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I'm looking for a tablet to use in illustrating on a computer, priced between $150-$200. Any recommendations?

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Thank you for asking this!!! –  ixtmixilix Jan 5 '11 at 0:44

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Funny as it may sound, I've heard nothing but good about Wacom's Bamboo tablet, which is in the $100-200 range. Other than that, I've seen people offer used previous-generation Intuos tablets in that range before as well.

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+1 for studying east asian languages (because, since we've got the hanzi meme in common, I value your opinion) –  ixtmixilix Jan 5 '11 at 0:49
    
You can probably get a previous-gen Bamboo less than that (weren't they retailing for $70 or something?), I think. –  Calvin Huang Jan 5 '11 at 2:19
    
I have a bamboo, it works fine for what I need. I'm never left lacking. –  dan_waterworth Jan 5 '11 at 9:35
    
The most recent tablets in the bamboo line are: Bamboo, Bamboo Pen, Bamboo Touch, Bamboo Fun, and Bamboo Craft. I recommend the Bamboo Fun (model number CTH661). It is the largest of the Bamboo tablets and you can get one on Amazon.com that is factory refurbished for around $130 (vs. $200 new from Wacom). –  Sean Apr 10 '11 at 3:23

Always get a Wacom. Other brands are just not worth it. The construction is shoddier, and they usually have big unwieldy batteries in the pen. Wacoms on the other hand are practically indestructible. My first tablet was purchased in highschool, and I kept using it until I had to replace it in grad school because my new computer no longer had a serial port. The actual tablet still worked great, I just needed a USB connection.

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It's true. Years ago I thought people were exaggerating about the difference between Wacom and everything else. Then I tried one... It's true what people say - the difference in fluidity and just feeling right between even the cheapest smallest Wacom Bamboo and the next best brand is huge (though I've heard that Hanvon are starting to catch up...) –  user568458 Apr 25 '12 at 12:49

I agree, wacom bamboo. But be sure to pick the so labelled "medium"(I think, not sure, is A5, and small is A6(the larger the number, the smaller size)) , not the "small" ones. Here the size does matter. It does have direct relation with fluid and good stroke. I rather prefer the Intuos gamma, and XL or L formats, (even being pricey) but that's me.

Beware, latest intuos 4 are a bit weaker to scratching, just don't apply too much pressure while drawing. IMHO, A medium bamboo is an ok fit for a designer doing not much drawing, a graphic artist doing mostly photo retouch and textures for games. But imho, a comic artist or illustrator definitely benefits from Intuos A4, and better the L or XL. (I own cintiq, intuos, bamboo, old graphire, even non wacom older brands: bestbuy, kurta tablets... And my conclussion is all about intuos and the size.)

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"Beware, latest intuos 4 are a bit weaker to scratching", how can you protect the board from scratching? –  hhh Apr 1 '12 at 1:07
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There is actually several ways.. Use a screen protector, there were two good brands for these, Nushield and ..I don't remember the other. Issue is you will loose certain control and accuracy. Also you could damage the wacom tablet. I purchased from NuSheild (arrived fast) a pair of filters, the ant glare and another one. Never actually applied any. As realized that it all depends on how you draw. Just press not so firmly. Other solution is purchase a felt like soft pen tip, so the tip wont get erased, as usual (even if you are very careful), but neither the tablet surface damaged. –  S.gfx Apr 2 '12 at 9:21
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I think Wacom 3 had a more crystal like surface, (pen tip is more slippy there) , so you might prefer to purchase a low cost Intuos 3 at Amazon. Important : You can loose accuracy, in the wacom strokes once added a filter. I don't have these problems as I apply soft pressure when I draw, so I use Intuos4 as my tablet, not Intuos 3. Might be your case, but I don't know. The scratches can appear with soft pressure, though. –  S.gfx Apr 2 '12 at 9:26

Bamboo is pretty good, and a brand new one is within your price range. I'd also suggest checking out your local Craigslist for a used Intuos3.

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+1 for recommending something used –  ixtmixilix Jan 5 '11 at 0:48
    
Used Wacoms are a great value because Wacom tablets are so durable and Wacom keeps supporting old models (putting out drivers, stocking replacement pen nibs) basically forever. –  jhocking Apr 9 '11 at 23:03

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