Best Drawing Tablet for Graphic Designers using Adobe Illustrator : Wacom Intuos Pro vs. iPad

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Wacom Intuos Pro vs. iPad for Adobe Illustrator: Which is Better?

Best Drawing Tablet for Graphic Designers using Adobe Illustrator : Wacom Intuos Pro vs. iPad

Hey there friends and creative graphic designers! Are you in the market for a new drawing tablet to use with Adobe Illustrator? If so, you might be torn between the Wacom Intuos Pro and the iPad with Apple Pencil. Let's dive in and compare the two!

Overview of Wacom Intuos Pro

The Wacom Intuos Pro does boast an impressive range of features that will help take your artwork to new heights. With new pen technology that supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt-response, and virtually lag-free tracking, you can enjoy the most natural drawing experience yet.

It takes some getting used to look at your computers display while drawing, instead of looking at your hand/drawing space while you draw. But this is usually overcome by the end of the first drawing session to be honest.

The Wacom Intuos Pro's medium size design is super-slim with a more compact footprint (13.2inch x 8.5inch) and larger active area than previous models (8.7inch x 5.8inch). This makes it perfect for those who need more room to create but don't want a clunky tablet taking up their desk space. Something needed to consider when I retire my old faithful as I will be moving to a smaller space in the not so distant future.

With multi-touch gestures, customizable Express Keys, Radial Menus, and pen side switches, you can speed up your workflow and get your designs out faster than ever before. Who doesn't need more keyboard short cut keys, I know I am always trying to customize my keyboard short cuts to be easier for me while I am creating.

The Wacom Intuos Pro also gives you full access to all of Adobe Illustrator's tools, since it connects to your desktop or laptop. Making it an amazing companion for your creative needs. And don't worry about longevity – the Wacom Intuos Pro tablets are built to last. In fact, I have had my original Wacom Intuos for almost 16 years and it’s still working. I am thinking about upgrading it soon. But this thing has travelled with me to University, to Milan, Italy and back again.

Overview of iPad

If portability and a more intuitive drawing are important for your Adobe Illustrator needs, the iPad with the Apple Pencil might be more your cup of tea.

One of the advantages of using the iPad with the Apple Pencil is that your hand and eye are in alignment – you can see what you're drawing on the surface of where you're drawing. Plus, it's super portable and easy to take with you on-the-go.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks to the option of using the iPad and Apple Pencil. For one, you don't have access to the full capabilities of the Adobe Illustrator's desktop version. However, the iPad version of illustrator is improving in this area, and you can now use gradients in the app. One more thing to keep in mind that there may be limited on screen space as you are limited to the size of the iPad you choose.

If you want to use the iPad but get the full version of Adobe Illustrator, you may still be able to do so by using an app that allows you to share your screen with your desktop. It does come with an annual fee, but it might be worth it if you're short on space and need a more portable option.

Update : I downloaded the 14 day free trial, you can read about my thoughts on Astropad with iPad Air and Adobe Illustrator on Windows: A Review

One thing to keep in mind is that iPads don't have the same longevity as other devices – they tend to become obsolete within a few years as they can no longer update their software. So if you're looking for a long-term investment, the Wacom Intuos Pro might be a better choice.

Overall, Adobe Illustrator on the iPad with the Apple Pencil is a great option for those who need a portable and intuitiveness of seeing what they are drawing on the drawing surface.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Wacom Intuos Pro and iPad

  1. Cost: The Wacom Intuos Pro is generally more expensive than an iPad, especially when you consider the cost of a computer that is needed to use the tablet. However if you already own a computer the the Wacom Intuos Pro can be the cheaper option. If you already have an iPad and a computer, maybe consider in downloading the app to turn your iPad into a screensharing tablet.
  2. Portability: iPads are much more portable than the Wacom tablets, as they require a computer to be functional.
  3. Drawing experience: Both devices offer a different drawing experience. The Wacom Intuos Pro has a more precise drawing experience because of its pressure sensitivity and stylus. The iPad, on the other hand, offers a more intuitive and familiar drawing experience due to its touchscreen.
  4. Compatibility: While both devices are compatible with Adobe Illustrator, the Wacom Intuos Pro is designed specifically for professional graphics applications, while the iPad has a wider range of compatible applications.
  5. Software: The Wacom Intuos Pro requires a computer windows or mac to use Adobe Illustrator, while the iPad Apple's iOS with Adobe Illustrator's app for the iPad.
  6. Screen size: The Wacom Intuos Pro comes in different sizes, but the screen is not integrated into the tablet. The iPad, on the other hand, has a built-in screen and comes in different sizes.
  7. Battery life: The Wacom Intuos Pro does not require a battery, while the iPad requires charging.
  8. Additional features: The iPad has additional features such as a camera, video recording, and apps that can be used for reference or inspiration. The Wacom Intuos Pro does not have these features.
  9. Personal preference: Ultimately, the decision between the two devices comes down to personal preference. It is important to consider what is most important for your workflow and drawing style. And as always, first use what you have and upgrade to the tools that will help you the most.