Ink & Slide

Will Adobe’s first piece of hard­ware be as es­sen­tial for dig­i­tal artists as its cre­ative soft­ware?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Reviews -

We see if Adobe’s first piece of kit for artists matches its soft­ware pedi­gree.

Price £160 Com­pany Adobe Web www.adobe.com

Adobe’s Ink & Slide of­fers both a state-of-the-art sty­lus, and a 21st cen­tury take on the good-old straight edge. De­signed to work with Adobe apps such as Illustrator Draw and Pho­to­shop Sketch run­ning on an iPad, the lat­ter isn’t just any old ruler – it can act as a smart in­put de­vice for an app’s shape­draw­ing tools.

As well as drawing straight lines you can also use it as a French curve or shape tem­plate by cy­cling through the var­i­ous op­tions avail­able in your cho­sen app by click­ing the but­ton on the top of the Slide com­po­nent. Although it’s a great way to feel as though you’re get­ting more hands-on with your drawing, in use it’s rather gim­micky. If you get too close to the edge of the iPad’s screen you can ei­ther lose con­nec­tiv­ity or leave un­wanted marks. Fur­ther­more, the line tools func­tion with or with­out the Slide, which only works with Adobe apps. This will be frus­trat­ing if you pre­fer drawing in Pro­cre­ate or iDraw.

Of the two bits of kit, the Ink sty­lus is by far the most use­ful. It feels great in your hand, with your fin­gers sit­ting nicely along the an­gles. The de­vice makes use of Adonit’s Pix­el­Point tech­nol­ogy, which makes avail­able 2,048 lev­els of pres­sure. This means you can gen­er­ate fine or grad­u­ated marks with ease. Fur­ther­more, the tip is like a biro (rather than the spongy tips of some older sty­luses), which boosts gen­eral ac­cu­racy. Un­for­tu­nately, it only has one in­put but­ton on the side that’s de­signed to work as a menu func­tion in the Adobe apps, un­like its main ri­vals that have two.

At £160 the Ink & Slide isn’t cheap, and the nov­elty of the Slide doesn’t jus­tify the ex­tra cost. Es­pe­cially so, when you con­sider sty­luses such as Adonit’s Jot Touch or Wa­com’s Cre­ative Sty­lus that of­fer sim­i­lar func­tion­al­ity to the Ink for nearly half the price.

The build qual­ity of the

Ink (the sty­lus) and Slide is sec­ond to none and it feels great to use.

You can colour code the tip of the Ink via the

setup menu.

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