Ok - so I recently picked up a large Intuos4 tablet and love it. I got a little spooked when I read a very extensive thread in the European forums on Wacom how the nibs and the surface of the tablet wear down very quickly with use. I was unable to find any information about this on the US forum, and very little elsewhere. My question, for Intuos4 owners, is whether or not I should purchase some sort of screen protector or plastic sheet for the surface of the tablet (to reduce wear scuffing)? Is this problematic only with the European models, or are they identical in this regard?
ah - I just realized that I should have probably posted this in the Hardware section. My apologies.
Last edited by Extollere; July 10th, 2010 at 08:37 PM.
The nibs do wear down a lot faster than on previous models... It wouldn't hurt to buy spare nibs (though it does come with a lot of spares, those should keep you going for a while.) I think you can also get replacement surface sheet things, I seem to recall seeing something like that on Wacom's site.
Of course, some people just stick a sheet of paper over the surface.
Careful with screen protectors I heard around the wacom threads here that they'll void your warranty or something theres quite a few threads dedicated to this over there.
I have quite a firm pen pressure because I don't like the computer telling me that something is 100% opacity - I want to be the one to determine that. As such, my intuos4 surface is scratched to hell and I've gone through about 3 nibs, but the scratches are so small that it does not effect the surface texture or feel of the tablet. I've had mine since they first came out, and use it everyday for hours on end, without any negative effects of wear. don't worry!
Hrmm... what about replacing the Intuos4 sheet with one from Intuos3 (cut to size of course) or flipping the sheet over. The other side is supposed to lack the texture causing the wear. Can any ConceptArt.org users chime in on this? Should I just quit worrying about it and use the tablet and let it wear?
Btw, here's the thread from the EU Wacom boards. http://forum.wacom.eu/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1438 Lots of frustrated users there. I definitely love this tablet. I just want to know what my best options are for keeping it in good condition (outside of using a piece of paper on top).
Pardon me but logically the more friction there is, the faster the nibs wear out.
when Intuos 3 came out I've seen complains it is too slippery to handle (so were the previous ones). Now once they changed it everyone seem to complain about the outcomes.
try greasing the tablet... some cooking oil will do good too.
Curve pen nibs out of toothpicks =]
You take one look at the surface and the nib and you know what is going to happen. When you drag your stylus and it feels like sandpaper, you can expect the plastic not to last.
First thing i did when i got my intuos (3, not even 4) - I duct-taped a thin sheet of ordinary glass over it. It's very slippery, yes, but you get used to it and not notice. I preffer glass over a friction surface for a very simple reason - the friction surface wears unevenly and after some time of use you get areas that have different friction (areas you use more get slippery, others stay high-friction), and when you're trying to make a long flowing controlled line over that randomly worn irregular pattern of friction and non-friction... well, it annoys. Better to get used to a surface that doesn't change its properties too much.
I've actually crafted an iron nib from a nail - carefully rounded it with sandpaper and then painstalkingly polished it so it doesn't cause scratches. Works like a charm. I've been using this glass+iron setup for years. Didn't even have to replace the glass, though there are a few scratches here and there.
Last edited by Gerulaitis; July 11th, 2010 at 11:03 AM.
The point is not the wear and tear, it's the price of new nibs and cover sheets verging on robbery. Nibs cost between £2 and £3 EACH here, if you're lucky enough to find somewhere that stocks them. A sensible price would be say £1 for 20. And the cover sheet? A bargain £30+. That's £30 for a piece of plastic that probably costs less than £0.10 to produce. Wacom has been muttering about producing a new type of cover sheet for a year now but quite why they'd want to do this is a mystery. Cover sheet = good. Nibs = good. Racketeering = bad. Until Wacom get to grips with the basic concept I'll be sticking with my I3.
To be honest - I agree with BaronI on the pricing. It is a lot cheaper to have a friend buy a few packs of nibs from the wacom US store and pay for them to ship to the UK - US get free shipping and the nibs are about half the price as well.
Last time I checked:
it's €10+€6 shipping = €16 for pack of 5 in europe (£13.42)
and around $10 with free shipping for pack of 10 in the US! (£6.64) add around $5 shipping to the UK = £9.96 ... still less for a pack of 10 than for a pack of 5 in the UK!
After trying out different nibs I have discovered that the 'Flex Nibs' (black with little white rubber tip) last longest without performance degrading and also to me feel best to draw with (Note they can start to feel a little 'squidgy' if you press hard).
Interesting note - If your I4 surface gets to look 'scratched' it may just be marks and could be cleaned off with a soft damp cloth - mine has twice now looked scratched up and turned out to just be the nib residue on the surface.
I say the new I4 surface and overall design are well worth the upgrade and honestly wouldn't worry too much about the nibs - find a good friend in the US and / or think about a nib pool share. Hold on you are in the US - no worries then!
Be happy and enjoy your great new tablet!
Last edited by The7Artist7; July 11th, 2010 at 02:17 PM.
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Buy a different usb cable than the one Wacom Provides - Wacom's is pretty cheap, Amazon had some that fit snug therefore causing less drag on the ports. If the cable is too short just buy an extender and you'll be fine.
The nib wear is really annoying, as best to describe it. It doesn't really kill the tablet's overall performance. You just have to pay a bit more out of pocket which is still less than traditional out of pocket expenses. I have kept all my nibs from owning previous intuos tablets so it came in handy for the i4
However, I am puzzled why Europe has jacked the prices vs the US pricing here for nibs. It's not environmental factors or something? I agree they should be less costly because supply and demand should have kicked in and balanced that out.
Oh and by the way I found this posted on Wacom's forum by a moderator, as of July 8th 2010
Originally Posted by WacomHmmm sounds interesting, hopefully we'll see something soon.Originally Posted by Wacom
Thanks, I'll be sure to be careful with the cable and usb port. So far it has just been sitting on the desk without much movement other than side to side to reposition my keyboard for browsing and computer usage.
Also - if a mod is reading this, can I get a move to the Wacom hardware thread (where more appropriate viewership can be had)?
I'm an admin, and if you notice - it's already in the Wacom forum. You're clicked on a re-direct that lasted a day.
I have cut a piece of Acetate. This is the plastic sheet used in overhead projectors or for document laminating. These should be available at stationers anywhere.
Place it over the writing surface and secure with a small amount of tape that will easily remove. (make sure that this tape is placed on the tablet body and not on the writing surface)
This creates a smooth surface that can be replaced at any time, leaving the tablet surface untouched and pristine.
My first tip only lasted 3 days and, after using this solution, I am using the second one for over 6 months and it looks fine!!
Hope this helps
I used turtlewax on my surface to fill in the tiny gaps and make it more like the intuos3. 6 months with one application and 0 nib wear =] The risk is not so bad cause you can always replace the surface sheet if something ever went wrong
Yes, yes they do.
And yes it sucks.
But still, for the sheer amount of control you get from them, compared to a 3/Bamboo, it's a tolerable trade off.
Not a fair one, by any means, but tolerable.
When I called Wacom to complain about it, they were more than happy to send me a few free nibs, as well as a replacement sheet and one of their "newer texture" sheets - unfortunately both of these sheets were send to me in manilla envelopes, albeit bubbled wrapped, yet through postal mail, and thus ultimately into my mailbox. Needless to say, they were both bent beyond the possiblity of use.
Were that it had been shipped in such a manner that I could have tested it out... but a sheet creased by mail couriers as if it were folded into one's pocket does not a drawing surface make.
Oh, and I'm sorry that I took so long in responding - it's a mad, mad crazy world for me, these days!
One of the best things you can do, without buying more stuff, is using the mouse whenever you're surfing the web. It's easy to get used to using the pen whenever surfing the web, but that's how I've only worn out four nibs after nearly owning this thing for a year.
Also, make sure your pressure levels, both the tablet settings and the program you're using to be as ACCURATE as possible. You might need to adjust. Sai has a wonderful feature where you can adjust the pressure for a particular brush, for an example. Stroke economy is important. Why color with a size 20 brush when you can use a size 100 and use the eraser tip of the pen to erase things out? I try to find new ways to save my nibs that came with my tablet, even though buying more isn't really that expensive... Although, actually, 10 bucks is a bummer.