Wacom Intous Pro
An independent long term user review by Scott Vj Guy
(Live video art is not sponsored by or affiliated with Wacom company this is just a story of my user experience)
The drawing tablet is my main input device on the computer when using creative software. It is critical for using Zbrush, Photoshop and Maya in certain workflows. I also now use it when doing more complex video mapping setups that require lots of warping and edit point adjustments. I have worked with several models and sizes over the years and owned the Intous 3 and 5 medium size.
I don’t enjoy using the smallest version nearly as much because its cramped and does not offer as much detail across the screen. I have large hands and like to rest on the surface so the large version feels good but it is too big for most desks and not portable. The medium is perfect for me.
My Intous 3 was great but brokedown after about 10 years after heavy use and some rough transportation. I got the version 5 as a replacement around two years ago.
It was nice at first with wireless connection and a touch panel feature. I do really enjoy that touch feature in some programs and the new take on the scroll wheel with 4 modes was very useful. The pen that comes with the v5 is a bit smaller than the old one and I liked the old larger version. I think for my bigger hands the side button is easier to hit on the bigger intous 3 stylus.
So I was enjoying the Intous 5 but unfortunately over Christmas my Intous 5 has broken after only just over 2 years so just outside warranty. The the board inside the device is failing somehow and the tablet will not stay on even with a fully charged battery or plugged in with USB. I think it might be a result of often holding the device in my right hand while I draw with the left in seated or standing positions. The tablet might have over flexed in my usage but I have been careful with it so I feel the toughness of this new version is much lower than the old. There are also many reports of the USB connection port getting damaged from cable bending and causing problems like not recharging or connecting. So I went online to find a replacement used and I got lucky. I found a like new condition Intous 3 for $80 and scooped it up .
I love my new classic 3. The pen technology is the same industry standard that Wacom is known for and the whole thing is slightly bigger and more solid. I think the drawing surface is slightly bigger and the frame around it is much thicker and made of hard plastic. Like the first one I had, I expect it will last a long time if I care for the cord. The latest version is much lighter and made of a softer plastic and I think that was an unfortunate choice by Wacom but possibly to reduce cost. I question if it being wireless is a good upgrade at all? Personally I am happy to not even think about keeping the v3 charged. Apparently many of the problems people having with broken Intous 4 and 5 is starting at the connection point of the removable USB cable used for charging. This port on the v 4 and 5 can easily be broken . Version 3 has a hard wired connection that is quite durable, re enforced even and cleverly connected with 2 channels for the cable to lay into avoiding it ever getting pinched . The 5 was cool and I liked the touch feature a lot but you can’t beat the build of the 3. I would stay away from the 4. It is a first attempt at the new style and was quickly replaced by the 5.
Look for it used .
You can find the 3 and 5 used from sellers on common online platforms. Ensure the full drawing surface is working and the surface or connection is not damaged .
I would definitely recommend to anyone looking to buy one of these to do the same as I just did and search for a used Intous 3 for a fraction of the $400 current model.
Pros & Cons :
It is really a personal usage preference if you like the size difference between the Intous 3 and 5 . I like the larger pen and tablet casing on the classic version 3 but a smaller human might better enjoy the smaller lighter 5
- Intous 3 – Industry standard pressure sensitivity tablet
- Intous 3 – Hard Surface casing better IMHO than new softer build
- Intous 3 – Long and sturdy USB cable that is hard wired to device.
- Intous 3 – It’s more durable
- Intous 5 – New touch feature
- Intous 5 – New scroll wheel with 4 modes
- Intous 5 – Light weight
- Intous 5 – Wireless
- Intous 3 – Wired , because some people hate wires
- Intous 3 – Less custom button and slider functionality
- Intous 5 – Softer plastic build
- Intous 5 – Overtly flexible
- Intous 5 – Weak USB port on device
The drawing tablet is an essential tool for many digital artists so it’s a must have for some, and Wacom seem to totally own the market with it’s line of professional tools . I liked both versions that I have had and the touch feature from the new one will be missed since I am using the classic 3 again but it was unfortunate that the version 5 I had broke. I think the version 3 is much better built and am glad I was able to find one in like new condition . There are lower cost options like the Bamboo but I recommend anyone getting into professional or serious hobby digital art should get themselves one of these professional grade tools and get drawing .
Thanks for coming , I hope these review are useful to someone out there . It’s therapeutic for me to write about tech 🙂