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Intuos vs Intuos Pro (2021): Which Wacom Drawing Tablet Wins?

Wacom markets its Intuos line of drawing tablets to specific groups. The Wacom Intuos is aimed more at beginners and hobbyists while the Wacom Intuos Pro is designed specially for professionals. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, so no matter your skill and experience, you should still select that one that matches your needs best. Here’s a comparison between the features and specs of the Intuos vs Intuos Pro to help you decide.

Wacom One vs Intuos Pro Tablet Comparison Chart

ModelWacom IntuosWacom Intuos Pro
 Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Drawing Tablet
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
TypePen TabletPen Tablet
SizeMediumMedium
Active Area8.5″ x 5.3″8.7″ x 5.8″
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixelsn/a
Dimensions7.8″ x 10.4″ x 0.35″8.5″ x 13.2″ x 0.3″
Weight0.9 lb1.54 lb
Pen Pressure Levels40968192
Pen Tilt Angle60 degrees60 degrees
Pen Resolution2540 lpi5080 lpi
Pen EraserNoYes
Replacement NibsNone6 standard, 4 felt
Tilt SensitivityNoYes
Multi-TouchNoYes
ExpressKeys4
SoftwareClip Studio Paint (2 years free)
Corel Painter Essentials 7 (90 day trial)
Corel AfterShot Pro 3 (90 day trial)
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan (2 months free)
Adobe After Effects & Premiere (2 months free)
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, AndroidWindows, Mac 

Design

The Wacom Intuos Pro is larger and has more controls than the Wacom Intuos.

While both tablets shown here are sized Medium, the Wacom Intuos (left) is definitely smaller than the Wacom Intuos Pro (right).

The design and size of these Wacom pen tablets are probably the most crucial factors when deciding between the two. These will heavily impact how easy or difficult they are to use, and whether they can help you improve your skills or simply be more trouble than they’re worth. As you can see, the size difference between the Intuos and Intuos Pro tablets is quite significant, especially in how much desk space they take. Still, the actual active area within them are very comparable.

The Medium variants of both the Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro are recommended for most artists, as they’re optimal whether you’re drawing line art or performing photo editing and retouching. Both pen tablets also have Small sizes, which are better for editing since it’s easier to move the cursor around the screen, but they can be more difficult to do line art in.

Only the Wacom Intuos Pro has a Large size, which can be great for those who like to move their arm around more. However, if you prefer drawing with your wrist, this could prove tiresome and take some getting used to. You can change its mapping settings to small or medium, though.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro is the number of ExpressKeys they have, as well as the inclusion of a Touch Ring on the latter. These ExpressKeys can be customized to whichever tool or shortcut you like, so having more on the Intuos Pro can be a nice advantage. Moreover, its Touch Ring lets you resize your brush, zoom in and out, and do similar other functions faster, which can greatly speed up your process.

Performance

The Wacom Intuos Pro has higher pressure sensitivity and better precision than the Wacom Intuos.

The placement of the ExpressKeys on the Wacom Intuos Pro can make it easier to use.

As mentioned, the designs of the Intuos and Intuos Pro have a considerable impact on their overall performance. In particular, having the ExpressKeys and Touch Ring on the opposite side of your drawing hand can make the Intuos Pro easier and faster to use. You’ll be able to rely less on your keyboard for shortcuts and settings, and the left and right orientation makes sense. In comparison, the Wacom Intuos has its ExpressKeys at the top, which can be inconvenient to reach at times.

Wacom packed double the pressure sensitivity and pen resolution of the Wacom Intuos Pro compared to its non-Pro sibling. The Intuos Pro supports 8192 levels of pen pressure while the Intuos only offers up to 4096. However, whether you’re able to make full use of this depends on your particular style and skill, though it’s nice to have a higher range if and when you decide to use it.

The Intuos Pro also has tilt sensitivity, allowing you to change the shape of your stroke as you tilt the pen. This only works if both the brush and software you’re using supports it, however. While the Intuos tablet doesn’t have this, it’s not really a necessity, though again, it’s nice to try and see whether it helps you or not. Similarly, the Intuos Pro having Multi-touch can be a nice feature, letting you navigate, zoom and scroll with your fingertips, but its usefulness only depends on your preferences.

Overall, despite the extra pressure sensitivity and resolution of the Intuos Pro, you can expect comparable performance from the Intuos. Both are excellent at capturing your strokes and digitally translating them, no matter your monitor or display size. The Medium sizes in particular are possibly the best options to start with, since their active areas are just big enough for better line control without tiring your arm.

Software

The Wacom Intuos comes with more bundled software than the Wacom Intuos Pro.

The Intuos pen tablet includes a 2-year license for Clip Studio Paint Pro. 

Beginners and those new to digital pen tablets will like the added bonus software bundled with the Wacom Intuos. It includes a two year license for Clip Studio Paint Pro, one of the most popular graphics software used by artists. In addition, it also has a 90-day trial for Corel Painter Essentials 7 and Corel AfterShot Pro 3. As such, if you don’t particularly rely on other programs, or you want to try these out, the Intuos presents a lot more value than the Intuos Pro.

This is because the Intuos Pro only adds two months free access to Adobe After Effects and Premiere, as well as two months of Adobe CC Photography Plan. None of these are particularly conducive for drawing, sketching and such, so photo editors, video editors and other professionals might be the only ones that can appreciate these inclusions.

Both Intuos and Intuos Pro work smoothly with Windows and Mac computers. You won’t need to worry about device compatibility in this regard. You can connect the pen tablets via USB or Bluetooth, which offers a lot of convenience and won’t add to the clutter on your workspace. Interestingly, you can connect the Intuos to an Android device via an OTG connector, which can be a useful feature if you use Android tablets for productivity.

Accessories

The Wacom Intuos Pro’s pen has an eraser and replacement nibs while the Wacom Intuos doesn’t.

The round pen stand shown here also stores the replacement nibs for the Intuos Pro pen. 

The included pens for both Intuos and Intuos Pro are similar, with the notable difference of the eraser feature on the reverse end of the Intuos Pro pen. It’s a nice feature for those used to working with pencils, but most will find that switching to an eraser tool is faster and more flexible.

The round steel pen stand for the Intuos Pro also houses the replacement nibs for its pen. There are standard and felt nibs that feel different as you draw on the tablet’s surface. Both pens don’t require any charging, making them highly convenient anytime you want to use them. Combined with wireless connectivity, you’ll have no problem with portability or getting up and running.

Verdict

The Wacom Intuos Pro has more features but the Wacom Intuos offers better value.

The features available on both Wacom pen tablets make this buying decision a lot easier depending on your skill level and preferences. For professionals who value precision, controls and productivity, the Wacom Intuos Pro is well worth the extra cost. The additional ExpressKeys as well as the Touch Ring can simplify and speed up your work, and the higher sensitivity provides a wider range over your strokes. Plus, you get replacement nibs ready and waiting to ensure you can keep on drawing a long time.

At a much friendlier price point, the Wacom Intuos is simply the better choice if you don’t need any of the extra features the Pro offers. It performs just as well even at half the pen resolution and pressure sensitivity, so it makes for an excellent beginner tablet as well as an option for experienced artists who want a simpler interface. Moreover, it’s bundled with creative software that can get you started right away.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the difference between the Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro?

The Wacom Intuos is slightly smaller physically than the Intuos Pro, and it has half the resolution as well. This can affect how smooth your stroke output is depending on the size of your monitor, meaning larger monitors or display resolutions will feel more comfortable while using the Intuos Pro.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Wacom Intuos Pro worth it?

Yes, the Wacom Intuos Pro offers sufficient upgrades and additional features that make it worth the extra spend.

๐Ÿ“Œ What size Wacom Intuos should I get?

Optimally, you’ll want a pen tablet that has an active area close to your monitor size. Most will find the Medium size Intuos to offer a nice combination between comfort and precision.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the best Wacom tablet for beginners?

We recommend the Wacom Intuos for those new to making digital art. It offers impressive precision, customizability, and compatibility to make the learning experience easier.

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.