Wacom Intuos Pro Review
Drawing tablets have been available for longer than a decade now. I remember having my first drawing tablet around 10 years ago and it took me forever to get used to. Well technology has evolved and so has the precision and usability. Which is why I’m going to review the latest drawing tablet for professionals, the Wacom Intuos Pro! It’s designed for both photographers and digital designers who spend hours working with Photoshop or any other drawing program.
But that’s not all, the Intuos Pro can also be used instead of a mouse. Physiotherapists for example recommend drawing tablets for those who suffer from wrist pains. Holding a pencil, instead of a mouse, puts your hand in a much more ergonomic position. And that means less strain on the wrist.
The Wacom Intuos Pro series includes 2 types of drawing tablets: Pro and Pro Paper. Both of the types also have two different sizes. In this review, I’ll be going over the Wacom Intuos Pro M and L versions.
- Medium Dimensions: 338×219×8 mm / 13.2×8.5×0.3″
- Active Area: 224×148 mm / 8.7×5.8″
- Weight: 700 g / 1.54 lbs
- Large Dimensions: 430×287×8 mm / 16.8×11.2×0.3″
- Active Area: 311×216 mm / 12.1×8.4″
- Weight: 1300 g / 2.86 lbs
Rest of the technical specifications are exactly the same on both of the drawing tablets.
- Resolution: 5080 lpi
- Pen pressure levels: 8192
- 8 ExpressKeys
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
- Ports: USB-C
In The Box
- Wacom Intuos Pro (M or L)
- Wacom Pro Pen 2
- Pen stand (incl. 6 standard nibs, 4 Felt nibs)
- 4 extra pen color rings
- Texture sheet sample card
- USB cable 2 m / 6.6 ft
Wacom really has learned a lot from Apple when it comes to packaging. Getting to the tablet is an experience on it’s own. The outside cardboard box is the size of a briefcase and it even has velcro strips to keep it closed. Which does mean that you can also use it to transport the drawing tablet if you should ever need to. Either way, the packaging is really over the top but you can’t really complain about that. It also makes sense as Apple recently started selling them as well in their shops.
Inside the box, you’ll find everything needed to use the drawing tablet. That of course includes the Wacom Intuos Pro (M or L), the Wacom Pro Pen 2.0, a USB cable, extra rings for the pen and texture sheet samples. But I’ll cover more about the accessories later below.
The Wacom Intuos Pro has a similar design as the older version. But there are some upgrades. For example the matte finish now covers the entire front. Which means you don’t have to worry about messy fingerprints covering the surface. The backside of the drawing tablet is made out of aluminium. There are also rubber stripes that keep the tablet nice and steady on a table.
The new Intuos Pro has just as many buttons as before. Even the Touch Ring works just the same. Also all the functions are horizontally positioned symmetrically so it can be used by both left and right handed people. And for those who don’t know, there is a small indicator LED near the Wacom logo for battery and Bluetooth. There are some more buttons on the sides as well. It has the USB-C port, an on-off switch for the touch input, power button for Bluetooth and a reset button. There are also pen tether slots near the USB port. One can be used to attach the drawing tablet to a desk and the other for attaching the Wacom Pen.
Now the size of the Wacom Intuos Pro depends on what size tablet you buy. It comes in 2 different sizes, Medium and Large. The Medium model has a dimension of 338×219×8 mm / 13.2×8.5×0.3″ with an active area of 224×148 mm / 8.7×5.8″. The Large model has a dimension of 430×287×8 mm / 16.8×11.2×0.3″ with an active area of 311×216 mm / 12.1×8.4″. Which one to choose? Well that depends on how much space you have on the desk and your budget. Obviously the Large model is the best but the Medium one can be used just as well. At least I didn’t feel any restrictions while using it.
Wacom Pro Pen 2.0
All of the new Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablets also include the new Pro Pen 2. In terms of design, it’s has a similar ergonomic shape to it as the older version. The main difference is in the performance. While the old version had 2000 pressure levels, the new Pro Pen 2 has 8192 pressure levels. And it was already really good at 2000. 8192 is just insane. And you notice it as well, as the lightest touch already draws a lighter line.
As you probably noticed from the images, the Pen also comes with a pen holder. Besides the typical pen holding function, it also has extra pen tips hidden inside. Which include 6 standard nibs and 4 Felt nibs. Also 4 colored rings in case there are other Wacom tablets near you and you wan’t to personalize your pen.
Wacom has many accessories but the most popular ones are different textured sheets for the surface. There are basically small films that you attach to the surface of the drawing tablet. Much like you would do with a protective film for your smartphones screen. In total there are 3 different types: Rough, Standard and Smooth. As you can already tell from the names, the different textures change the way your Pen moves on them. That’s why Wacom has included samples of them, so you can try them out to find the type you actually like.
The most impressive part about the Wacom Intuos Pro is that it can be used with both the USB cable and also wireless via Bluetooth! Like all Wacom drawing tablets, the Intuos Pro also includes drivers. And that’s really what has made their drawing tablets so good. The drivers/software enables you to configure the tablet the way you want. That includes modifying all the function controls and creating custom menus that can be brought up with them.
The active area is also touch sensitive. Which can be turned on/off from the side. So you can also use it like you would with a laptops touchpad. As in you don’t need a pen, just your fingers. I actually like that as I can do everything straight from the drawing tablet. There’s no need to reach for my mouse, which does make it much more convenient.
I also wrote about the new drawing pen before. Not only does it have more pressure levels now, it also has a touch sensitive button the top. That button can be used for erasing. As in the harder you press it, the bigger the erase radius will be.
And the extra pressure levels to create a smoother feel when drawing. It just feels more natural. I do want to point out that while it’s mostly lag free, you do still experience a bit of lag while using larger or more complex brushes in Photoshop. I don’t know about other programs but I’m sure it’s the same there as well. But like I said, that’s only when you use huge brushes so it’s not that much of a problem. At least not for me.
The drawing tablet also has a built-in battery for when you connect it to your computer via Bluetooth. The battery life is around 10 hours of continuous drawing.
Wacom Intuos Pro is the highest quality drawing tablet available. Even the packaging is something beyond that can be described. And of course it performs just as you’d expect considering the price. But perhaps the most impressive part about it is the Wacom driver/software. That’s what really makes the Intuos Pro so good. The ability to configure all the controls and even the touchpad area. So if you are looking for a highly customisable drawing tablet, then the Wacom Intuos Pro is the best.