The Best Drawing Tablet: Do You Really Need It?

A drawing tablet is almost another touchscreen for that computer, allowing that you should use a pen or stylus to input information onto a screen. Just about any creative task on the pc requiring pinpoint precision can greatly make use of the tactile response from the pen within your hands, but drawing tablets might be particularly valuable for presenters, artists, graphic artists, and Illustrator geeks.

For many people, we feel you have to just buy the XPEN Artist 12, because of its compatibility and personalization features (which is inexpensive tag).

Our experts evaluated a lot of best drawing tablets, and we’ve come up with our top choices below. If you need a more fully-featured tablet, you might like to take a look at our listing of the finest tablets.

The Rundown

Best Overall: XP-PEN Artist12

The XP-Pen Artist12 earns our top place because of its compatibility, personalization, and fairly affordable cost point. The touchscreen technology-a 1920 x 1080 HD IPS display-isn’t the finest resolution available, though 72% NTSC Color Gamut precision, its focus is on reproducing work with as much precision as you can.

What’s great about through an 11.6-inch display in your drawing tablet is that you simply don’t will want to look in the other screen while applying another surface-you’re using the unit where your lines and colors are appearing. This makes it appear like you’re really creating art inside the real existence.

The passive hexagonal pen (which feels very pencil-like) enables for 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity so that you can really have the hands-sketched feel within your work. It might really be described as a good component that that pen is passive because it would likely be another device you have to charge.

Furthermore, the Artist12 gives you an entire-high touch bar you’ll be able to program to fulfill certain instructions on your computer (XP-Pen recommends mapping it for the zoom-in/zoom-out feature), and you’ll harness six different assignable shortcuts keys. This makes it a smaller drawing-only tablet plus much more from the full-featured control surface for that design programs. The system works together with Home home windows 7, 8, or 10 (in 32 or 64 bit) and Mac OS X as old as version 10.10.

Best Display: Gaomon PD1560

The Gaomon PD1560 includes a big, vibrant, 15.6-inch display getting a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Somewhat, it rivals the Wacom options, speculate it does not have an impression wheel or flashy multi-touch, we believe that it is a far more appropriate rival with this particular top pick from XP-Pen.

Because of the 72% color gamut precision as well as the 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity within the active pen, it genuinely includes the majority of the top features of the Artist12. Important different could it be offers 10 assignable function keys (arranged in the column round the left side of the system), that’s more than the Artist12. However, it’s important to pay nearly $100 more with this particular device.

The IPS display’s brightness as well as the extra function keys might be enough that you ought to spend that greater cost tag, nevertheless the awkwardly wide form factor (totally different from something such as the less-sprawling Cintiq 15) helps it be something that will occupy much space inside your desk.

There is no denying, though, that the great peripheral with truly impressive pen specs. Our reviewer, Jeremy Laukkonen, found the pen performed flawlessly during testing, although he noted along side it buttons is often more pronounced.

Display SizeOrEnergetic Area: 15.6 inches Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pen Type: Active, rechargeable Standalone: No

“This tablet truly does provide an impressive display for your cost, but because of the awkwardly wide footprint as well as the regrettably expensive tag, it will not function as the finest fit for everyone.” – Jeremy Laukkonen, Product Tester

Best Standalone Drawing Tablet: Simbans Picasso Tab

The Simbans PicassTab can be a standalone tablet, despite the fact that i had been steering apparent of individuals with this particular review. The primary reason the kodak playtouch video camera, to many of us, is a drawing-specific tablet is really because that’s the factor it’ll best. If you’d like an Android tablet for media consumption and web surfing, this could do fine, but you’ll get similar in results from the experience round the cheaper Amazon . com . com Fire tablets.

What this tablet does better is drawing. And that’s for just two reasons. We have an active stylus from the box, permitting solid palm rejection (crucial for remaining from mis-presses while drawing). Furthermore, it offers Autodesk Sketchbook and Artflow preinstalled-two excellent beginner sketch apps for Android.

To date as tablet specs go, these aren’t everything impressive, but they’ll work effectively for just about any standalone drawing tab. There’s single.3GHz quad-core mobile processor, a ten.1-inch IPS display that sports a solution of 1280 x 800, or perhaps a 2MP front-facing camera plus a 5MP rear-facing camera.

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or perhaps a sdcard slot are here. There is also the capability of employing a micro-HDMI port allowing you to connect this tablet to have an exterior computer. Which is that latter point making this really friendly for budding artists. They could start with the on-board sketch application basics, however graduate to real Adobe apps and rehearse an exterior monitor, when using the this tablet just like a peripheral. It’s an excellent balance of all possible, plus it pertains to around $200.

Ideal for Beginners: Huion H420

The Huion H420 is probably the least costly drawing tablets available which also provides you with lots of the products you’re searching being an artist. This makes it well suited for graphic artists just beginning out, because it offers them new methods to talk with compatible software for instance Adobe Illustrator, Illustrator, plus much more.

What corners are you currently presently cutting for the cost? Well, with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, you’ve some precision, but far under you’d find on more pricey tablets. The “resolution” (essentially the amount of sensors you’ll find per inch in the board) sits at 4,000 lines per inch (LPI), that’s a little under other choices, but totally serviceable for youthful designers.

You’ll find three assignable keys round the left side in the unit that offer you function selections for your design programs, available right when it’s needed. Another interesting feature here is the pad measures a maximum of 4.5 x 7 inches, as well as the active area is even smaller sized sized at 4 x 2.25 inches.

Because the smaller sized sized size may appear limited, it’s helpful for designers on the move, as they can just toss it inside their bag and then use it utilizing their laptops. This package comes with a active pen that allows you to employ digital functions (for instance push-button scrolling), plus it offers plug-and-play compatibility with Home home windows and Mac OS X.

Ideal for Illustrator: Wacom Intuos Pro

Wacom remains comes up enter tablet game for some time, as well as the Intuos Pro is possibly its flagship kind of drawing peripherals. This version, using what Wacom calls the “medium” size, is the Goldilocks in the selection: supplying you by having an 8.7 x 5.8-inch active area but occupying just a footprint of 13.2 x 8.5 inches. This means it won’t be rather as cumbersome in the desk setup, and may still offer plenty of property for work.

Another impressive features will be the eight dedicated function buttons you’ll be able to assign to programs rapidly, the assignable touch wheel for navigating programs more fully, along with the hands-recognition switch that allows named to resolve gestures much like a trackpad would.

Clearly, it’s Wacom’s Pro Pen 2 that can bring from it most likely probably the most prestige. This active pen offers a whopping 8,192 levels of pressure-sensitivity, permitting excellent sketching precision. Wacom has furthermore baked in the latency time that’s four occasions faster than the initial-generation Pro Pen and contains even incorporated tilt support for sketching natural, fading lines.

Furthermore, it offers Bluetooth furthermore to wired connectivity. The whole package works together the newest os’s and elegance softwares, even though it isn’t the most affordable tablet available, it’s a reasonably reasonable price for just about any creative professional

Best with Screen: Wacom Cintiq 16

Similar to the Artist12 from XP-Pen, the Wacom Cintiq 16 aims to supply artists a genuine digital canvas to function on: a standalone touchscreen technology that packs inside the same precision of Wacom’s non-screen pads, though a vibrant visual to supply immediate feedback inside your work.

That display measures 15.6 inches diagonally featuring an HD resolution of 1920 x 1980. The glass encasing the very best display, while just a little glossy, features a glare-reducing coating that’s simpler inside your eyes. Speaking about precision, the Cintiq 16 can portray around million distinct colors, creating a Gamut precision of 72%. This can be pretty standard for design needs and may work effectively for a lot of art projects.

Lack of in the Wacom equation could be the physical feel of applying named. Wacom is famous because of its precision and functionality, and also the organization is doing its easier to include individuals features here by having an actual screen-based tablet.

In the heart of this is the Pro Pen 2, offering 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity (well suited for sketching), around 60 amounts of tilt recognition (for fattening your lines), plus an impressively low latency level that’s basically undetectable to a lot of users. You’ll sacrifice control button, such as the multi-touch abilities and assignable function buttons on other Wacom units, but you’re carrying this out for that finest possible display-oriented tablet you’ll be able to for just about any steep, while not exorbitant, $650.

Ideal for Kids: Flueston LCD Writing Tablet

The Flueston LCD Writing Tablet can be a tablet dedicated to children’s art projects. It’s just a little (10 inches), light (7.1 ounces) device that sits roughly a Kindle plus an Etch-a-Sketch. Precisely how does it do this? The screen seems just like a black Live view screen display, but instead of offering fully moving, color pictures, it really reacts for the marks that you’re making by “scraping off” the black layer and exposing the multicolored background underneath. Clearly, you are not physically scraping any material off-it’s just software emulation. But that’s the appearance.

What’s interesting is always that Flueston (the producer) has could adapt the flexibility of LCD very to complement a thing that lets children press lower while using incorporated stylus making it feel similar to a marker. It’s a fascinating idea, and will also permit endless creativeness. There’s eraser functionality, screen lock options, along with the chance in order to save sketches to look at later.

Since it doesn’t possess a backlit screen, this can be only meant for use while using lights on, however which will finish off helping children’s eyes by restricting the amount of traditional “screen time” they have. And, because being used using non-backlit tech, the replaceable watch-style battery can last as long as 12 several days.

Ideal for osu!: XP-PEN StarG640

As graphics tablets have grown to be in prevalence, and thus do their use-cases. One extreme instance of this really is really the beatmapping, rhythm game osu! which is sequels. The game might be (which is most often performed casually with) an average mouse, however, many serious and professional-level players prefer a graphics tablet.

So, if you want to initiate that level of cla of gaming, a great place to start is to apply the XP-Pen StarG640 tablet. Why? Well, to start with, just about $40, it’s a great, low-cost, low-risk method to test this latest approach to playing. The 6 x 4-inch writing surface is enough space for a lot of players to cover their requirements, as well as the passive stylus that’s incorporated by using it enables for 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

This can be, basically, XP-Pen’s budget non-screen drawing tablet, to become fair, it’s helpful for design programs too. It’s appropriate for Home home windows and Mac and requires no motorists, to be able to just turn it on and play. This makes it perfect for other non-art processes, for instance recording signatures for that business and maybe even taking notes around the laptop. And, because the factor is actually compact, it’ll slip straight into your bag.

Best Splurge: Wacom Cintiq 22

We’ve already covered Wacom’s Cintiq line above, these types of the attractive displays natural in Wacom’s products which is attempted-and-true drawing tech, it’s really no shocker to find out the organization again out there. Exactly why is the Cintiq 22 different could be the truly massive 21.5-inch display playing here. Really, that’s really the only reason the kodak playtouch video camera can cost you about $1,200.

That massive display means a lot more property that Wacom must cover having its pressure-caused sensors and color precision, driving the manufacturing cost up. But you’ll get truly excellent performance.

The 72% Gamut precision is also as professional understandably, as well as the excellent 1920 x 1080 HD resolution is strikingly beautiful. This is often a massive screen, so possibly Wacom may have loaded in a bit more resolution to select the top cost tag, but that’s just a little gripe. The standard here’s really high quality, as well as the impressive Pro Pen 2-Wacom’s proprietary second-generation active pen technology-provides 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition for further accurate line widths, and with no detectable latency.

This is actually option for that designer who already loves their very own laptop, but wants the functionality of something such as a Microsoft Surface Studio: lots of touchscreen property, beautiful precision, plus a workhorse for that design needs.

Best Budget: Wacom One

Plenty of big-name tech brands Are going the obvious method of “attainable” in relation to prices. Alongside options such as the Microsoft Surface Go as well as the entry-level iPad, you’ll uncover the Wacom One. Now, the primary one isn’t a standalone tablet like the above, but just around $50 or $60, and including Wacom’s superior quality, they can fit the aesthetic in the budget, but nevertheless premium-feeling, devices.

This 6. x 3.7-inch tablet measures only .3 inches thick, and contains a enjoyable, durable plastic build with rounded edges. This makes it an enjoyment to utilize and ensures that it could be tossed for your new new laptop bag for travel. Pressure-sensitive stylus only has two,048 levels of pressure sensitivity-much like all individuals other budget tablets in the marketplace-at 2540 LPI of sensor density, it isn’t most likely probably the most accurate tablet available.

Exactly what the primary one lacks in raw specs it will make up for in convenience and, clearly, affordability. It connects via USB, works from the box with Home home windows and Mac os’s alongside all your favorite design apps, which package includes a premium-feeling stylus at no extra charge.

Final Verdict

While tablet options from Wacom are evident onto lots of spots relating to this list, we’re purchasing the XP-Pen Artist 12 (view at Amazon . com . com) to find the best Overall pick for just about any handful of reasons. It provides an excellent excellent pressure sensitivity underneath a wealthy, color-accurate display. It lacks additional controls, nevertheless it manages to offer you almost everything you are able to want in the decent-sized drawing tablet for approximately $200.

Gaomon’s 15.6-inch version (view at Amazon . com . com) offers most of the same functionality, but gives you more assignable buttons as well as, a bigger display. And if you’ve got the money, you can’t fail with Wacom’s Cintiq line for your breadth of quality featuring available.

About Our Reliable Experts

Erika Rawes has written for Digital Trends, USA Today, and She’s someone tech expert which has reviewed more than 50 products.

Jeremy Laukkonen can be a tech author as well as the creator from the popular blog and gaming startup. He concentrates on consumer technology and tested the Gaomon PD1560 out there.


What is the best Wacom tablet for drawing?

Wacom is considered the most broadly used brands of drawing tablet, as well as for a good reason. Our top choices like the Wacom Cintiq 16 may be pricey, however it possesses a gorgeous 15.6-inch touchscreen, a 1080p resolution, and eight,912 pressure levels while using Pro Pen 2. For just about any more budget option, we like to the Wacom One. It won’t hurt your wallet, features a portable size, and solid quality.

Which drawing tablet is right for beginners?

For newbies, we like to Simbans PicassoTab. They come in plenty of accessories, functions just like a standalone tablet, and possesses a dynamic stylus from the box with Autodesk Sketchbook and Artflow preinstalled. We like the Huion H420 for people new employing a graphic monitor. For kids, we advise the Flueston LCD Writing Tablet. It’s 10 inches and works similar to an Etch-a-Sketch getting a black Live view screen display that reacts for the marks you’re making about it. For children, this makes the stylus appear as an industry with pressure resistance, which is easy about the eyes.

What is the best drawing tablet for animation?

We like to the XP-PEN Artist 12 for animators. It features an 11.6-inch display, has programmable hotkeys, and contains a pen with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity for your hands-sketched feel. It truely does work with Home home windows 7, 8, 10, and Mac OS X for versions as old as 10.8

We’ve not had an chance to place these drawing tablets through their paces at the moment, but i’ll be trying each tablet with numerous creative applications and machines to help determine the most effective-use scenario for each particular model. Because drawing tablets are only concerned with bridging the area relating to the inputs to determine them on-screen, our testers can also be knowing each unit on its overall feel and ergonomics additionally for their hard specs and compatibility.

Gaomon PD1560

While drawing tablets tend to be pricey, they’re a bit more intuitive because you draw getting a stylus on screen. Graphic tablets-which need to be linked to your personal computer-usually produce a faster workflow because they’re based on more processing power. Furthermore it normally won’t need to be billed and therefore are frequently stronger.

Pressure sensitivity determines what you could vary the width in the lines you paint, using the volume of pressure are utilising for the stylus. The traditional tablet offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which must be ample for a lot of creatives.

“The higher the pen pressure value, the burden, and thickness in the line can be altered by the amount of pressure, as well as the line may well be more natural and delicate. The finest standard of pen pressure sensitivity available on the market is 8192 levels.” – the XP-PEN team


Drawing tablet prices can start less than $30 and sneak up to just about $1,000. The primary improvement in price is essentially connected using the display. The higher the resolution and pressure sensitivity, the higher pricey named. However, whether it doesn’t possess a presentation, you’ll have in all probability it for just about any less expensive.

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