I love my Intuos3, so I was excited to try out the Intuos4. When it arrived I felt like a kid on Christmas morning! I’ve been playing with it all day and want to offer up my first impressions.
The Vista drivers for this version are much more stable than the ones for the Intuos3. With my Intuos3 I am constantly getting error messages and having to restart the computer. Even though I love the device, I don’t use it as much as I would like because the driver situation gets so frustrating. I’ve been using the Intuos4 all day and have not had one single problem with the driver. It was easy to install and has worked pretty much flawlessly. The only issue I had was with the eraser not working in Photoshop. After doing some searches on the internet I found out that this is related to a conflict when more than one tablet is installed. The solution was to unplug the tablet, use the “Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility” to delete all of my preference files, and then plug the tablet back and and restart Photoshop. Now it works like a charm.
One of my favorite new features of this version is the pen base. Whoever designed it was a genius. When you turn the base the bottom comes out and all the pen nibs are stored in there. It’s really brilliant. Another neat thing about it is that there is a small metal ring with a notch in it with the nibs. You use the ring to grip the nib when you want to remove it from the pen. It works really well on most of the nibs and makes it much, much easier to change the nibs. The only nib it doesn’t really work with is the black and white “flex” nib. Because the tip of that nib is hollow it is really difficult to grip it with the ring, or anything else for that matter.
In this model the shortcut buttons are all on one side and the drivers allow you to set the orientation for right or left handed use. There are a lot of buttons, eight to be exact. Next to the buttons is an LED display showing what the buttons do. I’m always forgetting what the buttons do on my old tablet, so I can definitely appreciate this. You can customize the display, too. When you set it to a keystroke you can name it and the name will then be displayed next to the button. It’s pretty cool. When you switch between applications the buttons change instantly to show you the custom settings for the specific application.
There is also a “touch ring” that allows you to scroll or cycle through options. It can hold four settings. You click the button in the center of the ring to toggle through your settings. I haven’t used this feature much, but I’m sure it will be useful.
The tablet is very sensitive. I’m not a professional graphics designer, so I can’t give a lot of details on this aspect, but it is definitely more sensitive than my old tablet.
At the time I am writing this the Intuos4 website hasn’t been setup. As a result I am unable to download the bundled software, so I can’t review that yet.
I’ve never really used the mouse that came with my old tablet because I don’t like the feel of it. The mouse with this one has the same feeling, so I won’t be using it either. It is very nicely made, though.
Overall I am very happy with the Intuos4. It is definitely worth upgrading to the new tablet. You won’t be disappointed.