If you are a professional photographer, a graphic designer or a budding artist, a professional pen tablet is may be what you are looking for. TheWacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet is what you can consider for upgrading your pen and paper drawings to a more professional artwork. Digital art can be created with great precision and ease with the pen tablet. If the tablet is a small sized one, it is portable and easy to handle. Even non-artists can use this with great ease.

A graphic tablet is an input device that consists of a flat surface for artwork and a stylus or pen to work with. It is an advanced workstation for all types of professionals in the creative industry. In order to review this product, I need to discuss some of the most common features of a graphic tablet and analyze features of the Wacom Intuos4 in those contexts.

Size of the Tablet

In order to choose a suitable tablet for your personal use, the first factor to consider is the size. The most popular sizes of a tablet are 4×5, 6×8, and 9×12 which matches with the traditional computer monitor ratio of 4:3. It should be kept in mind that these dimensions are the input surface area of the tablet. The actual footprint may be 4 to 5 inches larger than that. Thus a 6×8 tablet actually has a footprint of 10” by 13.5”. The larger the size, the greater the price and the more arm motion it requires. However, a small portable one, on the other hand can meet your requirement of an easy-to-handle tablet with lesser arm motion and flexibility.

If you are looking for a highly portable tablet to carry around in your laptop bag and yet a professional level device, you can closely look into the Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet. It has a small compact size of 6.2″ x 3.9″ (157.5mm x 98.4mm), weighing only 1.54 lb. (700 g). This unusual small size has been achieved by two fewer ExpressKeys and no illuminated displays. Instead there are ‘show settings’ ExpressKeys that provide a pop-up display on the screen indicating the ExpressKey configurations. This product is slim-profiled with gentle sloping and easy glide palm rests that assure complete support for working on all areas of the tablet. Coming from the renowned manufacturer of pen tablets, it can be expected that they have not compromised on quality with their size. In fact the Intuos4 claims to feature all the unique characteristics bestowed in the other bigger versions of Wacom Intuos4 tablets.

Pressure-sensitivity

The next most important aspect of a digital tablet is its pressure sensitivity. This unique feature can control fine lines, transparency and speed. The higher the sensitivity, the more control you will have over your drawing and the more natural it will feel. Most tablets have pressure levels like 256, 512 or 1024.

The Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet features a new Tip Sensor Technology to enable the user to get a finer level of control. This advanced technology can initiate a feather-touch pen pressure control with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity (double of 1024!). Due to this it can capture a single gram or every nuance of pen pressure. Its realistic pen tilt recognition of 60 degrees can stimulate a natural feel of a brush or pen and deliver a high level of accuracy. The Intuos4 can give you the creative power to adjust exposure, brush size, opacity and line weight, dynamically. A professional photographer or an artist can speed through a photo editing or art creation with greater precision in lesser time.

Stylus or Pen and Accessories

A digital tablet comes with a pen or stylus, which may be with or without a battery, tethered or non-tethered. A battery free pen is lighter to use compared to its battery-controlled counterpart, while the tethered one does not lose easily unlike the non tethered variety. Some varieties have a switch built onto the pen for specific functions like right click or double click, while some have an erasing end which enables the delete function in one swipe.

In this context, if you look at the Wacom Intuos4 Pen, you will not only find it ergonomically designed but also an engineered marvel! This freehand tool is contoured in such a way that it relieves 40% of stress and fatigue from your hand and wrist. The Grip Pen is designed to perfection with a rubber grip that minimizes grip effort from the user to a great extent.  It is battery-free and cordless, therefore light to use. The Grip Pen even has two customized double-side-switches and an eraser at the end which is pressure-sensitive for greater control. The user-defined switches can be preset to ‘double-click’ and ‘right click’ or set to your most often used functions. Its optimum weight (700 g), tilt sensitivity (60 degrees) and perfect balance makes it a much preferred choice for all professionals. There are 10 replacement nibs accompanying the Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet like five standard nibs, three hard felt nibs, one stroke nib and one flex nib. Other accessories included with the product are an airbrush, an inking pen, a pen stand, a thick-bodied replacement grip and a nib extractor. The pen stand also provides a handy twist-off storage compartment for holding the various pen nibs and the pen nib removal tool.

Interface

Last but not the least; the interface is the connectivity of the tablet with your computer. There are two options for connecting the graphic tablet to your computer. One is the USB interface option, which is a very basic and desirable option, while the other is the wireless Bluetooth interface which is a new interface option available to a very few tablets till date. The USB interface is an ideal one because most of the recent computers support an USB.

Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet is MAC and PC compatible and supports the USB interface option for connectivity. The product comes with a 2.5m USB cable.

Added Features

Along with all the other above mentioned features, the Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet provides 6 customized ExpressKeys and user-defined Touch Ring functionality.

In fact it is possible to simply press the default ExpressKey to display all your settings at a glance. You can also set up your ExpressKeys in such a way so as to activate your own unique shortcuts and modifiers to save time.

The multifunction Touch Ring technology can control four different functions like size of the brush, zooming in and out, rotating the canvas, scrolling horizontally or vertically and selecting layers with greater ease and precision. It is possible to switch between different modes with the Touch Ring’s toggle feature.

As the ExpressKeys and the Touch Ring are perfectly positioned on the same side of the tablet, they can be operated with the hand that is not holding the pen. Its reversible ambidextrous design maximizes productivity of both the hands very effectively.

The Intuos4 provides an Installation CD and you are entitled to download your choice of software by industry leaders like Abode, Autodesk and Corel.

Product Features at a Glance:-

  • Quickly edits photos and creates digital artworks
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Portable and compact size
  • New Pen Tip Sensor Technology captures every nuance of pen pressure
  • 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity
  • User defined Touch Ring with toggle feature
  • 6 customized ExpressKeys
  • Grip Pen  with 10 nib replacements, a thick bodied replacement grip, a pen stand and a nib extractor
  • Eraser
  • Tilt sensitivity
  • New custom radial menus for rapid navigation
  • Cordless and battery-free
  • Tool ID
  • Installation CD (tablet driver software and electronic user manual)
  • The manufacturer offers a one year warranty on the product.

Pros

The Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet has received an overwhelming response from a huge customer base. At Amazon it has been reviewed positively by the majority who are thoroughly satisfied with the product quality. Customers find the Intuos4 a worthy upgrade and a great deal for the price. They have pointed out the various advantages of the Intuos4 small tablet over others like the New Pen Sensor technology, the user defined Touch Ring, a whooping 2048 pressure levels, wide-screen format, portability and a great value for money.

Cons

Since no true review should be biased here are a few of the problems some of the buyers faced with this product that show that the Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet is not free from cons. Some find its nibs wearing out fast, the express keys too firm, the rubber grip attracting more dust, no OLED display, etc.

Customer ratings

However, in spite of some criticisms, the Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet has received an overwhelming 4.5 out of 5 star rating at Amazon.com. This assures that the product is worth an up gradation recommended to serious professional designers, as indicated by majority reviews at Amazon. All you need to do is visit the site and decide for yourself.

Price

The Wacom Intuos4 Small Pen Tablet is priced modestly, but like most other products it is available at a discounted rate at Amazon.com. Depending on when you order, you may be eligible to get the product with a Free Super Saver Shipping offer (mostly within the US). This undoubtedly makes it a great bargain!

Posted by KevinH

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