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Wacom Intuos4 Wireless review

Artists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your USB cables!

Wacom Intuos4 Wireless
This Bluetooth graphics tablet charges over USB, and you can use it while it's charging

Our Verdict

Wireless is inessential for many, but this is still a brilliant, flexible system


  • Excellent tablet performance
  • Brilliant soft keys
  • Supremely configurable


  • Expensive, though not bad value

Can you remember the review of the Wacom Intuos4 we wrote a year ago? If so, all you need to know about the Intuos4 Wireless is that it's everything the Intuos4 is, plus Bluetooth. (Or 'minus a cable' if you like.)

That's not to dismiss it. The Intuos4 range from Wacom is genuinely brilliant. Never mind the sensitivity of the tablet, Wacom has done a sterling job in making the device very usable.

It's partly the hardware: as well as the Touch Ring that you can configure, say, to scroll through a document or change brush size, the Intuos4 Wireless has eight hardware buttons that can be set up as anything from modifier keys to triggers for cascades of actions.

The best bit, though, is the embedded displays next to these buttons that show their current function. (It's almost impossible to see the display hardware, and it looks like white glowing characters are embedded directly into the black glossy plastic, which is neat.) These soft keys come into their own, though, when you start tinkering.

Despite them being useful as soon as you take it out of the box, you can configure how the ExpressKeys and Touch Strip behave. The latter itself has four different states, even switching their behaviour automatically depending on what app you're using. Seeing their function on the embedded displays – or by triggering the on-screen cheat sheet – is invaluable.

All graphics tablets have a learning curve, and the sheer richness of this range's configurability means it can take especially long to start getting the very best out of it, but it's an investment of time worth making.

Only you can decide whether you're happy to pay the extra (around £55 online) for the convenience of a wireless Bluetooth connection, compared to the essentially identical wired Intuos4 M.

The Li-ion battery easily lasts for a day of very active use – and thanks to its power-saving features, much longer if you use it only infrequently. And while we occasionally saw some glitchy lags, it generally performed well.

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