I've searched many best Wacom tablets to bring you the most affordable, user-friendly and professional ones for photo editing and designing. Wacom has been a leader for many years among manufacturers of graphic tablets and it is quite difficult to compare Wacom tablets. There are dozens of models for different users, with different requirements and budget. I’ve chosen the top nine best Wacom tablets for Photoshop you can buy for your designs.
In the world of graphic tablets, Wacom has become synonymous with graphic tablet, just like Photoshop has become synonymous with photo retouching. If you want to buy the best drawing tablets for digital art or photo editing, read more about top nine best Wacom tablets below.
Price: About $165
Specs: Medium active drawing area: 216 x 135mm (8.5 x 5.3 inches) | Stylus touch sensitivity: 2048 levels | Connection: USB, Wireless (Buy it separately) | Ergonomics: Right or Left-handed use | ОS: Windows/MacOS
Wacom Intuos Art Medium is the best Wacom tablet for beginners. Unlike other companies' tablets, it has very high-quality software – Corel Painter Essentials 5. Though it is meant for professionals, it is very easy to learn. The Wacom Intuos Medium model has four function keys and you can set them to perform any command available via hotkeys. For example, the tablet can be configured in completely different ways for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. The stylus in the kit has two buttons on the side but does not have an eraser. The stylus is thinner than the usual Intuos Pro. Though there is no rubber grip, the tablet won’t slip due to the textured surface.
This tablet is not heavy and is convenient to hold and draw. Installing tablet drivers does not require any effort. Wacom usually provides excellent support for Mac and Windows drivers. You are also able to use a multi-touch feature. The Intuos Art Medium has its predefined gestures for particular functions. Some of them can be familiar, as they are very similar to the gestures that you might have already used on a smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately, the model has a wired system, and if you want to get a wireless connection, you must buy the module separately.
Price: About $75
Specs: Small active drawing area: 152 x 95mm (6.0 x 3.7 inches) | Stylus touch sensitivity: 2048 levels | Connection: USB | ОS: Windows/MacOS
This Wacom graphic tablet is one of their cheapest devices, which was created mostly for rare use or those who are only beginning with editing photos or digital drawing. The company has been manufacturing tablets for many years, especially their Bamboo line. They regularly improve their Wacom Bamboo tablet to add updated designs and the latest features. At the time, it was one of the best tablets in its price range with the largest drawing area. This model is equipped with a new, more ergonomic and more functional Wacom tablet pen. They increased the pressure sensitivity by changing it from 1024 to 2048 levels.
Price: About $100
Specs: Small active drawing area: 152 x 95mm (6.0 x 3.7 inches) | Stylus touch sensitivity: 4096 levels | Connection: USB, Wireless | Ergonomics: Left or Right-handed use | ОS: Windows/MacOS
The Wacom Intuos line offers great opportunities for amateur tablet buyers or those on a tight budget. It is well-made, very light and thin, with enough resolution to work on large displays. The Wacom Intuos 2018 is the latest update of the low-cost Wacom drawing tablets. It has the same price as the previous Intuos version but differs in several aspects.
The tablet pen has also changed for better. Currently, there are more than 4,000 levels of stylus touch sensitivity. It means that you can get really nice, smooth transitions between opacity and line width. As a result, digital drawing seems more natural. Unfortunately, there is no eraser on the end of the stylus. Bluetooth is only available on small and medium models. Bluetooth is a wireless technology, so you can simply disconnect the tablet from USB and use it without any wires. You can sit everywhere in the room while you are drawing, you are not tied to your computer.
Price: About $500
Specs: Large active drawing area: 311 x 216mm (12.1 x 8.4 inches) | Stylus touch sensitivity: 8192 levels, both pen tip and eraser | Connection: USB, Bluetooth | Ergonomics: Right or Left-handed use | ОS: Windows/MacOS
When it comes to accurate photo editing, a graphic tablet is must-have. The Wacom Intuos was created to imitate a large sheet of paper – a tactile experience that many young digital artists may not have experienced while using the mouse. Photo editing becomes more precise and faster. The user selects the orientation of the gadget and the way it will be displayed on the computer screen. You will find eight customizable express keys and a touch ring on one side of the tablet.
The power switch and touch function switch are located on the side of the tablet next to the hotkeys. The optional USB module is found on the opposite side. The Wacom Pro Pen 2 contains additional overhangs. The pen has two buttons that are easily adjusted. Turn it upside down and you can use it as an eraser. This is one of the best Wacom tablets for drawing and has a rubber grip at the bottom to keep it in place, and its thin profile makes it easy to move or store in cramped spaces.
Price: About $1,700
Specs: Active drawing area: 19.5 x 11.5 inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 2048 levels | Connection: DVI, USB 2.0 | OS: Windows/MacOS
The Wacom Cintiq 22HD is a Wacom tablet display. Many experts consider it the best drawing tablet for artists. The quality of the screen is excellent. One thing I noticed in the display is that at certain times of the day, there was a glare since the screen is not completely matte. There was also a problem with the display being scratched too easily. This Wacom tablet also comes with 18 programmable Express Keys, nine on each side of the tablet. In our opinion, this number of Express Keys is more than enough for any professional photo editor, especially if they are combined with each other, as well as with gestures. In total, there are more than 100 combinations.
The tablet comes with DVI and USB slots that you need to connect before using the tablet. The stand that comes with this tablet works well. While drawing, you can use different degrees of tilt so the tablet is always in the desired position. The Wacom tablet pen has a smaller and more smooth design that feels better in the hand than older models. This Wacom device is probably the best tablet for a professional artist who needs more workspace.
Price: About $800
Specs: Active drawing area: 11.6 x 6.5 inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Stylus Touch Sensitivity: 8192 levels, both pen tip and eraser | Connection: USB Type-C, Mini Display port, HDMI | OS: Windows/MacOS
This model belongs on the list of the best digital drawing tablets. The 24-inch screen is large enough to enjoy drawing without feeling cramped. But the 32-inch canvas is more suitable for you to work in the studio (if you have a workplace to locate it). Using this best Wacom tablet you can apply long strokes while drawing and get nice details. The superb ProPen 2 comes with the set. This amazing tool was first released by Mobile StudioPro devices.
I do not say that I can detect the claimed 8,000+ levels of pressure sensitivity but there were also no flaws and failures. I believe that the Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro may still be the best in terms of responsiveness and nuances. Nevertheless, the “tenacity” of the screen surface you get with ProPen 2 on the updated Cintiq screen is absolutely better than the Apple Pencil on the glossy iPad Pro.
Price: About $2,200
Specs: Active drawing area: 22.55 x 11.57 inches | Resolution: 3840 x 2160; Stylus touch sensitivity: 8192 levels, both pen tip and eraser | Connection: HDMI 2.0 port, 4 x USB3 ports, USB C port, DP port | OS: Windows/MacOS
It is one of the best tablets for graphic designers. This model was released in order to give you an experience with a digital canvas and make your work more exciting. Wacom has a simple user interface that eliminates the fear of designers and digital artists and allows them to enter the digital world.
If we compare Wacom tablets, the Cintiq Pro 24 has resolution of 3008 × 1692, while the Cintiq 24HD has 1920 x 1200 resolution. It comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2 stylus which debuted on the Mobile StudioPro. The Wacom tablet pen is one of the key points, which offers a great 8,192 pressure sensitivity level. This tablet works on both Mac and Windows.
Price: About $2,200
Specs: Active Area (11.6 x 6.5 in) | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Pen Touch Sensitivity: 8192, both pen tip and eraser | Connectors: 3 х USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD | ОS: Windows 10 Pro
The MobileStudio Pro isn’t for average consumers. It’s for creative professionals who are extremely serious about their work. This fact is reflected in its design, which puts functionality before the aesthetics. The 13-inch model is quite portable, although a bit massive. The pen is convenient to use. Its weight of 1.42 kg roughly corresponds to the majority of the 13-inch laptops, such as the MacBook Pro, which weighs 1.37 kg.
The tablet comes with an attachable physical docking station for the Wacom Pro Pen 2 stylus from MobileStudio Pro. The quality of construction is excellent. The impressive Wacom Express Key system makes it easy to use photo editing software despite the lack of an attached keyboard. If you want to get one, a wireless keyboard is available as an add-on. This is the best Wacom tablet for professionals, and, perhaps, some buyers will prefer to have their own settings for drawing and won’t need a stand.
Price: About $2,700
Specs: Active Area (13.6 x 7.6 in) | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Pen Touch Sensitivity: 8192, both pen tip and eraser | Connectors: 4 х USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Intel Core i7, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4GB GDDR5, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD | ОS: Windows 10 Pro
The Wacom MobileStudio Pro display is one of the most appealing characteristics of this model. Therefore, I recommend the 16-inch model over a more compact version. The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16-inch screen covers the huge 96% color gamut of Adobe RGB. The color temperature of 6840 K in MobileStudio Pro is consistent with the 6500 K standard. It means that the colors, although they’re a bit cool, are fairly realistic and balanced.
The Wacom MobileStudio Pro is an incredibly effective tablet that most consumers don’t even need to consider buying. However, if you are a professional photographer, artist or designer, it’s definitely a worthy investment. The screen is perfectly calibrated, and the Pro Pen 2 is one of the best styluses available on the market. Add to this an extra RealSense camera and a customizable Express Key system, and the MobileStudio Pro can be claimed to be the best Wacom tablet ever.
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To work well with Wacom graphics tablets, you need certain accessories. A lot of them have been created since the launch of Wacom tablets, so there are plenty to choose from.
If there is any trouble with your Wacom Intuos pen, it’s easy to replace it with a new one. The same body with a rubberized grip, good balance, light weight and tip sensitivity to 4,096 levels of pressure will be a perfect choice. Of course, inside you’ll find the same compartment for spare tips.
Compatibility: Intuos Pro, Cintiq Pro 16, Cintiq Pro 13
Makes your work more accurate and productive. This pen has up to 8,192 levels of pressure, recognizes tilt and works with almost no delays. It’s completed with a stylish pencil case with a hole extracting the tip, three spare tips (two standard plastics and one felt) and color ring inserts.
Compatibility: Intuos Pro, Cintiq Pro 16, Cintiq Pro 13 One by Wacom Bamboo
The Pro Pen 3D has everything you need for convenient work with the best Wacom tablet in all three dimensions. Three pen buttons are handily located and allow you to control the camera along three axes in all popular 3D applications. Each button is quickly configured to perform many functions virtually in every 2D and 3D program. The Pro Pen 3D also uses the most advanced Wacom technology: the tip recognizes 8,192 pressure levels and tilts up to 60° in both directions. The kit includes a capsule case with six interchangeable tips and a hole for their extraction, the pen itself and four colored rings.
Compatibility: previous generation Intuos Pro, Intuos5, Intuos4, Cintiq 24HD, Cintiq 21UX, Cintiq 13HD, Cintiq Companion
A well-balanced pen with a comfortable rubber grip to use with the Wacom professional devices of previous generations. Wireless and battery-free, it features a soft-keyed swing button and a pressure-sensitive eraser. It’s completed with a convenient inkwell stand with six spare tips (three standard and three stroke-like).
Compatibility: Intuos Pro, Cintiq Pro 16, Cintiq Pro 13
This device has 17 ExpressKey buttons and a Touch Ring which are easily configured to execute frequently used commands. Moreover, you can connect up to five such consoles at the same time for individual management of creative applications. It will further accelerate the performance of routine operations and allow you to concentrate on the creative process itself.
Compatibility: Wacom Cintiq® 27QHD and Cintiq 27QHD touch, Cintiq 22HD and Cintiq 22HD touch, Cintiq 13HD and Cintiq 13HD touch, Cintiq Pro 24, Cintiq Pro 13/16, MobileStudio Pro 13/16
If the finest color nuances are important, the accuracy of the color reproduction of your Wacom display becomes quite crucial. In order not to act at random and not to work "by instrument," you should use this user-friendly calibrator. It will accurately measure the color characteristics of the screen. With the help of the app, which comes with the package, it will create the screen’s color profile.
Compatibility: Wacom MobileStudio Pro DTHW1320, DTHW1620
According to Wacom tablet reviews, with this tool, you’re able to make a powerful thing out of your laptop or computer. Simply use either the USB Type-C connector (for better performance) or the Mini DisplayPort along with the standard USB port, with cables included to connect.
Compatibility: Intuos Pen Tablets (Intuos Draw, Intuos Art, Intuos Photo, Intuos Comic, Intuos 3D), Intuos5, Bamboo Capture, and Bamboo Create
Effortlessly connect your Wacom tablet to your computer without any wires. The Wireless Accessory Kit and battery components are conveniently connected to the tablet. Besides, a USB port on the computer is available, leaving the place uncluttered and clearing space to live and work in. The Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit features a wireless module, wireless receiver and quick start instructions. A rechargeable battery that lets you take control of the tablet while charging is also included. A status indicator will tell you when the battery is full.
Compatibility: Wacom Cintiq Pro DTH-1320, DTH-1620, Wacom MobileStudio Pro DTH-W1320, DTH-W1620, Wacom Intuos Pro PTH-660, Intuos Pro PTH-451
The Wacom Wireless Keyboard is a perfect portable option for the travelers who are constantly on the go. It was developed for use with the Wacom Cintiq Pro, Cintiq Companion and Wacom MobileStudio Pro. The keyboard’s sleek, lightweight body won’t take up much space in the suitcase while providing a high-quality feel and performance.
Choosing the best Wacom tablet for photo editing can be difficult. Therefore, this review highlights some key points that will make your work easier.
The quality of the screen resolution will make or break your work. A high definition screen is highly recommended for showcasing high-quality art pieces. In addition, it is better to choose the best Wacom tablet, which displays with amazing clarity and excellent color quality. This will not only inspire you but also allow you to focus more on creating high-quality designs.
The screen width should be considered as well. For professional purposes, the wide screen is effective because it allows you to easily move, scroll and scale, and most importantly, draw or edit photos on the screen. The small screen of pen tablets for Photoshop is tedious to work with. It is connected to the fact that creating thinner lines on drafts can be quite inconvenient if you don’t zoom in to get a better overall view.
Of course, the most expensive tablets always come with the best quality and amazing features for your business or hobby. Still, the best Wacom tablet for drawing is an inexpensive tablet that you can purchase without spending a fortune. Luckily, there is a wide variety of tablets on the market that come at a good price with the best features you could want.
When buying a Wacom tablet, you should consider the type of work you want to perform. To avoid regrets and disappointments, you should also consider the amount of work you want to do. There are different kinds of tablets for such tasks as drawing, sketching, photo editing and more. Besides, your tablet of choice depends on whether you are engaged in a hobby, professional photography work or graphic design. If that’s the case, the functionality of the Wacom tablet should live up to your expectations.
The tablet must be efficient enough to accommodate all the necessary software, such as creative design packages. This will be reflected in the computing power of the tablets. Working with them should be easy, too, with the presence of shortcuts and custom keys that are relevant to the desires of users. Another thing to point out is that a Wacom tablet pen must be sensitive enough to draw faster and faster with each button press.
Everyone has different strategies in their working process. While drawing or sketching, some people prefer to stand, while others may want to sit down or put the tablet on their knees. A good Wacom tablet must be flexible in order to adapt itself to any position that suits the user. The best Wacom tablet can also be supplied with a rotating stand that allows you to have different angles of view depending on your preferred work position.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.