29 Replies to “Video Review: Wacom Intuos 5”

  1. Nice review Terry, as always! I wonder if Lightroom supports (or will in the future) pressure sensitive tablets.

  2. Thanks for the review! I really liked the 3-way split screen as it allowed me to see very clearly what was going on.

    A big question I have is what it’s like using your fingertips instead of a mouse. Or do you use the pen all the time? I have an Intuos 4 and, of course, I prefer the pen in Photoshop but the rest of the time I prefer the mouse. So, after 25 years of mousing around I wonder what it would be like to do all that mousing by fingertip instead? The multitouch capabilities in Wacom’s video do look very cool!

    1. I’m more of a Trackpad and Pen kinda guy. Even before the Intuos 5 I was using my MacBook Pro’s trackpad anytime that I wasn’t using the pen. Although I have a bluetooth mouse I usually only pull it out of my bag when on stage doing demos. Day to day I use the trackpad and when in Photoshop I use the pen.

  3. Just curious if you use sketchbook Pro if you do can you give a tutorial from basics to advance? Can you elaborate on how to use layers and the benefits of them? Can you share your thoughts on making the transition from traditional to digital drawling. I recently purchased a Intous 4 and downgraded to a Wacom Bamboo Create for the larger size pad at $200. I can see there are a ton of tools available for Sketchbook Pro and additional add ons as well so the only limitation is one’s mind. Also any reviews on Strata Design ED SE and Strata Foto 3D SE.

  4. Thanks for your great review! One question: I’m messing around with a bamboo here and the touch feature ist nice but doesn’t work that well always. how is your expirience with the intuos 5 touch? I will upgrade soon. There is an Intous 5 non-touch for 250 euro, the touch version for 299. Is it worth 50 euro? what do you think? Would be a great help!

    Anyway, thanks for your great website.

    1. The touch works great. No issues. If you’re a desktop user then it’s probably worth it. If you’re a laptop user with a trackpad built-in then it may not be worth it.

      1. Thats a good point. I am a laptop user and I choosed the non-touch version. Thanks for your quick reply.

  5. Excellent review. I have been considering getting one of these to replace my mouse for photo editing and you superb review has made the benefits very clear. The difficult part now is deciding whether the small or medium tablet size would suit me best.

    1. I have had the medium size in Intuos 2, 3 & now 4 and that’s just the right size for me. It’s not too far to reach and move when using the pen/mouse but it provides enough resolution that making fine adjustments is easy. I have ample space on my desk for the medium tablet but if your space is cramped that might be a reason to opt for the small size. Be sure to check the overall (“physical”) size in the Wacom specs rather than the active area size when comparing to your desktop size.

      You could trace small sketches on the medium size tablet but you’d only be able to trace the smallest sketches on a small tablet.

      The other issue, of course, is the cost and whether you feel the larger size is worth the extra cost. Wacom provides an excellent control panel applet with lots of features for customizing the feel of the tablet. You might be able to get by just fine with a small tablet.

  6. Umm excuse me Sir.Terry I’m sorry because english is not my first language so i am not good in grammar and punctuation so i’m very sorry !

    Umm do you know where can i buy intous 5 in the philippines ? and how much is it ?

    I want to get the medium sized one .

    Thank you very much !!!

    But if it needs to be delivered that’s ok

    Thank you very much in Advance !!! 😀

    1. Hello and sorry no I do not know where you can get it in the Philippines. I’ve never been there and don’t know what it takes to get electronics there.

  7. Oh and sorry again !

    Uh what apps do you need to draw and color for mac and windows ?

    the only things i know for windows are cs6 , sai and pencil exe

    Thank you very much in advance !!!

      1. Thank you very much !!!

        It’s ok i found 2 websites already and if anyone needs it i’ll just post them here but if you don’t like it you can just delete them both sir then thank you very much again !!!

  8. Hey Terry, great review, it convinced me to order one (which i did)

    2 questions though:

    I have been using the intuos 2 for a long time, but it doesn’t work as well anymore on windows 7, since strokes become messed up (wiggly) when they shouldn’t. I suppose this issue is solved with this intuos 5?

    And, the wireless kit that you mention, is it a general one that can also be used for the bamboo or is it intuos 5 specific? Because i see a website here that sells it, but I’m not sure if it’s for the bamboo or intuos 5..

    Regards, Rick

  9. I will be buying the Intuos5 this week. Your review was excellent and it was nice to see you showing both the small and the medium. I do have two questions.

    1. I will be using this primarily for editing photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. Would a small be suitable or too small? Or is it just better to go with a medium? I just sold my 9×12 Intuos 3 and it was way too big for Photoshop. I work on a 27″ Mac. Obviously a small is significantly cheaper. What would you do?

    2. Would you provide some insite as to how you set your Express keys and radial Dial based on your Photoshop experience. Actually a video would be even better.

    Look forward to your perspective.




    1. Tablet size is really a personal thing. I would say go with a medium if you have the space for it, but a small will work too.
      As far as my settings go, I will see what I can put together perhaps as a separate blog post.

  10. Thank you for your reviews.
    I just bought a large Intuos 5, the new canvas surface to paint on suppose to be a feature improvement.
    Well, I find it troublesome for me because my work is airbrush style that is quiet slick, realistic look.
    I would like to know if you can help me change the canvas surface/background setting when using Photoshop CS5.
    If its possible at all.

    This is all new to me, and I don’t like the feel and look of the textures it provided.
    I need to paint on flat surface, smooth background so that when I’m airbrushing I can see it like airbrush paint finish.
    This canvas is very annoying for my work flow.

    Please help if you are able.

    Thank you very much!


  11. I appreciate the review, Terry. I liked that you showed what you could see on your computer as well as you using the Intuos.

    I wanted to ask: what has been your experience with the nibs in the pen?
    And how often do you use the pen to do things?

    I’ve been reading online and some people say that after a short time they wear their pen nib down to a sharp point, such that the nib has to be replaced (since they don’t want to scratch the tablet surface).

    On the other hand, at least one person has said that a pen nib lasts much longer for them (i.e. around several months).

    I know the Intuos comes with a few nibs, but that doesn’t help much if they do indeed wear out quickly. There’s the possibility of using a plastic sheet protector on the Intuos 5, but I reason that wouldn’t make the multi-touch functionality easy to use.

    I’m curious about what your experience has been like when it comes to the nibs.

    1. I don’t use my pens every day, but I do use them for every single photo I retouch and every Photoshop/Illustrator demo I do on the road. I replaced the ones in my Intuos 4 ONCE and I’m still on the original ones for my Intuos 5. So my experience has been great with little wear.

  12. A Great Review, in fact the best I have found anywhere.I have been using PSP for years now, long before Corel bought the program out. I have always did all my work with a mouse but I have finally convinced myself that I could do better with a Wacam.
    Have you used the Intuos.5 with PSP. I hate to switch to Adobe only because I,m so familiar with the PSP program and all of its little quirks.
    A quick reply would be nice.
    Many thanks again
    Dave March

  13. Hey Terry,

    Nice review.

    2 questions:

    i. I am interested in the intuos 5 for sketching, digital art and and making portraits. Currently, I am doing all that on paper. So I was wondering if it will be hard to switch back to the traditional pencil and paper from the intuos?

    ii. If due to some reason I am not able to work on the intuos for a good duration of time, then will getting back and getting the hang of it be as difficult as the first time?


  14. Hi Terry,
    I got an Intuos5 touch. In your video you mention that the touchpad does not get in the way when using the pen because it deactivates itself when the pen is near the surface.
    It seems not to be the case on mine.
    When the tip of my pen is almost touching the pad, i can still accidentally scroll with the back of my hand (which rests on the pad).
    I know i can turn off the touch function manually but i was wondering if i had missed the option you talked about, i can’t find it in the settings.
    keep up the good work,

    regards ,

  15. Hi,

    Would it be possible to share your Wacom intuos 5 configuration ?
    I saw that your mate Scott Kelby shared his own, but only for the intuos 4 sadly ;(
    Here’s the link for those who’re interested for their Intuos 4 :
    It’s a shame that Wacom didn’t do the same thing for the 5 version ?
    BTW, I’ve tried to laucnh the file but get an error message saying that the “my lightroom coudn’t be found ???”

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