The Wacom Intuos Draw is the entry-level product in Wacom's new line of Intuos tablets, boasting an accessible price for simplified features. For amateurs and enthusiasts the Draw is a great first tablet on a tight budget, though for anyone used to using older tablets in the Intuos range the functionality will feel very stripped back.
The new Intuos range consists of four distinctly targeted products. Draw, Art, Photo and Comic. The Draw is the cheapest, and the only tablet that doesn't support multi-touch gestures. The other three have the same specs and price, differentiated mainly by the software they come bundled with —however the Draw is the one I got to have a play with.
The active area is quite small. At 152 x 95 mm it won't be a problem for most casual artists, but it might be too small for those with high resolution monitors. It's an ideal size for those working with a laptop. With very little empty space around the active area, the Intuos Draw is lighter and thinner than previous Intuos models with similar working areas. It has a portable form that will prove useful for people who may need to use their tablet on the go.
The Draw is an affordable tablet with a premium feel. While many cheap tablets from other brands will also feel cheap, the Intuos Draw has a sleek design and is well put together. The battery compartment in the back holds three spare nibs and space for an optional wireless card that retails for around $55. While not having wireless functionality built in automatically is disappointing, it's also money saved for those who are happy to work plugged in.
The placement of the mappable express keys can be inconvenient. These can be mapped to a number of different global and application-specific functions, though their placement at the top of the tablet as opposed to on the side can make them less convenient than just selecting the option with the cursor. Using the keys, especially on the side of my active drawing hand, tended to noticeably interrupt workflow.
The drawing experience is comparable to Wacom's higher range tablets with 1024 levels of pen pressure and a smooth working area. Like many of Wacom's tablets, the Draw feels good to use, and the pen pressure is intuitive. While many of the features of the higher range tablets have been stripped back for this affordable model, the core feature of the graphics tablet still hold strong.
The pen doesn't include an eraser tip. It's a small detail, but having that default eraser mode so easily accessible can be a godsend when switching between brush and eraser with any regularity. It does still have two buttons on the body of the pen, however.
Drivers have to be downloaded from Wacom's website. While it's a pretty simple set-up, it may be annoying for those with a slow connection. The drivers also have a tendency to be a little finicky, with the tablet not functioning properly a few of the times I opened up Photoshop. The software allows for a lot of customisation, however, which can be fiddly but useful. The Intuos Draw also comes bundled with ArtRage Lite, while other models in this range come with software that suits their specifications.
It's a great little tablet for beginners and enthusiasts at an extremely accessible price. The lack of multi-touch on the Draw didn't faze me, as I've found that such features can often distract from the drawing process itself. The Wacom Intuos Draw is available for around $100, while other models featuring multi-touch gestures (Art, Comic and Photo) go for $150 to $250 depending on size.