First things first- hello all, and yes, I'm still alive. I've merely been quiet again lately, which is quite the unprecedented turn of events, I know. Normally I'm so consistently a social butterfly!
Sarcasm aside though, let's get to business: I'm looking for advice regarding the purchase of a replacement for my ancient trusty Intuos 2, the first graphical tablet I ever owned. It gave me many years of excellent, if somewhat small, purple and grey service, but those days are gone. And perhaps most tragically, not because it broke, but because of a lack of driver updates to match the progress of everything else. Windows changed how it accepted graphical tablet input as of Windows 8, but Wacom never updated the Intuos 2 drivers to fit the new system. Thus, while my good ol' tablet worked on my old computer under Windows 7, and even when that same system was upgraded to Windows 10, functioning under a fresh new installation of Windows 10 is not to be, due to no longer having the Windows 7 legacy interface to fall back on. I found that out the hard way when much to my surprise, my new PC refused to acknowledge my poor old Intuos 2 in any way. So I must say goodbye now to my old Intuos 2, which is almost certainly my single most used piece of electronics ever. So many other devices have come and gone in far less time, but my Intuos 2 worked flawlessly all along. So great was its dedication that in the end, only a lack of driver support could silence it, which is truly an unjust end for such a stalwart device. Cut low by the idleness of another as the final reward for never abandoning its duty, can anyone deny that this is a world where justice is but an idle fantasy of those who would, and can do no more than, dream of better?
Melodramatic calls for drawing a nihilistic world view from the overwrought eulogy of one PC accessory aside though, there is a point here. I can't use my old Intuos 2 on my new computer, and I'm thinking of trying a non-Wacom-branded competitor. Not because I have any problem with the quality of Wacom products, but because dang, just getting the modern equivalent of my Intuos 2's capabilities is more than I want to spend as things currently stand. I was really hoping everything my old pad did would be their current cheapest option, but nope. Apparently this is one technology that somehow isn't coming down in price ever. ...Unless you look at competitor's tablets, in which case they offer a drastically better price for what is claimed to be equal to or even better than my old Intuos 2. And if the claims are true, getting a pad that delivers everything I already had plus a bigger functional drawing space for significantly less money than a contemporary Wacom replacement would be very nice indeed. Problem there, though, is that questionable choices are easy to find but a clear winner is not. Seems like the reviews are kinda all over the place on everything aside from Wacom options, which remain the clear choice, unless their relatively hefty price tag is an issue. And suffice it to say, it is. So at this point, instead of reading more reviews and just picking something with my fingers crossed, I figure it couldn't hurt to ask if anybody out there reading this has had any good experiences with a cheaper Wacom competitor. A recommendation from another artist would really help make me to make a choice, or at least narrow down the options. There's gotta be something out there among those off-brand competitors that's got the quality but not the name, seems like it's that way for most every product. The trick is just figuring out which is which, and only experience can verify that. So please, share with me your experience with other graphical tablets, it'd be very much appreciated. I've gotta get a replacement here, I've already done one small project without a functional tablet for my main monitor, and that turned out to be even more of a pain than I expected. And with how pessimistic I am, that's saying something. I wish I could just shrug off the cost of a new Wacom and be done with it, but finding a good cheap alternative is the more likely near-term solution. And the best solution all around if one of those cheap alternatives is just as good as a Wacom.