Wacom Intuos2 Tablet

"A Graphics Tablet That Gives You
Great Control, Comfort and Productivity!"
| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product

intuos pen, mouse, and tablet


The new Intuos2 Pen, Mouse and Tablet is the latest version in Wacom's professional line of drawing tablets for graphics professionals, enthusiasts, and digital photographers. The graphics tablet is an essential tool for working with photo editing and paint software like Photoshop, Painter, PhotoPaint, and Paint Shop Pro, plus web graphics software like Flash and Fireworks. Graphic tablets are perfect for creating precise layer masks; seamlessly cloning and blending between images with pressure sensitive control; animating your work in programs like Macromedia's Flash; and drawing and painting with Painter's realistic chalk, oils and more. This new version incorporates several technological and hardware improvements. The tablet comes with a new pressure-sensitive Grip Pen, an ergonomically designed mouse, and free bundled software.

Pressure Sensitivity--Because Wacom tablets are pressure sensitive, they literally feel the full range of pressure from the pen on the tablet. So if you use a pressure-sensitive tool such as Photoshop's Rubber Stamp or History brush or any Painter brush, you get total control. Press hard, and you get a more opaque clone, a fatter paintbrush, a darker stroke. Press lighter, and you have a transparent clone, a thin brush, a gentle stroke of color. It's an intuitive process because it's how tools work in the real world.

Ergonomic Design--Wacom tablets are also ergonomically designed. Everything from the elegant shape and feel of the pen, which has a tapered waist and finger flare, to the exact texture of the drawing surface is designed to minimize strain and maximize comfort. A pen puts your hand in a natural position that leads to less wrist fatigue. Using a pen for actions that involve dragging--copying files, manipulating video clips and, drawing--also puts less stress on your wrist and fingers.

Work Productivity--Also if you spend any time at all creating and working with images on a computer, a pen tablet will make you faster. You can go from light to dark, thin to thick, or opaque to transparent in one pressure-sensitive stroke. The pen's absolute positioning is also faster than a mouse, allowing you to access every area of your screen without detours.

Wacom tablets support Windows, Mac, and a range of Unix flavors. Prices range from approximately $219 to $819. See the Wacom web site for information on Intuos2 tablets and other products: http://www.wacom.com

User Level
Beginners, intermediate, and advanced computer users. The tablet has features for users of all levels of expertise. New users will appreciate the complete package of tablet, mouse, pen, and software that gets them up and running quickly. Advanced users and artists, draftspeople, and photographers who use pencils and airbrushes and want a pointing device that feels more like these tools will like the new Grip Pen and the programmable menu strip on the tablet.


New and enhanced features:

  • Includes Tablet, Pen, and Mouse
  • 1,024 levels of pressure
  • Tablet resolution of 2,540 lpi
  • Larger active area for more room to work
  • Bundled with free software
  • Ergonomic "Grip" pen
  • Supports pen tilt
  • Improved Driver
Product Analysis


New Look and Updated Menu Strip--The Intuos2 features Wacom's new Midnight color palette and was created to fit the needs of different users and comes in five sizes: 4x5, 4x8, 9x12, 12x12, and 12x18. Each tablet connects to your computer's USB or Serial port with an 8 foot cable. And each tablet features menu strip buttons above the active area of the tablet for easy access to your favorite shortcuts. The menu strip has been updated to include commonly used browser tasks. So by simply clicking a menu strip button, you can quickly navigate your browser with forwards, backwards, refresh, or stop commands. The menu strip buttons have default shortcuts, and they are are fully customizable through Intuos2's software control panel.

Tracing Abilities--Intuos2 graphics tablets feature a thick, durable, transparent overlay so that you can easily trace photos and art. Because the Intuos2 pen works up to about a quarter inch above the tablet surface, users can tape paper and art directly to the tablet surface to change the feel of the working surface and for convenience.

Control Panel--A control panel lets you set preferences for how your tablet and tools will behave. The advanced power user can create the optimum environment, associating frequently used commands and tools with spots on the tablet or buttons on the tool. The control panel also lets you adjust pressure sensitivity and control how the tablet maps to your screen.

Grip Pen

Grip Pen

grip pen




tool id

Levels of Pressure--The Grip Pen features 1,024 levels of tip and eraser pressure, tilt angle and direction, automatic eraser detection, and two side buttons (DuoSwitch) to act as modifier keys, keystrokes, or mouse buttons. You won't find this level of pressure sensitivity in any other tablet. It literally feels the slightest nuance of your hand to give you the power and control you need. The pen's functionality is completely customizable through Wacom's control panel software. With pressure sensitivity you have the ultimate control when creating. You simply press harder or softer to affect brush size, opacity, or color. This level of control also makes your job easier when dodging and burning, cloning, and creating layer masks, as well as other image editing tasks. It gives you smoother curves, finer lines, and more gradual color transitions.

New Features--With Intuos2, Wacom has improved the ergonomics of pressure-sensitive pen input with its new design that features an enlarged pen grip area and an added cushioned rubber surface which minimizes the required grip pressure by up to 40%. This is a great benefit for users working for extended periods of time. You can even remove the DuoSwitch if you prefer. Some artists and designers have requested pens without a DuoSwitch, and the extra grip fulfills this request in a clever way without requiring a second pen. Thus if you want to remove the switch, you just simply twist off the pen tip, remove the button, and replace the rubber sleeve. This Grip Pen certainly is more comfortable to hold, easier to work with, and allows you to work longer without strain.

Tilt Control--The Pen and Airbrush support tilt control which means that the Pen and Airbrush tip and eraser senses the amount of tilt between the tool and tablet. This is used to create natural-looking pen, brush, and eraser strokes in applications that support tilt-sensitivity.

ToolID--Because of ToolID, the Intuos2 tablet can recognize which individual Intuos tool you're using. This means that if you share a tablet with a coworker, you can each use your own Intuos Pen, and the tablet intelligently uses the correct preferences. ToolID also makes it possible for software such as Painter Classic to assign different brushes to different color-coded Intuos Pens. So you can access your favorite sable-tip brush in the time it takes to pick up a pen. You could have a dedicated "oil brush" pen, a "pencil" pen, and so on so your desktop environment could imitate an artist's studio, with brushes all around.

Batteryless and Cordless Mouse

Dual Track

dual track

Features--Unlike the older Intuos line, now Wacom has added a new high-resolution, ergonomically designed mouse to every Intuos2 tablet. Like the Grip Pen, the mouse is cordless, batteryless, and ball-free, so you can avoid the hassles of maintenance, cords and poor tracking, along with the frustration of ever having to clean the mouse. The scrolling wheel is a control on the top of the Wacom mouse, and you can fully customize the speed of the scroll wheel. This means the speed can be adjusted to alternative settings in different applications.

2D Mouse--The smaller Intuos2 tablets include the 2D Mouse which has 3 button functionality as well as the scroll wheel and comes standard with Intuos2 4x5 and 6x8 sizes.

4D Mouse--The 4D Mouse is bundled with the 9x12, 12x12, and 12x18 size tablets. 4D stands for four degrees of freedom (or four dimensions), which include high resolution (x,y) coordinates, the auto-centering scroll wheel, and compass rotation. The new 4D Mouse has been developed to optimize 4D control in a single, ambidextrous design. The new design accommodates the requirement to function as both a traditional scrolling mouse as well as with specialized capabilities in those applications that support its unique 4D features, such as Synthetik Studio Artist and Electric Image Amorphium. The 4D Mouse comes with five programmable buttons.

Dual Track--With Intuos, you have the power to use two Intuos2 tools at once. This intelligent feature allows you to move and rotate a 3D object with the 4D Mouse in one hand while you paint and draw with an Intuos2 Airbrush in the other...or use the 4D Mouse to pan through a high res photo while you edit the image with the Intuos Pen...or use the 4D Mouse as a "button box" so you always have a handful of quick commands at your fingertips.

Improved Drivers and Performance



Drivers--The Intuos2 driver includes updates for the latest operating systems, including Apple OS X and Microsoft Windows XP. Wacom's driver support for 3D and 4D mice is improved over previous drivers. The mouse control panel tab now includes settings for both acceleration and speed to enable you to precisely customize the feel of mouse navigation. In addition, Intuos 2 mice now work in safe mode and during computer boot and have all the functionality required to completely replace your existing mouse.

Performance--Intuos2 offers improved performance with Digital Over-sampling. It runs at a much higher frequency and implements a new digital over-sampling technique (samples data twice) to acquire coordinate data, significantly improving performance over previous tablet technology. Because of this fundamental electronic design change, Intuos2 devices will not be compatible with original Intuos tablets. Also original Intuos devices will not work on Intuos2 tablets. Due to this lack of forwards and backwards compatibility, Wacom is offering the new Grip Pen design with original Intuos electronics for Wacom's installed base of original Intuos customers.

Bundled Software

Bundled Software

bundled software

All Intuos2 tablets come bundled with Corel Painter Classic, a painting and drawing program that excels at simulating real-world media such as pastels or watercolors, and PenTools.

The Intuos2 4x5 and 6x8 add Adobe Photoshop Elements, a simplified version of the legendary digital darkroom, to this bundle for digital photography enthusiasts.

Intuos owners will also be able to take advantage of special Wacom-unique upgrades and special offers through "Intuos2 Privileges" a free after-market web service.




Original Intuos accessories are carried forward into the Intuos2 product line, including the Classic Pen, Airbrush, Stroke Pen, Inking Pen, and Lens Cursor. Most notable is the Airbrush. This is a digital pen with the feel and control of a real airbrush. Features include a top-mounted fingerwheel to control ink flow, a pressure-sensitive tip and eraser, and a programmable top button. This unique input solution provides all of the same capabilities as a real airbrush including pressure (height), tilt angle and bearing, and ink flow control. The Airbrush fingerwheel can also be used to control brush size independent of opacity. This is a very handy benefit when working with tools in Photoshop.
Final Comments
The Intuos2 tablet is certainly worth the upgrade price for previous owners or a good investment for neophytes. The new Grip Pen alone justifies the cost. Wacom has a solid history of creating graphics tables that give you the upmost in control, comfort, and productivity. With this Intuos2 table, you can't go wrong.
System Requirements

System requirements for USB connection:


  • PC running Windows 98, 2000, Millennium or XP; powered USB port, CD-ROM drive and color monitor.


  • iMac or PowerMac with Mac OS 9 or OS X v.10.1 and higher; powered USB port, CD-ROM drive and color monitor.

System requirements for Serial connection:


  • PC running Windows 95, 98 NT 4, 2000, Millennium or XP; serial port, CD-ROM drive and color monitor.


  • Additional purchase of Wacom Unix Kit ($149), IRIX 6.5, available serial port, CD-ROM drive.


  • Additional purchase of Wacom Unix Kit ($149), Solaris 2.6, 7 or 8, available serial port, CD-ROM drive.
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop 6.0
Web Page Design: Macromedia Dreamweaver 4.0
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