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Wacom Announces Intuos4, Boosting Productivity, Pen Performance

Press Release—Wacom has unveiled the long anticipated Intuos4, a new professional pen tablet for photographers, designers and artists. Inspired by members of Wacom’s professional community, the next generation Intuos is anchored by the Intuos4’s amazing new pen performance, capable of capturing the slightest nuance of pen pressure against the tablet surface, as well as offering 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Other innovative product enhancements include a refined and intelligent industrial design that provides real advancements in looks, comfort and control. Specific workflow and productivity tools include the customizable shortcut and modifier keys with accompanying OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) displays, which allow users to see, via the displays, what the keys are currently set to.

Workflow, Productivity
With its ergonomic design, the ultra-slim Intuos4 pen tablet is the ideal creative instrument for working with digital content in comfort. Available in four sizes, small, medium, large and extra large, all wide-format, the Intuos4’s new asymmetrical design puts all of the customizable ExpressKeys and Touch Ring on one side of the tablet, making them all available to the users’ non-dominant hand. The application-specific ExpressKeys are instrumental in helping improve workflow and boost productivity by placing commonly used commands right at the fingertips. The close proximity of these tools to the actual work area is efficient and comfortable and helps save valuable time by minimizing dependence on the keyboard without taking focus away from the pen hand. New to the Intuos4 are illuminated (OLED) displays (not featured on the Intuos4 small) that provide a helpful reminder as to the current function of each ExpressKey. With past Intuos versions, users had to rely on their memory to recall the position of their specific settings. As these settings can be application specific, the displays will update immediately as the user changes between applications. To switch the tablet from right-handed to left-handed use, simply rotate the tablet 180 degrees and change the orientation of the illuminated icons within the Wacom Tablet driver software.

“Wacom’s new Intuos4 provides Adobe Photoshop CS4 and our latest Creative Suite products with an approachable interface, enhanced pen performance, elegant design and new non-dominant hand features,” said Julieanne Kost, Senior Digital Imaging Evangelist for Adobe. “For me, the Wacom pen tablet has always been particularly beneficial when working on photo compositing projects within Photoshop and it did not take long to discover the vast improvements in workflow this new pen tablet delivers. By combining the super-accurate pen with OLED-displayed keyboard shortcuts, I am able to navigate and complete Photoshop work sessions quickly and efficiently.”

Also new to the Intuos4 is the introduction of a user-defined Touch Ring capable of controlling up to four different functions in any application. A button located in the center of the ring “toggles” the ring between functions such as zoom, scroll, brush size adjustment, canvas rotation and layer selection. The position of the illuminated LED located along the perimeter of the Touch Ring indicates the current function.  

Pen Performance
The Intuos4 Grip Pen features Wacom’s new proprietary Tip Sensor technology, offering users near-zero (one gram) starting pressure for the most sensitive Intuos pen tablet performance to date. “Now, pressure-sensitive support can start with an incredibly light touch, emulating the same feel, response and result derived from working with traditional creative tools such as brushes, markers and pens,” said Don Varga, Senior Product Manager for Wacom Technology Corp. Additionally, the Intuos4 pen delivers 2,048 levels of pressure, doubling the resolution of the pen’s pressure curve to further enhance feedback and expand the creative effects within software applications that support pressure sensitivity. The Intuos4 Grip Pen also features a pressure-sensitive eraser and two side switches that can be customized for commands such as double-click and right-click. For those looking for a pen with a thicker barrel, a wide-body Intuos4 replacement grip is being made available as an optional accessory.

More Intuos4 Innovations
A new weighted pen stand not only provides a convenient pen holder, but also functions as a handy twist-off storage compartment for pen nibs and handy nib removal tool. Standard, felt, stroke and flex nibs ship with the Intuos4. If users have a task for which they prefer a mouse, the Intuos4 includes the most advanced, cordless, battery-free mouse that Wacom has ever developed. A technology upgrade in the mouse allows the cursor to move based on both the direction and orientation of the mouse, delivering smooth and accurate tracking across the tablet surface. Each of the five buttons and the scroll wheel can be customized by the user.

Software
Purchase of an Intuos4 entitles professionals to pick and choose valuable software titles based on individual needs. Wacom has instituted a new online download system, available in the Americas only, whereby Intuos4 owners will be able to make a pre-defined number of selections from the following valuable creative software applications: Wacom Brushes 3.0, Nik Color Efex Pro WE6, Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 for the PC (Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 for the Mac), Autodesk SketchBook Express 2010, and Corel Painter™ Sketch Pad. In addition, Intuos4 users will appreciate the significant upgrades to Wacom’s powerful, user-friendly driver software, including the introduction of radial menus for quick “penpoint” access to additional customized shortcuts.

Accessories
In order to provide the best pen tablet experience possible, Wacom has created a line of accessories that includes several types of pens. For example, the Art Pen supports the barrel rotation feature within such applications as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator  and Corel Painter 11, allowing users to create natural brush effects by rotating the pen, much like a calligraphy pen. The Art Pen is newly designed and features a round barrel with two nib options, standard and chisel-tip. Another pen, the Intuos4 Airbrush, offers users a digital airbrush that has a similar form and wheel based control as a traditional airbrush. It provides creative, fun effects when combined with select applications.

The Intuos4, available now, comes in four sizes to meet varying workflow and workspace requirements: small ($229 SRP), medium ($369 SRP), large ($499 SRP) and extra large ($789 SRP).