View Full Version : Tablets - Which one?

24th March 2005, 09:28 AM
Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is the right part of the forum to be posting into but I was hoping that I could get a bit of advice.

I'm thinking of getting a tablet in the next few months and am leaning towards Wacom (purely because I know the name!). The problem is I have absolutley no idea in the slightest about tablets and what makes a good or bad one. I'm not looking to spend a hell of a lot on one because I'm going to be using it purely for fun and to help teach myself to colour line art. I'm a BIG comic book geek and have gotten into colouring inked pages in the past few months so that's what it'll be used for.

So I suppose I'm looking for something that works with Photoshop CS and is cross platform (Mac OSX and Win XP).

Could anyone out there who has a tablet give me some advice and an idea of prices?



24th March 2005, 09:36 AM
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

For that reason, I recommend the blue pill. As for tablets, Wacom are always good. Have you decided which size you are after? And yes, this is the correct forum to post in.

24th March 2005, 09:46 AM
Does size matter? My girlfriend told me it didn't!! :)

To be honest I have no idea, I'm completly new to the world of Tablets so ANY advice in this area will be much appreciated.

24th March 2005, 10:24 AM
I found a website for Victoria which lists some prices. I realise you're in Sydney, but I doubt the pricing would be much different:

http://www.alphaonline.com.au/catalogue/ti...279&type=vendor (http://www.alphaonline.com.au/catalogue/tier4.jsp?tier3=75279&type=vendor)

24th March 2005, 10:32 AM
I took 4 Nurofen Plus once...

24th March 2005, 10:43 AM
I usually prefer either red or green tablets - usually at about 2am...

but definitely go for the Wacom. If you go into an AppleCentre they should have one on display you can play with.

24th March 2005, 11:44 AM
syncronicity - WaCOM tablets thread in 'hardware general'.
Me too - I just wanted to know whether the 4 x 5 is as good as 6 x 8 when it comes to freeform drawing?

[COLOR=green]I can't believe I totally missed the intuos2 for sale last night

24th March 2005, 09:11 PM
There's a nifty article about tablets here: http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/aboutgrap...hicstablets.htm (http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/aboutgraphics/a/graphicstablets.htm)

Personally, if you're not using it "professionally", I'd say go for something in the middle of the size range. I've got a weenie little AceCat 4"x5" tablet at home (hey, it works - and fits neatly under my mousepad...), and use a Wacom 9"x12" at work *drool*. It's great being able to work in "real" dimentions - rest it on your knee and it's like using a sketchpad - but to be honest, the 6"x8" would be big enough for all but the most serious users. The 9"x12" also comes with a cordless 5-button wheel mouse to use with it - the tablet becomes your mousepad, nifty eh?

There are a few nice tablets on the market, but Wacoms do have that whole recognised-brand stability to them, and they're a quality product with good pressure sensitivity. I love the Wacom stylus' though - it's hefty enough to feel solid (my AceCat stylus feels horribly flimsy and toylike in comparison), but comfortable to use, and with the uber-spiffy feature of an eraser: that's right, flip the bugger over and it gives you the eraser tool in Photoshop, how cool is that?

I say go out and play with a few, and see which one feels the most natural to you. Once you've drawn with a tablet, you'll never be able to go back to using the brick-on-a-string/mouse ;)

24th March 2005, 09:59 PM
I use the Wacom Intuos 4x5 for digital artwork using Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand and Painter IX.

Wacom have just released the new series Intuos 3, it's a beautiful tablet to work with.

I bought mine from HERE (http://www.sharp.com.au/products/) at a very competitive price. They're local and delivery is next day.

I absolutely recommend the Wacom over any other tablet as it is the most compatible with OS X.

25th March 2005, 06:47 AM
I've got a wacom dtf-510 and it's a little ripper, the upside is that's an instant second monitor for general pc use as well, I use it a lot moe than i thought i would.

26th March 2005, 10:19 AM
For years I've used an original Intuos 9x12 and have never had a problem. The stylus is a bit dinky and tiring after a while. I understand the stylus for the new Intuos 3 is much better.

As for size, I like it big! Had a 6x8 once on the old Quadra and it just felt a bit imprecise. As my monitor is a 30" Cinema, I wouldn't countenance anything less than 9x12.

I'm seriously considering getting the new Intuos3 9x12 since it has so many new features.

Here's a good local place to buy from online:


27th March 2005, 01:20 AM
Awww - hang the expense! Did I mention I had twin daughters with a birthday coming up? Anyway I'm now convinced i'll get the Intuos-3 (6 x 8) for the one that wants the tablet and the other wants an iPod mini. Yes they deserve it, both doing really well in Yr 12 and both doing fabulous art... and if I'm lucky I'll get to borrow them (or take the blue pill).

27th March 2005, 08:48 AM
Wacom all the way!!

Intuos 6x8 is an excellent choice - I've got a 9x12, and it's awesome. Though it is a big workspace - which can sometimes be frustrating. I was looking at getting a Intuos3 6x8 for my bag.

One thing that they seem to have gotten rid of is the tracing sleeve. Which is a real shame - I mean I never used it properly for tracing, but I keep a pic under there and well... it sucks that its gone :(

Get the Wacom Intuos3 6x8 - you'll forget the cost after years of use. Whilst Wacom are releasing these revisions faster and faster - I've frinds with Graphire's, Intuos "1"'s and previous model to the Intuos and they all still work beautifully...


27th March 2005, 08:19 PM
I use a 6x8 constantly at work. I have a baby one here at home (had a larger one but had the ADB/OSX woes). The 4x5 is actually better than I thought it would be, but you do miss the real-estate and precision of the 6x8.

Also check out discount PC stores - I got mine for about 20% cheaper - they're USB and are x-platform too. (At least the 4x5's are!)

27th March 2005, 08:22 PM
Make sure you get a Wacom, you'll avoid compatabilty issues that way.
I bought my girlfriend a Graphire3 6" x 8" and it's great. Only $199 down at Streetwise ( http://www.streetwise.com.au/product_info....roducts_id=1833 (http://www.streetwise.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=1833) ), I couldn't find a better price for it anywhere else :)

28th March 2005, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by decryption@Mar 27 2005, 09:22 PM
Only $199 down at Streetwise ( http://www.streetwise.com.au/product_info....roducts_id=1833 (http://www.streetwise.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=1833) ), I couldn't find a better price for it anywhere else :)
Neither could I but I found an equal pricing at BITS:

http://www.bits.com.au/newbits/engine.asp?...TextSearch=PTZ- (http://www.bits.com.au/newbits/engine.asp?CategorySearch=All&TextSearch=PTZ-)

I seem to have bought a lot of stuff from BITS over the years. I think the reason for that is they have competitive pricing and they always seem to have the stock ready to send out with same-day service. [I buy all my computer stuff on line being as I'm not a city dweller.]

I have been procrastinating about upgrading from my Intuos(1) to an Intuos3 for quite a while. This discussion and my subsequent pricing searches has tipped me over the edge.

I have just ordered from BITS an Intuos3 9x12, the Intuos3 2D mouse, and their Intuos3 Airbrush. We can use the old tablet on our other Macs.

Could this (wireless) mouse be a total replacement for the current corded Micro$oft one? I think so.

Best :thumbup:

29th March 2005, 10:40 AM
Stay the hell away from any brand other than Wacom.

I used to have an A4-sized USB tablet which had only PC drivers (worked on Mac but without pressure control (eek)), which touted 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and a number of other Wacom-beating figures in a unit around half the price. Wow! So we bought it and it was total piffle. I ended up not even using it. It was just... pathetic; the pressure sensitivity may as well have not been there, it was that bad.

I have an old ADB Wacom tablet (I think it was the original Intuous). It has 12 programmable controls at the top (very useful in Photoshop). Worked GREAT in OS 9, but Wacom stated clearly there were not to be OS X drivers for ADB tablets. There was a third party solution (http://tabletmagic.sourceforge.net/) which hasn't been updated yet to include ADB support (but it does provide Serial tablet support).

So then my cousin bought me a 4x5 GraphireII. It's small but great. However Tablet software isn't where it should be on the Mac.

Trust me, after you've used openCanvas on the PC, you'll never be able to use it as happily in Photoshop or Alias SketchBook Pro.

29th March 2005, 01:18 PM
I'm a Corel Painter Phanatic. What a superb natural media art program this is. And it's as if Wacom tablets are expressly designed to use with Painter. Their affinity for each other is amazing. :thumbup: :)

29th March 2005, 02:09 PM
What about some of the Wacom Cintiqs? Streetiwse have a bunch of them...

They're not cheap by any meausre (between $1k to $4k) but they do seem pretty cool to use - they allow you to draw directly on the screen. I saw one of these being used on OS X on the 'Making Of' documentary on the Clone Wars DVD, and let me tell you it looks awesome. :)

29th March 2005, 02:18 PM
If you're looking for something which isn't too hard-core but still more than adequate go the Wacom Graphire 3 6x8. I have a Wacom Graphire 2 4x5 which is great, so the larger version for under $200 would be a great place to start.

Cheers :)

30th March 2005, 01:19 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys, you've made things a LOT easier for me ... don't think I'll be buying the Cintiqs though :D