Intuos 4 Review

IT’S COOL!

I was able to play around with Wacom Philippines’ Intuos 4 units during its launch at the ATI Building, Shaw Boulevard today.

I got to try it out on Photoshop CS4 and Corel Painter X.

The features that stood out the most for me were the :

  • Nibs – the traction with which the nibs gave while on the tablet was pleasantly surprising. With 4 different kinds of nibs: regular (I think 5 extra pieces), springy (one only), felt tip (one only), graphite-ish (three pieces) nicely kept INSIDE the pen holder – it’ll take a while before you get bored with how it feels.
  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity – I wanted to specifically test the Intuos 4’s ability to do fine tapered lines, and I must say it delivers very gradual increments in size. Based off my testing of a 4 pixel brush on a 72dpi canvas on Painter X. However don’t expect to have the same range of size variation and control as a Chinese calligraphy brush. You may attempt to do so with the springy nib nonetheless. And also you may still have some difficulty resuming an ink line that you have ended. (Unlike on Cintiqs.)
  • Precision Mode – This is an express key you press on the tablet to allow the entire tablet surface to be remapped to only paint within a small central portion of your screen. Thereby allowing you ultra fine detailing. Best used for painting. I tried inking with it, but that yielded mixed results.

Other notable features were the reversible right-or-left-handed design of the Intuos 4, the customizable application specific pop-up menus you can bring up, the organic light emitting diodes OLEDs that allow you to see what the express keys on the tablet are for, and the wheel whose 4 default (and also customizable) actions allow you to:

  1. Size your brush.
  2. Zoom in and out.
  3. Select layers up and down.
  4. Rotate your canvas.

Unfortunately with Corel Painter X, I could not find any way to rotate its canvas using the Intuos 4 wheel, and still had to use the keyboard.

Another issue is that the Intuos 4 is no longer proportional to a CRT monitor. You’d have to tweak its mapping to get it to be so.

The medium-sized Intuos 4 is expected to be within 19k PHP once it hits the markets. It comes in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes.

I asked if Intuos 4 technology will be making its way onto Cintiqs. And as I suspected, it will, just not yet. But with those babies costing close to 70k PHP, I may just work out my digital inking requirements on an Intuos 4.

Advertisements