View Full Version : Which is the best value for money digi pen and tablet ?

12-03-2004, 09:17 AM
Hi everyone,

For years now I've been thinking of getting myself a digi pen and tablet, but have always been putting it off since I have no idea on which is the best value for money. I'm also not sure if I should go straight for an A4 size tablet (which is way more expensive) or if a smaller one is good enough. I'm not a professional artist, so it is going to be more to satisy my hobby of sketching everywhere. Could someone please give me some advice on sizes, quality and good brands. The only ones I know of are Wacom tablets, but I'd like to make sure of which one I should get.

A born sketcher

12-03-2004, 09:52 AM

I have a 4x5 tablet Wacom Intuous II tablet and love it! I bought it used on ebay, so I suggest watching there... you might luck into a great deal like I did.

My opinion on the tablets is that the small one will do just as well as a large tablet. The tablet maps itself out to the screen, and so the 4x5 will be able to easily use all the space on the screen. PLUS... it's not so big that I cannot keep it on my desk. the big ones take up a lot of space.

Now, the Wacom Intuous vs. the Wacom grapphire. The main difference is that on the graphire you get approx 500 levels of pressure sensitiviy. The intuous gets approx 1000 levels. I don't really know if the extra 500 levels will make that much of a difference or not.

the other main difference is the price. ;) the grapphire tablet comes bundled with software (photoshop elements and/or painter classic) and all for right about $99 new.

I recommend the grapphire 4x5 tablet to get started with.

12-03-2004, 10:26 AM
Hi April,

Thanks, I actually saw the Wacom Grapphire this weekend, and it was exactly that pack, with Photoshop elements. But since it was the only one left in the store, and the box wasn't in great shape, I, once again, put it off a later date. I was just scared that a smaller tablet wouldn't give me enough "room" to draw. And my first experience was with an A4 size tablet (used to sneak off to the designer's tables at work to go play around with the tablet :) ) I thought a smaller one wouldn't be as comfortable to work with.

But I'm going to start to keep my eyes open for the 4x5 ones :)

A Born Sketcher

12-03-2004, 12:08 PM
You're most welcome. :)

Well, I've only used the smaller 4x5 tablets. But, I find that I'm watching the screen, you don't realize how small/big the tablet is. Your hand-to-brain reactions will adjust to the dimensions of the tablet. Maybe you can compromise with a medium sized tablet. ??? If I had some experience with the larger tablets, I might have a different opinion as far as what size tablet to buy... but I think in the long run the cost to benefit ratio would still lead me to the smaller tablet size. (Plus I have very little desktop space as it is! ;) )

12-03-2004, 12:47 PM
The Graphir is a great pad. The Intous has a number of other pluses beside a higher presure sensitivity such as tilt etc., and the latest edition Intous 3 has a variety of interchanable nibs, the one I'd find most interesting is the brush senitive one (I probably describe that wrong) it can be bought as a seperate pen for the Intous 2, but as a hobbist you may not find the extra cost of the Intous worth it.

I too find the 4X5 is plenty big enough.


12-05-2004, 05:53 AM
I have a Wacom Intuous 2 4x5 and a slightly larger cheapo brand tablet.

I bought the cheapo one before being given the wacom, and the wacom rulz any day. The biggest factor is no batteries in the wacom pen making it lighter and easier to use, plus the cheapo tablet had been giving me problems - like it running in mouse mode instead of pen mode even with new batteries etc - i had to give the pen a shake to bring it back to pen mode..

comparitively, the wacom costs 3x more than the cheapo, but imoho it is better value for money buying a quality product you can depend on than a cheap product that has limited support etc.

12-05-2004, 01:02 PM
I think we need a sticky on this subject as often as it comes up!

I have used the Wacom Graphire for two years now and a wacom penpartner before that. I love the Graphire and would not not not, (did I emphasize that enough? hee hee) want the larger size wacom! I have arthritis in my fingers and problems with my wrists and shoulders. The Graphire permits me to cover the entire screen, 19" with very little movement of my fingers and wrist. There is plenty pressure sensitivity and I can't imagine needing more. While I am sure the extra options you get with the higher priced larger Wacoms are great to have, I still would take the smaller one if I was offered free my choice.

I have a rather large keyboard pull out on my desk and keep my keyboard, wacom, and mouse all on it. If i had a larger wacom I would have to move it when using the keyboard, and visa versa.

It came with a cordless mouse but I don't use the mouse as I have a Logitech that I really love but when It gives up on me I will use the one that came with the wacom.

12-05-2004, 09:45 PM
I use the graphire tablet that i use. I got it a few years ago and came with Painter and Photoshop. I mostly paint in acrylic but use this for my preliminary drawings and sketching. I love it. I have never found the smaller size (4 x 5) a disadvantage. Good luck and it believe you will not regret buying it.

12-06-2004, 05:51 AM
Thanks to all for your opinions and experiences. I am now actively on the lookout for a Graphire 3 tablet :) Maybe I'll get myself one for Christmas :) But I've still got to get my girlfriend a present first ... ;)

A born sketcher

And a merry Christmas to all !!!! :wave:

12-25-2004, 02:23 AM
I have also been researching this system since seeing it on the back of one of my Photo Graphic magazines. I have always wanted one of these little gadgets and it seems for the small price of 219.00 I can own my very own Intuous 3. I suggest you go to WacomDirect.com and read the manufacturer's site as it is very informational. Although I think I could get away with the graphire, I really want an I3! You can also order from them since I have had trouble finding them in my local stores.

I wonder if I could convince my husband that electronic paper is what the first wedding anniversary gift should be instead of just paper.....

12-25-2004, 07:17 AM
I'm glad to read the views on the Graphire3.

I did some research about getting one and ordered an XL (6X8) a few days ago. I wasn't sure about how good the Graphire would be against the Intuos but I didn't want to spend so much. I wasn't sure how important size was and the Intuos was about double the price for the same size.

The prices varied quite a lot - I finally ordered a new one on ebay, shipped from Singapore and saved about 30% on the local prices even after shipping costs. It was delivered in 4 days to the UK.

I'll only be back home to try it out in two weeks - I'm looking forward to trying it out then with painter.

Happy holidays. :)


12-26-2004, 06:53 AM
I bought some months ago a wacom graphire 6x8. I love it!. I can't say much from the other tablets since this is my first tablet. I hope you'll have as much fun and pleasure as i have with mine.

12-27-2004, 04:44 AM
I bought my Graphire 6x8 shortly before the Intuos 3 came out. I have been very happy with it. Still, I am very tempted to buy the Intuos 3 now, since I want the tilt, express key and touch strip feature.

Ron van den Boogaard
12-27-2004, 09:07 PM
I bought my Graphire 6x8 shortly before the Intuos 3 came out. I have been very happy with it. Still, I am very tempted to buy the Intuos 3 now, since I want the tilt, express key and touch strip feature.
Waste of money, it sounds nice, but in practice you don't really use it much and the sensitivity levels: really I can't tell the difference. In the oldskool days I started out with an A3 size: Just go for the smallest size you can get: your hand adapts to the screen. This is the only case where bigger is not better.