To our surprise, Wacom was generous enough to send us one of their brand new Intuos5 graphic tablets to review. If you missed the press release, check it out here. We were elated to get out hands on the next version of the popular Intuos line to test out so soon! We also have a set of unboxing pictures below for you to check out. Although we will have a full detailed review soon, here is our first impressions of the Intuos5.
As a full time retoucher, I use a pen tablet on a daily basis for hours at a time and have been for the last 7 years. I've tried all the tablets in the Wacom and have favored the Intuos line as my daily tablet.
So it comes to no surprise that I was pleased to hear Wacom had announced the Intuos5. The '4' was so good that I could just imagine how great the next addition would be. On the same token, I wasn't sure what they would improve upon before seeing the press release. However, before jumping to any conclusions, I knew I had to test it out to be sure it was worthwhile. After all, not all successors to previous products are always better.
Before going any further, check out an overview video below along with some of the key features here.
So by this time, we've all seen the specs, press release, and the video, but how is it in use? Do all these features translate to efficiency, results, and a need to buy one? There are always first hand accounts that paint a bigger picture into what makes it worthwhile, and I felt I could provide that viewpoint.
After opening everything up, as you can see from the unboxing below, I immediately installed everything and tried it out. For those of you who already have the tablet or decide to purchase one, Wacom has an updated driver on their website which you can grab here. It's already an update to the installation CD that comes with it.
The first thing I noticed about it, is that the design had changed. I knew that going in, but seeing and feeling it in person is a totally different experience. It just looks more slick when placing it next to the '4'. That was definitely not something I expected judging from the pictures. The minimalistic route taken was a perfect amount, it's simple, but not too simple. The build of it is so sturdy that it makes the '4' feel more like a toy and you feel that when you pick it up or even touch it.
Even the ergonomics of the design is impressive. The way the contouring of the scroll wheel and buttons are designed makes transitions between using the stylus to the wheel feel completely seamless. On the '4', it has a plastic shiny surface which collects oil and dust, and the rest of the tablet which is different all together.
Aside from the fluid transitions of the way it's designed to be used, the material has changed to rubber on everything but the active surface of the tablet. If you want a visual idea of how it feels like to the touch, grab your '4' stylus, and feel the section above the rubber grip. Do you feel the smooth rubber material? That's how the whole tablet feels like. Combined with the fluid form, it feels better as well and won't collect smudge lines and attract dust like the '4' notoriously does.
The next biggest feature is the surface itself. They got it right this time. The '4' was good, but as you know, the surface wears out. On the Intuous5, the surface doesn't wear out, yet still has the texture of drawing on a piece of paper. I don't know how they did it, but I am very impressed with the feel. This is why they don't have any replacement pads on the website either. Stepping up from the '4', it feels grittier, but that's primarily because the '4' had a slicker surface with gradual use if you don't replace it.
I've just begun to get into detail about the tablet, including the new features like gestures, wireless connectivity, performance, on screen illuminated tab options, and so much more. I will be reviewing that in full in our upcoming detailed review of the Intuos5.
In the meantime, enjoy the unboxing pictures below!