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Wacom Intuos5 and Bamboo - Medium or Small

by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 24, 2013 2:39 PM PST

Hi all,

I am a student who has just started Year 11, and I am taking graphic design. I really enjoy the class, and I am looking to see if I could/should/would buy a graphics tablet. I want to buy one, but I am wondering if they are really worth it. I have a pretty low-ish budget (I don't really want to go over the $250 mark if I dont ABSOLUTELY have to), and I have been looking at:

- Wacom Bamboo's (the ones with touch capability, preferably medium sized - 27cmx14cm active area, programmable buttons) priced from $120 (for a small bamboo create) all the way up to $240 (for a medium bamboo create)

-Wacom Intuos5's - $240 for a small, $350 for a medium

First off, my parents dont really want me spending as much as $350 for something that I am not positive I will continually use (I myself dont know if I will get used to it/enjoy using it). I dont have much money that I have available to spend, as I am saving for a car.

I plan on using it sometimes (not every day), for graphic design class, and just having fun drawing my own creations. I do have graphic design class 4 out of 5 days of college, but I may only bring it if I bring my laptop; I cant install the drivers on school computers. If I can bring my computer to college, then I will be using the tablet 4 out of 5 days, maybe more over the weekend for homework/leisure.

So here's my question(s) (FINALLY):
Is it worth spending the extra money for a medium sized tablet? Should I try with a bamboo (small or medium?) first, and see if I like it, and I do like it, go for an intuos? Or should I go straight for an intuos5? If I do, would the small be big enough for me? Would I need to invest in a medium for it to be worth it? Is it worth getting a graphics tablet at ALL?

Please, please, PLEASE be honest; I dont want to waste my hard earned money!

Thanks SO much for your opinions,

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by HELLZ_ANGEL

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The problem is you have not used a tool like this before.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 10:28 AM PST

It's partly why folk go to art school. Sure you could pick up a brush and paint but there's nothing like diving in and doing. Also with a little helpful advice. Since you have never used such before you can't know if this tool is going to be what you like. So price is the best decision maker here. That way you can see if it's the tool you dreamed of and as far as size or other features go, it won't matter when you select your next device.

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Thanks a lot!
by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 27, 2013 8:20 AM PST

Hi Bob,

Finally decided on a puchase: I got the Wacom Bamboo Create Pen and Touch.

Thanks for all your help,

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by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 24, 2013 2:41 PM PST

For the Wacom Intuos5's, I want touch capability too! Its in my essentials list!

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 24, 2013 10:55 PM PST
In reply to: EDIT

The artists I've worked with were more concerned about pressure sense levels and accuracy than touch. It's your money, buy what you want.

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How so?
by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 25, 2013 6:15 AM PST
In reply to: Odd.

Hi Bob,

I realise the "importance" of pressure sentivity, but I want to have the touch capability. Between a medium and a small, what would you recommend? Should I get an intuos5?

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Try both.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 6:55 AM PST
In reply to: How so?

The artists I have run into want and get the Cintiq but in that class device it depends on what you want. What I think rarely matters but touch is there because of that current technology which I won't mention.

For example if you want to draw a longer line, you'd want the bigger painting pad.

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Follow up
by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 25, 2013 9:42 AM PST
In reply to: Try both.

Hi Bob,

I didnt really understand what youre trying to say in your first point, and for the thought that for bigger lines a bigger tablet is needed, that is not true.
Wacom tablets (most graphics tablets for that matter) run in 'absolute' mode, meaning the active area of the tablet represents the whole screen. This means that I can draw the same size line whether or not I have a small, medium or large tablet.
I can't afford the cintiq with the massive price tag just yet, and I don't know if I will enjoy using the tablet anyways, so Im not spending over 1,000 for a tablet that I might use for 2 months, and then leave it alone.

Sorry to be difficult,

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While the absolute mode is that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 10:13 AM PST
In reply to: Follow up

You find the larger tablet can give you more control over where the line ends. However I find folk struggle over zooming in/out and well, it takes time to master the tools. My first comment is that the artists I run into don't use the model you noted. They head up to the Cintiq. But a pad is just that. I can only guess how long you've been using one.

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by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 25, 2013 10:19 AM PST

Hi Bob,

That seems fair enough that you say Ill have more control with the medium, although for the amount I will be using it, is it really worth it? I have never used a graphics tablet before; this would be my first.
So again, here is my question: Will a small be big enough for my needs?

Thanks so much Bob,

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by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 25, 2013 10:29 AM PST
In reply to: Cont.
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Ahh, first tablet.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 12:03 AM PST
In reply to: REMEMBER

I was thinking you were a current user and apologize for that. By all means go cheap. I thought you were using such a thing.

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by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 26, 2013 6:32 AM PST
In reply to: Ahh, first tablet.

Hey Bob,

So from that I understand that youre suggesting I go with a bamboo first? Or should I still go with a small intuos5?


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In this case, go by price and features you want.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 6:47 AM PST
In reply to: So...

I don't want to dissuade about drawing tablets so get your first one and see how you like it.

And find someone with the Cintiq to see why I wrote about that.

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by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 26, 2013 6:50 AM PST
In reply to: So...

Hi again,

I know Im really horrible with thinking of everything to put in my message..

Anyway, here are some points I was considering:

- I intend to carry the tablet to college every day, so an intuos5 small would be more portable than a medium bamboo create.
- The intuos5 small has about the same ratio for corner-to-corner sweeping as my mouse
- Having a small intuos5 will help me determine if I want to go for a medium or a large later on
- The bamboo create has much less pressure levels, less nibs, less buttons, but a MUCH lower price than the intuos5 small

Right now, I just need to know if a I should get a medium bamboo create, or a small intuos5.


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Those questions are similar to
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 7:38 AM PST
In reply to: P.S

What type of paint should I use?
Which brush is best?

Nod to price and more levels of pressure.

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Im still kind of confused
by HELLZ_ANGEL / February 26, 2013 9:36 AM PST
In reply to: P.S

Hi Ben,

So I gather from your reply that your advice would be to go for an intuos5 small, since it has a much higher range of pressure sensitivity?


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