Wacom Bamboo One Review – Beginner Pen Tablet

wacom bamboo one

When people look for a drawing tablet Wacom is the first brand they consider. Wacom has been making drawing tablets from a few decades now, and they know their stuff really well. Wacom Bamboo is one of their least expensive devices which were made primarily for beginners and casual uses. In this review, you will find out whether Wacom One is the right choice for you.

Wacom Bamboo One – Features

The latest Wacom Bamboo 2018 model comes in two models – Small (CTL-472) and Medium (CTL-462).

  Wacom Bamboo One
Active Area 6.0 x 3.7 in, 8.3 x 5.7in
Pen Pressure 2048
Buttons on Pen 2
Buttons on Tablet None
Tablet Resolution 2540 lpi
Report Rate 133 pps
Colors Black, Red
Check Price on Amazon


Wacom Bamboo (One) – Evolution over the years

wacom bamboo
Wacom Bamboo updates over the years

As mentioned earlier, Wacom has been making tablets for years particularly their Bamboo lineup. Every few years they update their Bamboo devices to the latest design and features. In the adjacent image, you can clearly see how the Wacom bamboo use to look when it was first launched by Wacom (pic 1). It was one of the most advanced tablets in its price range at that time.

After a while when they had the better technology they upgraded to the new design  (pic 2). They again did some design changes and made the device slimmer and lighter with more active drawing area (pic 3).

Finally, in 2018 they come with one of the most beautiful and modern Wacom Bamboo tablet with absolute minimal bezels and maximum drawing area. The changes were not only limited to outside, but it also got an internal spec upgrade.

Design and Build Quality

Build Quality

One of the best thing about any device built by Wacom is they do not compromise with quality. Even though Wacom Bamboo is one of the cheapest Wacom devices and also one of the cheapest devices in the market. It still uses the same high-quality drawing surface which comes with other expensive tablets. The device is mostly made out of plastic, still feels good in the hand.


When it comes to design, Wacom Bamboo One has gone with the minimalistic design. The whole top surface is covered with a textured drawing area with virtually no wasted space. The rear end on the tablet has rubber pads on all its four sides. These rubber pads make the tablet stable on smooth surfaces.

Pen Holder

There is a pen holder fabric at the right-hand side of the device. This is one of the signature Wacom accessories. If you look closely to the above pictures where we have shown the previous models you can clearly see it in every single device. In terms of usability, it holds your pen very securely and makes it easier to carry it around without losing it.


Wacom Bamboo One is available in two colors Black and Red. When you get a Black colored device the whole front and rear panel is black, but when you get the red model that is not the case. With the red model you only get the rear face of the tablet red, the front face is black. Personally, I really liked the red model better.


Wacom Bamboo comes with a new, more ergonomic and more capable pen. The new pen is lighter and very comfortable to hold. The pressure sensitivity has also increased from 1024 to 2048 levels.

The pen is a passive stylus which does not need any power and has no batteries inside. It takes its electrical power from the drawing tablet with the help of a wireless technology called EMR. One of the biggest advantages of these types of pens is they do not need to be charged ever. These pens are less prone to damage when dropped and last a long time.

The pen is made if plastic from top to bottom and has two buttons at the side. The button is of high quality and has a tactile response on clicking. The initial activation pressure is very balanced and well optimized. While using you just need to write naturally and it will start working.

The tablet comes with three extra pentips and a nib remover tool. The nib is very easy to change and only takes a few seconds.

Drawing Surface

One by Wacom has a very true to paper like the texture on the drawing surface. It provides a slight resistance and makes a little sound which adds to the drawing experience. It uses the same materials for the drawing surface which they use in their more expensive tablets.

Many other cheap tablets can get scratch marks on their tablet over prolonged uses. But Wacom Drawing surface lasts a very long time and you would not have any scratch issues even after heavy uses.


Wacom Bamboo One may be a cheap tablet but when it comes to real life uses it is not less than anyone. The strokes are smooth with virtually no lag or delay. The lines are smooth and the tablet does not have wobble and jittering issues where the line are not straight and comes out like a wave. Many other cheap tablets face these kinds of issues but not the Wacom One.


In the box, you get the Stylus, a long USB Cable, nib remover tool, three extra pentips and the tablet itself. The USB cable has a USB-A port at the end which connects to the tablet and a traditional full-size USB to connect to the computer. If you are on the latest laptop which does not has the full-size traditional USB port, then you need to grab a dongle.

One more thing to note here is the extra pentips and the nib remover tool comes in a transparent plastic bag. There is no place inside the tablet to store them, so you need to be extra careful and store them safely.

Wacom One Driver/ Software

Other than the tablet you need an additional Driver for the tablet to work. The Driver is free and can easily be downloaded for both your Windows and Mac devices from the Wacom official site.

What does the driver do?

The driver is the communication link between your tablet and your computer. It helps your computer to understand pen pressure data and other inputs to help your device to work properly.

Other than communication, the driver also gives you extra functionality and settings. you can change the pressure range (how hard and soft you want to press – as per your taste). It also helps to customize buttons on the pen to any shortcut of your choice.

Setup and Installation

Wacom One is very easy to set up and you can start working within minutes.

  • First, you need to connect you drawing tablet to the computer using the USB cable.
  • Download the official Wacom one Driver from the Wacom official site. (Wacom One Driver for Windows, Mac)
  • Go to your downloads folder and Install the Software.

You are ready to rock…

An important thing to note is the above-mentioned process needs to be done only once when you use the device for the very first time. After that you just need to plug in the tablet to the computer and the driver will automatically get activated and the tablet will start working without you needing to do anything extra.

Who it is made for?

If you are a graphic designer and or do any kind of digital creative work this tablet is for you. You can easily make a selection, mask objects paint and do a lot of other stuff using it. It is a very popular device among photographer who uses it for photo retouching. These are also great for learning digital painting and it is fully capable to make professional digital art.

Other than that 3D software like ZBrush takes full use the device capability for sculpting. These devices are also used in offices for making digital signatures and making handwritten notes. Some also use the device to play games like OSU. In a nutshell, it is an all in one device for all your digital needs.

Check out other Beginner Drawing tablets

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh is an Adobe Certified graphic designer and 3D artist and has worked on a variety of company, contractual and freelance projects.

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