The Japanese manufacturer Wacom has been one of the market leaders for pen and touch tablets for many years . The Wacom graphics tablets are characterized by first-class workmanship and have set standards in this area. With our guide we would like to introduce you to the advantages of the various series in more detail and thus give you an overview for making a purchase decision.
Our recommendations and bestsellers:[table]
eries & series and their special features:
What series of Wacom graphics tablets are there?
Before you decide on a graphics tablet from Wacom, you should get an overview of the possible series:
• Bamboo series : Wacom has previously offered its entry-level graphics tablets under the name Bamboo . The models have a 16:10 display format, drawing areas up to just under DIN A4 and are operated with the innovative, battery-free Wacom pen . Compared to the professional series, however, the drawing areas are overall smaller and the range of functions is somewhat more limited. There is the Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet with pen input, only as a pure touchpad for finger gesture control and as a model for both functions. In the meantime, the manufacturer has renamed the original Bamboo series Intuos. Under the name Bamboo, he only offers individual pens that are used for capacitive displays, such as tablet PCs or smartphones. The Bamboo-Pad , on the other hand, is a touchpad with a pen, which is only suitable as a mouse replacement for operating the computer.
• Intuos series : If you want to create high-quality graphics with the highest resolution, you should use the Intuos series. In widescreen format with character sizes from A4 upwards , the Intuos4 models are literally ideal for CAD and graphics programs. They are operated with different pens that do not differ from conventional drawing pens in terms of operation. The new Intuos5 series was meanwhile inRenamed Intuos Pro . They can be operated wirelessly or via a USB cable .
• Cintiq series : The best combination is the high-end class of the Cintiq series. These are full HD graphics tablets with an integrated screen. Operation can be compared to that on a tablet and can be done with a pen or finger gesture. Powerful models with a powerful Core i7 processor and Windows 8 are also available. These Wacom graphics tablets can be used to create drawings on the go without a computer connection.
What highlights does the Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet offer?
The former Bamboo graphics tablet range is now called Intuos and is particularly popular in the private sector. In our comparison, we made friends with the small version. It offers the following features:
• a flat and stylish design,
• a drawing area of 152 × 95 mm,
• a resolution of 2,540 dpi,
• a battery-free pen with 1,024 pressure levels and
• 4 express function keys.
Especially for beginners who are first successful with a Wacom graphics tabletwe recommend looking out for interesting combination packages. Wacom often offers its graphics tablets with professional drawing and photo editing software that is already included in the price. Otherwise, the graphics tablet is supplied with a USB port, pen, instructions and installation CD.
The difference to most other graphics tablet manufacturers
A wide variety of graphics tablets are available on the market. Wacom still achieved the best ratings here. This is not only due to the good workmanship, but primarily to the functional pencils.
Wacom was the first to develop battery-free induction-based drawing pens . In our comparison we have convinced ourselves of the reliability. Thanks to the more than 2,000 different pressure levels , the pencil can be used like a conventional paper pencil. The Wacom stylus are particularly comfortable to hold. Incidentally, the entry-level models offer 1,024 different pressure levels.
In addition to the supplied standard tip, the Wacom pens can be equipped with various drawing tips. A small tool is included in the scope of delivery with which the tip can be changed. For example, you can even use real brush designs here.
With some battery-operated competitors, a drop in battery power usually leads to unclean drawing results.
What should be considered when buying a Wacom graphics tablet?
It is very important for beginners to choose the right graphics tablet. Sometimes Wacom graphics tablets are offered very cheaply on the Internet. However, not every model comes with a drawing pen. The cheap models can sometimes be pure touchpads . These are only used as a mouse replacement and work via finger gesture control . At least the graphics tablet should have pen input or, even better, pen and gesture control .
What distinguishes the Intuos Pro series?
The special features include:
• an extremely flat housing with rounded sides,
• a drawing area of 158 × 98 mm,
• a resolution of 5,080 dpi,
• an induction pen with 2,048 pressure levels and two functions (drawing / erasing),
• USB connection and wireless kit,
• 6 express function keys plus function
ring , • a pen holder.
Admittedly, the drawing area is only very small. However, larger drawing areas can also be easily edited by moving the screen content on the PC monitor.
What is the delivery content?
After unpacking the box, we found
• the graphics tablet,
• a so-called grip pen,
• the wireless kit,
• a pen holder with replacement nibs,
• a tool for removing the nib , • a quick start guide
and an installation CD
How is it drawn?
Intuos Pro Small has to be connected to the computer via USB . Before doing this, you have to install the necessary drivers from the supplied CD. There is no longer any need to read a long manual, as the Wacom graphics tablets can be operated intuitively.
Interestingly, the graphics tablet works with all common graphics and drawing programs without any problems. Technically speaking, the mouse movements are emulated via the induction pen. If you want, you can use your graphics tablet to operate your PC instead of a mouse. In our opinion, however, this takes a lot of getting used to. We mainly use the tablet for drawing.
The slightly matted drawing surface feels like paper . The batteryless pencil is very easy to hold. It has two switches that can be used to activate a delete function. After starting a graphics program, the approach of the drawing tip is displayed exactly on the PC monitor. Even a slight dragging movement of the pen is immediately displayed as a painting line. The harder we press on, the wider the line becomes. If a color palette is also displayed in the drawing program, it is very easy to change from there to another drawing color.
By pressing the pen button, the pen can also act as an eraser . In this way, incorrect image areas can be deleted again. We find that the delete function can be implemented much faster with the undo command of the drawing program used.
What else can a graphics tablet be used for?
Artists can look forward to the diverse possibilities of a Wacom graphics tablet. Not only are lines of different thicknesses displayed, but all other program functions can also be carried out with the pen. Professional drawing programs, for example, also offer the option of using the drawing pen as a paint spray gun . However, predefined patterns can also be loaded .
Graphics tablets are ideal for photo editing. Thanks to the freely definable express keys of a tablet and the high functionality of the drawing pens, all functions of photo editing software can be carried out quickly and safely. Red eyes, disturbing image elements, blurred image areas or underexposures no longer stand a chance.
What does the Cintiq series offer?
The Cintiq models with integrated display offer the best solution for first-class drawing results . The special highlights include:
• an interactive pen display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels,
• a high-quality, battery-free drawing
pen with 2,048 pressure levels, • a pen holder,
• a practical stand for the display,
• a quick start guide and installation CD .
In contrast to the other Wacom graphics tablets, the interactive display requires its own power supply, so a power supply unit is also included in the scope of delivery.
If you want to draw with your Cintiq on the go, you should use the best models of the Cintiq Companion series , as they have their own processor and work like a tablet PC.
The advantage of the Cintiq range?
Unlike the rest of the Wacom graphics tablets, you don’t have to switch your gaze between the monitor and tablet when using a Cintiq model. You can draw directly on the displayed monitor image. It appears as if you are painting on a sheet of paper or on a canvas.
However, this benefit is not cheap. After all, the smallest Cintiq models cost around 800 euros. You have to pay a lot more when you use the Cintiq graphics tablets with an integrated processor. These start at around 1,200 euros. But they can also be used outdoors without a computer connection. In general, it can be said that a Wacom graphics tablet is the more expensive, the larger the character or screen diagonal .
The manufacturer was able to convince us in terms of performance, handling and reliability . The drawing results with the best resolution are only offered in the Intuos Pro and Cintiq series, but the entry-level models are also sufficient for home use. While the top models are available from 500 euros and up, the entry-level graphics tablets are available for around 70 euros. Another note for beginners: It is worthwhile to pay attention to interesting combination packages with high-quality graphics software . These are full versions with which an easy entry into the world of characters is created. In conclusion, it can be said that Wacom is still the No. 1 when it comes to graphics tablets.