Just when I thought tablets couldn’t get any smaller and maintain their functionality, the brilliant folks at Wacom released their latest Intuos last month.
This new Intuos line of tablets has an incredible small footprint. The active drawing area is over 75 percent of the tablet itself. The full size of the tablet is roughly the size of the drawing space of the previous models. Removing the bezel area pares down the workspace to just the necessary area. The express keys are moved to the top of the tablet, recessed into a groove that doubles as a place for the pen to live. In addition, the tablet is incredibly light and amazingly thin — 8mm. Seriously, it’s like a clipboard. The surface has a bit more tooth to it than earlier models, so you get that subtle grit to the surface, like paper … similar to the anti-glare surface on the HP ZBook x2 (reviewed below). Plus, it comes in a few fanciful colors outside of black! Pistachio and Berry (in some regions), if you like your tablet pastel.
Another revision is that they’ve moved the USB port to the top of the tablet, so it is a little more out of the way. Of course, if you want to go tetherless, you can check out the Bluetooth models of the tablet.
The pen itself is a thinner version of previous models, and it maintains a nice balance and feel — plus, it retains the rocker side button that makes my life easier. There is no separate pen cradle, as the pen rests in the top of the tablet, as mentioned above. But, you don’t lose your extra nibs. Well, you don’t have quite as many as before, as the extras live in the body of the pen itself. You have the standard nibs, but you can swap them out with felt or sensitivity is at 4,096 levels, and the tilt functionality remains.
Along with the tablet, you have free download options: Corel Painter Essentials (for paint-y things), Corel AfterShot (for photo-y things) and Celsys Clip Studio Paint Pro (for manga-y things). But, of course, as a professional, you have all the other tools in your toolset already. And your tablet works well with them all.
Like all Wacom products, the feel and feedback is wonderful with imperceptible latency. The smaller footprint is fantastic for artists on the go, or for freelancers who like to carry around their tools from studio to studio.