marni leikin
Director, MAT/MA in Art & Design Education

best tablets for a HS Graphic Arts Studio?

Hi all,

Wondering what the feelings out there are, regarding drawing tablets. I have my own Wacom Intuos 5 and love it. What is a great tablet for a HS classroom? I have 12 chairs, would likely get 12 tablets, so economics are important....but would still rather have a piece of equipment that will last over something super cheap today.

Any advice is welcome!

Thanks so much,


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Comments (8)

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Mircea Lungu

Posted on 10/29/15 8:03:08 AM Permalink

At our IT Training center, I am using a Wacom Intuos 5 Touch tablet which is great. For the "Adobe Generation Professional: Animation" course that I attended last year, I used that tablet to create a Flash rotoscoping animation.

For students I suggest to get the Bamboo or the new Intuous Pen and Touch tablets. They come in different versions: Intuos Comic Pen&Touch, Intuos Art Pen&Touch, Intuos Photo Pen&Touch etc. They are affordable and very good for students.

Dave Pember

Posted on 7/1/14 7:35:13 PM Permalink

We are using the Bamboo tablets with a good amount of success. The students like them and so far we have had very few technical issues. As Maria Nadal mentioned in her comment - they are reasonably priced too!

Maria Nadal

Posted on 2/23/14 4:19:47 PM Permalink

I'm using a class set of Bamboo, both smaller and larger. They ran around $70 and have been holding up fine for these last several years of use.

marni leikin

Posted on 2/14/14 3:12:49 AM Permalink

thanks for this advice guys. I was leaning towards getting the pen and touch, and getting enough for everyone, but was also considering reducing the number and going for the make a really good point Marco and its good to here you and your students have been successful with the Intuos 4's. I have a very small class size (Max 12, average 8) and so could easily get away with 6 Pro's...maybe with 2 pen and touches as well, just so no one is left out...or buy 6 Pro's now, 6 more next fall.

marco lucadano

Posted on 2/14/14 3:01:04 AM Permalink

Hi Marni, I was faced with a similar scenario a few years back...outfit my classes of 30 with 12 Intuos 4 medium tablets or 30 cheaper models (Bamboo), I went for the Intuos 4 and they have been solid workhorses for three years now. Students have learned to love them and consistently make use of them. They are briefed on how to handle them and clean them after every use. One did end up a loose mini USB port, but that will be a non-factor with the Intuous Pro that is wireless. I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on the the Pro model as the reviews have been very positive.



Jim Goodwin

Posted on 2/7/14 5:53:58 AM Permalink

I have seven of the bamboo tablets and I'm also looking for something to replace them after about five years in my classroom. We had lots of use out of them but the pens were far too fragile for high schoolers. After dropping the pen a couple times, they would require replacement (or in our case some delicate soldering.) I wouldn't buy them again unless the pens were more robust. They just weren't made to stand up to daily abuse.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 2/7/14 1:21:43 PM Permalink

I've got a Bamboo pen in my hand right now. It's flexing with the slightest squeeze, so I totally agree with you. It looks like the new "Intuos Pen and Touch" uses the same pen - just with a different color pattern. Can't be sure though. Nonetheless, we're replacing my lab with them next year.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 2/1/14 12:48:19 AM Permalink

We actually used Intuos 2 tablets for 12 years in my lab! 12 years! They were solidly built. However, the pens themselves eventually succumbed to being handled by 300 teenagers every year for those 12 years. As the pens cost just as much as a new tablet, we are going with the Intuos Pen and Touch. This is a newer product - you may have seen the Bamboo Pen and Touch. Wacom dropped the Bamboo branding and redesigned the unit. The smallest version is only $100 or so. I have a Bamboo Pen and Touch myself that they got for me as a test unit. I wasn't impressed with the build quality, but if functions just fine. I was worried about giving it to teenagers though. The new Intuous Pen and Touch has the same functionality, but I think a bit better build quality. That's important when dealing with young paws. So, even the price point is low, I believe it will last. Will they go 12 years like their predecessors? Who knows. But, I do believe they will be better than the Bamboo - I'm glad we never invested in those fully.

Good luck!