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Intuos VS Intuos Pro comparison, what are the differences between the two, and which one can one help you create better art?

So, Which Graphics Tablet Is Better For You? The Intuos Or Intuos Pro?

From marketing point-of-view, the difference between the two is that the Intuos Pro is intended for professionals, and the Intuos is for hobbyist. In reality, it all boils down to what you actually need to create your art.

While I will briefly mention some of the older models, this post will focus on the last two models of both Intuos & Intuos Pro. Many of the things mentioned in this post apply to the comparison between the old Intuos models and Wacom Bamboo, so if you are looking for buy one of these, this guide can help you as well (although I don’t recommend you to get an older tablet unless the price is really good, since driver support from Wacom won’t last forever).

To make it easier to distinguish between the different models, older Intuos Pro will be dubbed Intuos Pro 2014, while the model after that will be dubbed Intuos Pro 2017. Intuos models mostly have their own names, but I will refer to the newer ones as Intuos 2018 to avoid confusion.

All the tablets I discuss in this tablet are fine choices, and you will be able to create great artworks with any of these (assuming you have the skills). For that reason, I won’t pass judgment on which one to buy, but rather I will give you all the information you need to make that decision. If you have any questions about the tablets, feel free to ask me about it in the comments section, and I will try my best to answer it for you.

If you’re new to digital art, consider getting my book, Getting started with Wacom graphics tablet and Digital Painting With Photoshop, which aims to make it easier to learn digital art & paintings on good fundamentals, it’s geared for Wacom tablets, and contains some practical info, as well as a good amount of theory.

You can buy either of Intuos models & Intuos Pro from the following links:-


Intuos Pro

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Pros Of Intuos Pro

  • Has Touch ring & more express keys.
  • Comes with large size.
  • The pen has an eraser at the back of it.
  • Supports higher pressure sensitivity
  • Supports tilt sensitivity
  • Intuos Pro 2017 has paper edition, which can be neat for certain artists.
  • Intuos Pro 2017 supports different texture sheets, so you can have draw on the kind of surface you’re comfortable with.

Pros Of Intuos

  • More Affordable
  • Comes with bundled software

Wacom Naming For Their Products:- Intuos, Intuos Pro & Bamboo

Before 2014, Intuos used to be the name Intuos used for their professional tablets, while it used the name Bamboo for their hobbyist ones.

Here’s a Wacom Bamboo tablet:-


After that, when Wacom introduced their new professional tablet under the name Intuos Pro, Wacom started to use the name Intuos for their hobbyist graphics tablets, and retired the Bamboo name.

To help you distinguish between the two, the older professional Intuos used to be numbered, from Intuos1 to Intuos5, while the Intuos for hobbyist have a name for them, like Intuos Draw or Intuos BT.

Here are a number of the professional Intuos tablets, all these tablets are old, but many of them are good if you could find them at a good price:-


Here are the hobbyist Intuos tablets, notice how easy to distinguish they are from the professional tablets:-


Intuos-2018-Available-Colors Intuos-Art-Mint

Here are the Intuos Pro, both the Intuos Pro 2014 and Intuos Pro 2017:-

Wacom-intuos-pro-2017-Review-Featured-op Intuos-Pro-Medium

Touch Ring

As a rule of thumb, the professional Wacom tablets have the touch ring, the ring you see at the side, along with the express keys:-

Pressure Sensitivity

Intuos Pro tablets support more levels of pressure sensitivity, usually the double. To illustrate that, the latest Intuos Pro supports 8192 levels, while the latest Intuos supports 4096 levels.

The same thing goes to the previous models, the Intuos Pro 2014 supports 2048 levels, while the Intuos Draw, Photo, Comic, 3D & Art all support 1024 levels.

Here’s a table featuring all the supported pressure levels for Intuos & Intuos Pro:-

Intuos Pro Model Supported Pressure Sensitivity Intuos Model Supported Pressure Sensitivity
Intuos Pro 2014 Small 2048 Intuos Draw 1024
Intuos Pro 2014 Medium 2048 Intuos Comic 1024
Intuos Pro 2014 Large 2048 Intuos Photo 1024
Intuos Pro 2017 Medium 8192 Intuos Art 1024
Intuos Pro 2017 Large 8192 Intuos 3D 1024
Intuos BT Small 4096
Inttuos BT Small + Bluetooth 4096
Intuos BT Medium + Bluetooth 4096

Is Pressure Sensitivity Really Important

While the difference in pressure sensitivity between the Intuos & Intuos Pro may sound like a huge deal, and while that makes the Intuos Pro tablets sound vastly superior drawing devices based on just that. It’s actually hard to benefit from pressure sensitivity beyond a certain level. There’s a diminishing return in having more pressure. I say having 1024 levels is good, and you are likely going to get a tablet with at least 2048 levels from almost any modern tablet in the market. So I advise you to get a graphics tablet with higher pressure level only if all the other aspects are equal. Getting a larger graphics tablet or a certain number of express keys is more important really.

Tilt Sensitivity

Tilt sensitivity is a feature that allows you to tilt the brush you’re drawing with, just like you could do that with traditional one. This ends up changing the shape of the stroke. For this to work, the brush you’re drawing with, as well as the drawing software, need to support that.

Intuos tablets don’t support tilt at all, as well as Wacom competing products from Huion, Ugee & Monoprice. So getting Intuos Pro is one of the few ways to get tilt sensitivity.

While I totally don’t think tilt sensitivity is a key feature like pressure sensitivity (unless you know very well that you need it), it’s nice to try it out whenever you have the chance to. In general, anything that helps you make better art is good, be it a feature, a technique or practicing method.

Intuos Pro Offers Larger Sizes

Intuos Pro comes in multiple sizes. If you’re picky about the drawing area you work with, you could choose from small, medium & large sizes. While the Intuos tablets come in small size, and it offers a medium size in many models.

Graphics tablet size is one of the things that matter. Small tablets make it easier to move the cursor around the screen, making them nice for photo editing & retouching. However, it’s not the ideal size to draw line art, since it’s hard to control the lines (it’s totally possible though, especially when you zoom in, or if you have a low resolution screen). Medium tablets make it easier to control your lines while zooming in less than small tablet. And it is the ideal size for most artists, and the one I recommend them to get when they are hesitant about which size to get. Medium tablets can also be used for photo editing if you’re curious about that.

Intuos Pro are the only Wacom line of tablet that offer a large size. The large size makes it much easier to control the cursor and to draw different lines. However, drawing with that size forces you to move your arm around a lot, something artists that are used to drawing with their wrist may not like (the same way, if you like drawing that way, or you don’t mind that, then you should try that size). Large tablets take some time getting used to, and are great if you could take advantage of them. I have been using a large Intuos Pro for years, and I quite like it.

In case you got a large tablet, and it turned out to be too large for you, you can change the mapping settings in the driver to make it medium or small if you like.

It’s worth noting that the large Intuos Pro 2014 can take a lot of desk space, the same goes for Intuos Pro 2017, but at the very least, Wacom made them much more compact in the 2017 iteration.

The Intuos Pro 2017 doesn’t come with a small size.

I have wrote a whole post about getting the right graphics tablet size. Click here to read it if you want to know more about this. In short, besides the way you draw, your screen size & resolution are large factors to take into account when you choose a graphics tablet size.

As long as you don’t need a large tablet, then the Intuos is more than enough for you when it comes to size, especially giving how the large Intuos Pro is expensive.


Fun fact:- There was a time when Wacom offered an Extra large size for the Intuos4 (an old model of the Intuos Pro). The overall dimensions of it is 18.2 Inch X 24.5 Inch. They did it only once, which makes me think it didn’t sell that well.


Intuos Pro

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The Number Of Express Keys, And The Availability Of Touch Ring

Usually Intuos tablets come with 4 express keys, while the Intuos Pro come with up to 8 of them.

Here are the Expresskeys count for the different Intuos out Intuos Pro models, notice how all the Intuos Pro models have more express keys than any Intuos:-

Intuos Pro Model Express Key Count Intuos Model Expresss Key Count
Intuos Pro 2014 Small 6 Intuos Draw 4
Intuos Pro 2014 Medium 8 Intuos Comic 4
Intuos Pro 2014 Large 8 Intuos Photo 4
Intuos Pro 2017 Medium 8 Intuos Art 4
Intuos Pro 2017 Large 8 Intuos 3D 4
Intuos BT Small 4
Inttuos BT Small + Bluetooth 4
Intuos BT Medium + Bluetooth 4

Having more express keys may help avoid using the keyboard, especially if you don’t use a lot of keyboard shortcuts. I tend to use the keyboard most of the time, but when I do simple tasks like sketching, I don’t need much shortcuts, and so I use 3-4 keys to access the functions I need.

Touch Ring

Touch Ring

Besides the express keys, the Intuos Pro comes with a touch ring, the little ring with a button at the middle, which you could use to resize your brush, zoom in & out, scroll, and do any other continuous functions you like, as long as there is a keyboard shortcut for it. I personally can’t imagine drawing without it, but you could use keyboard shortcuts to do these functions, or sacrifice two of the express keys to do your brush resizing and the like. You could always use the keys [ and ] to resize brushes in Photoshop.

The touch ring has 4 different modes, which you could toggle between them using the button at the center of the ring. For example, you could have different modes like zooming-in and out, scroll or resize the brush size,

Touch Support

Some graphics tablets support touch capabilities, which allows to use you tablet as a you to move the mouse around, just like a large trackpad, or to activate multi-touch gestures, the same way you could do with your fingers on mobiles & tablets these days.

While touch is a nice feature in theory, it’s not a feature I find myself using, as it doesn’t work as smoothly as the gestures we have in mobile devices, but it’s could be a very promising features in the upcoming tablets if Wacom is willing to make it work.

The same goes for using the tablet as a giant trackpad, it works, but it’s not as comfortable as an actual trackpad, but maybe you will like it better than me.

Both the latest iterations of Intuos Pro support touch. From the Intuos line, only Intuos Art, Photo, Comic & 3D have touch models (Intuos Draw doesn’t support touch).

In case you’re worried that touch may get in the way, you could turn it off. The Intuos Pro 2017 has a button specifically for that.

Wireless Support

The last two models of Intuos Pro support wireless connectivity in one form or another. While having a wireless graphics tablet is an optional feature you could live without, it’s very nice to have. That’s especially the case if you plan to use it on the go, or so you won’t have to plug the tablet again every time you come back home and place your laptop on your desk. If you draw on a desktop PC, then wireless connectivity can help you with cable clutter (I told you, it’s a bonus feature, but one you could use as long as you have it).

The Intuos Draw, Art, Photo, Comic & 3D all support wireless via Wacom Wireless Kit (reviewed here). The Intuos 2018 supports bluetooth wireless connectivity out of the box, but there’s a cheaper small model that doesn’t support it.

While the wireless kit requires you to use the USB dongle that comes with it, it allows you to replace the battery, so you could replace it as many times as you want. The newer Intuos & Intuos pro with Bluetooth don’t requires the use of any dongle, but the battery is embedded and can’t be easily replaced.

Bundled Software

Usually the Intuos come with bundled software, this makes the Intuos more like a better deal for new artists, unless you already own a software you like to use, or plan to use a free one.

Here are the software that comes with the different Intuos graphics tablets:-

Intuos Model The Bundled Software
Wacom Intuos SM (CTL4100):- Corel Painter Essentials 6 or
Corel AfterShot 3 (Your pick)
Wacom Intuos Bluetooth SM (CTL4100WLK0):- You pick 2 from the following software:-
– Corel Painter Essentials 6
– Corel AfterShot 3
– Clip Studio Paint Pro (2 years license)
Wacom Intuos Bluetooth MD (CTL6100WLK0):- You get all the following software:-
– Corel Painter Essentials 6
– Corel AfterShot 3
– Clip Studio Paint Pro (2 years license)
Intuos Draw (CTL490DW,CTL490DB) ArtRage Lite
Intuos Art (CTH490AK,CTH490AB) Corel Painter Essentials 5
Intuos Art (CTH690AK,CTH690AB) Corel Painter Essentials 5
Intuos Photo (CTH490PK )  – Corel® PaintShop® Pro X8,
– Corel® Aftershot® Pro 2 for Windows.
– Corel® Aftershot® Pro 2 for Mac phun Creative Kit (Tonality Pro, Intensify Pro, Snapheal Pro, Noiseless Pro) for Mac
Intuos Comic (CTH490CK,CTH490CB)  – Clip Studio Paint Pro
– Anime Studio® Debut 10,
Intuos 3D (CTH690TK) ZBrushCore

None of the Intuos Pro models come with any software other than the driver.

Eraser At The Back Of The Pen?


The Intuos Pro pen has an eraser on the other side of the pen, and so you could flip the pen & erase right away, just like you do with traditional pencils. If you came from traditional media, it’s hard not to like that feature.

Intuos tablets pen don’t come with that, so you have to use a shortcut to switch to the eraser tool, or to click to the eraser tool icon in your drawing software.

In all honesty, while having an eraser at the back of the pen is a neat idea, many artists (including me) learn that switching to the eraser tool is faster & more convenient.

At the end, having an eraser on the pen is important or not based on your preference.

Support For Different Sheets

The Intuos Pro 2017 allows you to place different texture sheets on the tops of it. Different artists want different amounts of frictions. When Wacom kept adding texture on the top of their tablets few years ago, artists complained about it as it causes nibs to wear off fast, some artists also prefer to draw on a slipper drawing surface.

There are 3 kinds of sheets to choose from:- Standard, smooth & rough.

Intuos Pro 2017 Paper Edition:- Drawing On Paper


Starting from the Intuos Pro 2017, Intuos Pro has a special paper edition. Which allows you to place a paper on the top of it, and draw using a special pen. The drawings you make that way can be transferred to your computer for you continue working on it. It’s a time-saving feature if you prefer to draw traditionally.

You can see it in action in the following trailer:-

There are two things to keep into account when it comes to the Intuos Pro Paper Edition:-

  • It’s more expensive than the regular Intuos Pro.
  • You have to use the special pen to draw with it, you can’t use your favorite pencil here.

Detailed Reviews

I have wrote detailed reviews for each of the mentioned Intuos & Intuos Pro models, so in case you want to know more about each of the Wacom tablets mentioned here. :-

Intuos Reviews

Intuos Pro Reviews

If You Found This Post Useful


I have wrote a book that helps people get the most out of their new Wacom products, Getting started with Wacom graphics tablet and Digital Painting With Photoshop. It has a lot of information and practical tips on how to use your Wacom tablet. If you’re getting a Wacom tablet for the first time, then I suggest you check it out. I offer 30 days money-back guarantee on the PDF version, so there’s no risk there. :>

And Finally

As I mentioned earlier in this post, whether you got an Intuos or an Intuos Pro, you can create great artworks with any of them. Having the right size is the most important thing.

You may be tempted to get the Wacom tablet with the highest pressure available, but I don’t recommend that. If you’re willing to put money into a tablet, then I highly suggest getting a larger tablet or more express keys, or any of the other features that can actually help you be a better artist.

Some of the Intuos Pro features can be quite useful, like the tilt or the eraser are nice to have, and are worth trying in my opinion, but they are not necessary. The other nice-to-have features in both models like wireless & touch can be dropped if you want something affordable.

I sincerely hope this post has help you decide between getting an Intuos or an Intuos Pro.


Intuos Pro

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See Also:-

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.


  1. Thanks for your great insight’s on Wacom devices! I looked everywhere about informations and differences, and now I can finally decide which one I will choose.

  2. Thank you for this comparison. Very helpful to help me decide on which one to get for one of my boys, who is doing an online course in developing games and designing characters.

  3. I just bought both the Intuos Medium and the Intuos Pro Medium today. The sales guys at Best Buy encouraged me to try both and return the one I didn’t like. Wow.
    So I felt that I barely noticed any difference in quality – despite the pro having double the sensitivity. The pro had more features, but they were superfluous to the software I already have. I felt I was missing something, but reading your article confirmed for me that I was just going to be paying for features I didn’t need. Thanks for your thouroughness. I had a hard time finding a good review until I found yours.

  4. Hi, Thanks for this useful test.
    I have a question about something you don’t mention : the Resolution : Intuos have a resolution of 2540 lpi and Intuos Pro 5080 lpi ! Because I use a Wacom for photo editing on a iMac 27″ 5K, I would like to know if it’s important.
    Now, I use a Intuos PTH 651. And I am very happy with, but I need to use it with my old computer.

  5. This is still THE BEST post on the internet about Wacom tablets and the differences between them. You’d think you’d find more specific information out there looking up individual models, but, no. I just ordered an Intuos Touch 5 Large based on this, and I hope it lives up to what I need. We’ll see!

    One thing that just AMAZES me about Wacom stuff is that the driver package is compatible for basically all Windows versions and includes over a decade and a half’s devices for windows 7/8/10/11. That’s so cool.

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