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Wacom One Pen Display hands on Review

An Affordable Wacom Pen Display

I just finished reviewing the Wacom One Creative Pen display. At $400 its the lowest cost pen display Wacom have ever made.

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The build quality is up to Wacom standards and feels very solid and well made. This tablet uses the Wacom EMR (Electro Magnetic Resonance) technology. It’s the same tech that is used on mobile devices such as some of the Samsung tablets and phones. Because of this the Wacom One Pen Display is compatible with some other pens, such as the ones with the Samsung note. There is a list on the Wacom site.

The nice thing about EMR, is that the pen carries no charge, so there is no charging required as there are no batteries in the pen. Before you ask, no, the Wacom pro pens don’t work on this display. It comes with its own Wacom One Pen, which is similar in size, but is halved (from the Wacom Pro pens) to 4096 levels of pressure. Trust me 4096 is more than enough for most people.

This is a product that sits at the entry level of Wacom pen displays and completes a 3-tier line up. There are the Cintiq Pros at the high end for working professionals. There are the Cintiq line for students and serious hobbyists and now the Wacom One is targeted at hobbyists and people moving up from painting on a phone or tablet screen. Of course there is still the Intous and Intuos pro line of tablets for photographers and retouchers. There main difference is that a tablet is good for retouching photos, where as a pen display is best for digital painting and sketching on screen.

The Wacom one works with Mac and Windows and is also compatible with some Android devices. Check Wacom’s website for more info.

Main specs are:

  • 13.3″ display at 1920×1080 (Full HD) 72%NTSC color. It has a textured anti reflective surface.
  • The pen is 4096 pressure sensitivity and 60 degree tilt angle. It has a single toggle switch.

The tablet is connects to your device through a single squid-type cable that has 4 connectors.

  • USB type A connector and a full size HDMI connector to the device,
  • USB A power cable with wall plug a
  • USB-C that goes into the display. If you want to work mobile, you can if you have a good USB charger. I tested it was able to run the display from my Belkin charger.

There is no on-screen touch functionality, you interact with the pen.

Using the Wacom One Pen Display

I tested the unit in the video at the top of the page. Here are my overall impressions. I used it to retouch and photograph and make a quick sketch.

The pen experience was what I would expect from a Wacom. It has a nice feel with enough resistance on screen to feel like natural media. Connected to my MacBook Pro, and running Adobe Photoshop, I didn’t experience and lag or latency. I didn’t experience any issues with glare. On the weaker side, the brightness is adequate for indoor use, but not bright enough for outdoor use. The lack of touch strips and express keys does slow you down a little bit, although you can set ups an onscreen menu and the express Key remote is available as a separate purchase.

While its not quite as nice to use as a Cintiq, it still feels better than the other options out there including the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil (I feel like I’m skating on ice with the iPad and pencil as the surface is very slippery and lacks friction). You can use the One either drawing on screen as a second monitor, or as a tablet mirrored to your computer display.

If you are looking to use a “real” computer to run desktop class applications such as Photoshop and Painter and desire the painting on screen experience, but don’t want to spend more than $400 this would be a great entry to a digital painting experience.

You can get a Wacom One Pen Display here. Price $399 USD


I hope you found this review useful!



11 responses to “Wacom One Pen Display hands on Review”

  1. Great review.
    I like the size and affordability for this model. It’s something I would consider matching with my laptop for those times I might need to retouch on the road.
    One thing I do like about the Cintiq line is I can use it easily with my regular Intuos tablet as well, the Cintiq even works with the same stylus, so navigating across different screens is much easier.

  2. Hi Colin, Interesting video. I`ve never used a tablet or pen in Photoshop before. I don’t really know why I would need one. To me in canada Wacom would be about $550-600 with exchange. What reasons would you give me to want t o spend that money when I can do it one my computer. I can see the pen or pencil pressure using for dodging and burning but what else? Thanks

  3. Hi! I use a Wacom Cintiq to paint in photoshop. I wanted to have a lighter and more portable wacom so your review was extremely helpful. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for a great review! Personally I’d go with the XP-PEN , as in my view, while Wacom DOES make quality products, a lot of the cost comes from the brand name and for the fact that for the longest time, they had the monopoly on graphics display tablets/etc. The fact that they’re creating ‘budget’ options ( Cintiq 16 and wacom one 13″ ) already shows that they’ve got healthy competition from other companies making products that stand up well themselves. Competition is good for most markets, at least for the consumer/customer. I’ve owned several XP-PEN Artist tablets, though all were excellent quality and quite durable.

  5. Hi! How did you get photoshop to show up on the tablet display in the first place? My photoshop only works on the Mac monitor

  6. Very detailed Review!
    I am considering the Huion Kamvas 13 vs Wacom One, because they have same size.
    I have read some comparison post from pctechtest and etc. Huion Kamvas 13 has a laminated screen which I believe the Wacom One does not.
    Which is better/more worth the money? I’m gonna buy one of them and i need an answer.
    Thanks in advance!

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