A couple of months ago I purchased a Wacom Bamboo Tablet because my older one was falling appart. I chose the cheapest model, without touch and other fancy stuff. I was pretty satisfied with this, but I was missing the express keys and the eraser on the back of the pen. Therefore I decided to level up to a Intous 4 small tablet to satisfy my needs. Is the difference all that? Well, apart from the obvious, I’d say that if you’re considering buying one of these, if you absolutely need the express keys and the pen eraser you’ll have to invest in the Intous, but if all you’re doing is some basic photoshopping or navigating in your 3d application you can save considerable dollars on choosing the Bamboo. It is very nice and simple, and you don’t have to be so careful with it. You can get 3 and a half Bamboo Tablets for the price of one Intous, and for simple work you won’t notice any difference.
That said, the actual pen in the Bamboo set is kinda cheap versus the rubber coated grip pen that comes with the Intous. Both tablets are worth investigating, and I just wanted to say that if you can’t afford the luxury of the Intous, the Bamboo works fine for me in both Maya, ZBrush and Photoshop and as a general navigation device for the computer.
When it comes to software, the Bamboo only has a single user preset for buttons and mappings, while in the Intous you can specify different settings for different applications you use, that might be important for some users.
I’ll give both tablets a good score, though Bamboo is a better bang for the buck. If you need an advanced tablet: go Intous, if not go Bamboo!
Easy as that.