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Fri, 20 Jan 2023 14:51:07 +0000
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
"James A. Perkins" <[log in to unmask]>
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
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Hi Marlene,

Since you’re replacing an Intuos3, I’m guessing you just need a regular drawing tablet. You don’t need anything like the Cintiq (or iPad) where you draw directly on the image.

If that’s the case, you can still get several different models of Intuos. The basic Intuos ranges from about $99 to $199 depending on size. They also offer a “Pro” version that ranges from $250 to $500. From what I can see on the Wacom website, there are only two differences between the Pro and regular Intuos models. The Pro has more programmable buttons off to the side of the tablet and has more levels of pressure sensitivity. The Pro models have 8,193 levels of pressure sensitivity whereas the regular Intuos models have 4,096 levels. I believe your old Intuos3 had 1024 levels, so any of the new Wacom models would represent an upgrade from what you were using.

Personally, I hate having all those buttons off to the side. I never use them, they take up extra space, and I find they just get in the way. I also can’t see spending extra money for 8,000+ levels of pressure sensitivity. I’ve been using various Wacom models (Intuos, Graphire, Bamboo, etc.) for 30 years, including models with as few as 512 levels of pressure sensitivity, and frankly I never noticed much (or any) difference.

The cheapest option would be to go with Wacom’s budget line called “One by Wacom”. The small 6 x 8” model (4 x 6” drawing area) is only $49.95 and the medium 7 x 10” model (6 x 8” drawing area) is $99.95. They don’t offer a larger version of this tablet. The One by Wacom has no programmable buttons off to the side and has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. So despite being a “budget” model, it’s still more sensitive than the Intuos3 you’ve been using.

I found myself in the exact same situation about a year ago. Upon upgrading to a new version of the MacOS, I found that my trusty old Intuos2 no longer worked. So I opted for the 7x10” One by Wacom model. I don’t notice any difference at all from my old tablet. I’ve been very pleased with it.


James A. Perkins MFA, CMI, FAMI
Board Certified Medical Illustrator
Fellow, Association of Medical Illustrators

Distinguished Professor and Graduate Director, Medical Illustration
Head of the Department of Medical Sciences, Health & Management
College of Health Sciences & Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology
Center for Bioscience Education & Technology 75-2129
153 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY  14623
W: 585-475-2443
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On Jan 19, 2023, at 6:45 PM, Marlene Donnelly <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

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Hi all,
My poor old Wacom Intuos3 just got snuffed today during my upgrade to Ventura 13.1 (after a mere 17 years or so).

Naturally I'm right on top of a deadline and have no idea what I should be replacing it with without spending a huge amount of money.  All suggestions welcome!

Thanks in advance,

Marlene Hill Donnelly
Scientific Illustrator
The Field Museum
(312) 665-7638


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