A quick Wacom tablet guide

This is a quick reference so that I can look up cruft on ebay and tell good deals from crappy ones.

Non-Wacom Tablets

This section is here so I don't think these tablets are a different line of Wacom, as well as so I can tell the good non-Wacom ones from the bad.

  • Adesso 12000: "Casual use" and "No match for a wacom" cited in the only review I found.

Intuos Line

The chart below is based upon reading a bunch of pages for a bunch of models. It is not likely that the stats are all accurate across all models (particularly accuracy, as it probably varies with tablet size). Nonetheless, this should be a good comparison. From my perspective, it does not look to me like there is a noticeable difference between the Intuos and Intuos 2 models. However, the Intuos 3 does take a big jump up. It would appear that the sample rate of all the Intuos tablets is around 200 samples per second, and accuracy is .25mm for all of them. This seems odd to me since the Intuos 3 has a much higher DPI so it ought to have better accuracy. The big differences between the Intuos 1 and Intuos 2 are tilt support, plus the fact that the 2 includes a mouse, and the 1 didn't.

The Intuos 2 and 3 both support bearing (not just the magnitude of your pen's tilt, but which direction it's tilted in).

The Intuos3 adds barrel rotation if you're using the "6D art pen", which is which direction you're turning the pen. I can foresee something like the old multi-color ballpoint pens my father used to use.

The Intuos4's starting pressure for the pen is just 1g, vs the Intuos3's weight of 10g. I have no information on the starting pressure of previous Intuos pens. The Intuos4 also incorporates a 128x64 resolution OLED display.

Model Resolution Pressure Tilt Accessories Interfaces Known Models
Intuos 4 5,080lpi 2048 levels 60 deg ??? ??? PTK-*
Intuos 3 5,080lpi 1024 levels 60 deg Mouse, stylus USB PTZ-*
Intuos 2 2540lpi 1024 levels 60 deg Stylus, sometimes mouse USB, Serial .
Intuos 2540lpi 1024 levels None Stylus only USB, Serial GD-0608R, GD-0912P

Graphire Line

These tablets are the ones people buy and then regret not buying an Intuos. While I'm not sure about the other Graphires, the Graphire 4 features 2032lpi, 512 levels of pressure sensitivity error +-.50mm (twice that of the Intuos) and no tilt sensing. But they do support mice.

Known Models

  • Graphire 4:
  • Graphire 3: CTE-430
  • Graphire 2:
  • Graphire 1: ET-405R (suspected)

Digitizer line

The digitizer line does not have pressure sensitivity, and is all serial.

Artz line

Seen an Artz-2 with a serial port.

Wacom Model Lookup

This is a really neat chart that I shamelessly stole from http://motorsportsartist.com/wacom_info.html
  • CT: PenPartner - I have no experience with these
  • CTE: Graphire4/Graphire3/Graphire Bluetooth - The cheaper Wacoms, come in two sizes 4x5 or 6x6
  • DFT: DTF-510 15%u201D LCD Tablets, I have no experience with these
  • DTI: DTI-520 LCD Tablets have no experience with these
  • DTU: DTU-710 17%u201D LCD Tablets, I have no experience with these
  • DTZ: Cintiq 21UX - 21%u201D LCD Tablet, Big Expensive, but the ultimate in on screen drawing. 1024 of pressure, tilt and bearing support.
  • ETA: Graphire2 The cheaper Wacoms, come in two sizes 4x5 or 6x6
  • ET: Graphire The cheaper Wacoms, come in two sizes 4x5 or 6x6
  • GD: Intuos - The original Intuos, Avoid ADB and Serial tablets but USB works great 1024 pressure, tilt and bearing support. Great deal when you find them.
  • KT: ArtPad - Avoid, has no USB and pens only work with the KT model
  • PL: Cintiq 15X/Cintiq 18SX/PL Series - LCD Tablets have no experience with these
  • PTK: Intuos4 - Current top of the Intuos line
  • PTU: Cintiq Partner - I have no experience with these
  • PTZ: Intuos3 - Top of the Intuos line until 2009
  • SD: SD Series - Avoid, has no USB and pens only work with the SD model
  • UD: ArtZ/ArtZ II/UD Series - Avoid, has no USB and pens only work with the UD model
  • XD: Intuos2 - The second Intuos, most were USB, these work great with 1024 pressure, tilt and bearing support. Some did come with serial connections but none came with ADB as far as I know. Nice grip pen. Very Good deal, great way to save money over buying newest tablets. Size 4x5 to 12x18.

-- SeanNewton - 15 Aug 2008

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Topic revision: r2 - 2009-05-13 - SeanNewton
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