How do you choose between a small and a medium Wacom Intuos graphics tablet?

I'm a high school student who is extremely intrigued, curious, and enamoured with the idea of using a graphics tablet for art. My parents are more than willing to buy me the medium size if it assists me in my art journey. In fact, they're forcing me, well, guiding me towards choosing the medium over the small. I'm perfectly happy with the small size though. Actually, I'd be absolutely ecstatic if I received the small graphics tablet.

I'm leaning towards the small because of practicality, portability, and price, and, it seems like buying a smaller size with a smaller price is a smaller commitment. My parents want me to disregard the sizeable price difference between them though when deciding which one I really want or which one would be best suited for my needs.

The small Wacom Intuos Art graphics tablet (152x95 mm, 14 440 mm squared) - Officeworks: $126 - JB Hi-Fi: $148

The medium Wacom Intuos Art graphics tablet (215.9x134 mm, 28 930.6 mm squared) - Officeworks: $209 - JB Hi-Fi: $288

  • What kind of work will you be doing with it? If you're already accustomed to drawing on paper the size of the larger tablet or bigger and will be working with e.g. Photoshop or the like, by all means get the bigger tablet. It'll fit your muscle memory better, if nothing else. If you'll be using it as a replacement for your mouse and especially if you mostly do vector graphics work, the smaller one might be the better choice; most people I know in the latter category who got a large tablet ended up using the tablet's utility to "remap" a smaller section to the full computer screen. – Steve Rindsberg Dec 5 '16 at 0:53

Get the small tablet if you have a particular use case for the small one, otherwise, get the biggest one you can.

Every detail you lay down on a larger tablet will be more accurate in the final artwork. Wiggles, misalignment and errant strokes all are more apparent when you enlarge artwork and that's what you'll be doing in every case with the small one.

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I bought a small one once. I was extremely disappointed. The surface was just too small to be of much use. Like they said, if you have a specific need for a small one, Ok. Otherwise, what can you fit into the budget.

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Tablets should be picked according to your needs. If you have a small desk or need portability you might want to go with a small tablet.

Otherwise, bigger is better. Bigger tablets will give you more room to work with, although this can be mitigated by zooming in more. The counterpoint to that is you may become so focused in you lose sight of your overall art's intended direction by focusing on small details instead of the overall picture.

Generally, the more serious you are about your art skills, the larger tablet you should have. If your art is about going as fast as you can with less inhibitions, larger tablets will let you do that.

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The small is almost always too small, unless you plan on using it for a single screen 13" laptop or smaller.

Just imagine how well you would draw on 5x3" index cards all the time... How much detail you could draw... that's pretty much what you get with the small (6x3.5" actually, but it's close).

Everyone I've ever known has been better off starting with a "medium" unless you just aren't certain you even want a tablet.. or financial circumstances make the medium prohibitive. And those that really enjoy the tablet and get a small.. immediately regret not saving a bit more for at least a medium.

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