A guide to Wacom: Choosing the best graphics tablet

A guide to Wacom: Choosing the best graphics tablet

Wacom’s graphics tablet lineup includes solutions for all kinds of creative work, needs and budgets. Here, we present our guide to all things Wacom, including MobileStudio Pro, the Cintiq 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 InDesign and Photoshop. It’s the ideal tool for precision work on layouts and imagery, offering great resolution and sensitivity, as well as tilt recognition and ExpressKeys.


With the old Intuos range of tablets now being completely discontinued, Wacom’s entry level option is now the more recent Intuos Pro. The price tag may be a little more than its predecessor, but for the increased outlay, the Intuos Pro does come packed with a rich feature set that makes it ideal for more professional creative work.

The Intuos Pro comes in both medium and large sizes, complete with the Pro Pen 2, a stylus that’s four times more accurate than the previous generation of Pro Pen and boasts 8192 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 features support multitouch gestures (don’t worry, the palm rejection is still excellent).


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).


Intuos Pro Paper Edition

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


The 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 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.


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.


Buy Mobile Studio 13, Intel Core i5, 128GB, 8GB, Intel Iris Graphics 550 here – £1374 (£1648.80 inc VAT)

Buy Mobile Studio 13, Intel Core i7, 256GB, 8GB, Intel Iris Graphics 550 here – £1499 (£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 (£2749.20 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 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.


Buy Wacom Cintiq 13HD here – £575 (£690 inc VAT)

Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen-only display here – £1224 (£1468.80 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 most sensitive creative pen display around.


The Wacom Cintiq Pro 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).

The display is a 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 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.


Buy the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 here – £699 ex VAT (£838.80 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

How does Adobe Stock stack up?

How does Adobe Stock stack up?

Wondering whether or not it’s time for you to switch to Adobe Stock? Sick of hearing us banging on about the incredibly awesome workflow benefits that come with the integration into Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? OK, well how about some cold hard facts to help you make up your mind about how Adobe Stock stacks up against your current provider?

Here’s a quick guide that pits Adobe Stock against the big boys: iStock, Shutterstock, Bigstock and depositphotos.

Who has the most assets?

While I’ve always been told it’s quality not quantity, if you’re drawing blanks and want something to inspire you, having plenty of images to look through is always a bonus. But how do the stock providers compare to each other?

Adobe Stock – Adobe Stock has 45 million assets and counting. Since it’s launch in autumn last year, an additional 5 million have already been added to the pot! 

Big Stock – Despite the name, this is by no means the largest library on the list, with a relatively respectable 32 million assets.

depositphotos – While we’ve struggled to get a definitive number for this one, the last source we can find put this at about 12+ million items, making it the second smallest on the list.

iStock – Last reported, iStock had about 10+ million assets on its books, making it the smallest stock provider on the list.

Shutterstock – Definitely one of the largest databases on file, it has over 70 million stock assets. 

Verdict: While Adobe Stock doesn’t have the largest number of assets within its library, it is by no means the smallest, and is a big jump for anyone using iStock, depositphotos or Big Stock.

What assets are available?

Of course, it’s not all about imagery. Many stock websites also offer video and audio for more complete multimedia provision.

Imagery – As expected, all of the providers on the list offer creative and editorial imagery. Well, you’d hope so…

Illustrations and vector images – Illustrations and vectors aren’t always a given on stock services, but depositphotos, Big Stock, iStock, Shutterstock and Adobe Stock all include both though.

Video – Another big area for stock services is video. Adobe Stock has only recently added it to its arsenal, and all of the other providers on the list are advocates.

Audio – Audio is always a bit of a wild card for stock services and, of the full list, iStock and Shutterstock are the only ones to include it.

Verdict: For the most part, all of the services are fairly evenly weighted. Just bear in mind that if you’re after audio, then only iStock and Shutterstock are viable options. Adobe Stock is a good option for the non-audiophiles out there.

Who has the best assets? The zebra test…

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Jigsaw24 mascot is the elegant animal that is the zebra. Naturally, we find ourselves looking out for the very best zebra photography all the time. So how do the different stock providers look in terms of their zebra libraries?

depositphotos – A search on here returned 16,162 photos. Unlike others on the list, there’s much more of an emphasis on masked images of zebras on white backgrounds, and those that are photos aren’t always of the highest quality.

 deposit photos – the zebra test

Big Stock – Another with a focus on natural photography. The quality of the images is nice, although considering this has the fewest results (13,335 in total) a lot of the assets seem to be variations of the same image. Also, note that the search doesn’t seem to be able to distinguish between a zebra and a zebra crossing.

 Big stock – the zebra test

iStock – Now powered by Getty Images, it’s interesting that iStock returns very different results. A total of 18,133 assets for a search of ‘zebra’ with quite a nice mix of decent photography, zebras on white backgrounds and the odd quirky image thrown in.

 iStock – the zebra test

Shutterstock – The largest number of results came from Shutterstock, with a whopping 33,662 images! Quality is a mixed bag overall, with plenty of stylised photos as well as plenty you wouldn’t look twice at.

 Shutter stock – the zebra test

Adobe Stock – Like iStock, Adobe Stock has a nice mixture of assets and returns 18,786 results, making it the third largest in quantity. Oddly, Adobe Stock seems to return a large number of other objects (rhinos, birds, cake…) masquerading as zebras.

Adobe Stock – the zebra test 

Verdict: They all have their own specialities which makes it difficult to directly compare, but when it comes to variation and range Shutterstock, iStock and Adobe Stock come up trumps.

Which is the most expensive? 

It’s the all-important question and ultimately what helps sway the decision in many businesses, so what’s the difference in price?

First off, a slight caveat in that direct comparisons between different stock providers can be difficult because of the sheer number of options out there. However, for the purposes of this piece, we’re approaching it from the angle of needing an annual subscription for a team with a standard licence.

iStock – iStock only advertise for single users, and for a team subscription you would be looking at a higher cost. Their pricing is split between ‘Essentials’ subscriptions (which includes basic images only) and ‘Signature’ subscriptions (which includes access to all imagery.). For an annual Signature subscription, you can get 50 images per month for £119 (£2.38 per image) up to 750 images per month for £199.92 (27p per image).

Shutterstock – Shutterstock do offer team packages, with prices increasing as the number of users does. For a team of two users, they offer a 750 images per month package for £179 (24p per image).

Big Stock – Unfortunately there’s no mention of a teams package or an annual subscription, but monthly packages are available. For 25 images per month it’s £45 (£1.80 per image), and there are options up to 200 images per month for £112 (56p per image).

depositphotos – Team packages are available with an annual subscription through depositphotos. For 50 images it’s £51 per month (£1.02 per image) and options are available up to 500 images per month for £171 (34p per image).

Adobe Stock – The big thing to bear in mind here are that pooled imagery amongst teams does not cost more with Adobe Stock, so there’s no increase price as your team grows. A 10 image per month subscription will set you back £20 per month (equivalent to £2 per image). For 750 images per month, it’s £120 per month (or 16p per image).

Verdict: Adobe Stock is the clear winner in price when looking at team subscriptions. Ultimately, across all three services, the more images you’re buying the cheaper it’s going to be, but in terms of cost per image, Adobe Stock is the most cost-effective.

And one more thing… productivity

Stock imagery and productivity might sound like an odd combination, but the fact is that where Adobe Stock is in a very unique position is in its integration with your Creative Cloud applications. As well as being able to search for imagery directly within the app without having to jump back to the Adobe website, preview images can be saved and manipulated within your projects, then when it comes to buying the final version, you hit a button and it swaps out the preview for the final high res image, retaining any adjustments you made to the preview. Basically, it eradicates the need to duplicate work, so in theory, Adobe Stock makes you twice as fast.

And in regards the other stock providers? Oh, is that tumbleweed we see…

Buy Adobe Stock at Jigsaw24

Want to find out more about Adobe Stock? Head on over to our Adobe Stock page to take a look at the full feature-set. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 259, email adobe@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below.

*Prices correct at the time of writing.

Video: Our design team on working with Wacom Intuos Pro

Video: Our design team on working with Wacom Intuos Pro

Ask any designer nowadays and they’ll tell you their Wacom is indispensable to their work. Ask our design team, and they’ll tell you why they’d like to snog theirs. Find out how they’re using Wacom Intuos Pro in design work as diverse as print, web, illustration and animation in this video… 


Want to know more about the Wacom Intuos Pro range? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email wacom@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Weekly design inspiration: Staying creative, Great British Bake Off and typewriters

Weekly design inspiration: Staying creative, Great British Bake Off and typewriters

Feeling blue without your weekly dose of design inspiration? Well, we don’t want to disappoint. This time there are colourful cows, ways to use the old typewriter lurking in your cupboard, more cake and a couple of animations that will have you drinking coffee by the bucket-load.

Oh, and one more thing…pinch, punch, first of the month. 

29 ways to stay creative

Suffering a momentary lapse in creative flair? We have the answer! Well, the guys at @tofu_design do with this handy little video that includes 29 different ways to get the creative juices flowing. I can’t say I agree with all of them – singing in the shower, for example, is more likely to get me thumped than a design award – but that said, there are some nice bits of advice in there. I, for one, will be using this as an excuse to throw away everything on my desk as soon as I’ve finished writing this article.


Can you name a font beginning with every letter?

Another video here. This one is from the multidisciplinary design studio, N9VE, who have have created an animation that runs through 26 of their favourite fonts. The video is called ‘The Alphabet’ and each character featured is the initial letter of a font name – definitely one for all typography fans!

The Alphabet from n9ve on Vimeo.

Can’t wait for Great British Bake Off 2014?

We’re still in denial that this year’s series of GBBO has ended – we event went as far as locking Liz and Liana in the kitchen and telling them they couldn’t return to their desk until they’d produced a perfect selection of petit fours and a croquembouche. They failed, but we have come across this look at the work of Tom Hovey, Bake Off’s resident illustrator, who puts together the drawings you see of the proposed bakes each week. Take a look at his website for more examples of his work.

Tom Hovey's work on Great British Bake Off

Visit Tom Hovey’s website for examples of his work.

Swap your Mac for a typewriter

OK, so we’re never going to actually give you that advice. However, these incredible pieces of work by Keira Rathbone show that sometimes a bit of inspiration can go a long way. She uses an old typewriter to print artwork entirely composed of numbers, letters and symbols. Check out the example below, but her website is well worth a visit – if only to see what happens when you start the day with the intention of creating a typed version of Grace Jones.

Keira Rathebone Typewriter artist

Visit Keira Rathbone’s site here for her portfolio.

Art painted on cows

You can’t get more to the point than that. If you’re a bovine enthusiast this one’s definitely for you, because body paint artist Emma Hack has taken to the fields with her paint brush to design some fetching new coats for these cows in South Australia. Obviously, our favourite is the jigsaw piece – very this season.

Cow body art

Visit toxel.com for more examples of Emma’s work.

Keep an eye out next Friday for more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below.

Jigsaw24's design and publishing shop