Tablet Suggestions?

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Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Valiant on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:58 pm

So my crap tablet that I got four months ago died recently, and I need suggestions for a new one that's reasonably priced (IE: not Wacom, as nice as they are) and not the same brand as my old Monoprice tablet, because I'm convinced that those are absolute crap. Are there any that you guys have gotten and have been especially satisfied with? I've only recently been drawing with tablets, so any input would be much appreciated.

I'm not looking for anything especially fancy, as long as the surface isn't too slick and it can sense different pressures and work with Photoshop Elements, I'll be happy.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Daimayo on Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:04 am

Hey there Valiant :)

Well, I know you said that you don't want a Wacom, and perhaps I am a tad biased. (Okay, a lot biased) but depending on what you're planning on using your tablet for, it may be for the best to go for a Wacom anyway. If you can't afford the Intuos4, perhaps even the Bamboo? The reason why the Wacom tablets are more expensive is because they really are the best, and that extra bit of money can go a long way in terms of quality of your output!

I also know that now that the Intuos4 has come out, the slightly older Intuos3 has dropped a lot in price, so you could look at that!

I took a long time to decide what kind of tablet I wanted, but almost every review I've found online said that the Intuos was worth the price jump. If you're not convinced/are sure that you can't spend that much however, there are quite a few alternative options:

UC-Logic / DigiPro - These tablets are, from what I've heard, a solid and inexpensive option and are compatible with both Windows and Macintosh. They would be a good choice, but a couple things detract from it such as the pen itself requiring a battery, and apparently heavy pressure will create an unpleasant scratching noise.

The Aiptek Tablets - These are apparently very lightweight, and while a little bit more expensive than the Digipro line, come with a couple of advantages like plenty of macro keys and a higher pressure sensitivity level (twice that of the newer Digipro) ... (but half of what the Intuos4 has. Just sayin'. :D )

There are a couple of others out there, but Wacom really has dominated the market for quality tablets. Feel free to give a quick google search on something like "Graphics Tablet" and I'm sure you'll find a mass of reviews and recommendations on they buying of your new tablet!

Good luck, and I hope I helped some :)

- Dai
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Entity of Sin on Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:04 am

Yeah I'd have to say after getting my Wacom Intuos4 Medium, I'm not sure if I would have ever went with a different brand. Sure it cost me $350, but I plan on making money from the work I produce with it. So it should pay for itself and then some in due time.

Do keep this in mind with electronic devices of any kind, you literately pay for what you get. There is a reason why everyone says that Wacom is the best just like everyone says Razer products are the best gaming hardware for PC gaming. Those brand names just have proven themselves to be the best and continue to until a company comes along with better technology and ideas.

So would I suggest getting the Wacom tablet? Yes. Do I suggest you getting a Bamboo? No. The $350 tablet that Dai and I both bought are by far the better option for a starter tablet. It really is worth the investment if you plan on making stuff to sell for money (like I do). Like I said, good electronics costs you a nice amount of money. Buy the cheap stuff and it might not last as long as you want it or even be powerful enough to do the things you want.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Vexar on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:24 am

There is actually nothing wrong with the bamboo pen or pen and touch either. And, they just had a recent price drop. Easy to pick up from best buy now, too. It's actually what Rozwell uses. I have the original Intuos and still use it to this day. The other brands just suck compared to Wacom =\
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Entity of Sin on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:55 am

Vex, only reason I don't suggest Bamboo is cause of the work space size on the screen. It's more of a personal preference to me but I like having a lot of screen space to work with. Not just on my display screen but also on the tablet. I just don't want someone else feeling like they aren't getting enough space to work with on the tablet is all. Bamboo is still a good buy if you're on a tight budget.

Also, a nice helpful tip I found out about is this: don't press down hard with your tablet pen. Really wares it out fast.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Daimayo on Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:25 pm

Mm, I also believe that the Bamboo is used largely for the alternate benefits of a Graphics Tablet - no carpal tunnel, easier on the wrists and whatnot ... It's considered a 'non-professional, home style' tablet, Whereas the Intuos is for actual people intending to do a lot of drawing. Then there's the Cintiq, which is like the Lambourgini of Tablets >> but is appropriately hella-expensive. I just offered it because he said that he's a beginning artist and was looking to buy low, heh. Both are from Wacom- and both are good choices. :D
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Tæfarós on Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:04 pm

Tight budget = Bamboo. I was a tablet virgin until earlier this year when I finally got my hands on one, and as an amateur artist who is serious about pursuing an BFA in Illustration next year (God, that sounds awfully pretentious), I've had no issues with my cheapie experience. Mind you, this is coming from someone who draws for hours on end on nearly a daily basis, traditionally and digitally, and while my painterly side would much prefer a larger working space, it's among the best you can get for the price. The area of the tablet has never caused me any frustrations at all, although as Entity said, it depends on personal preference.

If you have the bones, then by all means, pick up an Intuos. Feeling broke as hell like me? Bamboo's a safe bet.

Oh, and Rozwell uses it. Seriously.

Psst, Dai, there are several Cintiqs installed on campus in the lab at the Minnesota College of Art and Design, and don't get me started on the animation department. I peed myself.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Entity of Sin on Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:22 pm

Yeah my next tablet will be the $2000 Cintiq model. I'll probably go through several wacom pens before that though.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Valiant on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:34 am

Thanks for all the input, guys! I've been drawing pencil-and-paper for years now and that's primarily what I'd be doing with it, I'm just in college right now and I can't afford to spend more than $60 on a tablet and make rent and bills and groceries at the same time. It's not so much that I don't want to get a top-of-the-line tablet as I can't. Also, I don't really have an economic reason to since I just draw for fun, not professionally.

One of the few things I consider really important in the decision, besides the price and pressure sensitivity, is a surface that isn't incredibly slick, as I have an issue with constant trembling in my hands that makes slick surfaces a problem when it comes to drawing. No friction or very little means that all my lines come out shaky. Is there any way to determine the smoothness of the surfaces or is there some sort of screen guard that can be bought for them that provides more friction? My old tablet came with one, and that was pretty helpful.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby VitaminHeart on Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:08 am

I got a Wacom Cintiq last summer. As pricey as they are it's been really invaluable to me to do my work with, I have no idea how I'd have met deadlines without it.

Before that I went through a Trust tablet, a bamboo, and a pen and touch. The trust one was pretty cheap and a big size, I just lost patience with it when the drivers utterly messed up when I switched computers and it ended up being totally unusable, ending up with two cursor locations that the cursor continually jumped between...which was annoyting to say the least. I ende dup giving it to one of my friends. It was a nice tablet...just not a lot in the way of user support.

Bamboo was nice, but a little small for my taste, as I jumped from an A4 size to a postcard sized work area. Pen and touch was better, and has a nice feel to it, plus a handly little pen holder on the side wihch I wish my cintiq had now, as I keep misplacing the pen and panicking.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby LittleFishy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:02 pm

Well, it is Wacom, but I'd like to suggest the Bamboo Fun (small). It works, it's pressure sensitive, and it's on the cheap side! The surface isn't too slick, either. I got mine for $60. I've found it on Amazon, seems the price has really gone up since I bought mine! You can get a new one at the somewhat terrifying price of $189.99, and a used one for $45.00. My sister has one of the Intuos ones, I think it's Intuos3. It was $120.00, and she doesn't use it much. Not ever, really, and apparently I can have it. But my Bamboo Fun tablet still liveth, and I don't feel up to switching.

Anyway, I think the Fun tablet would be good for you, as long as you don't mind the smallish workspace. I never noticed it before myself, actually, but maybe it's because I've never used a larger tablet.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby CriminalMinds on Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:22 pm

I have a Wacom Intuos3, I think. It's a 3 or a 4, and I spent my university money on it, but it's great. So, if you think you can save for it, it's worth it. Other than that I've heard a lot of people say that the Bamboo is a good one. I haven't had experience with that one though.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Entity of Sin on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:47 pm

Bamboo is just like the Intuos3 and 4, just smaller with less features and power. I have Intuos4. It's a beast and is really sexy. I did find a Bamboo tablet at Best Buy for like around $75 though. Very affordable, just not big enough for my uses.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby The-bird-of-ill-omen on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:18 pm

Hmm,by my personal experience I would still recommend a Wacom tablet because it really is good quality and it lasts for many years(mine has lasted over 6 years).But since you want a cheaper tablet I suggest getting a Bamboo.It's decent priced and I have heard it easy on wrists and such,but the decision is up to you and your personal preference c:
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby CrashQueen on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:57 pm

I used a Wacom Bamboo for years. It never failed me once in those years. Bamboos are decently priced ( I think they go for about 60-80 now?) and it's pretty easy to install them on any computer since Wacom provides the drivers on their website. It's a pretty solid beginner's tablet, in my opinion.

I have since upgraded to a Cintiq 21UX and holy shit it is pretty much the best thing ever.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby pink_and_fluffy? on Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:15 pm

Like most of the others, I'd suggest the Bamboo.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Kai on Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:05 am

Depending on your tablet needs, this little gem just came out a little while ago as well. I haven't read any reviews of it so far or looked into it but it seems like a pretty cool tool if you need it just for sketching.

http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Inkling.aspx
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby ViceVersus on Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:09 pm

The problem I have with some tablets I've borrowed from people is that when I put the pen to the actual pad, where it ends up on the screen is a bit different. It's weird to get used to, and it makes all my drawings look a bit lopsided.

I've seen those tablets where the screen of your computer shows up on the tablet itself, so it looks like you're drawing just on normal paper. That's something I'd want in a tablet, but I have a feeling that's only for the high-end ones .. am I write, or am I wrong?

Also, Kai, that's kinda sorta what I'm after. Will be looking into that more.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby Kai on Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:26 pm

Tablets take a while to get used to haha the hand-eye coordination works differently when you're looking in a completely different direction. Tablets do have different settings that can be changed by the user and if you borrow a tablet from someone chances are that their settings won't match your particular preferences (ex: speed of the mouse, whether the tablet to screen ratio is locked or free-floating, and the pressure settings.)

The Cintiqs and other products where you draw straight onto the screen tend to be on the more expensive end of the spectrum. I've been debating buying one of the new ones for my second monitor at home but still don't know if I really want to fork over so much cash for one (as amazingly awesome as it is!)

That little sketch thing, though, is probably all you'd need unless you plan on doing heavy Photoshop and color work after. I'm kind of curious about it myself. Haven't kept up a proper sketch pad in ages and need to get back into drawing more anyways.
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Re: Tablet Suggestions?

Postby CrashQueen on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:52 pm

The Inkling is good for sketching, but it's also incredibly small, about the size of a memo-book, I think?

Wacom actually just came out with a new driver that allows you to customize your tablet pen's pressure sensitivy to fit your hand best, which has made a VAST improvement on my line work.
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