For this article, I have research on the Best Drawing Tablets and came up with my final recommendation. I am presently studying animation 3D at college and, I personally choose the tablet Wacom Intuos for his quality, for his price and the 3 bonus software included.
There is a great need in the digital world for creating art and people are looking for tools that can help them in that. When I further researched for a graphics tablet, I found that by far a drawing tablet is one of the best tools that can be used and handled easily and conveniently.
Right from their arrival, tablets have been very convenient as a pocket graphic device. Beginning from the very basic text-taking tablets, they are now available as feature-loaded gadgets and have become essential for most graphic-engaged users.
So, here is my Top 15 Best Drawing Tablets
Huion H420 USB Board Kit
Are you looking for the best device for drawing graphics? Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board Kit is one of the best starter drawing tablet for his low price, having an active draw area of 4 x 2.23 inches. With the tiny size of the display as the tablet can ideally replace your mouse in drawing and gaming too. With many as 2048 pressure sensitivity levels.
Plus there is an extra area for advanced usage. Although small in size, this tablet is no less in specifications than its rivals.
It’s important that tablet can be used by both right-handed as well as left-handed users. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.
It proudly sports a resolution of 4000 LPI and has a decent response rate of 200 reports per second.
Since it’s so small-sized and compact, you can carry it in any laptop case or business suitcase easily. It’s quite lightweight too weighing just about 4.64 ounces.
Under the hood, it’s an electromagnetic digitizer that supports Huion 420 to take inputs from you and display on the connected device.
All in all, this is one of the cheapest and best drawing tablet, especially for beginners.
Turcom TS-6610 Graphic Drawing Tablet
Comes with the solid build quality and is very lightweight so as to be easily carried around.
It sports an 8 onboard hot-keys and allows you to access your favorite tools and shortcuts directly from the front so that you can maximize your workflow.
Features a quite large active area of 10” x 6.25” which offers enough room for your creativity with great comfort which is the first preference of users while buying the best drawing tablet.
The Digital Pen included with the tablet features 2048 pressure sensitivity levels which enable you to bring variations in line width as well as opacity.
The Turcom TS-6610 is compatible with all major software programs such as Autodesk, Corel, Adobe and more across Windows and Mac OS.
It’s the best drawing tablet for beginners given its high quality for such a low price.
UGEE Graphics Tablet M708 10 x 6 inch Large Active Area Drawing Tablet
Here Another very budget-friendly drawing tablet. It’s equally powerful as its competitors but comes at half the price. Its drawing area is 10 x 6-inch and resolution is 5080 LPI.
The report rate of this tablet is quite impressive and it can register around 230 reports per second.
Just like its competitors, Ugee 708 features 2048 pressure sensitivity pen levels. This offers you a feeling of drawing on paper.
Ugee 708 is compatible with a wide range of operating systems including Windows OS and Mac OS X 10.6 and beyond.
Since Ugee has fine collaborations with various companies, you can use this tablet with Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter, Lightroom and more.
HUION New 1060 Plus Graphic Drawing Tablet with 8192 Pen Pressure
This is the latest budget one by Huion which is upgraded and replaces their earlier superb tablet the H610 Pro but at a reasonable cost. Both left-handed, as well as right-handed artists, can use this tablet.
The most important upgrade is the 8k pen pressure sensitivity. This is 4 times that of the H610 Pro. It makes drawing and painting more natural and intuitive.
There are 12 ExpressKeys in place of the original 8 on the older version. These can be customized for up to 16 different functions.
It is also equipped with a standard 8GB SD card which can be upgraded to a maximum 64GB if needed which is perfect to store your work if you have to stop in the middle of it.
It works perfectly well with all the leading paint and animation programs and its pen sensitivity is quite sound straight out of the box, needing very little adjustment.
Lacks any wireless or Bluetooth support which means it doesn’t offer very good portability. If you want a wireless version, you’ll have to increase your budget a little and opt for something like Huion Inspiroy Q11K (given below).
Another potential issue is that the pen needs to be charged which may limit its usage to home. Also, the pen is a bit heftier and not very slim; but it’s not a big issue as you soon get used to it.
One major thing to remember is that you can get a lot of free gifts and accessories with this tablet like extra nibs and drawing glove. So, you should shop around a bit to see what is on offer.
Huion INSPIROY Q11K Wireless Digital Graphics Drawing Pen Painting Tablet
If you want a powerful drawing tablet but for a low price, this is just the right one for you.
Super-narrow borders that offer additional workspace for other devices like a keyboard. It also features 8 customizable shortcut keys, an 11-inch drawing area and a separated panel for gestures for your artwork.
The 8192 pressure sensitivity levels allow you to draw a great variety of lines as per the amount of pressure applied by you. Higher the pressure sensitivity, the better precision you’ll get.
The tablet is compatible with Windows 7 and above and also with Mac OS.
Regarding connectivity, with his 2.4GHZ wireless network support, which not only offers you seamless experience of sketching, drawing, and painting but also makes it easy for you to pair it with other devices via a network.
The tablet offers a 2500mAh battery which offers more than 40 hours of constant use as per the company. So, it can be said that Huion INSPIROY Q11K is one of the best drawing tablets.
Wacom Intuos Wireless Graphics Drawing Tablet with 3 Bonus Software Included
This is one of my best graphics drawing tablets. I’ve been using it for my 3D animation course (click to see my evolution) and it gave me excellent results.
The Intuos series sports 4,096 pressure-sensitive pen levels and comes in two versions – small and medium. With 7- and 10-inch diagonal work surface respectively.
The small version comes with or without Bluetooth whereas the medium version includes Bluetooth. It should be noted that Intuos has no screen. This tablet should be linked to your computer monitor and you move your pen over the tablet, but should look at the monitor.
Although it may seem less intuitive than drawing on the screen, it actually feels more natural. But the pen leaves small scratch marks on the tablet surface and the surface is also prone to finger smudges.
The work surface is 6 x 3.7 inches (for the small one) and 8.5 x 5.3 inches (medium one). There is a set of five Express Keys above the work surface which can also double as a groove for placing the pen.
While the middle button is for powering the tablet on or off and set up Bluetooth, the other four are customizable to control various functions in various apps.
You’ll have to install Wacom’s software with which you can customize buttons, control other settings and view battery life.
Intuos is a great time-saver for those who do plenty of intricate brushwork because it lessens the back-and-forth time in switching between various transparency settings and brushes.
All in all, this is one of the most useful tablets for beginners as well as pros.
Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC (Medium)
Standing up to the reputation of tablets as efficient graphics handlers, the Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC (Medium) comes as three variants of screen size – small, medium and large.
Featured an 8192 pen pressure sensitivity levels. Also, it features loads of gestures that you can customize as per your choice.
Thus the tablet features a powerful pair of gesture support and pressure sensitivity which makes it stand out from the crowd making it fully efficient tablet for graphics.
What’s more, the tablet also features customizable ExpressKeys as well as Touch Ring technology through which you can get quick access to all your favorite shortcuts.
This tablet does any types of graphics including Photoshop, painting, drawing and sketching with ease.
Moreover, the Wacom Intuos Pro helps you in organizing your graphics work since the Wacom pen tablets, as well as displays, are designed to offer a more intuitive and natural creative experience.
Enabling you to create and streamline the work more quickly, all these features of this tablet make it one of the best drawing tablets in the market.
GAOMON PD1560 15.6 Drawing Tablet
This graphic design tablet which makes its users shine with its high-resolution display and lovely finished illustrations they are able to create. This tablet is reasonably priced for its large size.
Its 8192 pen pressure levels offer a more precise moment of the pen-slider making the drawing lines smooth and natural.
The embedded Signal Interface finely avoids the issue of dropping cable signal during the moving process. You get ten express keys to be customized as per your own needs. The display has 5 menu buttons on the left side.
You should remember that you have to be connected to a computer through HDMI cable to use this tablet.
Thus users of MacBook will have to purchase a separate port to make it work. But it’s worth for such a nice and full-featured tablet.
XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro Drawing Pen Display Graphics Tablet
Beautiful, large and features 15.6” 1920 x 1080 IPS 16:9 drawing monitor pen display with 178° visual angle which delivers sharper and vivid images with lifelike colors and higher contrast.
Allowing you to draw in your favorite programs including Illustrator and Photoshop, right in the device.
Matte screen links perfectly with the battery-free passive stylus which is included for an amazing pen-to-paper feel.
There are 6 fully customizable express keys to produce a highly ergonomic work platform. It becomes so easy to switch between Pen and Eraser with the one-click toggle.
The latest F900 High Tech IC make lines flow smoothly and better.
You can draw, paint, design, sketch and edit straight from the screen. The high-quality glass design offers you high accuracy and prevents dust accumulation.
The PN03S stylus technology offers 8192 instant pen pressure levels sensitivity.
Compatible with a wide range of OS including Windows 7/8/10, Mac OS version 10.8 and later and most major graphics software like Clip Studio, Illustrator, Photoshop, Painter and more.
Huion GT-191 KAMVAS Drawing Tablet
If someone is serious about digital drawing, one of the best alternatives is Huion GT-191 KAMVAS Drawing Tablet. Offers pens that register more than 8192 levels of sensitivity. Together with anti-glare eye protection on the 19.5-inch HD screen to protect your eyes from the strain resulting from prolonged use.
This tablet has an actual viewable screen added to the tablet, eliminating the requirement of carrying multiple screens around.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB) (Newest Version)
If you are in search of a drawing tablet that can replace even your laptop, here’s the best option in the form of Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB) (Newest Version).
Lightweight comes with an efficient Intel Core i5 processor and has a wonderful high-contrast and low-glare display.
You’ll have to purchase the Surface Pen separately for an extra $100.
But when you take into consideration: it’s a fully functioning laptop. The pen offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity similar to other very expensive drawing tablets, it seems worth the price.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9
With his resolution of 2,732 x 2,048 and, active drawing area of 10.32” x 7.74”, the iPad Pro 12.9 is a very beautiful drawing tablet.
The super-fast device features Apple’s Retina display which enables you to see your brushstrokes and colors.
Although it’s a high-cost option, delivers many similar great features at a lower price and improved portability as compared to higher-priced devices.
Also has all the efficiency of MacBook devices. If you wish to check out reference photos before starting your illustration work, you can quickly toggle between apps.
Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-Inch Pen Display Tablet
Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-Inch Pen Display Tablet offers an excellent balance between multi-touch input and pen.
The multi-touch makes the digital drawing and writing much more intuitive and interactive. Rather than using only pen and keyboard shortcuts to rotate the images, you can use your two fingers and work more fluidly.
Wacom’s patented electromagnetic resonance method, capacitive touchscreen, and the pressure-sensitive pen input are all extremely responsive.
Switching between your fingers and the pen is very smooth with only a little to no delay.
The Grip Pen is included with the package which has a rubberized grip, two buttons on its side, eraser on the rear and a tip switch that can be replaced with included nibs.
A pen stand is provided to keep the Grip Pen upright and ready to use.
The tablet features a full HD, H-IPS, 21.5-inch display with 1920 x 1080 native resolution and it can display up to 16.7 million colors. It also features Radial Menu, as many as 18 ExpressKeys and Touch Strips.
Thus, it can be said that this tablet full of features is a great bang for the buck.
XP-PEN Artist22 Pro Drawing Pen Display Graphics Monitor
XP-Pen Artist22E Pro is one of the best graphics tablet, ergonomically designed with 20.5” x 12.7” monitor with a total display area of 18.7” x 10.5” that gives you a comfortable drawing experience.
Comes with a kickstand attached to the back which helps you to adjust the tilt to your comfort level with a full-viewing angle of up to 89°. Plus, it has rubber covers on the base along with brackets that prevents it from slipping.
This tablet comes with an LED light that reduces eye strain. The graphic monitor has 16MS TFT LCD panels providing high definition resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The screen is shockproof and scratch-proof with a screen protector included.
There are two rechargeable styluses included with this tablet. The one-click toggle function helps you switch between the pen and eraser functions. There are 2,048 pressure sensitivity levels allowing you to make bold, thicker as well as smooth fine lines.
The operating system this tablet supports are Mac 10.7.0 and later, and Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1.
And also compatible with several main graphic software tools including Autodesk Sketchbook, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Illustrator CC, SAI, Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic ZBrush, Infinite Stratos, and 3D MAX.
Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
This is an interactive pen monitor that allows artists to create drawings and other artworks onscreen.
With is moderately-priced drawing tablet, it’s a perfect choice for art students, casual artists, as well as professionals on tight budgets. Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen.
Equipped with Wacom Pro Pen 2 Stylus that has 8,192 pressure sensitivity levels and offers a feeling almost like a normal pen.
The stylus needs no charging as it receives power straight from the Cintiq 16 with the help of Wacom’s EMR wireless power-transfer technology.
With this pen, you are able to access a customizable, circular “radial menu” which by default, allows you to perform a range of tasks, such as accessing the display or pen settings, and undoing and redoing an action.
When not in use, the pen can be attached to a small hook on the side of the tablet.
A big benefit of the Cintiq 16 over other drawing tablets is that you can affect changes that are seen onscreen in front of you, instead of drawing on a blank surface and looking at the results on a separate monitor.
The tablet is equipped with two back feet, resting on which it tilts 19° towards the user. It also has a pair of risers which you can extend to tilt the display more toward you.
It’s also equipped with a hydra-headed 3-to-1 cable that attaches to a concealed port beneath a protective door. When its protective door is closed, the cable is stored securely in place.
The screen of Cintiq 16 is 15.6” with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and has a 72% color gamut and an effective anti-glare coating.
What to Look for in Drawing Tablets
What you should consider while buying a drawing tablet. So, here we go…
Active Area/Drawing Area
A digital pen and pad is much different than the 20th-century physical pen and pad you used during your education, and the difference is mainly seen in the active area, also known as drawing area.
This is the area where the pen will react with the screen to create art.
If the drawing area is big enough, you can zoom as much as you want to get fine details.
Typically a larger drawing area is considered good; however, a small drawing area can also be great especially if you are seeking a lightweight and portable tablet. It also depends on the type of art you want to create.
For example, if you want to draw epic wide landscapes, you may need a larger drawing area, whereas while illustrating children’s books, you may need only a small active area.
The amount of pressure you have to apply to the pen while drawing is determined by the pressure sensitivity.
Sensitivity levels exist in a hefty range such as from around 300 to around 3000, and the more sensitivity your pen and tablet have, the more freedom you’ll get during the creation of artworks.
1024 is the most common number of pressure sensitivity levels for most drawing tablets, as this is the optimal level for design and illustration.
Depending upon your specific drawing style, you want an ultra-sensitive and responsive or less responsive and sensitive drawing surface.
Pressure sensitivity is concerned with hardware. It helps you to form thick and thin lines, fine details and almost everything you need to create the art.
This is a bit similar to a physical pen or pencil drawing on paper, since the harder you push down your pencil, the thicker line you’ll get, and the more delicately you press it, the more delicate results you’ll get.
More pressure options will help your drawing look more natural and you’ll feel less like drawing on a screen.
The higher is your resolution, the sharper are your images. For this, you’ll have to choose a drawing tablet with a higher LPI i.e. lines per inch.
So, if you are more concerned about the sharpness of your pictures, consider a tablet with high resolution.
It has become quite common nowadays to have hotkeys or shortcut keys included right into the tablet, though the number of keys may differ from model to model, but typically they are at least 4.
These keys help you save time and organize your work process because you don’t have to spend time finding your most-used apps.
You can tailor and program them for your favorite shortcuts. Some tablets automatically link your most-used shortcuts to the hotkeys.
A scroller or scroll wheel allows you to maneuver from one point of the drawing surface to another quickly and easily.
Many drawing tablets of today have built-in scrollers in them. But it’s not a very essential feature.
Although in other cases, a stylus is just a stylus, when it comes to a drawing tablet, checking its stylus carefully is very important.
There are battery-operated and electromagnetic resonance (EMR) styluses available, both of which further have many differences in them.
However, both are designed to simulate the feel of a normal pen or pencil.
Since a battery-operated stylus has batteries in it, it’s thicker but has a finer point and, it can be used for pen-to-tablet drawing.
An EMR stylus, on the other hand, works on low energy levels that are provided by the pen’s circuits and reacts to the tablet’s drawing area. It’s thinner but typically has a thicker point.
Another thing to remember is that not all drawing tablets include styluses and you may have to buy the stylus separately.
This adds to the cost. Moreover, all styluses are not compatible with all tablets. So, make sure the tablet and stylus you’re considering to buy work well together; or else, your pricey device can be damaged.
On-screen or Flat
When it comes to the design of the drawing tablets, there are two of them – flat or on-screen. It’s your personal choice which one to choose, although they differ significantly in cost. But both have the same LPI.
Some users can take time to get used to a flat model because drawing on a tablet while watching your monitor can be initially confusing.
On the other hand, those who choose on-screen tablet are comfortable drawing directly on its screen.
It’s again your personal preference whether to choose a cordless or wired tablet.
Today several drawing tablets have wireless capabilities. A wired tablet offers less maneuverability around and you’ve to make sure you don’t pull or tug the wire.
However, its benefit is that it offers a steady connection to your monitor or workspace.
A cordless tablet, on the other hand, allows you to move around freely without worrying about pulling or tugging at the wire.
But, you may not get a steady connection always and so, should carefully monitor the distance from your workspace while using the tablet.
Drawing tablets are considered so great because they allow you to work even in a train, bus, café, or anywhere else.
But this very quality of tablets creates the urge of long battery life, especially if you love to work in full brightness and colors.
It’s nothing more frustrating than when you are all set for your work with your headphones on with your favorite music and your coffee at hand, and your battery dies.
Therefore make sure you get a tablet with a minimum 4 hours of independent battery life.
Make sure the tablet you choose has a strong support system. Whether it’s country-specific support, an interactive forum or an easy-to approach customer support, the support can improve your user experience.
If your tablet is not very well-known, you may not get support when you need it in the event of a problem to your tablet. This can disrupt your workflow and cause frustration. So, look for a good customer support.
I hope this review was helpful to you. As mentioned earlier, my personal favorite is Wacom Intuos Wireless Graphics Drawing Tablet. However, you can choose one of the other tablets on the list for your graphics and artwork needs and let me know your experiences. Wish you all the best!