(you can see my “Know Your Mushrooms” Nintendo wristband that Joe bought me last week in the picture)
They attempted to deliver the Graphire3 today at 2:15 PM. Since no one was home, they left a note on the note. They would try to deliver it the next day or I could go pick it up after 6. I elected to go pick it up. I wanted it tonight, plus I didn’t want to be woken up early tomorrow. The smaller size is much better for using on the couch with this. Plus it’s lighter and easier to move around. Now for the differences between the Graphire3 and my Intuos2. The Graphire pen is lighter, but more slippery because there’s no grip thing on it like the Intous pen. It’s also a little bit shorter and feels flimsier. I guess you could say the Intuos pen just seems more solid.
Now for the tablet itself. There is no transparent tracing overlay on the Graphire (I never used the one on my Intuous though). You can remove the plastic cover on the Graphire and place a photo or some artwork there. I think that’s neat. There’s also a pen storage holder in the tablet, which I love for use with the laptop but wouldn’t find very useful if this was a desktop tablet. It comes with a pen stand too. The pen stand is much cheaper than the Intous one, but as my pen isn’t going to live in the holder like my Intuous pen does, that doesn’t matter to me. The tablet surface is different on the Graphire. It’s more plastic-feeling (I’m speaking of the active part where you use the pen). The Intuous is very soft and very smooth to write on. The Graphire is sort of scratchier. This isn’t because my Intuos is older, as I might have thought, but it’s just a different material (I read some comparisons online that mentioned it). It’s a really different feel. I prefer how the Intuos feels, but I don’t dislike the Graphire. After using it for a bit, I didn’t even notice. I don’t miss the tilt feature, because I didn’t even notice it wasn’t there when using Painter. I can sort of tell that it isn’t as sensitive pressure-wise, but that’s only with very light pressure.
Would I recommend the Graphire3? Definately. It’s going to be great for me to use on the couch with the Powerbook. If you want a tablet and are going to be using it a lot for for things like digital painting and you have the money, I’d say get the Intuos series (I haven’t used the Intuos3 but I heard it’s good). If you just want it for minor Photoshop work and don’t want to spend a lot of money, then the Graphire would be good for you.
I forgot to mention the size. I have no problem working on the smaller tablet. I like it. I usually work in small strokes when drawing or do close-up retouching work, so I don’t need a big space. Tablet size is really a matter of personal preference.