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Thread: Cheap Graphics Tablet

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    Big, Mean and Ugly! circuitmonkey's Avatar
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    Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Hi all,

    Can anyone recommend me a good but cheap graphics tablet, I really like the idea of the Bamboo Touch and Pen (I'm a big fan of multi-touch) but really can't justify spending £68 on a tablet that I will probably only use for a couple of weeks.

    I only really need it for a couple of graphics for my thesis, I don't have the patience to use a mouse, and I lost my old one

    Thanks in advance

    CM

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    I doubt you will get anything good for cheaper than the bamboo, its the budget Wacom tablet so as an entry point to the market thats the one i would get (and infact i have)

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Scan have a good choice from just over £20

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Shop/Computer-...aphics-Tablets

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    multi touch is pointless when you use a pen

    the Bamboo Fun is probably the one you want but it's not the cheapest, the basic bamboo pen modle will probably be fine for you.

    Wacom do do educational rates, although you need to register to find out what they are
    http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/education_cat_68972.html

    that or ask your uni as you may be able to get it through them.

    Or look at some of the cheap ones, personally i'm a fan of Aiptek (medion is also ok), they are no wacom, which you can tell in the pen, the cheap tablets tend to require far more force to get the pen to go through the full range of pressures so they are just not as nice to use, also the pens tend to need a AAA battery which the wacom don't, which makes them a bit heavier and back heavy.

    Final note, if you have a wide screen then get a widescreen ratio tablet, if the ratios are wrong a tablet is not a nice thing to use.

    don't know what it's like but £30 for a widescreen teblet http://www.amazon.co.uk/BLUESTORK-BS...1398221&sr=1-1

    also check fleabay and aldi I've got a Medion tablet from aldi in the past, not the best but very cheap.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Thanks Pob,

    Think I might just have to visit aldi this sunday....

    A good idea with the wide-screen tablet, but I don't think they make them for two wide-screens sitting side by side

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Buy a Wacom. Seriously - anything else is just a waste of money. Those 20 quid ones are rubbish, utter tat.

    If you can't afford a Wacom, don't buy a tablet - nothing else is worth buying.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Buy a Wacom. Seriously - anything else is just a waste of money. Those 20 quid ones are rubbish, utter tat.

    If you can't afford a Wacom, don't buy a tablet - nothing else is worth buying.
    Rubbish, I'm currently using an Aiptek tablet, I'll agree it's not up to wacom standards, but you still can get very good results from cheap tablets and they are fine for now and again usage.

    If I was using it every day or the cost was very simular for a cheap waco, then yes I'd go with the wacom.

    my otherhalf has one of the large Intuos tablets, which she uses for her comics, illustrations and digital painting and it is really nice, but it's not worth shelling out that much if you only use it now and again.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Rubbish, I'm currently using an Aiptek tablet, I'll agree it's not up to wacom standards, but you still can get very good results from cheap tablets and they are fine for now and again usage.

    If I was using it every day or the cost was very simular for a cheap waco, then yes I'd go with the wacom.

    my otherhalf has one of the large Intuos tablets, which she uses for her comics, illustrations and digital painting and it is really nice, but it's not worth shelling out that much if you only use it now and again.
    So which bit is rubbish? Because in all 3 sentences you seem to agree Wacoms are better

    Given that you can get a Wacom Bamboo for about £40 quid, buying a cheap £20 tablet is just a waste.

    I'm going to disagree with Pob strongly here, but not go as far as to call his post "rubbish" (no wonder Saracen got Peed off about the attitude of this place the other day, it's not hard to see why!) - and say don't buy a £20 tablet, save up a it more and buy a low end Wacom if you want one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    My rubbish was in response to your "rubbish, utter tat." a rubbish for a rubbish if you will.

    What I'm saying is, are cheap wacom's better than cheap tablets? yes.
    Are cheap tablets utter tat? no.

    On cost the very cheapest bamboo is touch only and it just a large track pad cost just under £40

    The next is the Pen only one, just under £50, however it's not the same as the other models, the pen is not as good, it's got less levels of pressure but more importantly is stiffer requiring more pressure and lacks the eraise tool end.
    The basic pen tablet also lacks the quick function buttons, this is designed as a hand writing and annotation tool not a graphical tablet, it still a step up from cheap tablets but nowhere near the quality of is normally associated with wacom

    The "Pen and touch" is the next one up, functions as a track pad, has the quick function buttons and the far better normal wacom pen, this one is the one you think of when you think of a wacom quality tablet, however it's just over £70

    This means your going to pay just under £50 for something that's only marginally better than a £20-30 tablet or £70 for a good tablet.

    I've used wacom's from the bamboo to the intuos and I've used cheap tablets from Aiptek and Medion
    And all three of the one's I've listed here are not as good as the original Bamboo, the main thing the pen&touch has going for it over the original is smaller size overall (track area still roughly the same) touch function with gestures to replace the rather poor mouse, what it loses out on are total programmable buttons and the scroll dial.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Ideally, Wacom are the way to go and I really fancy a nice, large Intuos. But the fact remains I wouldn't use it anything like enough to justify the cost.

    But I think the clue is in circuitmonkey saying
    but really can't justify spending £68 on a tablet that I will probably only use for a couple of weeks.

    I only really need it for a couple of graphics for my thesis,
    Are £20 tablets tat? Probably. Are they good? Probably not. Are they good enough though?

    Dunno. Not used one.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Thanks for all your help guys, it really is appreciated! I know there's been a fair bit of tension on this forum recently but personally I value a bit of debate, there's a lot to be learnt from contrasting opinions (albeit done in a respectful manor) and anyone who knows me will testify to the fact that I love playing devils advocate.

    In regards to the graphics tablet, I'm going to go with the cheapo Aldi offering, because lets face it, I've got enough presents to buy this month, without buying presents for myself. If you'd like, I'll let you know how I get on with the thing

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    it does, as usual come down to personal preference. If you try a cheaper lower end one than wacom and find it ok then there is no problem. The issue with it is if you get something which is below a wacom and you don't like it its a complete waste and you will hate it.

    If you buy a Wacom you can be SURE of its quality and response. If it wasn't for the fact i game i would be using mine all the time at home and if it wasn't for the fact that it doesn't work with old versions of AutoCAD i would be using it all the time at work.

    I (who only uses it occasionally), and any of my friends who do illustration/art/graphics would never buy anything other than a Wacom so i couldn't outright recommend anything other than that.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Hi, with Aldi you will have 30 days to take it back anyway(keep packing stuff etc). Lot of Aldi's ones have been Aiptek clones(or whatever, identical). Lots use them & they are OK(even search photography Forums etc). Bit since i used one i have & have the digital notepad as well. Both really well made thou(notepad looks same, GFX card diff thou).
    Supplied SW aint bad, or it was. Farly generic thou & theres other SW you can obtain/ buy. Also say with Photoshop, lot of setting up is within Photoshop ie not GFX Tab HW or SW(even used Dig Notepad for Photoshop). If i remember smaller size, can have benefit ie less arm movement. But maybe with bigger Tablets & SW this can be same.
    Must admit its a year or two back, ain't used much. But worked well & quality of HW good. Ain't used a Wacom so can't compare.
    Pens etc seem generic, look on Aiptek site(or eBay, was a seller or two on there), looked only a week or so back. Not as much on it, prev iv'e bought better pen & other stuff.


    Cheers BOB

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    it does, as usual come down to personal preference. If you try a cheaper lower end one than wacom and find it ok then there is no problem. The issue with it is if you get something which is below a wacom and you don't like it its a complete waste and you will hate it.
    ....
    Absolutely agree. But .... at £20, it's cheap enough to be worth the risk (to me, anyway) and just taking a punt. If I don't get on with it, I can always try to get a few quid back flogging it, and if that fails, well the worst that happens is I'm down £20.

    I agree about Wacom, though. I had an A4 one for a while a few years back and it was superb. But superb at a price.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    This means your going to pay just under £50 for something that's only marginally better than a £20-30 tablet or £70 for a good tablet.
    Again, I disagree here. We have a few of the Aipteks at work, namely the 14000U and the 600U.

    My general thoughts of them are:

    *Horrid Plastic - They 'feel' cheap.
    *Buggy software. Absolute hell compared to Wacoms.
    *Slow pen response time - again, much slower than a Wacom and to a point where I found it difficult to use it.
    *Horrid customer support - We have in the region of 100+ tablets at work (mostly Wacoms). Aiptek just don't care about bugs in their software.

    That 'marginally better' in my experience isn't that straight forward when you factor in real life experience over the stats.
    Sure, a cheaper Wacom might have less features compared to other brands, but the usability of it is much higher.

    If you're constraint by budget and only need it for a short time, I'd still recommend getting a Wacom and then selling it on (or buying a 2nd hand one on Ebay). Getting a bad first tablet is horrid experience - I've been there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: Cheap Graphics Tablet

    Hi, 14000U & certainly 600U are Aldi/ Medion clones. Regards SW you can find or buy other SW thou(which prob is a major consideration, what ever you buy ie Wacom specialized, so can imagine there SW is good. Thats if its actually supplied SW or prog you use as the greater affect ie Photoshop etc ?). Then there is functionality, extras(SW etc) etc, compared to price ie cheap Wacom, or cheap alternative. Even HW if your using a Tablet a lot, or maybe a bit pro functions, then in a lot of cases buying best(but that can be subjective thou & not much is perfect), even if just for support is prob best way to go, even if costly. But for occasional use ?
    Technology wise, most is prob in SW thats important, HW:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_tablet input device.

    Prob not as much for casual use. DPI etc. Be good, better & even better.

    One thing at least for OP, Aldi model might do, take back after 30 days, well thats HUKD thing( agree or not agree on that, not totally me, well i'd keep it, thats for sure),


    Cheers BOB

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