new tablet to compliment their company’s new marketing overhaul last year. I feel the Intuos3 was a more professional looking tablet, but the black is very sleek and will fit in well on most artists’ desks. Unfortunately, the control area of the tablet is glossy black and picks up every fingerprint that it comes in contact with.
The medium & up sizes of the Intuos4 features a small LED display area next to the Express Keys to show what each button does. The eight buttons can be customized using the included Wacom control software. The LED display allows you to set the buttons to have different functions in different programs and easily tell what the button will do. Wacom did away with the touch strips of the Intuos3 in favor of a scroll wheel. The scroll-wheel is similar to the wheel found on iPods and allows for very easy zooming and scrolling. The middle button allows you to change between functions.
The pen includes several different size tips that are easily stored in the pen-base. The pen includes a grippy area for precise control and offers 2048 levels of pressure, double the 1024 that the previous generation offered. Some applications cannot support the 2048 levels and must be run in compatibility mode limiting you to 1024 levels.
Wacom has always been very good about including tons of useful 3rd party software to compliment their product. Previous products have included a CD with the bundled software, but the Intuos4 instead includes a key that can be used to download he software from Wacom’s website, ensuring that you get the latest version and updates. Some software titles include Photoshop Elements, Nik Color Efex, Autodesk Sketch Book Express and Corel Painter Sketch Pad.
The Wacom control software works great and features an improved menu that is easier to control with the pen. As in the past, you can make presets for your programs and assign functions etc.
Overall, the Wacom Intuos4 is a major improvement over the Intuos3 and I highly recommend Intuos3 users and anyone interested in drawing tablets check out the Intuos4. You won’t believe how much using a tablet like the Intous4 impacts the way you interact with your computer!
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10 Marks
– LED Display Area
– Very sleek design
– Some issues with compatibility mode
– Dimensions: 14.6″ x 10″ x .5″
– Active Area: 6″ x 8″
– Pressure levels: 2048
– Interface: USB