On a multi-monitor setup, the surface covers all of your monitors by default. You can set up a button to have it toggle between different displays but there were many times when pressing the button did nothing. I’m also experiencing a bug where if I lock it to one screen (i.e. the middle screen of a triple-monitor setup), my pen can move just 1 pixel too far to the right which makes the cursor go to the next screen. If you’re using a triple-monitor setup and want your tablet to cover all three screens, I highly recommend you go for the large version.
Photoshop supports gestures and you can use the Wacom Intuos5 gestures to do common things such as pinch to zoom, rotate to rotate view, and three-finger swipe to move. Place your finger over the tablet buttons and a HUD will appear. This lets you keep your eyes on your screen and away from the tablet. The touch is very responsive – just as responsive as you’d get from a trackpad or tablet like the iPad. But because of its size, it’s more tedious to use than a laptop’s trackpad. Increasing the pointer speed setting helped a lot. It’s also smart. If you have the pen nearby, the touch will turn off automatically and back on when the pen is away from the tablet.
The Touch Ring is my favorite part of the tablet. Press the middle button to switch between the different modes and use the ring to zoom in/out, cycle through your layers, increase/decrease brush size, and rotate. These settings change depending on the application you’re using and it already comes with a default profile for Photoshop. For things such as rotating your canvas in Photoshop, the Touch Ring worked much better than the touch gestures. On the Touch Ring, it rotated smoothly – felt exactly like using the old iPods.
All of these buttons, Touch Ring, and touchpad settings can be customized.
Conclusion – Should you ditch your mouse for a tablet?
Whether you’re an artist or a photographer, you’ll enjoy using the Wacom Intuos5. It’s the best tablet that you can get. The tablets looks professional and is well built. The precision of the Intuos5 is amazing with 2048 pressure levels and 60 degrees of tilt sensitivity.
A pen tablet has huge benefits over a mouse. The most obvious is the ease of drawing with a pen; you can create strokes and curves much easier than a mouse. The next benefit is the varying stroke thickness and opacity that you can apply with pen pressure. This also lets you use special media brushes in Photoshop CS6 such as the Airbrush which does not work well without a pen tablet. The Intuos5 also gives you access to extra buttons on the tablet and pen that you can customize. The TouchRing is extremely useful and it’s become a habit whether I use a pen or mouse.
Many people say that once you use a tablet, you can’t go back to a mouse. For me, I still prefer my mouse more for general work but there are times (such as retouching) that I would switch to a tablet. With the Intuos5, I can use the pen to retouch skin with varying opacity while keeping a finger on the Touch Ring to adjust the brush size. Some people live by the tablet, some use it occasionally, and some leave it sitting on their desk to collect dust. One thing we can all agree on is that you really have to try it to know if you like it.