Here’s my top five Wacom tablets list. Click on the menus at the top for the full reviews!
My Top 5 Wacom Graphics Tablets:
Wacom Cintiq 24HD Multi-Touch Tablet / Display (Links to Amazon)- Best of the Wacom tablets. The Cintiq 24HD multi-touch is the largest graphics tablet display and is considered the holy grail of drawing tablets. For serious and/or professional artists, designers and animators.
Wacom Intuos5 Pen Tablet – Excellent for a professional designer/artist. Available in different sizes and a wireless option.
Wacom Bamboo Splash Tablet – Great for an artist who has never used a tablet before and seriously wants to make the leap from standard drawing to digital.
Wacom Bamboo Create Pen and Touch Tablet – Great for someone who is interested in the same things that the Bamboo Splash offers, but wants more drawing space. Also, this Bamboo tablet is bundled with more software than the Bamboo Splash.
Buying a Wacom Tablet:
I’m a self taught graphic designer who has used several different graphics tablets throughout the years and I’m offering my personal Wacom tablet reviews here. Having been disappointed by other brands, I was happy when I found Wacom. I had some confusion researching which Wacom tablet was right for me so I thought writing this Wacom tablet site might help other people make a decision.
For me, Wacom is the frontrunner in graphic design tablets. I believe they are a great company and more importantly, they design and produce high-quality products. I’ve used the other brands in the past and have been disappointed.
We start with the cons, which is a hefty price tag for what is essentially a customized 17″ tablet. At this price point, many are quick to turn away to look at alternatives, only to find there are few and far between that have excellent comfort and ease of use in the setting we expect for such a device. The name Wacom says it all.
For the adept and professional, the price should be no concern. Indeed, this flat out appears to be a name-carry from the good quality 16 inch non Pro version. The stand prices affirm this inference.
Perhaps this is why Wacom has included 7 kinds of software. They know the value offered is a bit more polish than competitors plus a lot of brand-name recognition.
Judging by the competition – Kamvas Pro 24 at its $700 price range, you can afford three and still write home to mama~! Sure, it’s ‘screen only’ but you have to appreciate the extra room and running software on your desktop isn’t a stretch for the pro who uses the screens in the office, or in an at-home office (thanks Covid-19).
— Also, continuing our little rant, you can go for a 1 inch smaller – Artist 16 by XP Pen. The fact is, if you don’t work at Blizzard as an artist, or a graphic designer for Ogilvy Mathers, there are alternatives that would be just fine to try out – and return, if you’re unsatisfied, because you’d still be saving a lot!
So with that out of the way (that was the ‘bad news’), we look at the ‘good news’.
And the good news is, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 17 is the latest generation of Wacom touch screen tablets with a beautiful screen, rich colors, deep darks and excellent ergonomic design. Knock offs can be dismissed.
The R&D budget of Wacom is unmatched as its brand recognizability has garnered it extremely wealthy compared to fledgling competitors. The premium market really has no other name, though Huion has been making consumer rated waves lately with lots of good feedback.
Bottomline: Reliable name at a hefty price, try non-Pro 16 for the savings?
The bottom line is, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 17 is overpriced and we believe Wacom knows this. The pen is fairly easy to use but it doesn’t compare to pen on paper as they say in marketing material. That delay is slight but noticeable when your pen slides across the screen. The Ergo Stand is heavy, large, and extremely overpriced at $500. Such greed!
(Surely lopping off a few $$$ hundred wouldn’t hurt them, and only serve to increase sales. Competitors are clearly showing that the value market for touchable artist screens are about $500 less than Wacom expects. For the premium of the name, we could feasibly excuse $300 markup but that’s it.)
Anyhow, the specs speak for themselves(see above), if you’re familiar with 16, then 17 will be a nice upgrade. Small businesses could probably go with Wacom Cintiq 16. Larger games companies and other graphics departments should probably just bulk buy something economy or huge 27″ touch screens to pair with their high end Nvidia machines with AI chips.
How is the new Intuos stylus different from the Bamboo stylus pens?
Blue Intuos Creative Stylus
The main difference is pressure sensitivity! Finally, you can control the pressure and thus, the size of lines. This makes a huge difference when you are trying to draw many different things. It has 2048 levels of pressure just like the pens that come with the Bamboo, Intuos and Cintiq tablets.The tip is still rounded and soft rubber like Wacom’s other stylus pens, but it responds to light and heavy touches.It connects with the iPad 3 and 4, and iPad mini through Bluetooth.Another major change is that the new Intuos stylus has palm rejection. Meaning it ignores your palm when it touches the screen which makes writing, drawing or painting feel more natural.The cons:
It is not usable on smartphones. Only iPads. Hopefully it will be available on more devices in the future.
Only available in shiny blue or black.The price is $99.95! Seems like a lot when compared to the Bamboo stylus which is $29.95.
You can pre-order this stylus now, but I always recommend waiting if you have the patience. Wacom products are usually cheaper on Amazon.
Bamboo Stylus Solo:
Colorful Bamboo Stylus Solo
The Stylus Solo is compatible with many different devices such as earlier versions of the iPad, iPhone 4/4S/5, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire and many more.You get more color choices and the price is reasonable. The cons:No pressure sensitivity or palm rejection.Not compatible with iPad 4 or iPad mini.Click here to read more about this and other stylus pens on Amazon.
Two new Cintiq tablets will be available in October 2013
Wacom has been silent for a long time and now we all know why!
Uses full versions of creative programs like Adobe Photoshop.
Multi-touch screen capability.
Adjustable and detachable stand.
Features a front and back HD camera.
The Pro Pen features a new ergonomic design.
HD 1920 x 1080 display
8 GB of RAM, 3rd generation Intel Core Processor i7 & Intel HD Graphics 4000
Wacom Pro Pen with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
2MP for the front camera & a 8MP for the back camera.
The Companion seems to be a very powerful tablet. This is something I have been wanting for a while. A portable drawing/painting tablet that also allows me to use the full version of Photoshop, email and I can stream movies and music with Bluetooth and Wifi.
As with most of Wacom’s tablets, the price is hefty. The Cintiq Companion will cost you $1999 for 256GB and $2499 for 512GB. You can pre-oder it now, but I recommend waiting because they usually sell for less on Amazon.
The Companion Hybrid is intended to be more like a sketchpad than the Companion or a regular Cintiq tablet. For example, you can only use Android creative apps for drawing and painting. I view this tablet to be a big step up from the Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pad. The Hybrid also includes two HD cameras, Wifi and Bluetooth.
It’s possible that the Android drawing and painting apps could be limiting.
13.3 inch HD display and lightweight making it very portable.
Uses the same great pressure sensitive pen.
Adjustable and removable stand.
The Hybrid has a lower price than the regular Companion. It is $1499 for 6GB and $1599 for 32GB. Again, I recommend waiting if you can. The prices always seem to drop once they are available at other online stores.
There is an intensive 12 week course online to help improve your art and yours truly is going to take it! If you have $200 ($250 after May 15th) and want a challenge, I recommend signing up!
Noah Bradley is a concept artist and illustrator and you can view his portfolio at www.noahbradley.com.
I never went to art school and I only recently took a few life drawing classes. I haven’t really ever focused on improving my digital painting skills. I feel like his course will help me improve in less time than if I was learning on my own by trial and error.
I’m excited to start this course! I plan on posting a lot of my progress on my Facebook page at Wacom Tablet Reviews. Like my page if you are interested!
Noah Bradley, the same guy who is running Noah’s Art Camp (an intensive 12 week course), has reviewed the Yiynova MSP19Utablet monitor.
I had never heard of the Yiynova until I read his review. In short, he seems to love it and believes it is just as good as the Wacom Cintiq. It sounds like it’s not as sleek or “pretty” as a Cintiq, but it weighs much less and the cost is $1399 less than the Cintiq 22HD! I chose to compare the Yiynova to the Cintiq 22HD because that is the tablet monitor closest in size to the Yiynova.
Bradley’s complaints about the Yiynova are not a big deal to him, but I can see how they might be major annoyances to some. For instance, there are no buttons, the software is lackluster, the adjustable angles are poor and the UI isn’t very good. To quote Bradley, “The drivers are a bit problematic and the software interface is kinda ugly.” He also mentions that the pressure sensitivity is not as customizable as he would prefer.
On the plus side, the screen is smooth (Wacom tends to be a little gritty), the colors seem to be brighter, it is approximately 12 lbs. as opposed to 33.7 lbs. (Cintiq 22HD weight) and the price is a huge plus at $600!
Would I buy this tablet monitor instead of a Wacom? I’m not sure. It does seem like it would be a decent alternative for a large touch screen tablet. My motivation would be the price. I think it boils down to aesthetics and cost. I think I could put up with all the negatives if I can save $1400. However, I am very happy with my Intuos and don’t plan to upgrade any time soon. Although, I must admit, that’s mainly because I can’t afford a Yiynova or a Cintiq… Yet!
For those who are interested, I just discovered that there is a keynote tomorrow (May 7th) at the Nokia theater in Los Angeles about exploring creative solutions and more. Here’s their description:
Community Inspires Creativity – Tuesday, May 7, 10-11:30 a.m. PDT
Join David Wadhwani, Adobe’s SVP and GM of Digital Media, as he welcomes four incredibly creative minds to explore how they foster creativity and approach their work. You will hear from Rob Legato, an Oscar winning visual effects supervisor; Paula Scher, an iconic graphic designer and illustrator; Erik Johansson, an up and coming photographer and retouch artist; and Phil Hansen, a constraint-based artist that believes limitations drive creativity. We think you’ll leave with more than a few new ideas to incorporate in your next creative project.
Wacom just announced and made available their new Cintiq 22HD Touch. It’s seems to be almost identical to the 24HD Touch, only smaller. You still use the pressure sensitive pen, but you can also use multi-touch with your fingers. One of Wacom’s selling points is that you can maximize your productivity by using preset hand gestures and I believe it! There have been many times when I wished I could use my hands to rotate an image or move it around easier and quicker.
It’s still out of my grasp due to the $2499 price tag. It might be more affordable than the Cintiq 24HD Touch, for some, which is $3699.
First there was the Cintiq 24HD. Then the 22HD. And now Wacom is introducing the Cintiq 13HD. It may be small, but it seems perfect for professional artists who need a portable graphics tablet.
The differences are minor. For example, the 13HD has less shortcut keys (4 as opposed to 16 and 10) which makes sense due to it’s size. But that’s not what should be the deciding factor to buy this particular Cintiq tablet/display. It’s all about the slimness and size in my opinion. It’s highly portable plus it comes with a 3 in 1 HDMI usb cable which makes it easy to hook up anywhere.
The total size is 11.75″ W by 6.75″ H with a 13.3″ HD display. However, the active area is 11.75″ W by 6.75″ H. That’s something to keep in mind, but wouldn’t keep me from buying it if I was looking for a portable HD tablet. Like the other, larger Cintiq models, the 13HD has an adjustable stand which can adjust to 22°, 35°, 50° angles.
While I think I will always long to own a 24HD, I would not scoff at the new 13HD if it was given to me. It has all the same capabilities as it’s siblings except for Cintiq 24HD Touch which is the only model that offers the multi-touch feature. The Cintiq 13HD will retail for $999 on the Wacom web site soon. I will write another post when it’s available on Amazon because they typically sell for less there.
Right now, Corel is bundling the Wacom Bamboo Splash with Corel Painter Lite for $99.99 on their site. I think it’s a very good deal for someone who is new to digital drawing and wants to try it out without spending a fortune on a tablet PLUS software.
I don’t know how long this bundle deal will be available. If you aren’t interested in Corel Painter Lite, you can also buy the Wacom Bamboo Splash on Amazon (my favorite place to buy things) for even less money. Click here to read more about this tablet and/or buy it!