What is the best graphics tablet to buy?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tchristie, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. tchristie macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2004
    #1
    Hi There,

    I am an architecture student that runs a 17" Powerbook as my laptop and a PC desktop for Autocad and games etc. I just impulse bought a graphics tablet in a shop for £60 and they assured me it was both mac and pc compatible however I've just got it home and realised it isn't. (Its a trust wireless scroll tablet TB-4200)

    I'm thinking about taking it back but is it worth holding on to it and just using it on my PC? Or has anyone got any recommendations for a good mac/pc compatible tablet for a similar price. I've heard Wacom pads are very good but also insanely expensive, I just want to use it for photoshop and quick sketches.

    Thanks for any help in advance

    Tom
     
  2. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #2
    I'm thinking of upgrading to a larger tablet. I do graphic design work, and I've found that that the smallest Wacom Graphire3 tablet 4x5 is too small for my needs. I'm still debating though which tablet I want. I have a PowerBook, and so the new Bluetooth Graphire 6x8 tablet looks really really appealling since it would be more portable (less wires). However, I'm wondering if I ought to go ahead and get an Intuos tablet. I've heard that the Intuos feels more like paper or other traditional media, something to do with textures and friction.

    I think that I just need to sit down and use an Intuos, but I don't know where to find one on display.

    Long story short though, I might be willing to sell you a Graphire3 4x5 tablet for like $60 shipped.
     
  3. qzak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #3
    i'm a graphic design student and i have a Wacom Intuos3 connected to my 17" powerbook. love it. i definetly recommend Wacom.
     
  4. Pausebasiks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    #4
    I have a 9x12 intuos 2 tablet at work and at home. I used to use graphire all the time but once you work with an intuos for about a week you'll never want to go back. It feels so smooth and precise. They come in smaller sizes too. THe smallest is 4x5 I believe. Defenately worth the money!
     
  5. Roz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    #5
    Wacom tablets are somewhat expensive, but in this case, you definitely get what you pay for. I have the intuos3 and absolutely love it!
     
  6. silverback66 macrumors regular

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    Sep 18, 2005
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    CO
    #6
    I may as well post this question in here since there's no sense in starting a new thread, but how exactly do this tablets work?
     
  7. JDar macrumors 6502a

    JDar

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #7
    Wacom--buy the best you can afford. In your profession you'll probably go through several of them over the years, and they keep getting better.
     
  8. Angelus macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    I'm not an architecture or design student but i use alot of photshop and corel painter as a hobby. As far as i'm concerned stick with Wacom. They may be expensive but you certainly get what you pay for and their name is synomomous with top notch graphic tablets.
    What size or model you want to get is up to you. Personally, i felt the A6 would have been too small for me so i'm using an Intuos 3 A5 tablet. I love it. Best of luck.
     
  9. tchristie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    #9
    Thanks for your advice,

    I think I will return the tablet I bought to the shop and look at getting a Wacom pad. However is bigger better? Is it easier sketching and drawing on a tablet that is A4 size to say something that is A6 size.

    I've not tried the Wacom pads but the cheapest Graphire 4 pad is A6 size whereas the cheap 'trust 4200' is A4+ size. As an architecture student I'm used to doing A1 size drawings so do other people find A6 a bit restrictive?

    Ps Thanks for your offer Stoid but unless someone can convince me otherwise I think I might just have to dig deep into my pockets and get a decent sized Wacom.

    thanks again
     
  10. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #10
    I agree with you about the bluetooth 6X8 tablet, I am thinking about upgrading to that one just because it is wireless.
     
  11. carpe diem macrumors 6502

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    Sep 18, 2005
  12. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    #12
    I've heard Wacom pads are very good but also insanely expensive, I just want to use it for photoshop and quick sketches.

    They are much cheaper than they used to be and I think you can get a Corel Painter and Wacom bundle. It is worth remembering that unlike a computer or other equipment a wacom tablet will not be outdated. You just take it from computer to computer. There's no reason for it not to last for 20 years.

    For sketching you really want a tablet with as close to a 1:1 ratio of tablet to screen as you can get. I used to use an A3 with a 21" monitor and I currently use an A4 with a 17" monitor but I've since decided that A4 would probably be adequate for a 21" as well.

    Corel Painter is utterly useless without a tablet which will not only sense pressure but also angle, bearing, tilt and direction. And recently the mysterious 'rotation'.
     
  13. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #13
    The biggest current wacoms are only A4, If you want an A3 USB then you need to buy the old Wacom Intuos 2.
     
  14. carpe diem macrumors 6502

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    Sep 18, 2005
    #14
    Thanks for that, and is it of the same quality?
     
  15. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Yes, all Wacom tablets are excellent quality. Some of the smaller, cheaper models have fewer pressure levels and have a lower resolution, but build quality is the same.
    I've just been to the MacExpo show in London and tried a number of Wacom models - they're all very similar (unsurprising since the pen nibs and tablet surface is similar for most models). You can change the pen nibs though, if you want a softer feel, and you can also tape a piece of paper to the drawing surface.
    As for size, its down to taste. The Adobe InDesign demonstrator at the show (don't know his name but he's bloody good) uses an Intuos A5 model I think. Too big a tablet and you're waving your arms all over the place. Then again, others might disagree.
    I started with a little A6 ArtPad 2 some time ago but I now have a Bluetooth A5, and its superb.
     
  16. Angelus macrumors 6502

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    New Zealand
    #16
    Personally i think the A5 size is a good compromise between price and room to draw/sketch etc. What model (eg. Graphire, Bluetooth or Intuos) you get depends on what features you want apart from size.
     
  17. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #17
    Having used the smaller 4x5 Graphire with my old PC, when I bought my iMac I decided it was time to upgrade my tablet, too, so bought the 6x8 Graphire. Before buying, I did weigh the pros and cons of the Intuos vs the Graphire, but decided that I can't really justify the additional expense and I think the Graphire will do me just fine. I haven't installed and used it yet but I am anticipating that the 6x8 size will much better meet my needs.

    OTB
     
  18. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #18
    The Bluetooth Tablet is great. However two things to remember when you get it.

    1. Install the drivers from the site. Inkwell does not work with the included drivers on the CD

    2. There is a problem that when you try to turn the tablet on, it won't turn on. This happens once a month or so. The solution...remove the battery and put it back in. Then turn it on.

    Distance: 20-30 Feet. Works from different parts of the room.
    Battery: All day use will not kill it. 20-25 Hours.
    Other: Looks very nice. It wows students in my high school when they see my tablet and Inkwell combo. Does great on Adobe CS 2 applications. I carry my tablet in my backpack everyday with my powerbook (search for my set up)

    If you got anymore questions just ask.
     
  19. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #19
    You see people hear talking about the sizes. Well the size of the tablet equals your screen and where you point on the tablet will point on the finder. Your emulating the mouse with your pen. Its hard to explain and get used to but if you can try it, you will like it.
     
  20. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    I was wondering how to get Inkwell to work, and now I know. Thanks. But I have to say I'm completely underwhelmed - it took about 5 minutes to get it to recognise my name. Complete pants? Or should I persevere?
     
  21. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #21
    Give it two weeks til you will get used to inkwell. The problem I think is that your not used to writing on a tablet so its going to take time to get used to. Also config Inkwell on the spaceing of your hand writing.
     
  22. radiantm3 macrumors 65816

    radiantm3

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    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #22
    Don't get the biggest tablet you can get unless you are a painter or something. I had a 12x12 intuos2 and sold it months later because it was way too big. Took up so much deskspace and was very bulky for someone who needs to hit a lot of keyboard shortcuts while working. I'd say the 6x8 is the perfect sized tablet. I have the BT Graphire and I love it. (I also never had any problems powering it on and off like others mentioned.)
     
  23. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #23
    Go with the Wacom, I have the intuos3 6x8 and I'm very happy with it :D What a great pen it has, very nice to hold and use and for you, you could get the 9x12 and that's plenty big enough for your needs. For me an 8x10 would be just the right size as I feel the 6x8 needs an extra inch on the width but I mostly zoom in and offset my work so no big deal. Last it fits on my lap so I can lean back in my chair and draw as long as I want ;)
     
  24. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #24
    Did anyone see they (finally!) introduced a wide format tablet for wide screen displays at the MacExpo in London this week? I just emailed Wacom on Friday asking where the wide format tablet was and then they introduce one. Apparently I have pull at Wacom. :)
     
  25. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

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    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #25
    The Wacom Intuos line are the best tablets money can buy. Worth every cent. If you do a lot of pressure sensitive drawing you'll want the Intuos over the Graphire because the Intuos gives you double the PPI (1024 vs 512).

    I use my 9x12 at work and a 4x5 comes with me in my backpack on the road. The more you use it the less you'll use a mouse. In fact I find it almost impossible to draw, path, etc. with a mouse or trackpad anymore. I can't wait until they introduce a Bluetooth Intuos.
     

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