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Wacom Graphire 4
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 5022 Mon December 4, 2006
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers £75.00 9.0
graphire4.jpg
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Description: Graphire4 Tablet

• Two programmable ExpressKeys™ for convenient mouse clicks and keyboard shortcuts
• Scroll wheel for handy navigation through long web pages and documents
• Transparent photo frame for easy personalization with photos and artwork (fun samples and template included)
• Integrated pen compartment and a separate pen stand for two great ways to keep your pen handy
• Available in a choice of three colors (Silver, White, and Metallic Blue) and two sizes (4x5 and 6x8)
• USB connection for quick installation
• Available in Silver, White, and Metallic Blue
• Tablet Dimensions: 8.20" x 8.03" x .70"
• Active Area: 3.65" x 5.02"
• Pressure Levels: 512

Contents:

• Graphire4 4x5 Pen Tablet, Pen, Pen Stand, and Mouse
• 2 CDs with Wacom tablet driver software, user manual, and bundled software
• One-year warranty

System Requirements:

Graphire4 - PC or Macintosh computer running Windows 98SE, 2000, Me, XP, or Mac OS X 10.2.8+ with available USB port, CD-ROM drive, color monitor, and 128 MB RAM

Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 - Windows 2000, XP, or Mac OS X 10.2.8+

Corel Painter Essentials 2 - Windows 2000, XP, or Mac OS X 10.2.8+

Nik Color Efex Pro 2 GE - Windows 98SE, 2000, Me, XP, or Mac OS X 10.2.8+ and Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 & higher or Photoshop 7.0 & higher.
Keywords: Wacom Garphire4 Graphics Tablet


Author
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Rob Barron
Loves the place

Registered: September 2006
Location: Poole, Dorset
Posts: 7226
Review Date: Mon December 4, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Easy to set up and use, excellent quality
Cons: No mouse with the Classic version

I have used a Graphire 3 for several years now and have always been impressed with its quality and ease of use. I decided to upgrade to the Graphire 4 only because my G3 was getting a bit grubby, still working absolutely fine though.

The Graphire 4 is identical to use as the G3 really except that the pad is better quality. There is a fully detachable clear plastic cover over the pad itself so it will stay nice and clean. This is A6 in size but that is all you need for photo editing. Anything larger means you are moving your hand around a lot, getting tired quickly. With this it is all finger-tip control and very accurate.

The pen is slightly redesigned and better for it. The G3 pen was basically one piece plastic with a rocker switch. The G4 is slightly thicker with a rubber grip which fits in the nad better. The rocker switch is replaced by two single switches. These are definable in the software that comes with it: very easy to set up and adjust to your own liking. There is no battery in the pen, it uses Wacom's proprietary system that needs no batteries in either the pen or the mouse (not included but available as an extra). The lack of battery means the pen is lighter and feels better balanced. It picks up easily within a centimentre of the pad's surface.

The pad itself plugs into any USB port, doesn't have to be in the mouse port. This means you can use an entirely separate mouse should you wish to. On the other hand, if you are upgrading from a G3 to a G4, the mouse will work absolutely fine so no need to buy a replacement for that. I am using the old one which still works absolutely perfectly, has 3 buttons and a scrollwheel: what more do I need?

The pad also has a scroll wheel in it and also two programmable buttons. By default these are forwards and backwards which is handy when going though websites. But you can change these to other things if you wish. There is a pen tray to clip the pen into but I must say I far preferred the G3's pen holder which allowed you to drop it in. I like that as I often switch back and forth between mouse and pen so the pen laying down is not something I find intuitive. I have kept the pen holder to use with this one, even though it doesn't fit exactly. It's good enough so allows me to work the way I am used to.

The technical details are listed at top of this review so no need for me to repat all those here. It is excellent for doing photo post-processing work and once you have got used to using a graphics pen for making a selection, you'll wonder what on earth you were doing using a mouse!

The pen could be used entirely as a mouse if you wanted to, I often do. If you want a mouse, you should pay for the Graphire Studio version (I think, please check) which also comes with a copy of Elements 3, not the latest version but plenty good enough if you want to get started in photo editing.

All in all this is an excellent product, very well made and wonderful to use. Definitely one for the Christmas list if you ask me :o)

Cheers,
Rob
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