Review: Wacom Intuos5 Wireless Accessory Kit

I’m posting this review because information on the Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit for the Intuos5 tablet has been surprisingly hard to come by online.

Most of the reviews that I’ve read have done a good job covering the many features of the tablet, but gloss over the usability and overall value of the wireless component. Hopefully this review will set the record straight about whether or not the Wireless Accessory Kit is worth the $39.95 retail price.

So, What Is It?

Simply put, the Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit allows you to use your Intuos5 tablet without the need of being tethered to a USB cable.

I ordered mine directly from Wacom and received it within a week via US post.

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In the box, you’ll find a USB receiver, a wireless transmitter, a small instructional pamphlet, and a battery. As with Wacom’s other products, packaging was excellent.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5159/7381052298_165dfbbb11.jpg

The receiver plugs into the USB port on your computer, while the transmitter and battery are tucked inside a hidden compartment on the back of the tablet itself. Installation was straightforward.

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How Does It Work?

I wanted to make sure that I spent at least 3 or so weeks using the Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit to see how it performs over time, before writing this review.

I’m pleased to report that it works really, really well. Responsiveness via the wireless transmitter / receiver combo is excellent, with no lag whatsoever. Battery life is about 6 hours with constant usage. To conserve battery, the tablet powers down when not being used. There is also an on/off switch on the side of the tablet for users to toggle the power. Activating the tablet can be performed via two methods:

1) via the aforementioned button or
2) clicking on the scroll wheel on the front of the tablet

There’s about a second or two of delay before the tablet powers up, which isn’t a big deal.

You can easily monitor the charge on your tablet through Wacom’s menubar utility, supplied as part of Wacom’s driver install.

Charging the battery is performed by plugging your tablet up to a USB port on your computer. It takes about 4 hours to charge to full capacity.

Wacom wireless utility

Is it Worth Buying?

That depends entirely on how much the USB cord bugs you. For me, yes – it was worth it. With the Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit, I don’t have to worry about accidentally breaking / stretching / tripping over the USB cord any more. I can draw comfortably with the tablet on my lap without getting tangled up with cables. I haven’t tested the outer limits of the transmitter’s wireless range, but it works splendidly at about a 2 feet range. For what it’s worth, I tend to hover close to my (wired) keyboard.

Working wirelessly is liberating, but it’s not cheap either. In the end, I’m glad I took the plunge.

Pros:

  • Lasts up to 6 continuous hours on a charge
  • Easy to install
  • Responsive
  • The ability to draw untethered

Cons:

  • At $40, it’s not cheap
  • Can’t completely get away from chucking the USB cord

The Wacom Wireless Accessory earns 4.5 out of 5 Bob’s.

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About the author

Krishna Sadasivam creates custom comics and illustrations for organizations, magazines and companies. A champion of comics advocacy, Krishna speaks, blogs, and writes articles on illustration and sequential arts techniques and the importance of the comics medium in both education and brand awareness. His clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. His work has been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. His portfolio can be found at krishnadraws.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.hall.73594479 John Hall

    Thanks for taking the time to write this review.

    • http://www.pcweenies.com Krishna M. Sadasivam

      Anytime, John! Glad you found it useful!

  • Rubén

    Hey, thanks for this review! It’s exactly was I was looking for.

    It helped me to realize that the wireless option doesn’t suit me at all. I spend 7-11h. a day sitting in front my Wacom. So, this mean i should recharge it during lunch time in order for it to last for the whole day. Even if it managed to last for 12h, it will be still useless to me. I can’t see the point in having the tablet tethered during the night in order to use it in day light (and deal with the attach/unattach hassle every time).

    Anyway, thanks again for the review :)

    • http://www.pcweenies.com Krishna M. Sadasivam

      You’re welcome, Ruben!

  • christine

    Hi! Is it okay if I will just use my wireless accessory alone?Will my tablet still charge? coz’ I lost my USB wire connector and I’m so worried. I’m just a newbie in using bamboo tablet. Your repose will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • http://www.pcweenies.com Krishna M. Sadasivam

      The Intuos needs the USB cable for charging purposes.

      • christine

        Aww. So I guess i need to find my USB cable. How about other model like bamboo manga?

        thanks for your reply. really help anyway. :)

        • http://www.pcweenies.com Krishna M. Sadasivam

          I’m not sure about whether the Bamboo USB cable is compatible with the Intuos tablet. But replacement Intuos5 cables on eBay run for about $10 or so…