[Gear] Wacom Announces the New Intuos5 Tablet

[Gear] Wacom Announces the New Intuos5 Tablet

Big fan of tablets? Today, Wacom announced the release of the newest addition to the Intuos family, the Intuos5. With the addition of multi-touch options (recognizing both Windows and Macintosh gestures), a heads-up display system called Express View, an upgraded ergonomic pen (although all Wacom pens will work with the Intuos5), and optional wireless connectivity, the Intuos5 looks to offer everything current tablet users have been clamoring for.

Official Wacom Press Release
Vancouver, Wash. – Mar. 1, 2012 – Wacom today announces Intuos5, the next generation lineup of tablets for professional photographers, designers and artists who wish to take their digital content creation to the next level. Superior new features include multi-touch gesture support for intuitive input, an Express View display to facilitate an efficient workflow and wireless capabilities for convenience and comfort. Combined with Wacom’s renowned pen pressure and tilt sensitive pen, the state-of- the-art Intuos5 inspires creativity through an immersive experience.

With its ergonomic, ambidextrous design and bold new look, the slim-profile Intuos5 allows creative professionals to work in complete comfort. The professional matte- black, soft-touch finish and illuminated accents reflect a modern and durable design. To meet the workflow and workspace needs of Wacom’s diverse professional customer base, Intuos5 models are being introduced in the Americas in three different sizes (small, medium and large) to accommodate creative preferences.

The Human Touch

The addition of multi-touch to the Intuos5 provides a complementary input method to the pen that is natural to use in the creative process. One of the distinct benefits of multi-touch is its support of gestures to zoom, scroll, pan and rotate digital content, all while remaining focused on the creative process. Not only is the Intuos5 able to recognize standard Windows and Mac gestures, but customizable gestures can be created in supporting applications to make navigational input easier and stress free. For example, a customized gesture could be created to open a commonly used feature within Adobe Photoshop.

“The multi-touch interface in the Intuos5 is Wacom’s most elegant implementation of gesture support to date,” says Don Varga, Professional Products Brand Director for Wacom Technology Services Corporation. “Switching from pen to touch or to gesture based navigation is a liberating experience, allowing one to reduce repetitive motion and interact more naturally with the computer.”

Stay Focused

Wacom continues to build customizable non-dominant hand controls into its professional tablets to help users streamline their workflow and be more productive. On the Intuos5, these include customizable ExpressKeys (six on small size and eight on both medium and large sizes) and one Touch Ring, with four-function toggle. These features allow users to place commonly used shortcuts and modifiers right at their fingertips, decreasing dependency on the computer keyboard while increasing productivity. The ambidextrous design allows right-handed and left-handed users to simply rotate the tablet 180 degrees for easy access to the ExpressKeys and Touch Ring.

To help users remember their application-specific ExpressKey settings, Intuos5 comes equipped with Express View, a new Heads-Up Display (HUD) feature that displays the current settings on the computer screen. Lightly resting a finger on any of the keys reveals the settings on-screen and fades within a few seconds so as not to disrupt the creative process. “Express View modernizes the user interface and is instrumental in helping improve workflow and boost productivity,” says Varga. “It allows users to remain focused on their work and concentrate on the creative process while providing all the benefits of a faster workflow.”

The Intuos5 Grip Pen

For creative professionals, the Intuos5 Grip Pen remains the heart and soul of the tablet experience. The Intuos5 pen registers 2048 levels of pen pressure and up to 60 degrees of pen tilt, allowing the pen to emulate the same feel, response and effects derived from working with traditional tools such as paint brushes, markers and pens. In addition, Intuos5 features Wacom’s proprietary Tip Sensor technology, which means that pressure-sensitive effects can start with an incredibly light touch. The Wacom pen expands the creative effects that can be achieved within software applications that support pressure and/or tilt sensitivity such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Corel PainterTM, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and many more. The Grip Pen also features a pressure-sensitive eraser and two side switches that can be customized for commands such as double-click and right-click.

Optional Wireless Connectivity

With the Intuos5, Wacom broadens its offering for wireless connectivity. Now, all sizes of Intuos5 can be converted to a wireless tablet by installing the Wireless Accessory kit, sold separately on Wacom’s e-store. The kit includes a rechargeable battery that charges through USB, a RF module that plugs into the tablet and a receiver that plugs into a USB port on the computer.

The Intuos5, available for PREORDER today, comes in three models: Intuos5 touch Small ($229.95 USD), Medium ($349.95 USD) and Large ($469.95 USD).

About Wacom

Founded in 1983, Wacom’s vision to bring people and technology closer together through natural interface technologies has made it the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays and digital interface solutions. The advanced technology of Wacom’s intuitive input devices has been used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashions and designs around the world and provides business and home users with the ability to explore digital content creation in a comfortable, natural way. Today, millions of customers use Wacom’s cordless, battery-free, pressure-sensitive pen technology to express their creativity.

Excited? So are we. We've got our hands on one, and we can't wait to tell you what we think. Check back soon for our first impressions and full review of the new Wacom Intuos5.

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Sean Shimmel's picture

I'm still learning how to best exploit my Intuous 4.

I miss the... calm purity and quiet simplicity of vision over endless toys. Much more intrigued by:

1. The video of Sally Mann (her only investment was in the bacon grease she smeared on her husband's leg to get their dog to lick his leg for a shot)

2. Helmut Newton (he used the green dial for autoexposure)

3. Steve McCurry wandering the streets at dawn or dusk. He calls himself the Prince of Darkness... so in that case, his investment is getting up early or working late.

Not being grumpy against all technology (of course, it's necessary), just cheerfully jaded against endlessly feeling left behind with the new.

Howell, Photography's picture

Yup. I'm sure a wireless tablet is really handy... for somebody... I do 100% of my tablet work in front of my old fashioned monitors connected to my old fashioned tower at my old fashioned desk... It's good that Wacom wants to improve their products.. I wouldn't have updated from my original Intuos tablet if the serial connector would have been able to squeeze into the usb port ;)

Chris Belcher's picture

What I really want from Wacom is a Cintiq that is an all-in-one PC. Yes, there has been some laptops that have this functionality but they are rare. Other then that wireless is next to useless for me and I already have multi touch on my MBP. Sure it might be easier, more convenient to have both on one device but it is not enough to get me to ditch my Intuos4.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Wacom would have to partner to produce something like this. They don't do any work with processors or motherboards to the degree it would take to make an all-in-one. Now if they partnered with, say, HP or Toshiba, maybe something great would come of it.

Jayge Dreier's picture

Fstoppers should change the name of the comments section to the "haters section"

I like the wireless option. It'll keep my desktop nice and clean next to my wireless mouse and wireless keyboard. The less cords I have running across my desk the better. 

Chris Belcher's picture

Oh come on, it is not hate. It is spending another $350 on something that is just a bit better then what I already have. Really, is the aesthetics of your desk worth that money if you already have an older Intuos?

To me that is $350 I would like to spend on something else: lighting, modifiers, new ball head. 

Of course that is just me and my desk where the wires are largely unseen.

Sean Shimmel's picture

Haters? Far from it. Who wouldn't welcome the new? 

Yet... life is always a balance and far bigger than just my own endlessly long wish-list. 

I can hear the family now:

"Dad... your pictures still look the same"
"Honey... you said that LAST time" (that my happiness would finally be complete)
"Oh... you finally got around to using the buttons and the wheel on the previous one?" 

Fstoppers is just putting the product release out there just as they would with other important releases.  No one's forcing any of you to buy it. And no one's saying that your Intuos4 is no longer any good. If it's worked for you up until now then keep using it. This probably isn't for those who have the Intuos4. Unless for some reason you NEED the wireless option or have $350 burning a hole in your pocket (in which case send me your Intuos4). But for those of us who don't currently have a tablet this is good information.

My question is how long is it going to take Wacom to harness OLED technology to give us the Cintiq experience in a Intuos package? Keep the price reasonable ($2000= not reasonable) and I'm in immediately.

Keep up the good work Fstoppers.