WACOM Tablets - are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by iriejedi, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. iriejedi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2000
    Nor Cal
    I was talking to a friend about how I like to play with photoshop and edit out/in detail and he asked if I used a tablet and said I would enjoy it.

    Seemed like a good idea. But I suffered sticker shock at the price for a med sized one.

    I was expecting them to be in the range of trackballs and nice mice. I was looking at the 6X8 or the following model based on Wacom's web site recommendation.

    WACOM Intuos3 PTZ631W 6" x 11" Active Area USB Tablet

    Does anyone use these? and for a amature/intermediate skill level with Photoshop CS and Illustratos CS is the price worth it?

    Just curious cauise I already have a drawer full of devices that never get used (trackball, joystick etc...)
  2. Sam/B macrumors member


    Dec 31, 2005
    Newport - South Wales
    Their really good for using with the pen tool I find couldn't get half the control and speed with a mouse. Been using mine daily on the latest project of mine some of them like mine you can run a wireless mouse on it so you can sit back in your seat with the tablet on your lap and the mouse in your one hand and the pen behind your ear :cool: :cool: (or is that just me :eek: )

    I paid 25 for one of one these (ebay) - http://www.trust.com/products/productpics.aspx?artnr=13022
  3. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    If you are doing painting or things like hair masking in Photoshop they are worth it. The medium sizes are fine, with a larger pad you will be moving your arm a lot more to get from one side of the screen to the other. They do take a few days to get used to feel.
  4. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    In the past I found them to be helpful in doing burning and dodging on photographs. Closest I have seen to being in a darkroom.
  5. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    I've got the Wacom Graphire4 (4x5) which I bought for around $100. Its awesome. Very useful for Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. The tablet takes some getting used to and some people give up out of frustration, so if you can, try out a tablet either at the store or your friends' before buying one. A larger (than 4x5) would be nice, but this is still a quite usable size.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    It is by far the best thing on my desk...next to my powerbook that is.
  7. Angelus macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2002
    New Zealand
    Hey, I have the intuos3 8x6. Had it now for bout a year and i must say i love it. I use it entirely for hobby photo editing, working with corel painter and making some animations. As such i don't use it all the time but when i do it's fantastic. The amount of control you have with the pen is far superior to the mouse.

    In terms of size i find the medium one the best. The others would have been either too large or too small but this is just right. The pen itself feels nice and solid, has good balance in the hand and also this tablet has tilt sensitivity and double the resolution of the graphires.

    There are also some hot keys on both sides of the tablet drawing area and you can map commonly used funtions to these.
    It is an expensive purchase and even though i don't use it as often as i probably should, it makes things so much easier when i do need it.

    I say go for it.
  8. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    I have an Intuos2 A6 (about 4 by 5 inches I suppose). I remember thinking it was pretty pricey but then someone bought it for me as a prezzie anyway :)

    It makes drawing curves in Illustrator so much more easy; it does take a while to figure out the best sensitivity settings for you, but it's really great. Photoshop work is a dream when it comes to retouching, using variable pressure and all. I did use the pen in place of the mouse for general OS stuff, but then I found it is less tiring just to use the mouse, especially with the scroll wheel.

    The only downside is that you need to get the latest drivers. Occasionally OS X doesn't recognise the tablet after waking from sleep, and I have to replug the USB. And before the drivers have loaded - i.e. at the OS X login screen, the mouse is super slow.
  9. devman macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    agreed. The Graphire is a great little device at a very nice price. 4x5 is a very usable size. Obviously, needing to trace over larger things will require a larger tablet, but for most things (for the non-pro) the size is fine.
  10. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

    Sep 4, 2004
    Berkshires, Mass.
    I have been using a 9x12 Wacom Intuos2 tablet for the past 6 years. It comes with a wireless/batteryless mouse which glides smoothly across the surface of the tablet. It is the only mouse I use. Oh yeah, the pen works good for cloning/healing brush work in Photoshop too. I also use the pen for supercloning in video applications like After Effects and Commotion Pro. I would definitely recommend a Wacom tablet if you do any of this kind of work.
  11. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    we have a 9x12 and love it. my wife uses more then i do, i don't even think she uses a mouse. she also has one at work, same scale newer model and again, i don't recall seeing a mouse at her desk she only uses the pen. i like the tablet but often forget to use it. overall i would say they are very much worth the money! i find that when i do use it there is less stress put on my wrist. also, i would love to update to one of the newer proportions and get rid of this old semi transparent blue thing but seeing how it works fine their doesn't appear to be a reason to.
  12. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Personally, I'd need a Cintiq, because I don't have the right kind of coordination necessary for a regular tablet. Of course, I don't really have any use for a tablet anyway. I wonder if anyone uses one for games...
  13. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    I purchased a 6x8 Graphire (I believe, don't have it right now to check) Wacom Tablet for $99. It was refurbished and has served me well.
  14. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    I have a bluetooth 6x8 tablet and use it for school. I use it for newspaper comic cleaning (illustrator CS 2) and yearbook (photoshop CS 2). If you could, go wireless :) .

    And yes counterfit, I do use my for Unreal Tournament 2004. It adds a Nintendo DS feel to playing FPS games. Using a pen to move and kill is great. For anyone with a tablet, download UT 2004 and try it out. Remember to use Mouse Mode and not pen mode.
  15. usclaneyj macrumors regular

    May 1, 2005
    i have the 6x11. it maps well to my cinema display. i use it for photoshop retouching, photoshop drawing/dodging/coloring/etc and Painter stuff too. It's a lifesaver. I've had 3 wacoms now (2 6x8s and the 6x11).. going all the way back to the old serial port Intuos days. They are a necessity for me.
  16. iriejedi thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2000
    Nor Cal
    Thanks Everyone!

    Hi Everyone! I really appreciate all the feed back - I seem to be really hooked on the idea of the 6X11 intuous3 - so that sounds like a good item worth saving up for.

    Thanks again!

    Irie J
  17. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    The 4x5 size is perfect for traveling with. Anything larger is too big for a backpack or messenger bag. I've been using Wacom products for 10 years now. It's gotten to the point where I couldn't draw or path with a mouse if my life depended on it. I rarely use my mouse anymore. It's really helped me to stave off the onset of carpal tunnel. The tablet is essential if you spend any amount of time in graphics programs.
  18. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2005
    Worth every penny if you will be drawing or want finer control of art, photos or other creative content. If you can't afford an Intuos tablet look at their Graphire line which is somewhat cheaper. Once you use a Tablet you will never go back to a mouse to draw or edit photos and/or art on your computer. The tablet has at least 1024 pressure sensitive levels and also can detect the angle that you are holding your pen. You can setup the pen or other device prefs per application, meaning the possibilities are endless.
  19. apple4life macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2004
    I have a white Graphire4 4x5....

    I love it...paid $89.00 at Amazon. I make my living with art and couldn't live without it. And the white matches my iBook perfectly... and it will match my iMac that I'll purchase once the Intel dust settles. Oh yea, PSE 3.0 is really nice and comes with it. I haven't used the Corel Painter that comes with it as I'd like to get the full version... once I get my 20" iMac... :)

    One way I have recently begun using it is to create a very light line drawing in PSE and print it onto watercolor paper... then I have my composition in place ready for color... and I can duplicate it or change it in any way on the next printing... pretty cool huh?
  20. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    My Bluetooth 6x8 goes into my backpack everyday. Its in there with my TiBook and all my other things high school students carry. I never carry the mouse, only the pen.
  21. sintaxi macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2005
    just got one a week ago and have hardly used it. this thread has inspired me to get at it.
  22. iriejedi thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2000
    Nor Cal
    Keep us informed of learning curve

    Wow - I never thought I could ever inspire anyone :p Drop a note as to how the change from awkward to awesome comes arround.

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to get one soon - but I now wonder with all Apple's patents... any chance the new gossip is really about an Apple version of a Wacom tablet?

  23. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    Most Photoshop powerusers that I know swear by them; I don't use them at all anymore, not since my ADB tablets were rendered obsolete.
  24. iKwick7 macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    I bought the wide format Intuos3 from Amazon yesterday (before I found this thread!) and I will be playing with it when it arrives today. Free shipping rocks when it ships from 1 state over and arrives the next day!! I will be using it for drawing and sketching, but I also would like to see how well the pen works with SketchUp.
  25. lorien macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2006
    Oslo, Norway
    Wacom tablets are very fine

    Well I bought the cheapest Wacom tablet available 3 years ago (Graphire 3 I think it was) and it has been one of my best electronics buys ever since. I use Illustrator with it mostly and can't imagine going back to mice!
    Once I've gotten a new MacBook Pro I'll buy an Intuos I think :cool:

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