Wacom graphics tablet size for 27" iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tgrays, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. tgrays macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2013
    (I hope I'm posting this in the right forum...)

    Anyone have any experience using the small Wacom Intuos Pro with a 27" monitor/iMac? Any problems?

    I'm looking into the tablet for digital artwork (painting and drawing) and am worried about the tablet-to-screen ratio. If anyone has any experience with this, I'd greatly appreciate any input or advice.

    By the way, I'm not so much worried about getting accustomed to the tablet or factoring in drawing with wide strokes / from the arm vs elbow stuff. I've used tablets before, just not with this large of a screen. I'm generally wondering about quirks, jumpy cursor, difficulties in doing detail work, etc.

  2. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    It will work but obviously it will be a bit more difficult than using a larger tablet.
  3. ElectronGuru, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    i used a 4x5 for years with a series of powerbooks and macbooks. when i switched over to a 24 imac, i had to upgrade to a 6x8. Unless you want to do something special like using relative mode only or confining movement to a portion of the screen, 4x5 on 27 is like being on permanent caffeine!
  4. tgrays thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Difficult as in buggy or something else? I'm just trying to figure out what differences there will be (and how acceptable it would be for my work flow if I do end up with the small size).

    By "permanent caffeine"... do you mean the cursor jumps around a lot and is more sensitive to every single little movement?

    Thanks for the advice! I guess the small is not looking like it'd work well... sigh. The medium is a bit out of my budget at the moment too.
  5. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    You will have to do a lot of moving around on the tiny tablet screen.
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Yes, think of the tablet/screen sizes as a ratio. The bigger the difference, the greater the movement magnification.

    Older intuos without styli are way cheap on eBay. Intuos2 6x8 or even 9x12 are well under 100 and you can get a new stylus from provantage. Just make sure your OS doesn't choke on the drivers, first.
  7. kitsunestudios macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2012
  8. tgrays thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2013
    I looked into the Monoprice tablets too actually, as I did hear that it's pretty decent for the price (other than the pen or some such thing). However, I haven't been able to find a way to get it in the country I'm currently living at. Amazon doesn't ship electronics here either, so it's sort of a dead end that way.

    Thanks all for your input. I appreciate it! I was hoping the small would suffice, but I guess I know for sure now that it likely wouldn't.
  9. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    buy the biggest you can afford

    Hi Tgrays,

    I have dual 24" screens and use a medium. I wish I had bought the large, but the medium does suit me fine.

    I had a small one and it sucked. I would find myself trying to move and running into the edges. The larger surface areas are so much better.

    I watched the monoprice tablets and while they seem ok, I believe you need a Wacom (or similar tablet) based on what you describe for artwork.


    The preset buttons! :) The monoprice buttons look like they launch applications and perhaps they can do preset actions, but from when I saw they don't. That is a huge turn off for me.

    For Wacom tablets, you can preset those buttons for a variety of application actions.

    I have my buttons set to do different things for Aperture, Photoshop, Final Cut etc.. The tablet automatically recognizes when I'm in a specific app. Setting everything up by application is right in system preferences and a breeze to do. I have an Intuos 4 so a bit older. I like how the button names change depending on what I name it (right on the tablet). The new ones have multi touch so you can pinch to zoom, drag a finger across to part of the screen. That feature alone almost makes me want to upgrade!

    In photoshop, I have buttons to save, bring up levels, lasso etc..etc.. I'm sure you could key in actions to create a new layer etc..

    Those keys have saved me a vast amount of time working on photo edits.

    I realize you don't know me from a hole in the ground, but I edit scans for folks and if you do any type of drawing, I can't tell you enough, how much you would enjoy a proper Wacom tablet.

    I'd be surprised if you didn't use one and be amazed at how much it will help you focus on drawing rather than thinking about what you need to do in order to draw. It will be seamless.

    At least, it is for me! :)

    Hands down, the Wacom is in the top 3 of necessary needs for my computing environment. If it broke tomorrow, I'd buy one tomorrow too (of course these things are well built as well so I doubt that would happen! :)

  10. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    It's all about the size ratio. If you have a 6" wide tablet and a 24" wide screen, that's a 1:4 ratio, which means for every half inch you move, the mouse on screen moves 2".

    Conversely, imagine want to move by 1 pixel, like in those annoying apps that make you drag a vertical divider to resize columns, and the hit area is only 1px wide. On your 27" iMac is, a pixel is 1/109 of an inch, but with the you'd need to move your pen 1/436 of an inch. I don't think I have the dexterity to do that.


    I will also add that I've used the last 3 generations of Cintiq and the last 4 generations of Intuos. At various design jobs I've either made them buy me one and they get the new one, or I inherit an old one.

    There's no significant difference in usability of the pens or tablets in the Intuos line since gen 3. So pick a size and then buy generation 3, 4, 5, or Pro. That goes for the Cintiqs as well, where gen 2 is the same tech as Intuos gen 3, so buy Cintiq 2 or higher. The newest ones have touch, but don't bother; if you're like me, you'll play with it once, turn it off, and forget it's in there.
  11. wetcanvas macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2014
    it would be worth it to save up a few more months and get the medium. it sucks waiting but waiting for a few more months is better then regretting what you bought all together.
  12. tgrays thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Thank you all for the helpful advice and explanations!

    Keebler - I was wondering about those Monoprice "buttons" myself as I wasn't sure what they actually did. The preset buttons for the Intuos Pro do look quite convenient; thanks for sharing your usage experience! :) I'm pretty sure I'll end up with Wacom one way or another. The only tablets I've used in the past at work were all Wacom, so I'm more used to them than any other brand. I also own an ancient Graphire model as well, but I've obviously outgrown it.

    chaos86 - Thank you so much for your explanation! Very helpful and easy to understand where the size difference would affect the workflow. I guess this just further confirms that the small isn't going to cut it (bummer)!

    I didn't realize there were no significant differences since the 3rd generation (I thought it was only the 5 and the Pro that are pretty similar, with minor differences for the 4.) Good to know though! I'll keep an eye out to see if I can find good deals for the older generations. I like that the Pro has wifi built in, but in the grand scale of things, that probably isn't so important. As for the Cintiq... well, I can only dream about that for the moment! :p

    wetcanvas - You make a good point. I generally hate "settling" when it comes to things like this, because I will inevitably regret it down the line when what I've bought doesn't do what I need it to do. I came here hoping for the off chance that I might not actually need the medium after all... but turns out it was wishful thinking after all. :rolleyes:
  13. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    i got my Small Intuos 5 just after they announced the "new" Intuos Pros so it was clearance priced for only $130, which made going from my previous Bamboo Create Medium size a lot more worthwhile. I always use my tablets in "mouse" mode, so I really don't benefit much from larger sizes anyway, unless I'm drawing a large stroke or trying to drag something from one monitor to the other. In the latter case, I have run into issues, but being that it is in mouse mode, your dragging speed dictates the distance the cursor travels, so I've learned to just drag faster when i need to cover long distances. The benefit of the Small size is it takes up much less desk space, which is a good consideration when working with dual monitors and a trackpad, along with speakers and room for a beverage (a must).
  14. kumquat macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011
  15. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The A4 is preferred (no idea how they call them across the ocean).
    Remember that say a second hand Intuos 3 A4 is ALWAYS better than the latest micro version. I was able to pick up a second hand Intuos 3-A4 for 100 bucks, and I'm very happy to have both work spaced equipped with a biggie!
  16. iamdamian macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2014
    Some time later......

    So I've come into this thread way after it was created but....

    I'm a graphic deigner looking to use a wacom for Photoshop and Illustrator work.

    What would people recommend? I have a 27" Apple Display and a 15" MacBook Pro.

    What would be best, the Intuos Pen and Touch Medium or one of the Pro's. I really don't want to spend too much. I'd be loathed to spend like £300+ unless people said the benefits far outweighed the saving on the lower priced ones.

    Thanks in advance.

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