Gadgets 1091

Published on June 14th, 2010 | by Greg


Intuos4: Better Than Ever, Now With Fewer Wires

We’ve previously expressed our love for tablets. Even if our artistic talents don’t end up making us famous, it’s always nice to be able to put digital pen to electronic paper in the service of our projects. And while some people would be content with a small surface and the binary nature of most touch screens, once you’ve had a chance to appreciate multiple levels of pressure (2048 of them, to be precise) and a broad open expanse to use, its hard to go back to anything else.

But some other devices did offer one advantage- namely, the lack of wires, which does allow some extra options. That’s why we weren’t disappointed when the latest version of Wacoms’s Intuos4 tablets came our way. Most everything we liked about the previous version has stayed the same, while the improvement is significant enough that even owners of the last model should consider an upgrade. Those who do the majority of their work in one place might not find it revolutionary, but the lack of wires is freeing. Best of all, the battery life is quite good (rated at around 18 hours), and the wireless version adds only a negligible amount of weight over the original (it’s about 2.2 pounds).

One difference is that the only model available is the medium-sized one. Likely the most flexible, it’s just right for using on a lap, but we understand the hesitation if you are used to another size. Perhaps oddly, it also does not come with a Bluetooth adapter- so before purchasing, make that your computer supports it. Most laptops do, but desktop users will likely need to purchase an adapter separately. Setup was simple- with either built-in or external dongles, we were able to connect easily, and work up to 40 fee torso away from our computers.

We had no real issues- in the multiple apps that we tried, it worked smoothly and effectively, and we really liked the integration with Adobe’s CS5. Once, we had to re-synch the device, but that’s a painless process. As before, keep careful track of the special pen, required for use. We liked the pen holder, though it could have been heavier. Button placement is excellent, and the touch wheel is super-useful in ways you might not expect. We even used the tablet as a remote at times. And you can always use it in wired mode, simply by connecting it via USB-which is how you charge it as well (and you can use while charging, thankfully, since ours needed charging out of the box.) At $50 more than the wired version, we’d strongly recommend considering your use patterns- but the extra moneys a small price to pay for freedom. $400 or less, online.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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