Adobe’s Ink And Slide For The iPad Are Useful, But Expensive, Additions To An Artist’s Workflow

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With yesterday’s unveiling of the Ink and Slide, Adobe has made its first foray into the realm of hardware gadgets. The company describes the pair of gadgets as a “Creative Cloud Pen and Digital Ruler.”

In my time with the Ink and Slide, I’ve found that it works quite well in concert with Adobe Line, one of the company’s latest apps designed specifically for the iPad.

The curved shape of the anodized aluminum stylus feels great in the hand no matter how you hold it. It’s extremely light, which I prefer for extended use, though I know some like their tools to be more substantial.

As for the Slide ruler, it looks like something from Apple’s concept labs and also feels great in the hand. You never have to charge it; Adobe decided to use magnets to simulate multi-touch points on the iPad’s screen rather than syncing with Bluetooth like the Ink.

Beyond aesthetics, there are a few aspects to the Ink and Slide user experience that could use some improvement. There’s a noticeable amount of lag as you draw or write in Adobe Line, and sometimes it feels like the tracing lines that show up when you touch the Slide to the iPad’s screen jump around as it tries to make certain angles with what you’ve already drawn rather than following your exact movements.

If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber and want to add the iPad to your workflow, the combination of Ink and Slide and Adobe Line might be enough to fulfill your needs for rough drafts. The app lets you send drawings to Photoshop or Illustrator on your desktop with a few quick taps once you’re ready to do some heavy-duty editing.

But for those who just want to dabble with drawing on the iPad, you might get a better deal for your dollar with a dumb stylus and a free drawing app — $199 is a lot of money if you’re not already invested in Adobe’s software ecosystem.

For a closer look at the Ink & Slide, check out the video below: