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 .
Eurocom Sky X7e . A Portable VJ/VR ready Beast !
An independent long term user review by Scott Vj Guy
For the past couple years I have wanted to move onto a new more portable high powered notebook for show control and portable workstation. I have have been running a mini tower PC for about 6 years and it is getting old and tired from travel plus I am getting more contract jobs for companies that need me to come in and work on location. It was hard to find a system that offered all the power I wanted in a notebook platform. I considered a wide spectrum of computers from gaming systems to tablet hybrids and portable workstations looking for the perfect balance of power and features. In the end I had to make some compromises but ultimately got what I need. After researching and comparing for months and looking at big name and US based custom PC builders I made a discovery right in my backyard .
Once I started leaning toward the custom notebook workstation option I found that the Origin PC EON17 and the Sager NP9876 both custom pc builds from USA I was looking at are the same base system chassis known as a Clevo and it is a system also used by Canadian based builders Eurocom and sold configurable from Eurocom or in pre configured models at Best Buy Online.
The Sky X7e2 is a hefty but really cool modular Notebook computer packing high end desktop features. Four drive bays (2 are M.2 PCIe) and four RAM slots. The X9 model can even support 2 1080 GPUs in SLI for extreme GPU power. The motherboard inside uses a PC spec socket 1152 Sky Lake or Kabby Lake CPU that is great because the chip is more efficient than most mobile options. The size of the machine is actually perfect for me. I love the full size backlit KB and the solid feeling when resting my hands on the chassis. The monitor hinge is good and tight and display is safely encased in a fair amount of hard plastic. There is no Optical drive in mine and only one HDD so hardly any moving parts.
There is a 4k 60hz screen that does look incredible or 1440p 120hz option available. I got the 4k but I sort of wish mine had the 1440p screen because 4K is maybe a bit more pixels than needed on a 17 inch screen. I think I would maybe trade for the faster 120hz screen at 1440×2160 resolution if given the chance.
For me the video outputs are the piece de resistance on this computer. All these systems have the same 3 dedicated video outputs . HDMI + Two 2 x MiniDisplayPort 1.2 .
The Sky X7E2 is specially built for power users with a budget for computing power. Special features like high tech cooling system under a nice back lit full keyboard with number pad. Not to mention Bluetooth, Four USB3 and Two Thunderbolt ports, card reader, finger print scanner, webcam, NV G-sync support and some quality builtin speakers!
This 17.3 inch Notebook system is packed with features and options. Feels durable, well made and assembled so I hope the build quality is good over time. Fins on cooling vents are a bit flexible but maybe meant for just keeping debris out of there.
Basically this system is a high end frame that’s as good as the components you put in it and several companies have adopted the frame.
It’s a beast book but I am looking for power not pretty.
It does what’s expected of it very well but not everything is perfect.
It’s very heavy on its own and with the power pack you have to carry around it is a real load. Some would consider it too much to carry around all the time but I am fine moving it from house to car to location as needed but I do feel it every time I pick it up. Battery unfortunately does not last any more than 2 hours and less if you are doing anything GPU intensive but that was expected as spec. I am going to see if I can find a higher capacity compatible battery. I only have strong issues with the power supply. In addition to it being heavy with a short cord the power supply plug in back of computer is a bit shallow and can easily pull out. This is sometimes caused by the weight of the power block hanging below. Not really a complaint but it would be nice to have a touch display option.
The base system is extremely expandable. I upgraded from the stock config 16gb up to 32 gb of DDR4 RAM and added a new 500gb SSD
This system I have plays the latest games at the highest settings in 1080p 60 FPS with ease , getting 30 to 40 fps at 4K . Tested Star Citizen , Assassins Creed Origins, Destiny 2, Steep, For Honor and more. I have been enjoying plugging it into my 55inch 4K display for gaming in screen mirroring mode and using a bluetooth Xbox One controller to play .
I also use multi monitors in extended display mode with creative applications like Maya Zbrush and Adobe creative suite. Once set up this is fine when spanning over to a 4K screen but I have run into complications connecting multiple screens with various resolutions. In order to read text on the built in 4k screen you are forced to enable text scaling in the Windows display options and this can sometimes conflict with certain apps and the way things look on others screens like smaller external 1080p displays.
Now this is a Windows related issue and not anything to do with the quality of the laptop. It is something specific to running a 4k screen on a notebook. If there is a way to set scaling for screens individually in windows this would be better.
Multiple 4K Display outputs like a desktop GPU (1x HDMI, 2x MiniDisplayport)
Massive expandability with 4 drive bays N2m PCIE drive support
Dependable desktop class intel i7 Skylake quad core. Latest Kabby Lake Options available
1x Thunderbolt, 1x USB 3.1C, 4x USB 3.0 (lots of connectivity)
BlueTooth, fingerprint scanner
Full size backlit keyboard
Excellent speaker system
Heavy . 8.6 LBS heavy plus a power supply that weighs in at least 5 or 6 pounds. 13 + lbs is a lot
4K display is only 60hz
2 hours or less battery life
Power supply cord should be a bit longer and it is very heavy.
Power supply plug in back of computer is a bit shallow and can easily pull out. (common Pc laptop issue )
No Touch screen options
Limited camera options
The Sky X7E2 does everything I expected very well. For more casual lifestyle computing I would pick up a small hybrid tablet laptop but Ultimately the Eurocom Sky7 delivers High speed , High Power, High resolutions capabilities. It weighs a ton but I can deal because it gets the jobs done and I make a point of landing demanding jobs that are often spanned across multiple locations or traveling to do VJ performances and installations.