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 2560×1440 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” 3840×2160 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 – £2,199.99 (£2,639.99 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 – £485 (£582 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen-only display here – £1224

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen & Touch display here – £1285

Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen-only display here – £1349

Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen & Touch display here – £1654

 

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 – £749 ex VAT (£898.80 inc VAT)

Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 available soon!

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

Ade
Ade
Call us: 03332 409 306

35 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://jigsaw24.btxmedia.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!

  21. Hi,
    I’ve been wanting to get a tablet for quite some time. I stated a animation course in university. I was wondering if you could suggest a graphics tablet that would be good for an animator. I have considered getting the Cintiq 13 but I haven’t used a tablet all that much (to be truthful I wanted a screen tablet to see what i draw) anyways I am not really knowledgeable with tablets so I would really be thankful for the help .
    Thank you.

  22. Hi Sanna,
    Thanks for getting in touch. It sounds like a professional level product such as the Intuos Pro (for pen tablet) or Cintiq (for pen display) would be good for the work you want to do. The 13HD is a slim and compact model, so good for basic animation, however if you want more real estate then the 22HD is ideal. If you have any questions, feel free to call the sales team on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com and they’ll be able to help you out.
    Hope that helps!
    Shariff

  23. Hi my daughter is intrested in animation and is looking for a citiq.
    She is a beginner so im looking for somthing easy to work with and portable but also somthing that as her knowledge and skills grow. She can still use this and not need an upgrade many thanks heather

  24. Hi Heather,
    Thanks for getting in touch!
    If your daughter’s looking at a Cintiq then the 13HD is the most compact and portable option. There shouldn’t be a reason to upgrade this as such – the only reason you might want to opt for the 22HD would be that it offers a larger work area and additional ExpressKeys, and the 27QHD an even larger work area, better resolution and colour accuracy. For this reason the 22HD and 27QHD in particular are ideal for highly detailed work, but it means they are desktop solutions and not really portable. The 13HD has been around for a little while and looks like it may be discontinued soon, which may suggest there could be a refresh of the lineup coming soon too.
    Hope this all helps!
    Shariff

  25. Hi Im a first year architecture student and is wondering what device is the most suitable for me to use cad and adobes software for my assignments?? I also likw to draw animation but just as a side hobby.

  26. Hi Adilah,
    Thanks for getting in touch.
    There’s no particular product that is better suited for CAD as such, it depends on how you want to use it and the type of work you do.
    The Intuos range is a good option for customers who have never used a graphic tablet before. The key difference between the Intuos and Intuos Pro is that the Pro models have better resolution and sensitivity, can recognise pen tilt angle, and are available in larger sizes. Depending on which applications you use, the sensitivity might be superfluous (some CAD programs don’t recognise pressure sensitivity, although most Adobe ones do), however the larger work area and resolution are great for more precise, detailed work. It’s a good idea to map the tablet to your display size so it is more comfortable to use – for above 21”, we’d generally suggest an Intuos Pro Medium or Large.
    Hope this helps!
    Shariff

  27. I am interested in making greeting cards using swash style calligraphy, watercolor, and pen. Which tablet would you recommend?

  28. Hi Veronica,
    We’d suggest either an Intuos or Intuos Pro. Intuos is a great entry-level model, and also comes with free creative software bundled in. Something like the Art or the Draw depending on what size you need/software you prefer (the core specs are the same). The Intuos Pro is more expensive, but (along with better resolution and sensitivity) it does have the advantage of recognising pen tilt angle in supporting apps, and has optional pens which you can purchase, such as Airbrush and Art Pen for different effects.
    Hope that helps! If you’d like any more info, please do contact the sales team on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com.
    Thanks!

  29. Hi jigsaw crew,
    I have read the whole article and all the Q/A… so now I know almost everything about pen tablets :-). But the thing I still marvel about is the Wacom One CTL-471-EU. It’s the cheapest option, which suites me well since I’m an amateur. But the difference to Wacom Intuos Draw or Art is not a massive amount of money. So I’m indecisive. Is Wacom One available only in Europe (Slovakia), or why I can’t find any reviews, discussions about it? I will only do some basic graphic design as posters, flyers, logos and some art paintings just for fun. Thanks a lot for any advise.

  30. Hi Jan,
    Thanks very much for getting in touch!
    The Wacom One is actually a very old model. The updated version of this would be the Wacom Draw, which should suit your needs well.
    Hope that helps!

  31. Hi, I wonder if you can help me

    I run webinars where I present lectures online where the students can see my screen through webex. I want to write on documents and powerpoints and create summaries. I currently use Onenote and a lenovo laptop. I’m interested in buying a Wacom laptop as I find the screen better to write on but not sure which model would be best. Can you help?

  32. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for getting in touch.
    It sounds like you need an all-in-one solution, in which case the MobileStudio Pro would be ideal. If you aren’t doing any particularly heavy creative work, we would suggest the lower spec MobileStudio Pro 13 128GB http://www.jigsaw24.com/pws/ProductDetails.ice?ProductID=P158AAF
    In order to plug it in to a second screen/projector though you’d need something like the Wacom Link adaptor, which isn’t yet available as an additional accessory.
    Hope this helps. Thanks

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