Wacom One vs Wacom Cintiq 16 Comparison – Which Is Better?

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Drawing tablets are getting better year after year. This is great for artists who want a quality drawing tablet at pocket-friendly prices.

Wacom One vs Wacom Cintiq 16 comparison

To give the artists what they want all the major brands are introducing one tablet after another.

Wacom One and the Cintiq 16 are two such tablets from Wacom that are a great choice for beginners. Both these tablets are very similar to each other but also have some key differences that set them apart.

If you are looking to buy one of these tablets and can’t decide which one is a better fit for you. We will help you make the right decisions.

Below is a comparison of the Wacom One and Cintiq 16, covering all important features and specifications.

While it will be a personal choice as to which one might be better for you, understanding the differences makes the choice a little easier.

Features Overview

Wacom OneWacom Cintiq 16
Display (Diagonally)13.3 Inches15.6 Inches
Active Area (L x W)11.6 x 6.5 in13.6 x 7.6 in
Tablet Dimension8.9 x 14.1 x 0.6 in16.6 x 11.2 x 1.0 in
Resolution1920 x 1080 FullHD1920 x 1080 FullHD
Color AccuracyNTSC 72%
sRGB 96%
NTSC 72%
sRGB 96%
Shortcut ButtonsNo ButtonsNo Buttons
Pen Pressure4096 Levels8192 Levels
Pen TiltYes, ±60°Yes, ±60°
Buttons on PenOneTwo
Pen HolderYes (Fabric loop)Yes (Fabric loop)
Extra Pentips3 replacement nibs and nib removal tool3 replacement nibs and nib removal tool
Tablet StandBuilt-in foldable legsBuilt-in foldable legs
Tablet SurfaceMatte, anti-glare screenMatte, anti-glare screen
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

Design and Build Quality – Wacom One

design and build quality wacom one display tablet comparison
Wacom One, source: Wacom

The Wacom One is a great choice for anyone looking for a compact drawing tablet that is easy to carry and can be traveled with.

The dimensions measure 8.9 x 14.1 x 0.6 inches, putting it on a smaller scale compared to the Wacom Cintiq 16.

The modern and clean design of the Wacom One, with white accents on the back, creates a beautiful color combination, and with the slim and compact factor, it is quite a good looking tablet.

The compact size of the tablet also extends to the weight, with the tablet only weighing in at 2.2 lbs., making it one of the lighter tablets offered by Wacom.

The low weight is due to the high-quality plastic design, which allows it to have minimal flexing and a sturdy feel.

Design and Build Quality – Wacom Cintiq 16

With a modern and minimalistic design, the Wacom Cintiq 16 has a bigger display than that of the Wacom One, measuring in at 15.6 inches.

wacom cintiq 16 design and build quality comparison
Wacom Cintiq 16, source: Wacom

Made with high-quality plastic, the Wacom Cintiq 16 has a weight of 4.2lbs. While this is heavier than the Wacom One, it is considerably light for its total size.

It is important to note that the Wacom One and Cintiq 16 are not a standalone tablet and does need to be connected to a computer to work.

When it comes to dimension and weight, the Wacom One is the smaller option and weighs in less due to its size. The Wacom Cintiq 16 has a larger display and therefore weighs almost double that of the Wacom One.

If you are looking for a light and portable drawing tablet, Wacom One is a better choice. But if you do not really travel with your tablet and want a larger screen, the Wacom Cintiq 16 is the right tablet for you.

Wacom One vs Cintiq 16 – Resolution

The Wacom One features a 13.3-inch screen, which has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and 1080p Full HD resolution.

While smaller than its comparison tablet, the 13-inch drawing area is larger enough to allow for comfortable drawing without in-app menus and other buttons crowding the artistic area.

Comparably bigger, the Wacom Cintiq 16 has a 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080p full HD screen. This larger area gives you ample space to move your hands around the display.

Color Accuracy

Color accuracy
source: wacom.com

Wacom One, as well as the Wacom Cintiq 16, have a very similar display. Both have a color coverage of 72% NTSC color space (94% sRGB).

While there are other tablets on the market with a more color-accurate display, these specifications are good enough. The good thing is, the displays of the Wacom devices are pre-calibrated meaning you get accurate colors right off the bat.

Brightness and Texture

Wacom One and Cintiq 16 have brightness in the range of 200-230 cd/m2, which is fairly standard for drawing tablets. This level of brightness is good enough for bright indoor environments.

To increase the visibility of the screen, the tablets come with an anti-glare film. This anti-glare film reduces glare and reflections off the screen.

The anti-glare film is textured. It helps with providing the stylus with light friction which stops it from slipping on the glass screen. It results in better control over the pen.

Stylus Comparison – Wacom One Pen and Wacom Pro Pen 2

Wacom One Pen and Wacom Pro Pen 2 - stylus comparison

Wacom One display tablet comes with the Wacom One Pen, whereas the Cintiq 16 comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2.

The Wacom One is the only display tablet from Wacom that does not come with the Wacom Pro Pen 2.

In terms of raw features, there is a big difference between the Wacom One Pen and the Wacom Pro Pen 2. The Wacom Pro Pen 2 is Wacom’s top-of-the-line stylus. Whereas the Wacom One Pen is a new stylus made for beginner Wacom tablets.

Design and Ergonomics

The Wacom Pro Pen 2 that comes with the Cintiq 16 tablet has a more ergonomic shape. It has a wider tip that slowly tapers towards the back. Moreover, the front half of the stylus has a soft rubbery material that gives a better grip on sweaty hands.

Holding the pen in hand, the Wacom One Pen feels as if you are holding a pen. It is made of plastic which has a matte finish for a better hold. The curves on Wacom One pen are basic with a wider tip and cylindrical body.

Wacom Pro pen Ergonomics

Using the stylus on longer drawing sessions, the Wacom Pro Pen 2 feels more comfortable than the Wacom One pen.

Both the stylus are lightweight and have a good weight distribution. They both are passive pens which means they do not need to be charged.

These stylus work by wireless transmission of energy from the tablet using EMR (electromagnetic resonance). You can click here to know more about EMR (Infographic).

Pressure and Tilt

Talking about the raw numbers, the Wacom One Pen has a pressure sensitivity of 4096 levels whereas the Wacom Cintiq 16 stylus comes with the pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels.

But it does not mean that the Pro Pen 2 is necessarily double the quality if Wacom One Pen. These pressure numbers on paper may seem like a big difference, but in real life uses the performance difference is minimal.

Next coming to the tilt detection. Both Wacom One Pen and Wacom Pro Pen 2 come with the pressure sensitivity of ±60°.

Apart from pressure sensitivity, the real-life performance of both the stylus is equally good. The lines drawn by them are straight with no sign of pen jitter (wavy line) or inconsistent pressure bumps.

Initial Activation Force

The initial activation force is – by how much force you need to press the pen tip for the strokes to appear on the screen.

This is a simple feature that makes a lot of difference in the actual drawing experience of the tablet.

In many non-Wacom tablets, you need to press relatively hard for stroke to register, but that is not the case with both Wacom One Pen as well as Wacom Pro Pen 2.

Buttons on Pen

Shortcut buttons on the pen are important. Most artists use the stylus buttons to switch from pen to eraser as well as selecting the color from canvas. Plus these buttons can be used in conjunction with the keyboard shortcuts to change the size and opacity of the brushes.

Wacom One Pen comes with a single side button on the stylus and the Wacom Pro Pen 2 comes with 2 side buttons. In addition to that, the Wacom Pro Pen 2 also comes with an eraser at the back, which is absent in the Wacom One stylus.

Pen holder and Extra Pen nibs

pen holder and extra nibs

Both the Wacom One Pen and the Wacom Pro Pen 2 fit snuggly into a fabric loop that is attached to the edge of the tablet. The fabric pen holder is located at the top of the Wacom One and at the right-hand side in the case of Cintiq 16.

The stylus easily slides into the fabric piece, eliminating any other unnecessary accessories that only make the tablet bulky.

The fabric pen holder of the Wacom Cintiq 16 is detachable and contains extra pentips as well as the nib remover tool.

The pen holder on Wacom One is not detachable. The extra Pen tips, as well as the nib remover tool of the Wacom One, are stored at the back of the tablet.

These nibs are easy to change and last a long time before needing to be replaced.

Shortcut buttons and Expresskey Remote

Neither the Wacom One nor the Wacom Cintiq 16 come with customizable shortcut buttons on the tablet. If you want to make use of shortcut keys, you need to purchase the Expresskey remote (Amazon), which is compatible with both tablets.

Wacom expresskey remote
Wacom Expresskey Remote

The Expresskey remote has a touch ring as well as 17 shortcut buttons, which gives the artist ample of shortcut buttons.

All the buttons are of different shapes and sizes, each embedded with raised dots and bumps to allow the user to identify the buttons without looking.

The pro version of Wacom Cintiq tablets such as Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 has magnetic side bezels that can be used to stick the Expresskey Remote.

In our case, neither Cintiq 16 nor Wacom One has the magnetic side bezels to hold the Expresskey Remote.

Connecting wirelessly, the Expresskey remote is easier to use than a keyboard or on-screen buttons, but it is not a necessity for those who do not want to make the additional purchase.

Tablet Stand – Foldable legs

foldeable stand of Wacom One The Wacom One comes with a foldable, built-in stand that gives an elevation of 19 degrees. This gives a more comfortable use of the tablet, compared to laying it flat on a surface.

The Wacom Cintiq 16 also has built-in foldable legs, with an elevation of 19 degrees. The bottom of the foldable legs, as well as the bottom edge of the tablet, have rubber pads, giving a better grip on a surface.

The difference between the two comes in with compatibility with VESA-supported stands.

The Wacom One does not have mounting holes to support a VESA stand. The Wacom Cintiq 16 has built-in holes to allow for the VESA mount-supported tablet stands to be attached.

In case you want more adjustability on the Wacom One or even Cintiq 16, you can get one of those universal drawing-tablet stands.

Android support

Wacom One Android drawing apps support The Wacom One supports Android devices. This is a great feature for artists who use smartphones and tablets to draw.

It allows you to use Android drawing applications on the drawing table, eliminating the need to carry your laptop.

The Wacom Cintiq 16 does not work with Android devices at all.


The driver allows the computer to understand pen and pressure data. It also helps with making additional settings and programming shortcut buttons.

In the driver settings, you can make custom application-specific shortcuts as well as change the pressure sensitivity of the pen. It also gives you additional settings such as Wacom’s radial menu and precision mode settings.

The driver is also compatible with the Wacom Expresskey Remote and can be used to program its buttons.

The driver for both Wacom One and Wacom Cintiq 16 is free to download for both Windows and Mac devices. It is important to note that, Wacom One can be used with Android devices without needing to install any driver.

What’s Inside the Box?

wacom one Unboxing

Here is the list of all the parts and accessories that come in the box of Wacom One and Wacom Cintiq 16.

Wacom One

  • Tablet – Wacom One
  • Wacom One Pen
  • 3 replacement nibs and nib removal tool
  • Wacom One 3 in 1 Cable
  • AC adapter
  • AC plug head
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Regulation Sheet

Wacom Cintiq 16

  • Cintiq 16 pen display
  • Wacom Pro Pen 2
  • Detachable pen holder
  • 3 replacement nibs and nib removal tool
  • 3-in-1 cable (1.8m)
  • AC adaptor
  • Power cable (1.8m)
  • Quick Start Guide

Overview – Which is the right tablet for you?

wacom one
Wacom One
by Wacom
  • 13.3 inch Full HD display
  • 72% NTSC color accuracy
  • Support Android devices
  • Wacom One Pen
  • 4096 pressure levels ±60° tilt
  • No shortcut buttons
  • Support Expresskey Remote
  • Foldable tablet stand
wacom cintiq 16
Cintiq 16
by Wacom
  • 15.6 inch Full HD screen
  • 72% NTSC color accuracy
  • Anti-glare film
  • Wacom Pro Pen 2
  • 8192 pressure levels ±60° tilt
  • No Shortcut buttons
  • Support Expresskey Remote
  • Foldable tablet stand

Wacom One

You might read through the specifications and still be at a loss for which tablet might be better for you. At the end of the day, it is a personal choice, and you would know your needs best.

The Wacom One tablet is great for beginner artists, or those looking for a good-quality, budget drawing tablet. It is an affordable pen display tablet, with a good display and a decent stylus.

The inbuilt tablet stand allows for a more ergonomic drawing experience, and the compact design and lightweight construction make it easy and convenient to travel with.

The Wacom One pen, included with the tablet, gives an amazing pen-on-paper feel. Compatible with Android, the Wacom One will easily fit into your life and kick off your artistic dreams.

Wacom Cintiq 16

On the other hand, the Wacom Cintiq 16 is a good option for those looking for a step above the Wacom One, but who do not want to spend an excessive amount of money on a premium drawing tablet.

While it might be considered a budget tablet, this does not in any way take away from its capabilities. Exceptional features, as well as a top-grade stylus, makes it a lucrative choice.

The Wacom Pro Pen 2 feels incredibly natural to use. With the precalibrated, color-accurate display and anti-reflection screen, the Wacom Cintiq 16 makes your creative session not only more enjoyable but more productive and comfortable as well.

Both of the tablets have similar features, but the Wacom Cintiq 16 does perform better than the Wacom One. But this in no way means that the Wacom One is not the right tablet for the artist just starting out.

Buy: Wacom One on Amazon
Buy: Wacom Cintiq 16 on Amazon



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Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh is an Adobe Certified Associate, Graphic Designer, and 3D artist. He likes to acquire new skills and explore how things work.

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