I’ve long been a user of a keyboard and mouse, even for my photo editing. But over time, as I used Lightroom and Photoshop for more precise edits, it became more and more cumbersome.
Enter the Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet, a new entry-level pen and tablet offering from Wacom. I received a review unit from Wacom, and after a couple weeks of using it, I must say I’m impressed. I put my mouse away and have been using the Intuos exclusively.
Appearance and specs
The Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet is Wacom’s entry-level tablet and features four customizable buttons at the top, along with a power button (which also triggers a Bluetooth connection). The tablet itself has a dot-grid appearance overlaid on a black surface. It’s smooth enough that you can precisely paint in Photoshop or adjust Lightroom sliders, while still being a great everyday device for browsing the web.
It comes in two sizes — Small (7.87 x 6.3 inches) and Medium (10.4 x 7.8 inches). Both are 0.35 inches thin and are extremely lightweight, making for a great option if you travel frequently. The Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet also comes in two border colors — black and pistachio green. The Small version is available with or without Bluetooth, while the Medium comes with Bluetooth by default.
The tablet also comes with a black pen that has two buttons on the side. The pen can be placed into a small holder at the top of the tablet. The pen also comes with four nibs — three of which can be held inside the pen itself.
Finally, the Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet comes with Corel Painter Essentials 6, Corel Aftershot 3 and Clip Studio Paint Pro (Bluetooth versions only) for free.
Adjusting to a tablet over a mouse definitely didn’t happen instantly. It took some time — about a week before I was fully comfortable with it. The tablet’s smooth surface I preferred to the mouse pad I had been using, however, which made for a nice feel as I would glide the pen along.
The number one thing I had to get used to, however, was treating my tablet like my desktop. Wherever I would point on the tablet would take me to the exact location of where it would be on my desktop. At first I found this difficult to get used to, but once I clicked the Force Proportions option in the Mapping settings, it was much more natural. I also played around with the Mouse mode, but found this to be more confusing as a tablet interface.
Within a week, however, I could quickly go through a batch of photos in Lightroom with ease and apply adjustments. Likewise, any finer adjustments that I had to make in Photoshop were much easier, to the point where I regretted not making the switch sooner. Things like masking and clone stamping were now quicker and more precise, and the fact that I could apply more pressure for a bigger brush was probably my favorite feature.
Things to note
As I mentioned earlier, the Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet is Wacom’s entry-level tablet. That means it doesn’t have some of the features that the Pro version has, like tilt support and multi-touch. The Pro version also has a higher resolution, offering for even more accuracy.
If you go for the Small version, note that the resolution will once again not be as good, meaning you won’t be able to be as precise as you’d be with the Medium version. It’s still great for basic functions, but to truly get precise in your editing, either the Medium or one of the Pro models will serve you best.
My introduction into the world of Wacom tablets has been nothing but positive. Despite being an entry-level model, the Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet offers the preciseness that is key for photo and video editors. It feels comfortable in the hand, and I can use it for long hours without any problems.
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