I'm sick of trying to use my mouse to do Photoshop drawing. I know the standard is to to use a digitizer (a.k.a., pen tablet), but I don't want to sink hundreds of dollars into one when I really just need something more ergonomic and responsive than a mouse for some details.

Are there any obvious entry-level digitizers, or is it not worth it until I'm ready to pay up for the pro-grade digitizers?

  • To be clear, you're looking for something like a Wacom tablet?
    – Undo
    Sep 9 '15 at 19:40
  • Yes. Is there a different term for that category of input hardware?
    – feetwet
    Sep 9 '15 at 19:41
  • I just wasn't familiar with that term, wanted to make sure it was what I thought it was. It does look like that's the official term.
    – Undo
    Sep 9 '15 at 19:41
  • 1
    I've always seen them referred to as drawing tablets, though Wikipedia redirects that term to graphics tablet. Perhaps we should take a page out of their book? I've never seen them referred to as digitizers before this question (though wiki does recognize that as an alternative name)
    – JohnB
    Sep 9 '15 at 19:49

I recently got a Wacom Intuos Pen Small, and I love it.

It does everything I need it to do and it skips out on all the extra buttons and features that probably aren't needed anyway.

The price tag comes in at about $80.

The size of the area that you can draw in is about 6"x4" inches. The actual size is about 8"x7" It might seem a bit small, but it's really plenty.

It comes with 1024 levels of presure sensitivity. I know some of the more expensive models have more, but this is enough for my purposes.

It also has four buttons at the top for Ctrl, Alt, Shift and the Windows Key. Each of which can be customized.

  • Weird: the Pen & Touch Small (CTH-480) I bought a year ago for $80 did have an eraser, although I normally just toggle to erase mode rather than flipping it over to use the pen's eraser.
    – feetwet
    Sep 9 '15 at 20:15
  • Huh, maybe they changed something. On the site it says that it doesn't have one. I use Krita for drawing so if it does have one, it doesn't work there anyway. I'll get rid of that bit in case I'm wrong. Sep 9 '15 at 20:22
  • I agree that the current Intuos Pen Smalls don't appear to have them (per their online specs). I was just noting the odd feature change.
    – feetwet
    Sep 9 '15 at 20:40

No question: Get a Wacom Intuous. Available for under $100, this will provide all the key features serious graphic artists and photographers use in Photoshop, Illustrator, and the like: high resolution pressure sensitivity, touch sensitivity. It has a large enough surface that you might never feel the need to upgrade.

And you may even find it to be a useful replacement for your mouse in more traditional applications.

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