I came to know about the Wacom Intuos4 Extra Large Pen Tablet only when my daughter, (who is a perfectionist in whatever she does and aspires to be an artist) asked for it as her birthday gift. However, the product appeared to be impressive to me after a quick research on it, and I decided to order one for my little girl. Just after it was shipped to us, I found the unit to be more than satisfactory in its performance. After all, it’s a Wacom.
What particularly influenced me to buy it are the rave reviews it has gained from all corners. Though the unit seems to have come with everything to suit the needs of its users, it is indeed wise to have a detailed study about every aspects of the product, before you decide to buy it. To make things easier, I have tried to prepare a comprehensive and ABSOLUTELY UNBIASED review on the item. You may find it useful. Just remember that I have covered the technical details only, and the decision of “whether to buy it or not” is up to you only. Never mind, let us start exploring the different features of this “Wonderful Wacom” (my daughter has named it so).
Though I have bought the extra large tablet for my daughter, the unit is available in 4 sizes. They are
- Small: which has an active area of 3.875” x 6.3”
- Medium: which has an active area of 5.5” x 8.8”
- Large: which has an active area of 8” x 12.8”
- Extra large: which has an active area of 12” x 19.2”
Barring the small sized tablet, all of the others have the illuminated display system, which will really come handy if you use it late in the night. Moreover, the extra large tablet, which is the largest tablet that Wacom has ever produced, is perfect for those to require more workspace. However, I feel that a smaller tablet will cause less strain in the hands for repetitive jobs.
Tilt And Resolution
With a number of customizable ExpressKeys and a finger-sensitive Touch Ring, my daughter enjoys a control over her tasks like never before. In fact, the keys are located on one side of the tablet, in a symmetric design. This helps her to rotate the tablet 180°. I must say that this design really comes handy for my baby, who’s a south paw. Oh by the way, I also heard my daughter saying that the pen can support a tilt angle of up to 60degrees.
I also like the fact that it provides a resolution of 5080 lpi (Lines per Inch), which is sufficient to give my daughter’s creations a very professional touch.
Now this is the topic where I will never be tired of talking about. In fact, its outstanding pressure sensitivity can be a big (in fact, the sole) reason to make you decide on it. Let me make things clearer. Have you ever thought that by simply pushing your pen lighter or harder, you can alter the stroke width and opacity of the pen stroke? Well, you can surely make it with an ordinary drawing pencil and pen, but have you ever imagined that you can make it with the pen of your graphic tablet too? Well, it is actually possible with the pen that this tablet comes with. Ask why? This is because its pressure sensitivity has been enhanced from the standard 1024 levels of pressure to a whooping 2048! This means you can start drawing at only one gram of pressure (just compare this with the other models, which need 10 grams of pressure).It is a pleasure to see my daughter happily adding some very delicate shades in her images, and that too, with a smoother transition.
Now I am going to apprise you of another feature of the unit which I will call, well, REVOLUTIONARY. It is the “Precision Mode” of the unit which makes this unit stand far above than most of the graphic tablets that I have come across till date. Once you activate the mode, the pen gets more sensitive. With this mode, even if you move your hands more on the tablet, it allows a lot less movement on screen. This feature is ideal for my daughter when she does some of the most detailed drawings in the small attic of ours which she calls her “workplace”. Now let me take the opportunity to apprise you of some more impressive features of this tablet in a nutshell.
- The well illuminated programmable ExpressKeys give you a direct hassle free access to the program functions that you use very often.
- The touch ring feature can be organized to control up to 4 functions each time you use.
- The incorporated 5-button mouse uses the tablet surface as a mouse-pad.
- For optimum performance, it comes with an array of pen nibs including, flex, and hard felt.
- Instead of the traditional menu, it comes with a more elegant redial menu option. To know more about it, you can log on to wacom.com.
Let Us Talk About The Pen And The Battery
You cannot deny the fact that the pen is the most important part of a graphic tablet, as it is something that you are likely to hold most of the time. Since each of the features of the tablet has been devised with new and more advanced technologies, it’s no wonder that the manufacturers have also taken the trouble to redesign the incorporated pen and make it the most comfortable one. Its barrel has been made somewhat shorter than the pens that Wacom has designed previously, and moreover, it is heavier to touch. This gives the pen a solid, well balanced feel. However, the pen still has a nib on the front and an eraser at the back like its older models, and it is still cordless, and doesn’t need battery to operate. As an incentive, the rubber grip has been made smoother and more integrated into the pen than ever before, and the nibs are just a snap to change.
Let Us Go For The Bundled software
If you are living in U.S.A, then you can buy additional software from the manufacturers. Alternatively, you can also download Wacom Brushes 3.0 and Nik Color Efex Pro WE6. Do keep in mind that both of them call for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to function. In fact, you are also entitled to choose any two from the three options: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac & Windows, Corel Painter Sketch Pad and Autodesk SketchBook Express 2010.This means you can choose the software that optimally matches your requirements.
What Does It Come With?
The unit incorporates accessories like Mouse, Grip Pen, Pen Stand, 5 Standard sized Nibs, Flex Nib, Stroke Nib, 3 hard felt nibs, Nib Extractor, 8.2’ (2.5 m) USB Cable and Quick Start Guide.
The biggest upside that the users feel about the unit is that it yields absolute value for the price you spend on it. The other features that the users love about it are:
- It’s cool, sleek, black look.
- Ambidextrous design.
- More Expresskeys than the other models.
- Advanced Touchring system with 4 presets.
- 2048 Levels of sensitivity.
- 16:9 Aspect ratio.
- Fantastic driver, vista support.
- Improved customization software.
- Advanced comfortable grip pen.
- 10 replacement nibs that assures longer service.
- The innovative pen holder serves as storage for replacement nibs.
- Color rings give the grip pen a different feel.
- It is backed by 2-Year Limited Warranty.
Since nothing in this world is perfect, even this unit comes with very minor glitches. Thankfully, the bugs can be very well taken care of. As for the cons:
- Since the Expresskeys are symmetrically same, one can easily press the wrong key.
- It is somewhat expensive (but once again, it’s well worth the price).
- It is somewhat heavier/ bulkier.
- High gloss side panel attracts fingerprint.
- The rubber grip on the pen is a dust and lint magnet.
- It does not come with a travel sleeve.
- Bluetooth bugs.
- Flimsy USB, nibs (in rare cases).
What The Consumers Have To Say About It
As I went through several websites that comes with unbiased reviews, I have seen the unit gains an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The rating is, honestly sufficient to prove the consumers’ satisfaction with its performance.
How Much Should You Pay?
Priced about $680, the Wacom Intuos4 Extra Large Pen Tablet is definitely not among the cheapest of the kind available. But even then, you can always look for the different deals that the online stores are offering on it. But make sure that you order your unit from a reliable source. As for me, I could save really big by ordering it from Amazon.com. They also shipped it to my home for free. So, if this fantastic unit captures your, then why don’t you pay a visit to Amazon to check the current price details?