Wacom Intuos3 Widescreen Tablet Review - Usage

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

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Well, here comes the most important part - using the tablet.

A great plus of this device is that the position of your hand is way more natural. Where before I had a somewhat tired arm after using the computer for a couple of hours, now I could work for hours straight, without having to give my arm any rest. This is a good thing, since I had so much to try with this thing, that I was spending way more time behind my PC than I normally do.

In Windows, the pen works nicely. The cool thing is that when you want to click for instance the "this computer" icon, you just place the pen at the corresponding place on the tablet. The cursor then automatically "hops" to that place on the screen and clicks the icon. Scrolling takes some time to get used to since there is no real scroll-wheel. You do have the scrollstrips but I found them to be too far away to use for scrolling internet pages. If you are holding the pen, the scrollstrips aren't that easy to use. So I quickly found myself "grabbing" the scrollbar on the edge of the screen with the pen and just pushing it down to scroll the pages.

One thing that I noticed was that I was now navigating around the screen way faster than I used to be doing using a mouse. The fact that you don't have to drag a cursor around the screen, results in being able to almost instantly click the stuff you want. So if you use the tablet for work you kind of earn the money back really fast, since you work way more quickly as well. How convenient is that. So employers, buy all your employees a Wacom because they will work way faster with one.


After some toying around with it in Windows to get a feel for the pen, I decided to try the most important program that is installed on my computer - Adobe Photoshop CS2.

I don’t want to bore you guys to death with all kinds of chatter about how you can make all kinds of beautiful stuff with half the effort it takes with a mouse. Instead, I’m just going to show some stuff I made with this thing.

Wacom Girl Drawing Wacom Site Drawing

To let you guys see some stuff that is possible with the pen’s pressure, I made a couple of images that show how this works. On the top of the image you can see what brush I selected, under that you see what I drew. On the first image, I used a normal hard edged brush and made a line with it, first pressing lightly, then later on pressing harder and harder. As you can see the result is a line that becomes fatter in the end.

Hard Brush Width

Next up I used the same brush, but this time I selected the one that enables transparency when pushed harder. As you can see the difference is obvious. This time the line doesn’t get thicker, but it starts transparent and ends in a 100% fill.

Hardbrush Transparency

After that I used the same brushes again but this time the soft versions of them. This is the result. With the last brush shown you kind off get both of best worlds.

Soft Brush Width Softbrush Transparency