1. #1

    Why are Wacom's so expensive?

    Simple question that I am certain someone here knows.

    A few years ago I got a graphics tablet, a simple one without a screen. I was expecting with the advent of tablets and phones, and improvements in displays, that such devices with built in screen would drop in price.

    Considering they are essentially, an iPad without the computer, the software etc (although I know it will have a computer and software, it is not advanced as the a5 or iOS)

    Why does it cost £600+ to get a Wacom tablet with a screen inside?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lugo Moll View Post
    Consider this philosophical question: If Blizz fails, but noone is there to see it. Will there still be QQ?

  2. #2
    Short answer would be because they're awesome for drawing, I guess.

  3. #3
    Bloodsail Admiral nerdjames's Avatar
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    Basically because they can charge what they want. Wacom seems to have a monopoly on graphics tablets, and without competition nothing will drive prices down. Tablet computers look very similar to graphics tablets, but they aren't completely interchangable. For example, graphics tablets are pressure-sensitive which is a dimension these capacitative touchscreens don't have.

  4. #4
    They are indeed awesome, but more or less it comes down to the fact that they are pressure sensitive. Plus chances are the screens are most likely of a higher quality.
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  5. #5
    Pretty much the same reason that Apple charges so much for their products - they cornered a specific market and their customers are willing to pay for the benefits of using their brand name, whether they are merely perceived or actual notable benefits.

    I've used a few different graphics tablets before and most cheaper ones do have notably lower quality accuracy/pressure levels or just build design - ie they tend to break easily or quickly, even with just standard usage and no physical damage done. The Wacoms have the benefit of being actual artist toolsets - they match the job of being a professional piece of equipment and if you're creating something to a commercial or professional level, then they're worth the cost. An iPad 2 isn't nearly as accurate or well designed for art creation as a Wacom Intuos.

    However, if you're looking for a cheaper alternative, I'd recommend Aiptek's graphic tablets:

    Aiptek Media Tablet 14000u

    and

    Aiptek Media Tablet Ultimate 2

    I've had 2 of the 14000u's myself, due to the first one simply ceasing to respond, but they are very good tablets for more standard levels of usage (I did some graphic design and some art projects for myself and nothing more). But having tried out the Intuous, I can tell you very quickly that levels of detail and pressure, the accuracy, responsiveness, etc, etc are far higher, if you're willing to pay that much. Which I was not, unfortunately.

  6. #6
    Also take demand into account. Almost everyone buys a keyboard, mouse, screen etc... so more companies will compete with each other, driving down cost.

    There isn't as big of a market for graphic tablets, therefore prices will be higher.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinzai View Post
    Pretty much the same reason that Apple charges so much for their products - they cornered a specific market and their customers are willing to pay for the benefits of using their brand name, whether they are merely perceived or actual notable benefits.

    I've used a few different graphics tablets before and most cheaper ones do have notably lower quality accuracy/pressure levels or just build design - ie they tend to break easily or quickly, even with just standard usage and no physical damage done. The Wacoms have the benefit of being actual artist toolsets - they match the job of being a professional piece of equipment and if you're creating something to a commercial or professional level, then they're worth the cost. An iPad 2 isn't nearly as accurate or well designed for art creation as a Wacom Intuos.

    However, if you're looking for a cheaper alternative, I'd recommend Aiptek's graphic tablets:

    Aiptek Media Tablet 14000u

    and

    Aiptek Media Tablet Ultimate 2

    I've had 2 of the 14000u's myself, due to the first one simply ceasing to respond, but they are very good tablets for more standard levels of usage (I did some graphic design and some art projects for myself and nothing more). But having tried out the Intuous, I can tell you very quickly that levels of detail and pressure, the accuracy, responsiveness, etc, etc are far higher, if you're willing to pay that much. Which I was not, unfortunately.
    I appreciate the alternative options, and yeah it would seem they are capable of charging exorbitant amounts through lack of demand and market cornering.

    I only need them for rapid development of prototypes for like web graphics, where the tablet is more efficient than a mouse, and for minor game design like sprites or textures, and because (for the moment) it is a hobby, I can't warrant spending so much despite seeing the benefit.

    My main interest is human computer interfacing and UI design, and such an investment, right now, is not something I am willing to do. Perhaps in the future though Wacom will steal my pennies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lugo Moll View Post
    Consider this philosophical question: If Blizz fails, but noone is there to see it. Will there still be QQ?

  8. #8
    Cornering a market would be buying up all the available devices and selling at exorbitant costs which would be illegal anyway. Wacom just makes good products and I doubt they are making huge margins off of them. You would think a Wacom 24HD at $2.5k is extremely overpriced until you actually use one. The fact of the matter is that extremely accurate pressure sensitive digitizers are not a huge market so it doesn't have economies of scale. Comparing a much cheaper iPad digitizer to a Wacom is apples and oranges.

  9. #9
    Mechagnome Lewdrumpslap's Avatar
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    I'm actually thinking about getting the wacom cintiq 12wx also, trying to get in to a digital design/illustrator course, after an accident I cant do my main job any more (Bike Mechanic) and need to come up with a new job, and the other thing I always liked was digital art.

    I never used a tablet before and bought the wacom bamboo for £50, its good but really need to get the cintiq 12wx, but like you said they are so expensive, but I do think it will pay for itself over time, so I'm gonna fork out the cash and get one

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewdrumpslap View Post
    I'm actually thinking about getting the wacom cintiq 12wx also, trying to get in to a digital design/illustrator course, after an accident I cant do my main job any more (Bike Mechanic) and need to come up with a new job, and the other thing I always liked was digital art.

    I never used a tablet before and bought the wacom bamboo for £50, its good but really need to get the cintiq 12wx, but like you said they are so expensive, but I do think it will pay for itself over time, so I'm gonna fork out the cash and get one
    I wish you luck with your new chosen career path, one thing is for certain, we know the product your buying is the best of the best and won't let you down. They look immense, I wish I still got expensive christmas presents lol :P
    Quote Originally Posted by Lugo Moll View Post
    Consider this philosophical question: If Blizz fails, but noone is there to see it. Will there still be QQ?

  11. #11
    Mechagnome Lewdrumpslap's Avatar
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    Thanks hope you get one someday also

  12. #12
    you should check out old Tablet PCs the likes of X61t by lenovo or so. while it's a whole seperate computer it sounds pretty adequate for what you want to do with it .
    "Marketing is what you do when your product is no good."

  13. #13
    Wacom is the only manufacturer that uses a patented electromagnetic resonance technology, so they don't need batteries or any wires to function, reducing maintenance and weight for a more natural pen feel. They have cheaper models, like the smaller Bamboos, but other than those, their lineup is focused on the graphics professional, not on the general customer, so they face less competition and can charge higher prices.

    I use an Intuos5 Medium with a Dell 30" LCD. It works amazingly well, except for the touch input, which is not on par with a modern laptop trackpad.

    If you're not using an extremely large (like 27" or 30") LCD, or multiple monitors, the Bamboo Create is a great value. It costs about $190 street price and is good enough for professional work. In fact, it has the same pressure levels and resolution of the professional Intuos models of some years ago. You can find a thorough comparison between Intuos5 and Bamboo models at cameratico.com/guides/how-to-choose-wacom-pen-tablet.

    I'd avoid the alternative brands and buy the Bamboo Create instead. Driver support, precision, reliability and overall quality are much better than the alternative brands.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Keller View Post
    you should check out old Tablet PCs the likes of X61t by lenovo or so. while it's a whole seperate computer it sounds pretty adequate for what you want to do with it .
    This is a pretty good idea. The Wacom digitizer on the tablets were good. Not as good as Cintiq obviously but it is probably not going to be noticeable for a beginner and the cost difference is significant.

  15. #15
    Pandaren Monk DarkXale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sackman View Post
    Why does it cost £600+ to get a Wacom tablet with a screen inside?
    Because they use a significantly different touch-based technology than what tablets use. This technology is vastly superior in resolution, responsiveness, and detail.

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