This is one of the most common question those willing to get a graphics tablet ask, whether they are getting it for the first time, or if they are getting a new one & wonder if getting a different size than the one you have.
The easy & quick way to answer that question is to look at your monitor size, getting a big tablet can make your life easier if you have a large monitor. In some cases, you may have preferences, but this rule will work with most people.
Other aspects to take into account the way you draw, like if you draw with your elbow, then you will need a larger tablet, and to make sure you won’t have to buy a new tablet in case you bought a new larger monitor.
Getting a medium-sized tablet is the most ideal case for most people, since it suits most monitor sizes & drawing styles.
I will talk about all these aspects in the rest of this post, in case you want to know more.
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So you want to buy a graphics tablet, and probably for the first time, but you wonder what size to choose from, and what size is more comfortable, the one that makes you draw more accurately (or do better retouches, in case you do photography). You came to the right place, as I will give you many tips that will help you decide on the ideal graphics tablet size for you.
I talked about this problem in my Intuos Pro Review long ago, but this time, I am creating a more comprehensive guide to this. As that article made me realize how many people thought about that question. This post will follow a similar format to that one, since it helped many people in the past. I may reference the Intuos Pro more than once in this post, but everything I say here applies to other tablets brands as well.
In an ideal world, the best way to know which size is to try all the sizes yourself (like, if you know a shop that allows you to do so), but that’s not feasible for many people, especially those who never had a graphics tablet before (since you may still not make the best judgment at this stage). There are more than criteria you should use to determine the graphics tablet size to get, like the size of your monitor & the way you draw. I will talk about each of these in details right away.
Compare the size of the tablet you’re getting to the size of your monitor, you want to get a tablet relatively close in size to your monitor. Having smaller tablet than your monitor is okay to some extent. The key is to avoid using a small graphics tablet with a large screen, as it’s harder to precisely control the mouse that way. Some people don’t mind doing that, but I don’t think most people would like that. I used to use a small Intuos 4 tablet with a 27-Inch iMac in the past, I was able to work that way, but it was kinda tiring, as the mouse kept moving relatively fast.
A good rule of thumb that will work for most people is not to get a graphics tablet smaller than the 3rd of their monitor size. Getting a small graphics tablet is good if you have a monitor size between 11-15 inches.
Depending on the size of your new monitor, you may need to change your tablet. The reason I used a small tablet with my 27-inch iMac is that I bought the tablet to with my 17-inch Macbook Pro, and when I upgraded, I kept using my tablet with my newer computer with a larger screen.
One of the reasons I tend to suggest to get a medium tablet is to future-proof you from having to change your tablet whenever you change your monitor.
I am leaving this story here for anyone who may benefit from it. A while ago, a girl called Mary commented on this blog & asked me if the large Intuos Pro is suitable for use with her 55 inch TV, which is a larger screen than any screen anyone I know or heard of has used. I told her it could work with some effort, but the difference in size was too big. She ended up getting the large Intuos Pro & it worked well for her. Despite the fact her research that the Intuos Pro is only suitable for screens up to 47 inches. It was her first time getting a graphics tablet by the way. This is one example to show that different is size between the tablet & monitor can work in a way or another, specially for the larger tablet sizes.
Wacom used to have an Extra Large model of the Intuos 4 for those interested, but they no longer provided it with their newer models. My guess is that it didn’t work out well for them.
A small graphics tablet is good if you have a small laptop. I still use my older small Intuos 4 with my Macbook air, which has a 11-inch screen, and it’s working very well for me.
This size is very ideal for carrying around, though the same could be said about medium graphics tablets if you carry around a 15 inch laptop or bigger. Another advantage of small tablets is they tend to be affordable, so they are a good choice if you are on the fence about getting a graphics tablet (and you don’t mind upgrading relatively soon if it turned out medium or large graphics tablet is better for you).
Buy a small graphics tablet
This is the safe choice when it comes to a graphics tablet sizes, as it works with many common screen sizes, and it gives you enough space to move your hands around. It’s not too big for people who draw with their wrists (meaning it can work with large screens for those people).
If you are confused about which tablet size to get, you can go with this size & most likely be okay.
Buy a medium graphics tablet
The large the graphics tablet is the easier to move the mouse cursor with precision. At the same time, the more elbow movement you will have to do (while it may be cumbersome to some this can help with drawing by the way).
In case you got this size, and it turned out to be too large to your liking, you could remap part of the active area to your monitor, thus converting it to a medium or small tablet. So if you ever regretted getting a tablet this size, you could resort to this trick to get the size you need, but this comes at the cost of buying a more expensive tablet & losing some money (this same trick could be used with the medium tablet as well. You could technically do that with the small tablet too, but I don’t think anyone would want to do that).
It’s worth mentioning that while this is a really good size to get, it’s not for everyone, as larger is not always better. That’s one more reason to recommend the medium size over the large one to more people.
Large is good for two screens setup, I always map mine to one screen, despite the fact I have 3 monitors connected, but you could benefit from the large area as if you have two smaller tablets side-by-side & control multiple programs that way.
Buy a large graphics tablet
Choosing the ideal graphics tablet size for you can be very tricky, and sometimes there’s more than one size that suit you. Making an informed decision is better than just picking a size randomly. Even if you ended up getting the wrong tablet size, you know what to get next, but it’s really better to avoid that situation if possible.
I hope my post helped you choose the best graphics tablet size for you.
|Buy a graphics tablet the size you want|