Help with deciding on a Wacom Tablet

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by spydr, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. spydr macrumors 6502

    spydr

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    MD
    #1
    Hi friends,

    Need to get my wife a Wacom tablet for her interest in illustration and fine arts is expanding to computer arts. As a side benefit, I wouldn't mind using the inkewell technology once in a while to handwrite information and do some concept diagrams. We currently own a 867MHz 12" PB and a Mac mini with a 20inch dell panel.

    I would like to hear some personal experiences some of you might have with respect to using Wacom Graphire4 or Intuitos3 tablets. The primary choices are graphire or Intuitos? And 4x5 or 6x8 or 9x12? Cost is secondary to functionality and making sure we get our needs covered - but certainly we don't want to pay for a large intuitos tablet ($400) if all we would have needed was a small graphire ($100).

    Any suggestions?

    THanks in advance!!:)
     
  2. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #2
    if you are planning to do anything professional get the Intuos and get a 9x12. If you just need to trace photos or small artwork the 4x6 will do the job, but I owned a 9x12 Intuos 2 and really liked it.
     
  3. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #3
    Sorry, I don't mean any thread hijacking, but my wife is looking at tablets too.

    What is the difference between the Graphire and the Intuitos anyway?
     
  4. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    #4
    im in the same boat - i need it for retouching, ive just bought the graphire but i am taking it back and getting the intuos. the intuos has twice the layers of sensitivity and also tilt sesor and you can use the airbrush in it

    intuos all the way
     
  5. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #5
    Hi, I bought a Intuos 6x8 and I like it very much. I feel the pen is very nice with it as with the Graphire pen seems a bit to rigid (I had one before the 6x8).
    If size is not a concern go with the 9x12 or they just came out with 6x11 (wish I would have bought that) but hey my 6x8 works great.
    The nice thing is the Intuos has a set of keys on the sides which are great for using as the control, option, zoom in/out.
    Software is PS Elements 3 which is nice if you don't have PS but I'm guessing your wife does? I can't comment on the mouse that comes with it since I don't use it.

    You can get an airbrush pen seperate as well, or you may mean just that. I'm still holding off on getting that pen until I learn more in Painter so that I can take advantage of it more.

    Overall I like the feel and options of the Intuos (and the long usb cable).
    Hope this helps :)
     
  6. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    Hey, i've had a wacom intuos3 6x8 for the last year now and i love it. I use it with a 15" g4 tibook for touching up pictures, corel painter and making animations. I'm by no means a graphics professional but i find the size perfect for my uses. The other models would have been either too big or too restrictive.

    The pen is of very good quality and feels nice in the hand. Also the intuos range have double the pressure sensitivity and a tilt sensor(very handy for things like calligraphy). As someone above mentioned the cable is nice and long too. I normally navigate with an intellimouse and leave the tablet sit next to my laptop. Whenever i do want to draw, i just lounge back, put my feet up, put the tablet on my lap and sketch away.
    The key pads on the 6x8 model are very useful as well. They can be programmed to carry out common operations and the scroll pads can be used for zooming, etc.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    I had a 9x12 Intuos (v1) and it was great. I used it for CAD drafting a first, but then moved into digital painting and my photography. I now use it for everything but CAD (due to AutoDesk not getting off their rumps and making it available for my mac). None the less, I am sorry I sold it when I moved. I was going to a place where I had limited space and so I sold that bought a laptop and since I can't seem to be without it, I bought a v2 6x8. The pen was an improvement on the 2nd version. They did not really make it different, but they included a non-slip grip which helped with me not having to hold the pen so tight, I would get cramps in my hand after more than 4 hours of consistent work.

    I did not know about the 6x11...I am not sure what the benefit of that is. Perhaps to be more in line with the wide screen machine? If this is the case, I basically think it's worth it. I don't have problems now, but when I first got it the 6x8 against a 17" full screen laptop was tough, I was running out of wacom before I ran out of screen.

    If you can, stick with Intuos. The Graphire is good for simple photo retouching, but if you wife is into illustration, then the extra 500+ levels of sensitivity is great and you can't beat tilt recognition. I would say get a 6x8 or 6x11. The 9x12's footprint is actually quite large and even though I am now at a place where I have a desk, I wouldn't go up just yet. I like having extra space.

    Oh and I use it with a 15" PB and a 20" wide dell display.
     
  8. spydr thread starter macrumors 6502

    spydr

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    MD
    #8
    Thanks for all the replies

    I did decide on the intuous 3 tablet. We picked up the smallest one (4x5) with the understanding that she could give it a try and if she runs out of space, we could return it and pick up a bigger size. But I have to say, she seems to like the size very much ( just the size of a mouse pad), pen is very good and responsive and in fact I am also getting drawn to it so much that I am already think of another one for my mac mini! I do like the mouse too, better than my cordless mx700. So far it seems to be a lot of fun, only I wish the mac handwriting recognition was better. It does not seem to understand cursive writing but seems to be pretty OK with printed characters (quite the opposite from the windows PCs which seem to work quite well with cursive writing). But I would certainly recommend intuous 3 to anyone looking for a good tablet for artistic inclinations or for sheer fun.
     
  9. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #9
    a bit late in the game, but I have a Graphire 3 4x5. it's small and kind of dinky but I like it. when I replace it it'll probably be with an Intuos 6x8 or something around there. I'm wondering though, does anyone know of a company that makes tablets other than Wacom? their name seems to be synonymous with "tablet" and I'm uncomfortable with the idea of monopolies. hence the Apple fanboy.
     
  10. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #10
    Am I the only one here that likes the Bluetooth Wacom Tablet? I could never live with the USB wire being connected to my tablet.
     
  11. Mac_Freak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #11
    I have a Intuos3 6x11 and it is great for Wide-screen displays. I have to say that once you get used to a tablet, you never want to go back to mouse; for graphic stuff of course.
     
  12. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Finally I have arrived.....
    #12
    I also have Intuos 3 4X6. At first, I had to get used to how the tip of the pen on the tablet and the actual cursor on the screen move. 4X6 is too small for a sketching, I think. Ink program which comes with Wacoom Intuos does not have recognize my hand writing very well. I think for illustration the larger tablet should give users more writing space on the tablet as the tip on the table and the cursor position on the screen is proportional.

    I have a new toy Tablet PC which will be delivered to me early this week. I am going to use this for illustration as I can write on the screen itself. I should be able to export the saved graphic file to my Macs to work with CS2 and MX2004 Studio programs installed on my Al PBs.
     
  13. starnox macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #13
    I got a free Graphire4 smallest tablet with my purchase of Adobe CS2. I have to say it's fine for just drawing things in illustrator... thats all I really use it for. And it was free so I can't complain :p
     
  14. greatdane0827 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    Missouri
    #14
    My Wacom Graphire 3 4x5works great

    I bought mine from the Apple store for $100 last August ('05) and it works great with photoshop and illustrator. I'm a graphic design student, so I'm looking to get plenty of work out of it. Came with a "wireless" 3-button scroll wheel mouse along with the pen. I say "wireless" because you still have to plug the pad in, but the mouse is "sans fils". Great if you don't have a MMouse or any other third party mouse. I'm perfectly happy with what I have because my desk space isn't the broadest! The tablet only takes up about 9"x9" total. The pen is pressure sensitive on both ends (a "writing" and an "erasing" end). This gets great effects on brushes, erasers, clone stamp, etc in PS. Haven't personally used it with the Inkwell Technology yet, but sounds interesting.
    ~Dane
     
  15. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #15
    how's the battery life?

    Ink is an Apple app, it is only enabled by having a tablet plugged in. it worked decently for me, but only on par with Graffiti 2 on my Palm. typing is far faster, though admittedly less cool. and it's nice to switch tools just by clicking a button on the pen and writing the corresponding letter shortcut. I tried to use it on MSN for a while when I first got it. that didn't work so good.
     
  16. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #16
    Maybe ;) About a month after I bought my 6x8 they came out with the BT unit but the usb cable doesn't matter to me at all. I use the pen to draw and the mouse to add my fills (colors) so I'm close to the desk anyway.

    I would like the 6x11 that just came out and one other minor thing...a cover to go over the keys on the tablet. You know, your trying to draw and your drawing hand just hits the zoom :eek: It took me some time to stop doing that but a small plastic shield would be nice for one side ;)
     

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