Thinking of buying a graphic tablet for writing practice

Because wasting tons of trees makes me feel guilty and probably try to enter realms of digital art while I’m at it.

The question is which which one though? Wacom Intous small or medium?

Small is the cheapest one and thus most affordable while medium has more active area which is optimal for my 24" screen as well as being able to use arm movements; However, it’s twice as expensive so it pretty much enters the pro digital arts price range.

This is gonna be my first graphic tablet btw. What do you guys think?

From experience, writing/drawing on a Wacom tablet is pretty different than doing so on paper, so be aware of that. If you intend to use it for drawing and money isn’t a big issue, then I’d probably go with the medium. I had the smallest Intuos3 and it didn’t have enough area.

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if you are only using for writing and basic drawing (ie don’t need super sensitve pressure settings), you can get a very basic setup for $100 or less used (especially on ebay, older model wacom bamboo ~$50-60). There are settings to make it feel more like writing with more or less pressure making lines thicker or thinner so it can do a good job. It’s how I practice mine most of the time.

I’ve had both a small (bamboo) and a medium (intuos, now called ‘pro’) and there’s some tradeoffs.

The small one was much more portable, but I was forced to have a wired connection which annoying when pulling stuff in and out of my bag. I don’t know if they changed it, but the cheapie line had small, hard, uncomfortable pens. I found the grip on the pro line much, much nicer. The surface texture on my bamboo was smoother.

In contrast the medium tablet was… bloody huge. Felt much nicer to draw, but getting desk space and a comfortable working position was terrible. I prefer to use keyboard shortcuts over the tablet buttons and found it near impossible to comfortably use a keyboard + tablet without putting one on my lap or having a desk with an extra pull out tray (which still had me stretching). The texture was closer to paper for this one, which I kind of liked.

I think the best thing you can do is actually find a place and try them out. If you’re still in school or have some connections go mingle with art students and get their opinions before buying. As jhgofort suggested getting a used one is much more cost effective and they don’t change much between generations anyway, just be ready to replace the pen nib.

Writing with it isn’t bad, but it does take some getting used to and is a better choice if you already use a tablet extensively for other things, like drawing or the game Osu! I definitely wouldn’t buy a tablet if you weren’t heavily interested in doing other things with it.

i don’t know how backwards compatible they go, but apparently they sell something to convert some tablets to wireless now. i use an intuos 3 widescreen format for art myself. I want to upgrade to a cintiq, but they are still a bit too pricey for my budget right now.

digital artist reporting in!

i’ve used quite a variation of drawing tablets- intuos 4, bamboos, and the intuos small like you’ve mentioned. i have a large monitor as well, but i find my current tablet, the intuos small, fits it just fine. size of the tablet never seems to be an issue unless you’re kinda nitpicky about that stuff- or if you have a pen monitor instead. pen monitors are a whole other story.

i wouldn’t spend a bunch of money on a tablet if it’s your first time, either. you’ll never know how much you’ll use it or if the format is suitable for you, so it’s best to take a trial run with the cheapest option.

but, if you’re really determined to get one with a bigger active area, look into this other graphics tablet brand called huion. they have the biggest active area of a graphics tablet on the market, and i’ve heard great things about it. the model is called the huion giano, for reference. (also, an awesome side to the huion giano; it has 2048 pen pressure levels unlike the 1000 or so that the tablets you’re looking into have! it’s the highest amount of pen pressure available, from what i know)

hope this helps!!! as an artist, by the way, feel free to message me any time with questions, and i can link you resources appropriately :blush:

I don’t have a Wacom tablet, but I have these two.

This one is the large one I could find, 10.1".

I use mainly with AnkiDroid, although I sometimes use S-Note and some other writing apps too. It is much more slippery than a real pen, but it does help me remember stroke order. I tend to write semi-cursive style.

I am getting interested in multi-layered digital art, where should I begin? Because this is not a pc with a Wacom tablet…


My favorite is using a Surface tablet with the pen, either in One Note or using kanji/kana practice sheets in PDF format. I have a wacom and find the disconnect between what I draw on a tablet appearing on the screen to be too different from normal writing.

ETA: writing on the surface is surprisingly close to writing on paper. You just have to make sure to get the model that has the pen capabilities.


I think i pretty much managed my thoughts on which tablet to buy with the help of you guys.

I think I’ll go for a Huion 1060 PLUS.
It has a pressure sensitivity of 2048 levels and an insane active area of 10" x 6.25"
Wacom is clearly great but what got me hooked is the price which is only 90$ which is rather insane for its specs when compared to its Wacom counterpart.

Aren’t Surface tablets fairly expensive?

… … … yes. But they’re good enough to be actual computers and not just a portable web browser thingy/drawing pad. So instead of putting the same amount on a heavy new laptop I got a Surface.

Was just wondering, since the OP seemed to be after something affordable and I wasn’t sure if I’d missed some cheaper line of Surface devices :stuck_out_tongue:

What apps are you specifically using with Surface with pen?

One Note or the standard PDF Editor. I prefer the PDF editor because I usually just download kana practice sheets in PDF format.

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I have one and I love it. I’ve had no issues with it whatsoever. I actually replaced an old Wacom with it, and I’ve lost no functionality at all.

If it’s within your budget, I recommend purchasing a tablet that would allow you to actually draw on a screen, even something like an iPad with a stylus. I have an Intuos tablet myself, and it felt very alien to me to have to look at the screen while I drew, and my line art and other things were pretty bad as a result. Of course, had I powered through and gotten used to it, I’m sure that I would have gotten better, but just be ready for a little disconnection at first between your hand and your drawing/writing.


I used to use my iPad and stylus to practice writing kanji, I picked up a cheap drawing app that had a grid available on the drawing area so I had nice little boxes to practice my kanji. Sometimes I would practice on my phone too, it was large enough that I could get 2-3 boxes on the screen and was able to write comfortably.

maybe it’s my traditional art training but I never had an issue with looking at the screen while drawing. All those years of blind contour drawing lol.

This is part of what I was referring to when I said it was different. I was never able to get used to using my Intuos.

I love the iPad pro and pencil. It feels really natural to write on. I have a little app that makes practice sheets for me for the kanji I’m about to guru, and I practice writing them and saying them to drill it into my head.

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