Wacom Intuos3 A6 Wide

It’s difficult to find fault with Wacom’s range of graphics tablets. Solid and reliable, intuitive and responsive, increasingly attractive to the eye, they seldom go wrong. The Intuos3 A6 Wide adds another widescreen option and, with the introduction of a white version, a product to match your iMac or MacBook. Wacom now offers something for every occasion.

Aimed essentially at widescreen laptop users, especially those on the move, the Intuos3 A6 Wide is also appealing to anyone short on space. Even with surround and 16:10 format this is still a sleek, petite tablet, and about as sexy as a flat bit of plastic gets. Its good looks are matched by a solid build, and it feels less plasticy than the cheaper Graphire4 range. Quality extends to the excellent Intuos3 Grip Pen, which, along with a selection of nibs, offers precise control while maintaining hand and wrist comfort.

Installing the tablet is as easy as the manufacturer suggests, and there’s little or no maintenance required following setup. You may just need to tweak the settings to make best use of the ExpressKeys and Touch Strip that allow some freedom from your keyboard.

The strength of the Intuos3 A6 Wide, and indeed the whole Wacom range, is the superb array of marks and edits you can make compared with the crudeness of a mouse or trackball. With a reported 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity you can add a precise natural hand element missing from some digital creative applications. Simple and intuitive, it also notably enhances workflow by reducing time spent loitering over mouse and keyboard. Significantly, Wacom tablets allow absolute positioning, ensuring the active area represents your entire monitor screen, so the diminutive size shouldn’t restrict your handy work. The bundled Corel Painter Essentials3 is fine but Photoshop Elements 4.0 might make a more tempting partner.

OUR VERDICT

This is a valid but not vital addition to the wonderful Wacom range. Until widescreen laptops become the standard the Intuos3 A6 may have limited appeal. However, with built-in future-proofing this could still be an option now should you opt for a widescreen later.

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