Wacom promises tablet for creative pros this summer

Wacom promises tablet for creative pros this summer

Summary: On its Facebook page, the company says it's bowing to public pressure and working on a tablet with a professional digitizer pen.

TOPICS: Tablets

Best known for its digital styli and pen-and-slate drawing slates for computer artists, Wacom is entering the standalone tablet game. According to its Facebook page, the company is responding to customer feedback and will release its first model this summer.



Wacom promises that the tablet will be geared to its creative clientele and include a digitzer pen, HD display, and "other valuable features that you haven’t seen in other tablets." What those other features are remain to be seen, but presumably they would be related to the design work that Wacom customers typically perform.

The company's move suggests that many of those creative professionals are not satisfied with the iPad (or other tablets). Adobe has released a version of Photoshop for the Apple tablets, as well as Adobe Ideas, a sketching app that is a complement to Illustrator, though these may not be enough for some users. Wacom doesn't specify what the customer feedback is that prompted its decision to start selling tablets, but its Facebook fans are speculating in droves as to specs, etc.

Wacom is taking a calculated risk that, in the ever-more-cluttered tablet market, there's room for a niche product with a specified feature set. Its clamoring clients will probably have to pay more for the privilege of specialization, but it sounds like they may be ready to bear the extra cost.

If you're a creative professional, would you buy a Wacom tablet? Are other tablets missing key features you need (and Wacom presumably could provide)? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

[Via TechCrunch]

Topic: Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Photoshop for iPad?

    Why not mention that Adobe also has a Photoshop for Android? After all the probability that Wacom will be releasing an iOS tablet is about .0001% The probability this tablet will be runnnig Android or an Android fork is probably about 95%.
    • Or Windows 8

      There are already a lot of Windows 8 tablets with Wacom digitizers out there and being able to use the native Adobe Suite and other professional software would be a big advantage, something an Android tablet couldn't, at the moment, deliver.
      • True

        That's definitely a possibility. Maybe even an RT tablet that would conicide with an RT release of Photoshop (unless there already si one).
        • Not RT

          It wont be RT because Photoshop and others are 32 and 64 bit programs, RT cannot run those.
          Jordan Burke
  • Possibly

    I was playing with a Surface Pro the other day, and one thing that struck me was that while the display was nice, and had a good handwriting experience, the pen was pitiful. I don't know whether Wacom should aim to build a better tablet, or whether they should start out providing better (replacement?) pens for the Wacom digitizers out there.

    Interestingly, I just found out that my Motion Computing LE1600 pen supposedly will work on it. Can't wait to try that.
    • Any Wacom Pen...

      ... designated for Tablets will work.

      For example, the Series 7 Slate's digitizer works properly with it. That's how MobileTechReview deducted that it was using Wacom technology, by hovering over the display model.

      So long as the pen was made for tablets and it carries the same generation of technology, it'll work.

      N-Trig pens however, will not work with Wacom and vice-verse. They're two different companies with their own individual technologies.
  • strange move

    Could it be that the traditional Wacom tablets are declining in sales and this is just an attempt to sell some more.

    What possibly could Wacom offer in a tablet, than neither the iPad, Android tablets and Windows tablets offer? Very strange move.
    • I see alot of professionals hoping for big things here

      Well, I think it has a very obvious niche, and its exactly what I've been searching for the past few years ...
      I was looking to upgrade my laptop a few months ago, and as such I was also looking at tablets, I found that almost all the current options didn't allow the combination I was after, ipads or android tablets don't run the software many professionals need, especially in the 3d space (ie: mudbox, zbrush, mari, 3dmax, cinema4d, maya to name a few)

      So for serious 3d creatives there is really very little choice at present. Android = NO, iPad = NO, is there a macbook pro with wacom tech = NO, So your really just left with windows tablets,

      Cheaper tablets have pretty ropey gfx cards, they also don't have alot of ram, so many wont run 3d apps smoothly, or they use rt not full w8, then most don't have wacom tech, even the ones that do not true wacom high end tech, they don't have full 2048 pressure, have cheapo pens, in fact they aren't even comparible to intuos 3's, so are a world away from a cintiq... in fact the only possible options were very high end touch based laptop that can be turned into a tablet ...

      Those options are extortionately expensive and still don't give the true wacom experience, so in the end I bought a very high end laptop with lots of ram, a dedicated gfx, and a decent processor, and also a separate cintiq,

      That may seem like a small market, but consider that this tablet is aimed at pro creative intuos and cintiq users so thats all the top end of the wacom customer base. Really it's very welcome news, especially if the specs are right, and as long as it offers a tablet containing full wacom tech. If it run industry standard apps, like 3d modelling, sculpting and texturing apps and full photoshop, then if will be a massive wish granted in many creative industries. iPads are toys for professional creatives, Android is a phone OS, so bring on a full OS with full wacom tech, its been a long time coming
  • Fantastic News!

    Being in the creative field I've had my eye on all of the tablets for artistic uses and when the Windows Surface Pro was announced I can't say how many times I've wanted to scoop one up. The only thing holding me back was that (based on forums) the Wacom digitizer that Microsoft uses doesn't support pressure sensitivity in the full version of Photoshop (and other products - lots of debate on who doesn't support who as well). Either way, no pressure sensitivity in Photoshop for me is a deal breaker. So now that tax season is here and I have a lump sum burning a hole in my pocket, this news comes at a great time. I'm not going to settle for something the sort of works, when this summer there will (hopefully) be the artist's dream tablet! We can only wait and see, but for me this news is fantastic. If it turns out that it's not all that great or extremely pricey then I'll probably settle for the Surface Pro - maybe by then Microsoft/Adobe/Wacom will all have the Photoshop pressure sensitivity thing sorted out.