CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 Limited Edition (incl. Wacom Intuos 4) review

Bundle of CorelDraw, Painter and a Wacom graphics tablet
Photo of CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5 Limited Edition (incl. Wacom Intuos 4)
£278

This package is a lot more than CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5. On the software side, there’s a copy of Corel Painter 11 and a set of stock photos from Fotolia, but perhaps most interesting is the inclusion of a Wacom Intuous 4 graphics tablet.

Bundled tablet
The Intuos 4 tablet isn’t that big. Its active area has a diagonal of just 206mm – but it’s fully pressure-sensitive and ideal for working with both Corel applications. It’s host-powered, so a single USB connection is all it needs, and you can use it in Windows in place of a mouse, as well as in most graphics applications.

There are six programmable buttons to the side of the tablet, as well as a control ring, which make tasks like calling up menus and even adding Shift and Ctrl to ‘mouse’ clicks more tablet-based. It’s a very easy device to use, with our only query being whether the control area is big enough to work effectively on a large graphic.

Other benefits
The main advances in CorelDraw Suite X5 are in colour management, with closer adherence to Adobe standards, and some relatively minor improvements to the tool set. There’s an improved mesh fill and a new B-spline tool as well as a coordinate docker, which can accurately align nodes from different objects. Corners on objects like rounded rectangles can have fixed radii, too.

Corel Painter 11, the leading real-media paint application, is just about to be superseded, one reason for its inclusion in this suite, but this version is still very competent and any digital artist will be able to make good use of its extensive tool set.

The main new features of Painter 11 include Hard Media Controls, with improved control of tools like chalk, pencil and pen, RealBristle Dry Media, a resizable Color Palette and, again, a new Color Management interface. The Colour Palette wheel can now be undocked and enlarged, making it much easier to select specific shades of colour.

The marker tool gives darker lines as you overlay them, as with a real marker, and the width of tool marks is now dependent on speed of stroke as well as pressure, so you can make thick and thin marks with the same tool.

We’d advise you not to get too excited about the bundled Fotolia images, though. Although there’s a wide selection of very high quality photographs on offer, the LE product only entitles you to use 21 of them. Worse still, you have to take three a day for seven consecutive days, too – so there’s little chance to dip into the collection as new projects require.

Company: Corel

Website: http://www.corel.com/uk

Contact: Corel UK on 0800 376 9271

Positives
  • High quality graphics tablet included in the package.
Negative
  • Stock photos are of limited use.

Verdict

If you're making the move into graphic design and creation, or want to update an existing Corel installation, this comprehensive CorelDraw Suite is a good way to go. Even at its full price, it's cheaper than equivalent Adobe and Wacom products bought separately - and as an upgrade, it's even better value.