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Wacom Intuos4 Graphics Tablet Makes Photo Retouching Easy

A product review by our Senior Reviews Editor, Kasia Chelinska

If you are a serious photographer who does retouching yourself, you should swap your mouse for one of the new graphics tablets available on the market as soon as possible. Here we review the Wacom Intuos4 Graphics Table.
   Graphics tablets are growing in popularity for many reasons.

The first benefit is that your hand doesn’t get tired because holding the pen is much more natural to the human body. The pen also enables you to make longer strokes, which is very useful while painting in Adobe PhotoShop and it greatly speeds up the whole process.

Wacom Intuos4 being used by our Senior Reviews Editor

What is in the Box.

 The pen comes with 10 extra nibs nicely hidden in the box where you put your pen when you are not using it.

The nibs are of different textures. There is one, white with a spring in it, which you would use when you have a more delicate task and you don’t want to use much pressure on the surface.

The pen also has buttons built onto it. You can use them for double-clicking or right-clicking.

Intuos4 Wacom Model: PTK-540WL Wireless tablet

But next and probably the most important feature is the Touch Ring with toggle function, something that makes many people choose this particular product over cheaper alternatives.

The toggle provides control of scrolling and zooming, brush size, canvas rotation or layer selection. My personal favourites are changing brush size and zooming in.

The only disadvantage is that the changing of the options is not as quick as it should be. That is a bit annoying and the only disadvantage I could find so far.

So, instead of using the Touch Ring to zoom in on the picture in PhotoShop, I just enlarge it in the navigator window and then use the Touch Ring to change the size of the brush only.

 I found I can work quicker this way.

Let’s move into looking at other features of the Wacom Intuos4.

This tablet is provided with eight ExpressKeys, which is another amazing feature that makes this device stand out above the others. Every graphic designer uses keyboard shortcuts to save time. These are provided on the tablet and are very well thought out because the most useful shortcuts are at the bottom, and the ones used less often are at the top.

The tablet is very easy to use, and installation of the software is quick.

An interesting feature is that you can choose whether you are right- or left-handed during the software installation. I would say it takes 30 minutes to learn how to use the product.

The medium size tablet, which we tested, is big enough for a professional photographer. I think smaller size would be fine too as the working space is not as important as you may think before trying the tablet out. The tablet’s battery is charged through a USB cable. After spilling a cup of coffee I found that the device is waterproof!

It is fair to say that the price of this device is high. £360 it is a lot just for an accessory, especially now that there is a number of similar products on the market, but it has to be said that the money is well spent because of this product’s quality and the sleek design.

So, from the resellers’ point of view, this product can be sold on the back of Adobe PhotoShop software and can enable the reseller to offer a more complete graphics design package together with a Macintosh or PC.

Manufacturer’s website: www.wacom.com

1. Product description /category: a tablet for use with desktop computer, laptops, retouching programs, such as Adobe PhotoShop, Autodesk, Corel, etc
2. Industry uses: The Intuos4 pen tablet is designed for both professional and serious home users, graphic designers, artists, etc
3. Ease of use: very easy
4. Ease of set up: very easy
5. Cost: £359
6. What's in the box: Intuos4 wireless pen tablet – Intuos4 Grip Pen, Pen stand, Ten replacement nibs (five standard nibs, one flex nib, one stroke nib, and three hard felt nibs), Nib extractor, Thick replacement rubber grip, USB charging cable (2.5m), Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, Quick Start Guide, Installation CD (includes tablet driver software and user manual))
7. Specifications 
Resolution:  5080 dpi (2000 lines/cm)
Abs. accuracy:  ± 0.25 mm
Pressure Levels:  2048
Max. distance:  10 mm
Max. pen tilt:  60 °
Tilt Accuracy:  2 °
Sample Rate:  200 points/sec.

Type:  EMR (electro magnetic resonance)
Active working area: 203 x 127 mm
Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB charging cable
Weight: 900 grams
Overall Size: 363 x 253 x 15 mm