This Budget Tablet Is All You Need: One by Wacom Review

This Budget Tablet Is All You Need: One by Wacom Review

Wacom has become a staple in the photography industry. If you're a professional photographer, a graphic tablet can greatly improve your workflow. The issue is that many graphic tablets come with hefty price tags. Fortunately, there is a budget option that is surprisingly brilliant, and that is the One by Wacom tablet.

The Wacom Intuos Pro has been my go-to graphic tablet for a long time. Its generous size offers comfort when used with a 32" monitor and encompasses a broad array of features, some of which I considered indispensable, like its touchpad capability. However, my perception changed when I started using the One By Wacom.

Design and Usability

In terms of design, this has to be one of the most straightforward pieces of tech I've used. Simply plug it into your computer using a micro USB cable, and it will turn on automatically. The entire top surface of the tablet serves as the workspace, which can be customized according to your preferences. I personally locked mine onto my main display to keep the cursor on one screen.

This tablet has a sleek appearance without any buttons, giving it a seamless look. A small, white LED light illuminates when the tablet is ready to use. However, there are no additional controls or buttons for quick navigation and access. It would have been useful to have buttons for undo/redo or brush size control, but considering this is a budget option, it's difficult to complain.

The tablet comes with a pen stylus that features two buttons for various functions. I chose to use the zoom feature on one button and pan/scroll on the other, making it easier for me to navigate around an image while editing.

In a professional setting, this tablet is all that's necessary. While the medium-sized tablet isn't overly large or cumbersome, it's still suitable for use with a 32" monitor. Additionally, since it lacks touchpad capabilities, the tablet automatically employs palm rejection, which means it only detects input from the stylus pen.

With the stylus pen, hovering over the surface still registers on the tablet, which is a feature I miss on other budget tablets. Including this feature in their budget option puts Wacom ahead of many alternatives available in the market.

Why This Tablet Is All You Need

Image edited using the Wacom tablet

The One by Wacom tablet is a simple graphics tablet that is designed to meet the essential requirements of professional photographers. Despite lacking some features that would be nice to have, it performs its core functions extremely well. The tablet's simplicity of design makes it easy to use, and it is more than capable of handling complex edits, such as dodging and burning, skin healing, and color grading on portraits comfortably.

Additionally, the One by Wacom tablet is also suitable for architectural photography. With the stylus and pen tool, I was able to accurately select areas within an image, which enables them to perform highly localized edits on the image. This is useful because with architectural photography, much of it relies on editing lots of different layers and masking selections. 

While there are some features that would be nice to have, the One by Wacom tablet meets all of the essential requirements for a professional photographer. Based on this, the tablet is likely the only tablet that most photographers will ever need.

Useful Features I Miss

While the One by Wacom tablet meets the basic requirements, there are certain features that would have been useful for a better user experience and faster workflow.

Firstly, the ability to change the brush size quickly and easily is a feature that the One by Wacom tablet lacks. It was one of the most frequently used features for me with the Intuos Pro, and not having it in the One by Wacom tablet means I have to switch to the mouse to select the brush size, interrupting the flow. The ability to change the brush size on the fly while zooming in and out of an image and scrolling across the canvas would have made the workflow smoother. 

Another feature that I missed is the undo button. I had to constantly stop using the tablet and hit the keyboard to undo, interrupting my workflow. Having a button that allows me to quickly undo and redo steps would have been incredibly useful.

Finally, the ability to use the tablet as a touchpad, while not a crucial feature, would have been nice to have. It allows for faster zooming in and out of images and browsing the internet with ease. However, this feature is available on more premium tablets, such as the Wacom Intuos Pro, which comes at a significantly higher price point.

Overall, while the One by Wacom tablet is a great option for those who want a basic, simple graphics tablet that gets the job done, those who need additional features may need to consider investing in a more expensive option such as the Wacom Intuos Pro.

What I Liked

  • Simple and easy to set up.
  • Hover features make it feel like using a premium tablet. 
  • Surprisingly inexpensive considering what's on offer here. 
  • Features all of the important things a professional actually needs. 

What I Didn't Like

  • There's no place to store stylus. 
  • Uses micro USB. 
  • No battery, so needs to be constantly connected to your computer. 

Final Thoughts

Graphic tablets can come with a hefty price tag, particularly those that feature their own displays. Luckily, this budget-friendly Wacom tablet contains most of the essential features needed for professional use. If you prioritize practical requirements over flashy features offered by more expensive tablets, then this is likely the most cost-effective option available. It offers the best value for your money. You can get yours here.

Usman Dawood's picture

Usman Dawood is a professional architectural photographer based in the UK.

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I have a small Intuos Pro but I wish I had just bought the medium size. Previously I had a large one which was too large... Maybe the One is a good way to go, but having micro usb is almost a deal breaker!

Even though Wacom tablets are relatively expensive, they are well worth buying. I have been working with my Wacom Intuos4 Wireless almost daily for 14 years. Well, the built-in battery has been removed in the meantime and there is no replacement. But the rest still works like it did on the first day.
In the meantime, I have had an Intuos Pro for another workplace for 5 years, which also works perfectly. In other words, the investment in a Wacom tablet has more than paid for itself for me to date. Not only in terms of price, but also because it is much more efficient than working with a mouse.

Hard for me to believe that professional photographer could not afford $300 Wacom One display and will use One by Wacom tablet. I'm not a pro but I have been using 13" Wacom One for years. I clone Wacom to 32" monitor and use Wacom with Staedtler pencil and Express Key remote. I used to have Intuos and you can't even compare how much easier is to draw on Wacom screen as to compare with tablet. Perhaps real pros use Cintiq, but Wacom One is good enough for me.

What I’ve found over the years is that I’m just not that interested in expensive equipment.

The more comfortable I become with the work I produce, the less I care about the equipment.

It’s still fun though.

I've been using many versions of Wacom Intuos Pro for over 20 years and my only gripe is they could have upgraded the drivers for these expensive pro tablets but prefer to make them obsolete when we upgrade to newer OS. I'm now using other cheaper alternative brands as a vote against their mean tactics.

How about the competitors like xp-pen deco 01 v2, I saw some conparison between wacom and xp-pen: , But I am still confused.
Can you give me some advices?

Thanks again! please help me.