One by Wacom VS Wacom Intuos: Comparison and Differences

Final Verdict

Get One by Wacom if you want a very durable, high-quality budget drawing tablet at the lowest possible price. And, get the Wacom Intuos if you need or want wireless connectivity, handy expresskeys and a more pressure-sensitive pen

Wacom Intuos

Wacom Intuos entry-level drawing tablet

One by Wacom

One by Wacom drawing tablet
Wacom IntuosOne by Wacom
Moderate price tag – $199.99Inexpensive – $99.99
Includes 4 express keysDoesn’t include any express keys
Intuos 4K pen with 4096 pressure levelsIntuos 2K pen with 2048 pressure levels
Bluetooth connectivity; wirelessWired
Slightly rougher drawing surfaceSmooth drawing surface

If you’re just stepping into the world of digital art, excited to explore what you can do with a drawing tablet, chances are you’ve come across One by Wacom. As you get ready to buy it, you’ll encounter a tempting alternative — Wacom Intuos. With its handy buttons and upgraded pen, it calls to your inner urge to get the better model.

This comprehensive review unravels the distinctions between both budget-friendly drawing tablets to help you make the right choice. I’ve had the privilege of testing both products and although my trusty One by Wacom has withstood over four years of heavy use, I became intimately acquainted with my friend’s Intuos as well.

(Watch out — this comparison covers One by Wacom vs Wacom Intuos, and not One by Wacom vs Wacom Intuos Pro, which is an entirely different beast!)

Design and Build Quality

Both Wacom products are sturdy, durable, and handsome. These no-screen drawing tablets feature a dotted grid pattern you won’t notice while you’re engrossed in your screen.

An interesting design difference in the Wacom Intuos is the presence of a row of four ExpressKeys at the top. These programmable keys allow users to assign specific functions within their drawing software, reducing the reliance on their keyboards and streamlining the creative process.

One by Wacom has a signature red back, while Wacom Intuos is available in black, pistachio (more like mint green), or cherry (more like baby pink).


A Wacom Pen 2K with 2048 pressure sensitivity levels is included with the One by Wacom. The best part? Unlike some drawing tablets, this pen is completely battery-free, freeing users from the need to worry about charging the device. It’s also equipped with bindable buttons that correspond to right and middle click by default.

Wacom Intuos drawing tablets ship with the upgraded 4K pen that’s even more sensitive. With 4,096 pressure levels, it gives artists complete control over their strokes. Like its predecessor, this pen is battery-free and features two buttons.

Most budding digital artists won’t notice much of a difference with the 4K pen — but if sensitivity is a priority, upgrading to Wacom Intuos becomes a logical choice.

You’ll get three standard replacement nibs in both cases!

Size and Dimensions

Size matters when you’re buying a drawing tablet — and One by Wacom and Wacom Intuos are both available in two sizes to suit your preferences.

The dimensions are, while very similar, not quite identical. The “active area,” where your creative ideas come to life, is consistent across both Wacom products: 6.0 x 3.7 in for the smaller size and 8.5 x 5.3 in for the medium drawing tablet. However, One by Wacom is slightly larger overall.

Here’s how the smaller models stack up:

  • One by Wacom: 210 x 146 x 8.7 mm (8.3 x 5.7 x 0.3 in)
  • Wacom Intuos: 200 x 160 x 8.8 mm (7.87 x 6.3 x 0.35 in)

And here are the dimensions for the Medium size:

  • One by Wacom: 277 x 189 x 8.7 mm (10.9 x 7.4 x 0.3 in)
  • Wacom Intuos: 264 x 200 x 8.8 mm (10.4 x 7.8 x 0.35 in)

The difference is tiny — but if every inch of desk real estate matters to you, the Wacom Intuos may become slightly more appealing.

Differences in Drawing Surface

One by Wacom’s active area has a smooth texture that allows the pen to glide over it with ease. Some users think it’s too smooth, and remedy this by placing a piece of paper on top — your tablet still works if you do this. People using One by Wacom to take notes love the smooth texture, on the other hand. Some changes were made to Intuos’ drawing surface, but it’s slightly rougher than One’s.

Because the feel of each tablet’s drawing area is subjective, there’s a strong case for testing both products in person — better safe than sorry, right?

Connectivity and Compatibility

Both models ship with a USB-A to micro USB cable — but Wacom Intuos includes a feature to keep your cable tidy while you’re not using it, and has a slightly more durable design. People hoping for wireless connectivity should choose the Bluetooth-compatible Wacom Intuos; One doesn’t offer this feature.

One by Wacom and Wacom Intuos are compatible with nearly every operating system — Windows (7 or later), iOS, GNU/Linux, and Android. Linux folks who want to get creative are best off using Linux Mint, as Wacom products integrate seamlessly.

Both drawing tablets work with any drawing software that supports pressure sensitivity, including Photohop, Krita, Fresco, Clip Studio Paint, and Medibang Studio.

Price and Value for Money

One by Wacom is renowned for being the least expensive quality entry-level drawing tablet around — and artists hoping to spend as little as possible have an obvious choice in the One by Wacom S.

Prices do change — and the Wacom webshop runs attractive discounts sometimes. People who have fallen in love with the Wacom Intuos S with Bluetooth capabilities can sometimes find it for $40, for example. That’s $10 cheaper than One by Wacom S’s standard price.

Budding digital artists looking for a larger model can get One by Wacom M for $100 and Wacom Intuos M Bluetooth for just $30 more.

Pros and Cons

Still having trouble deciding? That’s understandable — both tablets are great options for beginning digital artists.

Get One by Wacom if you want a very durable, high-quality budget drawing tablet at the lowest possible price. Only get Wacom Intuos if you need or want:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Handy ExpressKeys
  • A more sensitive pen

If you’re on a tight budget, simply wait for the Wacom Intuos model you picked out to go on sale, as you’ll occasionally be able to get it for less than the equivalent One by Wacom model.

A Final Word

Having tested the Wacom Intuos after owning a One by Wacom tablet for years, I see why choosing it over One by Wacom is an attractive option for some.

Those ExpressKeys can make a real difference, especially if you plan to position your drawing tablet right over your laptop keyboard — and a more sensitive pen appeals to some artists. For many, however, Bluetooth capabilities will end up being the deciding factor when choosing Wacom Intuos.

Ultimately, both entry-level drawing tablets are competitively priced, durable, versatile, and ready to become your constant companion. Which is better? Now that you understand the differences, answering that question should be a piece of cake.

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