Thursday, August 10th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Wacom launches Wacom One 12 and 13 touch pen displays

Wacom has updated its entry-level Wacom One product range, launching two new pen displays, the Wacom One 12 and Wacom One 13 touch, and two new graphics tablets, the Wacom One S and Wacom One M.

Like the original Wacom One, both new pen displays feature a HD screen and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and connect to Android and ChromeOS devices as well as Windows and macOS.

However, both now feature etched glass rather than plastic screens, giving a more Cintiq-like drawing experience, and can be bought as is, without a stand, cables, power adapter or carry case.

The option to buy the tablet alone makes the Wacom One 12 the cheapest Wacom pen display to date, while the Wacom One 13 touch is the first Wacom One with multi-touch support.

New lower-cost pen displays for new Wacom users
On its release in 2020, the original Wacom One was pitched as a pen display for “creative beginners, social content creators and visual thinkers”.

It provided a lower-specced but lower-priced alternative to to Wacom’s professional Cintiq range.

Like the Cintiq 16, it offered a 1,920 x 1,080px display resolution, but was smaller, lighter and cheaper, at the cost of a pen that supported only 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, not 8,192.

The new Wacom One pen displays preserve those key characteristics, but improve the drawing experience, and overhaul the cabling, stand and buying options.

Speaking to CG Channel ahead of the launch, Wacom said that it wanted the new displays to be “the first Wacom that people use”, and that it had “redesigned everything to be appealing to new [users]”.

Wacom One pen displays
Wacom One (2020) Wacom One 13 touch Wacom One 12
Screen size 13.3 in 13.3 in 11.6 in
Dimensions 14.1 x 8.9 x 0.6 in
(357 x 225 x 14.6 mm)
13.2 x 8.7 x 0.5 in
(336 x 222 x 12 mm)
11.8 x 7.5 x 0.4 in
(299 x 190 x 11 mm)
Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 px 1,920 x 1,080 px 1,920 x 1,080 px
Colour gamut 72% NTSC
(<99% sRGB)
99% sRGB 99% sRGB
Viewing angle (H) 170° 170° 170°
Brightness 200 cd/m2 320 cd/m2 275 cd/m2
Contrast ratio 1,000:1 2,000:1 1,400:1
Pen Wacom One Pen Wacom One Pen Wacom One Pen
Pressure sensitivity 4,096 levels 4,096 levels 4,096 levels
Multi-touch No Yes No
Weight 2.2 lbs (1.0 kg) 1.98 lbs (900 g) 1.54 lbs (700 g)
Launch date 2020 2023 2023
Launch price $399.95 $499.95 (eStore)
$599.99 (Standard)
$299.95 (eStore)
$399.99 (Standard)

The Wacom One 13 touch: improved drawing experience and support for multi-touch gestures
In terms of its core specifications, the new Wacom One 13 touch looks like an evolution of, rather than a radical departure from, the original Wacom One template.

It has the same full HD screen resolution, and a 4,096-pressure-level pen, rather than the more sensitive Wacom Pro Pen 2 bundled with Cintiq displays.

However, Wacom has swapped out the original plastic screen for an etched glass version, which it says makes the drawing experience much more like a Cintiq.

The brightness of the screen – singled out for criticism in some reviews of the original Wacom One – has also been increased.

The Wacom One pen gains two programmable side switches, and, as the name suggests, the Wacom 13 touch also supports multi-touch gestures, providing an alternative way to interact with software.

Now available to buy as is, without the stand or cables
Wacom has also stripped back the cabling on both pen displays: although HDMI cables are still available, they should connect to most modern devices through a single USB-C cable.

The stand has also been redesigned, with the new pen displays coming with a pair of snap-together semicircular supports, shown in the video at the top of the story.

And both cables and stand are now optional purchases: as well as ‘standard’ versions with all of the peripherals, the new displays come in ‘eStore’ configurations, in which you buy the tablet and pen alone.

The latter is intended for users who already have cables and stands from previous tablets, removing the need to buy unnecessary duplicates.

The Wacom One 12: the cheapest Wacom pen display to date
That makes the Wacom One 12 Wacom’s cheapest pen display to date: in its eStore configuration, it costs $299.95, compared to $399.95 for the original Wacom One.

However, the Wacom One 13 touch is significantly more expensive, which Wacom attributes to its new specifications, and the rising cost of components.

Paying for Wacom’s reputation?
As with previous Wacom pen displays, the price also reflects the company’s long track record in delivering quality art hardware, and the cachet of the Wacom brand itself.

At $599.99 including peripherals, the Wacom One 13 touch is over twice the current online price of rival 13-inch pen displays like Huion’s Kamvas Pro 13 and XP-Pen’s Artist 13.3 Pro.

Both have pens that support more levels of pressure sensitivity than the Wacom One, and have screens with a wider colour gamut, though neither supports multi-touch gestures.

Connects to Android and ChromeOS devices as well as Mac and Windows laptops and desktops
As with the original Wacom One, both of the new pen displays connect to Chromebooks and high-end Android phones: you can see a list of the models supported here.

That means it isn’t necessary to have a conventional Windows or macOS laptop in order to use them, and while the range of painting apps is more limited on Android, it does include Krita and Sketchbook.

Price and system requirements
The new Wacom One models are compatible with Windows 10, macOS 11.0, Android 8.0+ and ChromeOS.

You can find prices for the Wacom One 12 and Wacom One 13 touch pen displays in the story above; the Wacom One S and Wacom One M graphics tablets start at $59.95 and $109.95 for the eStore configurations.

Read more about the new Wacom One models on Wacom’s website