A guide to Wacom: Choosing the best graphics tablet

In January 2015, Wacom launched the Cintiq 27QHD, the latest in the Cintiq range of top-end display tablets. This meant out went our previous tablet crush, the 24HD. So here we present our all new, updated guide to all things Wacom, including the Cintiq range, Cintiq Companion, Intuos and Intuos Pro, Bamboo and Stylus options.

So which Wacom is for you? All will be revealed in our rundown below…

Wacom Intuos Pro tablet

Go for this if… you frequently work in creative applications such as InDesignPhotoshop and QuarkXPress. It’s the ideal tool for precision work on layouts and imagery.

Wacom Intuos Pro special edition

Wacom Intuos Pro special edition

This is very much the graphics tablet that most people will want to use (though bear in mind that when it comes to the larger models, it’s not necessarily the tablet that everyone will actually need!) and is perfect for designers, 3D artists, videographers and more – essentially anyone who spends a decent portion of their day in Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress or editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer.

As with the Intuos5, there’s still a small, medium and large option, and with multitouch functionality, you can set up shortcuts such as ‘swipe’ to undo, ‘pinch’ to close a window and more. While the small is a good choice if you need a more portable option, for most creative work we’d recommend the medium. Essentially, the more detail you need to go into (or the more screens you’re using), the bigger the model you should go for.

Options:

Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Small Pen & Touch here – £155 (£186 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Medium Pen & Touch here – £199 (£238.80 inc VAT) saving you £50 for a limited time!

Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Large Pen & Touch here – £329 (£394.80 inc VAT)

Buy the special edition Wacom Intuos Pro Medium (with matte aluminium finish) here – £245 (£294 inc VAT)

Save up to £50 on Wacom Intuos Pro. Buy now from Jigsaw24

Wacom Intuos tablet

Go for this if… you want to use a graphics tablet but aren’t after the precision or size of an Intuos Pro. It’s the perfect entry-level model.

The Wacom Intuos tablet is new entry-level offering in the Wacom range. For anyone who knew the Wacom range before this new model, this has essentially replaced the Wacom Bamboo.

Wacom Intuos tablet
Wacom Intuos tablet

There’s a bit of a myth that graphics tablets are only for, well, graphic designers, but actually the pen and tablet approach is useful for everything from basic image editing to navigation. What this Intuos does is allow you to be far more precise in your on-screen movements than you can be with a mouse.

I’ve now moved on to an Intuos model, for example, and although I do use Photoshop and InDesign, this is infrequent. The Intuos allows me to be far more precise in the way I navigate on-screen, moving windows and selecting text more naturally than I could with a mouse.

With a new streamlined design, the Intuos models come in either small or medium sizes, with multitouch options available for those who want additional navigation.

Options:

Buy Wacom Intuos Pen-only Small Tablet here – £49 (£58.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Small Tablet here – £65 (£78 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Medium Tablet here – £129 (£154.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Intuos now - from 48 ex VAT

Wacom Cintiq display

Go for this if… you work with illustrations, 3D design or any field where you’re more likely to deal with texturing, fine art or brush work.

Wacom Cintiq brings together the Intuos’s pen and touch input with a high res display to create a piece of technology that is, quite simply, unbeatable for digital artists. Rather than having to interpret your on-screen movements on a tablet, you get to paint directly onto the screen, allowing you to achieve incredible accuracy. It’s also completely customisable to your way of working – each stand allows you to position the screen in a way that is comfortable for you, and the ExpressKeys and TouchRings can be tailored to your needs.

Wacom Cintiq 27QHD display tablet

Wacom Cintiq 27QHD

There are a number of sizes available – the Cintiq 22HD is a desktop version with a 21.5″ full HD display, while the newly-released Cintiq 13HD is a far more portable option. The latest version, the Cintiq 27QHD, is right at the top end, with improved hi-def resolution in its 2560×1440 pixel active workable area, a distinctly slimmer and lighter form factor, and a new customisable ExpressKey Remote Control which can be placed on your tablet or on your desk for more flexible working.

Options:

Buy Wacom Cintiq 13HD here – £539 (£646.80 inc VAT) saving 10% for a limited time.

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen-only display here – £1269 (£1522.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen & Touch display here – £1499 (£1798.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen-only display here – £1799 (£2158.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen & Touch display here – £2099 (£2518.80 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq on Jigsaw24

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2

Go for this if you… are a business that wants to combine your graphics tablet and laptop into a single piece of kit.

The Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 is the ideal tool for artists and designers who need to work on the move. As a Windows 8.1 tablet, it can run full versions of high capacity creative software from Adobe, Autodesk, Corel and more, but can also be used as a Cintiq display when attached to a Mac or PC. Featuring a 13.3″ 2560×1440 display, Pro Pen with 2048 pressure levels and pen tilt, six programmable ExpressKeys and multitouch functionality, the Cintiq Companion 2 offers the most intuitive and natural pen-on-screen drawing experience.

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 on Jigsaw24

There are actually five models in the Cintiq Companion 2 range – ValueStandardPremiumEnhanced and Enterprise (specs haven’t been released for this yet), the difference between each being memory (ranging from 4GB to 16GB), storage (from 64GB to 512GB) and processing power (ranging from Intel i3 to i7). The better specced models also come with Windows 8.1 Pro as opposed to standard Windows 8.1, as well as an additional stand and carry case. See the full feature list and how each model stacks up below…

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Value – £999 (£1198.80 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Standard – £1083 (£1299.60 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Premium – £1333 (£1599.60 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Enhanced – £1666 (£1999.20 inc VAT)

Pre-order the Intuos Cintiq Companion 2 now. Call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com

Wacom Cintiq Companion on Jigsaw24

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and Bamboo Stylus

Go for these if you… want to be able to play around with ideas while on the move. It’s a nice solution for iPad users who want to benefit from Wacom precision without carrying around a graphics tablet.

The Intuos Creative Stylus, Bamboo Stylus Fineline and Bamboo Stylus Solo and Duo models are new additions to the Wacom range that allow you to get creative on the move. Paired with an iPad, they allow you to sketch and paint ideas using a rubber nub tip, while benefitting from the same kind of artistic control that Wacom are known for.

The big thing to bear in mind here is that there are three main products available. The Intuos Creative Stylus is a professional-grade option and the more fully-featured, effectively turning an iPad into a mini Cintiq option. It includes 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity for more fine-tuned artwork, and includes Palm Rejection technology that means only the input of the new 2.9mm nib pen is picked up by the iPad. What’s great for designers is that you can create work on the move, then transfer designs into professional applications like Photoshop.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (2nd generation)

For those who require a stylus more for note taking and sketching than technical drawing, Wacom have introduced the brand new Bamboo Stylus Fineline. With a 1.9mm nib, 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and the ever-popular Palm Rejection technology, the Fineline is designed for use with iPad for precise note-taking, natural handwriting, doodling and navigation.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline

The Bamboo Stylus, however, is the more basic option. New updates to the 3rd generation stylus sees a new longer-lasting 6mm nib for smooth writing and improved sensitivity, making it still an incredibly accurate device for quick sketches, note taking and navigating on touch screens. There are two versions available – the Solo, which just includes the carbon-fibre, 6mm nib; and the Duo, which also includes a ballpoint pen.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo

Buy Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (2nd generation) here – £54.16 ex VAT (£64.99 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline here – £40 ex VAT (£48 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo here – £12 ex VAT (£14.40 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo here – £20 ex VAT (£24 inc VAT)

Buy a Wacom Stylus now from Jigsaw24 - only £20

Got a question? Call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com to find out more about the different models from Wacom available or the best graphics tablet for your creative workflow.

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Ade
Ade
Call us: 03332 409 306

22 thoughts on “A guide to Wacom: Choosing the best graphics tablet

  1. hi there,

    my query is how can i use the graphics tablet in making contribution to animation word?
    like if i am on a task of making a game, what can be the use of graphics tablet in making the game on a high and professional level? how can graphics tablet ease my load?

    regards

  2. Phew!That review gave me a lot of help!
    I wasn’t sure what type of tablet I wanted ,and this really helped!
    Thanks again :)

  3. Hi ,
    My daughter is interested in Art (doing A Level at school) and has an iMac …which products would you recommend? …are they updatable/upgrade able etc .
    Thanks,
    Hugh

  4. Hi Hugh,

    We’d suggest looking at the Intuos Art. It’s ideal for sketching, designing and painting and comes with Corel Painter Essential software included. The pen has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity for improved accuracy and feels natural to work with. It’s available in medium or small sizes and works with both Mac and Windows.

    Hope this helps,

    http://search.jigsaw24.com/search?w=intuos+art&asug=

  5. Hi,
    i currently looking for a graphic tablet but one thing is confusing me. and i cant find a straight answer anywhere. Im planning on picking up a wacom cintiq in the very near future. but which one is annoying. the 13hd benefits as the price is perfect right now. (just under £600).
    i currently get the urge to move with my intuos pro medium, id like to sit in my garden and work. (but it obviously needs a computer to function). I have seen the companion 2 and it seems to have this feature. does the 22hd also have this feature? or its the 22hd and companion 2 the same thing? like i said im confused lol sorry for being a little stupid. any input would be great.
    Regards,
    Jack

  6. Hi Jack,
    Thanks for getting in touch.
    The Cintiq 22HD is not a standalone tablet, so like your Intuos Pro Medium it would require a connection to your Mac or PC computer.
    For mobile working Wacom have the Cintiq Companion 2 range. As a combination of a Cintiq pen display and powerful tablet computer, they are ideal for working on the move and can run full versions of professional software.
    A comparison of the Cintiq Companion 2 flavours can be found here – http://www.jigsaw24.com/pws/client/downloads/pdfs/jigsaw24_wacom_cintiq_companion_apr_15.pdf. Alternatively please get in touch with our sales support team for more information.
    If you’re in the London area we have a Wacom drop-in day on the 5th April for you to get hands-on with the Wacom tablets. http://www.jigsaw24.com/fcp/content/events/content#wacomDropIn.
    Hope this helps?
    Thanks

  7. Hi,
    i was wondering what tablet should i buy? i love to draw on photoshop and i use the mouse but it’s not helpful as a tablet would be and in fact i never used a tablet before so i don’t really know how it works but it seems more helpful and i would love to ask you guys which one sould i choose knowing that i want a quick and light tablet. thank you in advance

  8. Hi,

    Here’s the word from our Wacom expert: “For less demanding creative work the Intuos range is ideal – each model comes with bundled software included dependent on
    whether you are using it for photography or art etc. The Intuos Pro is geared more toward professionals – it has higher resolution, more pressure levels, and more ExpressKeys than the Intuos, which makes it more accurate and customisable.

    In terms of tablet size it would depend on the display you’re using. I think medium size would work for 15-24″ display; for anything smaller or larger go for small and large tablets respectively.”

    Hope this helps!

  9. Hi,

    I am looking for a wacom intuos tablet for use in photography.
    I want to buy wacom intuos pro(better features) but there is wacom intuos for photo also.

    Can any one help me which one should I buy for photoshop purpose?

  10. am very interested in drawing cartoons and caricatures i would like a portable pad with stylus any suggestions, also local contact in mumbai that can show me some demos

  11. Hi Arvind,
    The Intuos range is a good entry point, and for less demanding work, it’s ideal – each model comes with bundled software included dependent on
    whether you are using it for photography or art etc. The Intuos Pro is geared more toward higher level work – it has higher
    resolution, more pressure levels, and more ExpressKeys than the Intuos, which makes it more accurate and customisable.
    Hope that helps – please call the sales team for more info!
    Thanks

  12. Hi there!
    I’ve never really used any photoshop or anything tech related as I’ve been drawing ans painting on papers with various mediums during my current 16 years of my life so i have a few friends from my art IGCSE classes using intuos and I’m willing to explore new materials! So currently, I was wondering how do I choose a tablet suitable for myself and the right software! I was thinking on using Clip Studio Paint for my art software as soon as I could decide on which tablet do I use!

    Thanks !!

  13. Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for getting in touch!
    I think the Intuos Comic would be a good model for you, as it comes with Clip Studio Paint Pro included. It comes in either small or medium size – if you are working with a display of 17” or less then I’d recommend the small, for anything above 17” the Medium would be a better fit. Alternatively the Intuos Art has the same specs but comes with Corel Painter Essentials included. http://www.jigsaw24.com/pws/ProductDetails.ice?ProductID=25301
    Hope that helps.

  14. Hello,
    I am a graphic designer but also design greeting cards and do lots of calligraphy for my cards and designs. Could you recommend a tablet which would be good for this? I’ve recently tried out the iPad Pro with the pen on apps that includes and which i’d like that.. its a little pricey! So, my budget isn’t massive but it would be good to hear your opinion on whats best!
    Thank you.

  15. Hi Jessie,
    Thanks for the message.
    We’d say it really depends on your design workflow. If you’re only using mobile apps and want a portable solution then the iPad Pro is a good option. The only other similar solution we’d say is the Cintiq Companion 2, however as this runs full desktop apps it is a bit more expensive. If you’re working with full versions of desktop apps on a computer and just looking at an input device then the Wacom Intuos or Intuos Pro are both great options.
    Hope this helps?
    Shariff

  16. I am looking forward to buy a cintiq 27″qhd touch as i will be dealing with texturing 3d modelling and concept art for games. is the cintiq 27qhd a good option with a good pc Or should i go with a high end pc with an intuos pro?

  17. Hi,
    I’ve never really done any artwork digitally but I’ve been wanting to give it a go for quite a while. I’m planning to take art as one if my A levels and then an animation course in university. I was wondering if you could suggest an affordable graphics tablet that would be good for an art student interested in an art related job later on.
    Thank you.

  18. I am seeking an accurate method of making selections in Photoshop. Particularly complicated shapes like people,using the pen tool and making many curved sections. I struggle using just a laptop (not using a mouse) so which tablet could help me cut out my curved selections in Photoshop?

  19. Hi John,
    Thanks for getting in touch. Our in-house design team at Jigsaw24 work in Photoshop day in, day out, and swear by their Wacom Intuos Pros for just about everything, including cutting out curved selections and much more. The Intuos Art is also a smaller, more affordable tablet which should be up to the job. You can check out the range here: http://www.jigsaw24.com/brands_wacom/store/fcp-category/departmenthome
    Hope this helps!
    Thanks

  20. I’ve been procrastinating over this for too long now!…the main issue is which one to go for. I’m an illustrator for children’s books so usually working roughly A4 size. The main thing I’ve wanted is to be able to sketch and draw directly into Photoshop (as the Cintiq does) without having to scan in line work as I do right now…to be able to play with brushes and textures that have far better resolution than working as I do now. I work quick and like to use varied coloured line and have nice thick/thin brush strokes. The only thing that worries me with the 13 is the screen size…the 22 would be ideal but I’m put off by the size and weight of the stand. Ideally it would be good if I had something I could take away with me with a laptop so am guessing the 13 is best. Would the Companion be better? I do need a fully functioning Photoshop and have only ever worked on a Mac. Final questions…do I still need to buy an adapter (mainly to use with my old iMac)? I’m left handed, does that create any issues? Will I need to research and find brushes to use with Photoshop? I’m looking to buy pretty quickly so any thoughts would be welcomed!

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