I did this full Veikk S640 review using a unit I received at no cost for testing. The Veikk S640 is a small, very thin, small, affordable, lightweight graphics tablet that you can use as an alternative to the Wacom Intuos. It has a high number of pressure levels (8192), equivalent to the maximum of any tablet as of this writing.
Type of tablet
Graphics tablet, no screen, works with Mac and Windows
You have to connect this tablet to a computer to use it.
EMR, 8,192 levels of pressure
What’s in the Box
Tablet, pen, pen sleeve, nib remover, extra nibs, instruction manual, driver reminder, USB cable
Unboxing the Veikk S640 tablet
The Veikk tablet comes in a nice-looking package that’s easy to open. Instead of a CD, there’s a cardboard disc that tells you where to download the latest CD. The tablet is also sleek and even stylish. It’s thin and light. The pen also has an attractive design with gray barrel and comes with a nice felt case.
The default active area is rectangular and maps to the whole screen.
Here’s what you get
The Veikk has a thicker part that would hold the battery inside and stop the pen from rolling off.
The pen is lightweight and not the standard pen that comes with inexpensive tablets; its barrel is one I haven’t seen before. It’s comfortable to hold.
There was a bit of squeak at first when I used the pen but a few quick rubs of the tablet with my (clean) hands were enough to stop the squeak. The oils from one’s hands fix the new-tablet squeak problem.
The VEIKK logo also has good design. The quality of packaging, and design, makes this tablet a nice inexpensive gift idea.
The tablet is small and black, made of plastic with gray lines indicating the active area. The tablet does not have any external buttons or shortcut keys. It has a blue LED indicator light that lights up when you’re using it. The pen is batteryless. The tablet is very thin and light.
Size: 6″ x 4″
Thickness: 2 mm (less than 1/10 of an inch) at the tablet part, and the side bar is about 3/8 inch thick.
Weight: 174g (6.1 oz.)
Works with: Windows XP/Vista 10/8/7, Mac 10.8 or above
Connects via USB; cable included. No further power source is needed.
You could easily carry this in a backpack, handbag, or any small carrier. It’s very lightweight, at a mere 6.1 ounces.
There’s a setting in the driver for right- or left-handed use. The raised bar would go on one or the other side.
Setting up the Veikk S640
Clicking on the “Drivers for Mac” link gets you the correct driver, one that’s shared with Veikk’s other tablets.
It was easy to install onto the Mac, and Windows.You can choose Pen or Mouse.You can customize the pen buttons to right-click or erase, and adjust the pressure settings. You can change the screen mapping settings to All, or specify exact dimensions. There aren’t any keyboard shortcuts. There’s no touch, either.
Drawing on the Veikk
Veikk’s ultrathin tablet with pen
You can easily put the tablet on your lap, where it balances well, or on a table even if you don’t have much space. Or can rest it on your laptop keyboard.
The tablet surface is smooth; so if you like texture this may not be for you. It’s not slippery, though, like glass screens; the pen glides rather than slips. The smooth top should make the pen nibs last longer.
The pen comes mapped to full screen; I didn’t have to calibrate.
The pen weighs 12g (4.2 oz.) is comfortable to hold. It’s also not so light that it feels flyaway, and not so heavy (talking to you, Apple Pencil) that it tires the hand. The length helps it balance. It’s not a stubby stylus, but a full-length pen. The buttons are easy to reach and I didn’t experience issues with accidental clicks. The hover distance is listed as 10 cm.
You need to apply a little bit of hand pressure to use the pen, more initial activation force than with a Wacom pen, but not enough for it to feel tiring. (do more testing of curve). I didn’t get any blobs or jitter. The weight needed to get a line varied among programs but was never a problem.
Testing art programs
Veikk, Photoshop (Mac)
Mac: It works great in Sketchbook, Photoshop, and Clip Studio Paint. In Gimp, I got less variation in line width.
The tablet worked with Krita, but I was not able to get pressure sensitivity in Krita despite the pressure settings being on.
Windows: The pressure worked great and the performance was smooth in Sketchbook, Photoshop, and Clip Studio Paint. I could not get it to work with SAI but SAI has issues with tablets in general. Could not get pressure in Krita.
In Windows, you will need to check the checkbox in the driver to enable Windows Ink.
Gimp and Krita are both free, open-source programs but don’t seem to work terribly well with this tablet. Luckily, the full version of Autodesk Sketchbook, which is non-open source and once required a paid subscription, is now free, you just need an account. Sketchbook works well with the Veikk.
Note: I reported the Krita and Gimp issues to the company and they are working on fixing these.
The company says it works with Flash and Animate.
OSU is a game played where it’s advantageous to use a pen tablet instead of a game console. You have to click on buttons that create a musical beatmap. While the driver tablet doesn’t have specific settings for OSU, it’s a good size and weight for it and has excellent accuracy. There’s no learning curve or need to be an artist. It’s certainly a good tablet for OSU and the company promotes its use for this game.
Inexpensive lightweight portable works well nice design highest available pressure sensitivity (8,192 levels) simplicity and ease of use works with Flash and Animate (company says; I did not test these)
No touch no Express Keys not big enough for most artists to use as a sole drawing tablet did not get pressure in some of the programs I tested
Veikk S640 review verdict
This Veikk S640 review is a thumb’s-up if you want a very portable drawing tablet. The value and portability are great and it has the maximum levels of pressure of any tablet. It offers smooth performance and easy installation. Its size is something like a signature pad. It’s simple to set up and use.
The high quality of the design and packaging makes it a suitable gift. Because of its size it’s not going to replace a main drawing tablet for most artists, but if you’re going on a trip or just want something that doesn’t take up much space it’s a great little companion. While it’s not the biggest or most ambitious tablet, it does what it does very well.
A new Wacom Intuos 2018 is here! The Wacom Intuos tablet design, up to now, has not been changed since the old days of 2015. (The Intuos line was formerly known as Bamboo). We’ll take a look at the difference between new and old and whether the new one is an upgrade or something that goes more… sideways.
In the last few years most art tablets, including tablet PCs, have gone far beyond 1,024 levels of pressure. The Intuos (non-Pro version) was starting to feel like a dinosaur in that respect. The new Intuos 2018 has 4,096 levels, plus a number of other changes to design and functionality. Most of these are for the better.
However, there is one major change that’s not great. Wacom has removed multitouch from the new Intuos. Only the Intuos Pro and older Pen and Touch models (and all Cintiqs) still have it. More on this below.
The active area takes up a greater percentage of the tablet, but the actual active area hasn’t changed–it just now goes almost to the edge of the surface.
There are still four customizable, application-specific Express Keys, even though their arrangement has been changed.
The new Intuoses, like the old one, come in only Small and Medium.
They still come bundled with drawing programs at no additional cost.
The pen’s reading speed (PPS) and tablet resolution (LPI) are still the same.
There’s still a tether so you can lock the tablet.
The pen is still battery-free. It still does not have rotation sensitivity and still does not have an eraser end. (In some markets, there was an Intuos pen with an eraser end; I’m referring to the U.S. market because that’s where I am.)
More pressure sensitivity
There are now 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. This way, there’s not such a huge difference from the Intuos Pro and Cintiqs, which have 8,192.
Wireless use with Bluetooth
This time, the Intuoses have Bluetooth. You no longer need to buy the optional Wi-fi kit to use your Intuos wirelessly. Only one model, the small, more affordable Intuos S, does not have Bluetooth. All come with a USB cable so you can use them wired.
Newer: The new Intuos comes bundled with up to 3 programs: Currently, they are: Corel Painter Essentials 6, Corel Aftershot 3, and Clip Studio Paint Pro. With the Medium size, you get all three. With the Small with Bluetooth, you choose two. With the least expensive new Intuos, the Small without Bluetooth, you get just one–a choice between Corel Painter Essentials 3 or Corel Aftershot 3.S
So, they’re now offering a range of versatile programs that cover digital painting, drawing, and photo editing.
With the older Art Pen and Touch Wacom offered the same tablets with different software, some of which were programs in trial versions or were free anyway. I prefer the new way.
Older: The older Intuoses have different names according to what software they’re bundled with. I always found this a bit confusing. The customer may not even realize the tablets are the same.
The new Small with Bluetooth is 250g (8.8 oz.) and without Bluetooth, 230g (8.1oz.). The old Small weighed 290g (10.2 oz). The new Medium weighs 410g (14.4 oz.) and the old Medium weighed 480g (16.9 oz).
The pen is now called the Wacom Pen 4K (LP-1100K). It looks similar to the old Intuos Pen, but has 4096 pressure levels, or four times its predecessor. (For some reason, Wacom skips some multiples; it skipped 2048 in this new-generation Intuos ands skipped 4096 in the Pro tablets, going from 1024 to 8192). Now the nibs are stored in the barrel. It comes with a nib in the pen plus 3 replacement nibs. The compatible Felt and Flex nibs also will fit in the barrel. The Pen Ring that was sometimes available is gone.
Intuos 2018 with 4K pen. Image by Wacom
Now, to keep the pen from wandering away, there’s a tray, an indent in the top of the tablet that will keep your pen in sight and not rolling off the table like a meatball off spaghetti.
Another difference is the footprint and weight. The new Intuos 2018 is sleeker, taking up less space on the desk, and it’s a bit thinner, about the thickness of a smartphone. The models are all a bit lighter as well.
The top part of the Intuos is about an inch smaller than before. The pen tray doubles as the Express Keys. The pen, when lying in the tray, is sitting over the keys. By redesigning the buttons, Wacom saved some space.
Formerly, there was only the pen loop, which was rather tight and a bit annoying. The pen loop is still there, but you can now use it to carry the pen with the tablet and not as way to keep the pen from rollin’.
The tablet is also thinner, with the top part being thicker than the bottom. It’s now 5 mm in the lower part and 8.5 mm in the upper part. Slender, man.
Medium and small; nibs in pen barrel; thinner footprint. Images: Wacom
This design, while not in itself a reason to get a new Intuos, uses less plastic and is smarter and better than the old one.
What’s the disadvantage?
To keep the price down, Wacom has removed the multitouch feature. Yes, I was shocked too,You’ll have to buy the pricier Intuos Pro to get touch.
(See our Wacom Pen and Touch review about the 2015 models, which as of this writing are still for sale though no longer are on the Wacom site).
One unfortunate result of taking away touch was it was a nice feature for kids, who could use it to finger paint. It also made it so if you lost the pen, you could use your finger if you had to. Now you’ll have to use your mouse if you can’t find the pen.
Without touch, you don’t have gestures, which allow you to pan, zoom, and navigate. You’ll have to use the pen and your art software commands, or keyboard commands, or Express Keys.
Touch made it possible to use the tablet as a trackpad. And, you could take advantage of the growing amount of touch commands in Adobe and other software–commands that, arguably, are mostly used by professionals.
Handwringing aside, touch isn’t needed, it’s just useful. Wacom had almost branded themselves by offering it since it was only NOT available on one art tablet, the down-to-basics Intuos Draw.
Ironically, it’s hard to get a tablet PC that does NOT have a touchscreen.
Is it worth upgrading to the new Intuos?
The levels of pressure, as I often remind people, don’t matter all that much. I can sense the difference in smoothness between 1024 and 2048, but not after that. Additional levels do offer more accuracy, but we’re talking millimeters. For most people, 1,024 levels are enough.
Bluetooth is a really nice feature. Some reported loose ports for the USB in the old Intuos, so it’s a good thing that you can stop using the USB. You’re saving money by not having to buy the Wi-fi kit. Working wirelessly, you can now put the computer at more of a distance away if you wish.
Storing extra nibs inside the pen stand is convenient, since you might not always keep the pen stand with you. This is another smart design move.
The new tablets come in black, pistachio, and berry, which may make artists run to the refrigerator instead of sitting down to work. (Berry, a vibrant pink, is only available in certain markets). Pistachio is an aqua color.
If you have a Pen and Touch, you’ll probably be fine keeping it. It’s an individual decision. Intuoses are solidly built and can last for years.
Wacom’s redefining of multitouch as a Pro feature feels a bit off. It seems strictly a budgetary decision, not one that should affect your perception of how useful or “professional” multitouch is. It’s useful if you use it; if you don’t use it you probably won’t miss it. Non-professionals are likely to get some use out of, it but it’s true that that use may be limited. Pros find it important in saving time, as they can master a workflow that uses Express Keys and gestures.
If you’re puzzling over it, ask yourself whether you want to just draw, more like in real life, or also use gestures and use the tablet as a trackpad with your hand.
If you do like the touch feature, I suggest grabbing an Intuos Pen and Touch while they last. If you’re OK without it, then you’d probably be happy with the positive improvements found in the new Intuos 2018.
Note: the 2018 Intuos is still not for sale quite everywhere but you can see it at Wacom.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Turcom TS-6610 tablet review, with art-program testing
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
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)
Turcom TS-6610 tablet box
It’s pretty easy to take with you at a little over 2 pounds.
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.
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.
Penrest, nibolder, nibs. These parts attach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Drivers can be fussy Pen is heavy and takes a battery Mapping not working (on mine anyway) No additional instructions online
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.
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.
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.
In 2018, Wacom updated its non-pro Intuos series. The main differences are that the 2018 gets 4,096 pressure levels with the included 4k Pen. And the Intuos now has Bluetooth (except for one lower-priced model). BUT to keep the price down, Wacom has removed the touch feature. Read my detailed post about the 2018 Intuos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 was not included in earlier Intuos versions. However, the Intuos (2018) comes with Bluetooth so you can use it wirelessly.
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.
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
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):
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
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
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: 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 (these have been replaced by the 2018 Intuos)
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 IntuosArt 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.
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.
The Intuos comes only in small and medium, It has four Express Keys. Like the Intuos Draw (our previous top recommendation now replaced by the Intuos 2018), it doesn’t have touch. It has Bluetooth so you can use it wirelessly.
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. However, you will now have to get an Intuos Pro to get touch, or buy one of the older Intuos Pen & Touch tabltets.
We think the best Wacom tablet for beginners or those on a budget is the Intuos 2018. If you’re just dipping your toe in digital paint, it’s a good place to start.
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.
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.
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.
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.