Top 5 Best Drawing Tablets 2021:
Whether you’re a beginner graphic designer or an industry veteran, having a drawing tablet is a must.
Well, if you’re even half serious about digital art, drawing with a computer mouse simply doesn’t allow for much freedom. A drawing tablet gives you full freedom and lets you really flex those artistic muscles.
With one of these nifty tools beside you, you’ll be able to seamlessly transfer your ideas on the computer screen.
And thanks to massive advancements in technology, drawing tablets have become quite affordable. Unfortunately, this has made finding the best drawing tablet for your needs really tedious. The market is full of samey, Chinese-manufactured models that only differ in branding.
Thankfully, you’re in the right place. You don’t have to waste your valuable time on tedious research, we’ve done that for you! In this article, we’ll showcase our top five picks for the best drawing tablet, and we’ll teach you how to get the best model for your needs!
Related: The Best Laptops For Drawing
5 Best Drawing Tablets In 2021: Detailed Reviews
Before we get into explaining how to buy the best drawing tablet for your needs, we recommend you check out our top five picks.
We’re sure at least one of our picks will catch your eye. To make sure of that, we included both graphic tablets and pressure-sensitive pen displays.
1. Wacom Intuos Pro – Editor’s Choice
The first place in our list of best drawing tablets goes to Wacom Intuos Pro. It’s no surprise that the first place goes to a product from Wacom since they’re one of the most popular drawing tablet manufacturers in the world.
You can describe this product with just one word, customizability. It comes in small, medium, and large sizes, and you can further customize your package by choosing between regular and paper editions.
Both all sizes and versions of this device come with a Pro Pen 2. This pen is one of the best you can find. It allows for fantastic precision thanks to its 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt-response. And since the Pro Pen 2 doesn’t require a battery, the tracking is unparallel.
As for the tablet itself, it’s compatible with all popular operating systems, and can be connected via USB or Bluetooth. On the left side of the tablet, there are eight customizable express keys and a radial menu button. Both the buttons and the radial menu offer decent feedback, ensuring you won’t accidentally mess up your design by accidentally pressing one of them.
- The pen offers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Comes in three sizes
- Available in regular and paper version
- Superb tracking
- Eight customizable
- Absolutely none
2. XP-PEN Artist 15.6 Pro – Runner Up
The second place in our list goes to XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro, a drawing tablet that comes with an amazing screen and just as a fantastic stylus. What’s more, it’s quite affordable for a pressure-sensitive pen display, making it an excellent choice for both pros and beginners.
This drawing tablet features a 15.6-inch 1080p screen. The screen has a color accuracy of 120% sRGB or 88% NTSC. While this is quite a respectable color accuracy for digital design, you won’t be able to do much printing design.
Other than this minor draw, the display produces incredibly sharp and amazingly vivid images. And thanks to the 178-degree viewing angle, you don’t have to worry about missing on detail if you move your head to the side.
The stylus is just as amazing as the screen. It features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity ensuring your every move will seamlessly translate to the screen. The tablet supports up to 60 degrees of tilt function, guaranteeing an accurate imitation of brushes and line strokes.
Artis 15.6 Pro features eight customizable keys and a customizable dial. It’s compatible with all popular operating systems and creative suits like Adobe CS and Corel CS.
- 15.6-inch screen
- 120% sRGB color accuracy
- The stylus features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Customizable keys and dial
- Must be connected to a computer
3. UGEE M708 – Best Affordable Drawing Tablet
We understand that not everyone has, or wants, to invest more than $400 in a high-end-tablet. If digital art is your hobby, or if you’re looking for a drawing tablet you can play Osha with, then you’ll like our third pick. The UGEE M708 offers a decent drawing area and an excellent stylus at an affordable price.
The main feature of this drawing tablet is its generous 10×6-inch active area. This is more than enough space to let your creativity free. The surface of the drawing area is mildly abrasive, ensuring you get that pen and paper feeling.
The stylus that comes with the m708 features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and also comes with a bunch of nibs you can use to customize it. On top of all that, since this is a passive stylus, there’s no input delay. Unfortunately, there’s no tilt-sense, but that’s ok for a budget model.
There are eight customizable express keys on the side that ensure a smooth workflow. The only issue we have with this product is caused by the drivers. Even though it’s supported on all popular operating systems, the drivers for this drawing tablet are full of bugs.
- Incredibly precise
- Large active area
- The surface mimics paper
- Customizable stylus with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Buggy drivers
4. Simbans PicassoTab – Best Beginners Drawing Tablet with Display
We’re continuing the beginner-friendly trend with our fourth pick. The Simbans PicassoTab is actually a full-fledged Android tablet that’s specifically designed for digital drawing. It comes packaged with a bunch of other goodies, which is simply amazing for a budget device.
Under the hood, this drawing tablet packs quite a punch. Thanks to the 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM, the apps are quite snappy and responsive. Most surprisingly, it doesn’t come with any bloatware. The only app besides the Google stuff is Adobe Sketch.
The PicassoTab comes with 32GB of memory, so don’t worry about not having enough space to store your art.
The screen, while not amazing, is quite decent for a budget drawing tablet. The colors look a bit washed up and flat, but that’s just fine for a beginner.
The stylus feels quality-made and it feels good in the hand. It runs on a single AAA battery, so expect some input lag.
Along with the tablet, you also get some goodies. One of those goodies is a leather case that makes drawing on the go super comfortable. We also love how it comes with a pre-installed screen protector.
- Very affordable
- Quite powerful for a budget device
- Lots of memory
- Comes with a case
- The screen is lacking a bit
5. Huion Inspiroy H640P – Best Graphics Tablet For Absolute Beginners
If you’re just starting to learn graphic design, having even a rudimentary drawing tablet can be quite beneficial. With a basic drawing tablet, you can develop a feel for digital drawing and you’ll train your muscles to draw on an unorthodox surface.
One of the best beginner-friendly drawing tablets you can get is the Huion Inspiroy H640P. Why? Because this device comes with a stylus that supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, ensuring superb precision. What’s more, since the stylus is passive, there’s almost no input-lag.
Inpiroy H640P features an active area measuring 6.3×3.9-inches offers enough space for most designs. The surface of the active area is mildly abrasive, ensuring you get that paper feel when you press the stylus on it. On top of that, there are also six customizable keys on the side.
This drawing tablet is compatible with all popular operating systems including Android. Of course, it’s also compatible with just about any design software including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Corel Draw, and Krita.
The only thing that could make this drawing tablet better is if it was wireless. With that said, this device offers excellent value for your hard-earned dollar.
- The stylus features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Decently sized active area
- Excellent compatibility
- Not wireless
What Is A Drawing Tablet And Why You Should Buy One?
Drawing something with a mouse or a laptop trackpad is quite tricky. If you want to draw something more complex than basic shapes and straight lines, you’ll need a drawing tablet.
A drawing tablet gives you the ability to create anything you want with a few strokes of your pen. It’s just like drawing on paper or canvas, but better.
You’ll always make errors while drawing and painting, even if you’re a professional. So, when drawing on regular paper or canvas, you have to be very careful if you want to avoid any mistakes in your masterpiece.
By making a minor mistake like pressing with the pen too hard on the paper, you’ll have to erase that part of your drawing, and re-do it. Sometimes you’ll have to discard the whole picture and start from scratch.
This can be a big problem, especially if drawing and painting is your job. With a drawing tablet, there are no such problems.
A drawing tablet gives you the ability to fix all the drawing errors without the fear of creating more errors in the process. What’s more, you can even undo your pen strokes if you don’t like how it turned out.
Another great thing about drawing tablets is that you don’t need anything other than the drawing tablet and the pen that comes with it. No more running to the store to buy a new B6 pen, colors, or a new rubber because the old one got lost somewhere in the pile of papers, color pallets, and brushes.
Everything you need for drawing is just one click away, or one tap with the tablet’s pencil.
You can use a drawing tablet for various purposes like sketching, drawing, retouching photos, and creating 3D objects. Whether you’re doing art as a hobby or as your profession, a drawing tablet will make everything much easier for you.
If you’re used to drawing just on paper or canvas, switching to a drawing tablet will feel a little unnatural. but there’s no need to worry. A few days of practice, and you’ll draw just like you would on paper.
5 Factors You Need To Consider When Buying A Drawing Tablet
Before you make your final choice, here are 5 factors you should consider when buying if you want to buy the best drawing tablet for your needs.
1. Active Area
- The active area represents the area on the tablet where you can draw.
- The size of the active area is a personal choice. So, you should choose a drawing tablet that suits your drawing style. Some people prefer a larger active area, while others prefer the opposite.
- If you never used a drawing tablet, we recommend you get one with a medium-sized active area. It shouldn’t be too large nor too small for you. A drawing tablet with a medium-size active will suit your needs just right.
- Keep in mind that the drawing area and the screen size are not the same. So, when buying, always search in the specifications for the term ‘active area.’ If you look up just the screen size, you can end up with a tablet that has a tiny active area.
2. Pressure Sensitivity
- The pressure sensitivity is also a personal choice, but there are some general directions you should follow.
- No matter what your drawing style is, you should look for a tablet with an ultra-responsive drawing surface. The pressure levels on a drawing tablet range from 300 to around 9000. The higher the pressure level, the more responsive will the drawing surface be.
- The optimal pressure sensitivity level is around 1024 for illustration and design. If this is your first drawing tablet, this level will suit you perfectly. With time you’ll figure out if you need a higher or lower sensitivity level.
- Every drawing tablet comes with a stylus. So, it’s not just the tablet that matters when buying, but the stylus also.
- You can choose between two types of styluses, a battery-powered, or an electromagnetic resonance (EMR) stylus. Both types are designed to mimic the feeling of holding and drawing with a regular pencil. But, there are some differences.
- A battery-powered stylus is usually much thicker than an EMR stylus and has a finer point. EMR styluses are thinner but have a much thicker point. The point of an EMR stylus has to be thicker because they react with the tablet’s active area.
See Also: The Best Mechanical Pencil For Drawing
- If you’re looking for sharp graphics and high-resolution images, you need to get a tablet with a high LPI, which stands for lines per inch. A drawing tablet with a high LPI will give you a much clearer picture.
5. Additional Features
- Additional features aren’t a necessity, but they sure are great. So, the additional features should also be an essential factor to consider.
- All additional features that come with drawing tablets are there to make things easier for you. Your overall experience, progress, and design process will be on a whole new level with some additional features.
- Useful features that you should look for are HotKeys and multi-touch capability. Both will make drawing much more comfortable and easier for you.
Before we let you go on your next artistic quest, let’s tally up the results.
The best drawing tablet you can get is Wacom Intuos Pro. This drawing tablet comes with everything a professional digital artist needs, an excellent stylus, and a high-resolution active area.
The runner up is the XP-PEN Artist 15.6 Pro. This drawing tablet comes with a 15.6-inch screen that’s 120% sRGB accurate. On top of that, it comes with a stylus with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60 levels of tilt.
We decided to go with UGEE M708 as our budget pick because it comes with a large active area, an excellent stylus, and customizable keys all at a sub 100$ dollar price tag.