Reviews
Intuos Creative Stylus

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 21st, 2013

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A good drawing tablet is such a great asset if you’re planning on doing any drawing or graphic design on your computer. Wacom arguably has the corner on the market for both consumers and professionals with their various products. From the simple (and relatively affordable) Bamboo line to the amazing (and expensive) Cintiqs, folks have plenty of choice. Of course, with so many people owning iPads and iPad Minis now, will the average consumer actually spend the coin on buying yet another device to play with, even if that device might be useful? Without a stylus of some kind, detailed sketching can be a little more challenging on an iPad. Luckily, Wacom has produced something of a compromise with the Intuos Creative Stylus. At the risk of spoiling the ending of this review: this thing is draw-some!

The Stylus is about the same size as a typical Sharpie marker – and it feels almost as light. Over half of the shaft of the device is brushed aluminum; the remainder is coated with a soft surface that provides grip for your fingers when you hold the Stylus. In the middle of this “grippy” section is the toggle switch that activates various shortcuts (undo, erase, etc.). The “drawing end” of the pen ends in a little rubber nub, while the opposite end (which is where the AAAA battery compartment is located) is also coated in the soft material, providing purchase for your fingers when you need to access the battery.

The Stylus is very easy to use, once you get used to holding it properly. The prospect of can be somewhat intimidating, what with the product literature indicating that the Intuos Creative Stylus is capable of detecting both tilt and 2048 various degrees of pressure. There is also the issue of the toggle switch, which is fairly sensitive and easy to press accidentally while drawing. Rest easy, folks – as I said before: once you become acclimatized to the Stylus, drawing and sketching feel quite natural. Also, the Stylus doesn’t activate until you apply about 30g of pressure, so accidentally marking up your work is not really too much of a worry (especially when there is an undo command), and getting used to the buttons just takes time. Those who are already familiar with Wacom products will have no trouble picking this up and being productive from the get-go.

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Everything you see here is included.

While the sensitivity of the Creative Stylus is impressive, I find that it still isn’t as accurate as I would like. The drawing nub is about 6mm wide and soft, so it’s a bit challenging figuring out exactly where you are drawing. That being said, using the Wacom product is definitely a lot better than using your finger, or even a “plain” stylus. The closest that I can come to a similar experience would be to compare it to dry-erase markers on a white board – except that the Stylus taps into the aforementioned 2048 levels of pressure to give me some pretty smooth transitions in my artwork.

The Intuos Creative Stylus comes in a solid plastic black case, complete with the battery and two extra drawing nubs. The unit employs Bluetooth 4.0; I had no problems pairing this to my iPad, and it has stayed paired for the last few weeks, jumping back into duty when I tap one of the buttons on the Stylus. Also, the AAAA battery has a reported life of around 150 hours – which seems quite possible given how often I use this thing. AAAA batteries are not as common as other battery types, but they are available from a few big box stores, so you won’t be running around frantically trying to locate them.

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Me attempting to be an artist. Click the picture to watch a time-lapsed sketch of Daredevil.

I really enjoy using this tool. While it doesn’t have the power of the Cintiq line, or the accuracy of an actual drawing tablet, it’s a great way to draw while you’re on the go. If you’re a casual artist with an iPad or an iPad Mini, the Stylus is probably perfect for your needs. Even if you’re a professional, lugging around large tablets is probably annoying – so having an iPad and a Creative Stylus handy will allow you to sketch out your ideas while you’re out and about – and then you can bring them home and work on them with your more powerful tools. It’s all about flexibility.

The Creative Stylus is compatible with 3rd and 4th gen iPads (the Retina-display models), as well as the iPad mini. Is it exactly like using a pencil on paper? No. However, it’s pretty damned close – and with a pile of compatible apps (some free, like Wacom’s Bamboo Paper; some not free like ArtRage or Autodesk Sketchbook Pro), you’ll have a fair amount of power at your fingertips. The biggest downside to this tool is the price. $100 is nothing to sneeze at – especially for the casual set. Still, it’s a great product that performs well.

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    5 responses so far:
  2. Great review Jorge.

    Did you find someplace to purchase this in Toronto? I’ve been looking for a couple of weeks, and no one seems to have stock.

  3. Hey Glendon!

    Have you tried Vistek? They tend to carry all of the Wacom products.

  4. Thanks Jorge; yeah, Vistek’s website shows availability in other cities but not Toronto.

  5. Give them a shout. Maybe they can move stock around?

  6. Ugh. I don’t know why I removed the shadowing from under the chin. FAIL AS ARTIST.

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