Wacom Intuos5 Pen & Touch Medium PTH-650 Review
The Intuos5 Pen & Touch Medium PTH-650 is the first professional tablet to combine Wacom’s most advanced pen input technology with multi-touch on a single device. You will experience a new way of creative freedom by using gestures while working with Wacom’s renowned pressure and tilt sensitive pen.
Additionally, the new Express View display, wireless capabilities and its ergonomic, slim-profile design add to your creative workflow, making your daily work even more intuitive and comfortable.
The Intuos 5 PTH650 measures 9.9 by 15 by 0.5 inches, with an 8.8 by 5.5 inch drawing area, and weighs 2.2 pounds.
Like prior Intuos tablets, the Intuos5 is made of black plastic, but this one features a sleeker, slightly rubberized border instead of a hard plastic one. The usual nicely textured hard plastic drawing surface remains intact. Along the left are eight recessed, programmable ExpressKeys. There's also a circular control pad you can configure for auto-scrolling, rotation, cycling between layers in Photoshop or another compatible program, and changing the brush size.
The included pen offers just the right amount of weight and balance. The pen grip attracts a surprising amount of dust particles and lint, though and it's too easy to accidentally press the front-mounted DuoSwitch while laying down virtual ink. On the plus side, you still get an eraser, unlike with two of Wacom's latest low-end Bamboo tablets, and the included weighty base is still an ideal place to park the pen when you're not using it.
The pen has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, so that the harder you press, the broader your brush stroke might be. A pen is more precise than a mouse, which makes it easier to select a particular point on a timeline or draw a contour-based outline around an object.
Installing the included driver CD was painless; all it did was go out to the Web and download the latest drivers anyway. Then choose the appropriate right-handed (or left-handed) orientation and plugged in the included USB cable as directed. The tablet's status LED lit up, and the system finished installing the drivers. From there, the Wacom Intuos5 PTH-650 became active; you can now control the Windows mouse cursor using the tablet surface as well as the existing mouse.
Wacom also provides a good amount of bundled software with the Intuos5 PTH-650, You get full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 , Anime Studio Debut 8 , and Autodesk SketchBook Express, plus a copy of Nik Software Color Effects Pro 4 Select Edition and a 90-day trial of Corel Painter 12. All five programs work on both PCs and Macs.
The most significant new features for the Intuos5 are the capacitive ExpressKeys and multi-finger touch input. Both help you to keep your eyes on the screen and your mind focused on your work. In addition, a new wireless option makes it easier to place the tablet wherever you want—or move it quickly onto and off your desk, as needed.
The ExpressKeys are located on the side of the tablet. They have a separate capacitive layer. If you rest your finger on any ExpressKey, a heads-up display on your computer screen will show you the functions of all the keys (as well as which key your finger is resting on).
The Tablet Control Panel utility lets you customize the multi-finger settings. By default, you can use your fingertip to navigate in the same way you navigate with a pen or mouse.
Once everything is installed and underway, using the Intuos5 is an absolute pleasure. This is one accurate drawing surface. Wacom has long since nailed the pen feel and surface texture. The Intuos5 offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity.
As with any drawing tablet, you'll need to adjust how you position your hand, wrist, and arm so that you don't trigger accidental movements or "ink," and you may want to fiddle with some of the preferences to tune the sensitivity. But once you get the hang of that, it's easy to apply exactly the right amount of pressure, and the tablet picks up even the absolute slightest movements.
Overall, the Wacom Intuos5 Pen & Touch Medium PTH-650 strikes an ideal balance of features, accuracy, and price for professionals and amateur enthusiasts alike. if you are in the market for a tablet that goes a step beyond what’s been offered before, tablet will not disappoint.
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