A guide to Wacom: Choosing the best graphics tablet

It's only February, but Wacom have already launched an updated Intuos Pro and new Intuos Pro Paper, and the Cintiq Pro will arrive later this year. So here we present our updated guide to all things Wacom, including MobileStudio Pro, the Cintiq range, the Intuos range and Intuos Pro.

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

Our bestselling graphics tablet: Wacom Intuos Pro

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, offering better resolution and sensitivity than the Intuos, as well as tilt recognition and ExpressKeys.

new_wacom_intuos_pro

First things first: users of the Intuos Pro Small tablet, we're sorry but there's no new version of your tablet. This selection of updates is only available for the medium and large tablets, however you can still buy the old version in small.

Medium and large tablet users, there's a lot to be happy about. The new Intuos Pro comes with the new Pro Pen 2, a new stylus that's four times more accurate than the previous generation of Pro Pen and boasts 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity - more than any other stylus/tablet combo on the market. This results in a more natural and responsive drawing experience with virtually no lag and natural tilt support. Handily, it doesn't need batteries or charging, running instead on Wacom's own peculiar brand of sand magic (resonant inductive coupling, apparently).

The tablets themselves are now just 8mm thick, managing to be slimmer and more compact than their predecessors while maintaining the same size active area. As usual, both models come with a Touch Ring, eight customisable ExpressKeys and on-pen slider switches so that you can have your favourite shortcuts right at your fingertips. The active area still features support multitouch gestures (don't worry, the palm rejection is still excellent).

Options:

Buy the Wacom Intuos Pro Medium (2017) here - £274 ex VAT (£328.80 inc VAT).

Buy the Wacom Intuos Pro Large (2017) here - £374 ex VAT (£448.80 inc VAT).

 

The entry level graphics tablet: Wacom Intuos range

Go for these if… you want to use a graphics tablet but aren’t after the precision or customisation features of Intuos Pro.

wacom_intuos_photo

There’s a bit of a myth that graphics tablets are only for, well, graphic designers, but the pen and tablet approach is useful for everything from basic image editing to navigation. What 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. 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.

Featuring five different models, Wacom's Intuos range is built to accommodate designers of all types. The tablet itself remains the same, but they each come bundled with different software, are available in a variety of colours and come in either small or medium sizes.

Intuos Photo - Bundled with Corel AfterShot Pro 2 and either Macphun Pro Package or Corel PaintShop Pro X8 depending on whether you work on Mac or Windows.

Intuos Draw - Bundled with free ArtRage Lite creative software.

Intous Comic - Bundled with Clip Studio Paint Pro and Anime Studio.

Intuos Art - Bundled with Corel Painter Essentials 5.

Intuos 3D - Bundled with Pixologic's ZBrushCore 3D design software.

Options:

Check out the entire range here

 

Intuos Paper Edition

Go for this if... If you prefer to start work on good old fashioned paper.

intuos_paper

The new Intuos Paper Edition combines an Intuos Pro tablet with a Paper Clip, which affixes to the top of your tablet and tracks pen strokes made with your Wacom Finetip Pen (don't worry, this is included).

As you draw with your Finetip Pen, the Clip saves each stroke as an editable file which you can subsequently open in your creative software of choice. If you want the digital version of your drawing to be made up of Photoshop-friendly layers, all you need to do is tap a button on your tablet to start a new layer as you're drawing.

The Intuos Paper Edition can hold up to 200 multi-layered drawings before you need to transfer them to your computer, which can be a Mac or PC. Once you've transferred the sketches to your computer, just remove the Clip, pick up a Wacom Pro Pen and edit them as you would any other digital drawing.

Buy the medium Wacom Intuos Paper Edition here - £316 ex VAT (£379.20 inc VAT).

Buy the large Wacom Intuos Paper Edition here - £416 ex VAT (£499.20 inc VAT).  

The complete mobile solution: Wacom MobileStudio Pro

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

Wacom_Mobile_Studio_Pro 13

This Intel Powered, tablet computer provides a complete mobile solution for creatives on the go, running full versions of your favourite creative software. With up to 4K resolution and 96% RGB colour performance, as well as the brand-new Wacom Pro Pen 2 (which is 4x more pressure-sensitive and 4x more accurate than the previous version), this is a game changing bit of design kit.

wacom_mobile_studio_pro_16

MobileStudio Pro comes in two versions – 13 and 16. MobileStudio Pro 13 packs a 13.3” screen, designed for maximum mobility, and features 2560x1440 resolution, 96% Adobe RGB colour performance, six ExpressKeys, and three different configurations to choose from. The MobileStudio Pro 16 provides a larger workspace, offering up a 15.6” 3840x2160 resolution display with 94% Adobe RGB colour performance. It also boasts a more substantial eight ExpressKeys and comes in two different configurations. Both models run on full versions of Windows 10.

Options:

Buy Mobile Studio 13, Intel Core i5, 128GB, 8GB, Intel Iris Graphics 550 here - £1,374 (£1,648.80 inc VAT)

Buy Mobile Studio 13, Intel Core i7, 256GB, 8GB, Intel Iris Graphics 550 here - £1,499 (£1798.80 inc VAT)

Buy Mobile Studio 13, Intel Core i7, 512GB, 16GB, Intel Iris Graphics 550 here - £1916 (£2299.20 inc VAT)

Buy Mobile Studio 16, Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8GB, NVIDIA Quadro M600M with 2GB GDDr5 VRAM here - £1833 (£2199.60 inc VAT)

Buy Mobile Studio 16, Intel Core i7, 512GB, 16GB, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M with 4GB GDDr5 VRAM here - £2291 (£2,749.20 inc VAT)

 

The quality pen display: 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 27QHD display tablet

Wacom Cintiq brings together 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.

There are a number of sizes available – the Cintiq 22HD is a desktop version with a 21.5" full HD display, while the 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 – £542 (£650.40 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen-only display here – £1224 (£1468.80 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen & Touch display here – £1335 (£1602 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen-only display here – £1455 (£1746 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen & Touch display here – £1832 (£2198.40 inc VAT)

 

The high-end pen display: Wacom Cintiq Pro

Go for this if… You want the latest, most sensitive creative pen display around.

wacom_cintiq_pro

Wacom's latest addition to their Cintiq lineup comes in two sizes: the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13, which has a 13.3" display, and the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16, which very logically has a 15.6" one. Both are compatible with Mac and PC computers, and can connect via USB-C, or via Mini DisplayPort and USB using an adaptor (which Wacom kindly include with the tablet so you don't have to fork out twice).

This time around, the display is sleek edge-to-edge etched glass surface, which leads to a slimmer, swisher design and a more realistic 'pen on paper' feel. The 13" model has an HD screen while the 16" has a 4K resolution one, and they're colour accurate for 87% and 94% of Adobe RGB respectively.

Like the new Intuos Pro and Intuos Paper Edition, the Cintiq Pro ships with the ridiculously sensitive Wacom Pro Pen 2, which boasts 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support and virtually no lag.

The Cintiq Pro has a built-in kick stand, and an optional Wacom Stand with three levels of elevation is available for anyone who wants more flexibility. There are no on-tablet ExpressKeys, but anyone who prefers physical buttons to the Cintiq's touchscreen controls can invest in a Wacom ExpressKey Remote.

The Cintiq Pro 13 is available now, with the Cintiq Pro 16 to follow in late February.

Options:

Buy the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 here - £707 ex VAT (£848.40 inc VAT)

Buy the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 here - £1166 ex VAT (£1399.20 inc VAT)

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. For everything else, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

By Ade Leader