First Impressions of the Wacom Intuos4

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.

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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.

31 Comments

  • Andrew Hake commented on March 22, 2009

    Thanks for the overview! This really looks like a fantastic update, the displays for the shortcut buttons is fantastic, especially if it can actually display custom text per application.

    The nib holding pen holder is a great update as well, can’t wait try one of these out.

  • Dylan commented on March 23, 2009

    I get the same bloody error with my ‘3 every so often! I think sleep mode is somehow related.

    Is the Intuos 4 still compatible with Intuos 3 pens? (My concern is whether it’ll work with my airbrush accessory pen.)

    Also I take it that the touch ring works by moving your finger in a circular fashion?

  • ThatPoshGirl commented on March 23, 2009

    I’m not sure about pen compatibility. If I can find my old pen I will try it out (I stuck it somewhere a couple weeks ago and can’t remember where).

    Yeah, you move your finger in a circular motion to use the touch ring. I still haven’t found it very useful.

  • CM Wong commented on March 23, 2009

    Love it. where can we get a copy of the Intuos 4?

  • Fredrique commented on March 24, 2009

    seems 2 suck for left-handies! they should release a version without those crappy keys that i always disable on my intous3

  • Fredrique commented on March 24, 2009

    actually, u can flip the board so u get the buttons on the other side, pretty cool :) but still..i would want a version without any keys =)

  • Tony commented on March 24, 2009

    OMG WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?

  • Rashid Al-Kuwari commented on March 24, 2009

    wooow I really adore this brand.. I’ve just bought wacom cintiq wx 12 it’s awesome.. I really recommend those tablets :D

    Thank u for ur fantastic preview..

  • Lauri Mäki commented on March 25, 2009

    Wow. Thanks for the sneak peek! I suppose you have some connections which rendered it possible for you to acquire this already?

    I really like the thing that the buttons are on single side. I’ve had my share of accidental zooming with Intuos3…=)

  • Byron Nash commented on March 25, 2009

    Does the circular button spin? I see it being useful as a jog/shuttle function.

  • ThatPoshGirl commented on March 25, 2009

    It doesn’t spin. It has a touch sensor. You just move your finger around it. I’m trying to find something useful to do with it. Maybe for controlling brush size.

  • K. David commented on March 31, 2009

    Seems impressive, thanks for the effort. With regards to issues with previous tablet, have you tried the Driver 5.1.0-4? It claims (I’m just updating my Graphire3 driver now) “An issue with sleep on Windows Vista was resolved”.
    http://www.wacom-asia.com/download/down_s.html?drv_c=155

  • Scott Sullivan commented on April 1, 2009

    Thanks for sharing. If your interested, I’ve added pictures and another review on our site as well.

    The touch wheel is nice for rotating the canvas and zooming in.

    The brush size you mentioned might be nice, but I’m too used to right clicking to get the slide wheel to resize. I’ll play with the brush size, though.

    I’m playing with a few scripts / keyboard shortcuts to see if I can get it to cycle through common colors in my palette.

    What I really like, though is the pie menu popup and the custom labels on the OLED.

    Thanks again for sharing your insights.
    Scott

  • Ex Back commented on April 9, 2009

    The style of writing is very familiar . Have you written guest posts for other bloggers?

  • Ed Hall commented on April 11, 2009

    Thank you VERY MUCH for the tip on clearing the preference files with the Wacom Tablet File Preference Utility. I was losing it man! Just like you I had an Intuos3 before this and the two must have been conflicting.
    Cheers,
    Ed

  • ThatPoshGirl commented on April 11, 2009

    I’ve written at some other blogs before, yes.

  • dayveed commented on April 19, 2009

    Hello, thanks for the good new, but i’m wondering about the touch feeling of expresskeys, on intuos 3 i never used them, way too hard, and how feels the pen in hand as well ? i always prefered the intuos 2 one (lot of pain in the hands you know)

    i’m really concerned about the express key, i’m using 3D software which recquires to hit 2/3 keys most of the time, i wish so much to get rid of the keyboard.

    thanks for the help !
    dav

  • woohoo!! commented on April 26, 2009

    I googled this and managed to fix my eraser-not-working-in-PS issue. Thank you so much!!

  • KrisBelucci commented on June 2, 2009

    I really liked this post. Can I copy it to my site? Thank you in advance.

  • ThatPoshGirl commented on June 2, 2009

    Sure

  • AndrewBoldman commented on June 4, 2009

    da best. Keep it going! Thank you

  • Richard McPharlin commented on July 13, 2009

    Hey
    First Impressions of the Wacom Intuos4 « ThatPoshGirl’s Geek Gear Reviews, great article, really well though out and very much enjoyed.

    Cheers

  • Rich J McPharlin commented on July 13, 2009

    Hi,
    well written article, I think our views on First Impressions of the Wacom Intuos4 « ThatPoshGirl’s Geek Gear Reviews differ a little however you put foward some good points

    Thanks

  • Richard J McPhalrin commented on July 13, 2009

    Hi,
    well written article, I think our views on First Impressions of the Wacom Intuos4 « ThatPoshGirl’s Geek Gear Reviews differ a little however you put foward some good points

    Thanks

  • Summer Camps commented on October 30, 2010

    You you should make changes to the blog name First Impressions of the Wacom Intuos4 ThatPoshGirl’s Geek Gear Reviews to something more suited for your blog post you write. I loved the blog post still.

  • adelina commented on July 27, 2011

    thank you so much for the tip related to the eraser problem!

  • Sam commented on August 4, 2011

    Dear ThatPoshGirl,
    I am looking to purchase one of these tablets. I have never owned a tablet before, however, I want the best of the best. One question about tablets that has really been itching me is this: When you draw on the screen of the tablet, does it show up on the tablet screen as well as the computer screen, or does it only show up on the computer screen? Also, what are your thoughts of the wireless Intuos4?

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