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The best cheap Wacom tablet deals in October 2021

Best cheap Wacom tablet
(Image credit: Future)

A cheap Wacom tablet can make a difference to your digital art no matter what stage you're at in your career. With nearly 40 years in the industry, Wacom has garnered a reputation for some of the best graphics tablets available among those that can afford them. In recent years, though – perhaps in response to newer competitors like Huion and XP-Pen launching tablets at far more accessible prices – Wacom's also started making cheaper tablets, bringing them into the reach of more creatives.

If you've decided it's time to get your own Wacom, here you'll find a guide to the best cheap Wacom tablet deals in 2021. Our guide covers the whole range, from the most desirable (and eye-wateringly expensive) Cintiq Pro down to more basic tablets such as the Wacom One. We've included details of what each tablet offers and links to the best deals available now.

Of course, there are other tablets on the market. If you're not yet sure you want to go with Wacom, check out our guides to the best drawing tablets or the best Android tablets to see more of the best tablet options available now.

Wacom Cintiq deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: Cintiq

The Cintiq range has been around for a long time but still has plenty to offer (Image credit: Wacom)

Wacom's Cintiq line has been around for aeons and has seen a lot of iterations over the years, but it still offers some of the best pen displays on the market. The benefits of a pen display over a drawing tablet are clear: you can see exactly what you're doing without having to look up at a separate screen, so you can draw much more intuitively. (Note: this isn't the case with the Cintiq Pro range – skip to Cintiq Pro deals if that's what you're looking for.)

The Cintiq comes in two sizes: the Cintiq 22 and the Cintiq 16. They both have HD displays with anti-glare and reduced parallax. The screens are capable of 72% of NTSC colour gamut. 

The tablets have foldable legs and connect via HDMI and USB-A ports. Both come with Wacom's Pro Pen 2, which boasts 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and full tilt recognition. The Pro Pen 2 charges via electromagnetic resonance from the Cintiq itself, so it never needs a battery. If you want ExpressKeys (arguably vital to help boost productivity), you'll have to buy the Express Key Remote as well (around $99.95).

The Cintiqs remain top quality devices, and some of the deals available make them a reasonably cheap Wacom tablet to consider, but as increasingly high resolutions come to be demanded, it's worth bearing in mind the limitations of their screen resolutions.

Read our Wacom Cintiq 16 review to learn more. Below you'll find the best prices available in your region right now.

Wacom Cintiq Pro deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: Cintiq Pro

The Cintiq Pro range is designed specifically for creatives (Image credit: Wacom)

Designed specifically with professional creatives in mind, the flagship Cintiq Pro is not a cheap Wacom tablet, but there are still deals to be had. The range comes in 13, 16, 24 and 32-inch models, all boasting the tools and performance a professional creative needs to design quickly and effectively. They all come with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, radial menus, the Express Key Remote and an on-screen keypad, which means you can get on with your work with no need to mess around with menus and keyboard shortcuts. 

The Wacom Cintiq Pro provides up to 4K resolution and an RGB 98% gamut display, so you’ll be able to see your work in superb clarity. Its etched glass screen reduces glare and reflections while offering a natural, pen on paper feel as you draw. Built-in legs raise the Wacom Cintiq Pro from 5 to 20 degrees, and there's also the option of purchasing the Ergo stand or the PC module Cintiq Pro Engine to turn your Cintiq Pro into a creative pen computer.

The Wacom Cintiq Pro 24- and 32-inch models also come in Touch versions. They're expensive, but if you're looking at the pro range, you already know that. These versions allow for multi-touch gestures, which is great if you like that way of working. They also look gorgeous in any office.

Wacom MobileStudio Pro deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: MobileStudio Pro

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

Most of Wacom's tablets need to be plugged into a Mac or a PC, but if you prefer to work without that restriction, in steps the MobileStudio Pro. Available in 13- and 16-inch versions, this is a graphics tablet and Windows PC rolled into one, enabling you to create wherever you find yourself.

Both versions feature the Wacom Pro Pen 2, built-in ExpressKeys (eight on the 16, and six on the 13), a touch ring and a Radial Menu. The MobileStudio Pro 16 boasts a 4K screen with an 85% Adobe RGB gamut. The MobileStudio Pro 13 has a WQHD (2560 x 1440) display with 82% Adobe RGB coverage. It also plugs into a Mac or PC so you can use it as a standard Cintiq display with a Wacom Link.

The Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 and 13 were updated in 2019 and 2020 respectively, adding several upgrades on their 2016 and 2017 predecessors. 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 behind the graphics. It provides 512GB SSD for storage and 16GB of RAM.

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

The cameras on the front and rear have been downgraded to simple 2.1Mp cameras in place of the RealSense 3D scanning capable cameras in the previous models, but the 3D scanning was a bit gimmicky, so we doubt you'll miss it. To learn 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 an entry-level tablet aimed at beginners (Image credit: Wacom)

We mentioned that Wacom appears to be reacting to the arrival of cheaper competitors, and here's the proof: a cheap Wacom tablet aimed at beginners and social media content creators. The Wacom One costs an awful lot less than the Cintiq range, with prices at around $399.95 (£359.99/€399.99). 

The Wacom One has a 13-inch pen display and is compatible with Mac and Windows as well as some Android devices. 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 colour accuracy is not overly important to you.

It has foldable legs and it's small enough to fit into most bags. On the downside, it uses three ports for HDMI/USB/Power cable and doesn't have USB-C support, so you'll need a dongle to hook it up to your MacBook or Android devices, which makes it rather more cumbersome than an iPad. You'll also need to find a power socket if you're using this out and about, so you may struggle to use it to work on the go. For some, this will be a deal-breaker, but others will find it a reasonable trade-off for being able to run all the apps that you have access to on laptops/Macbooks.

The Wacom One comes with the cordless, battery-free One pen that never needs to be recharged. Its 4,096 pressure levels are not as impressive as the Pro Pen 2 but still offer a natural feel when drawing. Unusually, The One also supports third-party styluses, so you have the option to look at other company's products to combine with the device. 

Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: Intuos Pro

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

If you're an old-school designer and don'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 offer an ideal alternative. These powerful but cheap Wacom tablets connect almost instantly to a Mac or PC via USB or Bluetooth, enabling you to start drawing immediately with almost any software you choose.

The basic Intuos costs a mere $79/£65 and comes bundled with Corel Painter Essentials, Corel Aftershot and Clip Studio Paint Pro, which gives you some quality apps to get started with. The downside to this cheap Wacom tablet is that the stylus that comes included doesn't have tilt sensitivity or an eraser on the top like Wacom's Pro pens.

The Intuos Pro comes in three sizes, Small, Medium and Large, and includes a touch ring and more ExpressKeys. However, the most important difference is the inclusion of a Pro Pen 2 with its enhanced pressure sensitivity, tilt functionality and the eraser that the pen on the basic Intuos lacks. The Intuos Pro also supports multi-touch gestures, making it a more complete option as a cheap Wacom tablet. Read our Wacom Intuos Pro review for more details.

One by Wacom deals

Cheap Wacom tablet: One by Wacom

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

Not to be confused with the Wacom One, One by Wacom really is a cheap Wacom tablet, accessible even to those that don't even want to make the outlay for an Intuos. However, the experience is severely stripped back, and we wouldn't recommend it for anyone who can afford one of the superior Wacom tablets. There's no ExpresssKeys, no multi-touch support, no pen tilt and only 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, so using this cheap Wacom tablet for anything more than basic sketching will be a struggle.

That disclaimer aside, the One by Wacom is well-made and still feels accurate to use. It could serve as an introduction to beginners who haven't yet tried the experience of using a graphics tablet. The Intuos is probably a better place to start for creatives, but the One by Wacom has its appeal, and if you're only looking for a tablet that avoids the dangers of repetitive strain injury, this should serve you well.

Wacom Stylus deals

All of Wacom's tablets come with their own stylus – in the majority of cases, the superb Pro Pen 2. But if you want a stylus to pair with a different smart device, Wacom has some great options. Here's a quick rundown of what Wacom currently has to offer in terms of styluses for those of you who just can't have enough gadgets to work with.

Bamboo Duo (4th Generation)

Compatible with touchscreen devices running iOS, Android or Windows, the battery-powered Bamboo Duo 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. 

You can 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 find it frustrating trying to quickly sketch images on your phone or tablet when you need to get an idea down, the Bamboo Tip could be the stylus that comes to your rescue. This fine-tipped pen is compatible with iOS and many Android devices without the need to pair it. The battery lasts for around 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 comfortable triangular design and has smart features when paired with certain apps. It also has a customisable shortcut button and a retractable tip to keep the device in good condition.

How much does a Wacom tablet cost?

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, we can look at their respective RRPs. Wacom’s pen tablets are the most affordable – the small One by Wacom has an RRP of $69.95, closely followed by the Small Intuos at $79.95.

There's a fairly big jump if you're looking for a Wacom pen display. At the lower end, the Wacom Cintiq 16 has an RRP of $649.95/£550, but at the very top of Wacom's tablet price range, a Cintiq Pro 32 Creative Pen Display Touch is a real investment with a price tag of $3,299.95. Finally, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 pen computer has an eye-watering RRP of $3,499.95.

Where to find a cheap Wacom tablet 

You probably don't want to pay full whack, so where should can you look to find a cheap Wacom tablet? We’ve rounded up the biggest bargains to be found on Wacom's full range of drawing tablets and accessories. Just scroll down below to explore the full range, or, if you already know which model you want, follow the link in the product-specific sections above.

Alternatively, if you want to search for offers directly, the best places to find a bargain are respected third-party retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, Adorama, Amazon, John Lewis, eBay and Currys. If you're open to buying 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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David Cousens writes for ImagineFX.