A graphics tablet that's no longer reserved for the graphics industry.
Chances are if you own a graphics tablet, you refer to it as a Wacom (pronounced wah-com) for the simple fact that, other than a couple of small players, Wacom basically dominates the market. That and the company’s tablet technology is superb. Up until now, however, there was no great incentive to upgrade. If your current tablet that moonlights as a coaster still gives great stylus, why change?
While the primary role of the Intuos5 Touch is still ultra-accurate, stylus-based graphics work (which it delivers with 2,048 levels of pressure at angles with an accuracy rating of 0.25mm), Wacom’s latest also has a few new functionality perks up its sleeve. For the touchy-feely among us, the Intuos5 now offers fully customisable, multitouch gesture support. It’s also no longer just for performing the requisite pans, zooms and rotations while you’re Photoshopping cats for your latest Reddit post -- it now works for general OS navigation as well. Another welcome addition is the optional wireless functionality, though you'll need to shell out an extra $45 for the associated adapter plug. Suddenly the Intuos5 has gone from humble graphics tablet to a viable presentation/learning tool for offices and schools -- basically a mouse replacement for anywhere computing happens.
The ExpressKeys and Touch Ring controls have also had a complete overhaul. Where there once sat controls seemingly engineered for clumsy inefficiency, there are now finely tuned instruments that provide users with not only haptic feedback, but a heads-up display mirroring every move, rotation and button press. And as with the multitouch gesturing, the built-in controls are fully customisable and ready for your OS or application macros.
The Intuos5 Touch is available in three sizes -- 7in, 10in and 15in -- but where tablets are concerned, we’ve always found that no matter what you do with it, bigger is definitely better.
Pros : Wireless connectivity; heads-up display, multitouch gestures.
Cons : Expensive, additional cost for wireless adapter.
Verdict : 9/10. Editor's choice!
Available from Wacom, retailing for $265 small, $400 medium, $550 large, $45 wireless kit