Wacom Intuos5 review: Wacom Intuos5

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Wacom Intuos5 touch (medium)

(Part #: CNETCNETIntuos5medium) Released: Mar 1, 2012
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 1 user review

The Good The redesigned Wacom Intuos5 fixes some drawbacks from the already-excellent previous version, plus adds multitouch operation to an already impressive bag of input tricks.

The Bad There's still no interface for sharing/migrating saved settings or allowing third parties to provide preconfigured application-specific settings. Also, the heads-up display trigger is a little too sensitive.

The Bottom Line Though it doesn't add any new graphics-specific capabilities over its predecessor, the Wacom Intuos5 input tablet remains a must-have for digital brushworkers.

8.4 Overall

It's been two years since Wacom introduced the substantially redesigned Intuos4. In the interim, the company has chosen to concentrate on refining the design and adding more market-friendly features rather than upping the operational sensitivity or retooling the accessories. That's not really a negative: the tablet retains the same excellent pressure/tilt-sensitivity performance as its predecessor and uses the same generation of pens and mouse. What's new is the support for multitouch and gestures and a design with better integration of wireless operation.

The Intuos5 comes in three sizes: small ($229), medium ($349), and large ($469). Wacom won't be releasing an Extra Large model in this series, instead keeping the Intuos4 model available for those with big-tablet needs.

If possible, the design is even more austere than before. Wacom has replaced the glossy sidebar with its clearly delineated ExpressKeys and Touch Ring and replaced it with a rubberized bezel all around and membrane controls. Also gone are the context-sensitive LED labels that reminded you how the controls mapped. Instead there's a faint LED light indicating that the tablet's powered on and four crop marks showing the active tablet area. On the right side (oriented for a righty) are a Mini-USB connector and a couple of covered recesses for the optional wireless dongle and battery. (It uses RF, not Bluetooth.) Like its predecessor, the tablet works identically whether you're right- or left-handed.

For your mapping reminder, Wacom gives a heads-up display (HUD) when you pause your fingers over the ExpressKeys. This is a fine system, although it always pops up on the left side of your primary display; I'd prefer it to appear on whichever monitor has current focus.

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