Most artists discover at an early age that they have the creative gene. Scribbling on papers, on the back of notebooks, and drawing wherever there is a possibility, are all unmistakable signs.
In an era increasingly dominated by technology, it has become almost impossible not to switch from pen and paper to tablet software and mouse clicks. But there will be nothing that can replace drawing with a pen, pencil, or brush.
For the artist in the digital age, the best tablet for drawing represents the perfect meeting point between creativity and technology. Let’s find out the best drawing tablet through our five picks.
- Top 7+ Best Gaming Tablets: iOS, Android or Windows (2021 Reviews)
- Top 5 Best Kindles For Reading At Night and Outdoor (2021 Reviews)
- Top 5 Best Surface Tablets For Drawing, Gaming and Work (2021 Reviews)
- Top 7 Best Tablets For Drawing and Photo Editing 2021 Reviews
- Features to Consider When Choose Best Tablet For Drawing
- Final Words
Top 7 Best Tablets For Drawing and Photo Editing 2021 Reviews
#1 Apple iPad Air
It is hard to keep up with all iPads. Apple tablets have always been market leaders. All iPads can do similar things right now. They all support graphic drawing pens, keyboards, and trackpads, and all current models have extremely responsive processors. So, the redesigned iPad Air to draw is ideal as an iPad adapted to drawing tablets, or a cheaper iPad Pro. And the price, based on how you configure it, can vary.
Apple’s display choice is slightly smaller and with a slightly lower resolution than the 11-inch iPad Pro. But since the 10.9-inch iPad Air panel has a resolution of 2360 x 1640, they both have a pixel density of 264 PPI. It is a beautiful screen, with broad support for P3 colors and an anti-reflective, fingerprint-resistant coating. The maximum brightness is slightly lower than the iPad Pro, at 500 units vs 600 units, but it changes little.
- M1 chipsets
- High resolution
- Broad support for colors
- Fingerprint-resistant coating
This tablet remains the best tablet for drawing on the market today for quality and price. Is it a tablet for drawing? Certainly. And the drawing will be just the beginning.
#2 Wacom DTK2420K0 Cintiq Pro
In the world of digital art, the Wacom Cintiq Pro tablet is the best drawing tablet for the money, as it has always created high-end interactive displays. They specialize in making the best of the best. The quality and features are head and shoulders above the rest. The competition has improved over the past couple of years. And these companies release cheaper interactive displays.
So what Wacom is doing here is eliminating some of those price-boosting features and releasing a budget version of their 16-inch pen display. They made the price go down. Let’s compare Cintiq 16 pro and this Cintiq 16. The biggest difference is the screen itself. The resolution is 1920 × 1080. It is full HD, but the Pro is 4k 3840 x 2160. So, the Pro has twice the pixels and is inevitably a sharper image.
- High resolution
- Reasonable price
- Sharper image
- Laminated display
- FHD resolution instead of 4K
- High parallax
The quality of a device’s pen trumps everything else and we are at the top of the category. Essentially, it is a graphics tablet that has a top of a range display with the most sensitive pen ever.
#3 XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro
There are a few minor differences that make the XP-Pen Artist Pro slightly easier to use than the cheaper non-Pro Artist. First, it is the display size that is 15.6 inches. It is a respectable display, about the size of a laptop, so to speak.
They replace the touch bar with a red touch dial that provides greater precision and control with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 1080p resolution. They also improve the display with a 178-degree viewing angle.
Also, the Pro supports up to 60 degrees of angle with the stylus for more convenient control and less software change for even more precise handling. The 60-degree Tilt feature detects pen movements to ensure an accurate imitation of a tilted brush.
- Cheap price
- Large screen
- Premium touch bar
- 60-degree support
- Low processing speed
It is a professional graphics tablet the size of a laptop monitor at a reasonable price. The tablet is excellent for price-quality.
#4 XP-PEN Artist12
Let’s move on to a semi-professional tablet for drawing, it is a graphic tablet with a display. The XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro is a drawing tablet equipped with a pen with 8192 pressure sensitivity with the tilt functionality. The stylus is battery-free and wireless, and the 11.6-inch fully laminated IPS display allows for a wide viewing angle at 1920 x 1080p resolutions.
There is an interface with a red color dial and 8 customizable hotkeys on the right side that facilitate smooth workflow.
The XP-Pen Artist 12 has a USB Type-C port for connecting to the combined USB/HDMI/power cable. It will take power from the laptop, so we can work remotely even without direct power support, provided by the Type C.
- Premium tablet pen
- Laminated IPS display
- High resolution
- Customizable hotkeys
- Low processing speed
The tablet is perfect for people who are looking for a drawing tablet to connect to the PC to start graphics at a semi-professional level.
#5 Wacom DTC133W0A Tablet
There is something cathartic about drawing on paper. Movement channels memories within reach without distractions. Perhaps it is this notion that makes working with a drawing tablet so desirable. They are more efficient in more ways than one.
Wacom has long been the industry leader in this area with its line of Intuos tablets. Year after year, its rank is among the best ones ever. Their renowned drawing tablets have a virtually eternal shelf life. It has become a staple for graphic designers around the world.
By far, one of the biggest advantages of working with this type of graphics tablet over a mouse is pressure sensitivity. Less pressure creates a soft brush stroke the size of the brush, while more pressure creates smaller, darker strokes with a harder edge.
- 10-inch active area
- 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Four programmable Express keys
- Battery-free pen
- 15 hours of battery life.
- Low-functional pen
Despite a few flaws, Wacom has created a remarkably ergonomic and compact graphics device suitable for professionals or beginners.
Features to Consider When Choose Best Tablet For Drawing
Some tablet models are available in different versions, depending on the RAM capacity, usually in the basic versions starting from 4GB up to 16GB. And of the ROM, they are in the basic versions starting from 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB with iPad.
If you are afraid of running out of space soon, it is advisable to look for a tablet with expandable memory via MicroSD or focus on Cloud services for saving and sharing less.
The fundamental element when choosing a drawing tablet is the size not only of the device itself but above all the display. Most of the latest generation tablets come with a very thin bezel, which allows the tablet to have an all-screen display.
- Top 7+ Best Windows Tablets for Gaming, Drawing & Video/Photo Editing (2021 Reviews)
- Top 7+ Best Budget Tablets For Drawing, Gaming, Note Taking & Watching Movies (2021 Reviews)
- Top 5 Best Android Tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab, Huawei or Lenovo (2021 Reviews)
Some designers may want a portable drawing tablet with a small screen from 8 inches to 10.5 inches to draw comfortably anywhere. Many illustrators who want a device to be used mostly at home may prefer a larger 12.9-inch or 16-inch screen.
Tablet batteries can guarantee the coverage of a full working day. It is a very indicative parameter that involves many factors.
Besides the actual capacity of the battery (measured in mAh) that is still important, the category of apps running on the tablet is noteworthy to deliberate. The optimizations are tuned into the operating system.
For example, thanks to a series of software optimizations, a 4,000mAh battery can last as long as or longer than a 5,000mAh battery. Apple’s iPads are better optimized for energy management than Android or Windows.
Another feature to consider is a pen included with the tablet to draw with more precision and naturalness. To check the power of the capacitive stylus, it is good to check the latency. It is the delay with which the tablet detects the pen input.
The lower the latency, the better the user experience, as it will feel like drawing with pen and paper, making it easier for those approaching digital drawing for the rest time.
Having a dedicated stylus compatible with your tablet allows you to have more benefits. Not only because usually these pens have higher sensitivity levels and often allow the recognition of the palm, but it is also a mode that allows you to rest your palm on the screen while drawing without the tablet translating the input as a graphic sign. Or they also support specific preset keys to optimize timing during drawing.
Some brands like Microsoft and Apple produce specific tablet pens for certain types of tablets that must be purchased separately. These are usually highly performing pens with advanced technologies, and it is good to check your budget, including the tablet price and that of the pen, before proceeding with the purchase.
Some pens for tablets equipped with EMR technology do not need to be recharged, while others magnetically clip to one side of the tablet and recharge wirelessly.
Is iPads Good For Drawing?
IPad, especially for those used to using Apple system tools, are among the best tools for drawing on the screen. And with iPad Pro 2018, Apple has made it even more practical and professional.
How Do I Learn To Draw On A Tablet?
Digital media is also more suitable for beginners in some ways. The primary reason is that there is no Cancel button for the physical canvas. Sure, you can erase a pencil sketch, but you can do so much before it wears out the paper.
There are no such problems with digital media. You also do not have to worry about making a mistake and ruining an entire piece, or smudging, or having the paint dry prematurely, or not being able to match a color you used in the last session. There is even less cleanliness if you’re doing a digital picture against an analog.
What Is The Best Drawing Tablet For Beginners?
We will pick the Apple iPad Air. The whole new Air family features M1 chipsets that are powerful enough to keep the tablet smooth in any working condition. Therefore, it is also ideal as an iPad for drawing.
Like all Apple devices, accessories, including a keyboard and Apple Pen (with pressure sensors), can be purchased separately. The Apple iPad Air remains a tablet for drawing or working that you can fall in love with. Reasonable in price, powerful, beautifully designed, and built to support programs that until recently would have required a really powerful PC.
What Is The Best Size For A Drawing Tablet?
While the size is pretty self-explanatory, it is worth mentioning. If you are going to take your tablet to draw with you wherever you go, you will want to find something light and portable. A tablet like the iPad weighs only around half a kilo, while the XP-Pen Artist is incredibly thin.
The dimensions also refer to your work area. Some drawing tablets have a large writing area (10 inches or more) while others have six inches or fewer.
Do you need to buy the best tablet for drawing to take practically anywhere? Our offers are available both for reading educational material and for attending lectures and video conferences.
We also offer features to consider more before buying what we believe to be the best drawing tablets currently on the market. Apple iPad Air is still the best for optimal performance and functionality. Otherwise, Wacom tablets are not a terrible choice in terms of budget.