Looking for the best Wacom tablet for your next masterpiece? We’ve got you covered! We know it’s hard to choose, whether for you, or even harder maybe, when gifting to someone you care about. As many brands are now on the market for graphic tablets, we believe Wacom has amongst the best devices, for all budget.
Wacom has a range of budget and feature-friendly tablets on the market.
A great common feature of the Wacom tablets is the fact that you can map the pen to a specific software, which makes it easier and smoother to use the table when you use two screens or more. You can also, of course map the pen to a specific screen or to both screen but I find the possibility to map the screen to a specific software, notwithstanding the screen on which it will appear, very useful.
Now if you are in a hurry, you can see below our top choice. For those of you who want to get into the details read on and find out which drawing tablet is the right fit for you!
Wacom Intuos Pro – Best Overall
The Wacom Intuos Pro is the perfect tablet for creative professionals and serious amateurs committed to top quality creative work.
What is the best Wacom tablet?
Wacom has a range of different drawing tablets on offer that meets the demands of different artists. Whether you want to visually communicate using diagrams or sketches or want to edit or enhance your images or you just want to practice sketching, drawing, animation or painting, Wacom has a tablet for you.
You can increase your skills in arts by investing in the best Wacom tablets. There are different types of Wacom tablets suited for different kinds of activities. Choosing the right one is important or you will end up wasting your time and money.
The Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro tablets are overall the best drawing tablets for drawing and sketching as well as creating different kinds of animations.
The Wacom Cintiq tablets are runner ups. They are designed for professionals and experts as these are premium quality tabs.
If you are a beginner and want to improve on your drawing skills, then you need can choose from Wacom One and Wacom Bamboo tablets.
What is the newest Wacom Tablet?
Wacom continues to introduce new tablets from time to time. Among the best Wacom tablets, their latest model is the small version of their very popular Intuos Pro drawing tablet. This model not only features a smaller tablet from its predecessor but a smaller pen as well.
The Intuos Pro Small focuses more on portability as compared to the current models. The rest of the features are almost the same and the tab is compatible with Windows and Mac. You can connect it with your computer using Bluetooth and USB.
Summary of the Best Wacom Tablet in 2021
|Tablet Model||Pressure Sensitivity||Display Area (inches)||Hot Keys||Current Price|
|Wacom Intuos||4,096 levels||6.0-8.5-inch||4||Check price|
|Wacom Intuos Pro||8,192 levels||6.3-12.1-inch||6-8||Check price|
|Wacom Cintiq Pro||8,192 levels||13.3-31.5-inch||-||Check price|
|Wacom One||4,096 levels||13.3-inch||-||Check price|
|Wacom Bamboo||1,024 levels||A5 or A4||-||Check price|
Product Reviews – Best Wacom Tablet in 2021
- What is the best Wacom tablet?
- What is the newest Wacom Tablet?
- Summary of the Best Wacom Tablet in 2021
- Product Reviews – Best Wacom Tablet in 2021
- Wacom Accessories and Compatibility
- Buying Guide – How to choose the best Wacom tablet?
- Frequently asked questions
Wacom Intuos is the best-in-class tablet for beginners, with a superior quality offering compared to other entry-price tablets.
Display: 6.0-inch (Small); 7.9-inch (Medium) / 8.5-inch (Large) | Pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Best for: Overall | Keys Onboard: 4 |Wireless Capability: Yes (Medium & Large versions) | Multi-Touch Technology: NA | Weight: 0.52-0.91 lbs
Wacom Intuos is the best choice when it comes to first timers or beginners, whether you want to paint, draw or edit photos and comes in 2 sizes: small or medium. The entry-level price is also very beginner-friendly as you will avoid making a huge investment to get started (still higher than the lowest entry-price tablets, but Wacom’s offer best-in-class characteristics, so if you’re serious about your creativity, in my opinion, the small price difference is totally worth it). In short, it is quite cheap, easy to setup, light and good quality.
Given its size and weight, the Wacom Intuos is perfect if you plan to use it for just a few hours per session and is easily transportable. If you are looking for a table including extra function buttons allowing you to keep your hands off of your keyboard, skip to the next, the Wacom Intuos Pro is for you.
The medium model comes with a Bluetooth connection (for the small model, you can choose whether you want to add Bluetooth or not, which comes at a $20 higher price), which makes it even more nomad-friendly, so you can work and draw wherever you are, whether that is sipping a nice coffee or travelling.
It comes in 3 colour variations: black, pistachio and berry for those who would like to add a bit of fantasy to their hardware.
Finally, if you are based in the US, the tablets also come with some free software. If you go for the small model without Bluetooth, you can choose one of Corel Painter Essentials and Corel Aftershot 3. If you decide to go with the small model with Bluetooth, you can choose 2 of Corel Painter Essentials, Corel Aftershot 3 and Clip Studio Paint 3 (this one is especially good if you’re into comics and/or manga). Finally, if you choose the medium model, you get all 3 of them.
This drawing tablet comes with a battery-less 4096 pressure sensitivity digital pen and 3 nibs (the surfact eats them pretty quickly so you might want to make a stock if you’re going to use the default pen). Not having a battery has a very small flipside as the pen may feel a bit light (it is heavier than in the previous version of the same tablet though) and can somehow feel like you are holding an empty mechanical pen. It is also quite thin compared to other pens (including the pen provided with the Intuos Pro model). If these are issues for you, I would definitely recommend getting another one as the Wacom gamut of pens is quite deep and you will for sure find one that suits you.
Another useful feature is the 4 shortcut keys allowing you to partly replace your keyboard. The only downside of the Wacom Intuos is that these shortcut keys are situated at the top of the tablet which can be a bit confusing as you might have to put your second hand above your drawing hand in order to access them. The Wacom Intuos Pro on the other hand has these shortcut keys on the side, making them more easily accessible.
Battery (Bluetooth Models)
If you are thinking about getting a Bluetooth-enabled model, it is worth noting that the battery has a pretty long life, so usually when I use it a few hours in a row, I only use 10-20% of the battery life, which is very convenient as I don’t need to charge it after each session (we all have already so many devices to charge, that sometimes almost there’s no plug available for another one, so it is quite nice not to have to charge it as often as some other devices).
The Wacom Intuos offers a very good surface with the right amount of texture (not too little and not too much), almost feeling like it has a rubbery edge to it, which makes it very enjoyable to use. While drawing, the changes in opacity and thickness based on the applied pressure are very smooth, with a very low activation rate, so it will start showing up on your screen with only a tiny bit of pressure put on the surface.
The battery-free pen gives control and precision.
The pen nib tends to get used quite quickly.
Long battery life for the Bluetooth model.
No multi-touch technology.
The super-slim construction makes it stylish and compact.
4 customizable shortcut keys.
Wacom Intuos Pro is the perfect tablet for creative professionals and serious amateurs committed to top quality creative work.
Display: 6.3-inch (Small); 8.7-inch (Medium); 12.1-inch (Large) | Pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Keys Onboard: 6 (Small); 8 (Medium & Large) |Wireless Capability: Yes | Multi-Touch Technology: Yes | Weight: 0.99-2.86 lbs
The Intuos Pro has a large active area enhancing performance and fitted to in-depth and professional use. It is the perfect tool to draw, paint, design, but also edit photos and videos. It comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, a high quality, battery-free and cordless pen (it charges electromagnetically!) offering best-in-class performance (including 8192 pressure level of sensitivity).
It comes in 2 models and 3 sizes. The first one, the Intuos Pro is suited to your workflow if you like to complete your entire artworks digitally. On the other hand, if you like to sketch on paper and edit digitally, then the Intuos Pro Paper Edition will be more suited to your workflow. The tablet is offered in small, medium and large size.
The Intuos Pro Paper Edition consists of the Intuos Pro tablet, with an additional detachable clip and the Wacom Finetip pen (which will draw on paper). You can clip your favourite drawing paper to the surface of the tablet and sketch on paper. While you draw on paper, an editable live ink version of the sketch is being created and saved, but you don’t need to be connected to a computer or online for it to work as the sketches are stored on the tablet, which gives you a lot more freedom than most other tablets. You can then edit and finish you masterpiece as you get access to a computer again.
Easiness of use
The Wacom Intuos Pro has a great feel but what makes it even faster and easier to use than the Intuos are the 8 shortcut keys (6 only for the small model) (vs. 4 only for the Wacom Intuos), as well as a touch ring, radial menu and customizable pen functions allowing you to cut reaching for your computer’s keyboard and mouse and spending more time focusing on what you love doing! In addition, the multi-touch technology lets you zoom, pan and navigate easily. Finally, the battery life really is great, with a full charge lasting for up to a few days.
Unfortunately, as for the Wacom Intuos, the increased friction of the surface (maybe a failed attempt to give a more papery feel) degrades the pen’s nibs quicker, which seems to be a feature of all the new range of Wacom tablets, leading to the need to change the nib more often than with the previous generations of tablets (also worth noting, nibs from previous generations are unfortunately not compatible with the new generation tablets).
The latest generation of Wacom Intuos Pro is very refined and elegant. It looks very contemporary and premium with an anodized aluminum base, resulting in a more premium and solid feel than the previous generations and other models.
The Wacom tablet comes with Bluetooth connectivity, which can sometimes be unstable, creating lags. The real issue is that, in contrast to previous generations, the latest generation does not come with a USB dongle you can plug to your computer, offering a stable Bluetooth connection. Therefore, I mainly use the Wacom Intuos Pro connected to my laptop, despite the Bluetooth function.
In addition to being able to choose between the classic all digital and the paper edition, two other elements make the Wacom Intuos Pro a perfectly customizable creative tool. You can fill your different types of nibs (depending on the type of friction and feel you prefer) in the pen stand. For the medium and large models, you can also buy different texture sheets to replace the drawing surface and make it smoother or rougher compared to the default resistance.
Exceptional tilt response.
Bluetooth connectivity can sometimes be unstable.
Large active screen area.
3. Wacom Cintiq Pro – Best for professionals
The Cintiq Pros are standalone tablets (no need to connect it to a computer), with a high-quality 4K screen display and the standard for professional quality pen displays.
Display: 13.3 to 31.5-inch | Pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | No. of USB ports: 1| Keys Onboard: 0; 17 on optional wireless ExpressKey remote | Wireless Capability: No | Multi-Touch Technology: Yes | Weight: 2.4 to 28.7 lbs
If you are looking for the best Wacom tablet, you found it! The Wacom Cintiq Pro gamut are very high-quality standalone displays with a remarkable 1920 x 1080 HD resolution, 1 GB RAM and a 12MP rear webcam.
The Wacom Cintiq Pro gamut comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, a high quality, battery-free and cordless pen (it charges electromagnetically!) offering best-in-class performance (including 8192 pressure level of sensitivity) as well as the same pen stand as the Wacom Intuos Pro.
It also comes in 4 different sizes, with screen display from 13 to 32-inch diagonal (beware, the 2 larger models, 24 and 32-inch are pretty heavy).
The great thing about having a graphics tablet with a computer inside is that it allows you to work unconnected to a computer but also allows you to work connected to a computer that would have an obsolete CPU / graphic capabilities.
You know this feeling of drawing through a window rather than directly on a drawing surface, when drawing on your tablet, I know you do? If you hate it as much as I do, the good news is: this feeling is almost inexistent in the latest generation of the Wacom Cintiq Pro, making the Wacom Cintiq Pro a very good tool for Photoshop as well. It is also worth noting that the glass is anti-glare, which allows you to draw in the daylight, so you’re done with the old days of having to draw in a darker room to avoid glares, and then realize your painting was darker than you thought so you had to rework it.
The colors are really to die for and the color accuracy is impressive. Wacom claims 94% of Adobe RGB coverage which is amazing, especially for those of you who will use the display in a professional context.
The Wacom Cintiq Pro comes with 2 USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, allowing you to charge the device at the same time as it is connected to your computer. The device also has an SD Card slot, so you can store a lot on the device itself and don’t need to connect it / move your work to your computer too often. Wacom also provides the Wacom Link, a helpful adapter that will allow you to connect your device to older computer with older USB-type ports.
Adjustable stand with more than 180-degree rotation left and right.
Price can put you off but if you’re drawing comics or mangas, the 13 or 16 models would be largely sufficient and save you a few bucks).
Anti-glare display surface.
Amazing color gamut.
4. Wacom One – Most afforable tablet
The Wacom One is equally good for beginners looking for a decent but not too expensive device, or younger artists.
Display: 13.3-inch | Pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Keys Onboard: No |Wireless Capability: No | Multi-Touch Technology: No | Weight: 2.2 lbs
Whether you are a beginner or have been using tablets for a bit and are looking for a display tablet that will enable your creativity without the need to hit on your kids’ college savings, the Wacom One could be a good choice (it’s the cheapest Wacom pen display to date).
The Wacom One has the essentials you need to create digital art without any of the superflux (and sometimes very useful). For example, it doesn’t have touch capabilities (while the Wacom Cintiq Pros do have it), so you can’t use your fingers for the menus, etc.
As is the case for the Cintiq Pros, the screen has an anti-glare film, which allows you to draw in places with strong lights.
One of the nice features of the Wacom One is that there is almost no bezel to interrupt your pen of you accidentally get outside the drawing area (you’ll only get stopped at the very edge of the tablet, but not before), allowing a smooth workflow with a large buffer area before the pen hits the edge. Unfortunately, though the surface will work with other EMR pens but will not work with other Wacom pens than the one provided when you buy the tablet.
Similar to the Cintiq Pros, there is virtually no parallax when using the Wacom One, which makes it easier and more precise to use.
The Wacom One has 3 port: USB-A, USB-C and HDMI and must be connected to a Windows, Mac or compatible Android devices such as the Huawei P20 Pro, P30 or Samsung Galaxy S8, S10+, etc.
Using the Wacom One with Android devices
If you’re planning on using the display with an Android device, make sure it is compatible with the Wacom One. In this case, you will also need the Wacom adapter (not included) or a USB-C minihub. When the Android device is connected to the tablet, you can open the desktop which will expand on the tablet and you can draw just like you could on a desktop computer.
Android-compatible (with some devices only).
No built-in wireless connection.
No touch feature and no shortcut keys built-in.
Great pen quality (only exceeded by the Wacom Pro pen).
The stand’s 90 degree angle is not adjustable.
5. Wacom Bamboo – Best for sketching on the fly
If you’re on a tight budget and only require very basic functionalities, the Wacom Bamboo is for you.
Display: A5 (Small Slate); A4 (Large Slate & Folio version) | No. of USB ports: 1 | Pressure sensitivity: 1,024 levels | Keys Onboard: Yes |Wireless Capability: Yes | Multi-Touch Technology: No | Weight: 0.6 to 1.8 lbs
The Wacom Bamboo comes in 2 different models: the Slate and the Folio. Both allow you to draw and take notes or sketch directly on paper (no need to use proprietary paper as is the case with the competing Livesrcibe 3) while digitizing them. The main difference between both is that the Folio has a fold-over cover with some internal space for additional materials, but on the other hand, it is heavier. The Bamboo Slate also comes in 2 different sizes (A4 and A5).
The pen has a premium metal feeling and is refillable. It is heavy enough and has a great feel but an issue you might have if you like, as I do, to hold your pen quite high, is that you might be touching the upper part that controls the pen lead and accidentally pull it back, which can be an issue as you will need to make a conscious effort to avoid moving this part of the pen. The pen only has 1024 pressure-sensitivity levels though, which is not an issue if you are taking notes or quickly sketching but it will not render a full breadth of 50 shades of grey, which can be an issue if you like to do full sketches with a pen.
This tablet also comes with a version of Corel Painter Essentials 4.0.
Easy to pair.
Lower sensitivity to pressure levels than other Wacom devices.
Can support up to ~80 page-thick notepads.
The battery-free pen has two customizable switches.
Wacom Accessories and Compatibility
If you want to work with a Wacom tablet, you might (now or later) want to invest in some accessories. Here are pieces of information on some of them.
Pro Pen 2: The Pro Pen 2 is compatible with Cintiq Pro and Intuos Pro drawing tablets. This pen is very accurate and fast and it offers pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels as well as tilt recognition.
Pro Pen 3D: The Pro Pen 3D works with Cintiq Pro as well as Intuos Pro tablets and it allows you to comfortably work in a 3D environment. This pen features three ergonomically located buttons allowing you to control the camera in three axes and a range of different 3D apps. This pen also comes with tilt recognition of up to 60-degrees and has a pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels.
ExpressKey Remote: This remote is compatible with Cintiq Proas well as Intuos Pro tablets. The remote comes with 17 different customizable shortcut keys as well as a touch ring you can customize as you see fit.
Wacom Color Manager: If color nuances are important for you then you will surely know how much color reproduction is important. This device will allow you to properly calibrate colors so as to make sure what is shown on the screen is what is in the software, which is especially important if you use your tablet for photo editing. The process will take a few minutes during which you will see different colors flashing one after another on the screen (the color manager is comparing the screen colors to the software colors) and will then calibrate what is shown on the screen so it’s a perfect rendering of the colors as designed in the software.
Buying Guide – How to choose the best Wacom tablet?
There is a large gamut of Wacom tabletswith different features and for different audiences. First, you need to understand what your needs and requirements are as Wacom’s products cover the whole range, from simple sketching tools to powerful standalone pen displays with 1GB RAM. Once you have a view on what your requirements and needs are, here are some features to look for when buying the best Wacom tablets.
Type of work
To find the best Wacom tablets, it is important that you know what type of work you want to perform with your tablet. Considering the amount of work is also critical. If you just want a tablet for your hobby, then a Wacom Intuos or Intuos Pro is probably your best bet. If you want a pen display, in that case, the Wacom One is probably a very good option for you.
However, if you are a professional or are looking to become one, a Wacom Cintiq Pro could be a great investment in a high-quality tablet.
On-Screen or Flat Models
Among the best Wacom tablets, there are two different types of drawing tablets. With onscreen models (Wacom One, Cintiq Pro), you can draw directly on the monitor with the help of the pen that comes with the tablet.
On the other hand, in the case of a flat model you will have to draw on the tablet-like pad and the result will show on the monitor (Intuos, Intuos Pro, Bamboo) . If you have past experience of using these tablets then you can easily use flat models. If you are new to this then go for the onscreen models.
Hotkeys and connectivity
If you spend hours working on a tablet, then Hotkeys or shortcut keys are very important as they will make your hours spent more productive and your work more efficient as they can replace some actions you usually need to perform with your keyboard and mouse.
Additionally, connectivity is also key. If you like to move around a lot during your work then you will need a wireless connection and a quite light model. Otherwise, a more static or heavier model will work perfectly. Pen-nib replacements
Display quality and Active Area
Wacom tablets have high-quality active areas and displays but depending on your drawing style and your use, you will need to think about the size of the device you will need to use. You might also consider buying different types of nibs as some of them get quite easily eaten by the tablet’s surface.
Multi-touch and tilt recognition
Multi-touch is another critical feature of the best Wacom tablets. This will enable you to work on your projects a lot faster than you normally do as you will be able to draw with more complexities, easily zooming in and navigating within your project.
In addition, the tilt function will add a gamut of textures you can use in your drawing and sketching if that is something you are interested in (especially useful if you are painting).
Frequently asked questions
How do I clean my Wacom tablet?
Cleaning your Wacom tablet is a simple job. You can easily clean your Wacom tablet with the help of an anti-static cloth. You can also use a piece of cloth that is slightly damp.
Just use the cloth and wipe the screen by applying a little pressure. Make sure that you don’t use detergent or alcohol to clean your tablet. Also, make sure that you frequently change the pen nibs and avoid scratching the surface with worn-out pen nibs.
Does Wacom work with both Windows and Mac?
Yes, Wacom drivers work with all the latest versions of Windows 7 and above and it is also compatible with Macintosh 10.14 and later versions. Apart from that, some models also work with specific Android devices.
How do I charge my Wacom pen?
You don’t have to charge your Wacom pen because they are battery-free. These pens run on EMR technology and they can wirelessly charge themselves through a magnetic field that is generated by the sensor. Therefore, you don’t have to deal with any downtime on the field.
How do I calibrate my Wacom tablet?
You have to calibrate the tablet with your pen so that the responses on the screen match with your pen movements. This will compensate for the angle of view and will make parallax adjustments as well. You need to set up a pen in its working position. Now open the tablet properties and then go to the device list if you more than one pens installed. Select the device from the list and then select Calibrate.
Do Wacom tablets need a computer?
Wacom has a range of different tablets that need to run with a computer and there are different tablets that you can use as standalone devices. The Cintiq models as well as the Wacom One are standalone devices while most of the other models require a computer.
All in all, the if you are going for a Wacom tablet, I would recommend the following models: Wacom Cintiq for more professional artists, Wacom One for beginners and Intuos Pro for people with a tight budget but who want some quality equipment and are planning to use the tablet with a computer.
If you are a professional and are working in colors, I would definitely recommend getting the Wacom Color Manager, especially if you plan on using your tablet for photo editing.
Wacom definitely offers amongst the best tablets you can find and covers a wide range of uses from note taking and sketching on the go to more desktop-oriented hours-long painting sessions with in-depth color work, with high quality active surfaces and display areas. It also offers a wide range of useful accessories, depending on what you are using your tablet for.
Which one of these drawing tablets are you using and have you used any other before? Let us know your opinion by leaving a comment below!