I'we been trying to compare the two tablets mentioned in the title. So far, my results are:

  • Intuos4 is professional wheras Bamboo is for home use.
  • Intuos4 has 2048 levels of pressure while Bamboo has 1024
  • Lines of resolution in considerable more in Intuos4 (5080) than Bamboo (2540).
  • Intuos4 has a bunch of keys to speed up your workflow.
  • Intous4 has pen tilt sensor which Bamboo hasn't.

Now, I'm not a professional artist and won't be using this all the time. But I do plan to use some of my drawings for commercial purposes. I'm fairly sure I don't need the extra levels of pressure and line resolution and all the shortcut buttons (which I'm sure I'd highly appreciate if I'd be working with this all day long!). I'll be using it primarily with Illustrator.

So, the question: Is there anything I'm missing from the comparison ?


I use an Intuos 4 (all day all the time) with both Photoshop and Illustrator. Having the additional resolution and layers of use is worth it to me, particularly with Photoshop. I've found that I prefer using the keyboard shortcuts instead of the shortcut buttons on the tablet, so if I didn't have shortcut buttons I probably wouldn't miss them.

One thing I really do like having is the multi-wheel; being able to zoom in / out or change brush size with it really speeds things along.

I'd really advise you to go someplace and actually put your hands on each of the tablets to see which one feels better for you. One other thing I did was to buy the "medium" size (instead of the "small" size) and it made a big difference. I am hoping to upgrade to the large at some point in my life - having that kind of real estate is really, really helpful.

One last thing - it will take time to get used to any tablet, so don't get frustrated if you're struggling a little when you first start.

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  • Thanks @lawndartcatcher! What layers are you referring to ? – olafure Jun 10 '11 at 13:23
  • Great answer, ldc, much like my own experience with Intuos 3 and the sadly-departed NuLOOQ in combination. Your mention of the multi-wheel prods me to perhaps upgrade, now they've gone wireless. Glad I'm not the only one who can't quite get comfortable with those shortcut buttons! – Alan Gilbertson Jun 10 '11 at 17:53
  • @olafure: You would likely be happy with either, but I would strongly recommend the Bamboo as much more cost-effective and far more satisfactory for occasional use. Intuos is terrific if you have giant (and/or multiple) monitors and you need to work in very fine detail. In practice, if I need fine detail I zoom in anyway, so I can see what I'm doing. You might want to consider the Touch and Pen version, and throw your mouse away completely. – Alan Gilbertson Jun 10 '11 at 17:57
  • When I said layers I meant "layers of complexity / additional features". Sorry. It's still a 2D tablet. for now (cue evil laughter). – lawndartcatcher Jun 13 '11 at 12:01
  • Absolutely true about the struggle part. I bought Intous 4 at a discounted price (1500HKD) several years ago. Didn't know why I bought it...tried it for a while but not feeling very easy to use. Then recently I started making video lectures to teach my colleague some mathematics for research work, I found the tablet a much anticipated tool after only several hours of use. I totally love it now. – Troy Woo May 23 '15 at 14:44

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