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Thread: Tablets - Intuos Pro Small vs Intous Draw Pen Small

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    Member rexboggs5's Avatar
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    Tablets - Intuos Pro Small vs Intous Draw Pen Small

    I have an Intuos Pro Small tablet (currently AUS$349) for Photoshopping when travelling, and which I really like.

    I occasionally advise folks about purchases and was wondering if a cheaper tablet (eg the Intuos Draw Pen Small for AUS$119, which has replaced the Bamboo tablet) would be suitable for Photoshopping as well. It is certainly a lot cheaper.

    Anyone have any experience with this cheaper tablet?

    Thanks and Cheers

    Rex

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Hey Rex, good question as I have one of the larger ones (older too now).

    Also, please start giving others some advice and cc too, its been over 12 months since you posted on a thread that was not one you started. I reckon it is great that you are getting the advice you need, but how about giving some advice back to other members as well?
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Hi Rick - I'll do my best but I am not sure that I know much compared to the sages on this forum ...

    Rex

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I had a Bamboo for a while.
    Kids borrowed it for a bit, never got it back! .. can't be too bad

    I used it with Nikon's CaptureNX2, and it worked well enough.
    If I had to make one complaint about it, was the quality of the nib on the end of the pen. The feeling/sound it made against the tablet surface was just that little bit grating .. so a nicer quality nib would have been an improvement.

    Never really used a larger tablet, other than brief playing with them at shows and stuff, to compare in any serious way ... but from memory the smaller ones still work pretty good(from what I remember).

    Been thinking that it's time to give up on the Bamboo, and look at getting a new one ... Draw you reckon?
    I'm looking at Scorptec's website and they have the Draw listed for $99 .. BUT!!! .. I'm, thinking that the Art model(with touch ability) may be the better option .. $119.
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    My info is from https://buywacom.com.au/products/pen-tablets.html

    I actually like the small tablet. With larger tablets, you have to move the pen a greater distance to get from corner to corner. I suppose I'd get used to it but at the moment it just seems like I have to move it a long way, especially compared to a mouse.
    Last edited by rexboggs5; 20-12-2016 at 10:04am.

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    Carpe Diem Gazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rexboggs5 View Post
    you have to move the pen a greater distance to get from corner to corner.
    Have a quick look at this...might help with that problem?
    I'm in trouble now…I've traded our bed for a trampoline and the wife's hit the roof!
    CC more than welcome. Remember, I can't be offended so go for it. Feel free to post your ideas with an edit if you have time. Thanks in advance.



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    Quote Originally Posted by rexboggs5 View Post
    Hi Rick - I'll do my best but I am not sure that I know much compared to the sages on this forum ...


    Come now Rex. Don't be shy.

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    Many thanks Gazza, I didn't know that you could choose the size and section of the Intuos Pro tablet that is 'active'. That is really good to know. I wonder if the Intuos Draw Pen Small has the same feature? There has to be _something_ that differentiates the $349 tablet from the $119 one :-).

    - - - Updated - - -

    But that's my nature, Steve.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    I bought the Wacom Intuos small "ART" tablet. Specs are exactly the same as the other small Intuos tablets but you get different software. I figured that I already had Photoshop, and I had zero interest in comic illustration, so I took the Art tablet that provided Corel Painter Essentials. The "Pro" tablets are a bit larger. I think that you might get better pen recognition - drawing with your pen at an angle for example. It might accept wi-fi? Check on line.

    Have I used the tablet? Hmmm... Not as much as I thought I would. After using a mouse for so many years a pen is almost counter-intuitive. Hoping to use it over Christmas when I have some time to catch up.
    Andrew




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    Phlearn says that it takes a while to become comfortable with a tablet if you are used to a mouse. Using it for a while over Chrissy sounds like a good idea.

    The Pro tablets allow you to adjust the pen pressure so pressing harder increases the brush size or increases the opacity (or both if you wish). Does the ART tablet work the same way? With the Pro tablet this can be adjusted in Photoshop using Window > Brush.

    He also has set up his tablet so he only uses part of the pad on the tablet, as he doesn't want to have to move his hand very far. So a smaller screen may not be an issue. I think the larger tablets are for artists who are drawing or painting and they use the larger tablets as they mimic a large piece of paper.

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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    Hi Rex, I went through the comparison process a few months ago. Typically the smaller, cheaper tablets have less resolution, less pen pressure levels, less function buttons, don't recognise pen tilt, and don't include wireless connectivity in the base price. I can't recall if the pens have the same functionality as the Pro pens (both ends plus a 'rocker' type button). I also can't recall if they will also work as a trackpad or not (the Pro does). In the end I had no idea what I needed so ended up getting an Intuos Pro Small. Found some mob on ebay that were having a 20% off sale and paid a bit over $250 delivered.

    The real question is whether the difference in specs results in much difference in practice. My assumption would be that if you're doing a lot of 'hardcore' retouching (stuff using brushes) you'd probably notice a difference, but an occasional PS user might not, particularly if you're mostly doing stuff like dragging sliders around.

    Regarding size, I think again it depends on what you're using it for. If you're creating drawings / paintings a larger tablet is often better as it allows you to work the same as if you're working on paper (hand movements etc). For PS I think a smaller tablet is adequate (I have my Pro Small set to less than half the total available - when I need finer detail I just enlarge the image on screen).

    (Not sure I've been much help here...)


    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    I went away from the Wacom tablets to the iPad Pro and Apple pencil with an app called Astropad. It mimics the wacom and wacom style controls but you can see what you are drawing on with the iPad. Unfortunately only works on a mac. It apparently works with the non-Pro iPads as well, but not sure how well the capacitive touch styluses work.

    http://astropad.com

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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    Rex I hadn't seen your latest post (#10) before I posted, so I see you'd already discovered some of the things I mentioned.

    If the cheaper tablets are pressure-sensitive they should allow you to use pen pressure to change brush-size, opacity, etc. I don't know how the pressure-levels work - whether the smaller number of levels means you can have the same minimum and maximum brush size (with less levels between) or whether the max brush size is smaller than a tablet with more pressure-levels. I don't think it would make a huge difference in pratice either way, but only an assumption on my part.

    To get some practice with the tablet I played games like Solitaire where you spend time dragging cards around.

    Might be worth checking out whether Wacom have a forum or knowledge base that might provide more accurate answers.



    Cheers.

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I'm solely a tablet user. They've always been Wacom Intuos tablets, both large and small. I personally like the larger size, but have a smaller one which is fine to carry around on the laptop. When I need a new one, I just buy a second hand last year's model, off someone with more money than me. Some people buy a tablet and just don't like it, so cash it in.

    For those using Wacom tablets and finding you have to make large strokes on the bigger tablets, you are running the tablet in the wrong mode. Yes you can set them to use only a small section of the tablet, but then why buy a big tablet? Instead, go in to the tablet properties and in the pen settings choose "mouse mode" instead of pen mode. Then you zip all over the tablet how you please. The tablet set up like this is a mile faster than a mouse. You may choose how fast you want the pen to zip around, plus a few other settings to make it more comfortable for your tastes. The pen mode directly maps the tablet to the screen, so if you want to touch a particular place in your screen, you have to move to the corresponding spot in your tablet. Very frustrating, but for someone seriously doing art it provides a slower steadier stroke. Mouse mode doesn't do this. You just watch the cursor on the screen and touch the tablet where ever you like.

    I don't think there is any comparison in doing fine detail work photo editing, between a tablet and mouse. The tablet wins hands down. A mouse is like a clumsy brick in comparison. It has no pressure sensitivity.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fillum View Post
    .... I also can't recall if they will also work as a trackpad or not (the Pro does). ....
    The really cheap ones don't using touch, but can be used as such using the pen.
    I found it counter intuitive for that purpose .. and really only used it for editing photos.

    Some lowish end models(I think like the Art mentioned) have touch capability, so can be used like a trackpad. They have touch somewhere in the model name.
    I doubt that using touch to edit photos or intricate fine detail manipulation would be easy .. like a pen could achieve tho.

    They all seem to have pressure sensitivity, but as said, the higher (pro type) versions have more resolution in pressure levels 1024 for the Draw/Art/Photo models .. 2048 for the Pro models .. etc, etc.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    The Intuos Art / Comic / Photo range are pressure sensitive and do have touch capability, which is useful for dragging a large image around your screen or for expanding or contracting images. As stated above, they have a lower resolution than the Pro range and they don't connect wirelessly. Neither of those things bother me but I wish that mine recognised pen tilt. It feels a bit awkward having the pen at almost 90 degrees to the pad surface.

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    Touch capability is great. It means you can use the tablet as a trackpad and don't have to keep reaching for the mouse (which you would probably be trying to use with the hand holding the pen).
    Wifi is also great. With touch and wifi you can sit back with the tablet and not have to keep reaching for the keyboard or mouse. It makes working on images much nicer.
    -- Mister Q

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthy View Post
    ..... and they don't connect wirelessly. .....
    I'm pretty sure there's a $50 dongle accessory that can do that for 'ya if you really want that. Can't remember which models they will/won't work with, but I think they do work with the Art/Photo series.
    There was one very basic model that I think it didn't work with tho.

    Thinking how do the internal batteries charge on the tablet? that would be more annoying than having a single simple cable connection to it.
    I guess if someone were the type to use it in a mobile environment (eg. laptop/slate device) in an inconveniently location, the wireless connection could be handy to have.
    But, for a desktop environment (or even laptop doing desktop duties), a wired connection couldn't be that annoying, could it?

    I've never really given all that much thought to pen tilt.
    I don't really remember how well my old Bamboo used to work. It's been a while since the kids commandeered it.
    Son now uses it mainly as a trackpad for his laptop, which itself is used as a desktop.
    Touch ability would be handy for his use of the device.

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    Thanks folks, for the wonderful, informative posts. I have been travelling the last few days and have been remiss in keeping up with this thread. Good to know that the cheaper versions have pressure sensitivity. And I was very interested to learn that there is a pressure-sensitive 'mouse mode' where the exact position of the pen doesn't matter. I'll try that and see how I like it.

    Re charging the batteries on the wireless tablet - you plug the tablet into the computer via a USB cable to charge it. It seems the computer has to be active for this to work, ie not in sleep mode.

    I haven't used the touch capabilities much at all yet so I will try that.

    Thanks again for the great replies.

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