Wacom Intuos 2018 – Same small size, and it’s not much of an upgrade.

This post was written based on my impressions of the specs and features of the Wacom Intuos 2018 before its release.
My actual review of the Wacom Intuos 2018 is here: Wacom Intuos 2018 Review


(Wacom Intuos CTL6100WLK0 – Image from Amazon.com)

Wacom is releasing another new Intuos tablet to replace the older Intuos’ tablets (again). However, even though it’s a new release, it’s not much of an upgrade.

Let’s start with an explanation of all the generations of tablets named “Wacom Intuos” so that you know what’s going on with this new release, and why it’s not particularly noteworthy.

Wacom Intuos Versions

There have been 3 versions of Wacom Intuos up to this date which should NOT be mistaken with one another. Wacom decided to name them all “Intuos” though, so it’s no wonder that hardly anyone knows that each one is actually a different generation.

At this point, you could almost say with confidence that Wacom is doing this naming on purpose because they know they’ve basically made no big enough improvements to make it worth distinguishing from the previous versions.

Anyways, the 3 versions of Wacom Intuos are:
CTL-480/CTH-480/CTH-680 version: This is the earliest version with a silver and black design and a rubber grip pen. Loved by all who bought it.
CTL-490/CTH-490/CTH-690 version: This is the second version with many colour variations and a black plastic stick for a pen. The cheap plastic stick pen made it very debatable whether its higher price was worth it or not compared to alternatives. It was a clear downgrade from the previous version too.
CTL4100/CTL4100WL/CTL6100WL version: This is the newest version which comes in black or pistachio colours and has a rubber grip pen. The best part about this version is that the Wacom quality rubber grip pen is back! Hopefully, it’s also more durable than the CTL-490 pen.

The Improvement

The biggest improvement is really just the pen and the fact that it’s a rubber grip pen again after being downgraded to the plain plastic pen with the CTL-490 series.

Some people will undoubtedly argue that the plastic pen of the CTL-490 series was satisfactory and more than good enough, but it is NOT good enough. Having a good quality pen, tablet, and drivers is the “Wacom standard” that everyone expects from Wacom, but because Wacom downgraded the rubber grip pen to a cheap plastic pen from the CTL-480 to CTL-490, they betrayed their own “Wacom standard” and the CTL-490 stood in the same ballpark as the Wacom alternatives. Actually, no. The CTL-490 was worse than Wacom alternatives simply because the CTL-490 pen was so low quality and the tablet drawing area is so small.
With the CTL4100 having a rubber grip pen again, it’s certainly worth considering if you want the “Wacom standard” and the Wacom brand name on your desk.

Honestly though, there isn’t really anything truly noteworthy that’s improved with the newer version, but the rubber grip pen makes it at least viable as a higher “Wacom quality” tablet unlike the previous CTL-490 version.

Extra notes:
-Bluetooth wireless is just a preferential feature and not an actual improvement per say. -4096 pen pressure is also not a significant improvement since anything above 2048 is more than enough to draw with.
-The loss of multi-touch from the previous version can be a con to some people, but personally I did not ever see the point of the touchpad feature when you will use keyboard shortcuts when using the Intuos anyways.

Author: Nikage

I am a hobbyist artist. Ever since I bought my first Wacom alternative tablet, I've become interested in finding out what other alternative tablets are good, and trying to guide people to see that there's more than just Wacom on the market.

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