Wacom Intuos: A Trial Run
Thanks to the generosity of a publicity person, I had the pleasure of trying out a small Wacom Intuous tablet recently.
Of course I knew that the Wacom was the preferred device for drawing digital art, but I’m not a creator that way, so I was curious what else it could be used for.
Setup took some time, mostly because I needed to restart my Mac and I had way too many browser tabs open. That’s my fault. Once I followed the instructions, I got connected through Bluetooth and marveled at the battery life. (I don’t think I’ve recharged it yet since I got it, although I haven’t been using it heavily.) So it was time to figure out what I could do with it, beyond the obvious art creation option.
You can use the stylus and tablet in place of a mouse, as an input device, but I can tell that would take some practice, and time to focus on changing processes, which hasn’t yet happened.
I was hoping for an app to use for note taking, with handwriting recognition, but it seemed that the only choices I had were Microsoft OneNote and Evernote. I don’t want to install anything Microsoft on this computer, and I gave up Evernote years back when they started removing features from the free version. Wacom makes two note-taking apps, but one requires different hardware, and the other is only available on Android or Windows. The leading Mac options are GoodNotes and Notability, but both require payment for the handwriting-to-text conversion features.
However, two weeks ago, Apple rolled out Freeform, a free whiteboarding app. I thought that would be the perfect option — but the drawing tools for the app are only available on the iOS (iPad) versions. You can’t use a Wacom to draw in the app, which seems like a huge oversight.
So far, the tablet was convenient to use when I needed to create a digital image of my signature for a contract. That’s about the only use case I have for it.
It does come with various software downloads, of which the most obvious for this audience is Clip Studio Paint Pro, used for making manga. There are a bunch of options for whiteboarding apps, too, aimed at the educational market.
I appreciated the chance to give the Wacom a try for myself. It didn’t turn out to be what I expected. I suspect people already know if they want or need a device like this, and I was impressed at how much function you could get at this entry-level price. If I was more of a visual artist, this would be an essential tool for me.