Intuos vs Cintiq Review

Intuos vs Cintiq Review

Intuos vs Cintiq Graphic Drawing Tablet: The More Professional Tablet

Wacom has spent decades perfecting Intuos vs Cintiq which is fairly newer but has taken over the drawing tablet industry by storm. Wacom’s Cintiq drawing tablets are some of the most popular display tablets in the market. Similarly, they also exist at a much higher price point as compared to the whole Intuos line.

Intuos vs Cintiq

We will be reviewing the Wacom Intuos CTL4100 which is the cheapest drawing tablet that the Intuos line has to offer against the much revered Cintiq 16. At the end of this article, you will be able to decide for yourself if the Cintiq is worth all of that extra money if the Intuos will do just fine for your purposes. 

Wacom Intuos CTL4100

Intuos vs Cintiq


The Wacom Intuos CTL4100 is a non-display tablet that is compact and perfect for those of you starting with digital art. You can use it for drawing, painting, photo editing, animating, and even gaming. This small and compact tablet is also perfect for annotating on-screen or taking notes during an online class.

The Tablet:

This tablet from the Intuos series has 4096 pen pressure levels that you can use to create extensively detailed artwork. There is no display on this tablet, so you will have to coordinate your hands and eyes to draw on the screen in front of you.

There is an active working surface of 6 x 3.7 inches on this tablet, which is quite small and might make it difficult to use for people who are not used to such small drawing surfaces. On the contrary, its small area and slimness make it very easy to slip in your bag and carry around wherever you go. 

There are four utility buttons on this drawing tablet which you can customize to your will. The utility buttons are a massive convenience to get things on your canvas done quickly.

The surface of this tablet is smooth and slick, which might make it difficult for you to control your pen at first, but you can get used to it fairly quickly.

Of course, if you want a more textured feel you can slide a sheet of paper on the surface of the tablet and work on that!

The Pen:

The pen that comes with the Wacom Intuos CTL4100 uses EMR (electromagnetic resonance) technology which eliminates the need for a battery or charging in the pen.

There is no lag between the screen and the pen. So you can hold the pen just like a regular one and start drawing. This will also minimize the strain on your wrist and keep you working actively for long durations.

The pen also has two utility buttons, one that you can use to switch to an eraser and the other you can customize as a color picker or any other function you find useful. 

Three backup nibs come with this pen. The nibs are also quite prone to wear so you might want to be careful while using them.

The tablet can be used by right-handed and left-handed people just the same.


You can connect the Wacom CTL4100 to your system using a standard USB cable, or even a Bluetooth connection. Keep in mind that this tablet has no screen and is not a standalone product. You will have to connect it to a system to make it function.


This tablet can work with Windows 7, 8, and 10, and Mac OS 10.11 or later. It can be connected to an android device too.



This device can run any digital art or photo editing software easily. For example, It can run with all Adobe Creative cloud programs, Krita, Paint Tool Sai, Autodesk Sketchbook, Artweaver, and Clip Studio Paint

Registering the Wacom Intuos CTL4100 will give you a free two year plan to Clip Studio Paint Pro and trial versions of Corel Painter Essentials 7 and Corel Aftershot Pro. So it is an excellent package deal, all in all.

The Wacom Intuos CTL4100 is a very affordable drawing tablet that will help you manage more or less any digital art related task.


  • Portable
  • No lag between pen and screen
  • Comes with 4 utility buttons
  • Registering the tablet gets you free software
  • The very affordable price point


  • The drawing surface is very small
  • The pen nibs wear off easily 

Why pick the Intuos CTL4100?

You should pick the Wacom Intuos CTL4100 if:

  • You trust the Wacom brand name
  • You are on a tight budget
  • You want a tablet you can carry on the go
  • You don’t mind a small drawing surface
  • You are okay drawing on a slick smooth surface
  • You want to enjoy the subscription to Clip Studio Paint Pro
  • You are a beginner artist and want a basic drawing tablet
  • You want to annotate on the screen

Cintiq Drawing Tablet

Intuos vs Cintiq


The Wacom Cintiq 16 is an excellent screen tablet. It is more affordable than newer Cintiq models and other premium drawing tablets such as the iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface. You can use the Cintiq 16 for a wide variety of applications such as gaming, drawing, sketching, painting, sculpting, animating, editing photos, and annotating on screen.

The Tablet’s Screen:

The Screen of the Wacom Cintiq 16 is 15.6 x 10 inches, which is a very large working area, especially compared to the Intuos CTL4100. It has an HD display with a 1920×1080 resolution for picking out the smallest details from your work. 

The colors on the screen are very vibrant since the tablet can display 16.7 million colors as well. SO you can use the Cintiq 16 for the most detailed and meticulous artworks and not risk losing any of the quality due to a subpar display.

The Tablet’s Surface:

There are 8192 levels of pen pressure on the Wacom Cintiq 16 and it also has excellent tilt recognition.

The surface of the tablet is smooth but not slick. So your pen can glide across easily without slipping. The feel is not as organic as a matte, paper textured screen but it is still quite easy to work with. 

The glass atop the screen is scratch-resistant and anti-glare. So you can use it for a long time without having reflections hurting your eyes or excessive use of the pen damaging the screen.

There are no express keys on this tablet. However, you can buy a separate express key remote if you miss them even though we believe that the tablet is perfect even without them.

You might be worried about the surface of the tablet being ergonomically bad for your neck and shoulders, and if you stare down at the tablet it just might be. However, the Cintiq 16 comes with foldable legs that can help you prop up the screen so you can sit more ergonomically while working on the tablet.

You can use the Wacom Cintiq 16 whether you are right-handed or left-handed.


The Wacom Cintiq 16 comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2.

This is a battery-free and charging-free stylus that uses Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR) technology to work. There is no lag between the pen and the screen so you can draw smoothly, just as you would on paper. 

Needless to say but the combination of the Pro Pen 2 with the Wacom Cintiq 16 results in highly accurate and highly precise work.

There are two side buttons on the Pro Pen 2 that can be customized to your liking as well. 


The Wacom Cintiq 16 is a display tablet but it is not a standalone product either. You must connect it to a system to make it function. You can connect the Cintiq 16 to your system with the help of a 3 in 1 HDMI cable. There is no option for Bluetooth connectivity either.

The HDMI cable that you connect to your system is also quite short, so you need to be near the system when working on your tablet.

Naturally, it is not a very portable tablet.


The Wacom Cintiq 16 is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10, and all of the latest Mac OS.


The Wacom Cintiq 16 works perfectly with all common software including Clip Studio Paint, Adobe Suite with Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom, along with Autodesk Sketchbook, ArtRage, Paint Tool Sai, Krita, Artweaver, and Corel Suite as well.

Registering the Wacom Cintiq 16 gives you a 3-month license to Clip Studio Paint Ex and a 6-month license to Substance Suite which includes Substance Painter, Substance Alchemist, and all other software.

All in all the Cintiq 16 is a professional grade drawing tablet that artists of any skill level can make use of, and amongst other screen tablets, it is not very expensive either. 


  • Vibrant display
  • Smooth surface that does not wear down pen nibs
  • Anti-glare and anti-scratch surface
  • Foldable legs
  • Highly precise
  • Economical


  • Short HDMI cable
  • Not very portable 

Why pick the Cintiq?

You must pick the Wacom Cintiq 16 if:

  • You are a beginner artist who wants to work on a display tablet
  • You are a professional artist who wants to create meticulous pieces on a vibrant display
  • You trust the Wacom brand name
  • You want to work on an ergonomic surface
  • You are okay with connecting the tablet to a computer system to make it function
  • You are not looking for a very portable tablet
  • You want an economical display tablet with all the functionality of higher-end tablets
  • You don’t mind the lack of utility buttons 

Intuos vs Cintiq: The Differences

SpecificationsWacom Intuos CTL4100Wacom Cintiq 16
Working Area Dimensions6 x 3.7inches15.6 x 10 inches
DisplayNo display1920 x 1080 dpi HD display that shows 16.7 million colors
Surface textureSmooth and SlipperySmooth but not slippery. Also Scratch resistance and anti-glare
Express Keys4 express keysNo express keys
Pen Nibs4 extra nibs, wear off easily10 extra nibs, do not wear off easily
ConnectivityStandard USB cable and Bluetooth connection3in 1 HDMI cable
PortabilitySmall enough to be carried around anywhereShort HDMI cable and too large to be easily carried
Free SoftwareWith registration, 2-year license to Clip Studio Paint Pro, Corel Painter Essentials 7, Corel Aftershot Pro3-month license to Clip Studio Paint Ex and 6-month license to Substance Suite
PricePointVery affordableMuch less affordable

Intuos vs Cintiq the similarities

Following are the similarities between the Wacom Intuos CTL4100 and Wacom Cintiq 16

  • Both tablets come with battery-free and charging-free pens that use EMR technology
  • Both tablets have a smooth drawing surface
  • Both tablets are compatible with Windows and Mac systems
  • Both tablets can work with all common digital software 

Intuos vs Cintiq Verdict

The Wacom Intuos CTL4100 and the Wacom Cintiq 16 are both vastly different from each other. One is a budgeted, non-display tablet and the other is an expensive display tablet. There are very few similarities between the two. 

The Cintiq 16 is the better tablet out of the two and it is worth every penny you spend on it. The Intuos vs the Cintiq may be inferior but offers excellent features for its price point nonetheless.


Is Cintiq better than Intuos?

Generally speaking, the Cintiq series by Wacom is better than the Intuos series. This is because the Cintiq series has high-quality display tablets and while most Intuos tablets are professional grade, none of them are display tablets.

Difference between Cintiq and Cintiq Pro?

The main difference between the Cintiq tablet and the Cintiq pro is that of the resolution, the Cintiq pro has a higher resolution, therefore a more phenomenal display. The Cintiq Pro also has multi-touch features that set it apart from the Cintiq.

What other drawing tablets are as good as Wacom?

There are many excellent brands in the market these days. For more affordable options, you can check out the XP-Pen and Huioin tablets that offer high quality at a smaller price point.

On the other hand, you have Microsoft Surface and the iPad Pro that offers a more expensive and high-quality experience.

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