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Wacom’s Intuos4 redefines the pen tablet for digital content creators

Press release:

Next generation pen tablet delivers new proprietary pen technology and a stylish, ergonomic design loaded with new features

Wacom today unveils Intuos4, a professional pen tablet system that delivers new features and unparalleled performance to photographers, designers and artists. Inspired by members of Wacom’s professional community, the next generation Intuos is anchored by its new pen performance, capable of capturing the slightest nuance of pen pressure against the tablet surface, as well as offering 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Intuos4’s intelligent industrial design provides advancements in looks, comfort and control. Additionally, specific workflow and productivity tools include customisable shortcut and modifier keys with accompanying OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) displays, which show the current function setting of each key.

All new pen performance

The Intuos4 Grip Pen features Wacom’s new proprietary tip sensor technology, offering users near-zero (one gramme) starting pressure for an even more natural feel. Now, any writing, art or design can start with an incredibly light touch, emulating the same feel, response and result derived from working with traditional media.

Additionally, the Intuos4 pen delivers 2048 levels of pressure, doubling the resolution of the pen’s pressure curve to further enhance feedback and expand the creative effects within software applications that support pressure sensitivity. The Intuos4 Grip Pen features a pressure-sensitive eraser and two customisable side-switches for setting commands such as double-click and right-click on the pen. For those looking for a pen with a thicker barrel, a thick bodied Intuos4 replacement grip comes as an accessory.
Updated design improves workflow and boosts productivity
With its ergonomic design, the ultra-slim Intuos4 pen tablet is the ideal creative instrument for working with digital content. Its new reversible (ambidextrous) design puts all of the shortcut and modifier keys in the ideal position for right-handed or left-handed users. The ExpressKeys are conveniently located on one side of the tablet, making them all available to the users’ non-dominant hand. To move from right-handed to left-handed use, simply rotate the tablet through 180 degrees and change the orientation of the illuminated icons within the Wacom tablet driver software.

These application-specific ExpressKeys are instrumental in helping improve workflow and boost productivity by placing commonly used commands right at the fingertips. The close proximity of these tools to the actual work area is efficient and comfortable, helping to save valuable time by minimising dependence on the keyboard. New to Intuos4 are illuminated OLED displays (not featured on the Intuos4 S) that provide a helpful reminder of the current function setting of each ExpressKey. As these settings can be application-specific, the displays will update immediately as the user changes between applications.

Also new to the Intuos4 is the introduction of a user-defined Touch Ring capable of controlling up to four different functions in any application. A button located in the centre of the ring ‘toggles’ between functions such as zoom, scroll, brush size adjustment, canvas rotation and layer selection. The position of an LED located along the perimeter of the Touch Ring indicates the current function.

Pick and mix software

Intuos4 owners can choose valuable software applications based on individual needs. A selection from industry leaders such as Adobe, Autodesk and Corel are available to users following installation of an Intuos4 pen tablet. In addition, Intuos4 users will appreciate the significant upgrades to Wacom’s powerful, user-friendly driver software, including the introduction of precision mode and radial menus. In precision mode the mapping of the pen tip changes to a slow motion movement, enabling even more precise and accurate work. This feature is activated when the relevant ExpressKey is held down. Releasing it returns to normal mapping. Radial menus enable users to quickly access preferred functions through a hierarchical menu display. Functions can be customised and grouped together.

Intuos4 accessories

A new weighted pen stand not only provides a convenient pen holder, but also functions as a handy twist-off storage compartment for alternate pen nibs and handy nib extractor. Standard, felt, stroke and flex nibs ship with the Intuos4, allowing users to simulate working with a variety of traditional art and design materials.

Also available is an Art Pen, which turns on the rotation feature in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Corel Painter X to deliver natural brush effects, much like a calligraphy pen, as well as an Airbrush that enables users to create and define paint patterns within certain creative programmes. Finally, there is also the Classic Pen and a cordless and battery-free Wacom mouse.

“The Intuos4 is an intelligent pen tablet that addresses the needs of the creative professional with exciting new pen performance and thoughtful detailing,” says Guido Möller, product manager, professional products, at Wacom Europe. “By listening to our professional community, we are able to deliver an advanced pen tablet packed with new technologies and features that positively impacts creative control and productivity.”

See what professionals say about Intuos4:

Pricing and availability
Intuos4, available from 25 March 2009, comes in four sizes to meet varying workflow and workspace requirements – small (Intuos4 S: £199.99), medium (Intuos4 M: £329.99), large (Intuos4 L: £429.99) and extra large (Intuos4 XL: £699.99). All prices include VAT.

Read my review in the British Journal of Photography.


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