Choosing your first graphics tablet can seem like a daunting task, especially when you consider that there is a wide range of products on the market from different manufacturers. For me, the first tablet was exclusively a toy, which was bought "for trial", but I was still not too lazy to review all kinds of reviews, re-read a bunch of articles and fill the browser with tabs with characteristics for comparison. Since that moment, some time has passed and I have come to the conclusion that choosing the first graphic tablet is extremely easy.
Below I will talk about the main characteristics and their significance, but in the next paragraph you will find out what your first baby will be like.
First, you need to understand how good your skill is at drawing or what the tablet will be used for. If you are a new Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael or another turtle, then without a doubt you should go to the section of graphic tablets, sort them by price and take the most expensive and technologically advanced one on the market. If your creative path is just beginning, then your choice is any tablet that meets modern criteria. Whether it's Wacom, Huion, or another manufacturer, you won't see the difference unless you start drawing on tablets in parallel.
By “minimally meeting modern criteria,” I mean a tablet that is sensitive to multiple levels of pressure and a pen that works without a cord or battery.
The main idea of the article has just been voiced and then my reflections on the expediency of certain aspects follow.
So, the main characteristics that manufacturers point to us in the face are:
Oddly enough, the pressure sensitivity determines the number of pressure levels that the tablet is able to recognize. On the first day after purchasing, I compared my Wacom Intuos S with an older version of the Wacom Intuos Pen, which was kindly provided to me by an artist friend. Mine had 4096 pressure levels, the second tablet had 1024. Yes, there was a difference in the result, but so minimal that I had to switch between the tablets several times and try to catch at least some differences.
This point is more important, since this is a characteristic that will directly affect the workflow. To begin with, it's worth distinguishing between size and work area. Size is the overall dimensions of the tablet, and the work area is the area that is susceptible to interaction. On my tablet, the working area is 152x95mm and I have never felt a lack of working space. And most people who talk about size agree that this is enough and there is no point in buying a tablet of A4 size or larger if we are not talking about a version with a screen. As for an even smaller size, such as the Inspiroy H420 from Huion, you should at least hold it in your hands before buying, as the working area of 107x57 mm seems to me not enough for comfortable work.
Resolution helps the tablet display more accurate results on the monitor. Naturally, the more expensive the tablet, the higher the resolution, however, in my opinion, this is nothing more than the value that developers turn to to demonstrate the superiority of their creation. As a beginner, you will not feel the difference, however, you will be able to brag about a figure, the meaning of which no one will really understand.
As for additional criteria, such as use with a phone or the ability to put a sheet of paper on a tablet and get an image in digital and analog form at the same time, this is just entertainment and marketing. I can say the same about the software that comes paired with the tablet, as it is often a nice bonus, but definitely not the main killer feature.
I would also like to say about the large number of buttons on the tablet. I find this extremely useless. It so happened that if I need hotkeys, then there will be too many of them and I physically cannot assign everything to the tablet. And combining the built-in buttons and keyboard is completely inconvenient.
The only thing that seems interesting to me about the additional functions is Bluetooth. I use a laptop and I do not need an additional cable that takes up a USB port. However, if every penny counts, then you should not refuse the purchase due to the inability to buy the wireless version.
Someone might say that I'm trying to discount every characteristic of a tablet and, with this logic, you can buy a pager and draw with it in the sand. But the point of buying the most affordable graphics tablet is that you buy it and start drawing, modeling, sculpting, or at least somehow using it. You can save up for months on an expensive tablet and waste time, or you can start pumping the skill right now. Also, the basic tablet will give you an understanding of what functions you want to see in the device, and this will guide you in the future when buying a more professional version.
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