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I am a hobbyist (like doodling/fashion designing) and want to start on Illustrator etc.

I Googled a lot and realized that Wacom tablets are all the rage. However, I have my doubts over whether I'd be able to adopt to its style (eye-hand coordination). Is a Wacom tablet a good product for a beginner/hobbyist?

  • Is 6" too small even for a beginner?

  • Are there any products similar to Cintiq but cheaper?

  • Is an Android tablet a good alternative to a Wacom?

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This is from my experience and my experience only. I have been using pen and tablet since 2006 now and cannot use anything else right now. I had a pen that wasn't wacom and wasn't fully satisfied with it so I got a wacom the first chance I had.

It is different from using a mouse and it will take time to get used to it but i reckon that if you insist in using it you will see how so much easier it is to use as oposed to using a mouse. Specially if we are talking about drawing and sketching (wether you use mac or pc).

Size wise I have found that the small size is more than enough. I had a medium one at home and a small at the agency and realised how the small one was more practical.

I am now using an intuos pro small size and I advise anyone that wants a good product to buy this one.

Still if you are only starting now you could look for older versions and buy second hand just to try and see if you can get used to it. The Wacom Bamboo pen&touch (it's a small black pen and tablet) is a good choice for a start.

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And here is an oposed opinion.

I have an Intuos 5 now, This is my second tablet, which I almost never use. I use a good quality mouse.

On my first tablet I reduced the workable area to about 3x2 inches, so I only moved my wrist. I have not done this on the intuos.

Regarding the hand-eye cordination you will have no problem, it is the same as using a mouse.

The reason I do not use it as much is because it is too sensitive for vector based drawing, the small movement you need to push the pen down moves my cursor position. But for retouching photos or for painting it is way far better than using a mouse.

The diference between the basic wacom to some more advanced models is that the first ones do not sense the pen inclination, but that is not that important feature.

Other features are that you have controls on the tablet, but that can be a drawback if you do not have space on your desk, and you use a lot the keyboard, you probably do not need thoose extra controls.

And another is that some are aware of hand geastures, like a tablet, to zoom and rotate the canvas, but not all aplications can rotate the canvas.

  • I can understand that vector drawing may be a bit harder if you are familiar with using a mouse. Also if you work with 3D programs I would not recommed a tablet. It really depends on the kind of work that you are aiming to do. – Joana Ribeiro Oct 11 '16 at 8:09
  • @JoanaRibeiro in 3d the tablet is in way mostly same problem as in 2D Vectr drawing. Mouse is more optimal. But that does not mean i dont use my Wacom when i do painting or retouching. Its nice to have but nonessential don't expect it to miraculously make you better. Its invaluable if you want to do the traditional workflow but digitally, if you want to use a second or third gen computer experience then no not essential since its entirely removed form traditional media anyway. Its good to have the opposing view as its valuable to understand that a wacom is not for everybody. – joojaa Oct 11 '16 at 11:22
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A word of advise regarding the new more affordable versions of the wacom tablets. I bought one of those with hand gestures and pen. I went back to the store after two weeks and exchanged it for the intuos pro because it kept picking on my hand while using the pen. This did not happen with the older tablet I had. On top of that I did not have the option of turning off hand gestures so it would only respond to the pen.

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I own at this moment a brand new wacom tablet, and my drawing can't be as easy. Using a mouse for drawing is not an option anymore.

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