Can you save a Wacom tablet with broken USB port?

You may have already read on ZeMarmot’s Twitter a few days ago but I thought a short post may be worth it. Lately Aryeom’s Wacom tablet (Intuos 5 M) had been acting up until finally the USB port was not working at all (not the cable — of course we checked! 😛 — but the port side on the tablet).

Apparently quite a common problem with Wacom Intuos tablets (like very common; I could find many reports on the web about such problem) and the after-sales of Wacom is quite expensive unfortunately. Some people would open and solder the USB back themselves successfully. On the other hands, I could read at least one comment by someone who failed and bricked the tablet this way. Also I have not soldered anything for years and I don’t have a good soldering iron anymore.

We also had the wireless kit, so we wondered if this could not be our solution: why plug the tablet at all? But it still requires the tablet to work on battery and this one is charged… by the same USB plug! Back to case 1. But then I checked the battery, realized it looked like a very common phone battery (comparing to a Galaxy S2 battery we had there, it was the same voltage, just a slightly different form factor). So yes the solution was simply to buy a 8€ universal charger, and a second Wacom battery so that we can use one in the tablet while the other is charging.

Wacom battery charged on universal charger…
Wacom battery charged on universal charger…

And tadaaa! Wacom tablet fixed for just a few bucks! 🙂

I’m just letting this small trick out there as a possible alternative to soldering yourself your graphics tablet, in case this happens to you too.

P.S.: yes it is written on the battery to only use the specified charger. But what do you want? We do what we can. 😉



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7 Replies to “Can you save a Wacom tablet with broken USB port?”

  1. Thankyou !!!! This was my second got theough in short time and u probably just saved me. I thought about the wireless too but then stumped on the needing to charge it issue and of course your so right !!! If I can find my old Wacom will now have two and two batteries why didn’t I think of this !!!

      1. Yes us artists gotta help one another it’s all so expensive ! And easily damaged can you do me a favour and explain a bit more what the charger you used was I’m trying to find one on amazon uk but not quite sure what to search for as universal charger shows many things

        1. I didn’t give the exact link because I thought there are no reasons to give advantage to one maker/model. Others can work. But now that you ask, this was the model we bought: [link now going to the wrong product – I removed it]
          It’s not available anymore on Amazon fr (and I can’t find it on Amazon UK). Note that the other artist who got inspired by my post seem to have bought a model on ebay (though she waited a full month whereas we got ours in a few days).

          This said, since it’s exactly same voltage as a Galaxy S2 battery, any *universal* charger which is said to be able to charge a Galaxy S2 battery should work. What is important though is to have movable connector poles and a system which adapt to the size of various batteries (a charger made specifically for a Galaxy S2 would fail only because you won’t be able to enter the Wacom battery inside! That’s what the “universal” means here).
          I can’t give you more details than this because I can’t be sure unless I tried myself. All I can say is that the model in the link above worked for us. On Amazon UK, I see a few models which look like they would work, though as I said, I can’t say for sure since I don’t have them. :-/
          I hope that helps!

  2. Thank you so much for pointing me in this direction. I just got off the phone with wacom support who explained to me there was a $900+ service charge to fix this problem! (a loose power cord port that will not charge at all anymore). I am so disappointed with them but you have given me hope. Ours is a bigger tablet (the cintiq 2) but I’m going to investigate now to see if I can find a charger that will work with it. Thanks for posting and sharing!!

  3. This helped a lot thanks. I just got the wireless kit, and I was angry to find out it was charged using the same cable that was broken. I was wondering if I could use some other charger for the battery, and I’m glad I can! Thanks for the post!

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