Graphic tablet: Which one for a beginner?


Hello there, I just registered here and I have a question about graphic tablets.
I want to start with the whole 2D-Art thing and find it impossible to make a drawing with the mouse. So I decided to get a graphics tablet. But which one shall I buy? Could anyone help me?

  • It should be compatible with Adobe Photoshop 7
  • Because I’m a beginner, it should be easy to use
  • I don’t have unlimited money…
    The Wacom Graphire 4 caught my attention because Wacom seems to be a good manufacturer and it was, considering other models, pretty cheap (80 bucks).
    But it only has a A6 (about 9cm x 12cm) size. I’m afraid that’s too small for drawing, is that so? Could any of the “professionals” here tell me if this is enough? Please help me! Thanks a lot. :slight_smile:


There are larger Graphire tablets you could look into, if you feel this one is too small for you. If you use large wrist movements when you draw, it might very well be.

I own a Wacom Intuos3 9x12 and an Aiptek 12000U the same size. After using them both, I have to say the Wacom is well worth the extra cost. Don’t even bother going with a cheaper brand, since you’ll either get frustrated and stop using a tablet, or you’ll eventually upgrade to a Wacom. :slight_smile:


The graphire series is very decent, and a lot cheaper then the Intuos counter-part. If you’re just beginning, i’m sure the graphire would be fine for you. THe graphire 4, i’m sure, like the other series, (3, for example) i’m sure comes in many sizes, I own a 6x8 and the size is good for me. Personallu I suggest you try a size before you buy, to see wich suits you best.


Thanks for the help :slight_smile:
@ KorbenD: At the Aiptek Website it says that the HyperPen 12000 U is 30 x 22 cm of size, are there different sizes available? I found one of these on eBay and they are a lot cheaper than the Wacom Graphire 4. Why did you prefer the Wacom model then? Is the quality of the Aiptek model bad?


I totally agree with what KorbenD said…i feel wacom prices are too high compared to any other brand… but once u use it for long time you would know the difference. Most other companies sell OEM products, configarationwise they might be better than wacom also ( i mean, 1024 pressure levels and more lpi etc) but those are just theoretical bluffs… which you would understand sooner or later…

I havn’t used the Aiptec ones… so cant really tell about this perticular brand, but it seems to me just another OEM tablet… and about OEM tabbys my experience is really bad.

wacom (+) points are…
>> Build Quality is way better than the OEM ones…( after all ur paying that high price!)
>> Changable tips for pen, (in others, you have to go for a new pen (or tablet!) once the tip wears off…
>> Btteryless Pens.
>> TouchStrip and express buttons (incase of intuos 3)…but i feel you can do without it.

I feel the best possible option is to go for Intuos 3 or 2…
[color=Wheat]or else go for a graphire 3 or 4… theoretically it might be less featured than the low cost ones… but… it would be better than those as far as working experience goes…the main difference with wacoms high end intuos series is Graphire has 512 levels of pressure sensitivity while intuos 2 ans 3 as 1024 levels, but believe me u would hardly understand the difference between 1024 and 512 levels…

about size…
I have used Wacom cintiq 19", Wacom Intuos 2 12x12 and 9x12… and i own a Intuos 6x8…

Cintique is is whole new dimension…the difference between this one and tables are similar to what tablet and mouse have; [/color]once u get used to with it u won’t feel like using any other thing!..and does not take extra desk space as it works as monitor also…

12x12 is an odd size, i dont why the heck they made it! it eats up lot off desk space…and the ratio is also different than the monitor…so u have to adjust it in order to get rid of the distortion.

9x12 is good size for long strokes… but too big to keep it on the normal computer tables…and price is also quite high…

you might think why did i go for 6x8…
well, i wish i could have got a 19" cintique for myself :D! But it costs a bomb:sad:!
and i have a CRT monitor which eats up half the deskspace… so i found 6x8 intuos2 suitable for me… size and pricewise!
though u can’t make really long strokes as 9x12, but i feel 6x8 is a decent size… and its thinner and slimmer than 9x12…so suitable for carying also…

Hope this helps…


in general stay away from any 4x5 tablet… theyre just too small


Intuos 1 might be with 512 pressure level (i don’t know much about it as i’ve never used it) but i’m sure intuos 2 has 1024 pressure level, the difference between Intuos 2 and 3 is that the later has twice resolution (5080 lpi in Intuos 3, 2540 lpi in intuos 2).
For intuos 2 specs, check the link below…



yup you are righht… I edited my post… the intous1 is also 1024 ( I own one) on the us wacom site you don’t get that specifications page… I had to dig up the pdf manuals…sorry about that all this time (for years) I thought it was 512… so I should rewrite that as “I believe I’m an idiot”


Thanks a lot for the posts! :slight_smile:
So I have to decide between a Graphire 4 or Intuos 2.
So, the Intuos 2 is alot bigger (A4), but hardly affordable for me (about 500€).
The Graphire 4 is not that big (A6), but the price is ok for me (80€).
Actually I have the impression now, that 9x12cm are enough for me because I can’t draw that well on a big sheet of paper, I can draw small things better than big ones.
Does the Graphire 4 have any disadvantages?


check out the Wacom site for refurbishment deals on offer.



I’ll probably go with the Graphire 4 XL (20 x 15 cm) which costs more, but I think it’s worth the price. Thanks a lot for all the help! :slight_smile:


now you should be happy that ur tablet has twice pressure level than what u thought :slight_smile: !
Btw, How old is ur Intuos 1 ? is it still working fine ?
i am curious as some one told me that intuos performance goes bad after about 2 years of use :frowning: !



My USB Intous1 is still going strong after about 6 years.


I 've had my intuos 1- 6x8 since 2000…works fine… it’s pretty much exactly the same as int2 I even asked wacom what the diff was… pretty much int2 has an oversampling processor to double check input to avoid skipping errors… which i have never noticed… I’ve always been happy with it

the stylus on an int1 is similar to int2 but without the rubber squishy grip… when i had thje INt2 at work i took the squishy grip off and filled the void with epoxy so it’d be like the Int1 stylus… the rubbery grip was kind of slipping …, I didn’t care for it. I actually really liked the simple artzII stylus too…I mean when I draw with real pencils or markers or brushes…they don’t have squishy grips…so why should my tablet?


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