Autodesk Sketchbook Copic Edition Program 4,6/5 2792votes
The – recently updated in January of 2017 – is our top pick for all creative professional fields - such as design, video and photography - for use on LCD displays up to 30 inches. Why use a pen tablet instead of a mouse Working with a tablet is faster and more efficient than with a mouse. Your hand can travel from point to point on the screen in a single movement instead of repeated slides, as with a conventional mouse. It also allows more natural input for activities such as drawing and photo retouching.
Having pressure sensitivity is very handy and most graphic programs can benefit from this input. Touching the tip of the pen on the tablet surface is the equivalent of a click, and the pressure (plus tilt, in more feature-rich models) can be used to vary stroke width, opacity, effect intensity, and other attributes.
Autodesk SketchBook Copic Edition is a software program developed by Autodesk. The most common release is 2.00.0000, with over 98% of all installations currently using this version. The setup package generally installs about 3 files and is usually about 37.43 KB (38,330 bytes). Relative to the overall usage of users who.
There are two buttons on the pen and either can be programmed for right click or other commands. Holding a pen is also much more ergonomic than using a mouse, and most users with repetitive strain injury (RSI) or tendonitis suffer less pain when using a tablet. In my personal case, it completely cured a chronic pain I had in my right wrist. Working with a mouse requires repetitive muscle movements while the rest of the hand keeps still, creating uneven muscle fatigue. A pen, on the other hand, allows you to work in a more relaxed position and eliminates the forearm twisting that strains muscles and tendons. At the end of the day, it feels much more natural and relaxed. Areas in which tablets don't work so well There are a few areas in which tablets are not the ideal input devices.
Most games don't work very well with pen input, as their interfaces were originally designed for mouse control. Think about controlling a first person shooter with a pen. It definitely makes little sense. In the architectural and engineering fields, there's a split: some users love it, some hate it, mostly because the mouse scroll wheel is very handy for zooming in and out on programs like Autodesk AutoCAD and Wacom tablets have that feature on the tablet surface, requiring putting the pen aside to use it. Pressure sensitivity is also ignored in those programs, neglecting one of the tablet's main features. On the other hand, the more ergonomic position and programmable buttons could more than make up for it. Will touch devices kill pen tablets?
Without a major exercise in user interface design, my feeling is that we won't be able to achieve the necessary drawing precision with bare fingers to replace tablets. The two technologies are complementary and all new Wacom tablets already incorporate touch gestures.
This gives us the best of both worlds: bare finger touch and gestures for quick window transitions, icon and menu selections, with a pen for more precise actions where pinpoint accuracy and especially pressure sensitivity are indispensable. Which tablet should I get? Go Wacom, ignore the others If you choose to buy a graphic tablet, invest in a Wacom model. There are some cheaper alternatives, but none of them has the same ubiquitous driver support, software integration, precision, and reliability as Wacom. No wonder they have over 85% of market share. Wacom pens use patented electromagnetic resonance technology, so they don't need batteries or any wires to function, reducing maintenance and weight for a more natural pen feel.
Tablet size and resolution vs. Screen size Tablet sizes should be relative to your screen size and resolution. The smaller the tablet surface, the less hand movement will be necessary to move the cursor on the screen. Having a tablet too small for your screen leads to a jumpy cursor and makes fine selections too difficult. A tablet too big for your screen feels slow, requiring too much hand movement, and may tire your arm muscles quicker. Tablet resolution is also a factor. Wacom has two lines of tablets, Intuos and Intuos Pro.
The former has half the resolution of the flagship Intuos Pro line and this difference may be very noticeable, depending on your screen size. Given the same tablet size, the higher the resolution, the bigger the screen that can be used comfortably with it. Bigger tablets, such as the 8' x 12.8' models (Intuos Pro Large, for example), are difficult to use along with a keyboard and tend to be more adequate for single task work where typing is secondary, for example video editing or drawing. If you are an illustrator and you are used to drawing with very long strokes, a larger drawing area may be necessary. For dual display use, keep in mind that the overall screen proportion is much more horizontal than the tablet itself. Through the system preferences configuration panel, the tablet can be set up for different screen mappings, single screen mode or screen switching with a hotkey. The most natural way, in my opinion, is to keep the screen proportion exactly the same as the tablet surface.
If you use dual displays, this means that some of the vertical area of the tablet would be inactive and that the horizontal resolution available will be mapped to a much bigger number of pixels—for example, 3840 x 1080 for dual 24' displays. This would require a larger drawing area than a single screen, and preferably a high end tablet such as the Intuos Pro Large model. An alternative that works fairly well is to use a smaller tablet and set up a hot key combination to switch the control between the two screens. My favorite keyboard for use along with a Wacom tablet is the.
Because it has no numerical keypad it has a smaller footprint and fits nicely at either side of the tablet. For about the same price, Logitech offers the and keyboards that are highly rated and offer some additional features, like the ability to be paired to multiple devices and backlit keys. A full size keyboard may be too large to be used on the side of a tablet larger than an Intuos Pro Medium, leaving the tablet too far from the central seating position. Some users prefer to place the keyboard in front of the tablet.
This position only works if you don't need to type much during the day. Display resolution vs. Wacom tablet size. Pay attention to the tablet size you choose: Having a tablet too small for your screen leads to a jumpy cursor and makes fine selections too difficult. A tablet too big for your screen feels slow, requiring too much hand movement, and may tire your arm muscles quicker. First days with your new tablet Working with a tablet is a paradigm change and may require an adaptation period for hardcore mouse addicts. All tablets work with absolute positioning, while mice are relative positioning devices.
This means that you can slide your mouse several times to move the cursor across your screen, while on a tablet all you do is move your hand and position the pen tip on the corresponding point on the tablet surface. This changes your eye vs. Hand coordination logic and can be a little difficult the first time. In my case, I bought my first Wacom Graphire 4' x 5' model (replaced by the Bamboo and then regular Intuos line) after suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome for a good time.
No matter what treatment or medicine I used, I always felt pain after using my mouse for extended periods, so adapting to a new input device was surely less painful than keeping the mouse. My tablet arrived in the middle of a book design job and I delved straight into it, leaving the mouse disconnected. You can use a mouse along with the tablet, if you prefer, and Wacom also offers optional wireless mice that work on the tablet surface. But my reasoning was that the more I forced myself to get used to the tablet, the faster I'd master it.
After two days of work, I was already comfortable with it and never used a mouse again in the 14 years after that day. Intuos Pro Generally speaking, the Intuos Pro tablets are Wacom's professional line, while the Intuos line is more geared to home users. This doesn't mean that the regular Intuos models are unfit for professional use. I've used a Graphire, the precursor to the Bamboo and regular Intuos, for lots of years without any problem. The regular Intuos lineup was recently refreshed in September of 2015 with four new models: Intuos Draw (small, no multi-touch support - CTL490DW), Intuos Photo (small with multi-touch - CTH490PK), Intuos Art (Small (CTH490AK) and Medium (CTH690AK), both with multi-touch) and Intuos Comic (small with multi-touch - CTH490CK). They all differ in software bundle and available sizes, but the underlining technology and specs remains the same as the last generation models. If you manage to score a good discount, the older Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Medium (CTH680) offers the same performance as the new model.
Here's a list of the bundled software for each Intuos model: Intuos Photo Windows: Corel PaintShop Pro X8 and Corel Aftershot Pro 2 Mac: Macphun Creative Kit (Tonality Pro, Intensify Pro, Snapheal Pro, Noiseless Pro) and Corel Aftershot Pro 2 Intuos Art Windows and Mac: Corel Painter Essentials 5 Intuos Comic Windows and Mac: Clip Studio Paint Pro and Anime Studio Debut 10 Intuos Draw Windows and Mac: ArtRage Lite Intuos Pro models come without any bundled software. Two key differences separate Intuos Pro and Intuos lines: performance and customization.
Pro models have better resolution and sensitivity, and can recognize the pen tilt angle, unlike the regular Intuos lineup. The Intuos Pro can also be customized in more ways, with eight express key buttons that can be mapped to application-specific profiles. For example, I have one of the tablet buttons mapped to the new tab command when I'm browsing the Internet. Superfluous, but handy. The is a reasonably priced tablet, but still very capable, even for professional work.
This model would suit first time pen tablet users with displays up to 24 inches. On top of that, the professional line is better built and should last longer under intense usage. Intuos Pro advantages are: • Better resolution - 5,080 lpi vs.
• More pressure levels - 8192 vs. • Intuos Pro pens are tilt sensitive. • Precision mode, unavailable on the regular Intuos, lowers the pen sensitivity momentarily, making it easier to draw fine lines and detailed selections. • More programmable express keys and more comprehensive customization options. Wireless tablets All Intuos Pro models come with built-in wireless connectivity, while the regular Intuos tablets require an additional dongle to provide wireless functionality. The includes a battery module and transmitter to be connected to the tablet and a tiny USB receptor on the computer. This is the same kit used on the previous Bamboo models.
Wacom Cintiq vs. Intuos The Cintiq family of pen displays combines a pressure sensitive tablet with a slim LCD display, enabling users to interact directly on the surface of the screen and in a much more natural way. There are three different sizes available, all with or without multi-touch support: the top of the line 27' Cintiq 27 QHD / 27 QHD Touch, the 22' Cintiq 22 HD / 22 HD Touch and the slim 13' Cintiq 13 HD / 13 HD Touch.
The price difference is reasonable and I'd recommend you to buy the touch versions, since all major operating systems already incorporate touch gestures for control and navigation. Unlike older models, all current Cintiqs use high quality IPS panels that can be suitably calibrated for color critical use. All models can be used as main or secondary displays. The 27' models are wide-gamut displays and offer 97% AdobeRGB coverage, while the others have a gamut closer to sRGB. The 27' Cintiqs have developed a reputation for buggy hardware and dead or stuck pixels, so keep and eye on the return policy of the store you choose.
Wacom also offers two standalone tablets: the Windows Cintiq Companion 2 and the Android based Cintiq Companion Hybrid. Both models can be used as standalone computers or as regular Cintiq pen displays when tethered to a Mac or PC computer. Both models are expensive compared to direct competitors, like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and received less than stellar reviews from users. I'd stay away from them. The Wacom Cintiq line combines a pressure sensitive tablet with a slim LCD display, for an even more natural interface.
This beauty here is the, which would work perfectly as a secondary display paired with a larger reference LCD. Our recommendations For photography, graphic design, web design, illustration, and video editing, up to 30' LCD size: For less demanding creative work, general usage, and web surfing, up to 24' display size: For an illustrator dream setup: as a main display or the for lap use. What to avoid The small regular Intuos has too little active area for precision work on higher resolution LCD screens above 1600px of horizontal resolution.
It may be adequate for small laptop displays up to 13', general use or handwriting recognition, but a medium size Intuos Art is a better investment. I'd also avoid the small Intuos Draw without touch support. Multi-touch input is already deeply integrated into Windows 8 and a touch gestures can also be used to navigate on latest Mac OS operating systems. Touch devices are here to stay and the tendency is that we'll see even deeper integration in the future. Touch-enabled Intuos models costs only $20 more and are a more future-proof option.
Usage examples. Amy & Carla, Getting them a Wacom tablet and some software is a great investment into their future. Even if they don't end up working in the creative field, it will be a lifetime joy and skill to have. Obviously the Adobe Creative Suite would be good to have, but since you asked about copic markers, pencils, etc., check out Sketchbook Pro. It's my choice for that sketchy look of pencils, markers, and paint. By the way, I find that Wacom tablets are keep their worth for a long time. On my second computer, I still use one that is over 10 years old (maybe even older).
It doesn't have the advanced functionality as my more recent Intous but I can still draw, paint & retouch. Autodesk Sketchbook was my first piece of drawing software - I tried it out when I was 14 and, at 17 and seriously considering a career in the creative field, have not switched. I've tried all the free software, and the Adobe Creative Cloud is out of my budget. I keep coming back to Sketchbook.
The interface is sleek, it's clean, and I covered 90% of the learning curve with a single 6hr project. It was a lot of fun to learn how to use and to play with all the different brushes.
I currently use a 5yr-old (at least!) Wacom Intuos CTH-680, and it still works like new. It's a little scratched up, and I'm looking at an upgrade, but it's been loyal and I haven't had an issue with it. 10/10 - would absolutely vouch for Autodesk Sketchbook as a 'My First Drawing Software' P.S. I know how horribly late this is, but it's the holiday season again and wanted to add my input. Andy, You can trace your artwork by placing it over your tablet an drawing directly over it. The pen works just fine even without directly touching the tablet surface. Older models had a clear overlay that could be lifted, but current ones are fixed.
You can always cover your artwork with a clear sheet of mylar or any similar plastic to protect it while tracing and make the pen slide easily. For colorizing images, I don't think this is the best technique, tough. When you use the pen tablet, you develop eye / hand coordination just like with a mouse, mapping mentally each movement on the tablet surface to what you see on the screen. You can open your image in Photoshop or any similar application, desaturate it, choose a suitable color and brush size, shape and opacity and start painting with the cursor, controlling it with you hand movement. It is surely more intuitive in real world than I can describe it! You can also map the pen pressure and tilt (only Intuos4) to opacity, brush size and brush shape for more realistic results. Both the Intuos4 and Bamboo models would work fine.
Choose by your display resolution. Thank you for your comment. I'm seaching for the best available tablet to use with GIS products (saga GIS, GRASS, and ESRI ArcGIS 10). However, the wacom site and google did not really help.
Suggestions about a site where a comparison between models (maybe even of different producers?) is possible / presented? Just for the record: wacom has an annoncement of the DTU-2231, which seems to sell as PL-2200 by now.
However, techspecs and compatibility are more hidden than presented. And wacoms website is pure consumer bullshitting. I need more 'professional' information. Aeon, I've never used GIS applications personally, but I did some research to be able to reply to your comment.
It seems that those apps have no support for pen pressure and tilt controls, so your main decision factor is resolution. The higher resolution the pen tablet is, the easier it will be to accurately select small data points on a map.
For this reason alone, I'd go with the Intuos4 or Cintiq lines. If you want the best possible and are comfortable working with a single display, buy a Cintiq. Nothing beats the feel of working directly on the screen.
It's more natural and productive. The Cintiq 24HD is the newest and most sophisticated model of that line, sporting a 1920x1200px resolution. The DTU and DTF interactive displays are more geared for industrial use.
They offer less pressure levels and no customizable buttons. Given the small price difference - US$ 100 for the 21,5' models - I'd go with the Cintiq. If a multiple display setup is a must, choose an Intuos4 Large model. Based on my tests, it has enough resolution to drive two 30' displays.
The Intuos4 has a precision mode that slows down the cursor, making fine selections easier. Wacom has a and also showing some examples of their products in use. It sure is marketing talk, but the video might help you to see how those pen displays work in action. Keep us posted on what model have you bought and your experiences with it. Fabio, sadly, I could not convince the majority of our lab members in the first hearing. However, I found links I'd like to share here, since your blog was one of the first hits on my search.
Stackexchange was really helpful: and via a post there, I found this blogpost: I'll try to find someone at another lab to lend us their tablet and try it out. Maybe, after a while, my labmates become accustomed.;). Fabio - your review is very helpful.
You give actual information which is what users are interested in when comparing models. Contrast your informative review with this extract from the Wacom website: “Who uses Bamboo? Bamboo is for virtually everybody. For people who want to add a touch of personality to their digital life. People with friends and blogs and passion, people who like art and fashion. People who draw, document or design, People with a life – a social one, a creative one, a full one, a fun one or just an expressive one.” and so it goes on, with advertising videos that take up time showing happy smiling people using the products rather that concentrating of the actual features of the tablets. I don’t want to “Step into a world of diverse digital expression”, I want to know how well a line on the tablet is reproduced on the screen, and if it is worth paying more for higher resolution in a tablet.
As far as I know they do not have any videos showing this sort of thing, so I do not know if a small drawing on an Intuos4 is significantly better than a small drawing on a Bamboo. They should arrange for an illustrator to trace on the screen a small drawing on both machines and then show us jpg s to see if we think the difference is noticeable. Yours is the only place I have found where you mention that you can trace a drawing by placing it on the tablet and you do not need the pen to touch the tablet. I was puzzled about this since reading that the Intuos3 have removable plastic sheets to place the drawing under, but this model has been discontinued. After you mentioned this I found overlay sheets on ebay for the Intuos4 which simulate different textures. I am not sure if they are transparent, but if they are not, you could buy the ones for the Intuos3 and tape them on.
You mention ‘virtual tracing’, which is different from real tracing, as the drawing is scanned first. I assume from what you say that this is a much better method. I would just like to add that by creating a new layer in the graphics program, the original drawing and the traced new layer are completely separate images, one on top of the other. Then you draw 'on the screen' by looking at the screen but with the pen on the tablet. It is hard for me to decide between the new Bamboo Create £125 which includes Autodesk SketchBook Express, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter Essentials, and Nik Color Filters, has but has lower resolution 2540 lpi, And the: Wacom Intuos4 PTK-640 Medium A5 Graphics Tablet £315 With 5080 lpi but no bundled free software My question I would like to ask you is this: if I buy the lower resolution 2540 model and I find the lines drawn are not accurate enough, would it be possible to overcome this by mapping the 2540 model to only part of the screen? In other words, if you only use part of the screen so the cursor only moved around in, say a quarter of the screen, and you use the mouse to initially position the drawing in that place to work on it there, can you increase the effective resolution of the tablet? StephenB, Thank you for your comment.
I'm really happy to hear that this page has been useful for you and other users. I'm not an illustrator myself, but I've worked closely with professional illustrators and also have traced lots of artwork and roughs using a Wacom pen tablet. As you said, there's a difference between drawing freehand directly on the tablet surface, tracing on a vector application - like Adobe Illustrator, and tracing over the original artwork by placing a clear overlay on the tablet surface. If you want to draw freehand using the tablet or use a program to simulate natural media, like Corel Painter or even Photoshop, you'd be better served by the Intuos line. The higher resolution really shows in this kind of application and the pen tilt can be mapped to the brush dynamics, creating more natural results. The added levels of pressure are also most welcome. On the other hand, if your final products are vector illustrations, the Bamboo Create would work just fine.
On my design jobs, I usually scan a rough drawing, place it in a locked layer in Adobe Illustrator and then trace over it to produce a final drawing. Our Illustrator sometimes worked directly on the vector drawing, bypassing the pencil sketch altogether. In this application, you can rearrange the vector points and handles at any time and there are almost no freehand strokes involved, so tablet resolution matters less. Keep in mind, though, that a higher resolution pen tablet is necessary if you're working with multiple displays or a single big screen. I'm on a 30' Dell here and I sure feel the difference between a Bamboo medium and an Intuos of the same size. It is possible to trace directly over the artwork, as you suggested. There's no need to buy a tablet specific overlay: any clear plastic would work just fine.
Slightly textured plastics work better because they're less slippery. In my tests, the pen tracks just fine at up to 4mm from the tablet surface. In this case, resolution also matters and an Intuos would be preferable. It's possible to map the tablet to only a part of the screen, effectively increasing the resolution / screen area ratio, leading to a slower and more precise pen feel. I don't' know, though, if this is practical, since you'd still need the mouse to work on the rest of the screen area.
Switching between both devices all the time is tedious and I prefer to use the pen exclusively to do everything on my computer. The last time I've touched a mouse was more than 10 years ago and I don't miss it at all. The Bamboo Create and Capture models have one important benefit that the Intuos line doesn't have, yet: touch input. Mac OS X Lion and future versions of Windows are optimized for trackpad use and I miss having this feature in my Intuos in OS X Lion. The scroll wheel is just so so. I'm not aware of any rumors, but I assume this feature will probably be added to the next Intuos5 line.
Keep us posted on your results with the new tablet and feel free to contact me if you need any other information. I would like to start with a huge THANKS for everything you've mentioned and replied to. After hours of researching to make the same decision as StevenB (between Create and Intuos4) most reviews have been useless, and you are the only one to suggest placing the drawing directly on the tablet to trace — and I was playing around with a sketch of my own on a Bamboo Pen & Touch (my Dad's old one) last night. Didn't even think of that.
I was still very undecided until I read the second last paragraph about not being able to use the intuos4 as a trackpad. I love trackpads, (way better on the cramped hand,) and was about to be give the game point to the Bamboo CREATE — until I remembered it came with a mouse.
I guess I'll stick to a mouse a bit longer, and just use my pen as much as possible. I like the sounds of the durability of the intuos4 and to correct StevenB, (sorry,) it DOES come with your CHOICE of two free software products. (in case you didn't read the above) ONE THING: The Intuos 4 DOES come with the bundled software! On wacom.com, in Products >Intuos >intuos4 Medium >beside the Introduction headline there is a link 'What's New' and UNDERNEATH that 'FREE SOFTWARE' where it states 'As part of this program, you can chose two applications from a selection of three valuable creative applications offered by leading software manufacturers: Adobe®, Autodesk®, and Corel®. Many of these applications also offer valuable upgrade programs which you can access through the Wacom Privileges Program.
Additionally, you can choose to download two different plug-ins that give you additional brush tools and photo effects in Adobe® Photoshop® or Photoshop® Elements.' Followed by a quick description of each. Lots of Love guys, you saved my 22nd bday mistake Thisclose to NOT biting the bullet and cashing in a little extra.;) Have a good night. And remember Christmas THE INKLING ahhhhhhhhh. Nikki, keep in mind that the Intuos doesn't come with the mouse.
It's optional and costs $65. But you can always keep your old mouse. The tablet work alongside the mouse just fine.
The Bamboo Create is very similar to the Pen & Touch model. If you're satisfied with your dad's tablet, I'd suggest you to save some cash and buy the Create instead of the Intuos4 Medium. Also, if you use a Mac with OS X Lion and have a LCD no bigger than 24', points for the Create: the resolution is sufficient and the multi-touch input is handy for Lion. I think I've made your decision harder.
Sorry.:) Cheers. I found this review VERY helpful. I use a an older large intuos at work where i am a textile designer. Since i work in fabric, my end product is about 44x36 in so i work at a high resolution.
I have decided to finally get a wacom for my home as well so i can work on personal textile and art projects, but i cant decide between the medium and large sizes. The medium seems better for travel and will work well, but im so used to my large tablet at work im scared to downsize. Any suggestions to help make my decision? Marie, The newest Intuos tablets have higher resolution and I'm currently using a medium one with a single 30' display.
I'm sure the resolution won't be a limitation, unless you're running multiple big displays. What would be different for you is the pen feel and drawing stroke length. The medium model will appear to have a faster pen and you'd have to use shorter strokes, compared to your your large tablet at work. It is possible to get used to this difference, of course, but it'll sure feel a bit different, specially if you do much freehand drawing. I've been researching tablets all day. Yours is the best review.
Since you also do a great job in response, here goes. (2) questions; software and size; -Having a sketch tool with autodesk continuity would save the translation from hand work to autocad. Will you please comment on the idea of 'sketch to finish' architectural drawing using these tablets. -Above in the chart the extra large rates as good for CAD.
Please elaborate on this. I often need multiple sketches in one view; sometimes related in position as in a plan/section study, at about 12x18 the extra large is right for this.
Also I sometimes need to turn the drawing, would this happen electronically? Could this be problematic with the bigger size?
Id go see one but in Cincinnati there are none on display. Thank you for your time and attention, Luke Robinson. Luke, I'd suggest you to try a demo tablet in order to evaluate if it fits your needs. I'm not proficient in CAD and my work background is in design and photography. I've seen architects working with Wacom tablets and they used the tablet more as an input device directly in Autocad than a sketching tool.
You can always sketch using the pen tablet, place the sketches in a locked layer on your editing program and create the finished drawing over them. Having a tablet would free you from scanning those sketches and it's also a more ergonomic device than a mouse. Regarding the size, the larger sizes are useful if you work with only the tablet in front of you and rarely has to touch the keyboard. It is also useful if you need to trace large artwork or sketches directly on the tablet surface. Based on your description, maybe the Cintiq line would suit you well, if you have the budget for it. This would allow you to work directly on the screen.Take a look at and see how an user is using a Cintiq tablet with Solidworks. Thank you for your comment.
This is an excellent article. I am in a similar situation to StephenB where I want a buy a tablet, but I only want one to suit my purposes and don't want or need to upgrade (funnily enough I too draw in pencil, ink, erase lines and then scan. I hope to ink directly on the PC to save mistakes on really good pencil work and not have to worry about erasing lines). I also wanted to choose between the Intuos4 Medium and the Bamboo Create and feel that maybe the extra pressure sensitivity (is 1024 really not enough?), tilt sensitivity, touch ring and expresskeys don't justify the huge leap in price between the two.
Which brings me to something that I have never found an answer for. Does tilt sensitivity really make a difference in terms of how the tablet senses the way you hold the pen? That was something that worried me as I would have to go for the Intuos4 if it is really much more accurate from pen nib to cursor compared to the Bamboo. I wondered if you had to hold it in such a way that seems unnatural just so the tablet senses its coordinates better. I haven't been able to try either tablet so I don't really know. I'm a traditional artist trying hard to transition to digital, but I really don't have the money to try something and then upgrade, which is why I want something that is suitable for what I want it to do (cartoons, sketches, editing stop motion animation frames, etc. Currently have a 22' monitor) and stick with it to master it.
I won't be using the touch features of the Bamboo (if that is the better choice), it's all about the accuracy for me more than anything else. I doubt even 2048 levels of pressure can handle even the lightest touch of a pencil on paper, so I believe the pressure is not really that important either. I hope this isn't TOO long and I'd love to hear your suggestions! Syreeta, The tilt control is useful only when you're trying to mimic traditional media techniques and only in programs that allow you to map the tilt to the brush shape (or any other dynamics), like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. You can draw just fine without it and the pen pressure alone is sufficient to create a natural looking drawing stroke. The cursor accuracy depends more on the tablet resolution, but, unless you have a huge display, the Bamboo would work just fine. Refer to the sizing table above for some pointers.
Regarding the pressure levels, 1024 is plenty. Think about it: a 8 bit B&W image has 256 levels of gray and looks like continuos tone for our eyes.
Keep in mind that you can change the tablet pressure sensitivity on the control panel and also combine it with the pen color, opacity and other dynamics in your drawing programs. This gives you an infinite number of combinations to suit your drawing style. My bet: go with the Bamboo Create. I has an adequate size for your display and is a great first time pen tablet buy. I've used an older model, much simpler, called Graphire, for many years and upgraded only when I've bought my 30' display.
Thanks a lot Fabio. I had also emailed Wacom too to ask them and forgot to ask something else. Does the Bamboo Create's pen have a pressure sensitive eraser? I know the Bamboo Fun does (well in one of their videos it was mentioned), but there isn't a whole lot of info on specs like that.
I'm still a little worried about getting the Bamboo Create as I don't plan to upgrade after it (seriously too poor), so I'm wondering if the Intuos4 is really my only option. I would like to aim for a Dell U2410 monitor in the future which would add another 2' to my screen estate, plus I'm working on a type of special overlay with a small LCD screen that can clip onto the tablet (effectively turning it into a DIY Cintiq, but not voiding the warranty) could the Bamboo Create still handle that?
Sorry for the extra questions. By the way, the chart doesn't have the Bamboo Create on it yet. What is the maximum resolution you think it could support (monitor or otherwise)? I have this page/article saved on my browser and check it everyday because of the questions that readers make and you answer about them tablets, well here I go now, I´m a graphic designer from Mexico, I do a lot of illustration so I decided to buy a tablet, first tought in mind was the intuos4 but I kept searching, that´s how I ended up finding your site and article, for opinions. The point of this is, I have saved enough money to buy an intuos4 medium (that´s the one I want) but lately in the comments I've seen you have recomended the Bamboo Create instead of the Intuos4, and that makes me doubt myself, what are the reasons you prefer the B.Create over the intous4m? Is the intuos4 'too much'?
Can I get advantages from the differences of the intuos or is the Create enough? It would help me so much if you'd answer! & excuse my english if i messed up on any word!
The Create is much cheaper than the Intuos4 and offers more bang for the buck. It is sufficient for most users' needs and has an unique advantage: touch input, which comes handy for use with OS X Lion. If your display area is no bigger than 24' and you're going to use it for graphic design, mostly vector illustration and general use, the Bamboo Create would suit your needs just fine.
I'm also a graphic designer and I've used the Bamboo precursor, called Graphire, for many years. I have an Inutos4 Medium now. The Intuos is more robust, has better resolution, more accessories and tilt support on the pen. You can't go wrong with it.
If your illustration style is more like natural media and you use programs like Photoshop and Painter to simulate paper and ink textures, the Intuos may be better due to the additional resolution and tilt support. Thank you for your comment. Hello again Fabio.
I haven't forgotten you! I've returned to report that I currently have in my possession a Bamboo Comic (a Japanese Bamboo Create that comes with software for manga and stuff like that. It's also white and blue!). I am impressed with the construction of it (not flimsy AT ALL and the pen isn't very chunky as it looks), though I feel it is not as responsive and as accurate as I'd like.
Since I can't return it (being from the land of the rising sun an' all), I was thinking of practising on it and at the same time saving up for a Intuos4 Small to compliment it. I could use the Intuos4 Small for fine detail work that requires accuracy (like line art) and use the Bamboo Comic for work that requires more sweeping strokes and colouring larger areas. I still can't justify the cost of an Intuos4 Medium after I have spent he money on the Bamboo Comic, so I figure why not get the best of both worlds to fit my workspace and budget? Plus I don't think I have the space for the Medium as for some reason Wacom's tablets are getting bigger and bigger!
The Bamboo Comic fits just right on my desk (still bigger than I would like) and the Intuos4 Small will be similar in size. I tend to draw from the wrist (I generally work on mostly A5 size paper anyway), so I don't think the small active should bother me too much. Do you think this is a good idea?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Oh and as for the DIY Cintiq project, it flopped mostly because of insane jitter (a common issue that made the 12' Cintiq not so popular). I was planning to use an iPad LCD panel as the screen and while I got an image and everything, the signal from the tablet's pen was blocked in areas and jittered a lot! Plus, I am unable to find FFC cables and connectors I need to extend a FFC cable that controls the LED backlight, so I'm completely stuck and can't bear to spend any more money trying.
So I'm going to go the same route as everyone else and learn to use the tablet the way it was intended. Cintiqs are nice, but are completely out of MY reach! Hope to hear from you soon.:). Hi Dear, Iam about to buy a Bamboo Pen here in Europe, and Im confused of the resolution thing. Im using a 22' samsung TFT, with a 1650x wide resolution. Now I have to choose between TWO Bamboo Pens, the older ctl-460 or the newer ctl-470.
The older have 1270 lpi, and the new have double, 2540 lpi. The problem is I have extremely low cash atm, and I have to touch my 2nd level savings (which I put off for extreme situations only) to buy the newer one. Ofc If I could, I'd buy the newer. The question is: as a starting member of the tablet users (I used to draw and scan my arts), should I take the 2540 lpi, or I wont be experiencing any downsides if I stick with the 1270 lpi, older Bamboo Pen??? How should I count it? I mean 1270 line per inch.
The working area is 5.8 × 3.6 inches.so the width can handle 5.8x1270 lines? Thats far greather than 1650, so from this view, it would be enough? Im just guessing here, please help me:). The review is marvelous, thanks a bunch! Looking forward for your reply, have a nice day! Both models would have sufficient, but not great, resolution for your current display, but the newer model would feel more precise.
If you plan to do more freehand work, like simulating natural media, the higher resolution tablet would have a clear advantage. The newer model has also more levels of pressure sensitivity and touch input, which comes in handy for general computer usage and web surfing. Why don't you try to buy an used or refurbished model? I don't know about the prices in Europe, but Amazon USA currently has the CTL460 refurbished for US$ 59.95, the CTL470 for $78.49 and, better yet, the larger CTH661 Fun Pen & Touch model for $114.95, which is a great price. You can also try eBay. Cheers, Fabio.
Like many others I'm torn between the Bamboo Create and Intuos 4 (medium). The major difference between the two thats got me flipflopping is the 'tilt' feature. The Create looks much more appealing to me since it has 'touch' capabilities and better price. I don't mind the 1024 PL or not having quick keys.
I would be using the device for graphic design & illustration on photoshop and illustrator. Does tilt allow you to make strokes that would not be possible without the feature or does it just make them feel more natural? I am wondering if the $100 difference between the Capture and Create is worth the bigger space, eraser button, and more programmable buttons.
I need the mouse/track pad capabilities as it's easier in Aperture with it, so Intuos is out of the equation for me. I am a professional photographer who uses the liquify tool, dodging and burning (ie: free-hand coloring), frequent zooming in and out, and resizing of my paint brush often. I also use cloning and healing which needs an 'option-click' that demands I go back to my keyboard, and my apple magic track pad can't do that. (Or can it???) I need enough programmable buttons to allow me to 'option-click' to 'define the area' for cloning and healing, a button for resizing my paint brushes, and a button to automatically open my liquify tool.
The zooming can be handled by the trackpad-like qualities I assume. Now, I read somewhere that the pen for the Create has not only the eraser, but a programmable button on it as well. The Capture's pen does not have the eraser, but LOOKS like it might have a programmable button.
I would be pleased with a programmable button as I could just click it and have it function as my eraser when needed. I REALLY want an eraser to be easy to access. But not $100 want it. I use my 15' MacBook Pro, and a 24' display to edit. I need to be able to sit on the couch a distance from my computer and hold the tablet comfortably in my lap while editing (for my back and wrist problems).
Would the bigger size of the Create help make it more steady on my lap? Thank you for writing this article.
It has really helped me to understand these tablets far more than any other article I have found thus far. I will be directing fellow Photographers and Graphic Artists to this site in the future!! Thanks, Becky. Hello, Needless to say, you're review of Intuos4 vs Create is the most objective, in depth and up to date out there. Thank you for taking the effort to put this together.
I'd be grateful if you could elaborate the difference with respect to the bundled software and its bearing on the price. There just isn't enough information about what version of Photoshop is included in each of teh products.
Wacom seems to have taken a less than helpful, ethical even approach of just putting the name of the software e.g. Adobe Photoshop Elements and no version number. Both on the product boxes that I checked at Best Buy and on their website. PE 8 to 9 or 10 is itself an $80 dollar upgrade.
Not to mention they've identified security risks with 8 and stopped supporting it. So its a significant factor when considering the purchase, especially for someone looking to get all the tools and apps in one go and get cracking out of the box. After much research and no luck I finally went and bought a Bamboo Create (CHT670 - as you stress:)) yesterday. Immediately after billing I opened the package to see the version of software and voila, it has Adobe PE9 (can't expect 10 as its Adobe exclusive as yet). Tonnes of stuff to do with it. Tried things out till late early AM.
It is good and feels 'sufficient'. And then the devil of doubt stepped in. Just to find better pen usage practices when I started researching all products, Intuos4 Small suddenly seems like a better choice.
It can manage free hand art and Vector aided design equally well as the reviews suggest, owing to the higher pressure levels and tilt recognition. Intuos4 Small costs the same as Create. The active area is lesser but it would suit my wrist oriented style I theorized. So since this morning I've been frantically trying to find out what the software bundle deal is.
The Wacom website says 9. Went to the store again and was about to pick up the Intous4 when I just double checked with the cashier and it turns out it had 6.0! And here's a cautionary note for Intous4 Small buyers.
There are two prices out there - 199 and 229. I'm not sure when the switch happened. But the 199 model seems to have PE 6, which can leave you with heartburn when compared to PE 9. So if there's anybody out there who has recently bought the I4 Small model please let us know what's the deal you got.
May you live in interesting lines. I've never used my tablet for handwriting recognition, but this is one of the uses mentioned on the Wacom site and I know lots of people use the pen tablets primarily for this task. Since the pen won't be your main pointing device, you don't need a very large or high resolution tablet. I'd suggest you to buy a Bamboo Capture model, which is the cheapest one that has touch input in addition to the pen.
It's an inexpensive model, costing around $95 at Amazon. Keep us posted on your experiences and feel free to share them here on the site. I'm sure other users have the same question. Thank you for very comprehensive overview! Still I`ve got some questions. I am a graphic design student and I am looking for a tablet for digital painting as well as photoediting etc.
I am little bit confused, which one to buy. First, is it bad idea to buy a used one?
I mean of course it depends how it has been stored, but maybe its not so big difference between them.? Secondly, I can`t afford to buy Intuos4, but I was wondering between Intuos3 (probably used) and something from Bamboo. Both of them has 1024 pressure levels and similar price. What would you recommend? Moreover, I read form recent comments that you were recommending Bamboo Create, but in some reason, in the Wacom Europe web-page there are just Bamboo Pen & Touch, Bamboo Fun and Bamboo Pen. Do you now if any of them is equivalent with Bamboo Create? Or which one of them is worth to buy?
Thank you so much in advance! The Create is the newer model that substitutes the Fun Pen & Touch. You may find a killer deal on the discontinued model, so look around. Those Wacom tablets do not wear fast and last for many years, so you can find an used one in good shape.
The only parts that show wear are the pen nib, which is designed to be user replaceable (look for new nibs at the Wacom website) and the rubber around the pen, that gets nasty after some years. You can always buy a new pen and it's not that expensive, but this may offset the difference between an used and a brand new model.
I have one good argument for buying the Bamboo Create, though. It has multi touch support and this is very handy for scrolling web pages and using gestures in Mac OS X Lion and the upcoming Windows 8. I'm sure the next Intuos5 line will have this feature, too. For this reason alone, I'd buy a Bamboo Create or the older Fun Pen & Touch large model - CTH661. Hi, thanks for this review. I'm a teacher exploring the possibility of using the Bamboo tablet as an alternative to the chalkboard and have found (using a borrowed one CTL 460K and SmoothDraw3) that even at relatively slow writing speeds it produces poor results when I have to lift the pen to cross an A or a T.
When watching screencasts of Sal Khan or others who are proficient on the tablet, this just doesn't seem to be an issue. They are writing quickly and clearly getting good results even though they are lifting the pen and putting it down quickly. Can you tell me why this might be happening? I'm working on a good DELL with System 7, so I don't think it's a processing issue on the computer hardware side of things. Thanks for taking the time to reply back to everyone! I found your comments useful.but I have some questions as well.
I'm pretty much a beginner to tablets but at my previous company that I worked with we were given tablets and I picked it up pretty fast with them. I believe the ones we had were the Bamboo Pen & Touch (with the red pen holder on the side). It really was a small tablet, when I was drawing in Illustrator I noticed I kept going off the edges of the tablet.kind of like how I'd draw on paper. I'm not sure what size monitors we had, they weren't huge. Probably 22' or around that. I was able to adapt to it, however I hated how I would have to pick up my pen when I wanted to continue drawing a smooth stroke. And I noticed I kept wanting to erase with the back of my pen!
For quick info I'm a graphic designer but I also do digital illustrations and would like to experiment more with drawing/painting digitally on the computer. I used to do it the traditional way.draw, then scan images and color in Photoshop. The laptop I have at home though is a Macbook Pro 15'. I've never hooked up a tablet to it.
Would be it difficult to use with it? I'm not sure what size I'd need or if a small Bamboo would be sufficient. I'm pretty sure I'd like a bigger size though, but I'm on a budget.
Are there any old models like the Create?! I was also wondering if pens are interchangeable or not.or does it have match for that specific model? I'd just love that pen with an eraser!!! Although I suppose I could get by without one. It takes a long time to erase freehand strokes in Illustrator though. Also can you explain the above chart, maybe this is a stupid question.but what do the two different bar colors stand for? And thanks for the suggestions.
Do you know anything about this older model? Alison, The tablet size is dependent on the monitor size and also on the personal preferences of each user, as you have experienced.
Some people draw with broader strokes and adapt much better to the larger tablets. The smaller tablets have less working area. When this area is mapped to a large display, each point on the tablet surface corresponds to a big area on the display. If the actual resolution is not enough, the cursor feels too fast, jumpy and less precise. The orange bars on the tablet size vs. Screen size graph mean that while that screen size is not perfectly matched, it is useable for that given tablet model. A Wacom Bamboo Create would work fine with your laptop.
Just dowload the latest drivers from wacom.com and plug the tablet in the USB port. It's really that easy and there's little fo configure. If you'd like to draw in bitmap program, simulating natural media, like Photoshop or Painter, then you'd have various configurations in the programs themselves to map the pen dynamics (pressure, tilt, etc) to the various brush variables, like size, opacity, scattering, etc.
By the way, the Create has an eraser on the pen. Handy, for sure! If you want a bigger model, your only option is the Intuos line.
Wacom has just released a new model, called Intuos5. Maybe you can get the outgoing model - the Intuos4 - for a better price. A large Intuos4 would be great for you. Hope you manage to find one for a good price! Thank you for your comment, Fabio. Thanks for the reply!
I think I'm looking at a Bamboo one right now (maybe an older model) since I'm on a budget but I really want a tablet. Intuos are so out of my price range right now. Magicfeatures Plugin For Magicjack Cracker here. even the older models except maybe Intuos2. Would an Intuos2 work on my macbook?
Also since I'll be working primarily on a 15' screen (unless I go buy a bigger monitor) would a big tablet really matter (besides personal preference?). Your chart makes it not seem like it does. I think a medium sized tablet might be okay for me but I wouldn't go small. Would you consider 6 x 4 to be a small size?
Thanks for your help! Thanks for this review! Is very helpful but i still have a quesion. Last night i spent hours Doing something in illustrator (using a mouse) and after a while my hand was hurting me so bad! So i have decided to buy a tablet. I read your review And i really liked the intous5. However i am on a budget (about 200-250usd).
I found too small the small intous5. But i really dont know whats the best for me.i would like a medium size. Do u think That there is an older intous model better that the bamboo Create? Daniela, In this case I'd recommend you to buy the Bamboo Create.
It's a very capable pen tablet and I'm sure it would suit you well. This model has a surface area about the same size as medium Intuos. Alternatively, you could look for an used Intuos4 Medium model, but I think the price is too close ($270 range) to the new Intuos5 Medium to make it worth it and used tablets always show some signs of wear.
For example, the pen nibs wear out, the tablet surface gets scratched and the pen rubber grip gets dirty and more sticky over the time. Replacing those items is possible, but would drive the price closer to a new one. The Bamboo Capture and Create are very similar, except for the size and lack of eraser on the Capture pen. This may be a shortcoming if you're heavily on digital painting.
If you have the budget, in my opinion, the extra size alone makes the Bamboo Create worth the difference, specially for higher resolution displays like yours. Given that both tablets have the same resolution (2540 lines per inch), the larger active surface on the Create model gives it 220% more points mapped than the Capture. On the real world, this means you can have much better cursor precision with the larger active area. This might not be noticed on smaller displays, but anything above 1440 x 900px clearly shows the difference, in my experience. In any case, I'd rather have a smaller tablet than to work only with a mouse. It is this much better, really.
If you're on a really tight budget, buy the Bamboo Create to get the hang of using a tablet and sell it on eBay later, if you feel the need for a larger working surface. It costs about US$ 90 at Amazon.com. But keep in mind that the Bamboo Create is currently at US$ 138 for a factory refurbished model, with warranty, also at Amazon. This is a super deal and I think much better value than the smaller model.
Hope this helps you! Cheers, Fabio. Hi, I just bought a Bamboo Create from Amazon and did not see this post before that, i has not arrived yet. At this point I have a 32 inch TV connected to my PC 1360x768 screen resolution, its a samsung widescreen connected through HDMI.
I wanted to use sketchbook pro 6, corel painter 12 and photoshop mostly for architecture work persentations and other drawing. I can see that I might have problems due to the fact that I'm using a Bamboo create. Will I be needing a new monitor (smaller) what are the odds? I did not buy an Intuos because I found it very expensive for the type of usage I will give to it. Thanks in advance. The medium sized Intuos5 is the most versatile model, even though the small one has plenty of resolution to work well with your screen size.
You may want to add a second LCD in the future and the extra area of the medium model may come in handy. Let me add two more variables to your decision: if you'd like to use it to draw, the small model may be too tight for your brush stroke. On the other hand, since you're using a laptop, it is much easier to carry around than the medium one. By the way, Wacom makes a nice carrying case for each model. Cheers, Fabio. Wow I enjoyed your review very much, I have to disagree with this recommendation for some people. If you're an artist, and are used to moving or drawing with your arm, than the medium size or even the large may be perfect for you.
However, as a professional photographer, I do 95% of my editing moving only my wrist. Most of my work is detail work. I used to own a bamboo pen, and I found the size to be more than adequate. Previous to that, I did all my editing using the trackpad on my MacBook Pro.
I just started using an Intuos Pro, and I absolutely love it. Two prominent photo shop experts, Aaron Nace, and Matt Kloskowski, both use small tablets. In fact, Aaron actually maps only a portion of his small tablet to do for the shop editing. Hey Fabio, thanks for all the in depth comments you have provided here, very informative.
Just a quick question on the Bamboo Pen & Touch; I purchased the medium version of this drawing tablet and I used it oh so briefly with my 20' old iMac before it died. I am now a little torn as to which model to purchase, as the 21' pretty much locks you into the spec once it leaves the factory, and while I can see it lasting OK, the 27' looks like a more flexible option for similar money.
Could that tablet size work OK with a new 27' iMac, or is it highly recommended to stick with the 21.5'? I note the 27' is just outside your yellow bars on the recommendation graphic and I wanted to get your thoughts.
The 2 resolutions are: 1920x1080 and 2560x1440. I have found your review and the subsequent thread very helpful.
I primarily work in video, After Effects, etc. I have had the opportunity to try both the 13HD and 24HD Touch Cintique models. I've never used a pen tablet before, but can see the benefit and the precision they provide. I really like the Cintique, who wouldn't?, but I'm trying to decide if the Intuos 5 would be better suited for video work. I do prefer a full arm approach to my work so the larger format is what I am considering over the medium. What would you recommend? Thank-you very much!
I think a pen tablet would be perfect for you application. I imagine kids in this age would have no problems developing the eye to hand coordination necessary to use a pen tablet.
A medium sized model is advisable, since it's easier to work with a larger drawing area. The Bamboo Create CTH670 is perfect. Also take a look on the Monoprice tablets. They're much cheaper than Wacom's and would work fine for less demanding work.
I have no experience with the recording process. Maybe you could use a screen capture program and then import the results into a video editing application, to speed it up, for example. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. Dear Fabio, Thanks so much for such a detailed review and comparison and for all your time in dealing with these queries!
I wonder if you can help me decide. I'm completely new to tablets and am mainly working on video editing, but also some graphics design and illustration. I have a 27inch Mac display. Ideally I would like multitouch functionality (but not essential) and currently use an apple trackpad instead of a mouse. I may want to add a second display in the future. I can't decide which model - is the intuos5 the best for me? Or is there a better option?
Price needs to be reasonable, but is not the most important factor here, as my organisation is buying for me and I think they can stretch to the Intuos 5. Many thanks for your advice, Bob. I think the medium sized Intuos5 is the right pen tablet for you. The small model or the Bamboos don't have enough resolution to drive a 27' display, let alone multiple displays.
The Intuos would work fine, but you might want to configure one of the ExpressKeys to switch between the two screens. This would allow you to keep the tablet mapped to a single display at a time, using its whole area for better precision. With two displays, you give up some of the tablet's area in order to keep its proportion the same as the combined screen size. It's important to test both configurations - single screen at a time / full screen area mapped proportionally to the tablet's surface - and see which suits you better. Is my complete Intuos5 review. Cheers, Fabio.
Nice review, with more practical information than is found elsewhere. I've been quite happy using an older Graphire tablet for editing images in Photoshop on a 1600px X 1200px monitor. I recently added a second monitor (an old 15', 768px X 1024px, turned vertically) to make a dual monitor setup. Your criteria would suggest that my 5' wide Graphire (which I believe is even smaller than the smallest Bamboo) should be woefully inadequate, yet I have failed to notice a difference in fine-motion tasks such as accurately tracing the edges of an object for making a mask. I just wonder if I'm missing out on something by not going to a bigger tablet. I can definitely feel the difference when using my Inutos5 Medium with a single 30' 2560 x 1600px display or adding a secondary 1200 x 800px laptop screen. The available resolution is still adequate for most tasks, but finer freehand movements feel faster and less precise.
I have just tried mapping just a quarter of the tablet to the full screen and the difference is striking. Maybe I'm too picky, but I think you'd benefit from a larger tablet, like the medium sized Bamboo Create CTH 670. One way to get by with a smaller tablet is to make good use of zoom when working with images or vector files. When zooming, you're actually using the full screen and tablet area to work on a small portion of the file, effectively increasing your ability to work on finer detail. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. Many reviews of Intuos 4&5 complain of increased surface roughness and fast nib wear, causing scratching within days of normal use.
Workaround solution is to buy cheap 3rd-party plastic protector cover which looks terrible, fits poorly on the medium size tablet and can interfere with touch sensitivity. Version 5 pads cannot be replaced manually on touch models - repair only by shipping back to Wacom plus service charges. I've shopped around for alternate brands, but see nothing as good as Wacom.
Any experience with the rough surface issue? I've never had any problem, either with the Intuos4 or with my new Intuos5.
My nibs last for ages. I usually don't put a lot of pressure on the pen while working, preferring a lighter touch and more sensitive pen tip. The newer model has a smoother surface that supposedly solves this problem. After one year of use, I see almost no wear on it and just a few hairline scratches, while my Intuos4 had very noticeable wear at about the same age. Wacom says that the Intuos5 surface is not user replaceable, but can be serviced my them. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. The Capture will be sufficient if you only want to take notes, draw and write on the screen.
The larger models are necessary for applications that require higher resolution and more tablet area, like illustration and photo retouching. Nevertheless, having a larger area can be more comfortable to work with. If you have the budget, I think the Create is worth the price difference, even for applications like yours. Unfortunately the Bamboo tablet driver doesn't have the more advanced display mapping properties of the Intuos line. It can only the set for the full area (both displays) or only one of them. () There's no display switching via a hotkey, like on the Intuos.
Some users developed third party switching apps that may help you. Google for Wacom Bamboo dual monitor switch.
Some examples of those apps and, for Windows, and for Mac. Please not that this only applies if you're extending the desktop are to both screens. If you only use mirroring, it acts like a single display. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. Would it work well to use my new MacBook Pro 13' laptop, hooked up to an Apple 27' Cinema Display with resolution of 2560x1440 - with the Intuos 5 large size, also hooked up to it?
I mean, first, is the macbook display appropriate for the large size tablet? Could it work properly? And either way, yes or no, would it be awkward or otherwise not functional to also use the large display 'in between' the tablet and the macbook? Would it be better to just hook it up to a new imac with a large screen? Does that have a high enough resolution for the large intuos 5?? Thanks so much, you are such a resource. Jale, The large Intuos5 has plenty of resolution to drive both displays connected.
I'm tempted to say that even the medium model is sufficient, as long as you can live with a little less precision on the cursor. I think the large model is too big to be used on the side of the keyboard without having to bend too much to the side, while working with it.
This is a deal breaker for me, so I'd choose the medium model even if it's not perfectly adequate for the huge resolution of both LCDs combined. Keep this in mind.
The problem with dual displays is that in order to keep the display proportionally mapped to the tablet, you end up not using its whole area, since two monitors have a much wider proportion than the tablet area, which is roughly 16:10. The Intuos5 medium works wonderfully well with a single large display, like on the iMac. I'm actually using it right now with a single 30' display and a Mac Mini. The proportions map perfectly and cursor precision is excellent. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. First of all, I have to say that you made a Really Amazing review. It's all that an upcoming designer needs to know about these tablets (like me).
But I have a little question. I'm going to buy my first Wacom because a really want to immerse myself in the design world. I've already decided that I'm going to buy a Bamboo because i'm just a noob and Intuos seem a little bit expensive and pro for me for now. I've been making some designs in illustrator and photoshop about 1 month ago, and I wish to take it as profession in the future. But I have a problem: my screen is 20,5' with a resolution of 1920x1080, and the image above explains that Bamboos are not suitable with these kind of screens. What should I do? Do I really need to buy an Intuos5 Medium to have the best performance?
By the way, in case I have to buy a Bamboo: Which would be the best choice (regardless of cost)? I wanted to make a suggestion. This is a great review, but one use you seem to have not mentioned for tablets (almost necessary) is working with 3D sculpting software, such as Zbrush.
I've found that on a 24' monitor setup (dual), a large Intuos5 is just too big, as you mentioned with active area to resolution ratio. Just wanted to mention that pressure sensitivity is even more important in 3D sculpting because you are working with depth, and that an Intuos pro is almost necessary over any other model. Hi, I need some help to make right choise, I'm Currently struggling whether or not to get Wacom Cintiq 13HD or the 22HD. Right now I own a Wacom bambo medium, to draw stuff. I'm not that great at drawing stuff (still working progess:P) it just that Wacom Cintiq feels more naturely and alot more effective to draw. Let say I want to draw stuff like this or or would Wacom Cintiq 13HD work well or the 22HD? A explain why and how would appreciate!!
Thanks Ah-kin Law. Hello Ah-kin Law.
Your choice is more about the best display configuration for your needs than the tablet itself. Think of it this way: the Cintiq 13HD is a perfect secondary monitor while the 22HD is large enough to be used as your single display. The drawing capabilities of both models are equivalent (resolution, sensitivity, etc) and they vary mostly on screen size and overall industrial design.
I'd get the 13HD as your starter model. It's much less expensive than the 22HD and works beautifully, specially if you don't mind keeping your current display and using it for more mundane tasks, like web browsing and general computer usage. Thank you for your comment, Fabio.
Hi Fabio - I really like how informative you are and really appreciate it. I am about to purchase a pen tablet for the second time, I know I definitely do not want the small intuos 5, but I am currently stuck between the medium and large, and thought you could help me out. I will be using it for all sorts of things, but mainly for designing large posters to print, t-shirt design and drawing for fun. I have a MacBook Pro (15' Retina model).
Information about display: '2880-by-1800 native resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors. Scaled resolutions: 1920 by 1200, 1680 by 1050, 1280 by 800, and 1024 by 640 pixels.' HELP ME FAB!!! Thank you for the kind words. Your MacBook has a high resolution display, retina in Apple's jargon, but those extra pixels are not used directly in a one to one grid, but instead scaled two times to allow for a higher level of detail while interface elements keep their relative size. What I mean is that your display behaves like a 1440x900 pixels LCD, but with double the density. This means that the medium Intuos Pro has enough resolution to drive your display with great accuracy, rest assured.
The large Intuos model is really, really large. It'd be a good choice if you like to draw freehand, with larger brush strokes, on software simulating natural media. For vector illustrations, the extra area is not needed, as we always zoom in and out while working.
Also, before opting for the large model, I suggest you to cut a piece of paper in the same size and try it on your desk. I find the larger tablets are difficult to use along with a keyboard and work better with a desk arrangement where they sit centralized in front of you, with the keyboard further back and in a secondary role. Hope you enjoy your new tablet. Cheers, Fabio. I think the Wacom Intuous Pen and Touch (Medium) is the best choice for a first tablet. The only caveat, though, is that 3D modeling programs rely a lot on the mouse wheel to navigate and your boyfriend may miss that.
Keep this in mind. I know for a fact that my architect sister does miss the mouse, occasionally. Nevertheless, she still prefers to work with the pen tablet even in Autocad or Solidworks due to the better ergonomics and less strain on her pulse.
She also draws a lot and designs in 2D programs, and the tablet is perfect in those environments. It is possible to map the touch gestures and tablet buttons to do everything a mouse does, plus more. All it takes is a bit of customization. It is also possible to use the tablet along with the mouse. Cheers, Fabio.
I would like an advice from you. You see, I have been working with a Genius Pensketch 9x12 tablet. Well, I have had a lot of problems with it but in the end I have somehow manage to use it. I'm more a hobbyist than anything however even if its not a profession is an important part of my life and I would like to acquire a wacom.
Ehh, the thing is that I'm kind of reluctant to buy a wacom intuos because my genius tablet has similar specification (1024 lvls pressure, 2000lpi, 200points/second, and an area of 22.9x30.4cm) and I would like to 'upgrade' a little. My screen is 15' (1.366 x 768px) and well. The thing is I'm not sure which tablet (and which size) would be better.
Truth to be told i would prefer an intuos pro because I feel that buying an intuos would be the same as now. Other thing I would like to ask is, how is the surface of both tablet series?: is it true that it eats the nibs way to fast? San, you can't compare the tablet only based on the specs. Trust me: the Medium Intuos is worlds better than your Genius. The budget brands, like Monoprice and Genius, are an attractive proposition if you need a large work area and are on a very tight budget. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend them. Driver support is one of the most important aspects and Wacom has the best drivers and software support around for all operating systems.
Also, Wacom models don't require batteries on the pen, have good (but not perfect) multi-touch support, optional accessories, better build quality and industrial design. I'm really a fan and they don't pay me a penny to say that.
Based on your intended usage and display size, the medium regular Intuos model would suit you fine. Keep in mind that the work area is smaller than your current Genius tablet, but I think it is perfectly sized for most uses. If you want to invest a bit more, the Intuos Pro Medium is top notch. I have been using one for 18 months, after upgrading from an Intuos4. Actually, mine is the Intuos5, but the Pro changes just the name. It's built like a tank and I appreciate having multi-touch input. The Pro models have some interesting features for a painter.
For example, it can detect pen tilt angle and offers an optional airbrush pen. The nibs issue is overrated and was improved in the newer models. It was really bad on the old Intuos3 lineup. Unless you have a very heavy hand, nibs should last for a long time. I'm still on my first one and it's barely worn. Thank you for your comment.
Cheers, Fabio. Thank you so much! Its always nice to know the opinion of someone who has more experience. There was a lot I didn't know Erg. I'm so sorry T-T but can I annoy you a little more?: Its that. Recently I've heard. (and read in amazon.
) that there is an issue with (old) intuos tablets and well the intuos pro about the USB connector and the USB port. Something about it being quite fragile and loose. Since you have one. What do you think about it? Have you had any problems? What would you recommend? Hi Fabio, thanks a lot for this article and discussion!
Although most of people here are illustrators or graphic designers, I haven't been able to choose. So, I'm photographer using only LR and Photoshop, I have macbook pro 13 inches with retina. Do I need Wacom Intuos Pen&Touch M or Wacom Intuos Pro M or S??? Or something else? I don't draw long lines, but I don't want to upgrade after a while from S or pen-touch. I can afford to buy the best in this range, but I don't to spend too much illogically. I want to buy here in EU, because the whole procedure with buying from USA is awful.
Thanks a lot! All models you listed would work well on your display. Please see my explanation about the Retina display a few comments above. Even though the LCD resolution is really high (2880 pixels), the actual work area is half of it (1440 pixels equivalent), so the medium tablets or even the small Intuos Pro have plenty of resolution for precise work. Photo retouching is also less demanding on the work area size since we always zoom in and out while working.
If you need carry the tablet around, the small Intuos Pro would be a good choice. If not, I'd opt for the medium models as they're more flexible, would work much better with multiple displays and feel more comfortable to use. You can save a few quid by going for the regular Intuos, but the Pro model is worth the difference and should last you for a long time. I think you can order them directly from Wacom for a good price. My previous Intuos 4 was bought directly from them when I was in Italy. Cheers, Fabio. Thanks for your review, very helpful indeed.
I have a question; I want to give my girlfriend the most awesome Christmas gift ever. She studies Industrial Product Design and she uses the programme Solid Works a lot. So she also need to sketch a lot. I just can't make up my mind whether to buy her a Intuos Pen & Touch or the Wacom Inkling. It's not for school use only, also for home/fun use, but it would be great if she can use it for school too.
I saw that the Inkling doesn't get very good reviews, because the accuracy is not always very good. But the sketching in layers is very handy. Which one would you recommend? Do you know if both products are compatible with SolidWorks or other Designer programmes? (I don't know if it's completely relevant, because I don't know the programme that well and ofcourse I don't want to ask my girlfriend too many questions about it.) Thanks in advance for your help. Annelijn, The Inkling doesn't work well. I has a +/-2.5mm accuracy at centre & 5mm at the edges.
It'd work for rough sketches, but never for precision work, much less CAD drawing, like your girlfriend does. I recommend you to buy an Intuos Medium model (CTH 680), that costs around US$ 190. This model is very versatile, has a comfortable size and can handle a variety of configurations. It's also compatible with all operating systems and can be configured to work in any program.
I'm sure she'll love it. There's a cheaper small model, but the work area is too small for precision work, unless she uses a small display. Please take a look at the resolution chart in the article. I'd recommend you to spend a little more and invest on the medium model, if possible. Cheers, Fabio. Hello Fabio, Hope you can respond to this one!:) I’m a Intous 4 Large user have been for few years now and I’ve made a mistake since this is my first tablet I’ve bought large thinking that it’s going to be better:) sadly that wasn’t the case.
Thing is that I use iMac 27inch with 2560x1440 and this large intous doesn’t really works great at least for me to have it mapped to the whole area so I’ve mapped a 1/4 Portion of the whole tablet and that’s how I found that way it works better for me feels more natural otherwise if I leave it to the default tablet area it’s just to slow even for that big resolution and I’ve get tired easily when doing quick stroke with the hand. Also I don’t use the eraser and the buttons on the tablet because I manage everything from they keyboard. Here is a screenshot of how is my tablet mapped somewhat an intous Small tablet. This is where my confusion comes and it’s not an issue regarding money I just want something that fits my workflow at the moment and I’ve found that the Intous CHT480 fits for what I need but I have 2 questions about this tablet if it's going to work for me because I don’t know how much difference they make. Difference Between Intous pro and Intous Pen & Touch Intous Pen & Touch Accuracy pen 0.5 mm Input Resolution: 2540 lpi Pressure Levels: 1024 Pen Level Intous Pro Accuracy pen 0.25 mm Pressure levels 2048 Resolution 5080 lpi As I said it’s not money in question here it’s that I don’t want to buy a product that I won’t use 80% of his features and that will take more room because of the plastic from the sides. Would I feel big difference with that pressure levels and the resolution?
You won't feel much difference on the pressure levels. 1024 is really fine grained and works well. The resolution difference means that a larger tablet will have the same precision as a smaller one with higher resolution.
For your display size and resolution, you're the perfect candidate, on paper, for a medium Intuos Pro. This is what I use myself with a Dell 30' with a little more resolution than your iMac. I wouldn't recommend the CHT 480, which is the small regular Intuos.
It has 2540 lpi resolution, half of you current tablet, so it won't have nearly the same accuracy as your Intuos 4 mapped with the same area. It is really small for your display size.
But if you feel comfortable with working on a smaller area and have already tested it thoroughly by mapping your tablet this way, you can buy a small Intuos Pro or medium regular Intuos without much worry. Both will give you roughly the same accuracy, while having difference work area sizes. Intuos Pro small PTH-451 Active area: 157 mm x 98 mm (6.2 x 3.9 in) Resolution: 5080 lpi Total active points: 122.834 (lpi x area) Intuos Medium CTH 680 Active area: 216 x 135 mm (8.5 x 5.3 in) Resolution: 2540 lpi Total active points: 114.427 (lpi x area). Thank you for the response, Fabio.
I took the plunge and was able to get a good deal from our local distributor for the Intuos Pro Medium. I have no plans of constantly unplugging it since I'm using it the my desktop. Although I don't see myself using the wireless kit yet, it's nice to know that I have that option. Eventually, I'll be using the touch feature more than the mouse.
I'm using it with Paint Tool SAI and Photoshop and I'm loving it! The ring function is really handy when I rotate the canvass while sketching.
The advice you posted here especially the one on matching the monitor with tablet size was right on. Thank you, Fabio.:-).
Hey Fabio The article was very helpful. Well, I am a Fashion Designer cum Illustrator & planning to buy a Graphic tablet for 'Art, Sketch, Painting and photo retouch' & even for textile purpose (Creating motif, prints and manipulation) etc. I am thinking of making my Concepts more professional & commercial. I have done quite research about the graphic tablets & I am sure I will be buying Wacom brand's only, I have a budget of 10,000/- Rupee to 12,000/- rupee for the 1st time Investment. As per now I will be using a tablet on my 14' sceern Laptop, with a Windows 7 SP1 configuration. But Here I am a little bit confused as per my need I found 'Intuos CTH 680' Which can be useful for me as it has softwares adobe photoshop elements & Corel painter etc.
Which I will be using, but it cost about 17 K+ here in India. So, please guide me a bit that, If Intuos CTH 480 will be good for me or not, As this is my 1st chance I am jumping into Graphic tablet, though I am very familiar with Adobe Photoshop, Corel draw & Other CAD softwares.
So, Please Guide which will be more beneficial for me between above two models or You think I should go for Intuos pro version if I can extend my budget. One more thing will wacom tablet also works for other softwares like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign etc. Which is Installed on laptop beside the Wacom Software bundle? Reply ASAP, and warm wishes for Happy New Year 2014. Thank you in Advance. Hello, Reetesh. Happy New Year.
I don't know the actual screen resolution of your laptop, but generally speaking the medium Intuos model CTH 680 is a terrific value and can handle large displays with great accuracy. But unfortunately it's out of your budget.
If your display has less than 1600px on its longest size, the small Intuos CTH 480 model will work very well. If it's a little larger, up to 1920px, you can still use it, but the cursor will be a little less precise.
You can always zoom in and work on smaller areas of your artwork at a time to have better accuracy. I think you'll be fine with the small model. Cheers, Fabio. I'm currently practicing my Photoshop editing with a borrowed Bamboo Fun (small) tablet.
I find that in starting a selection or locating a point I want to start on, the cursor is jittery and I have a hard time 'hitting the target'. Also with drawing a selection with the lasso tool, the line wanders. One thing I think would help me would be a heavier pen (weight wise). Does Wacom make a heavier pen that I could purchase?
Secondly, the surface of the Bamboo tablet is very slippery and it’s hard to keep the point on track when I’m trying to brush against an edge or as mentioned above, trace a selection with the lasso tool. One last question: It would help if I could bring the nib in contact with the active surface area and keep the pen from starting an action until I was at the point I wanted to start at (keyboard shortcut?). I found that hovering over a point and trying to bring the pen down on an exact point to be hit or miss. As mentioned, the Bamboo is not my tablet and I will eventually (if my experience is positive) purchase my own Wacom tablet.
I currently use a 19” monitor and will eventually move to a 24” or possibly dual screen configuration. Thanks much, Dean.
Thanks for the review! Unfortunately I still have a problem deciding wich tablet to buy, maby someone could help me? Since I have a very limited budget I won't afford anything more expensive then the Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Medium (CTH680) or the intious pro (Small). So I am wondering which tablet that would suit my needs the best: A smaller area but probably better tablet (intious pro small) or a larger area but maby less good tablet ( the intious pen and touch medium). I have had a tablet with another brand before but it sucked, therefor I am going Wacom.
I work on a 13 inch laptop. I use photoshop, illustrator, after effects, toonboom and I am planning to do a lot of animations. Thank you in advance! Hi Fabio, Apologies if this is an obvious question, I am looking to transfer information as vectors from large scale paper work ( garment patterns, think A1 or larger ) straight into illustrator. I'm looking for a pen that will transfer the information at the exact scale into the computer. I'm using a macbook pro 15'.
I used one a long time ago so I know they exist. It would be nice to use it for other aspects of drawing and perhaps as a mouse. Transferring the garment pattern information is my main concern though. Do Wacom offer anything that works like that on paper? Your advice would be greatly appreciated! You can use any Wacom pen tablet for tracing.
Just place the artwork on top of it with a clear and thin plastic overlay. The pen tracks just fine up to a couple of millimeters above the tablet surface. The scale is going to be a problem, though. You'd have to work in small pieces and then stitch them together in Illustrator. Also, in my opinion, tracing in Illustrator works much better if you create clean lines with the pen tool, instead of relying on the free drawing tools, like pencil and paintbrush, which create very cluttered lines. I think the best approach would be to photograph your artwork in high resolution, taking care with the camera positioning to not bring in any distortion.
Place this image in illustrator in a separate layer and trace it using the pen tool, with the cleanest lines possible. In any case, a Wacom tablet is my preferred input device and I spend a lot of time using it in Illustrator. Beats a mouse by miles. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. Hi Fabio Thanks for the review and continued patience in answering everyone's questions. Above, I could only find an approximation to my setup. Hence my question.
I've got two 27' monitors (iMac & Cinema Display). I am primarily a video editor but over the past few years am spending more time with other Adobe apps, intergating motion graphics into my video work.
I'm a hardcore mouser. Never used a tablet. I see you're advocating the medium Intuos Pro, but am wondering if it will be sufficient for both my monitors. You seem to suggest that it would, but find your answer more an educated guess than direct experience. Therefore, I'm still leaning toward the large. Also I'm a lefty so think I could get away with continued use of my full-size Apple keyboard, given that the Intuos would be to the left of it.
Thanks in advance for any input. I've never used my medium Intuos Pro with two large displays, at most with a 30' main screen and a smaller 20' secondary LCD.
It worked well, but the cursor was a little too fast for my taste. With multiple displays you have to map the tablet surface proportionally and end up loosing some active area and, consequently, resolution.
I'm sure the large model will work fine, as you expect. It has plenty resolution for both 27' displays.
Placing it on the keyboard left side will definitely help with the seating position. This is your safe bet.
Would the medium work? I devised a small test here to help you with this question. I mapped my tablet to use only a small part of its surface, equivalent of a single display in a dual 27' LCD setup, and used it for a few hours with various tasks: web browsing, some Lightroom photo editing and designing a small poster in Illustrator. And the results are.
Again, the cursor feels a little too fast and is noticeably less precise than with a single display, but I never felt any difficulty with precise selections. It just felt less comfortable and natural. If your secondary display is used mostly for previewing your work, you can also map the full tablet surface to a single display and set up a hotkey to toggle between displays.
It works well, but you won't be able to drag things from one screen to another in a single swipe. In this case, the medium model would work fine. Hope this helps in your decision.
In any case, post some feedback here after some weeks of using your new Intuos. This is the most asked question and I'm sure you'll help other new pen tablet users.
Cheers, Fabio. Tried intuos pro large and didn't like the disconnect b/w hand/eye. Would Cintiq Hybrid be ok (linked to 27' display)? Is supposed to be same work area as intuos pro large. 13HD just seems small and no touch and Hybrid same size but has touch (I think). Just can't see drawing on 13' for larger projects, but maybe ok to start with. Or should i just bite bullet and go for 24HD touch?
Taking classes; mostly photoshop/digital art, so like the larger size to draw on but it's lots of $$$ and I'm no pro (yet) just putting together portfolio. First of all, my apologies for not replying sooner. My son was born a couple of weeks ago and I took a few days off to take care of things at home.;) I think the Cintiq Hybrid is an interesting product, specially on the pen tablet side. I'm not so thrilled by the Android tablet due to the lack of good drawing apps on that platform. On the other hand, the extra $600 over the Cintiq 13HD gives you the ability to use it untethered on classes and also multi-touch input, which I find very handy on both Windows 8 and OS X.
Don't be disappointed by the size. It has a full HD 1920x1080 pixels screen and that's a lot of real state. Also, you can always zoom in and out while working on your artwork, making the best use possible of your screen. Looking at your requirements and budget, I wouldn't recommend a larger tablet. You can always work on your hand to eye coordination and use the Hybrid only as an input device for your larger LCD, if you want to work on a larger canvas.
It is easy to map a shortcut to toggle the input between the Cintiq and the main LCD. I'd love to hear your thoughts after buying the Cintiq. Keep us posted! Cheers, Fabio. I started using Wacom tablets more than 15 years ago precisely because of a chronic carpal tunnel pain. Nothing helped: exercises, stretching, anti-inflammatory drugs, chondroitin + glucosamine, etc.
It really saved me and I've never used a mouse since. My first tablet was a small model and it worked wonders.
After a few years I moved to medium sized tablets, first a Graphire and then Intuos 4 and 5 models. I know this may sound contradictory to the common sense, but my feeling is that the larger models give me less strain on the pulse than the smaller ones. I tend to move more the hand / wrist when using a smaller tablet, while the medium ones force me to move the whole arm, without twisting the wrist as much. This is very specific to each user, so ideally you should try both models to see which one is more comfortable for you. The medium size is always a safe bet since you can map the tablet surface to use a smaller area, if you want. Keep us posted on your experiences.
Hope the tablet helps with your pain. That's a very helpful article! I'd like an advice from you, if possible.I think I'm going to buy a new tablet, I currently use a Wacom Create Pen and Touch (CTH-670), I bought it back in 2010 and it served me very well so far, however it's not working properly anymore, the pen's not clicking well, so I decided to buy a new one.Which one would you recommend out of the current Wacom tablets? I'd like to buy the one which would work out most similar to the Bamboo Create Pen and Touch.Thank you! Hello Marianna. The Bamboo Create successor is the Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Medium (CTH-680 model). This is the one I recommend you and most users.
In any case, if your tablet is still in good condition, you can try buying only a new pen. Wacom sells replacement pens for your model. It costs about $28.
All Wacom pens are very fragile. They have two small wire coils with ferrite tubes that break easily when the pen is dropped. I've gone through several pens for all my tablets.
Thank you for dropping by, Fabio. First of all thanks a lot for the article, it really helped.
I'm na architect and I'm interested in buying a pen/tablet to work on Photoshop to give my digital drawings some accentuation or to write things, make notes, etc. After Reading all the article and the comments I a little torned between the Bamboo Create and the Intuos Pen and Touch Medium Tablet (I work on two LCD side by side, one 24' and the other 19').
Since I'm not na illustrator or want a oustanding quality I think that this two are enough for the job. Can you tell me please if there is a pen/tablet more fit to my needs (or even cheaper)?
I'd appreciate a lot. Thanks again. Hello Felix, Retina MacBooks have two times the resolution in each dimension, which means four times the number of pixels, but those extra pixels are not used directly in a one to one grid, but instead scaled two times to allow for a higher level of detail while interface elements keep their relative size. In practice, a 15' Retina MacBook Pro behaves like a 1440 x 900 pixels screen, but with double the density, like you said. This means that the Intuos Pro Small has enough resolution to drive a 15' high resolution display with good accuracy, rest assured. In any case, the Medium Pro model is a better purchase, unless you need the most portability. The extra area would allow you to use an secondary external display with better performance or upgrade to a larger screen laptop in the future.
Keep in mind that a Wacom tablet typically lasts longer that one computer generation for most users. Cheers, Fabio. I am having difficulty in deciding on a intuos pro medium or a large. I am a fine artist that does photoshop, illustrator and animation both 2d and 3d. I work from my home in my own graphic design business and I can't seem to find any place where I can try out these 2 models to make a decision.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I do have to use a keyboard every once in awhile. I have dual 27' monitors that I love. Because the monitors sit on my desk I dont really have too much space, but I dont know how much space is needed for the large. The paper mockup trick is perfect to find out the best tablet size for your desk and sitting position. In fact, maybe I should offer pre-made mockups for download on this article. I'll try and do it soon.
Dual 27' screens represent a very large work area, specially if you need very fine cursor precision, like in illustration work. Since you don't use your keyboard all the time, I think you may be a good fit for an Intuos Pro Large model, centered with your displays and desk and with a small wireless keyboard behind it, like the Apple Wireless Keyboard or Logitech K810 suggested in the article. Alternatively, you can buy the Intuos Pro Medium model and assign its full area to a single display at a time, programming one of the ExpressKeys to switch it between displays. It's a trick that works well and gives you the full tablet area for each display.
But consider it makes a pain to drag anything from one screen to the other. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. Dear Fabio First of all, thanks for existing! I really love people who invest their time to provide information which helps other people to save a lot of time! This world would suck without guys like you and I hope to make something similar about a topic where I have special knowledge to share some day.
But let's talk business! I'm facing a difficult decision: for a long time I was sure the intuos medium would be the right choice, but after reading tons of reviews and considering the small difference in pricing to the Pro-models, I finally decided to go with the intous Pro.
Here comes my problem: which size should I choose? According to your 'size-chart' the small version would be best (green) for my 13' Macbook Pro. But as I am currently thinking about buying the 15' model and also use it with a 21' Mac, I guess the Medium version is worth the money (and upgrading from smaller version would also be expensive). Now my question: on your chart you marked the interaction between Medium size and 13' screens with orange (probably worse than green), so how bad is it really? Do you support my idea to go with Medium and use it with my small screen until I get a larger one? Do you have similar experience? Greetings from Switzerland Nicola.
Dear Nicola, Thank you for your kind words. I'm happy to help.
Regarding your decision, I'm sure the small extra for the pro model is well worth it. That's the model I use personally and I'd not trade the extra resolution, better finish, tilt recognition and programmable buttons for the money, specially considering that a Wacom tablet lasts for years. The Intuos Pro Medium model is marked in orange in the resolution vs.
Tablet chart size because it can be a little large for 13' laptop users. In practice, this means that you'd have to move your hand a little too much for the resulting cursor movement, making it feel slow. Keep in mind that I'm nitpicking here. Our brain has an amazing capability to adapt and this slow feeling may vanish after a few hours of work, or even never be felt. Consider also that it's always possible to map the tablet to use a smaller portion of its area. This means that you can use the medium model with an area equivalent to the small one, but the reverse is not true, obviously.
All and all, the medium Wacom tablets, specially the Pro lineup, are usually the best, most versatile and future-proof purchases. Cheers from Brazil, Fabio Pili. Hello Rhonda. Do you mean the than can be used with iPads? If so, this is my recommendation: get an iPad stylus, not necessarily the Wacom model. I'd avoid buying an actual Wacom tablet since the pen used is very sensitive to drops and wouldn't last long, depending on your kid's age and abilities. Using a pen tablet also requires you to develop a good level of hand-eye coordination and it might be harder for children.
Opening files, dealing with programs and all that stuff can also be frustrating. Using a tablet and a capacitive stylus, on the other hand, is a much more manageable and user friendly environment. The only con I can see is the price. The Wacom Creative Stylus 2, at $79, it's a relatively expensive purchase. Keep in mind that this stylus is considered the best on the marked and focuses more on artists and creative media professionals that require features like pressure sensitivity. I'd like to suggest you some less expensive alternatives. They all will allow you to sketch and handwrite over pictures.
There are two main categories of styluses for the iPad: simple capacitive and bluetooth equipped. The former are very inexpensive and super durable, but they have little precision since all they do is to emulate a finger on the screen. The bluetooth models require batteries, but offer pressure sensitivity (stroke weight varies with the pen pressure) and also palm rejection, which means you can rest your palm on the screen while drawing and it won't register a trace.
A good simple capacitive stylus is the AmazonBasics Capacitive Stylus for Touchscreen Devices, costing about $10. It's so inexpensive that you can buy one just for trying. On the bluetooth side, the answer is not so simple. I've done some research for you and most models are plagued by incompatibilities or very restricted app support.
This includes the $99 Wacom Creative Stylus 2, unfortunately. I've never used any iPad apps for drawing, but take a look at the free app, by Wacom, or the app by LOFOPI. My suggestion is to buy Amazon's inexpensive capacitive stylus and give it a go. If you ever opt to upgrade to a bluetooth stylus, make sure to check app compatibility and read user reviews at Amazon. IPads weren't designed from start with pen support in mind and all these products feel like a hack, to me. It might be better to look into an Android tablet with pen, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, or even a Windows 8 tablet, like the Surface. By the way, I love your use case for the stylus.
Hope this helps. Cheers, Fabio. Hello Geraldo.
You're comparing a smaller pen tablet with a higher resolution versus a larger one with lower resolution. In practice, both will handle your display just fine. You should decide based on the features of each model and also on how large is your working area.
Do you need any of the features exclusive to the Intuos, like tilt support, built-in wireless and more customizable buttons? I prefer to work on a medium tablet, like the regular Intuos Medium.
I think it's more comfortable to work with than a smaller model and I feel better using larger movements with the whole hand than moving mainly the wrist, as with small pen tablets. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. I am an industrial design student and my major is CAD, but I also require to work on graphic design, sometimes photo and largely video editing. I mostly work with Adobe and Autodesk software. I was contemplating buying the Intuos Medium for graphic design and digital sketching/doodling work for my industrial design projects and presentations.
Which model would you recommend? Wacom One medium vs. Intuos medium vs. Intuos Pro medium. We have Cintiqs in my college but they're available for limited time only.
So, for personal work, I was contemplating having a One or an Intuos model as they're quite affordable as well. I'm from India and here, Cintiq is very costly. My honest opinion is that it is a tad overpriced, whereas some of the lower end models seem much more reasonable. Awaiting your reply. Thanking you in advance. The Wacom One has the same specs as the regular Intuos and is available in the medium size, as well, but it has a simpler design and no ExpressKeys.
The programmable keys might come in handy, specially for industrial design and CAD work, since you can usem them for macros or to choose specific tools. If you have the budget, the regular medium Intuos is a great pen tablet. It's durable, versatile, offers good customization options and isn't so expensive. I think it would suit you fine and I prefer it over the One, as long as the price difference there is not absurd. Thank you for your comment, Fabio. Please advise me. I am a traditional media artist.
I am very comfortable brushes and pens etc. But i wanna be 'techier' so I can earn like a graphic designer but I am having hard time using Photoshop for my drawing (i think i am just lazy to try it out) and dowloading Autodesk is impossible (error).
I am very much interested with using pens in tabs unlike drawing using mouse. I might be pursuing Architecture or Fine arts (Fine Arts preferably).Really.i want the tab to help me to make it easier to draw and design. I also like anime.heheh.What do you think? Dear Fabio, I'm in an awkward situation.
I am a beginner. I am about to receive a Bamboo Pen & Touch pen and a Wacom Intuos4 tablet as gifts. Please tell me if they will work together. I do not want to spoil the surface of the Intuos4 tablet in any way (although from what I've seen all pens can use the same nibs). I don't need more than 1024 pressure levels on the pen or tilt function. So depending on your answer I will then either buy a Bamboo Tablet or an Intuos4 Grip Pen, or none.
Thank you very much for this article. It is illuminating. Best regards, Sonny. Thank you for this great and informative post! I have been trying to decide which tablet to get for a while now. I've had different people recommend different things.
From don't even bother if you won't get a Cintiq to the smallest Intuos will be just fine. I mostly want to trace scans of sketches or hand lettering and while I like working on my macbook 15' I also have a 27' monitor for more extensive work. I think the Intuos medium would be my best bet starting out and maybe later upgrade to a Cintiq, if I really end up liking working digitally. Or would it make a lot more sense to directly go for an Intuos Pro (Medium)?
Thank you for your help! Hello, I am from India and I'm beginner and I use photoshop, Corel draw, indesign, illustrator for photo editing and graphic designing. After reading your artical you have mention Wacom Intuos Pro Medium (PTH-651 model) or Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Medium (CTH-680 model) are best for above software's but being student can't afford any one of these right now its out of my budget.
I have seen two models 1. Intuos Photo 2. One Wacom S/M. What do you think abot these? Should I go for any one of these?
And Does Intuos Photo support other software's than photoshop and lightroom like Corel draw, indesign, illustrator? I have Dell Inspiron 15.6inch laptop. Hi, Again.great article/review! And I can not believe the time it must have taken for you to answer all those questions and comments!
Anyway, I have a question too and would, and I would like to know your opinion.I have a 13' Macbook Air connected to a thunderbolt display and I am looking to buy a tablet (probably Intuos 5 used) and to use it with Photoshop, iMovie and maybee other tasks if I get used to it.I use my laptop as often alone as I use it with the larger display. Which tablet size would be the more versatile? A small tablet that's better when on the laptop but harder to use on the thunderbolt display or a medium one that'll be harder to use on the laptop but easier on the thunderbolt display?