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The best cheap Wacom tablet deals April 2021

cheap Wacom tablet
(Image credit: Wacom)

Wherever you are in your design career, a cheap Wacom tablet could make all the difference to your digital art. Wacom has been in business for nearly 40 years and has earned a reputation as the creator of the best graphics tablets around for those that can afford them. In recent years, though – possibly in response to the likes of Huion and XP-Pen launching their own tablets at much more reasonable prices – it's started making cheaper tablets, with the result that any creative can now afford a Wacom.

If you've decided it's time you had a Wacom in your life, we're here to help you find the best cheap Wacom deals in 2021. Covering every model from the utterly desirable (and utterly expensive) Cintiq Pro down to basic tablets such as the new One by Wacom, you'll find everything you need to know here as well as links to the best deals around.

There's more to tablets than just Wacom, of course; take a look at our guides to the best drawing tablets or the best Android tablets to discover all the best options right now.

Wacom Cintiq deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: Cintiq

The Cintiq range has been around a while, but still has plenty to offer (Image credit: Wacom)

Wacom's Cintiq line has been going for ages, but it's been through a lot of iterations over the years and it's still pen displays on the market. The benefits of a pen display over a drawing tablet are obvious; you can see exactly what you're doing without having to look up at a separate screen, so you can draw a lot more intuitively. (Note: We're not talking about the Cintiq Pro range here – jump to Cintiq Pro deals if that's what you're after.)

The current Cintiq range consists of two models: the Cintiq 22 and the Cintiq 16. They both feature HD displays with anti-glare and reduced parallax, and foldable legs. The screens are capable of 72% of NTSC colour gamut and connect via HDMI and USB-A ports.

Both models come with Wacom's Pro Pen 2, which gives you 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and full tilt recognition, and charges via electromagnetic resonance from the Cintiq itself, so it never needs a battery. If you need ExpressKeys, you'll need to buy the Express Key Remote as well (around $99.95) which is arguably an essential to help with your productivity. 

These are great quality machines, but as we move into a world where increasingly high resolutions are demanded, it's worth bearing the screen resolution limitations in mind.

Read our Wacom Cintiq 16 review for more. Below you'll find the best prices in your region.

The Cintiq 22HD is the oldest model still available. It runs on Pro Pen technology, which is only capable of 2,028 levels of pressure sensitivity, but it was the last model to have the added benefit of including 16 ExpressKeys and 2 Touch Strips with 4-position toggle button for quick access to shortcuts.

Wacom Cintiq Pro deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: Cintiq Pro

The Cintiq Pro range is aimed specifically at creatives (Image credit: Wacom)

With 13, 16, 24 and 32-inch models available, Cintiq's flagship Pro range is targeted at design professionals and delivers the sort of performance you need when you're creating for a living. With the Cintiq Pro, all the tools you need to design quickly and effectively are at your fingertips. There's the Wacom Pro Pen 2, radial menus, the Express Key Remote and an on-screen keypad, meaning that you can get on with your work without having to mess around with menus and keyboard shortcuts. 

The Wacom Cintiq Pro offers a resolution of up to 4K and a RGB 98% gamut display, so you’ll be able to see your work in gorgeous clarity. Etched glass screens reduce glare and reflections while providing a natural, pen on paper feel as you draw.

Built-in legs raise your Wacom Cintiq Pro from 5 to 20 degrees. You also have the option of purchasing the Ergo stand or the PC module Cintiq Pro Engine to turn your Cintiq Pro into a creative pen computer.

There's also a Wacom Cintiq Pro Touch in 24- and 32-inch models. These allow for multi-touch gestures, if you're into that method of working. Both versions are gorgeous pieces of kit that look great in your office. They're expensive, but if you're looking at the Pro range, you've already accepted that.

Wacom MobileStudio Pro deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: MobileStudio Pro

The MobileStudio Pro is a graphics tablet and mobile PC combined (Image credit: Wacom)

Most of Wacom's tablets need to be plugged into a Mac or PC. If you'd rather work without that restriction, the MobileStudio Pro is the way to go. Available in 13- and 16-inch versions, it's a combined graphics tablet and Windows PC that enables you to create wherever you like.

Featuring the Wacom Pro Pen 2, and built in ExpressKeys (eight on the 16, and six on the 13), a touch ring and a Radial Menu, the MobileStudio Pro provides all the tools you need. The MobileStudio Pro 16 boasts a 4K screen, with an 85% Adobe RGB gamut, while the MobileStudio Pro 13 has a WQHD (2560 x 1440) display with 82% Adobe RGB coverage. It'll also plug into a Mac or PC for use as a standard Cintiq display with a Wacom Link.

The Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 and 13 were updated in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and feature a number of upgrades from their 2016 and 2017 predecessors. The 'backdoor' feature that enables users to add extra RAM on the 16 and upgrade the SSD on both models is fantastic – anything that adds longevity to expensive tech is always a good thing. Sadly the battery is still not replaceable. The battery will do a solid three hours of intensive work before you'll need to plug in the adaptor.

There have been some significant internal hardware upgrades, as you might expect. The 2019 version of the MobileStudio Pro 16 features a newer Intel Core i7-8559U CPU at 2.7Ghz, which can boost up to 4.5Ghz, and a 4GB NVIDIA Quadro P1000 driving the graphics. There’s a 512GB SSD for storage and 16GB of RAM.

Meanwhile the MobileStudio Pro 13 has the same Intel Core i7-8559U, but for graphics it uses a less pokey Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 chipset. It comes with the same amount of storage and memory, and you can upgrade the SSD to 2TB, but unlike the 16 it doesn't feature a spare RAM slot for installing extra memory.

It's not all upgrades; the cameras on the front and rear have been downgraded to simple 2.1Mp cameras in place of the RealSense 3D scanning capable ones of the 2016 iterations. The 3D scanning was a bit gimmicky, so we doubt you'll miss it. For more, read our Wacom MobileStudio Pro review.

Wacom One deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: Wacom One

Not to be confused with the 'One by Wacom', this is a new entry-level tablet pitched at beginners (Image credit: Wacom)

We mentioned earlier that Wacom appears to be reacting to the arrival of cheaper competitor brands, and here's the proof. The Wacom One is a 13-inch pen display aimed at beginners and social media content creators, and costs a lot less than the Cintiq range at $399.95 (£359.99/€399.99). 

It's compatible with Mac and Windows as well as working with some Android devices, too, and it features a full HD display with 72 per cent NTSC colour and an anti-glare treated film, so it'll look good as long as you're not overly fussed about colour accuracy.

It has foldable legs and is small enough to fit in most bags, but frustratingly the Wacom One uses three-ports for HDMI/USB/Power cable and doesn't have USB-C support, so you'll need a dongle to hook it to your MacBook or Android devices, making it considerably more cumbersome than an iPad. Plus, you'll need to find a power socket if you're using this out and about, so you may struggle to work in your local coffee shop. For some this will be a deal-breaker, but others will argue it's a reasonable trade-off for being able to run every app that you have access to on laptops/Macbooks.

Wacom's cheapest LCD tablet ever also comes with the cordless, battery-free One pen that you never need to recharge. With an impressive 4,096 pressure levels, while not as outstanding as the Pro Pen 2, still allow for a natural feel when designing. Unusually, The One also supports third-party stylus from other companies if you want to switch things up. 

Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: Intuos Pro

The affordable Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro (shown) work by connecting to a screen (Image credit: Wacom)

If you're an old-school designer who doesn't feel the need to draw onto a screen, or if you simply don't have the budget for a full pen display, Wacom's Intuos and Intuos Pro are ideal options. They're powerful but affordable, and they'll connect almost instantly to your Mac or PC via USB or Bluetooth, enabling you to start drawing immediately in pretty much any software you choose.

The Intuos is the cheaper of the two, with the Small costing a mere $79.95. It also comes bundled with Corel Painter Essentials, Corel Aftershot and Clip Studio Paint Pro, which gives you some high quality apps to get playing with. The downsides to the basic Intuos are that the stylus included doesn't feature tilt sensitivity, nor does it have an eraser on the top like Wacom's Pro pens.

The Intuos Pro comes in three sizes, Small, Medium and Large. This range includes a touch ring and more ExpressKeys. However, the most important upgrade is the inclusion of a Pro Pen 2, bringing with it the enhanced pressure sensitivity, tilt functionality and the eraser that's lacking from its junior counterpart. It also supports multi-touch gestures. Read our Wacom Intuos Pro review for more info.

One by Wacom deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: One by Wacom

This is the cheapest graphics tablet in Wacom's range (Image credit: Wacom)

Can't even stretch to a small Intuos? There is an option in the form of the One by Wacom, but honestly, we wouldn't recommend it. It's Wacom's cheapest tablet and offers an almost completely stripped-back drawing experience. There's no ExpresssKeys, no multi-touch support, no pen tilt and only 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, all of which means that using it for anything other than basic sketching is going to be a struggle.

That being said, it is a well-made piece of kit, that still feels accurate to use, and it may be a nice introduction to people who have yet to use a graphics tablet. The Intuos is probably a better first place to start for creatives, but the One still has its appeal, and if you're only looking for a tablet to avoid the dangers or repetitive strain injury this will serve you well.

Wacom Stylus deals

All of Wacom's tablets come with their own stylus, the majority of them treating you to the excellent Pro Pen 2. But if you want a stylus to go with your own smart device, Wacom has some great options. Here's a quick rundown of what Wacom currently has to offer for those of you that can't get enough gadgets in your life.

Bamboo Duo (4th Generation)

Compatible with touchscreen devices running iOS, Android or Windows, the Bamboo Duo is a battery-powered stylus that works both as a stylus, with a carbon fibre tip for smooth tapping, writing and drawing on all touchscreens, and a pen, with a premium black ballpoint tip for writing on paper. 

Download the Bamboo Paper app for easy note-taking and sketching, and use the Inkspace service to store, shape and share your ideas.

Bamboo Tip

If you're frustrated trying to sketch images on your phone or tablet when you need to quickly get an idea down, the Bamboo Tip could be just the stylus to come to your rescue. The fine tipped pen is compatible with iOS and many Android devices without the need to pair it. The battery lasts for approximately 20 hours and charges via USB.

Bamboo Fineline

Bamboo Fineline is a smart stylus with pressure sensitivity designed for natural writing on iOS touch devices. It features a triangular design for comfort and has smart features when paired with certain apps. It has a customisable shortcut button and features a retractable tip to keep it in good condition.

What’s the price of a Wacom tablet?

There are bargains to be had if you know where to look, but to give you an idea of how the different Wacom tablets compare in terms of price, let's take a look at their respective RRPs. Wacom’s pen tablets are the most affordable - the small One by Wacom costs $69.95, closely followed by the Small Intuos which sells for $79.95 in the Wacom Store, while the larger Intuos Pro tops out around $379.95.

There's a fairly hefty step up if you're going to go for a Wacom pen display. At the lower end, you're looking at $649.95 for the Wacom Cintiq 16, and $799.95 for the 13-inch Wacom Cintiq Pro. This runs right up to the top tier of Wacom's price range, where a Cintiq Pro 32 Creative Pen Display Touch will set you back an eye-watering $3,299.95. Finally, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 pen computer has a slightly higher RRP of $3,499.95, making it a real investment.

How to find a cheap Wacom tablet 

You probably don't want to pay full whack, so where should you look for a cheap Wacom tablet? We’ve scooped up the biggest bargains on Wacom's full range of drawing tablets and accessories below – just scroll down to see them. Or, if you already know which model you want, you can search by product name using the quick links above. 

Alternatively, if you'd like to search for offers directly, the best places to bag a bargain are through respected third-party retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Adorama, Amazon, John Lewis, eBay and Currys. And if you don't mind a second-hand product, you can occasionally pick up bargains on refurbished Wacom devices in the Wacom Store, and it's also worth exploring Wacom's bundle offers.

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