Small size? I’ve got a 6"x8" which is more than enough. It really depends on how big you like to draw. For me, 4x5 was too small on my old graphire2, when I upgraded the 6x8 was perfect.
From what I can tell, here’s the difference between the two tablets:
-Price, wacom is far far more expensive.
-Size, wacom is smaller
-Construction, can’t say what the aiptek or trust are like but Wacom’s is really nicely made
-Removeable/replaceable nibs, wacom has 3 different nib styles for different feels on the intuos as well as a number of pen types ranging from art pens to airbrush to inking pens
-Pen buttons, the aiptek appears to only have a 2 button pen, the wacom has a 3 button pen which moves the mouse by only hovering over the tablet, no pressing down is required to move the mouse, pressing with the nib causes a left click event (aiptek has this too it seems)
-Pen pressure, wacom has 1024 levels of pressure as well as tilt sensitivity, neither of the other tablets appear to have this and only have 512 levels of pressure.
-The intuos has rubber grips on their pens
-ToolID detection, wacom pens and the wacom eraser (at the opposite end of the pen) each have unique identifiers which allow apps like photoshop to save which tool was selected with that eraser or pen and then when you switch between pens/ends the tool will change in photoshop, one pen can be a brush while the other is an airbrush and another the clone tool etc. The end of your pen can be the eraser etc.
-Wacom drivers allow per application (windows and OS X) settings for the scroll pads, buttons and pen buttons (and each pen you own). You can string keyboard macros, launch apps or do multimedia keyboard button events. AFAIK neither of the other tablets have this. Wacom also provides regular driver updates every 6 months or so, they also support x64 version of windows and will provide vista driver upon vistas release.
-The wacom Intuos3 6x8 has photoshop elements and corel painter essentials as well as hefty discounts on the full versions of those two apps along with other apps.
-The trust and aiptek tablets aren’t supported in OS X.
-Trust doesn’t have much info on the tablet specs like Wacom of Aiptek, the aiptek tablet has about 3/5s the resolution of the Wacom intuos tablet, at 3,048 LPI, the wacom has 5,080 LPI.
-The aiptek drivers appear to have very rudimentry control over tablet functionality like pressure curves and key functions, and they aren’t very new either. The driver for download on their website has timestamps for the files contained in the zip, they’re circa 2001-2003, that’s up to 5 years old. The latest intuos 3 driver is from this last october for windows xp sp2.
-The wacom has an 8’ cable. Aiptek nor Trust mention the cable length.
-The intuos mouse (which I don’t use) has 5 buttons and a scroll wheel, which are customizeble just like the buttons on the pen(s) and the tablet quick keys/scroll pads (eight quick keys and 2 scroll pads)
-Wacom’s entire buisness is making tablets for graphic artists and some buisness people, there aim is to please their customer base which is pretty much the same across the board, they can’t afford to drop the ball, lest they die. Not so with aiptek or trust which produce a lot of other (seemingly sub-par quality) PC products they can do a poor job and get away with it.
(gee I hope that all made some sense)
In my opinion, the intuos3 is worth every dime, it is very expensive (around 300-350 euros for the 6x8 intuos 3) though.
I’d check ebay for the intuos2 (USB) or check newegg for the intuos3.
Have fun and I HTH. Whatever you get, I hope it works great for yah.
BTW, here’s the product pages: