A review by The Big Picture's art director.
If you use a mouse, there is a better
option: the new Intuos3 tablet series,
from Wacom. Available in three sizes"?4 x
5, 6 x 8, and 9 x 12 in."?the Intuos3 is a
great alternative for day-to-day use, as
well as more complex actions.
For this review, Wacom provided us
with a 6 x 8-in. unit. Set-up right out of the
box was easy; there are no power cords or
extra parts that can get in the way"?one
wire connects directly into the USB port
on the back of your computer. After connecting
the tablet, installing the software
(in my case, for OS X) also was simple,
and took only a few minutes.
Once the driver is installed, you're ready
to go. You can access the control panel for
the Intuos3 and adjust the pen pressure,
pen tilt, program the pen, map the tablet to
the screen, and many other options.
One of the Intuos3's new features: the
adjustable ExpressKey buttons on the
tablet area. These buttons default to keyboard
options such as control, option,
command, and the space bar keys. The
ExpressKeys require a little extra time to
get familiar with if you are already in the
habit of using those keys on the keyboard,
but they are a good feature; as
you become more familiar with them, you
can easily use the ExpressKeys for
shortcuts that you're familiar with in
everyday use"?copying selections,
changing brushes, printing, etc.
Located next to the ExpressKeys on
the tablet is the new Touch Strip, which is
very useful when you need to quickly
zoom in to work on fine details, and then
zoom out to view your entire document.
It's also great for scrolling when you're
browsing the Internet. Yet, this great tool
can also be frustrating because it's so
sensitive. While I was working, I would
occasionally rest my hands too close to
the TouchStrip and would inadvertently
and abruptly change my document view;
I would have to take the time to get my
view back to the way it was before. Once
I became more familiar with this option
and just where to rest my hands, this
posed less of a problem.
Redesigned pen and
Other new features on the Intuos3 include:
Advancing your workflow
Wacom's Intuos3 tablet series is a great
option if you are feeling frustrated drawing
complex curves in Photoshop or simply
if your hand is cramping from using a
mouse all day. It's so versatile that it can
be used in a variety of ways that will
assist you in your workflow.
Street prices on the Intuos3 tablets:
$199.99 (4 x 5 in.), $329.99 (6 x 8 in.),
and $449.99 (9 x 12 in.). The Intuos2 line
of tablets is being continued for customers
seeking serial connectivity or
larger sizes (12 x 12 and 12 x 18 in.). (Wacom: www.wacom.com)
Jaxon Cook is art director for The Big Picture
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