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HolidayBuyer's Guide

New industrial design

Same keys, different look

Heads-up display

Connectors

Pens and mouse unchanged

Driver

Wacom eschews the glossy surfaces and clicky buttons for a rubberized texture and membrane keys. The active area, delineated by the illuminated crop marks, is actually the same size as its predecessors', but the Intuos4 had a larger bezel that overlaid the unused portion of the tablet area.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The buttons and touch ring operate the same as before, but they're now a seamless membrane design, with bumps so that you can distinguish them by feel. Unlike the Intuos4, they don't have the context-sensitive LED labels, which have been replaced by a heads-up display that reminds you of the mappings. I've got sloppy elbows (I set them down everywhere), so I frequently pull up the HUD when brushing the tablet.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
These are the various HUDs that appear for the Expresskeys, Touch Ring and Radial menu. The newest capability is the Touch on/off, which allows you to toggle multitouch status.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Under one cover you'll find a connector for the optional Wireless Accessory kit and an empty spot to stash the USB dongle. There's another covered slot for the battery. It charges via USB.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Since Wacom hasn't enhanced the sensitivity or operation of the tablet this go-round, the various pens and mouse haven't changed.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The driver hasn't changed substantially except for the addition of Touch settings. As with the other input technologies, you can create custom Touch settings for individual applications, which is nice. You still can't share your customizations between computers.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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