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View Full Version : Suggestions for new Graphic Tablet?



Redstar
07-16-2008, 01:41 AM
Hey everyone,

I'm considering purchasing my first graphic tablet. I'm not a professional (or even freelance) graphic designer or illustrator, but I'd like to experiment with using a tablet and to maybe save myself from carpel tunnel. :)

With that said, does anyone have any suggestions for a good beginner'a tablet? I'm looking for fairly cheap, can be used with an Apple, no mouse is necessary.

Also, what are some things to look for when buying a tablet? Size? brand name? Etc.

Thanks!

NeonKnight
07-16-2008, 02:13 AM
I've purchased a BAMBOO by Wacom. Geared towards a beginner, I have not really played with it enough to give a good review.

SeerBlue
07-16-2008, 02:38 AM
I have a Wacom Intous 3, bought 2 years old, absolutely the best investment I made related to computer accessories ever. Simple to use, Lemur, who is three draws and paints extremely well for her age and goes to nick jr with it all the time, I use it for just about everything.
Wacom has several models, and they can be found on ebay (I guess when folks go up a size or two, they sell them, as they never seem to fail).
I like the 5x7, I think that is what it is, not to cramped, packs along with the laptop.
SeerBlue

torstan
07-16-2008, 05:57 AM
I have an A4 Nisis that I never use because it is way too big and the sensitivity settings don't really work. I got a 6 by 4 Wacom for Christmas and it is wonderful. I'd recommend a smaller working area as it is plenty big enough to do detailed work with and it fits in a laptop bag. I'd recommend a Wacom because they are great - and the pens (at least on the graphire) don't need batteries. There are also a lot of them floating around on ebay and they don't seem to suffer from wear and tear so they seem to be a good thing to pick up.

ravells
07-16-2008, 07:26 AM
I would second the recommendations for a Wacom. Depending on how much you want to spend and how much room you have on your desk, you can go for either the A4 or A5 size. A4 (I have one) is preferable if you want to make long single strokes, but I don't think it adds much to mapping. In retrospect I could have bought an A5 and not really have lost much in doing so.

Sigurd
07-16-2008, 12:44 PM
I don't have any comparison experience but I would never buy a tablet that isn't from Wacom. They have a long time in the market niche and I don't think its a big enough market for other companies to devote a lot of engineering to.

When I chose my first one (the smallest Graphire) artists on Concept Art and other web sites said wacom. I rejected any designs that needed batteries in the mouse or wheel first. Who wants one more thing to need batteries for? I think I was looking at an "adesso" and the wacom. I've been very very pleased with Wacom then and since.

Sigurd

Redstar
07-16-2008, 02:10 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

My motivation was one part being able to have more control over freehand line drawing and another part more versatility with PS smart brushes. For example (i'm not sure what the exact term is) but using the pen pressure to change the direction of a brush stroke on the fly. There is an example on the boards I couldn't find with footprints following a line.

So if i were to get a tablet, I think Wacom is the way to go. Graphite also seems like a good idea. Anything else I'm missing?

Patrakis
07-16-2008, 02:11 PM
I'd like to pipe in one more positiv comment on wacom tablets. I've been using a intuos 2 6x9 for more than five years now and i can't find anything bad to say aout it. I'll be upgrading to a cintiq12mx in the near furur but that is just for the fun of owning one and not because my actual tablet is malfunctionning.

Pat

torstan
07-17-2008, 05:49 AM
The cheaper ones seem to have fewer pen dynamics built in, so there is no tilt sensitivity on the Graphire for example. However I have still found it to be more than worth the 80 it cost.

Sirith
07-17-2008, 07:22 AM
Another proud owner of a Wacom here, Graphire 3, A6 sized, in my case. Totally worth the 100 I paid for it a couple of years ago.
(I don't use it that much anymore, I have no patience for digital art.. :/ )

A6 is large enough for most users, though if I'm going to buy a new one (some day...) I will buy an A5 to have a little bit more space. But if you're just starting out, a simple tablet, either A6 or A5 will be perfect for your purposes.

Robbie
07-17-2008, 03:41 PM
I have a Wacom Cintiq 20WSX and its the greatest thing EVAR!

Its also 1900+ dollars.

ravells
07-17-2008, 03:43 PM
As you keep reminding us .....harrumph! ;)

RPMiller
07-17-2008, 03:54 PM
I have a Wacom Cintiq 20WSX and its the greatest thing EVAR!

Its also 1900+ dollars.


As you keep reminding us .....harrumph! ;)

Yay, more like rubbing it in actually! :P

Regarding the question, I refer you to this thread:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=552

There are a couple pages worth of discussion about it and things to consider. Perhaps I should make it a sticky?

Sigurd
07-21-2008, 08:48 AM
I have a Wacom Cintiq 20WSX and its the greatest thing EVAR!

Its also 1900+ dollars.


I hope you brought enough to share with the rest of the class ..... :)



Sigurd

landorl
07-25-2008, 03:55 PM
I bought a Wacom Graphire 4 off of ebay earlier this summer, and it is a dream! I can do things so much quicker and more accurately than with a mouse alone! I bought th 8"x6" model, and I probably could have done with a smaller one, but I like the size I bought. The 8"x6" is the size of the working area. The actual tablet is bigger. It is about 11"x11", but still fits nicely into my laptop bag.

RobA
07-25-2008, 04:11 PM
I bought a Wacom Graphire 4 off of ebay earlier this summer, and it is a dream! I can do things so much quicker and more accurately than with a mouse alone! I bought th 8"x6" model, and I probably could have done with a smaller one, but I like the size I bought. The 8"x6" is the size of the working area. The actual tablet is bigger. It is about 11"x11", but still fits nicely into my laptop bag.

I got the same size Graphire 3 off craigslist last year. It rides everywhere in me notebook backpack.

-Rob A>

jreiswig
07-27-2008, 11:48 PM
I have the WACOM Bamboo MTE450 6" x 4". Before I bought it I thought bigger the better, good thing i could only afford this one. The smaller size means I don't have to move my arm so much when using it. I'm used to the MS Trackball That I only have to move my thumb a small amount to get across the screen. You can get the model I got for $70us on Newegg right now.

BTW I had the foresight to buy 4 of the MS Trackballs when they were discontinued so I should have one for a while...

jfrazierjr
07-28-2008, 12:02 AM
BTW I had the foresight to buy 4 of the MS Trackballs when they were discontinued so I should have one for a while...

Any chance you would want to get rid of one for not an outrageous sum? I rue the day that MS stopped creating this wonderful device...

Midgardsormr
07-28-2008, 12:33 AM
I hear that. I'd pay a lot for a new Logitech Trackman Marble FX. I'm afraid my current one may not last much longer, and it's by far the most comfortable pointing device I've ever used.

jfrazierjr
07-28-2008, 12:46 AM
I hear that. I'd pay a lot for a new Logitech Trackman Marble FX. I'm afraid my current one may not last much longer, and it's by far the most comfortable pointing device I've ever used.


Yea... I bought my wife a MS Trackball explorer 11 years ago and loved hers so much I bought one for myself (had a logitech basic one and then one with the very large side set ball also prior). Her's started flacking out a year or so ago and we got her a mouse since the (few) trackballs out there now suck so much. I ended up taking mine into work last year and work is SO much more productive with it than with the mouse I had been using for the past 8 years. I would love to get another one for use on my home machine (still with the logitech) even though I don't use that machine much (use laptop mostly) except for video gaming once in a while..

Redrobes
07-28-2008, 11:56 AM
I hear that. I'd pay a lot for a new Logitech Trackman Marble FX. I'm afraid my current one may not last much longer, and it's by far the most comfortable pointing device I've ever used.Thats the one I use everywhere - I have 3 of them as I bought two more off Ebay. If you buy them off ebay then be assured that they wont work and will need fixing when they arrive no matter what they say. We should all put the CEO of Logitech in thumbscrews until they make some more. They are superb and as rare as rocking horse dung.

RobA
07-28-2008, 02:04 PM
Microsoft Trackball Explorer 1.0 That's what sits beside my keyboard!

-Rob A>