This is the start of a new series of posts from Liquid11 where we are going to look at the latest and greatest technology that we’ve been using that enable us to do what we do day in and day out.

To start the series we will be taking a look at the Wacom Intuos Pro graphics tablet used by our design team at Liquid11.

 

What is a graphics tablet and why use it?

A graphics tablet is a replacement for a mouse where the user can use a pen (stylus) for greater free hand control. As with all things graphics tablets aren’t created equal so there are some that are small and don’t work very well and there are more expensive ones of a much higher quality that can do wonders. Right at the top end are the graphics tablets that have a built in screen allowing users to draw directly onto a digital canvas.

 

Wacom Intuos Pro

Wacom Intuos is the middle range of graphics tablets offered by Wacom (the biggest name in the graphics tablet industry). Unlike the smaller Bamboo range which is aimed more at home users, the Intuos caters for the professional market and offers a variety of suitable features to make every day work much easier.

The Wacom Intuos Pro is the most recent offering in the Intuos range and is offered in three sizes, small, medium and large (a working space equivalent to A5, A4 & A3 roughly).

The Intuos Pro offers the usual feature of using a stylus and acts as a normal graphics tablet. Then stylus has 2048 levels of pen pressure meaning it’s incredibly sensitive to hand movement and can mimic the kind of pen pressure you get when working on paper with great accuracy. With tilt recognition and multi touch technology, it has never been easier to make the leap from old-fashioned illustration and artwork to the digital. However the range of features beyond this is what makes this more than a graphics tablet and makes even those who don’t do creative work wonder if maybe they would rather one of these than a standard mouse.

For a start the newest tablets are wireless meaning that you don’t have to worry about where you sit when you work on them. You can lean back in your chair or you can stand on the other side of the room, the tablet will still work the same. This is very freeing when working on a large screen or even a projector for creating large artwork/design projects and getting a bit of distance.

Also there is the multi touch system, which is incredibly handy. Just like your iPad or a number of other touch screen devices the Intuos Pro supports multi touch gestures turning your entire tablet into a huge touch pad. Recognising preset gestures and even being able to create your own gestures we soon found the use of this multi touch trackpad to be much more freeing than using any mouse we have come across before.

Finally there are the controls, eight preset shortcut keys as well as an extra one in the middle of a touch wheel that allows you to scroll, zoom in and out or any other thing that you program it to do. All of these things make working from your tablet incredibly easy and in software such as Photoshop they can even help make the keyboard obsolete save for when you want to do something specific.

 

Overall Verdict

Gareth, the head of the design team at Liquid11, couldn’t be without his graphics tablet. He use them at home and at the office and struggles to use a mouse effectively any more as it simply doesn’t offer the same range of functionality he gets from his graphics tablet. It also frees him up to create some of our more unique artwork and designs so we at Liquid11 couldn’t recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro highly enough as a piece of technology that empowers our business and could also empowers yours.