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Wacom Intuos Small vs Medium (2021): What’s the Difference?

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, a graphics tablet will be important if you’re working with digital art. Drawing digitally is next to impossible without one, and all the features it offers make it a no-brainer to get one for yourself. They’re a mainstay for professionals, but nowadays budget-friendly models exist that let beginners buy and create their own art without having to pay an exorbitant amount.

One of the industry’s biggest names, Wacom, offers a wide variety of tablets depending on what you’re looking for. Their Wacom Intuos is offered in two sizes: Small and Medium. Read on to find out what the difference is between the two, if any really do exist.

Wacom Intuos Small vs Medium Comparison Chart

ModelWacom Intuos SmallWacom Intuos Medium
Active Area6.0″ x 3.7″8.5″ x 5.3″
Dimensions7.9″ x 6.3″ x 0.4″10.4″ x 7.8″ x 0.4″
Tilt SupportNoNo
Pen Buttons22
Eraser on PenNoNo
Tablet Shortcut Buttons44
Android CompatibilityYesYes
ConnectivityWired, BluetoothWired, Bluetooth
Pen Pressure4096 levels4096 levels
ColorsBlack, PistachioBlack, Pistachio

Tablet Design

Wacom’s high quality micro-textured tablet makes an appearance for both sizes.

Both tablets are slim, coming in at a thickness of 0.4 inches.

Since the two tablets come from the same Intuos line, they’re very similar just as you’d expect. Both place an emphasis on being as thin as possible, with a thickness of 0.4 inches. This means that they won’t take up much space if you’ll be travelling with either. The only difference between the two, really, is their size: the small model is as tall as the medium one is wide. This difference has a huge impact on the two tablets’ active areas, which we’ll look into in a later section.

Both tablets are designed with Wacom’s micro-textured surface, which most online reviews have noted are better and more durable than competitors like XP Pen’s. These mean that the drawing surface isn’t totally smooth. The little bumps included make it so that your pen doesn’t glide too much across your tablet, making pen control easier. Both tablets also have four shortcut buttons at the top. This symmetrical design makes the Intuos suitable for artists regardless of their dominant hand. The shortcut buttons will make your artist life easier, since you won’t have to reach for your keyboard as much. Instead, you can use these buttons and program them to have the most used shortcuts you have.

Pen Features and Pressure

Wacom doesn’t include a separate pen holder with its package.

Instead of a holder, the buttons on both tablets were made concave to serve as a pen slot.

The Intuos pen has a pressure sensitivity of 4096 levels. While this might pale in comparison to other brands’ pen’s, like XP Pen’s 8192 levels, the difference is bigger on paper than it is in performance. Online reviews and comparisons consistently say that the difference in pressure sensitivity is something that you won’t really notice. Intuos’ 4096 levels is still very sensitive, and you’ll still be able to create stunning pictures with it. One thing that users might notice, though, is the lack of support for tilted input. It might be important for artists whose digital creations try to emulate the strokes that certain mediums like pencil produce when making traditional art.

Both pens have two buttons and no dedicated eraser. Users online give favorable reviews regarding its calibration, sensitivity, and tracking. These are very important if you’re looking for a tablet, since any latency would add to the disconnect you might feel between your hand movements and what’s showing on screen. As mentioned earlier, the Intuos “pen holder” is actually its button area, which has been made concave. This design might be favorable for those who travel a lot, since you won’t need a separate holder for your pen if ever you’ll work on the go.

Active Area: Small vs Medium?

The only difference between the two is their size.

The Intuos Small (left) versus the Medium (right) (not to accurate scale).

The only noticeable difference (or actually, the only difference) between the two is their size. As mentioned in an earlier section, the sizes affect how big the active area, or the surface you can use for drawing, can be. The small option has an active area of 6 by 3.7 inches, while the medium one has 8.5 by 5.3 inches. Since that’s the only difference (aside from their price, of course), it’s inevitable that customers will ask: how important is size?

For one, a bigger tablet will make moving around your screen easier. This depends on how big the screen you’re working with is, but bigger tablets are generally closer in size to screens than their smaller counterparts. There’s less need for you to adjust either your strokes or the zoom on your preferred application. Tablets in general, though, have higher resolutions than screens. This means that you may have difficulties too with a big tablet, since it might be harder to control your pointer when working on fine details. You’ll have to adjust your choice, too, after accounting for how big your working space will be. While some have dedicated art workspaces, some might have to blend their daily workspace with their space for hobbies. In this case, a smaller tablet may be better. All these, plus their difference in price, can help you make a more informed choice.

With that being said, it’s worth emphasizing once again that there’s no difference between the two when it comes to active performance. Aside from the bigger workspace you’ll have, availing of a Medium won’t get you any additional features as you might expect. For this reason, its higher price (which can get as expensive as twice the price of the Small, depending on the store) is difficult, if not impossible, to justify.


The small Intuos is more worth its price.

The Wacom Intuos Small is the better choice between the two, regardless of whether you’re a pro or a beginner. It has decent pressure sensitivity, a very durable surface, great portability, and can even come with a license for certain graphics software programs. All its features make it a great choice for anyone, especially at the price that Wacom offers it at.

The same could be said for the Wacom Intuos Medium; however, that’s exactly the problem with it. It’s identical to its smaller counterpart in everything but size. It offers Wacom customers no additional features or improvements on the small Intuos model. If you’re looking for a bigger tablet, try to browse other stores or brands like XP Pen (check out our comparison here). Otherwise, buy the Intuos Small instead. It works just as well, is around half as expensive, and is still made by the same trusted name.


๐Ÿ“Œ How big is the Intuos Small?

The Intuos Small is 7.9″ x 6.3″, is 0.4″ thick, and has an active area of 6.0″ x 3.7″.

๐Ÿ“Œ How big is the Intuos Medium?

The Intuos Medium is slightly bigger than its Small counterpart: it comes in at 10.4″ x 7.8″ with an active area of 8.5″ x 5.3″.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are Intuos Medium and Intuos Pro the same?

No, the Intuos Medium is different from the Intuos Pro. The Intuos Pro is an entirely separate product line from Intuos, but both are made by Wacom.

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

The Intuos Small is more recommendable, since it’s more affordable than the medium option. Intuos Medium also offers no differences from the small tablet, aside from size.

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mauie Flores

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying, blogger and content creator passionate about writing, music, and good food.