UPDATE March 20, 2014: N-Trig today published 64-bit version of its Wintab driver. See this post for details.

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Sony and N-Trig have taken a major step closer to Wacom-equipped competitors with the release of a hotfix for VAIO devices with active digitizers.

The "Pen Pressure Update Software" installs a driver named N-Trig Wintab x32 that enables pressure sensitivity in 32-bit versions of Adobe Photoshop. I've confirmed that the update works with Adobe Photoshop CC on my Sony VAIO Flip 15A. Other users on the Sony Community site have reported success with 32-bit versions of Photoshop ranging all the way back to CS2.

Available for download from Sony's eSupport site here, the update is dated September 26, 2013, but curiously Sony does not link to it as part of machine-specific updates. In fact, the link to the list of Applicable Products on the download page is broken. I can't fathom why the manufacturer would keep this a secret, because users of Duos, Flips and other N-Trig enabled VAIOs have all reported success with the software.

Installing the software requires a reboot and doesn't create a Control Panel entry. The only indication that the software has installed correctly is in the Programs and Features control panel, which will list the driver.

Although limited to only 256 levels of pressure, the results in 32-bit Photoshop CC are still impressive.

Without a control panel to adjust the pressure curve, it takes a bit of concentration to achieve the lightest strokes.

Without a control panel to adjust the pressure curve, it takes a bit of concentration to achieve the lightest strokes.

I haven't tested the driver with other Wintab applications, but 32-bit versions of programs like Corel Painter should also benefit from the update.

UPDATE January 10: From my limited testing with SAI 1.2 Beta 5 and ZBrush 4R6, it appears only Photoshop recognizes this driver.

UPDATE January 16: The latest version of Adobe Illustrator CC released yesterday now supports Microsoft's Ink API. I tested the 64-bit version (17.1) on the Sony VAIO Flip 15A. See this post for more details:  http://surfaceproartist.com/blog/2014/1/16/new-adobe-illustrator-cc-improves-surface-pro-windows-tablet-support

Demanding professional users will likely miss additional levels of pressure and the lack of 64-bit support is disappointing, but for hobbyists or doodlers, this update puts the Sony VAIO Flip 15A towards the top of our list of Windows 8 convertibles. It's hard not to fall in love with its ample 15.5 inch display which makes even the unscaled Photoshop UI accessible to touch.  For more details on the Flip, see our earlier post here.

Thanks to Google+ follower +IvorThomas for the heads up about this update.

AuthorRick Rodriguez