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Graphics Tablet Questions

Discussion in 'General Software & Hardware Forum:' started by @GCarlD, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am looking at getting a graphics tablet but having difficulty in choosing the right one.

    Here are the 3 I am currently looking at:

    1) Buy WACOM Intuos Pro Medium Special Edition PTH-651S-ENES Graphics Tablet | Free Delivery | Currys

    2) Buy WACOM Intuos Pro Medium PTH-651-ENES Graphics Tablet | Free Delivery | Currys

    3) Buy WACOM Intuos Pen & Touch Medium CTH-680S-ENES Graphics Tablet | Free Delivery | Currys

    Now, I don't see enough of a difference between them to warrant such price variations, and was hoping someone with 'graphic tablet experience' could guide me to make a decision.

    Number 1) and 2) are pretty much identical if you ask me, while number 3) is a bit smaller in size and has half the amount of pressure levels. What exactly is pressure levels and how does it effect you while working? Is it the fluidity of the pens movement on screen? How noticeable is the difference? Sinse this seems to be the main difference between the tablets, I am just trying to weigh up whether it is worth paying the extra buck for double the pressure levels?

    Also, what is the difference between a stylus and a pen? As that is another difference I have noticed between them.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    A higher precision level means that your lines will be more precise and you can work in a higher detail. 2 and 3 are basically twice the resolution than 1, hence the jump up in price. Think a retina iPhone vs non-retina. More detail basically.

    Typically a pen offers more features than a stylus, as a stylus often only offers the most basic functionality (think an old Palm Pilot or Nintendo DS – just a stick for tapping a screen), though I'm not sure if this is the case with WACOM. Could just be that the copywriter decided to write 'pen' rather than stylus, or vice versa. The Wacom pen/stylus are pretty good, they tend to emulate the feel of drawing on paper (the drawing area has some slight tooth to it) and the nips tend to be interchangeable too. You can even get 'brush' nips too that are flexible and produce a softer, more fluid line.
    @GCarlD likes this.
  3. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Thanks Paul but did you mean 1 & 2 are basically twice the resolution than 3 (1&2=2048 vs 3=1024), and I guess you mean pressure level as opposed to 'precision level.'

    That is food for thought, as a higher pressure level could make all the difference in that case. It is difficult to know whether I need a 2048 pressure level?
  4. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Yep, I opened them in the reverse order so they were swapped. And yes again, pressure level is basically the same as precision level here. I tend to refer to it as the latter as it's more encompassing/descriptive i.e. it allows for more precision.

    What will you be using the tablet for? I bought a bamboo ages ago and hardly use it, only once in a while for intricate Photoshop masks. I know a guy who uses a tablet constantly in place of a mouse. I'm not sure a higher level of precision would be much of a benefit unless you're drawing/sketching by hand?
  5. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I'll use it for intricate masks like you say, basic free hand drawing, although i'm not an illustrator so I won't be using it for those purposes as such. I have just found on too many occasions I have thought to my self 'this would of been a lot easier if I had a Wacom'. Another example, when i am manipulation strands of hair and want to just quickly & easily create a 'swoosh' kind of stroke action, which comes out a bit clunky using a mouse and requires further adjustments. It's just for the ease of the more 'free hand' jobs, where a lot of curved and circular shapes / imagery are involves and you just need to get that gradual close contact around the said piece.

    At my old job once I got used to using the Wacom I rarely used the mouse, as it didn't make sense switching back & forth between the two while working. Everything just seems to happen faster with a graphics tablet.
  6. Wardy

    Wardy Well-Known Member

    Further to Paul's answers, pressure sensitivity is just that - the more you press on (with a brush in Ps for instance), the thicker the line will be, but obviously this is
    more useful for illustrators. I don't think a graphic designer would need something this advanced. If I were you I would go for a basic Pen and Touch, or even a top of the range Bamboo, which
    I hear are perfectly good, and a lot cheaper. There seems to be so many these days, I can understand you being unsure which to go for. Check out Amazon, there's dozens on there.
    @GCarlD likes this.
  7. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wardy, you have made up my mind now. :icon_smile:
    Wardy likes this.
  8. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,

    I finally bought my tablet today and it is great. I love the fact that I can use it as a trackpad with finger movement and gestures. I have no need for my mouse anymore.

    The only issue I have found so far is using it to work in Photoshop. I find that when I am using it in Photoshop it stops me from being able to use keyboard shortcuts such as, increasing/decreasing the size of my brush. It is like it switches of the keyboard functions when using the Wacom. Illustrator does not have this problem, it works seamlessly together with the keyboard shortcuts.

    Any ideas folks?
  9. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    No worries, I have found a plugin that has fixed the problem. :)

    Thanks again to all of the above advice!
  10. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Good luck with it! Let us know how you get on.
    @GCarlD likes this.
  11. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    One thing I have noticed now I have been using my tablet for a few days is that, when I turn on my computer the following morning the pen does not work, it responds with the blue light on the tablet lighting up when the pen is near the pad, but the mouse pointer does not move on screen. The 'Wacom Tablet' icon in 'System Preferences' also stats that it cannot find a supported tablet, or something along those lines.

    The only thing I find fixes this problem is unplugging the USB and plugging it back in again, then the pen instantly comes back to life. Is this normal? Should I be unplugging my tablet before turning off the computer for the night, and then plugging it back in when i am ready to use it again? Or can I always leave it plugged in and it should work upon turning on computer the next day?

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