Wacom Intuos pro review- Which Tablet Size Right For You

Graphics tablets different sizes comparison featured

Take your art up to the professional level with Wacom Intuos Pro tablets

Intuos Pro is the choice of professional artists and serious ones hand down, while there are many good choices of tablets other than it, with the Intuos pro. You can’t go wrong. I have used Wacom tablets for years, and it is the only brand I personally buy, they provide excellent build quality, a very high levels of pressure sensitivity(up to 2048, as of the time of this writing). And they are sturdy and last very long.

Intuos pro is an enhanced version of the previous generation Intuos 5. Keep in mind that starting from this generation, the professional line of Wacom tablets is now called Intuos Pro, while the non-professional version of tablet is now called the Intuos. Which is replacing the Bamboo line of tablet.

Unlike the Intuos 5, The Intuos pro bundled comes with the Wireless kit inside of the box now. It is also equipped with an enhanced express key (even though the express key from the previous generation were not that bad, but that’s something we really appreciate). The sensitivity level of is still at 2048, which is more than enough(1024 is also great for many applications).

The Intuos Pro comes in 3 sizes, small, medium, large. And the same as the Intuos 5. It didn’t come with an XL size, which was quite large and had a silver-grey surface


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What size of the intuos pro should I get?

This can be a little bit confusing. Specially if you are not familiar with all the different sizes of graphics tablets, and what advantages each size provides to you. Which is why I will  explain here, in the easiest way possible:-

Common features Among The 3 Sizes of the Intuos Pro

  • 2048 level of pressure sensitivity
  • 60-/60+ degree of tilt recognition for the pen
  • All sizes come with the grip pen (which works without the need of battery)
  • Work with both right and left-handed person
  • Compatible with both Windows & Mac OSX
  • Come with the pen stands, with replacement nibs inside of the pen holder.
  • Comes bundled with the right to download one of the following software:-
      • Autodesk® SketchBook® Express
      • Corel® Painter™ X3 (90 day trial)
      • Smith Micro® Anime Studio®
  • Touch features in Intuos Pro:-In additional to the being able to use the pen to draw with the tablet, the Intuos pro combines the best of both the touch and the pen worlds by incorporating touch gestures:-
  • Pinch to zoom:- Similar to what you can do with smartphones and laptops trackpads, you can pinch the tablet surface with two fingers to zoom-in or zoom-out the artwork you are working on. You can use this feature to rotate images as well.
  • Swipe to navigate:-With this feature, you can scroll the same way you do on your laptop trackpad, something you had to do using the touch ring in the previous models that did not have touch.
  • Using the intuos pro as a trackpad:- You could use the tablet is a large trackpad, similar to the one that’s equipped with laptops, though it is not exactly as precise. But it is still good. As it will save you from reaching the mouse while you are using the tablet.

Intuos-Pro-Wireless-Kit

  • All the sizes of the Intuos pro come with the wireless kit, something you will appreciate if you move around a lot and work for hours at a time. The wireless kit requires a battery that is charged through the USB port. Bear in mind that the new kit is more reliable than any of previous ones Wacom has made.

So, what intros pro size is the best for you? choosing the right size

Choosing the best size for graphics tablet is kind of tricky, and it requires an article on its own. But to give you some useful guidelines so you won’t get confused like I did. There are two things that matters the most when choosing the tablet size, the movement of your hand, and the size of your screen(which is more important):-

  • The larger tablet will requires you to move your hand more, this may sound tiring a little bit, but it also gives you a great deal of accuracy. If you move your arms a lot while you draw on traditional paper, then a large tablet is very good for you, but if you tend to draw with your wrist, then you may not be happy with the larger tablet.
  • More importantly, the larger your computer screen is, the larger the tablet you will need. Before I got my large Intuos pro. I used a small Intuos 4 to do my work, which did great on my old 17″ Macbook Pro, but when I upgraded to a “27 iMac later on. It gave me much less accuracy, but I was still able to use it for a long time. So it is important to have a tablet that’s as close to your screen size as possible. While you will end up getting used to whatever size you choose. Get the larger tablet when you are confused, as getting used to a larger tablet is easier than getting used to a smaller one.
  • If you are only getting the tablet as a mouse replacement, and if you are going to use it to do some retouching in Photoshop and nothing more like drawing from scratch, then the size won’t really matter, and in that case, get the smaller one in case you are confused(while still choosing one that is close enough to your screen size).

I usually recommend tablet size as follow:-

  • Choose a tablet that is as close to your screen size as possible, then:-
    • If you are using the tablet to draw, and need accuracy, then get the largest tablet that is not greater than your screen.
    • If you only need the tablet as a mouse replacement , getting a smaller tablet is fine.

This may not be the best way to decide how to buy a graphics tablet, but it certainly help you avoid choosing the wrong size. It is also easy to apply and there is not much confusion in using it :)

Advantages for the small Intuos Pro-

Intuos-Pro-Small

  • Portable:- Making it easy to carry around you if you are a student or an artist who likes to work on the go.
  • Great for generic work:- If you use Photoshop a lot. It works great as mouse replacement.
  • It can work as a good starting point if you are serious about digital art(the medium tablet is also good for that, depending on how you like to draw). If you are using a graphics tablet for the first time, you may want to consider a cheaper options. Giving that you may not like using a tablet at all, click here to read some other graphics tablets reviews I wrote. 
  • Suitable for Those who draw with their wrist or draw with small swings.
  • Also suitable for those who work with a small computer monitor.
  • If you are not sure about getting a tablet, or whether you will use it much, and you still want to get an Intuos Pro then this is the best option for you:– As it is the cheapest among the 3 sizes of Intuos pro. There’s a less chance you will regret the decision if you went with it.

 

Advantages for the medium Intuos Pro

Intuos-Pro-Medium
The medium-sized tablet has 2 more configurable buttons

  • One of two great choices for most people, along with the small Intuos Pro tablet
  • More working space for more accuracy while you draw.
  • The most suitable one for almost the most uses, works well with the large screens,. And offers a very good accuracy, and doesn’t requires the large hand movement of the large intros pro.
  • Fairly suitable if you work with medium to large monitors. Or with dual screen working environment.

With all honesty, the medium-sized intuos pro if the best choice in most cases. Specially in case you are confused or don’t know how much space you do really need, giving that most people use their tablets with their laptops, which often has screen sizes that are very close the that of the Medium Intuos Pro.

If you are interested in Intuos Pro medium (PTH-65), you can read my dedicated review about it.

Advantages of the large Intuos Pro:-

The large Intuos Pro is the one I personally use these days, and I am quite satisfied by it, it do me very well with my 27″ iMac, and it allowed me to draw with a very good amount of accuracy. When I was about to get my Intuos pro, I was hesitated between getting this one or the medium one. And I got this one because someone in an online forum said “Get the biggest one you can afford”. Which made sense, giving the fact that I can change the area of the tablet in case it felt so large. Which I didn’t have to do it. While the medium-sized could do you well if you own a 27″ iMac or an equivalent computer, giving the large one a go is really worth it if you need a lot of accuracy.

  • The large intuos pro provides the greatest accuracy among the 3 available sizes. Specially if you are draw with large hand movement.
  • The best choice if you work with art with great amount of details.

Possible disadvantage:- The large intuos pro takes up too much desk space, which is not a real problem from me because I put it in my lap.

 

Comparison Table Of The Sizes Of Intuos Pro
Size Number of express keys Active Working Area Overall Size
Small 6 157 mm x 98 mm 6.2 x 3.9 in 320 x 208 x 12 mm
Medium 8 224 x 140 mm 8.8 x 5.5 in 380 x 251 x 12 mm 15 x 9.9 x 0.5 in
Large 8 Pen: 325 x 203 mm / 12.8 x 8.0 in Touch: 299 x 190 mm / 11.8 x 7.5 in 487 x 318 x 12 mm19.2 x 12.5 x 0.5 in

What about the Cintiq?

Cintuq I am not an expert about the Cintiq(yet). so I can’t tell you much, but from what I heard. The Cintiq is very convenient way to draw, and it is as close to tradition drawing as can be. But I generally wouldn’t recommend someone to start their way into digital art with one. Get the Cintiq only when you really, really need it. And you won’t really need it unless you already work a lot digitally.

Intuos Pro Faqs

Is this worth it to upgrade to the Intuos Pro from my existing Bamboo?

Absolutely, the difference between the Bamboo and the Intuos pro is huge, while many existing Bamboo owners don’t really need to upgrade, they will appreciate it very much if they did. It also worth it to check out the Intuos line of tablets, which replaced the old bamboo lines of tablet.

I never owned a graphics tablet before. Is the intuos pro the right choice for me?

Yes, while there are many good options out there. The advantage of getting a Wacom tablet. Specially an advanced model like the intuos pro. From the beginning is that you won’t have to upgrade it for a long time. The only disadvantage of getting one is the price, so if you are fine with the amount you spend, you have no worries at all. Just make sure you are really series about digital art.

Did they fix the USB connector problem in the Intuos Pro?

Unfortunately, they did not. That won’t stop these tablets from being a great choice, in my opinion. And that problem is the main flaw in this almost perfect choice of tablet. But it would be much better if they did fix that problem.

How much can a graphics tablet like the Intuos Pro help me in case I have a tennis elbow or any other other type of injuries, like RSI (repetitive stress injury)?

It can help you a lot, the tablets can be an excellent mouse replacement and many people with this kind of injuries use it instead of a mouse to do their work. However, it is really better to ask your doctor just to be on the safe side.

I am a left handed person, can I still use the Intuos Pro?

Yes, the intuos pro is configurable to be used by both right-handed and left-handed people. The nice thing is, Wacom usually place the logo on the tablet so it is readable however you place the tablet on your desktop :)

Can I use the Intuos pro with Linux?

Depending on your distros. Wacom tablets generally works well with Linux. Some distros come with Wacom drivers as well.

I own an iMac “27 as well. Do you think I should get the large Intuos pro as well?

Absolutely, as long you can afford it. You will like the precision the large one provides.  Though for many people. The medium intuos pro has done very well for them.

 Can the Intuos pro work as a replacement for the Magic Trackpad from Apple?

Yes & no. It can certainly do all the things the Magic Trackpad can do. And it has a much larger surface. But it is not as convenient and responsive to use as the Apple one. Nor does it has the glassy surface of the dedicated trackpad.

I don’t mind cables. So I don’t want the wireless kit. isn’t it cheaper to get an Intuos 5 instead of the Intuos pro?

Yes~

What is the differences between the Medium Intuos pro and the special edition from it. Other than the look?

There is real differences between the two other than that.

Does the Intuos Pro has  precision mode?

Yes~

What versions of Photoshop are supported by the Intuos pro?

I have used this one with Photoshop CS5, CS6 & CC with no problems at all. Versions before Photoshop CS5 shouldn’t have a problem as well.


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See Also

SweetMonia
I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

30 Comments

  1. Great review really covered most things that bother me, but as the user of M and L could you suggest which one to get in long investment?
    My screen size: 1920×1080 23 inch, free workspace on table isn’t a problem and I’m more used to drawing on A4, A3 paper, just want to know which one of them have more precision and is the difference that noticable (for example if I need to draw a straight line by hand through the whole canvas) ?
    Thanks.

    1. Hello Dmitry, I am very happy that my review was useful for you, thank you ^^

      For your screen size, both the medium & the large Intuos Pro are good for you. But for long-term, and in case you plan to get a screen with a high resolution (4K), the big one is the most ideal for that (And you can resize the active area if you ever needed that). But I don’t think it will be troublesome if you got the medium (some people would prefer the medium all the way).

      What I like about big graphics tablets is that you can draw with your elbow, I find it more precise to draw that way. Smaller graphics tablet make you draw by moving your wrist. You can produce good lines both ways, but in my opinion, bigger makes it easier to do so, with less need to zoom in.

      I hope that helped :)

          1. Hello,
            “you can resize the active area”
            Does that mean, that i could possibly use a Large like a Medium tablet?
            I am about to buy the Large tablet (guess its better for me(27″ 2560×1440)), but if i think its to big, i can reduce the active area?

          2. Hello Marius~

            Yes, you can. So you are very likely going to end up with the ideal working area for you that way. With your screen size, the large Intuos Pro is what I recommend. I personally used it with a 2011 iMac, which had the same resolution, and it was very nice :>

          3. Thank you for the answer :)
            I just got the Intuos Pro Large and it’s the perfect size.

          4. You are always welcome, Marius! I am glad you are happy with your choice of tablet ^^

  2. Hi, I have a Macbook Pro 15″ and i want to buy an Intuos Art. I’m confused, i don’t know which size is better, the small or the medium one. I’d use it for photoshop but i also would like to use it for drawing as a beginner.
    Please let me know :)

    Serena
    nms2

    1. Hello Serena,

      Both sizes are good for your Macbook, though the medium is closer to your screen size, and it is the safe choice in your case, so I say go for that. :>

      I hope that helped!

  3. Hi, i have a 27″iMac, i am enthusiastic (as a hobby) photographer using Photoshop most of the time. Should a small version be a good choice? I am confused… Budget is not an issue. Thank you for your help! :)

    1. Hello George,

      I totally don’t recommend the small version with the 27-inches iMac, as precise movement is hard giving the difference between the screen & the tablet. It is what made me upgrade my graphics tablet in the first place (I own a 2011 27-inches iMac). I suggest you get the medium or the large version.

      I hope that helped. :>

    1. Hello Joan,

      Yes, it is very suitable for that, but it could be an overkill to get a high-end graphics tablet for that for some people.

  4. Great info here. Unfortunately my size monitor isn’t mentioned. I use a 50-55″ HDTV mounted on my living room wall as my monitor. I’ve recently been introduced to Gimp and have acquired a new desktop computer which also lives in my living room near the monitor. Because it is both difficult and frustrating to try to draw accurately with a mouse I began researching the drawing tablets that are compatible with Gimp. I decided on the Wacom Intuos Pro but am having a hard time deciding between the medium and the large. Now with the discovery of the tablet to monitor size ratio consideration and that both the medium and the large versions are suitable for monitors up to 30″ I’m thinking I may be wasting a lot of money buying any of them because they will not function as accurately as I need them to. Am I correct in this conclusion? If not, why not? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    1. Hello Mary,

      I honestly don’t know anyone who used a Wacom tablet with such monitor size, but it can still work if you spent some time getting used to it, specially if the monitor resolution is around 1080P (I am not sure about 4K, which could work with the large Intuos Pro).

      I hope that helped, even though it’s not a final answer.

      1. Hi SweetMonia
        Thank you so much for your reply. My monitor resolution is 1920 x 1080. I was thinking of getting the Large Wacom Intuos Pro because of the advice in the article to buy the tablet closest in size but smaller than your monitor. But because it is so costly I didn’t want to spend that kind of money for a device that might act as erratic and jumpy as my mouse.

        I decided to chat with a Best Buy customer service rep who after hearing my problem kindly went to find answers for me. This is what she found out: The Wacom Intuos Pro medium will work with a monitor up to 41″. The Wacom Intuos Pro large will work with a monitor up to 47″.

        Which is sad for me but not hopeless. I already have a 32 ” I could put somewhere convenient in the living room and get the medium tablet instead of the large allowing me to save about $185. Plus I’ve never used a digital tablet before and quite frankly don’t even know for sure if the medium or the large would be the right decision for me.

        Anyway I do hope the information about the maximum monitor sizes for these two Wacom Intuos Pro tablets can help someone.

        1. Hello again Mary,

          Thank you for sharing all these info with us. It’s sad your research turned out you can’t have the Intuos Pro with your screen. Giving the resolution you have, I still think it’s possible for the large Intuos Pro could work in some cases, though it may not work perfectly for everyone.

          I also think getting the medium Intuos Pro is the best choice for your case, as wasting the additional bucks for the large one has no guarantees that it will work.

          1. Hi Sweet Monia

            I am happy to share the max screen size info I discovered for the two largest Wacom Intuos drawing tablets. And you are most welcome.
            Thank you so much for all your help.

  5. Hi SweetMonia

    It’s me again…Mary.

    I have some exiting news…decided to take a chance…betting that you were probably right…bought the large Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablet…was I nervous!

    It came today…i love ❤️ the size…it isn’t too big…it’s just right…and it works well with my 55″ monitor!

    Thank you!

    1. Hihi Mary ^^

      That’s very good to hear. Glad my idea was right after all. ^^

      Thank you for the share, I am sure this will help more people who are having this problem.

      You’re always welcome! :)

  6. Is any difference between small and medium size in terms of pressure sensitivity? First time I am planning to buy a table to do post-processing editing for my photography. I heard that there is a huge difference controlling photoshop brush (opacity, size, etc) with pen pressure among small and medium size tablet. Not sure how authentic this statement is but really confused. I am planning to buy one this black Friday. To note, I am an amateur photographer and editor.

    1. Hello Mousam,

      Yes, there are a difference in the pressure sensitivity, as the small model is an old one that only supports 2048 levels of pressure, while the two larger models support 8096 levels… The thing is, you can get by the small model if you like. Specially if you plan to take it with you on the go.

      As for the larger sizes, the medium sized Intuos Pro can give you more control over the mouse cursor if you plan on using a large monitor with high resolution, either now or in the future, so it’s the safest choice in case you don’t want to replace your tablet for years to come.

      I hope that helped~

  7. I am trying to decide the best Wacom table size and model that would be best for working with Photoshop. I have a NEC monitor that is 22″.

    1. Hello John, I will try to give you a quick guideline to help you choose the best size for you~

      Unless you aren’t working on detailed illustrations & the like, the large size is most likely not for you…

      For retouching & the like, the small size is your best bet (the medium also works here). For drawing, get the medium.

      I hope that helped.

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