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 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 2018 (non-screen)

Wacom Intuos (2018)New version with 4096 levels, Bluetooth, no multitouch. Smaller and lighter. 4 Express keys.Read our detailed article comparing the 2018 Intuos to the previous one.

See it now
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.
See on Amazon

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.
See Art Pen & Touch line

Read our review
Wacom Intuos Draw
wacom-intuos-draw
Simplest, good for beginners.
No touch function. 1,024 levels.
Check price

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.
Check price
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 (2018)

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.

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 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.

 

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 (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 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: 2018 Intuos

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.

 

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).

https://youtu.be/gXBt9XImEL0

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

https://youtu.be/GuhtGTeN76Q

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.

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

drawing-tablet-for-pc-huion

Huion H610 Pro Review – 6 x 10″ workspace

Huion H610 Pro Review: lightweight, heavy on features

by Tablets for Artists


huion610prohandsonreview

 


Huion H610 Pro Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet

 

The Huion H610 Pro Review: the H610 Pro is a graphics tablet made by a Chinese animation company. It has a generous 6 x 10″ active drawing area and features that rival the Intuos Pro while being cheaper than even the lower-cost Wacom Intuos series. But what about the quality?

NOTE: Here’s a detailed H610Pro v2 review. This newer version is much improved with tilt sensitivity and a pen that doesn’t need charging. See the H610 Pro v2 on Amazon

(note: if you’re looking for the OSU model, the H420, scroll to the bottom of this article).

 

TYPE OF TABLET

It’s a graphics tablet that connects to a computer via USB. It is not a screen that you draw on–if you want that, please consider a tablet PC or tablet monitor such as Cintiq or Yiynova. For more on tablet types, please see this post.

 

FEATURES

The H610 has 8 Express Keys down the its side, and 16 hot cells on the tablet screen. Its workspace is 10 x  6.25 inches. It’s only about a quarter-inch thick. It works with Mac, PC, and Linux/Ubuntu. You can use wireless mice and keyboards with this tablet. The resolution is 5080 lines per inch. The battery-free, rechargeable pen has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity.

 

PORTABILITY

It’s lightweight and easy enough to carry.

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

It comes with 4 replacement nibs and one inside the pen, for a total of 5. The nibs are all the same. Also included are two USB cables, one for the tablet and one for the pen, as well as a pen, pen charger, pen rest, and paper user manual. Their site, huion-tablet.com, has all the up-to-date driver.

FOR LEFTIES

This tablet now has a left-handed driver, so you can choose to draw in left-handed mode.

 

TABLET

The surface is mappable; you can decide how much of the tablet you want the pen to work on. The surface has a grip to it that eases drawing. It is hard plastic, not rubbery like the Wacom Bamboo. It feels not quite as slippery as glass, more like thick, smooth paper.

The surface of  this tablet is hard plastic, less prone to scratching than Wacom Intuos, partly because the pen nibs are rounded. If you are getting scratches it may depend how you are holding the pen, some people “sharpen” nibs as they draw. It also of course depends how much pressure you apply.

 

STYLUS

huionh610propen

The stylus is lighter and thus easier to handle than previous version. The company says the rechargeable pen lasts 800 hours after every 2-hour charge, though some say it lasts for far less time. The pen rest is not a pen holder per se, just something to balance the pen on.

The pen’s buttons let you right click, left click, or double right or left click, as with a mouse. They don’t let you add further commands.

When drawing with the Huion pen, the pressure curve is slightly harder than it is in Wacom. It does not create a “blob” as easily (unless your Huion driver is acting buggy). You can adjust pen sensitivity until you find a comfortable place; the default around the middle is good. Setting it high makes it too stiff. The 610Pro does not feature pen tilt or rotation recognition.

drawing-tablet-for-pc-with-pen

CONTROLS

The 16 programmable hotcells on the tablet allow you do macros, things like Photoshop operations like “tone/color adjust.” They are easy to program, though they only work with one software application. You would have to reprogram them if, say, you switch over from Photoshop to Illustrator.

The hotcells are right on the tablet surface along the top, and have the same texture, so if you are using the entire tablet rather than mapping part of it, remember the keys are there or you may end up drawing on them. The express keys on the left of the work area can zoom, scroll, erase, undo or whatever you want, but they don’t allow as many operations as the Intuos does.

The surface is mappable, so you can just pick part of the tablet to draw on. An LED indicator light lights up in the pen when you are drawing, though this is annoying to some and may only happen with some computer systems. If you find it annoying you might want to put opaque tape over the light!

 

SOFTWARE

You can use this tablet with any software your PC uses, such as Photoshop, Word, Toon Boom etc. At this date, the driver does not provide pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, though you can use the tablet with those without pressure. Huron says they are working on this.

The resolution, 5080, is the same as the Wacom Intuos Pro. The driver lacks some features of Wacom’s, such as screen mapping, radial menu, and the ability to customize by program that’s available in the Cintiq and Intuos Pro.

HUION H610 Pro driver TIP:

Before installing the drivers, you should disable any other Wacom drivers and mouse drivers, then the Huion, then restart. Turn off Internet and don’t turn it on again until after the tablet is connected and working, or else the computer’s plug and play driver may automatically be installed. Plug the tablet into the USB port of your computer only after you boot up the computer.

huionpenpressure

You can the pressure sensitivity using the driver.

You should install as Administrator. Shut off any antivirus programs. If you’re reinstalling, delete the old drivers. More discussion of the drivers at this post about the Turcom TS-6610 tablet, which can use this same driver.

 

PROS

Can recognize multiple monitors and you can choose which ones to use.

Value

Thin (just about 1/4″ thick)

Sleek design

Large work area (make sure you have enough desk space)

Lightweight pen

 

CONS

Edges get jitter, just as Wacom digitizers do.

Delicate USB ports (also a common complaint regarding Wacom products)

Makes a bit of noise when drawing on the tablet due to the hard plastic surface

Buggy drivers

Have to press hard at times

No wireless option in this model

 

CONSUMER REVIEWS AND RATINGS

Most customers were pleasantly surprised by the quality and the many features this tablet offers. Many  really liked the way the pen felt, though a few did not. The worst thing about the Huion is that the drivers are a bit fussy and sometimes buggy.

More than one Huion H610 Pro review complained about these oversensitivity and the pen making marks even when not touching the surface, such as when hovering half an inch over it. I have not experienced these problems myself. You should keep other electronic devices, even if they are not turned on, at least a few feet away, as they can cause interference.

It’s advisable to get the Amazon service plan. You should deinstall all other tablet drivers before installing this one. If you can get pressure sensitivity in one program but not in another, such as Photoshop CC, check to see if you have the Wintab (Wacom Feel) driver installed. If you do, delete it. You can use this graphics tablet with a tablet PC.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Helpful and responsive, and they stick with you til the problem is resolved. They sometimes ask for videos of problems you report.

 

THE VERDICT

If you are patient and have some computer savvy, this could be a great art tool. But with quite a few reports of buggy drivers, many users end up being frustrated and spending time talking to customer support. So, when coming to a conclusion while writing this Huion H610 Pro review, we cannot give a 100% recommendation–the tablet is for those who have some patience and ability to troubleshoot. Remembering to remove other drivers on the system beforehand would save trouble.

Other than that, the quality of the product is solid. A couple of reviewers state it is superior to Monoprice. A tablet is something you may use for years, so, if you want top of the line, then going with Wacom is recommended. But,as long as you have a bit of tech know-how, this is  a strong choice that has the features of the Wacom Intuos Pro line, except for tilt and rotation sensitivity.

If you’re looking for a professional-quality drawing tablet  that’s a great value, the Huion 610 Pro is worthy of consideration.

Looking for a tablet for OSU?

If you’re into playing the rhythm game OSU, Huion makes a tablet for it. See the Huion H420 on Amazon.

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES:

Huion’s soft carrying case will protect your tablet.

Manga Studio 5 is truly versatile, affordable drawing software.

See our review of the Monoprice graphics tablet.

See our article about choosing a Wacom graphics tablet.

Read about the Turcom tablet, similar to the Huion H610 non-Pro.

Read more about top-rated graphics tablets.

 

end of Huion H610 Pro Review