10 Feb 2014

Wacom Inkling – Review

Alright, its time for another review. This time, its a wonder product from Wacom – the Inkling. Before you read further, do watch this video

What does it do?

Inkling is an incredible product from Wacom meant to revolutionize the way you sketch – it digitizes what you sketch while you sketch. It digitizes the sketch in your paper as you sketch it thus saving those precious hours that you spend trying to recreate it using a digital tool! Inkling comes in a sleek case with a neat layout to fasten the components – pen, Inkling receiver, USB cable and 4 extra refills. It is, surprisingly, smaller than your pencil box! You can charge the pen and receiver simultaneously by connecting the case to your PC through USB.

The Case

How does it work?

To start sketching, you need to firmly clip the receiver to the paper(s) (A7 to A4). It can be clipped at different positions – top (default), bottom, sides and even corners. This must match with the orientation that is currently active in the driver software.

Inkling_receiver_positions

When everything is firm and set, start sketching as you would normally. It might be uncomfortable to hold the pen due to its size and also there is no eraser. But Inkling supports Layers as in Photoshop! A hardware button lets you add layers but not move/select them. The software bundled – Sketch Manager lets you browse through the works stored in the sensor and lets you export it to many image formats, including Photoshop (retaining the layers). It has an internal memory of 2GB.

Inkling Layers

Inkling uses infrared and ultrasonic to achieve this level of accuracy. Hence you need to be careful about a few things. First, you must not block the IR communication between sensor and pen with your hand, eraser or any other object. Second, direct sunlight will distort the IR, hence it is advised to protect it from direct sunlight – limiting your outdoor sketching. And third, the orientation of the sensor and the option defined in the driver must be the same to avoid any distortion in tracing the pen movement.

Real life performance

Line quality

You have to be swift with the lines. Lines drawn with less pace will have a lot of distortions in its digital version.

Line 2

Line

Bigger and swiftly drawn lines are better and smoother.

Line 3

Shading

Inkling’s pressure sensitivity is disappointing. All your lines will have the same opacity. The construction lines you make will be visible just like your final render.

Line 4

Amidst all these precautions, the inkling does a wonderful job! The accuracy it provides is pretty decent. Future versions are sure to win some artistic hearts.

Here is a full comparison of the Inkling output and Scanned image.

Inkling_Compare

Design: 7.5/10

Features: 5/10

Usability: 7/10

Overall:  6.5/10

Tested In

OS: Windows 7/8.1 x64 ,Mac Mountain Lion

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Autodesk Sketchbook