I used to love drawing. As a kid, I owned books that taught you how to sketch basic shapes and forms and then put them all together into simple masterpieces. It worked out pretty well when I was following instructions line by line, but it never actually helped me draw anything once I had put down the guide.

That’s a big reason why I eventually stopped drawing. And it’s the reason that every time I see a new stylus or app promising to make art easy, I rush to test it out.

Adobe is the latest to try. Today it's releasing Ink and Slide, a $199.99 package of two drawing tools, a stylus and a ruler, that deeply integrate with a pair of new iPad apps. Together, they’re meant to make digital drawing simple and fun. But Adobe has always made software for professionals, and its hardware is no different: Adobe’s built a few powerful features into Ink and Slide that it thinks could make them integral pieces in a designer’s toolkit.

"Sooner or later, the mouse and keyboard aren't going to be enough," Michael Gough, Adobe’s experience design lead, says. "We're trying to prepare ourselves." Ink and Slide are the first pieces of hardware that Adobe has ever made, and in many ways, the company sees them as insurance for the future. Photoshop and other Adobe apps rule image-editing on the desktop. So what'll artists end up using when they move to tablets?