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