Wacom Intuos4 Review

April 23, 2009 | Jon Canfield | Accessory Reviews | |

The mouse has also been enhanced to track both direction and orientation of the mouse. The five mouse buttons and the scroll wheel can be customized through the tablet control panel settings.

Setup is very straightforward. The supplied driver CD is installed, and when prompted, plug the tablet in. If you'll be using it in left hand orientation, you'll go ahead and set this option during installation (you can change it at any time in the control panel). To access the bundled software for the Intuos 4, you'll need to go to the web site, and when the tablet is registered, you'll be given the option to download two of the three software choices – Adobe Photoshop Elements, Autodesk Sketchbook Express, or Corel Painter SketchPad. Also included with the tablet are Wacom Brushes, a collection of brushes for Photoshop, and a custom version of Nik Color Efex Pro 3.

The Control Panel is familiar to anyone that has used a Wacom tablet in the past. There are various settings for the tablet, the pen, and the mouse that can be customized, either on a global level or at the application level (Figure 4).

Intuos4 Figure 4

One of the more interesting new features on the Intuos 4 is the Radial Menu. Accessed by one of the ExpressKeys, this menu pops up a list of commands that can be selected (Figure 5 and Figure 6). Like other functions, the Radial Menu can be assigned application specific settings.

Intuos4 Figure 5

Intuos4 Figure 6

Having the OLEDs available at all times makes it much easier to work with different settings, especially for someone like me that works in a number of different applications and has a difficult time remembering what settings I've selected for any particular app. Along with the OLEDs, the on-screen help (Figure 7) is also a great feature.

Intuos4 Figure 7

The new tablet also feels more comfortable in the hands thanks to a lighter weight and thinner profile. In use, the tablet is very much like the previous models, but with the greater sensitivity in the pen, it's easier to make very fine lines or selections. The tip also feels a bit more natural with less resistance than before. It now feels much like a pen on paper would feel.


The new Intuos 4 is a strong upgrade to the Wacom lineup. The ability to work well for left or right hand users, the OLEDs, Touch Ring, and increased sensitivity have made this new tablet into a must have for the serious artist or photographer working in Photoshop. It's pretty darn useful in other applications with handwriting support, including Mac OS X and Vista too. The price range is $229 to $789. For photography, I find the medium size, with a retail price of $349 to be the perfect compromise between size and usability for my work style.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Value for money 4.5

Entry Tags

wacom, tablet, graphics tablet, intuos, graphics, pen tablet, intuos4

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Your Comments

14 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Elja Trum

Interesting tablet!
Sounds like a good replacement for my Graphire4. Now if only that one would break down.. ;)

11:13 pm - Thursday, April 23, 2009

#2 pete

Also worth noting in a review such as this is that wacom is pulling an adobe on buyers.
Meaning, european customers get screwed. The european version does not have all the software that you mention, yet, we get to pay the full price eitherway.

7:51 am - Friday, April 24, 2009

#3 www.laserpics.co.uk

Wacom tablets have speeded up our work tremendously, looking forward to using this one :)

12:44 pm - Tuesday, April 28, 2009

#4 Ron

oh, I *love* my Wacom. I’ve got an Intuos 3 and a Bamboo fun to carry around with me. No, I’m not a graphic designer. I’m a video editor and casual photographer and I use the pen instead of a mouse. It’s so much faster and more natural. Couldn’t live without it now.

My Intuos 3 is just fine. But I want one of these!

5:36 pm - Tuesday, April 28, 2009

#5 Janettanon

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6:42 am - Saturday, June 13, 2009

#6 Kins

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9:19 am - Sunday, June 21, 2009

#7 provigil


3:38 pm - Sunday, July 12, 2009

#8 Renat Zarbailov

If you ever wanted to see Wacom Intuos4 drawing tablet in action, now you have a chance.
This is a usability Video review of Wacom Intuos4 (Medium) digital drawing tablet. This is not your typical product review of its features and capabilities. Conducted over a month and a half period, this usability review portrays real user tests that tell you the truth about what they felt about this drawing tool.
Watch it here: http://bit.ly/3EdxOJ

Be sure to leave some comments about whether you as an artist will adopt the digital workflow using a digital drawing tablet.


1:01 am - Wednesday, October 28, 2009

#9 balumung

I’m torn between the intuos 4 or the Cintiq 12wx
In your opinion which one should I buy ???

2:53 pm - Thursday, December 3, 2009

#10 Fashion Photography

Interested in getting one of these…. it should speed up the re-touching process!

7:57 pm - Friday, November 5, 2010

#11 nai

I find the medium intuos4 to be perfect for graphics work as I draw in a small radius, it all depends on how you draw.

2:43 am - Thursday, November 11, 2010

#12 A Good Wacom Drawing Tablet Review

Thank you for such a good review of this product as it helped me decide to purchase one. The only caution I would throw out would be to carefully take into consideration your workspace area. Even a medium tablet takes up quite a bit of room; I wish I had gone with the small tablet.

4:14 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#13 Wacom 4 Drawing Tablet Review

Sorry if this is a double post, but I needed to let people know that they should really take into account the size of their workspace area. I bought a medium tablet and was surprised at how large it was; I was tempted to trade it back in for a small but decided to keep it in the end.

4:25 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#14 noel

im planning to buy intuos4, just wanna ask..besides drawing and painting on this tablet,what else does this tablet do?can this help me on my graphic skills, like making vector art in illustrator or making realistic 3d text art and posters?cause i cant find tutorials besides drawing and painting.

5:21 pm - Wednesday, July 13, 2011