Review: From Wacom’s Bamboo to the pro Intuos4

There comes a time in every photographer’s life when you have to make the huge decision between working with the mouse or the pen tablet. If you have any experience with beauty retouching or know anyone that does the likely tool of choice is obviously the pen tablet, more specifically, the Wacom tablets.

The Story

For about a year now I have been using the entry-level Bamboo Pen and Touch which despite it’s “entry-level” tagline, it worked pretty well for what it needed to do. It came with 4 express key that can be customized and that was pretty much it. Over the course of the year I noticed I had little complaints about needing more customizations, more pressure sensitivity for finer lines and photo masking, and of course more options.

The Upgrade and Choosing the Right Tablet

With that I decided to sell off my Bamboo tablet to a freshmen graphic art student and upgraded myself to the pro-line series, the Wacom Intuos4.

There’s different sizes available for the Intuos4 ranging from Small to Extra Large. And they all fit a different purpose. I was stuck trying to decide on getting the Small or Medium sized tablet. My only reason on wanting the the medium size was because it had two extra express keys and an illuminated text display for easier visual of what key does what. However, that minor feature comes at an extra cost of $100. I opt for the Small tablet for $199.

For most photographers a small or medium tablet would be sufficient enough when doing retouching work because we are usually zooming into our images. It’s a different story for graphic designers or engineers who would need a medium or larger tablet to mimic/work with a larger size canvas for more natural brush strokes and etc.

Anyway, I bought this baby yesterday and played around with it for a good 5 hours straight. I noticed a huge difference immediately not only in the handling of the pen, but its performance to feel like i’m actually working with a brush.  It included more express keys, a customizable touchring, and a radial dial that does way more than I had expected it too. In one word, it was AMAZING. It made me love to retouch again!

The Problem

Okay, this probably isn’t really much a problem, more so my stupidity. As a techie I failed myself because as you all know, to install an upgraded software, you must uninstall the original and completely restart your computer before installing the new software. Well, I didn’t do that and lost two hours of my life trying to figure out why the pressure-sensitivity and mouse wasn’t working properly. Nonetheless, let this be a lesson for you all… when the computer ask for you to restart, do it. Don’t be lazy and waste your life away like I did over midnight coffee and a blow-pop.


Buy it. End of story.

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