Category Archives: Intuos

wacomintuosdrawreview2

Intuos Draw review: the simplest Wacom

wacom intuos draw review

Intuos Draw review: best Wacom for beginners & back-to-basics users

The Wacom Intuos Draw is the most basic of the Intuos graphics tablets line and the only Intuos that does not have multitouch capability. That means you can only use the pen on it; you won’t be able to use hand gestures such as pinch or zoom. This Wacom Intuos Draw review is of the Small size, the only size it comes in.

The Draw not as basic as Wacom’s Bamboo signature pads, which don’t have a lot of art features. It’s the simplest of their graphics tablets.

This makes it a good drawing tablet for beginners who might not need multitouch, and want something affordable. If you just prefer or require a straightforward graphics tablet that has Wacom quality without much learning curve, the Intuos Draw might be for you.

Check price

intuosdrawtablet

Features:

Type of tablet: Graphics tablet, Wacom EMR digitizer
1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity
No multitouch
no tilt/angle or rotation sensitivity
Size: 8.25 x 6.7″
Active area:  6.0 x 3.7 in(152 x 95 mm)
Right and left-handed use
Colors: white or mint blue
Size: Small only
Weight: about 10 oz. (290 ±50g)
Resolution: 2540 lpi
Reading Speed (pen): 133pps

What’s in the Box

Intuos Draw (small)
Intuos Pen
Charger
Nibs (3 extra, total 4)
CD with driver and manual
documentation

Inside the outer sleeve is a high-quality, nonflimsy black cardboard box that offers solid protection for shipping.

The art software that’s included has to be downloaded.

wacomintuosdrawreview

Intuos Draw and what it comes with: pen, CD, USB cord, documentation

You can use the CD, which has the driver, if you have a CD drive, or you can download the driver from Wacom. I always prefer to download regardless, in case there has been an update.

Intuos Draw art software: ArtRage Lite examples

artrage doodles intuos

The Draw will work with any art program, including Photoshop and all Adobe software, and gets pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator. It’s fine for Mac and Windows. Wacom includes some free art software with all its tablets, a different program depending on the model. The current offering, which I did these doodles in, is ArtRage Lite.

The Intuos package includes a code to type in to get the free art software and other offers from the Wacom site. In addition to ArtRage Lite, an offer for 30-day subscription to Lynda.com software courses, and an offer for a free photo print on metal. Wacom also offers access to online art tutorials on its own site.

The offers change from time to time, so check when you buy the tablet. Though there are free art programs you can get online, I really enjoy ArtRage, which has a lot of fun brushes and effects, some of which you can see in the above doodles. These include glitter, oil, pastel, palette knife, and roller. It’s a really easy and intuitive program, and is inexpensive to buy the full version from ArtRage (they have a free demo version, too).

These perks are a good incentive to stick with Wacom, especially with their entry-level drawing tablets such as this.

Build and features

intuosdrawnibs

Clever place to store the extra nibs, eh? And the thing on the left is a pen loop.

The back compartment stores the extra nibs. Below the nibs, that little circle is the nib remover where you insert the pen with nib and it pulls it out painlessly. The two compartments around the nibs are for the optional Wi-fi kit parts.

The micro-USB fits snugly and securely into the tablet’s side.

On the upper right corner of the tablet is a small security lock slot for a Kensington lock or pen tether. It’s marked with a small lock icon. The tablet top has a neat little canvas pen loop you can put your pen in. The loop fits snugly and you have to put the pen in starting with the pen’s back end.

The small dots on the surface show the active area, which is mappable, meaning you can use just part of it if you want. Mapping is useful if you want to work without moving your hand a lot. Using just a small part of the tablet, a small movement will go a long way. You set the mapping function in the driver.

Though the Intuos Draw looks almost toylike, it’s not a toy. It’s fairly well built for something so light, though I wouldn’t want to drop it hard, because the outer case doesn’t seem super protective. I found myself gently handling the detachable pieces such as the back cover.

The tablet has lots of good Wacom features, such as getting pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator, and it’s got good old Wacom EMR, the most sensitive type of Wacom digitizer.

If you’ve got a multiple monitor setup, the Intuos Draw might be too small to effectively cover all the pixels needed. Otherwise, it should work on most setups, even with a large monitor.

Intuos Pen

The pen has two programmable buttons that you can program for just as many things as you can the Express Keys. It has no eraser tip. It’s batteryless, lightweight, and comfortable to hold. It’s smaller and lighter than the Pro Pen or other Wacom pens meant to be used on the higher-end Intuos Pros and MobileStudio Pro.

I weighed it and it’s only 9 grams, so light it almost feels like a drinking straw. That’s about half the weight of a typical active pen (battery included for those that take batteries) and may be too light for people who like the steady balance of a heavier pen, but I don’t mind it.

Drawing on the tablet

Even though 1,024 levels is low compared to the Intuos Pro and more pricey pen display tablets, the patented Wacom EMR digitizer delivers a smooth drawing experience. The pen is sensitive. It’s thinner and lighter than the Pro Pen that goes with the Intuos Pro. 1,024 is a little bit less sensitive than 2,048, but it’s plenty.

The tablet has a texture that has quite a bit of tooth and is enjoyable to draw on. The nibs wear down a little depending how hard you press. I keep it set to a more sensitive setting so that I don’t have to press that hard). There are extra nibs stored in the top in a small hidden case.

What I really like about this in some ways is its size. I sometimes use it instead of a mouse or the trackpad, as the pen doesn’t put as much strain on the wrists or fingers. It also lets me write notes (to some extent) or sketch. It’s easy to use it for this even when on the couch. It’s light and super-portable.

Small size advantages and disadvantages

If I’m packing for a short trip with my Mac laptop, and want to pack very light, I just throw the Intuos Draw into the outside pocket of the laptop sleeve. The Draw’s charger is small and light, too. I really like that it doesn’t take up much space, and I sometimes even hold it like a clipboard, since it’s so light.

What I also don’t always like is its size.  It feels cramped for drawing larger images, requiring a lot of zooming. If I’m drawing a small image, around the size of the tablet itself, then this doesn’t bother me, but usually I’m drawing larger. The size is good for drawing cartoons, designing characters, or sketching out ideas, and editing photos. I’m not a big OSU player, but it’s fine for that.

Controls

The buttons are in the top corners. They are cool-looking, but it would be more convenient to get to than if they were on the side. It just takes some getting used to. They’re smaller than on the larger tablets. I tend to want to tap them with the pen, and have to remember to use my fingers instead.

Tapping on the buttons brings up an on-screen menu where you set keyboard shortcuts.

intuos draw express keys

Intuos Draw Express Keys open in ArtRage Lite

When you click on the physical keys, the on-screen keys come up. This is the Express Keys just set to their default. It’s open in ArtRage Lite but they would come up in other programs too.

Intuos Draw comes only in Small (not Medium or Large!)

It would be nice if there were an Intuos Draw Medium, but for some reason Wacom has decided to have this one starter tablet, rather than issuing larger sizes that also don’t have touch.

With a small active area, small arm movements make a bigger difference. So you have to control your movements more.

I find a medium-size tablet, such as the Intuos Pro or the economical non-Wacom Huion 610 Pro better for more complex work.

Intuos Draw vs. Art Pen & Touch

The long name for Intuos Draw is the Intuos Draw Creative Pen Tablet. It looks the same as its siblings, the Intuos Art, Photo, and Comics/Manga Creative Pen & Touch Tablet, but these others all  have multitouch, which can be toggled on and off. Each comes bundled with different software. The software can change, but the Art tends to include painting programs such as Corel Painter Essentials. This is harder learn than ArtRage.

User Reactions

This is a popular tablet. People use it for all sorts of things, such as whiteboard presentations.

Intuos Draw Pros and Cons

Pros

affordable
lightweight and portable
fine for right-and-left handed folks
Wacom features and quality
good mouse or trackpad substitute
doesn’t have much footprint on desk
texture has tooth

Cons

can feel cramped
no tilt sensitivity
pen lacks eraser tip
texture of tablet can wear down nibs
pen loop is tight

Tips for getting started

It’s best to keep the tablet right in front of you and right in front of the computer. That way it’s easier to get used to than having it to the side of the computer.

Don’t worry about the Express Keys until you have gotten used to the hand-eye coordination required to use the tablet.

Keep the tablet area mapped to 100% of your screen.

If your monitor is high-res and over 14″, this tablet may be too small. Read our article on choosing the best Intuos to learn more.

Use the pen for everything at first; replace your mouse or trackpad with the pen and tablet.

Wacom Intuos Draw review: the verdict

I’m glad I have an Intuos Draw, as it’s Wacom boiled down to its essence. It’s not my go-to tablet for everything, but if it were my only one I’d make good use of it. I use it quite a bit for smaller projects, I like that it’s so light and unobtrusive, and it’s good for couch use.

Will you miss touch? I don’t miss touch a lot when drawing, as I don’t mind using the art program to zoom and navigate. I miss it when I’m using the Draw as a mouse/trackpad in non-art programs..

Touch can be toggled off on the tablets that have it, so if you decide to get one that does have touch, you’re not forced to use it, as at times you might not want to.

Do you need the wireless kit? It’s convenient and if cords bother you or you’re short on USB ports, it may be worth getting. But it’s certainly not a necessity.

The Intuos Draw review is a thumb’s up.  is a helpful, sporty, affordable, hardworking little tablet that simplifies things. It’s good for students, beginners, photographers, and crafters, as well as more advanced artists.

Learn how to find the best tablets for drawing.

Looking for something larger and economical? See this Huion review.

Read our review of Intuos Art Pen & Touch (Small).

See the Intuos Draw on Amazon

Wireless Accessory Kit

end of Intuos Draw review

wacom 3d

Wacom Intuos 3D: Step into a digital dimension

Wacom Intuos 3D comin’ at ya!

intuos 3d sculpting

Sculpting in 3D

Just when you thought you’d seen everything, Wacom has stepped into the growing world of 3D with the Intuos 3D tablet. This new release will enable the public eager to try 3D art, design, and modelling in an affordable and accessible way.

The tablet will integrate with ZBrushCore program, made from the same foundation that powers ZBrush, popular 3D software used by virtual reality, game and film studios, and illustrators.

But it’s not all arts and entertainment, it’s also for engineers and fabricators. According to Jeff Mandell, Executive VP for Wacom’s Branded Business, “3D Design has been undergoing a transformation driven by trends in 3D engineering, rapid prototyping and on-demand parts production.”

Cintiqs have been the main tablets for 3D sculpting, but with the popular Intuos, anyone can get started. Other 3D software that has expanded Wacom’s foray into the third dimension includes Dassault’s Solidworks and Autodesk’s Mudbox.

wacom 3d

Intuos 3D and package

Wacom worked with Shapeways, Pixologic (maker of ZBrush), and Sketchfab to put hardware and software together into one package.

The Intuos 3D will come with ZBrushCore software and “special offers” from Sketchfab and Shapeways.

Once you’ve created your design, you can send it to Shapeways for printing, or publish it on Sketchfab. Sketchfab is a place to explore virtual reality items. History, geography, culture, animals–it’s all there, and you can view it or upload your own.

I’m already a Shapeways fan for the amazing designs people upload, such as jewelry and other items. This new package will make creating for 3D printers a lot more accessible. If you’ve never seen a 3D printer, they basically extrude molten plastic into layers, which build up, forming a shape. The layers and patterns can be programmed to create amazing organic or Spirograph-like forms.

With Shapeways, you don’t need to buy your own 3D printer, those these may become common household items someday. (Lose your cell-phone case? Print one out.)

The Intuos 3D will be for sale in late October 2016. Hopefully there will be enough time to sculpt a Halloween mask.

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.

Wacom+Intuos+Pro+Paper+Edition-2

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.

intuospropapereditionreview

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

intousartpentouch

Intuos Art Pen and Touch Small review

Intuos Art Pen and Touch Small review

by Tablets for Artists

This Intuos Art Pen and Touch Small review takes a look at this affordable and very portable tablet. Whether you want to make art, edit photos, or just switch from a mouse or trackpad, this offering from Wacom packs in a lot of useful features.

 

 

intousartpentouch

Intuos Art Pen and Touch on Amazon

TYPE OF TABLET

The Intuos Art Pen and Touch is a graphics tablet, or pen tablet, that you attach to your computer via USB. You draw on it and see the image on your computer screen. (Click here for more info on types of tablets).

Note that this is not the “Pro” version, which has more features (such as greater pressure sensitivity and tilt sensitivity) and a higher price. The older version of this tablet was called the Intuos Pen and Touch.

What’s included

Pen

3 extra pen nibs

black pen loop (attached) as well as extra blue pen loop

rings to personalize the pen’s look, that match the pen loops

nib replacer ring

CD with driver, documentation, online user manual

Artpack with Corel Painter Express and other freebies

USB cord

You can also download drivers from the Wacom site.

Requires Mac 10.8. or above or Windows 7 or above.

FEATURES

The Intuos Art Pen and Touch Small Tablet measures 8.25″ by 6.7″ with an active area of 6″ x 3.7″. Its resolution is 2,540 lines per inch (half that of the Intuos Pro tablets). It has four customizable Express Keys. You can’t see the Express Keys unless the Express Key display is toggled on; it’s a lit-up display.

A handy pen loop on top helps keep the pen from getting lost. Three replacement nibs that come hidden in a compartment in the back of the tablet on top in the center, where the pen loop attaches.
A Wi-fi kit is not included, but can be purchased separately. (See under Optional Accessories at the end of this post). This line of Wacom tablets used to be called Bamboo, so if you are looking for a Wacom Bamboo review, you will see Intuos reviews instead. Bamboo is now Intuos, and the Intuos5 is now the Intuos Pro. Wacom still uses the Bamboo name for a stylus line.

TABLET

The tablet has multitouch. You can use your hands by using gestures to scroll, rotate, zoom, or flip through image files by tapping, swiping, clicking, and holding. It sports an attractive silver and black design. It attaches to your computer via USB. The USB cable is rather short, but as the USB can be detached from the tablet, you could use a longer USB cable if you choose.

The tablet surface has a rough, papery-like feel, which is nice to draw on because of the paper-like bite, but can wear down nibs. Besides its use for art, it has the ability to function as a finger-powered trackpad on any document, such as a Microsoft Word file. (The most popular tablet among artists is the Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium size.)

The small size is a bit small for drawing, and would be pretty useless if you are using multiple monitors and trying to stretch its resolution to cover all of them. You should not use too large a monitor with this tablet–up to 17″ would work well, up to 19″ is possible. The resolution on the regular Intuos line is only half that of the Pro line.

Drawing on the Intuos Art Creative Pen & Touch

The pressure sensitivity works very well. It’s not as sensitive as tablets with higher amounts of levels, but that doesn’t bother me. I like the scratchy surface. The only problem I find is the size. Because I draw fairly large then shrink down, I find I have to zoom in a lot on my drawings. So I tend to use this more as a companion to other tablets or for smaller drawings. Still, I’m very satisfied with the feel, quality, and sensitivity.

Tablet learning tips

Having a non-screen tablet forces more looseness in drawing and requires practice. When learning, it’s best to keep the tablet straight and directly in front of the computer, and to use it for everything, including word processing, instead of a mouse or trackpad.

Keeping it right in front you will considerably lessen confusion about points on the surface that correspond with your screen. Eventually, muscle memory will set in and you can move the tablet around.

PORTABILITY

At its small size, thinness and weight of 12.8 oz. it’s easy to carry around. I recommend getting a case to protect it; it can fit into any laptop case.

STYLUS

The black Intuos Pen matches the tablet. Its 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, while only half of the 2,048 the Pro line offers, are plenty. The battery-free pen has an eraser, which does not have pressure sensitivity. The pen is ergonomic for a comfortable hold. There are two programmable switches on the side. You have to click the buttons when the pen is within half an inch of the tablet for the buttons to work.

 SOFTWARE

Corel Painter Essentials comes bundled with the tablet. Here are some other free or inexpensive suggestions:

Autodesk Sketchbook Express is a free art program for Mac or Windows (not an app) that is a bit limited. It is adapted for tablets and makes use of gestures in its menus. Pressing the space bar opens up a “puck” that lets you navigate around the canvas. There are preset tools, but you can’t customize them a whole lot as you can the full version. It lets you draw perfect shapes such as squares and circles. There are 6 layers, which, depending how you work, may be fine or not enough. The full program, which costs under $100, has unlimited layers.

ArtRage has interesting brushes that resemble real oil paint, glitter, palette knife marks, and such.

I like to use the above programs in conjunction with Photoshop or the much less expensive Photoshop Elements. Though you can do a lot with ArtRage, you might still want features such as Save to Web (which shrinks file size) and to not create artwork as a specific ArtRage file which must then be exported as another file type.

FOR LEFTIES

The tablet is reversible, so it’s fine whether you are right-handed or left-handed.

GESTURES

With gestures, the tablet can act like a trackpad, or perhaps a mousepad with your hand becoming a mouse. Though the same tablet without touch is a bit cheaper, it’s worth it to get the touch capability.

However, the touch does have some drawbacks. If your hand accidentally brushes against the tablet, the tablet may interpret it as a gesture. Be a bit careful to not put your fingers too close together–if the gesture calls for three fingers, having all your fingers touching each other be interpreted as one finger.

It’s kind of like learning to drive a stick shift–well, easier than that. If the pen is touching or hovering over the tablet, touch will be disabled. Touch can also be shut off via an Express Key.

INTUOS ART PEN AND TOUCH SMALL VS. INTUOS DRAW SMALL

If you don’t want multitouch at all, the only Intuos option is the Intuos Draw Creative Pen Tablet Small, the simplest of the Intuos line. It has the same 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity) and all else about the tablet is the same, but there’s no multitouch.

The pen has no eraser, but you can easily use the eraser tool in your art program instead. You don’t need multitouch to use this tablet as a mouse replacement; you can select text with the stylus just as with a mouse, through a series of clicks or by clicking and dragging.

 

artist-with-intuos-small

This photo actually shows the older Intuos Small, which is about the same size.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND RATINGS

This pen tablet is popular among users, who praise its response time and say they get much more work done than with just a mouse or trackpad.

Many report switching from mouse to pen helped their repetitive strain injuries, though if someone is suffering from RSI from drawing already, it can exacerbate it. In general, wrist injuries are common, so a stylus is much less likely to cause or aggravate injuries to the wrist than clicking a mouse would.

You may have trouble finding the replacement nibs. Wacom should try to do a better job of showing them.

PROS

USB cable is detachable from the tablet, so you can use one that has a longer cord if you want Great response time.

Accurate pen.

CONS

The tablet and pen may be a bit cramped for large hands. Some complain about the Wacom Web site registration process. Others find the tablet difficult to use. You do not have to use the Express Keys or gestures, they are there for your convenience.

Once you’ve tried an Intuos Pro tablet with 2,048 levels of pressure, you do feel the difference.

Nibs can wear down quickly due to the textured surface of the tablet.

TIP:

Try using a screen protector (see link below, under Optional Accessories) or even just a sheet of regular paper over the tablet.

 

THE VERDICT

The tablet is quite small and would be better to use with a monitor of no larger than 17″, 19″ at the most. Because of its size, moving the pen, mouse, or hand on the monitor even a little can move the cursor quite a lot.

I find small tablets best for basic photo editing or coloring small drawings that I’ve scanned in or created on a larger tablet. It’s not that easy to draw a larger picture on such a small tablet; you have to keep zooming and panning.

I end up zooming and panning even on my Cintiq, but most of my drawings are not much larger than the Cintiq 13HD screen, so some of the zooming is just because I like to do that with detailed areas.

The Intuos Art Pen & Touch small tablet is fine for doing small drawings that don’t require a lot of hand movement, as you can feel cramped on a small tablet both mentally and physically. It’s more ergonomic to use a larger tablet. This one is OK for drawing, and excellent for crafts, basic photo editing, and scrapbooking.

In my opinion, the best size for art is the Medium, which is also the most popular of the Wacom pen tablets among creative professionals. This size tablet is also find if you want to use it and the pen as a mousepad replacement. Multitouch gestures let you select text.

The Small it’s a good tablet for beginners who aren’t sure they’re going to commit to digital art. It’s fine for lots of other uses, too, but I wouldn’t recommend it for professional artists because it’s too small; it can be a good, portable backup tablet.

Looking for the Pro version? Here’s the Amazon page for the Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small.

And here’s our review of the Intuos Medium Pro–similar to the small but a bit larger.

See our review of the Wacom Intuos Draw.

If you find the USB cord to be too short, we recommend this USB extension as a simple solution.

Read our introductory article about tablets.

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

You’ll have less cord clutter with the wireless kit.

 

end of Intuos Art Pen and Touch Small Review