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Wacom One vs Cintiq (2021): Which Pen Display Should You Buy?

Whether you are an experienced digital artist or a graphic design enthusiast, chances are you are familiar with the range of drawing tablets from Wacom. Just this year, the Wacom One was released to suit the needs of those who are looking for a decent, entry-level drawing tablet. If you have a slightly bigger budget, you may be inclined to go with a mid-level model like the Wacom Cintiq (not to be confused with the higher-end series, Cintiq Pro). Aside from their prices, though, there are other points of consideration when choosing between these models. Check out our detailed comparison below to guide you with your buying decision.

Wacom One vs Cintiq Comparison Chart

ModelWacom OneWacom Cintiq
 Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet with ScreenWacom Cintiq 16
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Dimensions 8.86 x 14.05 x 0.57 inches16.6 x 11.2 x 0.4 inches
Weight1.0 kg1.9 kg for Wacom Cintiq 16


5.6kg for Wacom Cintiq 22

(without the optional stand)

Screen Size13.3 inches15.6 inches for Wacom Cintiq 16


21.5 inch for Wacom Cintiq 22

Resolution1920 x 10801920 x 1080
Display TechnologyAHVAIPS
Color Depth8 bit16.7 million (8 bits)
Response Time26ms25ms
Pen Pressure Levels40968192 levels (pen and eraser)
Pen Resolution2540 LPI5080 LPI
CompatibilitySelected Android Devices


Windows 7 or later

Mac OS 10.13 or later

Windows 7 or later


Mac OS X 10.12 or later

Prower ConsumptionPower ON mode (MAX): less than 10 W


Power OFF mode: 0.5 W or lower

Power sleep mode: 0.5 W or lower

Power ON mode (MAX): less than 33 W


Power OFF mode: 0.5 W or lower

Power sleep mode: 0.5 W or lower


The Wacom One is smaller and lighter compared to either the Wacom Cintiq 16 or Wacom Cintiq 22.

The Wacom One (pictured above) sports a 13.3-inches screen.

The Wacom One is encased in a sturdy plastic case with two fold-out legs that can be hidden when not in use. The unit has a power-lead which has an HDMI and USB connector. There is no option to adjust the legs, and the placement of the power lead makes it difficult to turn the screen around so you can position it upright and function as a second monitor. The unit also doesn’t have any hardware buttons. The unit comes with the Wacom One Pen which has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. The pen doesn’t need its own batteries and can be easily slipped into the fabric loop located at the top edge of the tablet.

On the other hand, the Wacom Cintiq line provides two size options: the Wacom Cintiq 16 and the Wacom Cintiq 22. Both models provide a bigger display with 15.6-inch and 25.1-inch screens respectively.

Like the Wacom One, the Wacom Cintiq 16 comes with foldable legs that allow the unit to be tilted in a 19-degree position. The Wacom Cintiq 22 comes with the Wacom Adjustable Stand that allows you to adjust it within the 16 to 82 degrees range. The Cintiq comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2. This pen has two customizable buttons, a pen nib, and an eraser on the other end, which allows you to just flip the pen over to make your corrections instead of using the eraser tool.  The Cintiq tablets are quite large and heavy, but keep in mind that they are designed for desktop use and not as mobile devices.

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Wacom One

Featuring a 13.3-inch HD screen, the Wacom One lets you create art, edit photos, take notes and sign documents. Includes a pressure-sensitive pen and free graphics software.

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Wacom Cintiq displays color more accurately and comes with a more powerful pen that delivers a more intuitive and realistic drawing experience compared to the Wacom One. 

Both the Wacom One (left) and the Wacom Cintiq (right) comes with 1920 x 1080 displays. 

Overall, the Wacom One offered a fairly comfortable and straightforward drawing experience. The pen included is nice and lightweight, although not including an eraser tip is a missed opportunity in terms of giving the buyers a more efficient user experience. The screen strikes the right balance between giving you a sturdy surface and a smooth drawing area. Some users say that while there is no noticeable parallax or lag, the pen pressure levels can feel inadequate at times, especially if you are doing sketches with quick hand movements. The colors of the screen are bright and vivid, although they may appear to be less accurate compared to the colors rendered by higher-end tablets. The Wacom One can output up to 75% of the Adobe RGB color space while it can go up to 85% for the Cintiq.

The Wacom Cintiq‘s screen gives you ample working area. Also, it’s only sensitive to the pen so its software won’t respond to your touch. This means though that it doesn’t support gesture control or finger painting. The screen’s resolution is  1920 x 1080 Full HD, and it can display up to 16.7 million colors. Some users complain that the anti-glare coating of the Cintiq’s screen can make it appear a little dull when compared to the bright, glossy screen of their computers, but it serves its purpose well. The anti-glare coating helped with eye fatigue and headaches that usually come with staring at screens for long periods of time. Overall, the Cintiq allows you to perform seamless editing and quick movements without screen lags, and the Wacom Pro Pen 2 that comes with it provides more precise line thickness.


Both models come with a bunch of creative software that you can use for your digital art projects.


The Wacom One (left) works with Android devices, while the Wacom Cintiq (right) is only compatible with Windows and Mac OS. 

When you register your Wacom One, you’ll receive access to Bamboo Paper, Adobe Premiere Rush,  and Clip Studio Paint Pro valid for 6 months. Aside from Windows and Mac OS, the Wacom One is compatible with Android. It is important to take note, however, that since the Wacom One doesn’t run the actual graphic design software, you will need to work with higher-end Android devices like the Note 10 if you want to enjoy a seamless drawing experience.

The Wacom Cintiq also offers 6-month complimentary access to Substance Suite for those who do 3D designs and Clip Studio Paint Ex for drawing and painting. Unlike the Wacom One, this drawing peripheral only supports Windows and Mac OS.


Both Wacom One and Wacom Cintiq comes with their own pens, but the Wacom Cintiq 22 also includes the Wacom Adjustable Stand. 


The Wacom One (left) comes with the basic Wacom One Pen while the Wacom Cintiq comes with the more powerful Wacom Pro Pen 2 (right). 

When you buy the Wacom One, you’ll also get the Wacom One X-Shape cable, Wacom One Pen, AC Adapter (10 W), AC plug head, and 3 replacement nibs that are located under one of its fold-out legs. The Wacom Pen is pretty decent in terms of performance, but since choosing a pen is dependent on personal choices, the Wacom One is also made compatible with other brands like the Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab S Pen and Staedtler Noris digital pen.

The Wacom Pro Pen 2 that comes with the Wacom Cintiq is already powerful, but if you are in the lookout for other choices, this model is also compatible with the Wacom Pro Pen Slim, Pro Pen 3D, Grip Pen, Art Pen, and Classic Pen. The Cintiq 22 already comes with the Wacom Adjustable stand, so you get a wider range of screen tilt to help you work comfortably. To increase your productivity, you can also opt to buy the Wacom Express Remote which gives you 17 customizable buttons to keep your time-saving shortcuts and a touch ring that provides ease of control.


The Wacom One is a more budget-friendly option for budding digital artists, while the Wacom Cintiq is a better option for those who are looking for a step-up from a basic entry-level pen display. 

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Wacom One

Featuring a 13.3-inch HD screen, the Wacom One lets you create art, edit photos, take notes and sign documents. Includes a pressure-sensitive pen and free graphics software.

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Lasso Brag

All things considered, if you are a digital art enthusiast who’s looking for your first pen display, then the Wacom One is already powerful enough to get you started with your creative journey without breaking the bank. On the other hand, if you have been doing digital arts for quite some time and you are ready to step up from the basic entry-level drawing tablet but don’t have the budget for higher-end models like the Wacom Intuos, then the Wacom Cintiq line is a better match for you.


📌 Are Wacom tablets the best?

It’s safe to say that Wacom is the most highly-esteemed brand when it comes to graphic or drawing tablets. Wacom’s tablets and pens are incredibly responsive and accurate, and their product range contains tablets for every level.

📌 Is the Wacom Cintiq worth it?

Yes, the Wacom Cintiq is an accurate drawing tablet with an impressive display that can significantly improve your overall productivity and workflow.

📌 Does the Wacom Cintiq work without computer?

No, the Wacom Cintiq is a computer accessory/peripheral that only functions as an input device for a desktop or laptop computer.

📌 Is the Wacom One wireless?

No, the Wacom One requires its X-Shape cable to be connected to a computer and a power source before it can be used.

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Andy Mathews

Lead Editor at Compare Before Buying. Product researcher and tech enthusiast passionate about consumer products, comparison charts and surfing.