Final Thoughts and Conclusion
After getting to spend more than three solid weeks using the Intuos4 and Bamboo tablets, I truly began to understand their full potential. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive using them because I wasn’t used to the additional functionality with the active workspace or the ExpressKeys. I am used to the working with older Wacom tablets that did not have these features built in. I also had to get used to the increased sensitivity of the 2048 pressure levels in the Intuos4 and 1024 levels in the Bamboo. Figuring out the right pressure and stroke was critical to creating clean drawings that could easily be modified and cleaned up to look like a professional artist drew them.
During performance testing, I immediately noticed a huge difference between the Intuos4 and Bamboo. One of the main differences was the type of pens that were bundled with each tablet. The Intuos4 was a more ergonomic and comfortable pen that seemed to fit effortlessly into my hand while the Bamboo pen was very rigid and had an awkward feel to it. The awkwardness was mostly due to the fact that I did most of my OJT with the Intuos4 pen instead of the Bamboo pen. But, after a few weeks of using both, I became pretty comfortable with both pen styles. But, if I had my choice, I would definitely chose the Intuos4 pen because it seemed more responsive to the amount of pressure I was putting onto the tablet during testing.
I also using the touch ring very often during testing because I needed to zoom in and out fast without putting down the pen. I could have used the mouse for this step, but I think it would have taken a bit longer than just using the touch ring. As for the ExpressKeys, I didn’t really configure them yet, but I think after a few months of figuring out how I can incorporate these tablets into my work I will definitely customize these buttons to my liking.
The medium-size Intuos 4 Professional Tablet is available at Wacom.com for $349 while the Bamboo can be purchased for $99.
We would like to thank our friends at Wacom for providing the Intuos4 professional tablet and Bamboo Pen and Touch tablet for our review today. Both of these products definitely had their pros and cons, but I think in the right hands both of them would work beautifully in any professional or consumer-level graphics environment. Overall, the performance king was definitely the Intuos4, but I have to
give an honorable mention to the Bamboo because it definitely had many
of the basic features I think consumers will be comfortable with.
had any criticism for these tablets, it would have to be the extensive
learning curve I had to go through to actually get comfortable drawing
with both of these products. Initially, it felt very unnatural to draw
on the tablet while trying to look at the screen at the same time. I know Wacom actually has a screen that you can draw on, but its definitely in a different price bracket than these tablets we tested today. But, after getting used to a few of the quirks that come with using these devices, I actually felt pretty comfortable navigating with the pen as well as performing free-hand drawing, coloring, shading, and even sizing objects in Photoshop CS4.
Both of these products were also very well made and designed with the user in mind. Even though the holidays may be over, I’d still have to recommend the Intuos4 and Bamboo for those members of the family who like to be creative and share their talents with the world.