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Wacom One vs Intuos Pro (2020): Which Drawing Tablet Should You Get?

Wacom’s drawing tablets are the industry-leading accessories for digital artists and creative professionals everywhere. Newly released this year is the Wacom One, an entry-level pen display for those who aren’t yet ready (or don’t have the budget) for the Cintiq line. Because it’s priced very close to the popular Wacom Intuos Pro Medium, choosing between the two is interesting and more difficult. Here’s our breakdown of the pros and cons of these Wacom pen tablets.

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Wacom Intuos Pro

Design digitally with full creative control using the Wacom Intuos Pro. Features customizable Express Keys and multitouch surface, and comes the virtually lag free Wacom Pro Pen 2.

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Wacom One vs Intuos Pro Tablet Comparison Chart

ModelWacom One Intuos Pro Medium (PTH660)
 Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet with ScreenWacom Intuos Pro Digital Drawing Tablet
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TypePen DisplayPen Tablet
Active Area13.3″8.7″ x 5.8″
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixelsn/a
Dimensions8.9″ x 14.1″ x 0.6″8.5″ x 13.2″ x 0.3″
Weight2.2 lb1.54 lb
Pen Pressure Levels40968192
Pen Tilt Angle60 degrees60 degrees
Pen Resolution2540 lpi5080 lpi
Replacement Nibs36 standard, 4 felt
StandBuilt-in 19-degree legsDesktop pen stand
ExpressKeysNone
SoftwareBamboo Paper
Clip Studio Paint (6 months free)
Adobe Creative Cloud or Adobe Premiere Rush CC (2 months free)
Adobe Fresco (6 months free)
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan (2 months free)
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, AndroidWindows, Mac 
ReleasedJanuary 2020January 2017

Design

The Wacom One has a display while the Wacom Intuos Pro has customizable buttons.

Wacom One vs Intuos Pro Drawing Tablet - Design
The presence of a display on the Wacom One (left) makes for a different drawing experience from the Wacom Intuos Pro (right).

As you can see, there’s a fundamental difference between the Wacom One and Intuos Pro. Wacom makes the distinction easy by categorizing them as a pen display and a pen tablet, respectively.

The AHVA display on the Wacom One means you’ll be looking down at the tablet itself while using it. Meanwhile, the Wacom Intuos Pro simply plots its surface to your monitor, so you’d still be looking up to your computer’s display. This is perhaps the most important consideration when choosing between these drawing tablets, since the overall experience is substantially different.

The Wacom One’s 13.3-inch display is larger than the screen size of the iPad Pro, so you have plenty of drawing space to use. Its resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels makes it as sharp as most displays, but the screen might seem dim if you’re working in a well-lit room or office space. Its color accuracy isn’t the best either, managing only 72% of the NTSC color gamut.

You can easily spot the 8.7 x 5.8 inch active area on the Wacom Intuos Pro Medium thanks to the corner ticks on its surface. Of course, the most noticeable features there are the Touch Ring and ExpressKeys, which can enhance your productivity a lot. 

Performance

The Wacom Intuos Pro has better precision and control than the Wacom One.

Wacom One vs Intuos Pro Drawing Tablet - Performance
Having easy to reach buttons for your non-drawing hand makes the Wacom Intuos Pro faster to use.

Because the Wacom One is intended as an entry-level device for the more expensive and professional-grade Cintiq tablets, it has a few compromises to make. It has half the pen pressure levels and pen resolution of the Wacom Intuos Pro. That means you’ll find the Intuos Pro to be more precise and responsive to your brush strokes. They’re both virtually lag-free, however, so you get nearly the same natural tracking. Drawing on either one will feel like drawing on paper or canvas with an actual pen. 

That rings truer for the Wacom One, since you’re drawing on the display itself and can see your lines appear on the surface you’re working on. If you’re used to sketching on paper, there’s very little adjustment to make. It does mean you’ll be looking down onto your canvas though, which can strain your neck and back. There are pop-out legs which you can use to tilt the Wacom One to a 19-degree angle for better ergonomics but it only lessens the need for breaks and some stretching.

In comparison, since you’ll still be sitting up normally and looking at your monitor while using the Wacom Intuos Pro, there’s less stress on your neck even after long hours of use. More importantly, the Touch Ring and customizable ExpressKeys do wonders in speeding up your workflow. You can set each one to your favorite shortcuts, letting you switch brushes quickly, undo previous changes, and more. With the Wacom One, you’ll still have to depend on your keyboard and mouse or use the in-display menus. 

Software

The Wacom One includes more bonus software than the Wacom Intuos Pro.

Wacom One vs Intuos Pro Drawing Tablet - Software
Wacom packs more complimentary graphic design software on the Wacom One, and it’s compatible with select Android devices as well. 

Wacom One is loaded with bonus software, though they’re time-limited access for the most part. You get 2 months complimentary access to either Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan or Adobe Premiere Rush CC (your choice), as well as 6 months access to Clip Studio Paint. These make the Wacom One an excellent choice for your very first drawing tablet indeed. 

In addition, Wacom includes its own Bamboo Paper app in the device. This lets the Wacom One work as a standalone drawing tool, which is a clear advantage over the Intuos Pro. It includes all of the features in the Pro Pack, too, so you get all of the tools for free.

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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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Meanwhile, the Wacom Intuos Pro only offers 2 months free access to Adobe CC Photography Plan. It’s not surprising since it’s intended for professionals who likely already have their preferred graphic design applications. 

Finally, Wacom added Android compatibility for the Wacom One. You’ll be able to use it with select Android smartphones, and even use their stylus pens too, in addition to Windows and Mac.

Accessories

The Wacom One requires cables while the Wacom Intuos Pro can be connected wirelessly.

Wacom One vs Intuos Pro Drawing Tablet - Accessories
You can see that the Wacom One needs multiple cables to work properly. 

Unlike most peripherals, the Wacom One needs to be plugged in multiple ways in order to work. The included Wacom One X-Shape Cable has four different plugs: an HDMI port to feed video into the Wacom One, a USB-A to transmit input from the tablet to the computer, a USB-C to connect both to the device itself, and finally an AC adapter for power. Without proper cabling management, this can result in messy setups, especially for desktop PCs.

In contrast, the Wacom Intuos Pro only needs a single USB cable to connect it to a PC or laptop. You also have the option of connecting it via Bluetooth for max convenience and least clutter.

Both Wacom Pro Pen 2 (for the Intuos Pro) and Wacom One Pen don’t require batteries to function, so they take away the hassle of recharging stylus devices such as with the Apple iPad. You get 10 total nibs for the Pro Pen 2 and only 4 for the One Pen. They both feel nice to hold, a bit thicker than typical pens but still light for hours of use without fatiguing your hand. 

Verdict

The Wacom One is better suited for beginners; the Wacom Intuos Pro for serious illustrators.

Deal Finder
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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Deal Finder
Wacom Intuos Pro

Design digitally with full creative control using the Wacom Intuos Pro. Features customizable Express Keys and multitouch surface, and comes the virtually lag free Wacom Pro Pen 2.

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We are reader supported. When you buy through our links we may earn an affiliate commission.

Wacom makes it clear that the Wacom One is a drawing tablet for those new to this style of creating digital art. Having a display you can draw on makes it easier to transfer your skills if you’re used to working on paper and other physical canvas. Moreover, it includes bonus software that can get you started right away in exploring your digital creativity. 

Creative professionals who value shortcuts and quick tool switching will appreciate the Wacom Intuos Pro Medium more. It’s a lot more point and pressure-sensitive, allowing greater control and accuracy. Drawing on a tablet while looking at a separate display may take beginners some getting used to, but it becomes second nature once you familiarize yourself to it. 

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro?

Wacom Intuos Pro tablets have higher resolution or LPI (lines per inch) than non-Pro models. In addition, Intuos Pro also has other advanced features such as rotation and pen tilt sensitivity.

📌 Which Wacom tablet is best for beginners?

The Wacom One is recommended for users who are new to digital art. With a bright display you can draw on, it’s easier to transfer your pen and paper skills to the digital format.

📌 Is Wacom better than Huion?

Wacom drawing tablets are considered better suited for professional use. They have better built quality and more responsive pens than Huion tablets in general.

📌 Is Wacom a Chinese company?

No, Wacom Co., Ltd. is a Japanese company based in Kazo, Saitama.

RELATED  Wacom One vs Huion Kamvas 13 (2020): Which Android-Compatible Drawing Tablet Is Better?
Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

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