Nathan Landale

The Technology for The Next Generation

This Wacom drawing tablet feels like putting pen to paper, and it's on sale
Computer, Gadget & Technology

This Wacom drawing tablet feels like putting pen to paper, and it’s on sale

Overhead image of person's hand holding a pen and writing on a black Wacom drawing tablet

Allison Murray/ZDNET

What is the deal?

The medium-sized Wacom Intuos Pro is $80 off when you purchase it at Best Buy. It has an 8.7 x 5.8 in. active drawing area, making it the perfect mid-range drawing tablet size.

Why is this deal ZDNET-recommended?

The Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablet is made for creatives, and it feels like pen to paper when you’re drawing or sketching on it. If you’re looking to detail finer strokes or have a super responsive drawing tablet, this is the one. 

Full disclosure: I am not an artist. However, I am a tech reporter who’s tested various tablets and knows the ins and outs of what makes a good tablet. And the Wacom Intuos Pro is a good tablet. 

Also: The best drawing tablets

This drawing tablet is built for professionals: Artists who create digital art, graphic designers, photographers looking to make precise edits in Photoshop, etc. For serious digital artists, this tablet would be a valuable tool to help make detailed sketches, edits, or drawings. But for me? The Wacom Intuos Pro was simply fun.

View at Amazon

Having never used a screenless tablet, the setup for the Wacom Intuos Pro was much different than simply turning on an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. The tablet comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large), as well as the battery-free Pro Pen 2 with extra nibs, and a USB-A to USB-C cord to connect directly to a device, or you can pair the tablet via Bluetooth. 

I tried both methods: The Bluetooth pairing took some time to figure out how exactly to do it, but Wacom has helpful videos on its site. As for using the cord to plug directly into a device, I had to dig out my 2016 MacBook Air (remember when Apple used to have USB-A ports?) and plug it in. I preferred this method overall since it was easier. 

Once connected to a device, it took a lot of playing around to figure out how to work this drawing tablet. You can customize everything, including what the Pro Pen 2’s buttons do, what the ExpressKeys on the tablet’s side do, and touch gestures with your fingers, so there’s a lot to learn. It took me a long time to figure out how to get it to work correctly with my setup. 

You also have to have a drawing program compatible with Wacom (as a non-artist, I had to download one, making the process longer and more difficult). There is a steep learning curve with controlling what’s on your screen using a tablet that doesn’t have a screen. Thankfully, the pen is super accurate, and it can be used as a mouse or a drawing utensil. 

Digital drawing at its finest

After the setup is complete, everything from there is easy. Drawing in a program (I used the Sketchbook Illustration app) is a seamless experience, like a pen to paper. The pressure points on the pen are super sensitive so that you can go light and thin or dark and thick with your strokes. You can use the tablet to zoom in and out of your artwork, making fine-tuning details a breeze. 

I even had my friend, who has been painting as a hobby for years, come over and try out the tablet. Her words were, “I didn’t know digital painting could be like this! You can get so precise with the details and shading!” 

Her art showcases this detailed shading one can get using the Pro Pen 2 and the tablet in tandem.

Wacom Intuos Pro connected to a Macbook Air with a drawing of a blue cup on its screen

Allison Murray/ZDNET

My art — albeit simple — showcases that anyone can use this drawing tablet to make a reasonably decent work of art. 

Wacom Intuos Pro connected to a Macbook Air with a drawing of a mountain landscape on its screen

Allison Murray/ZDNET

ZDNET’s buying advice

All in all, this is a fantastic drawing tablet–for professionals. With virtually no lag and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, the Wacom Intuos Pro is built with digital artists in mind to create works of art more easily. I’d recommend this tablet to any graphic designer, sketch artist, or photographer. But, if you’re like me (no art experience whatsoever), I’d say leave this one to the pros. 

In addition, since apps are usually more powerful on a laptop or computer, compatibility across programs like Adobe and Corel Painter is far superior to their tablet OS versions, making the Wacom Intuos Pro an excellent option for those who prefer desktop programs.

When will this deal expire? 

Deals are subject to sell-out or expire at any time, though ZDNET remains committed to finding, sharing, and updating the best product deals for you to score the best savings. Our team of experts regularly checks in on the deals we share to ensure they are still live and obtainable. We’re sorry if you’ve missed out on this deal, but don’t fret — we’re constantly finding new chances to save and sharing them with you at 

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