by Zy Gonzales . September 21st, 2012
A few weeks ago we featured 7 amazing graphic tablets meant for hardcore graphic artists who are serious in refining their craft. Although most of these tablets are already fully equipped with components and features necessary to perform basic designing tasks, there is still a lot of room to improve and make the use of these tablets more convenient.
Once you’re already comfortable using the pre-bundled software and hardware in your tablet, the next step that you can do to improve your design skills using your tablet is to get yourself some useful add-ons for your equipment. These accessories which come mostly in the form of customized pens are an excellent way for you to maximize the use of your tablet as these bring additional functionality to the already existing features you are currently using.
If you’re willing to spend some extra cash, here are a few accessories you might want to consider for your beloved graphics design tablets.
WACOM’s Airbrush Pen ($99.95) – Wacom tablet users can make use of the Airbrush pen to give their designs the look of sprayed paint. This pen provides a realistic simulation of ink application, spray distance, and tilt that emulates authentic airbrush performance on the screen. It has a finger wheel and is equipped with Wacom’s 2nd generation tip sensor. Its pressure level is set at 2048, tilt-sensitivity at plus or minus 60 degrees, and weighs around 23 grams.
This Airbrush pen is compatible with all Intuos 5 and 4 models as well as the Cintiq 21UX and 24HD.
WACOM’s Art Pen ($99.95) – If you’re looking for the feel of using a felt marker, then look no further than Wacom’s Art Pen. Just like an ordinary felt marker, this pen has a broad, chisel-shaped pen tip to emulate the look and feel of using a normal marker. It also has rotation sensitivity which can be used with specific programs to achieve a special effect.
The art pen has the same specs as other pens in Wacom’s arsenal, 2048 pressure levels, tilt sensitivity of plus or minus 60 degrees, and rotation sensitivity from 0 to 360 degrees. It also has the same 2nd generation Wacom tip sensor and weighs around 20g. The Art pen is compatible with all Intuos 4 and 5 models as well as the Cintiq 21UX and 24HD model.
WACOM’s Inking Pen ($79.95) – Designed to imitate the feel of ink on paper, the Wacom Inking pen is ideal for tracing and illustrating original artwork. According to Wacom’s website, you can use the inking pen to directly trace a design of your choice using your tablet. Just place a sheet of paper (up to 10mm thick) on top of your tablet and draw or trace away your designs on the paper and at the same time have the design digitized.
The inking pen is only compatible with Intuos 4 and 5 models since the inking cartridge can damage the screen of Cintiq models. Just like other pens from Wacom, pressure levels are at 2048, tilt sensitivity is plus or minus 60 degrees and weight is around 12g.
WACOM’s Classic Pen ($69.95) – For those who are looking for a pen with a slimmer profile than the one that came with their tablets, the Classic Pen from Wacom might be the one you’re looking for. It has the same feature as the standard grip pen but it has no rubber grip hence the slimmer profile.
And just like the pens mentioned above, the Classic pen has the same features in terms of pressure levels and tilt sensitivity. It also comes with an eraser and 3 nibs (stroke, hard felt and flex) and weighs around 12g. The classic pen is compatible with all Intuos 4 and 5 models and Cintiq 21UX and 24HD models.
WACOM’s Pro Accessory Kit ($24.95) – Wacom’s pro accessory kit contains several tools you can use with the standard pen or custom pens we mentioned above. The kit includes: a set of stroke nibs, hard-felt and flex nibs for most of the pens we mentioned above, 1 wide body grip, 1 standard grip, 1 side switch replacement and 1 nib removal tool.
Tablet Case/Sleeve (starts at $24.95) – if you’re a designer who brings your graphics tablet whenever you travel, or you’re just that clumsy person who can’t let a day pass without banging your stuff around, a protective case might be the most practical accessory you can get yourself. Intuos users can choose from three sizes with the smallest case priced at around $24.95.
For users of other brands or other models, there are a variety of cases and sleeves you can choose from all scattered all around the internet. We found a Wacom bamboo case on etsy that sells for roughly $50.
Targus Stylus (AMM01US) – The Targus stylus model AMM01US was originally intended for use with iOS devices, but will work with most touchscreen devices specially with capacitive touch surfaces. The tip of the pencil is made from durable rubber that won’t scratch the screen and allows the users to type and draw accurately.
The stylus sells for $14.99 and comes in a variety of colors including: red, blue, silver, black, orange and pink.
Rocketfish Stylus and Twist Pen ($26.99) – For the more practical designer who wants not just a graphics tablet pen but also a fully functional pen, the Rocketfish Stylus and twist pen (Model number: RF-TWPSTYL) features a sfot tip that glides over touch screen surfaces without making any scratches. If you need to write something on paper, just twist the pen and a medium ballpoint pen is revealed.
WACOM’s Wireless Accessory Kit ($39.95) – for a hassle and tangle free design environment; make your Intuos 5, Bamboo Capture or Bamboo Create into a wireless input device. The Wireless Accessory Kit from Wacom makes uses RF wireless technology via a micro-transmitter to relay the movements of your pen to your computer wirelessly.
The Wireless components of the kit can be charged via USB cable even when the tablet is in use. A small light indicator will show you once the battery is fully charged. Battery life varies per model ranging from 6-hours to 15 hours. Operating distance is set at a maximum of 10 meters.
Transparent Overlay – There are also numerous friction overlay you can use with your tablets. Some are opaque, while some are transparent. Most of them can be easily fixed into the tablet with double sided tape attached on top of the sheet. Prices for these overlays are around $38.
Did we forget to list any accessory you would want for your tablet? Tell us by leaving a comment below. Our Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus profiles are also open for any comments and suggestions. You can also subscribe to our RSS feeds if you want to get the latest updates from the You The Designer Team.