Awesome Graphics Tablets by Wacom and others made for Super Artistic People
Let’s take a look at some of the best drawing tablets. Since Wacom is the industry leader, we’ll have a close look at all their drawing tablets as well as competitors’ equivalent products.
As a game designer, graphic artist, and web designer, I use graphics programs A LOT. When I first got started doing graphic projects, I didn’t have the money to get a drawing tablet, although I was always tempted by the ease of use and awesome features that they had.
I knew I could work a lot faster and get a lot more done if I just could draw by hand instead of having to use a mouse and always feel like I’m trying to make everything on an Etch-a-Sketch.
After a couple of projects paid out, I decided to try one out to see how it worked and how much it helped. I searched around for the cheapest pen tablet I could find, and I ended up going with the Bamboo Drawing Tablet by Wacom. It was about the same price as a decent mouse, so I figured it wouldn’t be a huge loss if it didn’t work as I’d expected.
Now, about a year later, I have to tell you that this little product revolutionized my career. My productivity tripled. What used to take me an hour got cut down to 20 minutes. I was able to finish entire projects twice as fast, and I was able to put a whole lot more polish and craftsmanship into my work because I started spending less time fiddling with a mouse and was able to spend more time drawing.
I finished some more projects up that paid out a lot more because my quality of work had increased, and I then used that money to go and get an upgrade. The one I had was great, but it was more or less just a stepping stone between a computer mouse, and a real drawing tablet.
Wacom had been good to me so far, so I went all out and picked up another tablet made by them, the Intuos4 Pen Tablet. It comes in a few different sizes, but what’s really great about it is the buttons on the side. Now not only am I drawing naturally and efficiently in my programs, but I don’t have to interrupt my workflow by messing with menus and toolbars.
The buttons on the side are programmable so you can press them to switch tools, add effects, or anything else that you would normally have to do by clicking through endless drop down lists. And the scrolling wheel makes zooming in for detail work a million times easier.
If you’re thinking about making any kind of money on your artwork, there are two things you need to do. Get a graphic design program (there are some really good free ones out there), and yourself the best drawing tablet you can find. Trust me, graphic artists and designers are in super high demand today. Just check out my site at Creativemarket.com to see what I’m getting for icons and you’ll see why I try to invest in quality.
Every time I go on any web or game development forum I see pages upon pages of threads where people are begging to hire an artist. With the amount of work I was able to get done after getting my upgrade, the tablet had paid for itself within a month.
There’s a lot of controversy on the web among artists about which tablet is the best since everybody has their own personal tastes and opinion. On this page I’ll tell you about the best and most popular so that you can make an informed decision and purchase the drawing tablet that’s perfectly suited to your style and needs.
How to Choose the Best Drawing Tablet for Your Artistic Style
When looking to buy a tablet, you want to be sure to consider a few things.
How much space do you have to work with? If you’re usually using a small or cluttered desk, you probably won’t be able to fit a large tablet on it. Take note of the dimensions of each drawing tablet you look at and I’d say even go so far as to measure out the space in your work area. Will it fit? If you’re hesitant or not sure about a certain size, then you probably want to go a size smaller.
How much space do you use when you draw? Go ahead and take a moment to doodle something, or draw out a sketch. As you’re drawing, take note of how much space your arm is taking up and how much of an area you like to cover by moving your hand.
Some people like to keep their hand in a smaller space, moving the paper around to suit their needs. If this sounds like you, a small pen tablet would most likely suit your needs. Others like to keep the paper as stationary as possible and use broad sweeps, putting their entire arms into it.
If this is more your style, then you should look at bigger models of tablets. And of course, if you’re not sure which side of the fence you’re on, it sounds like a medium sized pen tablet would do just fine.
What will you be using your pen tablet for?
If you’re just looking for some to use for your sketches or computer painting, then you won’t need anything more complicated than one of the Bamboo models.
If you use 3D modeling programs or frequently get into the more complex depths of your software, switching between layers, adding effects, or going back and forth between several different tools, you should be looking at the Intuos series.
And if you do a lot with animations, either 2D or 3D, or if you require high definition for your work, definitely have a close look at the Cintiq line of graphics tablets.
The Bamboo Series by Wacom
Simple and easy to use. Perfect for testing the waters.
The Bamboo line is definitely the “entry level” of drawing tablets offered by Wacom. However don’t let that dissuade you. Even though they’re far simpler than the Intuos or Cintiq models, this makes them far easier to get the hang of.
Also, as with any more complex piece of equipment there will be a learning curve. While you’re looking for the tablet that’s right for you, consider how much time and effort you’re willing to put into simply learning how to use it.
With the Bamboo there are hardly any bells and whistles to trip you up. This means that you can learn how to use it effectively in mere minutes. Also, it’s entirely “plug and play.”
Since the equipment is so simple, the driver that’s installed when you first plug it into the USB port is also small and simple, meaning it’s extremely unlikely that it will get tripped up cause you extra time spent just getting the tablet to work initially.
If you don’t own or use any tablets regularly already, this is definitely the model you want to buy. Most of them are the same price as a good mouse, so it’s a very small investment for trying a new device. And I guarantee that you’ll love using it as much as I did, and that it will soon become second nature to you.
After you’ve got one, you’ll never know how you ever worked without one in the first place.
Remember, the Bamboo series is nice, but…
If you’re truly serious about your artwork, and you really want to increase your productivity, workflow, and get more enjoyment out of creating quality beautiful designs and art, you should honestly consider getting something that’s a step up. I only wish I had someone to show me the advantages of getting a better model sooner.
Although my Bamboo was absolutely fantastic, I could have ended up saving a whole lot more time and money.
Intuitive, efficient, and so much fun you won’t believe you’re working.
Wacom has been around for decades, and that’s for good reason. They dominate the market with several series of high quality graphics tablets that are designed for all artists, from serious professionals to weekend hobbyists.
Although their range covers everything from more economical to more professional drawing tablets, the Intuos models give you have the freedom to express yourself creatively for your own personal enjoyment or take up a career as a freelance graphics designer.
Even though I myself started out with a cheaper model, I’m still kicking myself for not getting one of these sooner because I could have creating so much more far earlier.
Buy Replacement Nibs for your Tablet Stylus
The main downfall of the Intuos drawing tablets is that they are notorious for burning through pen nibs. Even though every model of pen tablet Wacom makes comes with 5-10 extra nibs, if you are planning on buying an Intuos, you might want to consider stocking up on some replacements.