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