Enhancing its professional line of graphics tablets, Wacom Technology Corp. has announced the new Intuos2 system. The new graphics tablet comes in five sizes, includes a new grip pen, one of two new high-res cordless mice and new digital oversampling technology.
Wacom noted that the Intuos2’s new pressure-sensitive grip pen features a rubber grip area that reduces the pressure required to hold the pen, thus reducing fatigue when it’s used for long periods. The pen features 1,024 levels of tip and erasure pressure, and can transmit tilt angle and direction information as well. Two side buttons are featured in a single rocker-style switch, which can be programmed for application-specific modifier keys, keystrokes or mouse buttons.
All of the new Intuos2 tablets come with cordless, battery free, no-ball mice that operate on the same principle as the pen. The two smaller Intuos2 pads come with 2D mice that feature three buttons, including a continuously rotating fingerwheel. Wacom said that the 2D mouse is included on the smaller pads as a result of customer feedback. Larger Intuos2 pads ship with a new and improved 5-button 4D mouse. Wacom explained that the “4D” nomenclature is used because the mouse transmits X and Y coordinate data, analog data from an auto-centering fingerwheel that features +/- 1024 levels of data, and compass-like rotation data when the mouse is turned. The redesigned 4D mouse sports improved ergonomics designed to more closely emulate a traditional scrolling mouse — the thumbwheel on previous models is now a fingerwheel, for example.
Intuos2 graphics tablets run at a higher frequency, and they implement a new digital over-sampling system to acquire coordinate data. This significantly improves data quality over previous tablets, according to Wacom. (It also makes Intuos devices incompatible with Intuos2 tablets.)
The new Intuos2 tablet includes a menu strip that now features commonly used browser tasks, like Forwards, Backwards, Refresh or Stop. These are in addition to the conventional menu strip buttons for Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo and other functions. Drivers have been improved, too — they now support Mac OS X, and the mouse drivers feature acceleration and speed controls. Wacom also noted that Intuos2 mice can work during computer boot without a driver installed, making them suitable to replace existing mice.
The Intuos2 tablets ship with Corel Painter Classic and Wacom PenTool 3.0.2. Adobe Photoshop Elements will be bundled with the 4 x 5 inch and 6 x 8 inch tablets.
System requirements call for a USB-equipped Mac with Mac OS 8.5 or higher (including Mac OS X). Suggested retail prices range from US$219.99 for the 4×5 inch model to $819.99 for the 12 x 18 inch model.