Wacom has announced the Intuos 3 as successor to the excellent Intuos 2 tablet. The Intuos 3 will be available in 4x5, 6x8 and 9x12 sizes and features double resolution (5080 lines per inch), new software a new pen and mouse as well as 'express keys' and touch strips on the sides of the tablet. We've been using the Intuos 2 in-house for a while now and swear by them, the Intuos 3 is looking even better.

Press Release:

Wacom® Announces New Intuos®3 Professional Pen Tablets, First with Built-in ExpressKeys™ and Zoom/Scroll Touch Strips

Other Key Features Include New Industrial Design, Redesigned Grip Pen, Improved Mouse, Doubled Resolution of 5080 Lines per Inch, and a New Software Bundle

VANCOUVER, WA., Sep. 8, 2004 -- Wacom Technology Corporation today introduced its new Intuos3 professional pen tablets offering an array of meaningful improvements that provide higher levels of productivity for digital photographers, designers, and artists.

Intuos3 tablets incorporate ExpressKeys and Touch Strips. An on-board set of customizable ExpressKeys default to keyboard modifiers Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and Spacebar and are completely customizable. In addition, new finger-sensitive Touch Strips allow users to zoom or scroll with their non-dominant hand while working with a Wacom battery-free pen or mouse with their dominant hand.

The significance of Intuos3’s new ExpressKeys and Touch Strips is that they greatly speed up workflow in graphics and other applications. The innovative ExpressKeys provide quick access to commonly used modifiers, mouse clicks, keystrokes, and other time-saving operations used by photo editors, graphic designers, and digital artists. Similarly, the Touch Strips bring an even higher level of functionality to tablets. The two-inch Touch Strips can be used to zoom, scroll, or perform a custom keystroke action such as changing brush size in Adobe® Photoshop®, all without having to move to the keyboard.

Other key features of the Intuos3 pen tablets include a new industrial design with a high-gloss transparent surface, a redesigned Grip Pen with a larger rubber barrel for enhanced comfort, an improved ergonomic, battery-free mouse with five programmable buttons and a scroll wheel, doubled resolution of 5080 lines per inch, and a new software bundle composed of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2, Corel® Painter™ Essentials 2, and nik Color Efex™ Pro 2 IE.

"Intuos3 is a major step forward in state-of-the-art computer input systems for serious photographers and graphics professionals," said Mark Mehall, Wacom Sr. Product Manager. "It greatly extends the functionality of Wacom's pen tablets and introduces an exciting new look and ergonomic design to optimize the way users interact with computers and software. Our customers have emphasized the need for short-cut keys and zoom/scroll control along with requests for design enhancements, so we are very pleased to be able to offer these benefits with Intuos3."

User Comments

“Intuos3 will improve my workflow in all my graphics applications. Being able to assign essential shortcuts to ExpressKeys will be a huge timesaver; having all this power right on the tablet will absolutely change the way I work!”

— Noah Klabunde, Motion Graphics Artist, Vinton Studios

“I've been a Wacom user for many years, and I'm really excited to see the new ground you're breaking with Intuos3.”

— John Nack, Adobe Photoshop Product Manager

Improved Software Bundle

Intuos3 includes industry-leading software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 (NASDAQ: ADBE), Corel Painter Essentials 2, and nik Color Efex Pro 2 IE.

• Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 comes with over 15 pressure-sensitive tools that are designed to work with the Intuos3 pen. Easily blend one image into another with controlled transparency, sharpen as much or as little as needed by pressing harder or softer on the pen tip. Even modify the color of a photo with pressure-sensitive control. Editing digital images has never been easier.

• Corel Painter Essentials 2 is the exciting limited edition of the industry-leading natural media drawing application Corel Painter. It takes full advantage of Intuos3's functionality (Airbrush wheel, tip pressure, and tilt) and supports multiple layers to give maximum flexibility. Painter Essentials 2 includes more than 50 pressure-sensitive, natural media brushes and a mix of papers, nozzles, and patterns, providing for some serious creative fun.

• nik Color Efex Pro 2 IE is a Photoshop plug-in that simplifies application of filters to selected parts of an image, quickly and easily. The Intuos3 pen precisely controls both the location and the amount of photographic filter effect. With eight free photographic enhancement filters (Brilliance/Warmth, Contrast Only, Graduated Blue, Midnight Blue, Monday Morning Violet, Pastel, Remove Color Cast, and Solarization), Color Efex Pro 2 IE is a great tool for improving digital photos.

Intuos3 Optional Accessories

Optional Intuos3 accessories include the popular Airbrush, an Inking Pen, and a new kit of accessories for customizing the Intuos3 Grip Pen.

Configuration, Price, and Availability

The new Intuos3 tablets (USB-only) will be available by the middle of September. The Intuos3 tablets will be produced in three sizes with active areas of 4x5, 6x8, and 9x12. The previous version, Intuos2, will be continued for customers who require serial connectivity or larger sizes (12x12 and 12x18). Intuos3 supports Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MFST) platforms. Estimated street prices are: Intuos3 4x5 at $199.99, Intuos3 6x8 at $329.99, and Intuos3 9x12 at $449.99.