Adobe Is Taking A Big Bite Into The Hardware Market, Competes With Wacom

Adobe's new hardware: Ink and Slide.

Adobe’s new hardware: Ink and Slide.

If you think Adobe, you think software. With the release of new iOS applications for iPad, Adobe today also announces new hardware to break into the market previously dominated by Wacom. With the release of a new stylus and digital ruler, Adobe has come out swinging by turning the iPad into a high definition graphics tablet.

Previously, Adobe have excelled in producing software and dominated within the photographic and design industries. Now, with new hardware, they are further cementing themselves as the leader of innovation. If you own an iPad already, no longer will you have to buy a graphics tablet in addition, which you likely use with Photoshop anyway. Instead, by using the free iOS apps, particularly Adobe Photoshop Mix, these two pieces of hardware allow you to expand your work into areas you may not have previously ventured with fine control in editing and design work around your photographs.

I find this bold step fascinating. Adobe has long had a firm foothold in the industry as a software giant, but now it is taking that extra step to go further. The hardware items are listed below:

Adobe Ink

It’s a stylus. But it looks gorgeous. Presently running at full capacity exclusively with iOS7 and beyond controlled devices, this three-sided hydro-formed aluminium sylus allows controlled, expressive drawing and actually connects to Creative Cloud. Yes, through the pen, you have access to your creative assets – favourite drawings, photos, Adobe Kuler color themes and more. It is a pressure sensitive pen, lightweight, and reportedly balanced for a comfortable grip.

Adobe Slide

A companion for Ink, it is a category-defining digital ruler, enabling precision sketching of straight lines, perfect circles and balanced shapes on iPad. For me, I feel this is more a tool almost exclusively for the Adobe Line app, but who knows what application it might have beyond.

The new hardware comes bundled for US$199.99 via and is currently only available in the US. It is expected to ship to other regions, such as Europe, Asia and Australia, later this year.


So, there you go. Very cool new mobile technologies by Adobe. I know I’m personally excited by the prospect of these. I have long thought about purchasing a Wacom tablet for fine editing. Now, since I already own an iPad, I can just purchase the tools to work on my photographs. With the Creative Cloud integration, it will help my workflow and speed up the creative process. Will you be picking up this new hardware?

  • Bob Simmons

    Interesting possibilities if it allows me to use the iPad as a substitute for the Wacom for editing images on the lap/desk top using PS and LR.

    • Peter Bower

      With Adobe Photoshop Mix, it’s getting scarily close to a complete substitute if it is not already there. :)

  • SL

    I cant be the only one thinking Adobe looks to be getting into bed with Apple at this point.

    • Peter Bower

      I’m somewhat on the fence with you on this one. They did a study recently of leading industry creative professionals, and I am sure their current OS would have been questioned during that. Add to that the the Apple iPhone is the number 1 camera used on photos uploaded to Flickr, it APPEARS that Apple is dominating the photographic market. They have said that Android applications may come in the future pending how these apps go — I guess they’re trying not to branch out too far at once.

      That said, I think that these apps and the possibilities, with the SDK, are just the icing. I’m expecting big things come September when iOS8 drops. With the new camera advancements (down to manual exposure settings), new editing properties native to iOS, etc, I expect Apple and Adobe to be collaborating somewhat and some very interesting things to come.

  • catlett

    This is pretty simple. I trust Wacom. I don’t trust Adobe or Apple at all. No way I change.

  • Eric

    Peter, you say that you have thought of buying a Wacom. I find it hard to believe that a pro photographer using Photoshop would not be using one. I’m not a pro but have had one for years. Regarding this unit I hope that Adobe realises that there are a lot of Android users out there.