I have an ancient wacom tablet, purchased in 1998, it still works but it is difficult to obtain a driver update, surprise surprise. I am about to purchase a new tablet, but don’t know which one to choose. I did google wacom and found their various tablets. They are so different from the one I have, which only draws and paints on painting programs such as Corel Paint, Photoshop etc. It uses all the brushes and paints from these programs. I gather that today’s wacom tablets have brushes and paints built in. In other words, my tablet is very simple. It has served me well and is still doing so. But the day has come to put it out to pasture. You are all artists here and I presume a lot of you guys use a tablet. Please, have you any advise on which tablet best, and (for me) easy to use? Cost is not a factor here, ease of use is!
I’m not aware of any built in paint brushes in wacom tablets, tablets today work in pretty much the same way as your ‘98 tablet does. What you’ll get on today’s Wacom tablets is a multi-function touch sensitive wheel (with a button in the middle) that gives you a number of handy options such as zoom, brush size, cycle through layers and rotating the canvas (all very handy when I’m working in Photoshop on my Intuos4) plus various buttons that replicate the alt, shift and control keys (and then some, though they got rid of the nice little OLED screens telling you what button does what on the latest Intuos5).
As for recommendations obviously Wacom are the generally go-to make with the latest version improving on the nib endurance (the nibs on the Intuos 4 do wear out rather quickly) but lose the OLED indicators. A money no object, all singing, all dancing, when I win the lottery option is the Cintiq 24HD with the built in 24” H-IPS 1920x1200 screen ( :drool: :slobber: though the 12” Cintiq 12WX is a slightly more affordable option but it’s still a hefty whack of change). A more realistic option however are the Intuos5 range. Now I personally like working on an A4 sized work area others will find it too large and this aspect is very much in the realms of personal taste but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
There are other makes out there with varying levels of quality but I’ve personally never used them (or even looked at them) because as you know they have a tendency to last (my little Graphire that I use with my laptop is still plugging away eight years down the line while I can’t see getting rid of my Intuos4 for some considerable time to come).
From a nib usage point of view certainly, they last longer as it was one of the few complaints of the Intuos4. I’ve worked my way through all the standard nibs and one of the feely ones in a heck of a lot less time than it took me to use one nib on my old Intuos2 (darn good bit of that as well, pity it fell apart).
The only major differences between the 4 and the 5 are the design (I actually prefer the 4’s design), nib wear, there’s a wireless kit for the 5 and that some versions of 5 include touch function (at added cost on some models) but the pens used on both are identical however. As I say though you can’t really go wrong with either model.
One tip, just don’t buy the tablets themselves direct from Wacom quite a bit over priced (by about £50/$80/€63 in the UK compared to the price on Amazon), though the nibs are actually cheaper to buy direct from Wacom (or at least that’s what I’ve come across here in the UK).
frodi, I’d go for the Bamboo Create. The Intuos5 is better, sure. I have one and it’s amazing, even though I miss the illuminated buttons from my previous Intuos4. But you’re looking for ease of use, so the extra controls and buttons on the Intuos line wouldn’t make much of a difference for you.
The Bamboo Create has roughly the same working area as an Intuos5 Medium and should suit you well for LCDs up to 24”. Avoid the smaller Bamboo models: they’re too small for any serious work or use with high resolutions displays. Their area and associated resolution are too small and the cursor feels jumpy and less precise.
I’ve written a guide based on my 13 years of experience using Wacom tablets. I’m not sure if it’s ok to post the link here, but I really feel it’s a good resource to put you up to date with the new models. Read it here: How to choose the best Wacom pen tablet for your needs
Thanks for that info, I have looked at all the pros and cons of these tablets and have decided that the Bamboo Create looks fine, so have ordered it. My old little tablet has served me well, so the Create should be a good successor. Thank you both for your help.
Ah well, the wacom tablet arrived, but not bamboo create, although ordered and the invoice is for bamboo create, I received wacom tablet bamboo fun - pen and touch. I have advised the shop of this. I would like to know though what the difference is between the 2 versions. Does anyone know?
Hmm, I can’t remember if I got a Create or Fun now… O don’t think there is much difference other than the software they come bundled with, if I remember correctly. I think you made a good choice. They are a fine product with as many levels of sensitivity as the Intuos4 for a fraction of the price. I must say I would have loved the extra programmable buttons, but I’m happy with what I got. All that said, mine doesn’t get a lot of use as I’m still in the very primitive stages of digital painting. I was keen to use it as a mouse replacement, but couldn’t get used to it, and using it in 3D programs seems out-and-out impossible (except to draw lines). The touch and click functions just aren’t as intuitive or precise as your average laptop touch pad.
Thanks for that jim, I paid for the creative, don’t know if there is price difference. I cannot use my little graphire now as I cannot get a driver update for it, and my pc complains bitterly about that. I used the tablet all the time and really miss it.
It is sad when new hardware/software doesn’t want to play with your old favourites :( Just checked on the price difference. The Australian official Wacom shop lists the previous generation “Fun” as being about $20 more expensive than the “Creative”. I’d assume this is the case with the current models (which I have, and I assume you have too). They were probably out of stock for the cheaper version, and decided a happy customer was better than one having to wait for a back order.
I paid AU $248.00 for the tablet and $17.58 postage, so it all came to $266.58. Well worth the price if it does what I hope it will do. According to Wacom, the create is the top of the bamboo line, but that may have changed I suppose. Still waiting for a reply from the shop. I shall be keeping the old graphire tablet, might try a later model driver for it.