What is the best Pen Tablet for Photoshop/Illustrator

Explorer ,
Jun 12, 2012

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The more I get into design the more I keep seeing digital painting, and hearing about tablets for drawing using pressure sensitive response from the tablet. I've been on wacom and literraly just started researching a bit. I see a bamboo tablet and also an intuos tablet. Any advice for an up and coming designer and which one to buy, what to look for, what not to look for, good/bad experiences and so on?

Michael   

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Trevor.Dennis | Adobe Community Professional

If you really want the best, then I guess that has to be the big Cintiq

But that's a bunch of dollars.  Most of us use the Intuos, which is perfect for photoshop

I have an Intuos4 and have not tried a 5 or Touch, and that's what you'd buy new now.

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What is the best Pen Tablet for Photoshop/Illustrator

Explorer ,
Jun 12, 2012

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The more I get into design the more I keep seeing digital painting, and hearing about tablets for drawing using pressure sensitive response from the tablet. I've been on wacom and literraly just started researching a bit. I see a bamboo tablet and also an intuos tablet. Any advice for an up and coming designer and which one to buy, what to look for, what not to look for, good/bad experiences and so on?

Michael   

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Trevor.Dennis | Adobe Community Professional

If you really want the best, then I guess that has to be the big Cintiq

But that's a bunch of dollars.  Most of us use the Intuos, which is perfect for photoshop

I have an Intuos4 and have not tried a 5 or Touch, and that's what you'd buy new now.

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Jun 12, 2012 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 12, 2012

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They will only run on a windows based tablet.  They will not run on a Windows 8 ARM tablet either.  Adobe only sypports Windows and Mac OS Adobe does have some Tablet Apps but not Photoshop and Illustrator applications.

JJMack

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Jun 12, 2012 0
Explorer ,
Jun 12, 2012

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so your saying I cant use a tablet with photoshop or illustrator? I thought there were specific features inside of these programs to work with tablets, maybe I didnt understand    

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Jun 12, 2012 0
Jun 12, 2012

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Do you mean a tablet computer (like an iPad) or a drawing tablet (Wacom)?

I think JJMack meant the former, while you meant the later.

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Jun 12, 2012 1
Explorer ,
Jun 12, 2012

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Chris Cox wrote:

Do you mean a tablet computer (like an iPad) or a drawing tablet (Wacom)?

I think JJMack meant the former, while you meant the later.

Ahh, wow I cant believe I didnt catch that difference ha. No I'm talking about Wacom, for painting, drawing etc... not Ipads etc...

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Jun 12, 2012 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 12, 2012

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If you really want the best, then I guess that has to be the big Cintiq

But that's a bunch of dollars.  Most of us use the Intuos, which is perfect for photoshop

I have an Intuos4 and have not tried a 5 or Touch, and that's what you'd buy new now.

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Jun 12, 2012 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 12, 2012

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In the case I like the Wacom Intuos. A small one if you draw with small amount of hand movement.  If you prefer large sweeping strokes a larger tablet may be in order.  Tablets can be remaped to screen or screens and a small portion of the tablet can be maped to your whole display. So a Large tablet can also work like a small tablet.  Intuos version function about the same the newer one have some real hardware button that can be programmed and customize the user interface a little better then older versions. The actual pen interface has not really change much at all IMO.

JJMack

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Jun 12, 2012 3
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 12, 2012

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Trevor.Dennis wrote:

If you really want the best, then I guess that has to be the big Cintiq But that's a bunch of dollars. 

A BIG bunch....

JJMack

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Jun 12, 2012 0
Explorer ,
Jun 12, 2012

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Thanks JJ helpful, in my research almost everyone that does any decent size of design is gearing towards the intuos over the bamboo. The cintiq is just stupid expensive so I can rule that out along with the fact I'm more test driving it right now anyways

Hey thanks again JJ

If anyone else wants to give their 2 cents about bamboo vs intuos go right ahead

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Jun 12, 2012 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 12, 2012

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One problem with the big Cintiq is that it has to double as your main monitor — in practical terms at least.  Although I guess if you always use it in horizontal mode, you could still have a big screen behind it.  Heck, why are always looking for an excuse to spend more money on stuff?

There must be some truth in the adage ‘He who dies with the most toys wins’.

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Jun 12, 2012 1
Community Beginner ,
Feb 16, 2018

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I know this thread is old but I thought I will post anyway.

Look for:

XP-Pen

Huion

Artisul (probably the best in this list)

Those companies make some amazing tablets and on screen drawing tablets (like the Cintiq). The one thing they do not support is pen tilt but other than that their quality is amazing. Many Wacom users say that their paralex and straight drawing lines are better than Wacom.

Those tablets are practically a third of Wacom price.

Allocate some time, make a cup of coffee, sit down and watch some Youtube reviews. You will be amazed. Many of those reviewers are professional animators and many have one of those tablets as their main driver drawing hours every day. Unfortunately, no Photo editing reviews to find anywhere. I looked.

But, if those tablets are good for animators they are definitely excellent for photo editing.

I hope that helps.

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Feb 16, 2018 0
New Here ,
Sep 02, 2016

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I have the same question. I use MAC and use adobe on it and want to handdraw and use a Wacom product like Bamboo or Intus. But will the Wacom products work on a MAC?

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Sep 02, 2016 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2016

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No problem using Wacom tablets with OSX as far as I know.   I have used tablets since thew original Graphire, and now use a medium  Intuos 4 and a Cintiq Companion 2.  I always use the Intuos with my main computer.  If I had to replace it now I'd get an Intuos 5 Touch (or whatever they are calling them now.   I am not sure how the Touch features work with OSX however.  With Windows you need 8.1 or 10 to use Gestures.

[EDIT]  I have changed the subject line to make it clear this thread is about pen tablets, and not IOS or Android iPad type devices.

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Sep 02, 2016 0
Explorer ,
Sep 03, 2016

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The Wacom intuos & Bamboo are designed to work with Windows and Mac. The Intuos is meant to be the "pro" version, and the Bamboo more for the "pro-sumer', or amateur. The Cintiq is a different beast, but really it's designed for the Pro - with lots of cash!

I've had a Graphire and am now using my third Intuos, the Intuos 5 Pen & Touch, small. Frankly the touch part is a bit useless as it makes my drawing go stupid at times, so I have to keep it switched off, but if you're one of those folks that's happy to put on one of those groovy gloves every time it's prolly fine. The tablet part is the best I've used, but be sure to get one of their "Art Pens" to get the most out of it (an extra $80-90). There's also the option of getting a wireless dealie, so you can work without being tethered (another $40-50).

The Bamboo range, as far as I can figure, is really quite close to being as good as the intuos in basic operation, and if you're one of those incredibly rare people who doesn't have wads of cash lying around (what's wrong with you weirdo!), or you're a beginner, or both, it's probably a good option, but remember, if you plan on going to an intuos or better anyway, the pens aren't interchangeable. The intuos 5 is also cheaper now, so probably worth it if you can. I imagine Wacom are working on intuos 6 as we speak, so be sure to check it isn't within days of release before splashing your hard-earneds around, as it will make 5s cheaper, and may itself be an unmissable revolution you can't live without.

Have fun!

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Sep 03, 2016 2
New Here ,
Dec 18, 2016

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Hello, how are you?

Can you suggest me which pen table would be perfect for a beginner? I would like to edit pictures in photoshop, some shadowing, etc.

I was looking at Intuos 5 with art pen, but I cant find this product anywhere. Does it have any other name maybe?

Thank you and best regards,

Matevz

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Dec 18, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2016

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matevžk67716702 wrote:

I was looking at Intuos 5 with art pen, but I cant find this product anywhere. Does it have any other name maybe?

Wacom do like to keep reinventing themselves, with new product names.  I think the 'Intuos 5 Touch', is now sold as the 'Intuos Pro'. 

Intuos Pro Medium Digital Tablet for Drawing on a Mac

I started with Wacom's very first tablet, the Graphire way back, and have used an Intuos 4 for some years now.  I also have a Cintiq Companion 2, but I prefer the Intuos.  I would love an excuse to upgrade to the Pro, but I've found from my Cintiq Companion that gestures can be more of a hindrance than an aid, causing unintended zooms, pans and rotations of the canvas, so I'm sticking with the Intuos 4.

Mine is a Medium which is a good compromise between taking up a ton of desk space, but still be big enough for fine control.  I also love the Express Wheel on the Intuos, which I use exclusively for brush size.

We see way too many posts from people with Chinese knock off tablets where the drivers never work properly, so I'd steer clear of them.

Some people use the pen for everything, but I like to use the mouse for things like clipping paths.

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Dec 18, 2016 1
New Here ,
Dec 18, 2016

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Hello,

thank you for answering. I will do on my mac book pro laptop 13". Do you think small version of intuos pro would be ok?

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Dec 18, 2016 0
Explorer ,
May 20, 2017

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The Intuos 5 is now called Intuos Pro. Here is a post from Wacom about it.  I

I think for beginners one of the Intuos non-pro tablets is a good deal. I have a Huion, I recommend that too for the size and price, though I know some people have a hard time installing the driver. Here is info about Intuos tablets there is also info about non-Wacom.

Another good source of info is YouTube, where you can see people using just about any tablet.

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May 20, 2017 0
New Here ,
Apr 05, 2017

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I agree with Huion tablets are VERY cheap and excellent quality & very light weight to carry easily anywhere (but screen size small), Wacom Intuos, Wacom Bamboo has (resolution of 2540 LPI) & Ugee 1910B is great (if need large & perfect screen size of 16:9), for detailed & comparison tablets check here: bestofgoods.com/top-10-best-tablets-drawing-artists/

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Apr 05, 2017 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 05, 2017

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smashingwall  wrote

I agree with Huion tablets are VERY cheap and excellent quality & very light weight to carry easily anywhere (but screen size small), Wacom Intuos, Wacom Bamboo has (resolution of 2540 LPI) & Ugee 1910B is great (if need large & perfect screen size of 16:9), for detailed & comparison tablets check here: bestofgoods.com/top-10-best-tablets-drawing-artists/

Spend some time on this forum, and you'll see the number of issues (often as not unresolved) we get asked about with non Wacom tablets.  That's not to say Wacom tablets never have issues, but we can usually fix them.

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Apr 05, 2017 1