Unsolicited Review: Intuos Draw / CTL-490DB (Blue) Part 1

Having once again returned to working with vector illustrations using my 2011 Bamboo Pen and Touch, this time with CorelDraw X8 Home and Student on my Surface Pro 4, I purchased the entry-level Intuos Draw as a backup in case my 6 year-old Bamboo Pen and Touch, which I've brought with me everywhere while working overseas, suddenly dies.

This article provides an overview of Intuos Draw. The Intuos Draw / CTL-490DB (Blue) was tested on the following software and hardware:
  • CorelDraw X8 Home and Student - Windows 10 - Surface Pro 4
  • ArtRage Lite (bundled with Intuos Draw) - macOS Sierra - Macbook Air (2015)
  • Krita  / Gimp - Fedora 25 Workstation / openSUSE 42.2 - Acer ES 11
  • Inkscape - FreeBSD 11 - Virtual Machine
  • OneNote with Windows Ink - Windows 7 Enterprise - Lenovo T450s

Packaging and CD

The Bamboo Pen and Touch I purchased back in 2011 had elegant packaging, as expected from a Japanese company. The newer Intuos Draw had a nice box too, but seemed plainer and was made of cheaper material, which is understandable due to recent changes in the consumer electronics industry in terms of cost cutting.

Wacom includes a CD in the Intuos Draw box, a somewhat wasteful practice in the consumer electronics industry considering that consumers today are used to downloading and running updates on their PCs and mobile devices. Moreover, most PCs and laptops no longer include an optical drive, with most Millenials absolutely clueless about how to use them. However, considering the Wacom software is propriety and is required to get the most out of Wacom products, I understand the logic of including a software CD.

As a documentations engineer, I hate to admit it but the multi-language booklet, which I adored so much back in the day, is pretty redundant and is often tossed away immediately. Today's mainstream users are divided into extremes - some are incredibly incompetent while others can handle themselves well enough when it comes to setting up electronics (or at least knows how to read support pages).  In the long run, however, dispensing with the multi-language guide and software CD will cut down production costs and can only benefit the manufacturer and consumer.

If you plan to take advantage of the value-add software Wacom provides with the Intuos series, do not immediately throw away the box since the software product code is found in one of the flaps. Take a picture of it in case you plan to install the bundled value-add software.

Wacom bundled a cute Wacom pillow and a nifty branded bag along with Wacom nibs when I purchased my Intuos Draw from an online retailer.

Software key code 

There are few technical and product differences between Intuos Draw, Intuos Art, Intuos Photo, and Intuos Comic. One of them is the bundled software. For those who purchased Intuos Draw, they are eligible to download ArtRage Lite, a pretty nifty paint and drawing application for budding digital artists.

Note: Although I already have a boxed copy of CorelDraw X8 Home and Student for Windows, and run open source illustration software on my Linux machines, I didn't have any art software on my Macbook Air and couldn't pass up an application like ArtRage.

As noted previously, don't throw away the box of the CTL-490DB since the software bundle download key code is printed on the lower flap of the packaging. It's important to note that the key code printed on the box is not the license key for the bundled software. It's a download key for registering the application at http://www.wacom.com.

The software download key is printed on the lower flap of the box for the Intuos Draw.

After you register your product using the product serial number (also printed on the box) and the download software key, your browser is directed to a download page which also displays the software activation key.

If you purchased the Intuos Draw in a different region from North America, the software bundle download key code won't be accepted if you logged in to the US Wacom site (http://www.wacom.com/en-us). Check the box if you're not sure which market your product was purchased or shipped from.

Since my Intuos Draw was shipped from Hong Kong, I registered the product using the product registration link on the Wacom Hong Kong web page. The website for Hong Kong users has a few shared pages with the US website, but the support, registration, and software download pages are different.

Click the Product Registration link to input the software key.

After entering the software download key code, I took note of the software activation license key and downloaded the .dmg (macOS) and .exe (Windows) files for ArtRage Lite.

The Hong Kong software registration is different from the North America page.

Continued in Unsolicited Review: Intuos Draw CTL-490DB (Blue) Part 2


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