Best tablet under $200?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by xpjx, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. xpjx macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2008
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    Baltimore, MD
    #1
    Hello all,

    I'm looking to purchase a design tablet & cordless pen for an xmas gift and wanted to know your opinion on which is the best out there now for under (or a little over) $200.
    I'm looking at this one at best buy now:

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage...photo&lp=2&type=product&cp=1&id=1156607399259

    but wanted to see if anyone knew of any better 'pro' models with, maybe, a larger work area in the same price-range?

    thanks, in advance!
     
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #2
    The Intuos tablets are really nice. I have the 6X8, and I love it.

    That being said, unless you're a pro, or buying it for someone that is, there is no reason to shy away from the bamboos.

    In the land of tablets, the real estate is more important than having twice as many pressure levels. The 4x6 is just too small to be useful (at least to me it would be).

    This is a much better option, methinks.
     
  3. ipodtoucher macrumors 68000

    ipodtoucher

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    #3
    I second that, I have one and it is freaking amazing!!! :cool:
     
  4. xpjx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    thanks

    thanks for the link. I think that tablet looks great. this would be a gift for my girlfriend who is a pro, but I think this one may do...I would LOVE a 'pro' with a decent size tablet and at a decent price, but I think I'm asking for too much. :)
     
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #5
    Yup the 6X8 is close to $300, while a 4X6 is basically useless. The way a tablet works (if you've never used one) is that it maps each inch on the tablet as it is on your screen. Were you to take your pen and go to the top left corner of the tablet, the cursor would appear at that spot on the screen (there is a way to make it more like a mouse, but why would you want to). So basically, the bigger the tablet, the more space you have to drag your cursor around (think of it as a higher resolution). The much larger ones, of course may require you to swing your arm around, causing rotator cuff injuries.
     
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2008
    #6
    I have the small Bamboo Fun tablet and I wouldn't want any bigger. I am not an artist and hate the size of the brush strokes required for even the small tablet. I got the Bamboo fun for $80 and it works fine. The Intuos are suposedly nicer, I've never used one though.
     
  7. vaguely-clear macrumors newbie

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #7
    I have to disagree with most of this. While i have a 6x8 Intuos as well and love it, I know a few people that have the 4x6 and like it quite a bit. If you plan to use brushes, I feel like pressure levels are more important. Also, I sometimes find myself wishing that I could move across the whole screen without picking up my wrist. Not possible on my 6x8. Also, the 4x6 is awesomely portable if you work on a notebook. Then again, the 6x8 is pretty portable too; it's about the same size as my 15" PowerBook.

    I think the 4x6 is a great option. If you have a chance to try a tablet before you buy it, do.
     
  8. Kyrahlynn macrumors member

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    Sep 30, 2008
    #8
    I use a 4x5 Graphire 4, and have never had any problems with its size (and I've used it with several different sized screens.) If it were to ever die on me, I'd get myself an Intuos 6x8, but really, the 4x5 size has served all my needs very well thus far.
     
  9. cardboardcowboy macrumors newbie

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #9
    i'm still using an old graphire 1 (at least i believe that's what it is) and it is pretty darn tiny but has served me well through all these years including a four year BFA in illustration and now freelance work.

    it's this exact tablet.

    i'm considering upgrading to a bamboo fun because i like the looks and i wouldn't mind a bit more active area to play with. but i must admit...this tablet has served me well and i can't see it ever failing to do so unless it dies.
     
  10. osin macrumors 6502

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    New Jersey
    #10
    since you wrote that she is a pro I would say go with at least 6x8 size, where Wacom Intuos 3 would be a perfect one, but the price...

    If you have a student id you can get some discount here: http://www.journeyed.com/itemDetail.asp?ItmNo=36702106NY359
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #11
    I just purchased a Bamboo about two weeks ago also, an I am so in love with it. Assuming she uses her tablet in the absolute positioning mode, I guess it does depend somewhat on screen real estate. My Bamboo works well with my screen size, but I could see it being unreasonable if I had a 30" dual link display.

    Had money been a total non-issue I guess I would've gotten a Graphire bluetooth tablet, but with the Bamboo at $50 I don't think I personally regret it for my hobby illustrating versus a pricier wired Graphire.

    Oh, one more thing I'd add is that, even if she is a pro, any tablet, including the Bamboo, will be a massive improvement over not using one. She could certainly get something like the Bamboo, learn on it for a few months, and then make a more informed decision when she has more tablet skills. All the Wacoms use essentially the same driver set, so at any level there's tons of stuff to learn and explore. :)
     
  12. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #12
    Is US$212 a good price for the Intuos3 6x8?
     
  13. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #13
  14. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #14
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #15
    The two together in one year would seem rather overkill for non-professional uses. :p On the other hand, it's almost enough of a discount over retail cost that you could resell it without loss outside the academic community (*throws fuel on the fire*). :p
     
  16. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #16
    Don't give me ideas! :) The wife might file for divorce!
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    #17
    :D I understand. Yes. Tablets are bad. ;)

    Not to throw fuel on your fire this time, but I wanted to mention this too:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=604607&highlight=graphire

    In another thread, it came up that refurb Graphire4 4x6's are available for $39+6/shipping. That's even a few dollars less than a new Bamboo. It's kind of a wash between the two -- the Bamboo is newer, prettier, has better top-panel features (the express keys, touch wheel, etc). The Graphire comes with the mouse tool at the $45 price (mouse only comes with the uplevel Bamboo Fun).

    Anyway, for anyone interested.

    I'm not really sure if I regret having gotten the Bamboo vs. that, but ...
     
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #18
    I agree. I originally had a 12x12 that I used for Auto CAD. Eventually my CAD days came to an end and I was moving where desk space was almost non-existent. I downgraded to a 6x8 (which I have now). The improvement was indeed that stupid rubber grip on the pen, the all plastic pen was never comfortable with me. However, what I never moved away from was the Intuos brand. Having moved from oil/canvas painting to digital painting, the extra levels of pressure mean the world to me when I am using the airbrush. I am certain I could get away with the bamboo or like products, but I really don't see why I would.

    With straight photo editing, the Intuos' level of pressures are basically pointless, at least in my experience. The additional levels for me apply only when I paint.

    I have the 6x8 with a 30" ACD. I am actually going to sell it off in due time to at least pick up a wide screen one (6x11). I find my brush strokes and such are causing issues where I run out of tablet before my stroke is complete (I'm not being dirty I swear).

    I really want to know where you're getting this deal!

    OP: Is your girlfriend a pro designer? What does she do? I think if you say something like photography then the bamboo will be ok. If you say painting and the likes then the Intuos is really the way to go.
     
  19. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #19
    Hi Jessica,

    It's from one of the popular student software/hardware shops in New Zealand. I don't know if they would sell to students from the US or elsewhere, but here's a link anyway.

    http://www.lapshop.co.nz/all/index.asp?PageID=2145855345

    They have the Intuos3 for NZ$399, and the Graphire BT 6x8 for NZ$430. With the global recession, the NZ dollar is worth about half of the US dollar (it was nearly the same a year or two ago!). We got hit a lot harder than most countries because of our small economy.
     

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