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Thread: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

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    Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Hey guys,
    I'm looking to buy a Graphics Tablet very soon and I was hoping some of you might have some suggestions as to make/size/price for the home enthusiast.

    I've heard that in general they're all the same but what differentiates them is the software and features that they come with.

    Of course I'm working on a budget so I can't afford a £200 A4 tablet that CAD and Post Production houses provide for their lovely staff (wouldn't it be nice to work in Framestore ), but at the same time I don't want a tiny A6 thing (unless you recommend one of course).

    I guess I'm looking at the £60 mark and in terms of real world use it won't be my main interaction with the PC but I hate not having something of decent enough quality to do the work I want to do (i.e. I would rather spend the extra money if having something cheaper was just rubbish to use)

    Anyway, thoughts & recommendations appreciated.

    X10

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    I don't know if you can get a Wacom for that money, but they are by far the best in my experience.
    Avoid Trust ones like the plague.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Senior Member MaddAussie's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    might be worth PM'ing Bobster as hes a fountv of all tthings tablet

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    In that price range for a wacom (imo the best) you could get the Wacom Bamboo Fun Small (A6 Wide) for £64.34 from dabs dabs.com - Wacom Bamboo Fun Small (A6 Wide) (CTE450WEN)

    As the title says, it's not really for serious work, so if you could stretch your budget, it would be better for your work and comfort.

    Take a look at your local PCWorld, they often have a range of tablets near their mouse section.

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    I am Domo-Kun, hear me Roooaaaarrrrrrr!!! uchiha_itachi's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    I just purchased a Wacom tablet, although as I use it for sketching, CAD work, etc. I went for the intuos3 A5 Wide. Gonna have to agree with everyone here and recommend you to just get a lower spec wacom, in terms of quality they blow away other companies graphic tablets. Got mine from AllMacShop, they offer a student discount on most of their wacom tablets.
    Quote Originally Posted by capt_cornflake View Post
    the large ones were definitely a 2 handed job.

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Yeah going to go with every one else and suggest Wacom as the way to go! I personally have an A6 Graphire 3 works like a charm and my partner has a Graphire 4 A5 which she uses for her Illustration degree, if you can stretch to it A5 is better but A6 is usable once you get used to it.

    Try Wacom's web shop they have a "Used" section which is basically ex-display or ex-show tablets but they come with full warrenty (2 years) and the two I have bought that way have been pristene and I have never had any problems with them. You will need to check the site every so often, as whats available obviously changes as different products become available, potentially daily.

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Firstly, thank you to everyone for responding so far.

    It seem the defacto standard and market leader is WACOM, well that's good to know. They are however miles more expensive than any of the competition, I suppose you actually get the quality you pay for.

    vinnyT - Thanks for the link, I've looked at the Dabs offerings and that's when I realised how expensive a Graphics Tablet from Wacom really is.
    There's no PC World's that close to me, but I'm happy to go with recommendations on this one.

    Webby - Awesome link, I've found 2 tablets that I'm willing to stretch my budget to:

    Graphire4 Classic XL - 149,99 EUR
    Graphire3 Studio XL - 152,85 EUR

    Which of these 2 would people recommend?

    The Graphire3 Studio XL comes with a Mouse as well (not sure that would get any use though) and also some extra software (Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, Pinnacle Studio 8 SE, penPalette LE from nik Multimedia, ACDSee 5.0/1.65)

    The Graphire4 comes with Corel Painter Essentials 2 CD-ROM

    Both have the same active area (208.8 x 150.8 mm), the Graphire3 has a smaller physical area, which in general seems better on space saving and has a slightly higher resolution (2032dpi vs 2000dpi).
    I'm leaning towards the Graphire3 at the moment, happy to order it now if you all think it's a good buy. Or hold out for something else in that price range.

    All thoughts welcomed.

    X10

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    If the 3 does all you want it to & with CAD that's not much, as you're not too interested with pen pressure & responsiveness, then go for it.

    For CAD an essential tool at times is a 3D Connexion SpaceNavigator or Space Pilot. Combined with a good mouse you can rip through drawings/models. I've been using CAD in one shape or another for over 20 years & i've found them indespensible.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Just for reference I have the mouse with my A6 Graphire 3 and use it as my main mouse have done for 3 years with no complaints. However, when I upgraded to my new monitor (22" widescreen) the active area is to small so I find myself constantly picking the mouse up to get across the screen, I could turn up the speed but then small movements become difficult. Its most apparent in games... you turn, there is your target, you move the cursor towards his head and then it stops (an inch short of course) but the mouse keeps going as you moved off the active area. This problem has only really manifested itself since my widescreen monitor annoying none the less!

    Anyway as to Graphire 3 or 4, the 3 has the mouse and a better software bundle if you need that great, the 4 has 2(?) softkeys on the tablet which you can assign different functions to, completely customisable.

    Which you pick is completely up to you and what you need it for, if you have a decent mouse already I wouldn't consider the Graphire 3's mouse a real benefit as the tablet and a separate mouse will co-exist on the same computer no problem at all, you would save space though but saying that it's not hard to stash the tablet somewhere when your not using it or put your mouse mat on top of it for that matter.

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Thanks 0iD, thanks Webby.

    So, beyond the 2 customiseable softkeys there's no difference at all to the operation of either unit?

    I notice 0iD mentioned pen pressure and responsiveness, and while I'm not going to go higher in budget to acheive better results on either of those I would certainly want the best out of the choice I was making.

    How useful do users of the Graphire4 find the 2 softkeys, I can't at the moment imagine using them, but then seasoned tablet users might tell me otherwise?

    If the softkeys are worth it, I'll go for the 4, the mouse and software bundle don't bother me at the moment and can't forsee them being a necessity. However, if they are equal in level of technology then I'll go with the 3 simply because it's footprint is smaller.

    Final thoughts anyone?

    X10

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Well I found the technical specifications for both graphire3 graphire4 here:

    Wacom | Products | Graphire |

    Wacom Europe GmbH - Products - Graphire

    There doesnt seem to be much between them, both have the same pressure levels of 512.

    As for the usefulness of the express keys, I find my ones very useful, just having undo, (ctrl+z) set to one of the keys is a lifesaver when I'm sketching.
    Quote Originally Posted by capt_cornflake View Post
    the large ones were definitely a 2 handed job.

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Thanks uchiha_itachi.
    Given that you think the buttons are a 'lifesaver' I've gone with the Graphire4 Classic XL.
    2-3 working days delivery apparently, so should arrive Monday or Tuesday. I hope they're being conservative rather than optimistic with those dates and get it by the weekend!

    Anyway, thank you for all your help and input on the subject everyone, I'll let you know how it turns out

    X10

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Cool, let us know what you think. Now wanting one for home
    [
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    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    They deliver from Germany so it is likely to take at least 2 days so you may have it Saturday if your lucky, not sure if UPS deliver on Saturdays or not.

    Anyway hope it lives up to your expectations, and enjoy!

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Good choice, I hope you like it as much as I like mine.

    You may find it a bit weird at first, but soon it's secound nature.

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    Re: Recommendations for a mid-range Graphics Tablet

    Keep us updated on your purchase please. I am looking at buying a tablet for around £100. Will be used for Photoshop/Corel Painter IX, i do quite a bit of digital art on deviantart.com but my mouse has now become a bottleneck.

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