Feeds
85%
Wacom Intuos4

Wacom Intuos4 L

Magic OLEDs and 2K sensitivity

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

All eight ExpressKeys are identical in shape and orientation, unlike those in the Intuos3. To assist tactile recognition of the key positions, they have been set at angles to allow you to feel the edges between them. At first, we didn’t think this would be good enough to identify the keys without looking, but we were wrong: it works fine.

Wacom Intuos4

Keyboard shortcuts: the transparent Radial Menu overlay allows setups using the pen

The aforementioned Touch Ring, a device copied from Wacom’s Bamboo range but akin to an iPod’s clickwheel, separates the ExpressKeys two sets of four. In a word processor, dragging a finger around the wheel scrolls the text up or down. In Photoshop CS4, it zooms in and out, or if you hold down modifier keys - or, indeed, ExpressKeys - it resizes brushes, rotates the canvas and so on.

One of the ExpressKeys calls up a Radial Menu. This is a customisable pie-chart of program menus and commands that pops up on-screen as a transparent overlay. Normally we hate this kind of thing: why would you want to press a button and click through a series of on-screen menus rather than use a keyboard shortcut? However, Wacom has made a decent job of ensuring the feature is swift and easily accessible, so perhaps you’ll find a use for it after all.

Before you ask, the Intuos4 supports left-handers. Turn the tablet all the way around and there's a second, appropriately positioned input socket for the USB cable. Being fully removable, the cable can be replaced. However, the input plug the cable attaches to, sticks out of the side of the tablet – presumably for easy gripping. It therefore occupies extra width on your desk and could get damaged if the plug is repeatedly knocked by accident. For what it’s worth, the Intuos4 USB cable is also thinner and weedier than the Intuos3 one.

Wacom Intuos4

Intuos4’s Grip Pen (bottom) is notably shorter than the Intuos3 version (top)

VERDICT

Try not to get carried away by the natty OLED displays: they might look sci-fi but they're just labels, after all. Instead, consider the doubling in stylus sensitivity, the adoption of the Bamboo’s Touch Ring and some fine Control Panel ExpressKey customisation. Best of all, Wacom builds its graphics tablets to last, so if you’re in two minds about the steep price for what is essentially just an input gadget, rest assured that the Intuos4 will still continue to withstand daily use long after the Intuos5 makes its appearance – four and a half years from now. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

85%
Wacom Intuos4

Wacom Intuos4 L

Double the precision of its predecessor and clever labelling of custom keys mean you can’t take a better tablet.
Price: £410. Other models: S £210, M £320, XL £720 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.