Wacom Intuos3 Widescreen Tablet Review - Gaming & Conclusions

Submitted by skipclarke on 11 July, 2006 - 13:41

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Off course, designing isn’t the only thing I have done with the tablet, I tried a couple of games as well. I tried a couple of different genres to see if the pen is of any use in games. First on my list was Age Of Empires III. Although I don’t particularly like the game I thought it was a good candidate to test the tablet on a RTS game.

First impressions of this game are good. It’s not that difficult to use the tablet with it. The only thing that sort of needs some getting used to is scrolling the camera around. Since your cursor “hops” to the place where your pen is at, it may be a little weird to suddenly see your camera moving around when you place the pen near the edge of the screen. However, I got used to this quiet easily and after that I was able the play the game like I would with a mouse.

After testing a RTS I tried a Shooter. Believe me a tablet is not designed for FPS games. I tried Ghost Recon - Advanced Warfighter with it and I was all over the place. For some reason the sensitivity of the cursor is set to ultra high. With a 1 millimetre movement of the pen I turned 180 degrees. I lowered the mouse’s sensitivity setting to the lowest possible and still it was not possible to do anything but spinning around in circles.

So my thoughts about playing games with the tablet: When ever you need to operate the camera with the mouse, as in looking around you, forget about it. It won’t work at all. I tried Hitman Bloodmoney, Halflife 2 and FEAR with it and all these games have the same really fast mouse thing. On the other hand, playing RTS games work really well. I also tried Command & Conquer Generals next to Age Of Empires III with it and it worked all like a charm. But overall I believe you are better of with a mouse for most games.

Final Words

There is only one word for this thing - awesome. It totally changed the way I work. Since I have received this device I haven’t touched my mouse for anything but certain games. There are some really minor things I don’t like about it. Actually, there is only one thing. If you drag a file on to the taskbar to open it in a program that is already opened the cursor gets “stuck” on the taskbar resulting in an error when you drop the file. Other than that, there are no things that I think are bad about this device.

The big question is do you need one. If you do a lot of Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash work like I do all day, I believe one of these tablets is really worth it. Hell, you should already have one.

Also, when you are behind a computer for very long time doing normal office work, a tablet is a real option, since it reduces the stress on your arm. It is a rather big investment though if you are only going to use it for desktop work. A smaller version or a Wacom Graphire is a possibility in this case.

Then there is the case of the gamer. It depends on what type of games you play. Are you a Real Time Strategy player you may want to consider a tablet, since it works perfect with this type of game. First Person Shooter players however shouldn’t even consider it.

One more thing to talk about is the size of the tablet. Of course as this is a widescreen forum, Wacom sent a widescreen tablet. I found out though, that the A5 wide version is to big for one 20" widescreen, but perfect for a dual screen setup. (At home I have two monitors, one normal 4:3 screen and one 16:10 widescreen). For this setup, an A5 wide version is absolutely what you want. At work however, I only have one 22" normal aspect monitor and that's just to small for this tablet. I only use about half the tablet at work (which I changed in the settings). So in this case, a normal A5 or maybe even an A6 version would be better. So the version i tested is most suitable for two screen setups or large widescreens like the 24 inch ones. For normal aspect screens or smaller widescreens you will want to get something smaller. It's too bad that Wacom doesn't have a widescreen A6 version, since that would be perfect for 20" widescreens. Maybe they make one in the future.

Well, that's it, my first and hopefully not last Featured Review. I want to thank Ibrin and FrankB for their awesome work on the videos, they did all the editing and made it this wonderfull. And I also want to thank Dougofthenorth, nacho_wide and Evil Incarnate for their feedback on the review.

Hope you liked it and found it to be informative. See you all at the forum. Discussion Thread