com­plete pack­age We find out if budding manga artists should in­vest in Wa­com’s new-look In­tuos Manga graph­ics tablet

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Price £89 Com­pany Wa­com Web www.wa­com.com Con­tact 020 7744 0831

The Wa­com In­tuos Manga is part of a new, sim­pli­fied graph­ics tablet range that sees the old Bam­boo tablet re­placed with three en­try-level In­tuos mod­els. As well as a slick new name, Wa­com has given the tablet a new look, fea­tur­ing a smart brushed­metal work area and a slick black fin­ish for the ex­press keys. This re­places the slightly cheap plas­tic of the old Bam­boo.

With its new min­i­mal­ist de­sign the In­tuos looks great on your desk and is per­fect for car­ry­ing around when on the go. How­ever, this look and porta­bil­ity af­fects the de­vice’s us­abil­ity. The ac­tive work­ing area is just 152x95mm and is subtly marked out with grey spots, which can be dif­fi­cult to see in cer­tain lights. You’re of­ten left to rely on in­stinct and guess­work for the edge of your can­vas. The same is true of the four Ex­press Keys, which are tucked away in the black area at the top and are only no­tice­able by a slightly el­e­vated but­ton. Al­though they have a sat­is­fy­ing click when used, Wa­com’s de­sire to make its tablets am­bidex­trous means you only re­ally use two.

The brushed metal sur­face gives the In­tuos an in­dus­trial feel, with the sty­lus mak­ing firm con­tact with the sur­face. The downside is that this can come across as quite ‘scratchy’ com­pared to the plas­tic of the Bam­boo and doesn’t al­ways feel like a nat­u­ral draw­ing sur­face. The Wa­com sty­lus that’s in­cluded in this pack fea­tures the same lev­els of pres­sure sen­si­tiv­ity and tilt con­trol as be­fore, but is thin­ner and sleeker, which in turn makes it eas­ier to draw with. Bet­ter still, it’s also less bul­bous and feels more like a tra­di­tional pen.

The brushed metal sur­face gives the In­tuos an in­dus­trial feel, with the sty­lus mak­ing firm con­tact with the sur­face

This Manga pack­age fea­tures the Pen and Touch model, which means it in­cludes multi-touch ges­tur­ing, which can be tog­gled via a switch on the top. It comes with a full ver­sion of Manga Stu­dio De­but 4, but will also work with other paint­ing pro­grams. Us­ing Manga Stu­dio’s cus­tomis­able brushes and pen tools with the In­tuos proves a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The brushes them­selves are re­spon­sive – es­pe­cially with fea­tures such as the sty­lus’s eraser on the end that se­lects the Erase tool.

With its rel­a­tively small sur­face area for work­ing on, the Wa­com In­tuos does give you limited scope for your paint­ing ses­sions: there’s not much room for wide, sweep­ing ges­tures, for ex­am­ple. How­ever, at just £89 it’s cer­tainly com­pet­i­tively priced for the con­sumer mar­ket. If you’re look­ing to use this as any­thing more than a hob­by­ist tablet though, it’s worth spend­ing the ex­tra money on some­thing that sits fur­ther up the Wa­com prod­uct line.

Wa­com’s en­try-level In­tuos range fea­tures a hard-wear­ing alu­minium sur­face with slick matt black plas­tic Ex­pres­sion keys. It’s also slightly in­clined, which pro­vides a more nat­u­ral draw­ing po­si­tion for your hand. The sty­lus feels good to hold, and us­ing the rub­ber end ac­ti­vates the Erase tool in Manga Stu­dio De­but 4.

Stan­ley Lau’s dis­tinc­tive manga art adorns the pack­ag­ing of

Wa­com’s lat­est tablet. Should you want to

work wire­lessly, you’ll have to shell

out £35 for the re­quired hard­ware.

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