Heres a great review i found about Wacom’s new Intuos 5 range, enjoy.
The previous Intuos 4 model was awarded a perfect 10/10 score when we reviewed it, so can its successor offer a compelling reason to upgrade? Well, anyone who is perfectly happy with their Intuos 4 doesn’t actually need to, especially since the 5 uses the same pen technology. However, there are still plenty of improvements which make this new generation a significantly better, more versatile tablet, and should win it plenty of new fans.
The decision to stick with the same pen technology (and in fact the same pens, nibs and pen-holder) is, in many ways, a good thing. First of all, it means that all those who have invested significantly in the Intuos 4 ecosystem will be able to use all their existing pens and tools. With Wacom’s Art Pen, (for example) setting you back over £80, that’s no small consideration. For another, it means the new range sports a reliable, proven system, which Wacom will have had plenty of experience with.
Then there’s the argument that there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. With 2048 pressure levels, 60 degrees of tilt sensitivity and a nib that registers a single gram of pressure, the Intuos 4 was arguably already as good as it needed to be in that department. Wacom also claims the surface issue that some experienced with the Intuos 4 is definitely fixed, an essential factor as you can no longer replace surface sheets – but that’s for good reason.
You see, one of the biggest new additions to the Intuos line is Touch. Far more advanced than what was already on Wacom’s Bamboo Touch models, you now have a whopping 16 simultaneous touch points – great for collaborative projects or two player touch gaming – and advanced gesture control.
Even if the application or OS doesn’t support it, you can use Wacom’s revamped driver to set a completely programmable action or set of actions for each gesture. For example, you can set a five-finger upward swipe to undo your last action in Photoshop. This worked flawlessly in our hands-on, easily on a level with our experience with Apple’s touchpads. You can also use pinch to zoom and then continue working on your drawing, and there won’t be any mistakes as your fingers don’t work if the pen is near the tablet’s surface.
Another big change to the Wacom Intuos 5 is that the OLED displays of the Intuos 4 are now gone. But worry not, it’s actually a change for the better. Instead, the new tablet’s ExpressKeys now have a capacitive surface, just like your smartphone. They are still physical, delineated buttons that can actually be pressed with a nice click, but hovering your finger on them now brings up an onscreen display or HUD (Heads Up Display), which shows which button you’re about to press, and which function it and the other dynamic ExpressKeys are set to. Essentially, this gives you the ease of the OLED displays without needing to look away from your monitor – genius!
Yet another welcome improvement is wireless capability. Wacom no longer offers a cable-free Intuos model – because its entire range can be made wireless with an optional wireless module. It also works over RF rather than Bluetooth, making it plug and play and giving it greater range. With the battery you get in the module pack, the Small tablet should last 18 hours on a charge, the Medium 11 hours, and the Large model six or more. There is no longer an XL model in the Intuos 5 line, though Wacom will continue to make their XL Intuos 4 available for those that still need a huge tablet.
Other upgrades concern build quality. The surface sheet now extends well beyond the usable drawing surface, with the usable area indicated by four LEDs in the corners. This prevents you pen’s nib catching on the edges where the old tablet transitioned to a different material, an annoyance we hadn’t even realized needed fixing on the Intuos 4. Wacom has also ditched the glossy hard plastic bezels of the 4 in favour of a lovely soft-touch, rubberized finish that’s both harder-wearing and far more pleasant to the touch.
Last but not least, the driver has seen an overhaul, with the most significant addition being that there’s now a proper adjustable curve for pressure sensitivity. The new tablet range will be available from Wacom’s eStore from the 1st of March. The Small Touch will set you back £199.99, the Medium costs £329.99 for the Touch edition and £269 for the non-touch, while the Large Touch is £429.99. The wireless module will be 34.99, and all tablets will come with your choice of Corel’s Painter SketchPad, Adobe’s Elements 10, or Autodesk’s Sketchbook Express 2011.