Wacom Intuos5 Graphics Tablet Review

Wacom, the kings of the Graphics Tablet, have several product lines available, aimed at slightly different markets. From the full time professional users of the Cintiq range, to the grandmother who wants to edit a picture on her Bamboo Fun, they try to capture as many different kinds of people as possible. The new Intuos 5 tablet is designed to slide into the layer of customer that is a professional digital artist or designer, but not one that needs an LCD tablet display.

Let me just say it from the outset, the Wacom Intuos 5 is a very good graphics tablet and deserves to be on your to buy list if you are considering getting either an upgrade or your first model. Although they are designed for perhaps more pro users, the Intuos range are for everyone. You should certainly not feel that you have to be relegated to a Bamboo model if all you want to do it play around with Photoshop.

What’s New In The Wacom Intuos 5 Graphics Tablet

As usual, Wacom have concentrated as much on ergonomic and physical changes to the tablet as they have on adding technology in there. Shamefuly, the wireless capability is still an optional extra – even on this, more professional model. I would like to have seen this as standard on the Intuos range by now.

The Intuos5 has had multi-touch gestures added, which have been standard on the lower consumer aimed models for some time now, allowing you to pinch, zoom and rotate your images on screen using your fingers. This is a good enhancement to the range and after a little getting used to, becomes invaluable to your work.

The pen sensitivity is 2048 levels, which gives a finer control over the pressure of your pen stroke, leading to more refined and precise images. I am not sure that most people would notice the difference between 1024 and 2048 levels to be honest, so if you are drawing a silly cartoon using the tablet to send to your friends, this may be overkill.

As with the other tablets in the Wacom ranges, the Intuos5 is a dream to use and feels very solid and is easy to have, either on your lap or on a desk. You can turn it 180 degrees if you are left handed too, which is great. Some cheaper manufacturers do not take this into consideration at all. The tablet is available in 3 sizes, small, medium and large, so you are able to choose the right size for your needs. I am not sure why anyone would need a small model really though. I suggest that you always go for a higher size if possible.

A touch sensitive scroll wheel and ExpressKeys are located on the tablet, allowing you to quickly change brush size or select options within your chosen program or launch new applications quickly. These are easy to use and we did not experience any issues with them. Wacom have added an on screen reminder service to let you know what the buttons have been assigned to if you ever forget. Simply rest your finger on a button for a second or two and a holographic-like display will appear on your computer, showing an outline of the current settings. A nice touch, seeing as the Intuos5 has 8 user assignable buttons (6 on the small version).

Is The Intuos5 Right For Me?

With technology, I am always of the opinion that spending a little extra definitely returns better products. Take the difference between an iPad and a cheaper Android tablet. Although they do the same job – the more expensive model is honed better around the edges, performs more consistently and gives a better user experience. It is the same for Wacom graphics tablets too. Although cheaper models from companies such as Genius are as competent, Wacom have the edge with unparalleled user experience, amazing build quality and industry standard components.

If you are thinking of buying this Intuos model, you may want to think what you are using it for and how often. The cheaper Bamboo range may suit your needs more, having almost the same capabilities, wrapped in a slightly cheaper casing. The Intuos range are aimed more at professional people who will use them day in, day out. For Granny and the Photoshop users out there, the Bamboo range is more than adequate. However, if you are doing something more often with a tablet, this new cracker will be a great choice.

Should I Buy The Intuos5?

If it were me, I would get the largest model available of the Intuos5 that you can afford. Whilst I might not use it every day (or every week sometimes) I want my tablet to work well, every time, feel solid and dependable and be responsive to which ever project I turn it to. The Intuos5 does that and does it very well. Wacom never scrimp on the features with their tablets and the new additions to this model are certainly welcomed.

Should you buy the Intuos5? If you can afford it – perhaps. It may be a little expensive and feature rich for everyday photo editing, but it is a very sexy, very competent and very desirable package. I am not sure that anyone can beat Wacom in this market now.

View the price of the Intuos 5 on Amazon

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