Wacom intuos tablet: best budget graphics tablet

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wacom intuos tablet

Wacom graphic tablets provide both physical and hands-on digital art experiences. The company is known for its professional tools with accompanying prices, but the Intuos series is designed to be an affordable product for newcomers to illustration, design, and photo editing—Wacom Intuos tablet review.

Let’s see what the budget Wacom graphics tablet is capable of.

Modifications

The hero of our review is the smaller version of the device, which has a 7-inch working area. It is ideal for use on the go. Moreover, such a modification can easily fit on a table next to a mouse, keyboard, printer, and other office equipment.

The pen tablet is equipped with a wireless Bluetooth transmitter. This makes it the perfect choice for laptop and other portable device owners. It is equipped with its battery for 15 hours of battery life.

First impressions

The size of the device is very similar to the classic 8-inch tablet. But there is no screen in it – the working surface is marked with dots 1 cm apart. Five buttons are located a little higher. The central one is responsible for turning the device on and off, as well as for activating Bluetooth. The rest are programmable.

If you often carry your graphic tablet with you, it will not cause any discomfort. The device weighs just over 200 grams. The front panel of the invention is made of rough black plastic, pleasant to the touch. The back of the case is glossy. It can be painted in different colors. Connoisseurs of classics are offered a black model, and lovers of bright shades – pink and pistachio.

With a graphic tablet, you get a digital pen that recognizes 4096 pressure levels. It fits comfortably in the palm of your hand thanks to its smooth forefoot and rough surface. It has two programmable buttons that allow you to switch between different instruments quickly. The kit also includes three replacement tips. If you wish, you can buy tighter or softer “consumables,” choosing the best option in accordance with the nature of the image and the style of drawing.

It reflects the signal received from the tablet and does not require additional power. The absence of batteries and accumulators makes it easy and very convenient to use. Your digital pen can be stored in a particular loop holder at the top of the device.

Customization

By default, Windows 10 and Mac OS recognize your graphics tablet as a regular mouse. You can use it to hover the cursor and perform necessary actions – to launch programs, drawing lines, filling empty fields with color, etc.

To access additional features, you need to install the Wacom Tablet driver. It allows you to adjust the pressure and motion sensitivity of the pen, as well as program function buttons on the tablet itself and on the stylus.

The program offers predefined settings for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. In them, the left function keys on the tablet are responsible for changing the size of the brush, and the right and buttons on the digital pen – for quickly switching between tools.

In work

If you used to draw only on paper or used professional graphic tablets equipped with their own display, you will have to get used to the Wacom Intuos S. In the early days of work; your eyes get a little tired – you often have to look from the touch panel to the computer monitor and back. But a little later, the skills of drawing “blindly” appear, and the advantages of this design become noticeable. The absence of a screen reduces the number of errors because the hand does not block the image.

A digital pen with a standard nib glides smoothly over the surface of the touch panel, making a slight rustle. Feel the same as drawing with an HB pencil on the office paper.

The tablet reacts to hand movements with subtle delay. You don’t even have to get used to it – after five minutes, such a response already seems quite natural. It is effortless to draw straight lines – focus on the points. If you want perfectly straight lines, you can turn on the automatic correction feature in the Wacom Tablet driver.

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After several months of active use of the tablet, microscopic scratches remain on the plastic surface. They do not affect the sensitivity of the touch panel in any way or impede the movement of the digital pen.

The average service life of replacement tips is about a month. If you wish, you can buy an organizer stand and a tool for quick replacement of consumables. So, other accessories are available for the tablet, including covers and desk stands.

Wacom Intuos M pen tablet review

I’m sure it’s not a secret for anyone that most of the photographers themselves process their own materials. At first, as a rule, everyone can cope with a computer mouse, but the moment comes when the question of purchasing a tablet appears. This is due to the convenience, speed, and additional capabilities that this device opens up. Wacom is the undisputed leader in the tablet market. Its range of devices for designers, photographers, and artists are quite large, ranging from smart notebooks to interactive displays and graphic computers. So, this review focuses on the Wacom Intuos M semi-pro tablet (not to be confused with the Wacom Intuos Pro series).

Despite the fact that this is not a top line, but a semi-pro, the construct is made with high quality, the plastic is pleasant to the touch, there are no backlashes, the nib is smooth, without seams. So, the tablet stands confidently on the table, rubber feet on the bottom prevent sliding.

The tablet has a convenient loop for secure attachment of the pen, and additional buttons, slightly recessed into the body, create a suitable trough for free storage.

Wacom Intuos Features

In general, this series has been produced for a long time (including the names of the devices) and has undergone many changes. At my disposal is the Wacom Intous M CTL-6100WLE-N model. This is a graphics tablet weighing 410 grams and measuring 264 × 200 × 8.8 mm with a 216 × 135 mm working surface (A5 format). The resolution of the working surface is quite high and amounts to 2540 lines per inch with a pen transfer accuracy of +/- 0.25 mm.

Thanks to electromagnetic resonance technology, the included pen works without batteries. And the reading speed of the pen of 133 points per second allows you to feel no lag in your work. The pen also has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity for a natural working feel.

It is precisely the pressure sensitivity that opens up new possibilities not only in drawing but also in photo retouching. Depending on the force of pressing, the line changes from narrow and clear to wide and shaded.

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Here are just a few of the features that literally take on new life with a graphics tablet:

  • Creation and precise correction of masks;
  • Work in the Dodge and burn technique, including in costumes and in drawing additional volume;
  • Selection of objects;
  • Working with the pen tool;
  • Working with the subtle texture of the skin using the Stamp tool and Healing brush tool;
  • Drawing eyelashes and hair;

This and other settings can be very conveniently controlled through the proprietary Wacom application (and some functions directly in the graphics editor itself).

Wacom Intuos tablet M is the eldest of its lineup and works with Bluetooth wireless technology. It is compatible with both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. The capacity of which guarantees continuous operation for 15 hours. It takes about 3.5 hours to charge the battery (with the simultaneous operation) fully. To save energy, the tablet automatically turns off after 10 minutes of inactivity. There are also two smaller models in the Intuos lineup. So, they differ in a smaller size, namely 200 x 160 x 8.8 mm and an active area – 152 x 95 mm, and the presence/absence of wireless work via Bluetooth.

In addition to the above characteristics, the tablet has four additional programmable buttons to call the necessary functions, plus a power button.

The pen also has two programmable buttons. Since the tablet and pen are not at the top end, you will not find any Touch Ring, pen tilt sensitivity, or rotation sensitivity. However, the functionality that is available will allow you to cope, if not with all, then with most tasks.

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Operation and Configuration

It is also important to talk about the operation and configuration of the Wacom Tablet application (Wacom Desktop Center). So, there are no difficulties with installation; the drivers are very easy to download on the official website. To connect the tablet, you need to select it in the list of Bluetooth devices. I work on a Mac so that all screenshots will be on this system. I don’t think there are any significant differences. However, the program has the ability to bind different functions to the same buttons for different applications.

As you can see, the setup is quite simple; for each button, you can choose any of the proposed standard combinations or customize your own.

As for the pen settings, everything here is also without problems. It is very convenient to adjust the pressure using the blue scale. There are no difficulties with the settings of the buttons, either. Another important point – you can always change the setting and immediately check or adjust it directly in the application in which you are working.

In the Mapping tab

That is, either as a mouse, without snapping a point on the tablet to a point on the screen (which is more convenient for me when processing photos), or with snapping (the Pen button). So, in the second case, it becomes possible to select the field and proportions on the screen and on the tablet. Also, in this block, you can configure the maximum sensitivity height of the pen located above the tablet surface (maximum 10 mm), the speed and acceleration of the cursor movement.

Summing up, I want to note that the Wacom Intuos M graphic tablet is a very convenient and sometimes irreplaceable tool not only for designers and illustrators but also for photographers. It not only helps to simplify and speed up the processing but also brings many additional benefits. I myself have been using a Wacom Intuos tablet from about 2013 to this day. Moreover, which speaks of the excellent build quality and reliability of these devices.

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Positive aspects of the Wacom Intuos M

  • Wireless capability;
  • Long battery life;
  • Ability to work while charging the battery;
  • Accuracy;
  • High-pressure sensitivity;
  • Design, dimensions, and ergonomics;
  • Software capabilities and ease of customization;

Negative sides of the Wacom Intuos M

  • The design of the new pen and the nibs included with it make a little noise during operation. Softer tips (sold separately) are quiet;
  • The pen does not have an eraser tool;
  • Lack of illumination of hot buttons on the tablet;

Which version of Wacom Intuos should you choose?

Wacom offers Intuos in two sizes. The smaller version requires more screen scaling when working with fine and fine details. It can save you some money by choosing it, but you won’t have Bluetooth support. So, the larger Intuos retails for $ 200 ($ 12,600). Here users also get access to three graphics programs.

Wacom Intuos tablet: Outcome

Wacom Intuos is a great way to edit photos and illustrations using the stylus easily digitally. While there are no more advanced options available, the customizable buttons and high pen sensitivity dramatically increase the speed of working with many types of brushes, making your workflow more efficient.

Should you buy it?

Finally, It all depends on the needs of the user. Wacom Intuos tablet is a great choice for those who frequently use a brush, pen, eraser, and other standard writing, editing tools, and don’t need extra. Options.

Conclusion

The Wacom Intuos is a handy tool for the novice designer. It is suitable for drawing, sketching, and working with animation. Its programmable keys let you quickly switch between different tools when retouching photos and editing videos. Small footprint and wireless connectivity make this device ideal for on-the-go work.

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