Should I get a non-wacom graphics tablet?
November 29, 2005 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have experience with non-wacom graphics tablets?

I'm thinking about getting a cheap graphics tablet to do illustration with. My first impulse was to get the wacom graphire 4x5 (about $100), but I see there are some lesser known brands at that price with larger surfaces. I'm looking for some testimonials and advice. Wacom seems to be the defacto tablet. Is it all just hype or am I going to be sorry getting a cheaper brand? I'll be using it primarily with photoshop, and maybe some thing like artrage or sketchpad. (one of the reasons I hesitate is because of this warning on the artrage site.)

I'm also open to software suggestions.
posted by miniape to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I use a NISIS tablet at work, not for art, but to save my wrist from permanent destruction. However, its crap. Avoid them. Spend the extra cash.

Having said that, I have been using it for 3 years now. I've just gotten used to its poor performance. The main problem with it, is that the pointer wobbles about. When you click, the click sometimes happens tens of pixels away from where you clicked, and there is a lot of jumping.

The buttons on the (replacement) pen are just breaking, so I have to use a separate mouse for right clicking. I've been looking at second hand Graphire's myself as a replacement for this tablet, and am hoping (I don't know for certain) that they are going to be a lot better
posted by ajbattrick at 2:46 PM on November 29, 2005

Having worked with non-Wacom tablets (and now owning the 6x8 Intuos3)... there is simply no comparison.

You really, really want a good tablet. I would even go so far as to say skip the Graphire and go to the Intuous. You can get great deals on the Intuous 2 from Wacom's factory outlet....the 6x8 size was the sweet spot for me. Smaller would have given me a lot of pain and bigger, too big for a desk or laptop bag.
posted by fake at 2:57 PM on November 29, 2005

Consider also that most, if not all, graphics programs have ONLY been tested against Wacom tablets. So their features are optimized for Wacom's driver software and hardware.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:57 PM on November 29, 2005

Wacom has a new entry level $67 tablet that you might like.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:07 PM on November 29, 2005

Non Wacom tablets suck. The 100 dollar Wacom is a gazillion times better than any non Wacom, but still greatly inferior to the Intuos. Don't waste your money on a non-Wacom.
posted by xyzzy at 4:08 PM on November 29, 2005

the problem is that most non-wacom tablets are not just cheaper but really cheap..
if i remember right there have been other tablet companies but they gave it up and now wacom overprices

getting the smallest graphire (or the linked volito) will help you find out whether a tablet helps/suits you or not and you can easily sell it again (to the next person that wants to try a tablet)

give opencanvas a try when you got a tablet
posted by suni at 5:01 PM on November 29, 2005

I have a small [4x5] Wacom Graphire tablet that's at least four years old now as well as a much larger tablet by some other brand. Despite the much more cramped drawing space, the Wacom tablet was [and is] way, way better. If you're planning on using the Wacom tablet for much sketching, you may want to consider getting a 6"x8" or larger tablet. I know that if I had a tablet large enough to sketch the same way I do on paper, the tablet would be even more useful for me. suni's suggestion is probably the best thing to do - buy a used Graphire tablet of the smallest size, try it out for a while, and see if it's worth forking over the money for a bigger and/or more sensitive tablet.
posted by ubersturm at 2:28 AM on November 30, 2005

I have one of these and an old bottom of the line wacom, other than the cheap ones using batteries and a flimsy feeling constuction I haven't noticed too much of a difference with the non-wacom. so to say my apps still work fine (flash and gimp, though gimp for windows goes a little buggy) and there really isn't anything too annoying or worth compaining about. The 8x6 size is a little bigger than I'm used too though, I kind of like the smaller ones because its easier to move around the whole screen.
posted by psychobum at 6:27 AM on November 30, 2005

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