Review: Wacom One

Maker News
Review: Wacom One

Manufacturer: Wacom

URL: http://www.wacom.com

(editor’s note 11/15/22: I just got an email with Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, valid through November 17th to the 28th which give you $150 off the wacom One.)

Price: $399

Features

Here are the tech specs from their website:

● 13.3 inch display
● 1920×1080 reolution
● battery free pen
● tilt recognition
● android compatability
● 4096 levels of pressure

Setup

Setup is fairly straight forward. You have to plug the device into a power supply, a usb port, and an HDMI port. In my case I tossed an extra video card in so that I could have three working displays on my pc.

After you’ve got the hardware all in place, running their software allows you to do things like specify which screen you’re actually affecting with the stylus (more on this cool feature later) as well as calibrate things.

It has a nice little kickstand to bring it up a few degrees while drawing, and some extra nibs are stored conveniently on the back.

From that point onward, it’s time to use it!

Actual Use

I’ve always lusted after the cintique line of display tablets from Wacom. However, the price has been pretty prohibitive for someone like me who may tinker from time to time but doesn’t really utilize a device like this for their daily productivity. The release of the Wacom One line of display tablets really made this something to reconsider. At $399, it is $150 cheaper than the absolute cheapest cintique.

On the downside, this device is missing some nice features like the built in buttons for actions, but then again the cheapest cintique doesn’t have that either. The Wacom one is stated to have roughly half the levels of pressure as the more expensive bigger sibling, but for my uses I couldn’t even tell the difference.

The only thing that stood out to me was that the Wacom One does not have a laminated screen, so there is a tiny gap between the stylus tip and the cursor itself.

The tip (nib) is touching the screen here. The gap is visible but easy to compensate for

Speaking of uses, lets jump into that experience. I did some digital painting and digital sculpting with this.

Painting and Drawing

I tinkered around a little bit. I do most of my drawing now in Procreate on the iPad. For the PC I don’t have such a full featured piece of software so I downloaded Krita and explored a bit. Response of the tablet is fantastic. I didn’t notice the lower pressure resolution myself and didn’t see any lag at all. I didn’t produce anything particularly pretty as I was mostly just testing the pressure and responsiveness.

Sculpting

This is the area I wanted to explore the most. There are a plethora of pieces of software available on the PC for sculpting but I’ve been doing it on my iPad now for some time as it works as a tablet display. Now that I have the Wacom One it is time to harness the beefy brains of my desktop computer to do some sculpting!

Blender worked with it just fine, but here’s where I found the display toggle most useful. Blender’s interface is pretty dense and really optimized more for mouse input on a larger monitor, so I like to use the wacom as input for my big screen.

Blender gets a little crowded on the smaller screen of the Wacom

What you display on the wacom at this point doesn’t matter (spotify fits nicely)

Though the Wacom is displaying Spotify, the inputs are mapped to the larger screen above

General Computing

The Wacom One is effectively another monitor. While editing articles and editing video, you can’t have enough, so I really liked having a third monitor. However I would highly recommend getting a stand for it that will hold it more vertical. I did and I really like having it there.

I 3D printed a stand to hold the display vertical while not in use

You can see my setup here. For the sake of sharing on the internet I just have some random stuff open but 3 monitors is actually quite nice for a remote workflow! I keep slack and gmail open all the time, then I often have multiple items I need open for editing articles or editing video.

Thoughts

I was actually surprised to find that I wanted to use it as a non-display tablet more often than I thought I would. This isn’t a problem with the device so much as a limitation in the interfaces of software I wanted to play with (Blender and Photoshop specifically). If they’re not optimized for the smaller screen it can be nice to leave them on the large screen and just use the tablet input like a non-display version. Wacom seems to have thought of this, because you can toggle which display the input is actively working on.

I would absolutely recommend this device to someone looking to have pen input. The ability to work directly on what you’re looking at (when you chose) is fantastic. The only thing I wish it had were hot keys, but at this price I understand why it doesn’t.

Tagged

I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. You can find me on twitter at @calebkraft

View more articles by Caleb Kraft
FEEDBACK