With each new upgrade Wacom faces the problem of convincing users to replace something that does its job exceptionally well and is built to last.
The Wacom Intuos4 is a tempting prospect, however, as the innovative company has effectively reinvented the wheel with this version. Built on user feedback, the new Wacom premium tablet is an appealing mix of hardware and software refinements.
A black beauty, the tablet itself gains a major makeover. Suitably streamlined, the Wacom Intuos4 certainly looks the part. The ExpressKeys, designed to speed workflow and boost productivity, are joined by a dinky, user-defined Touch Ring, capable of controlling up to four different functions in any application.
You simply ‘toggle' between functions, such as zoom, scroll, and brush size, each highlighted by an unobtrusive blue OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) display that extends to the ExpressKeys.
The Wacom Intuos4 resolves the issue of left and right-handed users with a clever reversible design, aided by a useful detachable USB cable - the only potential weak link now easily replaced should the lead break from wear and tear. As usual, build is exceptional and a worthy investment for anyone who values quality and longevity.
The Wacom Intuos4 Grip Pen also enjoys a remarkable redesign. Ergonomic and comfortable, it makes use of Wacom's new proprietary tip sensor technology that offers an unprecedented level of control over the marks you make digitally.
With 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, double Wacom's previous efforts, you may need to zoom in to fully appreciate the minute precision over your image editing and creation. An included thick-bodied replacement grip is a bonus, along with the ability to colour code and replace nibs with ease.
The revamped driver software is the icing on the creative cake, with the capability - given some time and effort - to further customise settings for an endless range of applications. Dig deep and you can discover ways to save time and reduce donkey work by unleashing the potential and power of the ExpressKeys and Touch Ring.
Put that old Wacom tablet on eBay or pass it on, the Wacom Intuos4 really is a giant step in pen tablet technology. The simply stunning make-over is only half the story, though, equally impressive is a wonderfully responsive new pen and comprehensive software drivers.