Deciding on a Wacom tablet

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macstatic, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    As a photography student I use Photoshop a lot and have started looking into buying a drawing tablet (believe it or not, I've been using my Powerbook's trackpad up to now!).
    I aim for something which will be good enough for professional use (when I get there) as opposed to buying something I'll outgrow in a short time.
    At the same time I don't have money to burn and want to avoid using $$$ on features I don't need or won't even notice.

    I read somewhere that the lower resolution of the Bamboo range means that I get the occasional "glitch" or involuntarily "jump" of the mouse pointer while the Intuos are rock steady. I certainly don't want that. Is that the way it works?

    And what about size? What's the difference between getting a large and small tablet?
  2. OpenThirdeye macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    My wife's a photographer and she has a few Wacom tablets.

    She SWEARS by the Intuos and Cintiq lines - she says that the Bamboos are cheaply made and the tracking on them is nowhere near what you'll get with an Intuos.

    She has the 12x19 (desk) and a 6x8 (traveling) Intuos and the Cintiq 21ux (only had this for about 3 months). She thinks that the 12x19 is actually too big most of the time and uses the 6x8 a heck of a lot more - it's really personal preference.
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    How would I notice any difference between a small and a large tablet?
    Why does your wife have differently sized tablets?

    Would I have to move my arm much more with a larger tablet but also gain better control (e.g. if the pen is moved slightly it wouldn't suddenly jump lots of pixels) while a smaller tablet would mean just a flick of my wrist in order to move around but also meaning that I would have to be very precise and hold my hand very still because the mouse-pointer would jump very far with very little movement? Is that the way it works, or are there other reasons why there are different versions to choose between?

    And what about the "wide" versions in comparison to the normal ones -is that to make the relation to a widescreen display more consistent to the tablet?

    I've been considering the A5 or A6 sized "wide" tablets -I assume this is equivelant to 6x8 (A5) and 4x6 (A6), but this consideration is only in relation to my desk space. I don't know how choosing one size over the other would affect my work.

    The A6 (4x6) would definitely leave more space for other things on my desk (27x21cm) while the A5 (6x8) would be a little large in my opinion (42x26cm). But the main thing of course is that I can work without any restriction in Photoshop. Which one should I go for?
  4. FarSeide macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2008
    Earth Lane
    I've recently purchased Wacom Intuous 6 x 11 and I couldnt be happier. The quality of the product along with easy integration to AI and PS is just awesome.

    The main reason why I chose 6x11 is because I use my 24" ACD and 15"MBP so the wide format allows me to utilize the entire space.

    I had originally purchased 6x8 and returned it because it was too small compared to the relative space I had with my ACD and MBP.
  5. OpenThirdeye macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    The bigger the tablet, the bigger the drawing space. The bigger the drawing space, the more intricate you can be on your screen without the need to zoom.

    Because she started out with her big one when she worked primarily on her Mac Pro. Then, she wanted one to take with her when she traveled - so she picked up the smaller one. I got her the Cintiq for Christmas this past year - this has replaced her big Intuos.

    You pretty much hit the nail right on the head there.


    Go for the larger one if you won't be disappointed!
  6. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    But when working with photos I would have to zoom in a lot anyway to see what I'm doing, so how does that work with a bigger tablet? Is this more useful when say actually drawing pictures, like in Adobe Illustrator or something where you would make long strokes and so on?
    How would it be useful for photographic use?

    I'm worried that my arm will get very tired because of moving around so much as opposed to just wiggling my wrist.
    The A6 (4x6") size would look best on my desk, but that's smaller than your wife's smallest tablet -why did she choose the A5 (6x8") over that one when travelling with it?
    It's a pity Wacom don't make them more compact but have a lot of unused plastic framing around the actual drawing area.
  7. OpenThirdeye macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Again, I think this all comes down to personal preference. I agree that the BIG tablets are suited more for the Illustrator folks and such. I (and my wife) think that those two extra inches of tablet space are useful.

    It sounds like you already know what you're going I say go out and get it! If you don't like it, you can always exchange for the larger one (depending on where you buy it, of course)!

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