Five Reasons You Should Buy the Wacom Intuos5 tablet

Two weeks later, I’m incredibly satisfied with my decision to purchase the Wacom Intuos5 tablet. If you’re still on the fence, whether you own a Bamboo or an earlier model Wacom Intuos tablet, I’ll give you five reasons why you should seriously consider upgrading to the latest model.

  1. The drawing surface: The biggest gripe most people have about the earlier model Intuos tablet models was the tendency of its plastic surface wearing down after prolonged usage. The Intuos5’s tablet surface is made out of a dense, rubberized material that holds up really well against stylus scuff marks.
  2. The touch sensitive HUD display: The Intuos5’s touch-sensitive buttons are a vast improvement over the illuminated buttons because I no longer need to look at the tablet to make use of the button controls on the tablet. As a result, I use the buttons on a regular basis. I have custom keyboard shortcuts mapped to my Intuos5’s buttons, including one to create a new layer. Two of the buttons on the top and bottom of the tablet have grooves, making it easy to know where you’re hovering over. As a keyboard shortcut junkie, using the Wacom’s buttons took some getting used to, but now it’s firmly mapped to my muscle memory.
  3. Gestures: Simply put, there’s no need to purchase a Magic Trackpad if you have the Intuos5. Gesture responsiveness is smooth and every bit as good as the Magic Trackpad. (I have both.) I only use a handful of gestures (pun intended), but the ones I use work well. Something else to note: If you run a dual display setup and you’ve mapped the tablet’s stylus to one display, the gestures (moving the mouse, etc.) will still work across both displays. This is really awesome and shows that Wacom’s put a lot of thought into the touch capabilities of the Intuos5. My Intuos5 tablet has replaced my Magic Trackpad.
  4. The wireless capabilities: Although I haven’t purchased the wireless accessory (it comes separate from the tablet), it’s nice to have the option to make the tablet fully wireless. I have enough wires on my desk, so it’s only a matter of time before I spring for the wireless module. If you’re buying a new Intuos5 tablet, factor the extra $39 in your purchase price.
  5. The responsiveness: While there is no difference in terms of the pressure sensitivity compared to the Intuos4 line, the tablet’s surface makes for a much more responsive (and pleasurable) drawing experience. Drawing long lines, circles, etc. used to require multiple attempts, but with the Intuos5, I’m able to quickly realize my vision without having to repeatedly hit Command-Z.

Questions about the Intuos5? Hit me up in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond.


These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Rasmus
    March 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I like the intuos 5, but I have two problems: because of the surface, the nibs wear down REALLY fast. I need to replace my first one soon, and I’ve only had the tablet for maybe two weeks. The second one is that the wireless module – which is great btw – looses connection a little bit sometimes, forcing me to have to lift the pen to make the tablet “rediscover” the pen, so to speak. It’s a bit annoying, and I don’t know what’s causing it.

    • Krishna
      March 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Good data points, Rasmus. Q: Do you bear down hard on the tablet surface? If so, adjusting the pressure to “Soft” in the Wacom control panel may help. Thanks for the input on the wireless module. Given the sporadic connectivity loss, do you think it’s worth buying?

  • Godzillinois
    November 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I was debating getting a new Intuos5 or paying half the price and getting an Intuos4. Although there have been complaints with nibwear on the 4 (and despite the more responsive surface of the 5) I’m seeing a lot of comments/reviews stating that the nibwear is actually WORSE on the Intuos5. Have any thoughts on this?

    • Krishna
      November 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      In my experience the nib wear is about the same. I don’t use a heavy force when drawing. In the time since I posted the article above, I’ve replaced two nibs.

  • Cat
    May 5, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Great article . Thanks for the review . Might pick one up .
    Dig your comics !