Category Archives: Graphics tablet

Tablet made of plastic that you attach to your computer. You draw on the tablet and see the image on your computer.

Wacom+Intuos+Pro+Paper+Edition-2

Intuos Pro Paper Edition hits the stands: Hands on

Intuos Pro Paper Edition: Take note

The Intuos Pro Paper Edition is here, joining the ranks of tablets that add real paper and pen to the mix. It comes in only Medium and large, and is a regular Intuos Pro except for the addition of a paper pad and fine-tipped pen.

Like the paperless model, it comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, which gets an eye-popping 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The regular Intuos Pro has also been updated.

Intuos Pro Paper Edition

Intuos Pro Paper and pens. Image courtesy Wacom

New Intuos Pro and Paper Edition features

Click to check price (international and U.S. users).

The new Intuos Pro, including the Intuos Pro Paper Edition (as they’re the same tablet)  is thinner than the old version and has a smaller footprint. The pen stand is now smaller, the pen case is updated. Then nibs sit in the pen holder, which is now flatter and cookie-like.

You also get three Texture Sheets that you can use to get the look of three drawing textures.

The Paper Edition still has touch, the ExpressKeys, and Rocker Ring as controls.

It also includes the 0.4mm Finetip gel ink pen, which is also an EMR pressure-sensitive pen.

Inkscape App

Like the Bamboo Slate and Spark, the tablet comes with the Inkscape app. (Though the app is free to download, eventually it becomes subscription-based).

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Intuos Pro Paper with Pro Pen 2 and new, thinner pen stand

Besides the gel pen, there’s an optional ballpoint pen. Wacom says that in mid-2017, there’s going to be a pencil option. Yippie! Wonder if it will have an eraser end.

With the app, which works on mobile or desktop, your drawings get digitized and you can store or share them.

intuospropaper

You can use the Paper Clip (that thing on top) to attach your favorite drawing paper to the Intuos Pro Paper Edition. Or you can use the tablet as a regular Intuos Pro.

WIth the paid app, you get 50 GB storage instead of 5; you can convert text to notes, collaborate with others, or turn raster into vector. It costs $3.56 per month as of this writing. The basic app is free and can be used on its Web platform or as an Android and iOS mobile app.

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Intuos Pro Paper Edition Bamboo gel pen

The Intuos Pro Paper now has this whole new functionality. While I like the ink pens, can’t wait for mid-2017 when the pencil comes out in time for summer sketching.

See it on Amazon (international and U.S.).

Read more about the top Wacom tablets.

turcomreview

Turcom TS-6610 graphics tablet review

Turcom TS-6610 tablet review, with art-program testing

turcomreview
Turcom TS-6610

Turcom makes audio equipment, security cameras, LED lights, and drawing tablets, including one pen-display tablet (as of 7/16).

Summary: The tablet is built well, and the pressure curve is great, but the driver can be difficult.

I tested it with various art programs on both Mac and Windows, and reported the results below.

Type of tablet
Graphics tablet (no screen), attaches to computer
What’s in the Box

Tablet
USB cord
Pen
Nib holder
5 nibs (one in pen and 4 extra; nibs are all the same)
AAA battery (Pardeer brand) for pen
disk with driver
Quickstart guide

Features

2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity
Size: 12.5 inches x 16 inches x 2 inches
Weight: 2.15 pounds
Active area: 10 inches by 6.25 inches
Report rate (RPS) 220
Plastic build
8 Hot Keys
16 customizable “functional cells,” on-screen softkeys
Pen included, takes AAA battery (included)
Resolution: 4000 LPI (Lines per Inch)
Driver available from included disk or from Turcom site
Pen takes AAA battery (included); no eraser tip
Pen weight with battery: 26g (battery alone is 11g)

 

turcomts6610tablet

Turcom TS-6610 tablet box

Portability

It’s pretty easy to take with you at a little over 2 pounds.

For Lefties

The driver has a feature that will adjust for lefties once they turn the tablet so the buttons are on the right.

Turcom was kind enough to send me this tablet. I tested art programs and installed the driver on different computers and operating systems. Overall the drivers worked best on Mac, then Windows 10 on laptop/desktop, then Windows tablet. The tablet and other items came safely packed in styrofoam . The quickstart guide doesn’t look professionally designed, but it has the basic information needed. There’s no larger guide on the TurcomUSA site (compare to Huion, which sends a more complete set of information in a booklet).

The Turcom TS-6610 tablet has a solid build quality, with eight customizable Hot Keys, including a two-button ring with a zoom in/out default function, and 16 softkeys you can program in the advanced driver settings. It looks a lot like the Huion H610Pro, but I weighed the two and the Huion weighs slightly more. The Turcom’s beaded surface is rougher than the H610 Pro’s, which is also beaded, but smoother. There are no Touch features.

turcomgraphicstablet

See the Turcom TS-6610 on Amazon

Some reviews say  it’s the same tablet as the Huion H610 (non-Pro), which has an AAA battery-powered pen. The specs and appearance seem to match. The driver for the Turcom is made by Huion. The download is on the Turcom site. I also tried the Huion H610/H610 Pro driver from the Huion site and it worked.

Turcom pen

turcom ts 6610

Penrest, nibolder, nibs. These parts attach.

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Turcom pen on penrest

The pen is chunky, about 1/2″ at the thickest part, with the grip part being a little thinner. It’s pretty heavy with the battery in it–this is an AAA battery, not a smaller AAAA. The pen has no eraser at the end. The gray grip is hard, but has a more graspable texture than the rest of the pen, which is smoother.

The buttons are placed so that you have to be a little careful to not press them by accident, but you can get used to it and avoid accidental presses. The build is plastic and seems quite durable. The weight of the pen doesn’t result in too-heavy lines. The penn makes a scratchy noise when drawing on the beaded surface.

Drawing on the Turcom tablet

Palm rejection and hover work fine. The beaded surface provides a rough area that’s pleasant to draw on despite the noise, and the surface may cause nibs may wear down quickly–luckily, they’ve provided extras. There’s a row of numbers across the top that visually correspond to the softkeys.

Setting the pressure curve in the middle produced the best results for me. The most sensitive setting still provided good variation.

The pressure curve works great. It’s responsive and snappy and goes from a very thin line to thick. Setting it at lower sensitivity still gives a good variation. Both lower and middle sensitivity feel comfortable to draw, and I’m not a hard presser. It’s quite comparable to Wacom, and some may even prefer the Huion. It doesn’t cause any blobs or sudden changes. I didn’t have a jitter problem.

The tablet shows the numbers 1-16, so you can access these softkeys while drawing.

TIP: Keep other tablets and other items with electrical components at least a few feet a way, as interference from them can cause odd hover issues.

Installing the Turcom/Huion driver

Both the 6610 driver from the Turcom site and the Huion H610/H610 Pro driver from the Huion site work on the tablet. Both drivers are made by Huion. It’s best to use the site ones because they are kept up up to date. The Huion H610 driver seemed a bit better than the 6610 driver, in that the 6610 would open up a page of what seemed to be developer’s notes. But otherwise they are similar.

Turcom/Huion driver on Windows 10

When it works well, the driver installs quickly and easily. It can be a breeze or a hurricane, depending what’s on your computer.

huiondriversettings

Driver settings

 

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Advanced driver settings

Troubleshooting the Turcom/Huion driver. If you’re having problems, these are things to look into: Install the drivers as Administrator. Delete all Wacom drivers and any other graphics tablet drivers. Even if they are not showing up in Control Panel they could still be there, visible in RegEdit (please ask someone for help if you are not comfortable going into your system and deleting files; deleting the wrong files can cause problems with your computer). Delete the Wacom Feel/Wintab driver if you have that (it can be redownloaded here). Delete all previous versions of this driver. Shut off all antivirus, including the default Windows Defender. Once all that’s done (and that is not the totality of possible considerations, but the main things I encountered after trying it on several different Windows 10 computers), you should be able to open the settings. Huion has a support thread on Deviant Art as well as offering other ways to contact them, including Skype.

Using a penabled Tablet PC will not interfere with the driver.
Turcom/Huion driver on Mac (El Capitan)
On the Mac, the driver installed beautifully, but I have less stuff on the Mac. The Mac driver doesn’t have the Pen Pressure Test panel, but that’s no big deal. 

I could not get Tablet Mapping to work.

Wacom drivers vs. Huion drivers

Wacom drivers are more robust with more ways to customize, since the Radial Menu with its submenus offers 64 different programmable shortcuts to the Turcom’s 24 (not counting pen buttons for either). Wacom has a more complex pen-pressure options, the ability in the Pro tablets to customize per application, and screen mapping as well as tablet mapping. They generally are easier to install (some will disagree). Some Wacom tablets have touch. Wacom offers tilt sensitivity, and in the Pro versions (Intuos Pro and Cintiq) also rotaton sensitivity. Wacom’s has a mouse mode and the Huion driver does not.

See more info on choosing a Wacom graphics tablet.

Not everyone needs to use a lot of customization (or any; they are totally optional), and the Huion drivers do nearly the same amount of things as Wacom’s.

Wacom’s tablets come with some art software bundled and some offer Touch.

Art programs in Windows 10
I got pressure in Photoshop and Sketchbook, though it took a restart whereas GIMP and Krita worked right away. The tablet worked in Inkscape, but I couldn’t get pressure in Inkscape’s Calligraphy tool with the pressure box checked. It works in Illustrator without pressure. Huion says they are working on pressure for Illustrator.

The product info lists CorelDraw and Painter, Autodesk Sketchbook, MAYA, ZBrush, Infinite Stratos, Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Flash, ComicStudio, and SAI as working with the 6610.

Art Programs on Mac
Same results as Windows but less fussing to get pressure in Photoshop and Sketchbook.

As with other graphics tablets, this one also works well as a rather large mouse substitute for opening programs, editing documents in Word, etc.

Customer support. Huion seems to have a bigger online presence than Turcom, and since the drivers are Huion’s, asking Huion or perusing Huion threads where they have responded can be helpful in troubleshooting. Huion is good about answering, and can be reached via email, Skype, or phone. The company also a support thread on Deviant Art here.

Turcom TS-6610 vs. Huion H610 Pro

The Huion H610 Pro specs are higher–it has a higher resolution (5080) and report rate. The H610Pro’s pen attaches by a cord, avoiding taking a battery, thus the pen is lighter. Other than that, the pen size is similar to the Turcom pen. The Turcom tablet is a little heavier and its surface somewhat smoother (all models may not be exactly the same). The Turcom’s resolution is like the Intuos, and the Huion 610 Pro’s is like the Intuos Pro.

User reviews

Most users are happy with this tablet, praising its affordability, size, and capabilities. Many see it as a good alternative to Wacom. Some had problems with the drivers and some reported hover issues, but overall, comment are positive.

Pros

Quite a few customization options
Good size drawing surface
Extra nibs and pen battery included
2,048 levels of pressure
Good value
Draws well
High resolution (less high than H610 Pro)

 

Cons:

Drivers can be fussy
Pen is heavy and takes a battery
Mapping not working (on mine anyway)
No additional instructions online

The Verdict

The Turcom TS-6610 graphics tablet is a viable starter alternative to a Wacom graphics tablet; you may want to upgrade after a while. The drawing experience is really good, with a large surface and good pressure sensitivity.  If you have a decent understanding of your computer and file systems, then potential driver issues should be manageable. If that kind of thing is overwhelming to you, you may be better off going with Wacom.

Free software such as Gimp and Krita actually worked better off the bat for me with this tablet than did Photoshop CC,  which took a restart to get pressure working. Using this with free software can get you going in digital art without a major investment.

The Huion H610/H610 Pro driver on the Huion site is a bit better than the Turcom driver on the Turcom site, so you might want to use the 610 one.

What the Turcom TS-6610 graphics tablet can do, it does well, and offers a lot of value. Good for students, beginners, or those on a budget.

See more reviews and info of the Turcom TS-6610 graphics tablet on Amazon

See our review of the Huion H610 Pro

See our review of the Monoprice graphics tablet

See our review of the Intuos Pro

See our review of the Intuos Pen and Touch Small

end of Turcom TS-6610 drawing tablet review

 

 

 

 

 

 

wacom graphics tablets

Best Wacom tablet: Intuos graphics tablets

What’s the best Wacom tablet for your needs? Understanding the Intuos and Intuos Pro lines

Wacom Graphics Tablets 2017

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium (2017)
wacom intuos pro 2017
Professional tablet allows you to customize controls per app.
Multitouch, gestures. 8 customizable Express Keys.
Pro Pen 2 has 8,192 levels of pressure, and tilt.
Read our review
Wacom Intuos Pro Paper Edition
Wacom+Intuos+Pro+Paper+Edition-sm
Intuos Pro plus digitizing real ink pen and paper.
Save your work to the Inkscape App. 8,192 levels, tilt.
See it now

Read our article
Wacom Art Pen & Touch line
wacom intuos art pen and touch tablet
For hobbyists or beginners.
Models are Art, Comic/Manga, Photo, and 3D.
Each is the same tablet with different art programs.
Intuos Pen gets 1,024 levels.
Read our review
Wacom Intuos Draw
wacom-intuos-draw
Simplest, good for beginners.
No touch function. 1,024 levels.
Old Intuos Pro (up through 2016)

tablet-with-stylus
Multitouch, gestures.
Medium and Large have 8 customizable Express Keys. Small has 6.
If you want an Intuos Pro Small, this is it.
Pro Pen, 2,048 levels.
Read our review
This chart gives an overview of Wacom Intuos Pro and Intuos drawing tablets, with photos, features, and links. It illustrates the accompanying article, "How to Pick the Best Wacom Tablet: Intuos graphics tablets." Each tablet comes with a pen.

This article covers facts about the Intuos line and how to pick the best Wacom tablet, whether you’re a beginner, hobbyist, or professional artist or photographer.

Wacom graphics tablets: from Bamboo to Intuos Pro

Choosing the best Wacom tablet is not always easy. On Wacom graphics tablets you do not draw on the screen, but on an opaque tablet attached to a computer. Wacom tablet monitors where you draw on the screen, such as the Cintiq, are not the same thing. The chart provides links to corresponding Wacom tablet reviews on this blog.

Most artists getting into digital art begin with a graphics tablet rather than a tablet with screen, since this category has the most affordable options. Still, there are some tablets with screens that are less costly than the top graphics tablets.

Click here to see Intuos comparison chart with additional details.

Wacom, a Japanese company, is the leader in the art tablet market. Wacom drawing tablets are the most popular, and considered to be the best quality and they tend to cost more. The best Wacom tablet for your needs is not necessarily the most expensive one.

With a Wacom tablet, you can draw with a natural feeling, and get great accuracy in photo editing. You can do handwriting, sign documents, and cut and paste. With the pen and touch line, you can use your hands to do gestures such and panning and zooming.

Wacom Bamboo

You won’t see the Bamboo line in our list of best Wacom tablets. Why? Bamboo used to be the standard name for Wacom graphics tablets, but the company renamed the Bamboo line into the Intuos, leaving a few in the Bamboo line, mainly signature pads that don’t have the advantages of the more fully-featured Intuos graphics tablets.

Many people still refer to Wacom tablets as Bamboo, since the Bamboo line was made for a very long time. Wacom still updates Bamboo drivers. The company also make some pens and styluses bearing the name Bamboo.

Intuos Pro 2017

The Intuos Pro 2017, Medium size, is the most popular Wacom tablet among artists and designers. With its ample size and professional features, it’s the gold standard of graphics tablet. The 2017 model is an upgrade over the old Intuos Pro. The pen now has 8,192 levels of pressure instead of 2,048, and the tablet is thinner. There is less lag when using the pen.

Our top pick is the Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium.

Wacom-Intuos-Pro

Intuos Pro 2017 with Pro Pen 2. Image courtesy Wacom

It has 10 nibs (not all different), 4 of them felt tip. The pen stand is flatter and more pucklike. The Pro Pen 2 can also be used on the Cintiq Pro and MobileStudio Pro.

Intuos Pro Paper Edition 2017

The Intuos Pro Paper Edition is the same tablet as the 2017 Intuos Pro, but the Paper lets you use real ink and your favorite paper, which attaches via an included clip called, of course, the Paper Clip.

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Intuos Pro Paper Edition with Pro Pen 2 and pressure-sensitive, finepoint gel pen. Image courtesy Wacom

It comes with the Pro Pen 2, as well as a pressure-sensitive, fine-point gel pen. The gel pen looks like a regular pen and is Bamboo brand. There’s also an optional ballpoint pen. In mid-2017, Wacom plans to release a pencil.

With the Paper Edition, you use the Inkscape App, either online or via mobile app. The app has a free and pro version. The pro version lets you collaborate with others, vectorize raster art, and offers more memory (50 GB instead of 5).

Even if you’re not online, the Paper Edition tablet will store 200 files with multiple layers, or 1000 single-layered files.

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Intuos Pro Paper Edition with Pro Pen 2 and pen stand

The paper the tablet comes with is just regular paper, not some special kind. You can use any paper of reasonable thickness. An optional purchase is three different texture sheets you place over the tablet that simulate different paper surfaces. The Intuos Pro Paper Edition only comes in Medium and Large.

If you get the Intuos Pro, you can add the Paper accessories later.

Top Wacom tablet: Intuos Pro Paper

If drawing on paper is a feature you want, the Paper Edition may be the best Wacom tablet for you. The choice of pens and papers, the plan to issue a pencil, and the optional drawing-surface sheets make this a fun and sophisticated tablet.

With the regular Intuos tablet, you CAN put paper over the tablet and trace over the drawing with the Pro Pen 2 with varying results depending on the paper thickness. Though it’s not the same as using the ink pens of the Paper Edition, but if you miss the feel of paper, it’s an option.

Wacom Intuos tablets: Intuos Pro vs. Intuos Pen & Touch and Intuos Draw

There are many Intuoses to choose from. In the non-Pro line, there are quite a few models, with the main difference being the art programs that come with them.

best wacom tablet

Intuos Pro Pen 2, with 8,192 pressure levels in both the tip and eraser end

The Intuos line is comprised of the Intuos Pro and the Intuos, which includes the Intuos Art Pen & Touch line and the Intuos Draw. On the Wacom site, these are also referred to as the Creative Pen & Touch line, such as the Art Creative Pen & Touch, etc.

All (both Pro and non-Pro) come bundled with art programs which vary depending which package you get, so you’re getting more for your money than just a tablet. Last year, Wacom introduced the Intuos 3D, which has 3D software.

intuos 3d sculpting

Sculpting in 3D. Image courtesy Wacom

Main differences, Pro vs. non-Pro

The Intuos Pro with Pro Pen 2 has 8,192 pressure levels; the pen’s eraser tip has the same amount of pressure levels. The Pro tablet has more Express Keys. It allows you to customize commands per application. The Pro Pen 2 has tilt. A Wi-fi kit is included rather than optional.

The Pro Pen 2 can work with newer Wacom tablets that have screens as well, such as the MobileStudio Pro and Cintiq Pro. It comes with a set of 10 nibs, including 4 felt-like ones.

The Intuoses have the Intuos Pen, which gets 1,048 pressure levels. The pen has no eraser tip. You can customize commands, but not differently for each program. The tablet does not support tilt or rotation. A Wi-fi kit is not included.

Features of all Intuos tablets

All Intuoses, indeed all graphics tablets, have palm rejection. If the pen is touching or hovering over the tablet, it will take precedence over your hand.

All come with a pen. Wacom pens are battery-free and pressure-sensitive. The digitizer is traditional EMR, which is top of the line, along with the Apple’s iPad Pro digitizer. (For more on that, see our introductory article about tablets). You can use your fingers to do gestures such as pinch, zoom, and navigate, but you won’t be able to draw using your fingers.

You can use a desktop or laptop, Windows or Mac, with the Intuos. There’s no best Intuos tablet for Mac or PC, they work equally well with both. You can also use Linux.

Intuoses come with customizable Express Keys that you program in the driver. You can add more customizable functions using the Radial Menu, which shows on your computer screen.

Because I find the Wacom site difficult to find specific information on, I’ve gone through it and digested the main info in this article. But there is additional information there.

Intuos Pro: Features

Intuos Pros are professional-level. They offer advanced features such support for pen tilt, and rotation sensitivity. Intuos Pro tablets also have higher specifications, with twice the resolution of the regular Intuos line (2,540 lines per inch or LPI, vs. 5,080 for the Pro line).

So the Pro line has the highest LPI of all Wacom non-screen tablets, equal to the LPI of high-resolution Cintiqs. LPI means Lines Per Inch, which defines the resolution of the drawn line.

 

intuos-pro-pen-and-touch-review

Drawing on Intuos Pro

The Intuos Pro’s Touch Ring functions as a scroll wheel, which can be useful to architects using design software such as CAD. You can also assign pen buttons to scroll.

All Intuos Pros have multitouch, so calling them Pro Pen and Touch is redundant, yet it’s still the name.

All Intuos Pros have Bluetooth built in, except the Intuos Pro Small, which has RFID, according to Wacom.

Specs for Intuos Pro 2017

– 8,192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity in both pen tip and eraser when using Pro Pen 2 (Pro Pen original had a respectable 2,048, which is plenty).
-Multitouch, allowing gestures such as pan, rotate your artwork, zoom, and navigate
-Multi-function touch ring with 4 customizable functions
-USB
-Wi-fi kit included
-Customizable Express Keys are application-specific, i.e., you can program them to different commands in different programs.
-Touch Ring with 4 programmable functions.
-battery-free Pro Pen 2 with tilt recognition
-corners light up to show active area
-built-in Bluetooth

See the Intuos Pros on Amazon.

Intuos 3D. There is a model of the Wacom Intuos that comes with 3D software. Read our writeup: Wacom Intuos 3D: Step into a digital dimension

 

intuospropaper

Intuos Pro Paper Edition. See, it’s just a regular Wacom Intuos Pro under all that paper.

All Intuos Pros have tilt sensitivity, which gives you a natural drawing feeling. It’s when the tablet recognizes the angle you’re holding the pen at and changes the mark according to it, like a real pen on paper. The Pro allows this, as does the pen that comes with it.

Rotation sensitivity allows you to make complex, Spirograph-like patterns when you rotate the pen in various art programs.  The Pro tablet accommodates this, but the pen that comes with the tablet doesn’t have this feature, it only has tilt.

To get rotation sensitivity, you need to buy the optional Wacom Art Pen, which has both tilt and rotation. The Art Pen does not work on newer models. It is only compatible with: Cintiq (these models including the Touch versions): 27QHD, 24HD, 22HD, 21 UX, Cintiq 13HD, all Cintiq Companion 1 and 2 models, Companion Hybrid, Intuos Pro, Intuos5, Intuos4.

2017 Intuos Pro dimensions (same for Paper Edition):

Medium:

13.2 x 8.5 x 0.3 in. (338 x 219 x 8mm )

Active area  8.7 x 5.8 in. (224 x 148 mm)

8 Express Keys

Large:

16.8 x 11.2 x 0.3 in (430 x 287 x 8mm)

Active Area  12.1 x 8.4 in. (311 x 216 mm)

8 Express Keys

 

Old Intuos Pro dimensions

tablet-with-stylus-intuos

old Intuos Pro small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small

Total Size: 12.6 x 8.2 x 0.5 in
Active area: 6.2 x 3.9 in
Weight: 1.5 lbs.

Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium
Total size: 15 x 9.9 x 0.5 in.
Active area: 8.8 x 5.5 in
Weight: 2.2 lbs.

Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Large
Total Size: 19.2 x 12.5 x 0.5 in
Active area: 12.8 x 8.0 in, Touch 11.8 x 7.5 in
Weight: 4 lbs.

Intuos Pros are larger than the non-Pros because of the large grip area and the buttons, but the active area of the Intuos Pro and Intuoses are almost the same.

One advantage of the old one is you can use the 6D ArtPen, which supports rotation sensitivity or barrel roll.

Top pick

Top pick: Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium. It’s the most versatile and most comfortable to use. You can use with a small or large monitor, and its high resolution makes it ideal for single or multiple displays. It’s large enough to allow comfortable arm movement and long strokes, but portable enough to fit into a laptop bag or backpack. Most Wacom tablet reviews agree on this.

Of course, it’s about what you’re happy with–some prefer the larger or smaller one. But many artists, designers, and photographers feel the Pro Medium is the best Wacom tablet.

There’s now a much wider gap in pen sensitivity between the Pro and regular Intuos than there used to be; while the Pro has gone from equaling the regular’s still-current 1,024 levels, the Pro then rose to 2,048 and now to 8,192.

The discernible difference between the 1,024 and 2,048 in my opinion is greater than the jump from 2,048 to 8,192. The Pro’s tilt sensitivity makes a difference as well.

 

Intuos Art Pen & Touch tablets

Intuos Art Pen & Touch is the non-Pro Intuos line.

Wacom didn’t update this line for 2017, though it did release the 3D Pen & Touch last year.

The Wacom Intuos Art Pen & Touch line comes in four packages: Draw, Art, Photography, Comic/Manga, and 3D.  Each tablet is referred to by its software: Art Pen & Touch, Comics Pen & Touch, etc.

Though it’s all the same tablet, but the bundled software package is specialized for each creative practice. You can purchase any of the software separately or use other programs, including free ones.

The Creative Pen & Touch line also has touch capability, but has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity as opposed to 8,192, comes in Small and Medium (no Large), and does not come with the Wi-fi kit–that’s an optional purchase. The non-Pro line does not support tilt or rotation sensitivity. The pen does not have an eraser tip.

The Photography tablet comes only in Small and the color black, with photo-editing software. It has a Wi-fi kit option.

The Intuos Art comes in Small and Medium, and has software for digital painting. The Intuos Comic comes in Small, though there’s a Japanese Wacom tablet called Intuos Manga that comes in Medium.

wacom intuos draw

Small Intuos Art Pen & Touch

Bundled software changes from time to time.

The Art, Photography, and Comic, and 3D tablets all have touch. The Draw is the only one that doesn’t. (Most non-Wacom graphics tablets do not have touch, tilt, or rotation sensitivity.) Because it lacks touch, you can’t use gestures on the Draw.

Toggle off the Touch.

Touch speeds up workflow. If you don’t always want Touch, all Intuoses have a toggle that let you turn off the feature. You may find you don’t use Touch at all.

See the Art Pen & Touch line on Amazon.

Best Wacom tablet for beginners: Intuos Draw

The Intuos Draw comes only in small, and is blue or white. Like the others, It has four Express Keys. It doesn’t have touch. It’s the simplest, with the fewest bells and whistles.

Photoshop, Illustrator, and other art programs, as well as Mac and Windows operating systems, are increasingly integrated with touch. So getting one with touch prepares you for the future. But if you just want something simple, the Draw may be the best choice for you.

We think the best Wacom tablet for beginners or those on a budget is the Intuos Draw. If you’re just dipping your toe in digital paint, it’s a good place to start.

Dimensions: 8.25 x 0.4 x 6.7 inches

Intuos Pen

The pen that comes with the Intuos line does not have an eraser. You can erase using your art program instead. The Intuos Pen is different than the Pro Pen that comes with the Intuos Pro, whereas the Intuos Pen is thinner and has no eraser end.

 

wacom tablet reviews - intuos pen

Intuos Pen

With Intuoses, most of the tablet is the active area. The buttons are in the top corners. The Intuoses have the benefit of saving desk space.

Most of the tablet is the active area. The dots on the tablet mark the active areas where you can map the tablet.

Choosing a size of Intuos/Intuos Pro

A good rule of thumb in finding the best Wacom tablet is that the tablet’s active area should be at least 1/3 the size of your computer screen, diagonally measured. So if you’ve got up to a 19″ screen, you need at least a 6″ in active area, which would be the Small size. Though it would work, you might feel constrained.

When drawing on a small tablet, a small hand movement can cover a lot of space on the monitor, so you may find it hard to get good accuracy. You can zoom in on the drawing to help.

If you’re using a desktop or tablet with a keyboard, the keyboard is going to take up more room on your desk, so that’s one consideration. A desk with a slideout tray is useful to place the tablet or keyboard.

Using multiple displays? The settings will allow you to map the tablet to a horizontal area that works with more than one display.

Tablet resolution is much higher than monitor resolution, so you shouldn’t have resolution issues, unless perhaps you are using a small, non-Pro tablet on multiple high-res monitors.

A “too large” tablet, one larger than your screen, will still work if mapped to the monitor correctly.

When choosing the best Wacom tablet, ask yourself: What will you use it for? How large is your monitor? Will you use more than one display at a time? How much desk space do you have? Do you need to carry the tablet around? What’s your budget? Are you going to be happy with a tablet that does not have a screen? Do you have any problems such as repetitive strain injury (RSI)? If you do have RSI, a Small may cause cramping.

Intuos Creative Pen & Touch sizes

Intuos Creative Pen & Touch Small:
8.5 inches x 10.75 inches x 0.25 inches
Active area: 6.0 x 3.7 in

Intuos Creative Pen & Touch Medium
Total Size: 10.75 x 8.75 in.
Active Area: 8.5 x 5.3 in

Only the Pro comes in large.

Pick a Small Wacom drawing tablet if: you’re using the tablet mainly to lightly touch up photos, scrapbooking, or drawing or coloring if you don’t mind drawing small. Or, you have a small desk space,  or if you need something really easy to carry.

wacomartpenandtouchsmallreview

Drawing on a small Wacom tablet

Pick Medium if: you’re illustrating, or doing detailed photo editing or graphics, Medium is the best graphic tablet size, as you will be able to get more detail and precision. It’s the most comfortable for drawing, too. It will let you move your arms and shoulders, which is positive for drawing. It’s he best Wacom tablet for most uses. Like Goldilocks, you’ll probably find that the one in the middle is “just right.”

Pick Large (Pro only) if: you have a very large monitor or multiple displays. Large is not optimal for drawing. Your arm will be traveling a lot and it can get tiring.

This video shows a graphic designer using an Intuos with gestures (a small part of the video also shows a CIntiq).

Getting started with Intuos

Wacom has an extensive YouTube channel with information and tutorials.

Conclusion: There are quite a few things to keep in mind in choosing an Intuos graphics tablet, including comfort, pen capabilities, desk space, and included software. Luckily, there are a lot to pick from, so finding the best Wacom tablet for your needs shouldn’t be too difficult.

More Wacom tablet reviews

Check out our detailed Wacom tablet reviews. We have reviews of both Wacom brand and tablets that use a Wacom pen. The company has lent its technology to quite a few tablet PCs. In those, you won’t get all the customization but you will get pressure sensitivity.

Read our detailed Intuos Draw review: http://www.tabletsforartists.com/intuos-draw-review/

Economical alternatives

Looking for a more affordable graphics tablet? Check out our Huion 610 Pro review. The Huion  has 2,048 pressure levels, but no touch, tilt, or rotation. It allows much less customization, and installation can be a little tricky for some. Still, it offers quite a lot.

Or our Monoprice graphics tablet  or Turcom TS-6610 review.

Wacom Intuos alternatives are a viable choice, especially compared to the regular Intuos, but you’re missing out on the Pro features.

All in all, you can’t really go wrong with a tablet from the Intuos line. These are a solid, classic choice of graphics tablet, and should last you through years of drawing.

Check prices of the Intuos line.

Want to more about all the different types of tablets? Check out our complete guide to the best drawing tablet.

end of Choosing the best Wacom tablet

Video: how to use Intuos Draw and ArtRage for a portrait

In this video by Wacom Americas, artist Barbara Leitzow shows how to use the oil paint tools in ArtRage to paint a portrait using the Intuos Draw. ArtRage is an affordable digital painting program with tons of fun features, such as brushes that look like real oil paint, and even glitter (can’t go wrong with glitter). If you don’t want to sink the money into expensive digital art software at this time, ArtRage is a great place to start (and you may even decide to continue with it)–it has mobile and desktop (Mac and PC) versions. The program supports Wacom features such as Tilt and Rotation, and even has settings for various Wacom styluses. It has layers and blending modes, and you can choose different canvas textures. ArtRage gives you a lot of control and customization abilities. It’s optimized for touch, with a lot of tools on-screen. It gives you the ability to mirror and duplicate strokes. The interface is simple and intuitive. It’s as easy as drawing with crayons.

Monoprice Tablet review, 10 x 6.25″ : A budget tablet pick


Monoprice Tablet Review: 10 x 6.25″ Graphic Drawing Tablet

by Tablets for Artists

monoprice tablet review

 

TYPE OF TABLET

The Monoprice Tablet is a graphics tablet. It attaches to a computer via USB 2.0. You draw on the tablet and see your art on the computer screen. This review is of the 10 x 6.25″ model.

 

OVERVIEW

The Monoprice tablet offers many features a Wacom does but is much more affordable, making it good for beginners and students ,and artists on a budget. Its stylus requires a single AAA battery (included).

Monoprice graphics tablets do not have a touch function, nor do they have the capacity to sense tilt and rotation like the high-end Wacom tablets do. While these features can be useful, not every artist uses them, and only some Wacom pens and tablets have these features.

The Monoprice tablet has the same high, 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity as the newer Wacoms and other premium tablets.

The Monoprice isn’t shoddy, but, unsurprisingly, it’s not as solidly built as the most high-end graphics tablets. Still, with normal use, it won’t fall apart on you.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

Tablet

Wireless pen, AAA battery for pen, pen holder, 4 replacement nibs, pen clip tip-removal tool

Mini USB cable (4.9ft/1.5m)

Drivers and software CD

User’s manual

FOR LEFTIES

There are 6 buttons go along the left. The latest set of Windows drivers (v 9.0 driver) allows you to flip the tablet to move them to the right.

Note: The newest set of drivers for Windows (v. 9.0, linked below) features the ability to flip the tablet so that the Express Keys are on the right side.

 

DRIVERS DOWNLOAD PAGE

You may download the drivers as well as user Manuals from this page on the Monopricesite.

The drivers are for Windows XP and later, and Mac 10.4 and later.

The tablet is Linux-capable but doesn’t offer Linux drivers.

FEATURES

2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity
drawing area of 10 x 6.25 with a widescreen aspect ration of 16:10
6 programmable express keys on the left
16 preset hotkeys along the top
4000 LPI resolution
200 RPS report rate (determines how often information is sent to the tablet)

Note: the Amazon listing for this mistakenly calls it the 8 x 5″ model, but the specs other than the size are accurate for the 10 x 6.25.”

PORTABILITY

It weighs 2.5 lbs, fairly portable.

STYLUS

The stylus is a little flimsy and it’s worth it to buy the better one. Users trying to insert a new battery often had trouble getting the battery lead to make contact with the battery. The AAA battery that comes with the pen is not always fresh, so you may need to replace it right away.

TIPS: When inserting a new the battery, be careful that the battery and contact area in the pen barrel are matching correctly, and do not bend the metal strip inside the pen. To open the pen that comes with the tablet, pull the pen apart.

As a replacement pen, many users recommended buying this Monoprice pen, which is very affordable.

 

monoprice stylusIt’s lighter weight and thinner than the one that comes with the tablet. This pen unscrews. The build is sturdier and the battery replacement is less hairy, though the innards are still not as sturdy as they should be. A fairly comment complaint problems when screwing or unscrewing the two pieces to put in or take out a battery. Also, the buttons are a bit hard to find.

Both pens have programmable buttons. Neither has an eraser tip. To erase, use your art program’s eraser tool.

The nibs for these pens may wear down quickly, depending how hard you press. The plastic sheet over the tablet protects the nibs some, but you may prefer lifting the sheet when drawing, exposing the tablet’s textured surface, which wears down the nibs faster. You can purchase inexpensive Monoprice replacement nibs that will fit both. They come 10 to a pack.

 

TABLET

The surface has a slightly bumpy texture which gives you a nice bite while drawing, but as mentioned above, it can wear down nibs. It also comes with an attached plastic sheet over it to make tracing art easier. Tracing drawings is one way to get your drawings into your computer. Other ways are using a scanner or digital camera, or, of course, drawing freehand right onto the tablet.

When using the Monoprice tablet, you have to tap the pen on the tablet to wake it. If the pen is set to a brush tool, you will have to hit “undo” or use the eraser in your art program to get rid of the mark the pen has made on the tablet when waking it up.

The tablet attaches to the computer via USB 2.0. When attached, it’s on; there is no on/off switch for the tablet.

SOFTWARE

You can use just about any art software that’s on your computer with this. You won’t necessarily be able to use it on every other program as a mouse.

The Monoprice uses some UC-Logic components. The drivers can be found on the UC Logic site. They are also included on a CD in the package. Installing them from the UC Logic Web site instead of the CD will ensure that you have the latest drivers.

TIPS: If your your tablet’s light turns on, but doesn’t recognize your pen, check the pen battery placement. If the battery is OK but the tablet still doesn’t recognize your pen, try a replacement nib.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

There is both a live chat option and a place to post messages on Monoprice.com site. Customer support is responsive and offers replacements when people cannot get the tablet or pen to work. I did a chat with them to ask some questions, and found them to be helpful and polite.

USER REVIEWS AND RATINGS

Many digital artists, from hobbyists to professionals, loved this tablet. More than one Monoprice tablet review stated that the Monoprice was as good as any of the more expensive graphics tablets, including the Wacom Intuos. Some found the accuracy to exceed the Cintiq. This Monoprice has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is the maximum currently available, though authorities over at Microsoft say that the number of levels past 256 is not perceptible.

The Monoprice tablet received many 5-star reviews. But there was a fair amount of problems mentioned by Amazon reviewers, resulting in over 10% of the reviewers rating it one star, mostly out of frustration with the drivers. This could be from conflicts with previously installed drivers or services that are running. Also, the instructions are not written in clear English.

Some wrote in their Monoprice tablet review that even after working with customer support, they were still unable to get the device to work. This was not the norm, and if you get it on Amazon you can take advantage of their good return policy. (Not that you want to go through a frustrating experience, but you have probably an 80% of higher chance of having a good or great experience with this tablet).

Some like the larger size, but others find it makes scrolling difficult, as you have to move your arm while drawing.

PROS

very affordable
accurate with fine lines
performance compares with and sometimes exceeds more expensive tablets

CONS

Stylus sometimes has problems with battery compartment
Drivers can be difficult to install
The button icons won’t necessarily correspond to how you program them, which can cause confusion.
The decals that act as labels next to the buttons are not removable.

THE VERDICT

The highlight of the Monoprice tablet is the most important thing: its performance. Some digital artists feel it’s better than any other tablet. The tablet is sensitive and responsive, and you can get very fine line control even when zoomed out. Adjusting settings in each art program, when possible, can make a difference. Each artist is different and will have different preferences. Some professional artists would want the tilt and rotation features offered by the higher-end Wacom models, but those features aren’t important to everyone. And, you might just want an extra tablet that’s less expensive to travel with, so if it gets lost with your luggage it’s not such a big hit to your wallet.

Considering the price, the Monoprice really can’t be beat. If you’re just getting into digital art, this is a great starter tablet. It’s also a great backup or extra tablet.

Monoprice also makes a tablet monitor, where you draw on the screen, that has been well-received.

ACCESSORIES

Monoprice pen

Huion pen (will work with Monoprice 8×6, 4×3, 10×6.25)

huion-pen

10-pack of replacement nibs

OTHER SIZES

Monoprice makes their tablets in quite a few sizes. If you want a larger tablet, try the 12×9.

Monoprice offers good tablets for the money. They don’t have all the bells and whistles, but they are valuable digital art tools.

monoprice-drawing-tablet

The Monoprice 12×9″ tablet gives you lots of space.

 

end of Monoprice Tablet review

For more on budget tablets, read our Huion tablet review.

See our article about choosing the best Wacom Intuos tablet.