Beginner Drawing Tablet,  Review,  Wacom Intuos Pro

The Wacom Intuos Pro Drawing Tablet Review + Where You Can Find The Best Price

If you would like to skip to a specific section of “The Wacom Intuos Pro Review”, use The Table of Contents below. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not sponsored by Wacom; all opinions are my own!

(Related post: “How to Set Up Your Wacom Intuos Pro (Ultimate Noob Guide“)

Intro

Before owning the Intuos Pro, my primary graphics tablet was the old Intuos.

I loved it; it was reliable for almost a decade & it still works just as smooth as it did my first day using it.

It was literally the most durable piece of tech I’ve ever owned. 

& When I say durable I mean durable! I traveled with this thing, dropped it multiple times, and I even let small children use it.

So it’s safe to say my old Wacom Intuos could take a beating!

But all good things must come to end…

My Old Wacom was great, but times change, tech evolves, & it was time for something new. I had my eyes on the Wacom Intuos Pro since it was released in 2017.

The Intuos Pro’s high pen pressure, tilt function, resolution, Bluetooth, & Pro Pen 2 were all massive improvements from my 9-year-old Wacom.

I figured it was time for my tech to evolve.

So naturally, I purchased the Pro!!!

I chose to go with Medium because the Small Intuos Pro’s improvements were negligible compared to the current Intuos (Non-Pro Model), & the Large Intuos Pro was overkill. So the Medium Intuos was my Goldilocks sweet spot  –it was just right!

Technically I only own one of the 3 sizes, but I was still able to reach out to a few illustrator friends & get my hands on the Large & Small models so I can review each one.

Quick tip to save you some time, if you’re going to purchase the Intuos Pro, get the Medium! If the medium is too expensive & you’re thinking about purchasing the small, DON’T!

Get the standard (not Pro) Wacom Intuos (Medium), it’s the same price & comes with better features in my opinion. Unless your main focus is tilt & multitouch, then buy the Intuos Pro Small.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin the in-depth review, starting with the runt of the 3 tablets!

My Rating

3/5

Features

FeaturesSpecifications
Active Area 6.18 x 3.8 in (157 x 98 mm)
Wireless Support Wireless connectivity via an adapter
Pressure Levels 2048 levels, both pen tip and eraser
Resolution 5080 LPI
Express Keys 6 customizable, application-specific
Pen Grip Pen
Touch Ring Yes - 4 customizable functions
Multi-Touch Yes
Cable 2 m (6.6 ft) USB cable
Weight 1.11 lbs.
Size 12.6 x 8.19 x 0.47 in (320 x 208 x 12 mm)
Tilt Recognition ±60 levels
Radial Menu Yes
Type Pressure-sensitive, cordless, battery-free
Replacement Nibs 10 nibs : 5 standard, 1 flex, 1 stroke nib, and 3 felt
Pen Stand Yes
Grip Latex-free silicone rubber
Express View Display (hud) Yes
System Requirements USB port, Windows 8, Windows®7 SP1 or Windows® Vista SP2 Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later (Intel® processor)

Pros

  • Comes with Multitouch settings.
  • Travel Sized
  • Comes with Tilt
  • Comes with 4 different kinds of Free Nibs
  • Pen Stand is nice, weighted, & helps keep your desk organized

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with Pro Pen 2, but instead comes with Grip Pen
  • Pen pressure could be better
  • Bluetooth could be better

What’s Included

1.The Tablet

2.Grip Pen

3.Pen Stand

4.Wireless Kit

5. 2 m (6.6 ft) PVC-free USB cable

Cheapest Place To Buy

My Thoughts?

So let’s dive into this a bit. So is the Small Worth the money?

Well, short answer… kind of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Most people don’t include the Small in their reviews of the Intuos Pro because it doesn’t share the same features the M & L models do. 

I’m going to include the Small in my review because not everyone is tech savvy & I would hate for someone reading this to make the mistake of buying the Small thinking it was a less expensive version of the M & L models.

If the Intuos Pro Small, Medium, & Large were siblings.

I would assume the Small had a different father from the Medium & Large. 

Sure the Small is aesthetically similar to the other sizes, but after looking closely at its stats you’ll realize it doesn’t offer as much as the other two sizes do. 

It has some interesting specifications but the gap between the Pro Small & Standard Medium model’s features are too ambiguous.

This makes the Intuos Pro Small an alternative to the Intuos Medium when really it should be “The Pro Version” and have more special features than the standard. 

Honestly, I personally prefer the standard Wacom Intuos (Medium) over the Wacom Intuos Pro (Small)

Wacom Intuos & intuos Pro

(I realize the names are really similar so I photoshopped & labeled the two tablets in an attempt to make this less confusing.)

Intuos medium (standard) has better pen pressure (4096 levels), a bigger active area, built-in Bluetooth, comes with 3 free programs(Free Programs: Corel® Painter® Essentials™ 6, Corel® AfterShot™ 3, & CLIP STUDIO PAINT PRO) & it’s the same price as the Intuos Pro (Small)

Now that doesn’t mean the Intuos Pro (Small) isn’t superior in some aspects.

The Pro (Small) has better resolution (about twice as much as the Intuos Medium), tilt, free replaceable nibs, multitouch, & 2 more express keys than the standard Intuos, not to mention the presence of the touch ring. But…

My first tablet didn’t come with tilt or multi-touch so purchasing a tablet without those features didn’t feel like a huge loss to me.

To me, high pen pressure, built in blue tooth & a larger active area are a bigger priority.

I’m also not a fan of the wireless kit.  It’s not the biggest problem the Intuos Pro Small has, but it is a nuisance.

It feels like it would’ve been simpler if it just came with the same built-in Bluetooth the M & L models come with.  

Another issue I have with the Intuos Pro Small is the Grip Pen. It’s a far second to the Pro Pen 2 that comes with the larger models.

I think the Small Pro would be so much better if it came with The Pro Pen & not The Grip Pen.

The Pro Pen 2 is more sensitive (8k), slightly lighter weight, virtually lag-free tracking, feels slightly more precise, & is more aesthetically pleasing. 

Pro Pen 2

Grip Pen

Words To Know

  1. Tilt: Senses the amount of tilt between the stylus(Pen) and tablet. This is used to create a natural-looking pen, brush, and eraser strokes in applications that support tilt-sensitivity. 
  2. Multitouch: Is technology which enables a trackpad or touchscreen to recognize more than one or two points of contact with the surface.
  3. Pen Pressure: When you use a Wacom stylus and tablet to create paint strokes with the Paint Stroke tool, the Apply Pen Pressure behavior controls width, opacity, spacing, angle, or jitter of the stroke based on the pressure of your stylus on the tablet.
Photo of the Intuos Pro Small

In summary, I wouldn’t recommend the Small Intuos Pro

I would only recommend this tablet if you’re looking for a Wacom product under $200 that comes with Tilt + Multi-touch.

Like I mentioned earlier, the standard Wacom Intuos Medium is my preference between the two. 

What I Made With It

The MEDIUM & LARGE Wacom Intuos ProWacom Intuos Pro

I’m going to review the Medium & Large together because besides the size of the tablet the features & drawing experience are virtually identical.

My Rating

4.5/5
FeaturesSpecifications
Active Area M: 8.7 x 5.8 in (224 x 148 mm) | L: 12.1 x 8.4 in (311 x 216 mm)
Wireless Support Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
Pressure Levels 8192 levels, both pen tip and eraser
Resolution 5080 LPI
Express Keys 8 customizable, application-specific
Pen Pro Pen 2
Touch Ring Yes - 4 customizable functions
Multi-Touch Yes
Cable 2 m (6.6 ft) USB cable
Weight 1.54lbs (700g)
Size 13.2 x 8.5 x 0.3 in (338 x 219 x 8 mm) | L: 16.8 x 11.2 x 0.3 in (430 x 287 x 8 mm)
Tilt Recognition ±60 levels
Radial Menu Yes
Type Pressure-sensitive, cordless, battery-free
Replacement Nibs 10 Pro Pen 2 nibs (6 standard and 4 felt nibs in pen stand)
Pen Stand Yes
Grip Latex-free silicone rubber
Express View Display (hud) Yes
System Requirements USB port, Windows 8, Windows®7 SP1 or Windows® Vista SP2 Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later (Intel® processor)

Pros

  • Great Active Area
  • Phenomenal Pen Pressure (8,192 Levels)
  • Comes with Multitouch settings
  • Comes with Tilt
  • Built in Bluetooth
  • Gesture Button
  • Comes with 4 different kinds of Free Nibs (10 total)
  • Pen Stand is nice, weighted, helps keep your desk organized

Cons

  1. Doesn’t come with the 3D pen, but does come with the pro pen 2
  2. I prefer the Cintiq Pro 

What’s Included

1.The Tablet

Wacom Intuos Pro2.Pro Pen 2 Stylus

Wacom Pro Pen 2

3.Pen Stand

4.Texture Sheet Sample Card

5. 2 m (6.6 ft) PVC-free USB cable

6. Pro Pen 2 Color Rings

Cheapest Place To Buy

My Thoughts?

The Pro model is by far my favorite Graphics Tablet right now! It’s the most accurate & intuitive graphics tablet on the market. It’s also the best graphics tablet I’ve ever used as far as convenience & drawing flow.

Because it’s so well rounded I consider it the Jon Jones of Graphics tablets. For those of you who don’t know who Jon Jones is, he’s considered the greatest UFC fighter ever.

He’s proficient at punching, throwing elbows/knees, has a wide array of kicks, great takedowns, & utilizes some tricky submission moves. In summary, he’s elite at every aspect of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). 

Jon Jones winning a UFC fight

So what makes the Intuos Pro M & L models as well rounded as Jon Jones?

Their awesome features!

They have phenomenally sensitive pen pressure, multitouch, gestures, customizable program-specific express keys (or shortcut keys), a touch ring, a generous active area, Bluetooth capabilities, & a few nice free accessories. Everything mounts to a smooth drawing experience. 

Now let’s talk about one of my favorite features– the Pro Pen 2!

It’s widely considered the best stylus out right now because of its control, precision, pressure levels, & tilt. There are a lot of Wacom alternatives that offer these same features on paper, BUT there’s nothing close to the experience of drawing with this pen. 

The accuracy & control I feel is the closest I’ve gotten to an actual pen/pencil. A lot of fans of Huion will tell you that Huion offers the same features as of late. But I can tell you from experience NO OTHER GRAPHICS TABLET HAS ANYTHING LIKE THIS!

The one complaint I hear often with this pen is that the nibs wear out VERY quickly compared to previous models. Well, they are thinner nibs that were purposely created to be softer than the surface of the tablet.

If they were any harder, they would destroy the surface of your tablet over time. And I wouldn’t say they wear out VERY quickly…

I draw a lot more than the average person & I didn’t notice my nibs wearing out unnaturally fast. 

I would say they’re about 80-90% as strong as the previous model’s nibs. But they still feel more durable than Huion or other Wacom alternatives I’ve used.

So if you’re wearing them down unnaturally quick, you might want to ask yourself if you’re a heavy-handed artist. 

If you are heavy handed, you can always adjust your pen pressure settings so that your pen is more sensitive, forcing you to use less pressure.

Other than that, nibs are awesome.

Because the Pro Pen 2 nibs are slightly thinner than the Pro Pen 1 nibs, drawing with the Pro Pen 2 feels more precise.  I’m fairly certain my linework has benefited from the thinner nibs.

Plus the pen stand comes equipped with storage of 10 free nibs for when your nib inevitably wears out.

Free nibs inside of Pen Stand

That Pen Stand offers two different positions for resting your pen, vertical & horizontal. 

The bottom of the pen stand is made with a durable steal that contains a hole to make removing/replacing nibs easy. 

Most graphics tablets come with a small tweezer-like device to remove nibs.

It’s really easy to lose these small tweezer-like nib removers, so the presence of a stand that also removes nibs is a much-needed improvement to avoid losing necessary equipment.

Bottom of stand
Color rings can help differentiate your pens.

Wacom also offers 4 free colored rings to accessorize your pen. 

While I enjoy the personalization that comes with the color rings, I do wish the pen was more customizable. 

If you purchase the other pen models compatible with this tablet, the color rings are a fun way to label & distinguish them from one another.

Let’s dive into the Pro Pen 2’s eraser & shortcut buttons.

Eraser

Shortcut Buttons

The eraser is pretty self-explanatory. I actually rarely use it because hitting my keyboard or express key feels quicker than flipping my pen upside down.

However, I know a bunch of artists that enjoy this feature. 

The pen comes with two shortcut buttons. I like to program button #1 to perform the Hand tool & #2 to perform the Undo function.

These two buttons make my life so easy by centralizing two functions I use frequently.

What I Made With It

Universal Features

1.Program Specific Custom Express Key & Touch Ring shortcuts

I love how Wacom allows custom application specific shortcuts.

This means customization doesn’t have to be universal. You can have different shortcuts depending on the program. Most Wacom alternatives don’t allow that level of customization.

For example, when working in photoshop, I have an express key that saves files (command + s). If I click that express key while Google Chrome is open, it will no longer save files.  Instead, it will close a tab (command + w). 

The touch ring operates the same way–it creates shortcuts for your go-to functions. 

Below I provided some screenshots of the settings that allow you to customize the express keys & touch ring.

Wacom Tablet settings
Screen shot of the express key preferences.
A screen shot of my tablets preferences, you can see I have specific shortcuts for photoshop, Lightroom & Google Chrome

I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that I value my time.  On average, I’m working on about 5 projects a week, in addition to working on posting on my blog every day. So I can’t afford to waste time.

Having program specific shortcut keys is a luxury that allows me to optimize my tablet by saving time. 

2.Orientation & Active Area Customization

All models include the ability to customize the Orientation & Active Area of your device.

1. Basically, if you’re a lefty who wants the express keys to be closer to your non-dominant hand, you can program this orientation. 

2. Area customization deals with the amount of area on your computer & tablet you can access via the Intuos Pro. For example, if you don’t like using too much space you can consolidate the active area of your tablet into one small section.

I usually just stick to using the full surface, but I know some retouch artists who don’t like moving their arm around too much, & prefer to let their wrist do all the moving around.

3.Touch Gestures & On/Off Button

Gestures allow you to perform functions using your fingertips. I mainly use it to move stuff around.

The palm rejection is pretty strong so if you do plan on using this feature, you’re going to want to keep your palm off the tablet.  Otherwise, it won’t work as much as you’d like it to. 

The tablet comes with a button that allows you to turn on or off this touch gesture feature. 

I honestly don’t really need this but I DO LOVE this feature because it makes me feel like Tony Stark. 

He’s literally my hero even though he’s a fictional character.

Lastly, the box is really cool!

Common Complaints I See On The Internet

1.Driver Issues

Some people claim to have driver issues with the Intuos Pro

From my experience, it’s super easy to go to the Wacom website & download the driver you need. But if you do have issues, contacting Wacom is easy & they’re really good about solving problems. 

In my 9 years of using my old Intuos, I have never had issues updating the driver or getting in touch with Wacom for help.

There are a few negative reviewers that claim they never received a functional driver & that Wacom is stalling.

I did get my Intuos Pro fairly recently, so I’m sure any problem that did exist were solved by now. That said, I doubt people weren’t able to use their tablets for months.

Maybe there were some miscommunications, but this driver issue I think has been a little exaggerated. 

Conclusion

The Intuos Pro rocks!

Sure, the Small model leaves much to be desired compared to the M & L, but it still provides the user with a ton of features to create great art, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran.

That said, the tool doesn’t make the artist, the artist makes the tool. You don’t need the Intuos Pro to produce great work; it just makes the process of creating great work easier & quicker. 

But in the meantime, let me know what you think about drivers or any other art/drawing tablet related topic in the comments below.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram to see what I’m working on currently.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be noisy & check out my other articles. For example, I have a dope post about The Best Drawing Tablets Under $100, you should definitely check out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *