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Best Wacom tablet for beginners | How to choose, tips, + best deal

If you, like me, love to draw but now want to take things digitally you need a drawing tablet! Wacom is one of the, if not the best, drawing tablet brands on the market. But which tablet is suitable for beginners?

The Wacom One is the best drawing tablet with a screen for beginners. It’s the cheapest screen tablet Wacom sells, which is perfect for beginners. The Wacom Cintiq 16 is also suitable for beginners but the price might scare beginning artists away.

I compared all of Wacom’s most affordable tablets in a handy table so you can make an informed decision!
(If you like to skip the parts about the different kinds of tablets Wacom offers and go straight to comparing the best beginner-friendly tablets, click here!)

This article may contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you. AF links help support this blog so that it can exist and expand for years to come!

Is Wacom a good drawing tablet brand?

Wacom is one of the leading brands when it comes to drawing tablets and thus a very good brand to purchase from.

Not only do they sell very well-made drawing tablets, they often attend various art events which shows they keep up and care about their customer’s needs.

Almost every professional illustrator, concept artist, or digital artist I know has a Wacom drawing tablet.

Should I buy a drawing tablet as a beginner?

If you’re a beginner digital artist and want to do digital art you need to buy a drawing tablet. You can choose to buy a drawing tablet from the leading brand Wacom, or you can buy a regular tablet like an iPad or Samsung.

Even when you’re a total beginner to drawing, picking up digital art may be beneficial. The medium is easier than pencil and paper.

This is because in digital art you have unlimited undo’s, you can easily rescale or change the position of your drawing, and you can easily change the hue of any color.. the options are limitless.

The saying that digital art is easier than regular art is simply not true. The medium however is a lot more forgiving, but every pencil stroke or edit needs to be done by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Having said that, learning digital art isn’t hard at all!

The difference between a drawing tablet and a regular tablet

The difference between a drawing tablet and a regular tablet is that a drawing tablet was made specifically to draw. Therefore the tablet isn’t a computer of its own: it only works as a second monitor and should thus be hooked up to a computer.

An iPad or any other tablet is a stand-alone device that isn’t specifically made to draw but can be easily used as a drawing tablet.

An iPad can be bought with an Apple Pencil which makes it possible to use the device to draw, after buying a drawing app like Procreate.

Pros and cons of using a drawing tablet:

  • PRO: You can use heavy drawing software like Photoshop, illustrator, and animation programs
  • PRO: The drawing tablet features extra buttons which you can customize for a smoother and faster drawing process
  • PRO: The bigger screen may feel nicer to work on
  • CON: Because it needs to be hooked up to a computer you can’t take it easy on the go
  • CON: Drawing tablets with screens can be quite expensive

Pros and cons of using a tablet like an iPad:

  • PRO: The tablet is lightweight so you can easily take it anywhere with you
  • PRO: You can use the tablet as a tablet (multi-purpose)
  • PRO: The iPad drawing app Procreate is extremely popular and used by hobby artists as well as professional illustrators
  • CON: You cannot use the same heavy drawing software as on your computer
  • CON: A tablet can get expensive if you only use it for drawing

Should I choose a drawing tablet with a screen or without one?

Drawing tablets come in two options: A tablet with a screen, and a tablet without a screen. Drawing tablets without a screen are also called pen tablets. Wacom’s Cintiq series features drawing screens which are very popular to work on and the Intuos series features tablets without a screen.

Choosing a drawing tablet with or without a screen depends on a few things: your budget, your purpose, and your preference.

The drawing tablets with a screen are of course more expensive, but they are way easier to use than tablets without a screen.

This is because when you draw on a screen it’s most similar to working on an actual canvas. When drawing on a tablet without a screen, your eyes are not looking at your hands. They are looking at the screen.

In my experience, this gets hard when you draw straight lines. They are almost never straight, or even close to straight. You can of course use some handy tricks but it takes away from the drawing process. it slows you down significantly and adds hurdles you don’t need to take.

But if you’re a graphic designer or when you work in photoshop to rework photos then a tablet without a screen is very useful. I use my Wacom Intuos tablet without a screen for this exact purpose and it’s wonderful.

What is the best device to draw digital art?

The best device to draw digital art is a drawing tablet with a screen, like the Wacom Cintiq series, but it’s all preference. Most people prefer a screen tablet because it’s most similar to an actual canvas. However, when budget plays a big role a pen tablet might be a better option.

Here are is a helpful guide to which drawing tablet you should choose:

When to use a screen tabletWhen to use a pen tablet
Drawing by handGraphic designer, photo touch-ups,
When you have trouble with your hand-eye coordinationWhen you have a small budget
When you want to work professionally in the drawingWhen you don’t use it very often

Which Wacom is best for beginners?

Here is an overview of Wacom’s screenless drawing tablets which are called the Intuos series. They come in 3 different styles:

One by Wacom

best wacom tablet for beginners

The most basic Wacom tablet.
Perfect for editing photos, handwriting notes, and signatures
. Not as good for drawing.

  • Available in small and medium
  • Connects through USB
  • Battery-free pen
  • Pressure sensitive
  • Includes free drawing software

Wacom Intuos

best wacom tablet for beginners

The Wacom Intuos is great for photo editing, graphic design, and drawing. Keep in mind that the small option may be too small if you use it for art: long strokes may become difficult.


  • Comes in small, small wireless, and medium wireless
  • Battery-free pen
  • Pressure sensitive
  • Connects through USB
  • 4 customizable ExpressKeys
  • Including free drawing software

Wacom Intuos Pro

best wacom tablet for beginners

The best pen tablet Wacom offers. Great for photo editing, graphic design and art. This is the best pen tablet option for drawing.

  • Comes in small, medium and large
  • Customizable buttons on the tablet and pen
  • Connects through USB and bluetooth
  • Multi-touch gestures

I made a handy comparison table of the three Wacom pen tablet options above:

One by WacomWacom IntuosWacom Intuos Pro
Great forSignatures, basic photo editing, teaching, handwriting, basic drawingGraphic design, photo editing, drawingGraphic design, heavy photo editing, drawing
SizeSmall, mediumSmall, mediumSmall, medium large
Pen pressure level204840968192
Includes drawing softwareYes, up to 4 free trial softwareYesYes
Customizable keysNoYesYes
Wireless supportNo, USBYes, bluetoothYes
Touch ringNoNoYes
Radial menuNoNoYes
Pen EraserNoNoYes
Heads-up displayNoNoYes
Price$49,99Starting at $59,95Starting at $249,95
Comparison of Wacom’s pen tablets

*The price depends on the size of the tablet.

Which pen tablet is best?

So which of the three is best? Personally, I’d go for the Wacom Intuos, mainly because the extra features that come with the Intuos pro are great, but not necessary. The extra features speed up your creative process significantly, but that’s about it.

The price difference between Intuos and Intuos pro is pretty big. I’ve had my Intuos for a couple of years now and it always did its job perfectly. I mainly used it for graphic design and sometimes drawing.

But I noticed that drawing with a screen is so much easier than without a screen.

The best Wacom drawing tablet with screen for beginners

So I’ve narrowed Wacom’s screen tablets down to two: The Wacom Cintiq 16 and the Wacom one. I choose to only feature these two in this article because these are the only two that are under a thousand dollars.

And beginner digital artists don’t want to spend $1000+ dollars I figure…

Wacom one

best wacom tablet for beginners

The Wacom One is great for beginner artists, note-taking, video, photo editing, and much more. The tablet has handy legs to stand at an angle on your desk. This is the cheapest screen tablet Wacom offers.


  • Can be used as a second monitor
  • Paperlike surface
  • You can connect it to Android smartphones
  • Including free drawing software (trial)

Wacom Cintiq 16

best wacom tablet for beginners

The Wacom Cintiq 16 is one step more advanced than the Wacom one. The screen is bigger, the pen is more refined and it comes with extra pen nibs.


  • Pro Pen 2
  • Anti-glare screen and reduced parallax
  • 3 Extra pen nibs
  • Including free drawing software

So, which one to choose? Well, the Wacom One is perfect for beginners. It’s relatively cheap compared to other Wacoms, but it has a screen.

The downside is that once you know the specifications Wacom Cintiq 16 has, you want to opt for that one. As long as your budget allows you to.

Are you heavily into digital art, but it’s your first time buying a screen tablet? Go for the Cintiq 16. Are you a digital art beginner but not 100% sold on doing digital art? Go for Wacom One.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the Wacom One and the Wacom Cintiq 16:

Wacom OneWacom Cintiq 16
Great forArt, (concept art, illustration, digital painting, etc.) and moreArt (concept art, illustration, digital painting, etc.) and more
Screen Size13.3 inch15.4 inch
Screen Resolution1920 x 10801920 x 1080
Detachable pen holderNoYes
Adjustable legsYesYes
Extra pen nibsNo3
Pen pressure level40968192
Includes drawing softwareSoftware trial 3 monthsSoftware trial 3 months
Pen eraserNoYes
Wireless supportNoNo

Frequently asked questions about Wacom drawing tablets

Is the Wacom Cintiq 16 good for beginners?

The Wacom Cintiq 16 is certainly good for beginners. It features everything you need to comfortably do (professional) digital art. The only thing that might scare off beginners is the price, which is $649,95.

Is it hard to learn to use a drawing tablet?

Using a drawing tablet without a screen can be hard to learn how to use. This is because your eyes and hands are far apart. Therefore drawing straight lines is a lot harder.

But luckily because you’re working digitally, there are countless different ways to go about this, like using Shift to draw straight.

How do I practice using a Wacom tablet?

You practice using a Wacom tablet by doing a warm-up. Draw a bunch of straight lines, wiggles, circles, and squares to get used to drawing on a tablet. Then you start drawing and learn on the fly.

How do I choose a Wacom?

First, you choose if you want a pen tablet (a screenless drawing tablet) or a screen tablet and then you compare the ones that seem to fit you. You can use this article to make an informed decision.

Are wacom tablets good for beginners?

Wacom tablets are definitely good for beginners. Mainly because Wacom produces high-quality drawing tablets and often attend art events. This means that they care about their customers. They also provide a place with plenty of tutorials and learning opportunities.

I hope I informed you enough to buy the right Wacom. If you already own a (different) drawing tablet, feel free to share tips in the comments down below.

After you choose your Wacom drawing tablet you might be interested in learning how to record your digital art.

Happy digital drawing!

♡ Laura

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