Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Intuos Creative Stylus for iPad

I was very excited to receive the new Intuos Creative Stylus for iPad in the mail today -at least until I tried it.

Don't get me wrong, it's great to look at and has a nice solid feel in my hand. As a long-time Wacom user (my current workhorse is a XL Intuos4) I appreciate that this pen feels just as well made as that of a proper Intuos. That said, I think I'll be returning this one, my gripes:

1.) It "sticks" majorly to the iPad's screen as I'm trying to draw with it. This lends a highly unpleasant "gummy" feeling to every stroke and serves up just enough friction to make little jaggies everywhere.

2.) It relies on software implementation to actually make use of the pressure sensitivity. In the three supported apps I tried (Procreate, Bamboo Paper, and ibisPaint X) none of them seemed to integrate this very well. In Procreate, for example, you have to really monkey with brush settings to get any hint of pressure sensitivity and often end up with brushes that are hair-thin, ghost light, or blobby.

3.) The pressure threshold at which the pen actually engages feels really high. Meaning I have to press far harder than I'd like, creating far more friction (the aforementioned sticking problem) than is enjoyable to draw with. Now maybe this isn't an issue for someone with a strong hand and heavy touch.... but it's far from the hand gliding effortlessly over the drawing surface (ah-la a real Intuos pen) that I'm looking for.

Bonus: I just tested the non brush end of my Sensu brush and even it feels better than this Intuos pen for sketching and drawing on my iPad. Though it is made of a similar rubber material it actually glides quite well on the iPad surface.

Looks like there is a proper pressure sensitive tablet somewhere in my future. But for now it looks like I'll have to wait a while more as Intuos Creative Stylus just doesn't do the trick for me.