Pros: Wide active area providing 16:10 aspect ratio, great pen.
Cons: Lack of a mouse as standard may irritate some users.
To cater for the growing use of widescreen displays, Wacom has released an Intuos3 A5 Wide pen tablet – the company’s first widescreen tablet. With an active area of 11-x-6 inches that provides a 16:10 aspect ratio, the Intuos3 A5 Wide is aimed at professionals working in digital imaging, graphic design, and video editing.
Many of these users favour high-quality widescreen LCDs, HDTV monitors or multi-monitor setups, but have encountered object distortion when partnering these displays with a standard-size graphics tablet. The Intuos3 A5 Wide’s wide-format proportions and accurate mapping solves this problem.
The new addition shares the same features as the rest of the Intuos3 pen tablet range including great styling.
The clear plastic, backed by a graphite metallic colour, gives it a sleek look.
It offers four-button ExpressKeys, one set on each side of the tablet, that can be programmed as hotkeys, modifiers, or keystroke combination for different applications. Two drag strips also feature, which allow you to scroll and zoom windows.
The pen itself is superb. It’s soft rubber grip and great balance make it comfortable in use. The pen’s regular hard nib can be swapped for the included felt-tip-style nib, or a hard nib with a spring, to suit the user.
As expected, the Intuos3 A5 Wide maintains Wacom’s reputation for a high level of accuracy, with a 5,080dpi resolution and 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity in both the pen tip and eraser and optional airbrush. The tablet also recognizes the pen’s tilt angle of up to 60 degrees, and provides Tool ID, so that individual settings are recognized when a particular tool is in contact with the tablet.
On the downside, the tablet’s drawing surface is opaque and fixed so you can’t put paper under it to trace (though you can, of course, do this by putting paper on top). And the Intuos3 A5 Wide doesn’t come with a mouse. No great loss for the targeted users of this tablet, but it may annoy their non-Wacom using colleagues who need to quickly jump onto the computer to retrieve something.
For graphic tablet users with widescreen displays, using the Intuos3 A5 Wide is a no brainer, as it means a faster, easier, and continuous workspace.