I bought it on launch day to see if it was any improvement from the previous 2 generations of Intuoses which I also own. These first comparisons are made while ignoring the nib wear which is the main topic of my review. -If you compare it to the previous generation...
I bought it on launch day to see if it was any improvement from the previous 2 generations of Intuoses which I also own. These first comparisons are made while ignoring the nib wear which is the main topic of my review.
-If you compare it to the previous generation CTL-490/CTH-490 series, it''s a slight upgrade with the pen becoming hard rubber grip from plastic and the inclusion of Bluetooth wireless (except they removed the touchpad feature of the CTH-490).
-If you compare it to the first generation CTL-480/CTH-480 series, it''s about the same in quality, but I preferred the pen on the CTL-480. The Bluetooth is a pro if you like it (but again, it replaces the touchpad feature).
One big improvement from the previous versions is that the Micro-USB port on the tablet no longer has the tunnel in front of it, so now you can use any Micro-USB cable that you have if your included one breaks. No more waiting for perpetually out of stock Wacom replacement cables!
If you compare the new CTL4100 to both the CTL-480 and CTL-490, the new Intuos CTL4100 has the roughest texture of them all and eats pen nibs pretty fast. Only drawing on the tablet for one day has already noticeably flattened my nib (look at attached photo).
I know the most common advice to prevent nib wear on Wacom tablets is to set the Tip Feel to "Soft" in the drivers, but setting the Tip Feel to "Soft" actually changes the pen pressure so drastically that you can no longer draw the lowest pen pressures. To get the best range of pressure, leaving the Tip Feel in the middle is the best, and that''s what I did.
Of course, I know that you don''t actually need to change a nib if it''s just flat since I drew on my previous Wacom tablets without changing the nibs, but with this tablet the texture feels weirdly grippy and rubbery with a flat nib and it''s actually noticeably less enjoyable to draw on it with a flat nib than it is with a smooth new nib.
For context, I took out a piece of paper and an HB pencil and compared drawing on that to drawing on the CTL4100. The CTL4100 has a fairly nice texture like paper with light strokes, but is weirdly rubbery and unlike paper when pressing harder. This rubbery feeling becomes more apparent the flatter your nib gets because then the nib then has more surface area to grip the texture.
The drawing experience itself was quite good as you would expect from a Wacom tablet and it draws really well with basically no line wobble and no lag. If you could switch the texture out for a smoother surface like you can on the newest Wacom Intuos Pro 2017, then that would have been nice, but as it is I feel hesitant to recommend it to anyone who intends to use it daily for painting and drawing.
One thing to note is that it is possible that the tablet texture will rub off through continuous use just like on the previous Intuos and Intuos Pro. If that happens, then the pen nibs will stop flattening so quickly. However, I see absolutely no wear on my tablet surface even after flattening my nib, so it may take a while and quite a few nibs to rub off and reduce the surface texture through normal use like you could on previous tablets.
Another very important thing to note is about the bundled software. I know the bundled software sounds like a good deal with the newest CTL4100, but you need to read the fine print that says:
Non-Bluetooth small version = Pick 1 of 2 softwares, either Corel Painter Essentials 6 or Corel Aftershot 3.
Bluetooth small version = Pick 2 of 3 softwares, either Corel Painter Essentials 6, Corel Aftershot 3, or 2-year Clip Studio Paint Pro.
Bluetooth medium version = You can download all 3.
Note that you will not have the option of Clip Studio Paint Pro on the non-Bluetooth small version.
Also note that Clip Studio Paint Pro is only a 2-year license which downgrades to the basic Clip Studio Paint Debut after the 2 years are up. On Wacom''s site, there is zero mention of it being a 2-year license. None. Only here on Amazon and on Clip Studio Paint''s site do they mention it.
My version didn''t have Bluetooth so I''m not commenting on that, and I''m quite sure it''s got very good wireless connection based on what people have said about the Intuos Pro 2017 (which also has Bluetooth wireless), but the capability of the Bluetooth wireless does not really save the tablet from the tablets really rough surface.
I think I could have given this tablet a 4 star rating if it came with at least 8-10 pen nibs to address the rough texture, instead of just the 4 nibs that it comes with right now. I just don''t see why they would refuse to include more pen nibs when pen nib wear has always been one of the most common complaints about Wacom tablets with their rough paper-like textures.