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Thread: Is Wacom worth it?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Down a hole

    Is Wacom worth it?

    this question is for those people who have used BOTH wacom and non-wacom stylii (is that the right way to pluralize stylus? lol )

    I know all the people who use wacom are going to swear by it. But what I want is a comparative analysis from someone who's used them firsthand. The deal is I can buy the smallest Intuos or I can buy a non-wacom
    (i.e. either one form here: or from here: )
    (I hate flash pages...there's no way to copy paste the exact URL)

    of course the ones with tilt sensitivity only.. probably with no extra buttons..

    anyway, I'd be grateful for opinions of people who've used both and can actulally say if buying a wacom over non-wacom is worth spending the amount of money they're charging..(min 150% to max 400% more)

    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

  2. #2
    irishrose Guest
    I've only used Wacom, Ashy. Wish I could have helped.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    3438 ft above sea level
    I've been using wacom products for around 13yrs (ever since the first intuos came out). The one issue i've seen over and over again in forums for non-wacom lines, is that of compatability. Eg/ drivers for this or that brand not compatable with this or that software. Also when there are new OS's released a lot of these brands are slow to catch up with their drivers.

    When working in industry, reliability is key and so you will always find digital people recommend and work with wacom.

    You could consider the Wacom Bamboo fun tablet, which has a medium size for about the same cost as the smallest intuos 4. It does not have tilt, but really unless you're an airbrush artist who needs tilt for your work its no biggie. Infact the early wacoms did not have tilt. Misterpaint is one artist here who's producing fabulous work with that tablet.

    With regard to pressure sensitivity, anything above 256 levels is probably a bit superfluous for most artists. Unless you're a brush fanatic who's interested in every nuance and shake of the hand showing up in your work.

    Many brands require batteries in the stylus (pen), making it heavy and a pain when the batteries run down low. (something else to consider)

    If considering any other brand i would suggest you research thoroughly to make sure its going to work with your software/OS setup, i'd also check to see if theres any complaints about that brand on the various forums for the products you intend to use it with. If you only wish to use it with ArtRage then you could go to the store and get them to download the free version and demo their tablet working with it.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Juz; 06-12-2009 at 05:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Grand Island NY
    I have a Wacom Graphire tablet (about 100.00) and a Intuos 3 ( about 350.00) and have had 2 other brands. THE Wacom wins hands down as far as I'm concerned. I bought the Graphire first and have been using it for at least 5 years. I use the Graphire the most, it just feels better to me for some reason. It might just be the pen and the fact that I'm more used to it however both work great..All of my friends have switched over to the Wacom after spending a while playing with mine...I should get a commission from them...??..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    ive used both -for me wacom hands down.

    The styluses on the other types ive used all required batteries in the pen which for me made a big diff as Juz said:

    a) altered the balance of the pen and didnt feel good and the weight at the non drawing end of the pen bugged the sh**t out of me
    b) ran out at bad moments

    really a matter of personal choice..if weight wont put you off and your happy to go get spare batteries if needed go a cheapie if your fussy about how it feels in your hand like me go wacom.

    best thing if you can swing it is find a store where you can boot a few different ones up and try em

    Last edited by Selby; 06-12-2009 at 04:01 PM.
    "I like to have a thing suggested rather than told in full. When every detail is given, the mind rests satisfied, and the imagination loses the desire to use its own wings."
    ~Thomas Bailey Aldrich~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    It's almost all been said.

    High range Wacom comes with replaceable nibs.
    Cheapies don't. A whole new Stylus can be very expensive.

    High range Wacom comes with different types of nib.
    Cheapies don't.

    Tilt is fabulous for Airbrushing clouds.

    Customising buttons around the Wacom is straightforward

    The ultimate choice is the large Cintiq, I have the small one. There is absolutely nothing better. Paint appears on the screen, under the nib, no hand and eye co-ordination needed. But! It costs a fortune.

    It comes with a clunky old Corel based painting system, they used to come with ArtRage.

    The CD makes a useful coffee mat.

    Luck is infatuated with the efficient.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I have 2 wacom (intuos I A4 oversize and intuos III A4) and a aiptek a4 talbet for my daughter. I can't compare the 2 brands, it's like comparing a 20 years Lada car and a brand new mercedes : you can drive both, but one is more confortable, modern and efficient (guess which one ...)
    Anyway, the aiptek is a nice product but wacom products are far better (reliable, better pens, better driver,....)
    My portfolio & other things :

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Down a hole
    Oh wow, I never expected so many responses.
    Thank you all.
    I guess the tide is pushing me towards Wacom then
    (I had expected that already and that's exactly why I asked this question)

    @JUZ, thanks, I'd never considered the battery weight. Good point. As for the tilt, I've not tried to airbrush with the tilt on (digitally that is, in real i've experimented a bit) but I suppose it'd not just be airbrush but other things too like paletteknife keeps flipping like crazy without the tilt I think..and the pencil too.

    @Wman, haha If I buy one I'll definitely write to them & tell them you recommended the product, maybe they WILL give you a commision!!

    @selby, I get what you're saying about the weight and the feel. I have the same thing about guitars. If it doesn't feel right It's not for me. The catch is out here in India it's hard to find stores that'll let you try out the stuff, esp if you want to try lots of different ones. Let's see if I can find someone who'll lemme try it out.
    @AgedP, Thanks I'd read up your post about the cintique and the shuttle earlier. Cintique sounds like a dream, and is probably a pipedream for me, considering the price. Having never used a wacom before, i'm not too sure if I'd end up using the extra buttons or not, I'm pretty used to my KBD shortcuts.. do you use those buttons a lot? don't they hinder the operation? I mean to use the button you'd have to use the same hand as your pen isn't it? or do you place the tablet aligned to the screen..oops forgot, your tablet IS the screen. LOL.
    I've actually gotten used to keeping the tablet to the right side of my laptop and using it, I also keep my mouse attached for quick scrolling & zooming for other applications; that's when i just exchange their positions..
    Hmmm.. maybe I ought to put my stylus in the center instead of the side..hmm..must try tht out..
    sorry got ramling..
    @cedric, LOL great anology! I never had any doubts about the mercedes-ness of the wacoms, only was wondering if it's worth spending all that money (nearly double) to travel in style..

    Right now I'm using a DigiPro WP5540 4"X5.5" cheapass tablet and don't even use the full area of the tablet..maybe end up using about 2" X 3" area only, because it's too small for a full bodied stroke and too big for a wrist coverage.
    So, What I'd ask you all is wether you think larger size of tablet makes a difference? I mean if you have a 9" X 12" tablet wouldn't it be better? using the arm from the shoulder and not the wrist like it happens in small tablets?
    I can get a 12"wX9"h tablet with 60 deg tilt for about 190$ vs the smallest of intuos 4X6 is 320$.
    And I'd also like to know if you people use all those fancy pens that come with it? are they as brilliant as they seem to be? stroke & brush & what all those work? do they make any difference? or are these pens add ons that you have to buy seperate?
    I mean an intuos classic pen is the same price as the basic bamboo!

    I guess what I'm really concerened about is wether all that hype is true, whether it makes sense to go in for a teenyweeny stuylus (that might be the industry standard simply because it was oldest?) or a big cheapass tablet for 75% the cost...
    Oh damn, how would you all know that I'll just have to find someone with these and try them out form myself...
    gonna be tough!

    sorry about ranting but i can buy software from the 100$ diferrence!

    oh well,
    cest la vie.
    thank you all again,
    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hi Flyashy,

    I use the buttons now, but not when I had the ordinary tablet. The cintiq takes up room and the keyboard has to be moved to one side.

    One button =D , everything back to normal.
    Two buttons for Do/Undo
    One for minimise all the palettes
    One for Save.
    There is also a Touch Zoom but I usually use a zoom wheel on the corner of the keyboard.

    I use my left thumb usually.

    Nobody around here would let you try a Wacom before you bought it either.

    I got one because Fashmir got given one at work and raved over it. Fashmir is a Graphical Deity in the NW USA.

    Have a look at some of his posts.

    Luck is infatuated with the efficient.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Down a hole
    Hey Phil,
    Thanks, I see those buttons might just be worth it.
    No wonder no one listens to my rants about the keyboard short-cuts
    I like your keyboard too. I'd seen the pic you uploaded.
    In fact I like your whole setup, cintique+kbd+wacom+shuttle.. LOL!

    I've seen the paintings Fashmir has uploaded in the gallery and I absolutely agree with the whole Divinity aspect!
    erm.. NW would be North Wisconsin? North Wyoming?
    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

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