april olson
Visual Arts Teacher

Digital Drawing Tablets

I have begun introducing Wacom drawing tablets to my students using the Autodesk sketchbook program. Have any of you used a drawing tablet with Adobe products and if so Which do you find to be the best in compatibility?

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Illustrator

    Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.

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Comments (19)

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Lauren Petiti

Posted on 5/1/19 6:57:07 PM Permalink

​My students use the Intuos tables and I have access to Cintq here and at home. I like them and there are many students who like them...but I'm still flabbergasted that not all my students like them. There is one project where I require them to use the tablets for two days (at minimum) and even that seems to be a hassle for some people.

Barbara Swanner, AET

Posted on 5/25/18 11:28:22 PM Permalink

My students like the Intuos tablets they have bought or been given. I have the 13” Cintiq at home that I like, they are too expensive for our classrooms. We have used some very inexpensive drawing tablets that have large surfaces that my students really enjoy. I had a bamboo when they first came out but the drawing surface was not easy for me to work with, too small.

Renee' Smith

Posted on 5/25/18 10:32:56 PM Permalink

I think the Wacom Cintiq is the best drawing tablet. Unlike the traditional Wacom tablet, the Wacom Cintiq is like a monitor screen you can draw directly on and see exactly where you are making your marks.

Tony Fling

Posted on 8/26/17 11:43:27 AM Permalink

​I use the Wacom Intous Pen tablet. It's a good little tablet and they aren't as expensive as the Intuos Pro tablets.

Holly Cooper

Posted on 4/28/16 2:51:18 AM Permalink

Hi April...I've used a Bamboo (Wacom) for several years with different Adobe products. Chose it because it's cheap (on Amazon) and I am rough on it (as are my dogs and cats). ;-) Works great. I use it instead of a mouse for any and everything from graphic work to just mousing around. It doesn't have all the cool stuff the higher versions have but I've been able to do everything I want to do. For the price, it's perfect.

Glenn Godenho

Posted on 4/19/16 11:20:39 PM Permalink

I splashed out on a Wacom Cintiq 13HD, and it is incredible. Especially good are the amount of functions you can assign to its keys. Works a treat with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Lefteris Heretakis

Posted on 4/5/16 4:56:12 PM Permalink

The Wacom intuos brand works amazingly well with all adobe products!

Carlos Andres Orozco Palacio

Posted on 3/29/16 1:17:51 PM Permalink

i, how are you? fine, well the best for compatibility and greats driver is wacom, but you have other alternatives more cheap, Huion is great in adobe programs, Ugee, tooo and the cost for this tablets is low 70% or 50% less wacom brand.

Adam Sacks

Posted on 3/8/16 2:30:24 AM Permalink

I use a Huion H610Pro. Half the price or less of an equivalent Wacom and works really well with Photoshop, Inkscape and seems to be fine with InDesign. Lots of features such as programmable keys that I haven't even explored yet. Don't know if it's as robust (seems to be but I haven't given it to kids in a classroom).


Chris Schnell

Posted on 3/7/16 3:26:45 PM Permalink

We use WACOM tablets in our Printing and Graphic Arts qualifications. Our students love them

Margaret Gaeddert

Posted on 3/7/16 8:50:01 AM Permalink

Great discussion! I also use the Wacom tablet as a designer and Adobe Instructor. I like having the smaller tablet. It is easy for me to stuff into my overstuffed travel bag.

Ian Dugdale

Posted on 3/5/16 8:00:40 PM Permalink

I agree with a lot of below: Wacom every time for me and then point about the smaller tablets I have found to be true as well

Nancy Raskauskas

Posted on 3/5/16 6:01:42 PM Permalink

I agree with Bertha that for the classroom my students actually prefer the smaller Wacom tablets. I have 2 Large and 2 Medium Wacom Intuos tablets and 2 smaller Bamboo tablets. The kids always "fight" over who gets to use the smaller tablets because they are not only smaller but less complicated. When my students go on to college in Graphic Design they will use even Larger Wacom Cintiq tablets in the Graphic Lab but for their own they will carry the smaller ones according to my graduates.

All that said, I also use iPads with an entire class in the computer lab. With the app Astropad they can actually work in full Adobe applications on the computer through their iPads. But then came the iPad Pro. I purchased one for my own use. It plus the Apple Pencil is utterly amazing. The iPad Pro costs the same as the same size Cintiq .

Bertha Kirschten

Posted on 3/5/16 8:55:38 PM Permalink


Interesting on the iPad app -- I am going to check it out just for fun. I hadn't even thought about looking for an app that would work in that capacity.

Bertha Kirschten

Posted on 3/5/16 6:33:52 AM Permalink

I have always used Wacom. I just purchased two small Wacom Intuos tablets on Amazon for less than $100 each. Kids love them and I may have to buy a couple more later this spring, if I have money left in my classroom budget. In the past, at other schools, I went with different sizes. My first go round, I purchased large tablets and they were too big, but the kids still liked to use them. Next time I went with medium and they were better. I visited with a former student who went into graphic design and she told me that a lot of the professionals used the smaller tablets for ease of portability. I went with small this time and am very happy that I did.

Barbara Swanner, AET

Posted on 3/5/16 3:07:58 PM Permalink

My daughter is a professional writer and blogger and takes many of the photos she uses. Gave her the small Wacom photo tablet for Xmas, got it from Journey Ed and got the wireless connector for it from BH Photos, she seems to really like it, after years of editing with a mouse or track pad, and I it fits right in her laptop bag. I have a 13" Cintiq at home but it is wired so I don't use as much as I would if it was wireless,it's a bit bulky to put in your lap, but I love working right on my pictures.

Barbara Swanner, AET

Posted on 3/4/16 10:37:29 PM Permalink

Hi April. We have been using some very inexpensive tablets with photoshop elements for several years and now with CC, even character animator with good results this year. We have always had a very tight tech budget up until this year, but have been happy with our vistablets, three-four years later they are all still working. I could buy three for the price of one Wacom. That being said if it was,in my budget I would use Wacom, just because of the feel. We only have two IMac computers, the rest are all PC's.

Tom Webb

Posted on 3/4/16 6:25:27 PM Permalink

Hi April. I've used several brands of tablets over the years but have standardised on Wacom over the last 5 years as I've found that the quality of Wacom tablets to be excellent and they work beautifully with Adobe Products. Currently I use a Wacom Intuous 5 Touch Large tablet and it works hand in hand with Adobe products. It costs me a little more for the tablets but the investment is worth the quality of results that it gives me back when using Adobe Products.

Have also used it with Autodesk products and it really allows me full creative expression when interacting with drawing tools.

Great to see that you're using quality products for your students and those skills they develop will allow them to transition easily to the real world workplaces in their futures. I have several clients that are pro-design shops and 99.9% of the tablets I've seen them using are Wacoms. So good on you for giving your students experiences that translates to their future workflows!

Adobe Education

Posted on 3/4/16 6:11:10 PM Permalink

Hi April - hopefully you'll here from others about their experience. In the meantime you may also want to check out this similar discussion to see if you find some helpful info.

The AEE Team