The Best Drawing Tablets in 2021
If you’re a modern artist who lives in the digital age, and you are into creating images and illustrations via high-tech means, you’ve probably landed in the right place, as today’s article is aimed at helping you choose the best drawing tablet.
Now, provided you’re a regular visitor of our website, you’re probably familiar with the “drill”: we’ve already done the research and some testing, here and there, so you won’t have to. That’s because we understand how important it is to have the best tools possible, in order to enhance one’s productivity and skills, whether we’re talking about hobbyists or professional artists.
For you to achieve these “goals”, we’ll recommend the best products in a multitude of niches, depending on one’s budget and requirements. Think along the lines of Android tablets, if you’re into Google products, or Windows tablets if you’re a fan of Bill Gates. Also, since money is important, especially for artists, we’ll show you some budget options, best picks for beginners, and so on and so forth. Keep reading, because you’re in for a real treat.
How to Choose the Best Drawing Tablet
If you’re a total noob in regards to drawing tablets, the basics are as follows: a graphics tablet is a cool gadget that enables you to sketch, draw, paint, illustrate/color illustrations, sculpt in 3D software or airbrush directly from your input device.
There are 2 main types of drawing tablets: the ones that allow you to do everything, including seeing your work directly on the tablet’s screen (these are more expensive generally speaking), basically stand-alone types.
The second model translates your work to an external display (computer screen) via a piece of software like Illustrator. The latter are cheaper. Also, keep in mind that what you can do on a drawing tablet (via a digital pen/stylus), especially if you’re an artist, is quasi-impossible to replicate with a mouse.
Now, the main factors that come into play when choosing a drawing tablet are:
This is important especially if you’re on the go often. And here it gets a little more complicated, but bear with me.
As in how wide the screen should be. This is another crucial factor, especially for professional purposes, as a wider screen is more efficient when it comes to scroll and zoom, or navigation, not to mention painting, sketching, editing photos directly onto the screen etc. The smaller the display, the harder is to work on it, but it makes it easier to carry around at presentations and what not.
One’s budget is very important with tablets and everything else. The more expensive a tablet is, the more features/bells and whistles it has, you know how this works.
A poor quality display on a stand-alone drawing tablet is a deal-breaker, especially for artists looking for the best gear. The thing is, if you want to bring out everything from a high-quality artwork, you’ll require a high definition screen with accurate colors, great contrast and good legibility, even in sunlight. In terms of resolution, higher LPI (lines per inch) indicate better sharpness and detail. Also, look at reports/points per second. To put it simply, the higher these specs are, the faster/the better the tablet is.
The digital pen, also known as stylus, is used to draw on the tablet’s screen, These gadgets are battery-less or battery-operated. The best ones are designed for comfort, featuring rubber made grips, which make them easy to hold and feel natural.
The Nature of Your Work
This is another big factor that comes into play when choosing a drawing tablet. There are differences in expectations and features (which translate into bigger/smaller budgets) from people looking for professional gear, compared to, let’s say, hobbyists. Editing photos is different from sketching or painting.
Tilt Sensitivity and Pressure Sensitivity
These features are usually found in high end drawing tablets. Tilt sensitivity is pretty similar to using an airbrush, and the same goes for pressure sensitivity. If you don’t plan to use your drawing tablet for intensive digital painting, you can forget about tilt sensitivity, you don’t really need it.
On the other hand, pressure sensitivity is crucial if you’re into doing comics/cartoons and graphic design. This feature is one of the most important to look after in a high-quality drawing tablet. Basically, the more, the better. Pressure sensitivity, that is.
Check this cool video depicting what can you do with a drawing tablet.
Which brings us to the “meat” of the article. Here are our top picks for you.
11 Best Drawing Tablets
Wacom Intuos Pro
Classic Pen Tablet
The Wacom Intuos Pro is one of the best pressure-sensitive pen tablets out there and it’s built to deliver a responsive and fluid feel, excellent wireless connectivity and good portability. This is one of the best tablets for drawing on the market, considering the price/features ratio, and it works both on PC and Mac.
The Wacom Intuos Pro features tilt response, along with a brand new technology that delivers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, lag-free tracking, a 8.7” x 5.8” active area/13.2” x 8.5” footprint (the Medium size), customizable Express Keys, multi-touch gestures, Radial Menus, Display Toggle and pen side switches.
Being a professional grade drawing tablet, the Wacom Intuos Pro comes with an internal Bluetooth module for wireless connectivity and it’s built using premium materials, the likes of fiberglass composite resin and black anodized aluminum.
In terms of connectivity, this tablet also offers a USB Type-C port, along with Bluetooth. There are eight customizable (application specific) keys, which come pretty handy if you’re using Adobe Photoshop for example.
There’s also a round touch-ring featuring a button in the middle, which can be customized with four functions. The Intuous Pro is built like a tank, with a high-end feel and it’s very comfortable to use. The bottom panel is made of metal and has 2 rubberized feet for better grip. The front surface area is made of plastic, just like the pen, which features two customizable buttons.
The pen’s bottom portion works as an eraser, uses EMR technology (no batteries required) and it’s extremely precise.
- excellent design
- top notch build quality
- good value for the price
- lots of features/functions
- lag free, good and sensitive
- the pen is very comfy and precise
- pen nibs wear down easy
- the proprietary software can be tricky sometimes
- not a standalone drawing tablet
XP-Pen Artist 15.6
For the Artist Within
The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 is a high-end piece of gear that allows you to paint, sketch, design or even edit directly from the 15.6 inch IPS screen. Note that it’s not a standalone tablet and must be used with a computer.
The design is pretty interesting, as the tablet uses high-quality glass on top, for offering improved precision and also to prevent dust from building up.
Another great feature of the XP-Pen Artist is the passive pen design (no batteries required), which provides industry-leading pressure sensitivity (8192 levels of instant pen pressure).
The generous 15.6 inches wide display has full HD/1080p resolution and offers large viewing angles (178° degree), with great contrast and excellent color reproduction. Moreover, the tablet supports Ultra HD/4K external displays, if so required.
In terms of connectivity, you have the latest USB Type C port, for blazing fast connections and sharp details. The tablet is compatible with both Mac and PC software, including major designer software bundles, such as Clip Studio, Painter, Photoshop, Gimp, Krita, SAI and others.
If you’re looking for one of the best drawing tablets with the screen out there, the XP-Pen Artist would fit the bill perfectly. There are some minor flaws though. For example, there’s no stand included in the bundle, and the matte surface screen is not as bright nor colorful compared to glossy screens. However, the display’s surface is great for painting and drawing, and pen pressure sensitivity is very responsive, making painting/drawing a pleasure.
- generous screen real-estate, slim profile
- great for painting and drawing
- a very realistic drawing surface
- good portability/workability ratio
- reasonable price
- setting it up is difficult if you’re not tech-savvy
- no stand included
- precise work is kind of tricky
The Best Drawing Tablet for Beginners
The Wacom Intuos can be best described as one of the best budget drawing tablets “in the hood”.
Jokes aside, if you’re on a tight budget, the Wacom Intuos is very easy to recommend, considering its under $100 price and the fact that it comes with free creative software, along with a battery-free pen/EMR technology and 4096 pressure levels, to deliver both control and precision.
Speaking of free creative software, you’ll have to first register your tablet after purchasing via Wacom’s website, and then you can choose between 3 applications to download: Clip Studio Paint Pro, Corel Aftershot 3 and Corel Painter Essentials 6.
The Wacom Intuos is built for enhancing creativity and it’s the perfect tool to have if you’re into painting digital watercolors, drawing web-art or retouching/editing photos.
Being the simplest and cheapest Wacom drawing tablet, you shouldn’t expect miracles though. However, the Intuos comes with a pretty good pencil, which provides a natural feel, and an overall great drawing experience, together with excellent portability (due to its size: 8.25 x 6.7″) and ambidextrous design.
Obviously, there are no fancy features, like tilt/angle/rotation sensitivity, zoom, pinch, multi-touch or hand-gestures. It’s only you and the 4k pen. If you’re looking for a high quality no-nonsense graphics tablet, the Wacom Intuos is one the best drawing tablet for beginners.
- smooth and enjoyable drawing experience
- very affordable price
- highly portable due to its small/light size
- free software
- good build quality and plenty of features for the price asked
- only comes in Small size
- no tilt/angle sensitivity
HUION Kamvas Pro 24
Best Screen For All Kinds Of Drawings
HUION Kamvas Pro 24 is your ticket into the world of high-detail precision drawing with only a flick of a button.
A visually-stunning display 23.8-inch is the main selling point of this amazing piece, capable of zooming in and out, making every single little detail clear cut and pristine.
A drawing monitor of this glamorous design does not end there, as the chemically treated anti-glare glass assures minimal eye strain regardless of whether you are drawing in a dark or fully lit room.
The device is equipped with collocational keys that can accommodate a wide range of preferences. The effortless use and system speed ensure that workflow will remain top-notch all the time.
It comes with the ST100, an adjustable stand, that allows for precision drawing on almost any surface.
PenTech3.0, being the height of Huion’s new technological achievements, includes a new senor, responsive to idling distances for up to 0.3mm, and a battery-free upgrade presents the finest experience of drawing on that was made available on the market up to date.
For designers that have reached the apex of their personal skills, the equipment they require needs to be the best of the best, and this product will provide excellence in the work of any graphic artist.
- Sensitivity on 8.192 different levels
- Compatible with Windows 7 and Sierra 10.12 and later operating systems
- 23.8-inch screen
- Full-Laminated Screen
- 120% sRGB color
- Somewhat bulky
The Best Drawing Tablet For Beginners
If you are thinking to start with drawing on the tablet, here’s the perfect one for that cause. It’s not just perfect for the artists who are diving into this type or art, but for kids as well.
Being perfect for editing photos, drawing, or anime, it will turn your PC into a digital drawing canvas. It’s highly sensitive. So, if you want thicker lines, just push it down harder while drawing.
No charging needed, as it charges through its own USB port. The working area is quite huge (6.0 x 3.7 inches), considering how small these tablets can be sometimes. Are you left or right-handed? It doesn’t matter, as there is a simple installation process to adjust it to your needs.
Most importantly, it’s compatible with almost every software: from Adobe Photoshop to Corel Painter, draw, OSD, sketchbook, and much more.
- No charging required
- It connects easily through a USB port
- Capable of high-quality drawing
- Perfect for those just starting
- Highly sensitive (thick or thin lines)
- Not suited for advanced art players
XP-PEN Deco Pro
Compact And Affordable Drawing Tablet
First of all, it stands for a small, compact drawing tablet. And that’s true, but its display is everything but small, as it gives you 9×5 inches of working area. It’s quite thin (only 7 mm), and made of high-quality aluminum.
There’s a double wheel interface as well as a virtual wheel, which will help you perform multiple actions flawlessly, with one hand. There are 8 responsive shortcut keys, which will provide you with instant access to specific functions.
It’s highly sensitive and supports up to 60 degrees of tilt function. That means that it will easily respond to any hand movement, so you’ll be able to naturally move your hand as if you draw on paper. 8192 levels of pressure levels on top of that, and you get a perfect sensitivity. Thick or thin lines will not be the problem.
It’s compatible with every drawing program you are familiar with, as well as with any newer operating system.
- Lightweight, thin, and compact
- Over 8000 levels of pressure
- 60 degree of tilt function, which enables you to move your hand naturally (as on paper)
- Great compatibility
- No “click & tap” function, which some find crucial
One More Budget Drawing Tablet
The UGEE M708 is a drawing tablet created for art-design purposes, and it comes with lots of features at a very affordable price.
Considering its way under $100 price tag, the UGEE M708 really delivers where it counts. For example, the active screen real-estate is 10 x 6 inches in width (5080 LPI resolution), and, on top of the generous working area, the tablet features a papery texture surface, which makes it ideal for digital artwork, due to its natural painting feedback/experience.
The stylus is battery free and features the industry leading 8192 pressure sensitivity. There are eight customizable express keys on the side, while the tablet is compatible with both Mac and PC, along with the most popular creative software bundles, such as Adobe Fireworks/Photoshop/Illustrator, Infinite Stratos, Macromedia Flash, 3D Max and more.
- amazing working space considering the price
- feels like writing on paper with a pencil
- cheap, yet well built and solid
- ambidextrous design
- easy to set up
- Report Rate: 266 RPS
- USB connectivity
- none really, considering the price asked
Huion KAMVAS Pro 16
The Best Drawing Tablet Monitor For Advanced Artists
If you are in Tablet Drawing for a long time, and looking for the finest piece of tech that’ll translate your moves into brilliant art – here’s the one!
This tablet reduces parallax to a minimum, making your drawings accurate like never before. It has anti-glare technology, which not only protects your eyes but gives the feel like you are drawing on paper. Now, what makes this drawing tablet so accurate are 8192 pressure levels with approximately 60 pen tilt support.
It also offers one-touch bar and 6 press keys for a fully adjustable experience on 15.6 inches wide IPS display. It’s lightweight and thick, with 1.2 kg and a diameter of 11.5mm. You will have a much better transition between the colors, as it offers 120% sRGB color gamut.
Finally, it is compatible with almost any newer device, starting from OS win 7 and MAC 10.12 or later.
- Unmatchable quality
- 6 press keys and 1 touch bar for great adjustability
- Lightweight and thin
- Compatible with all newer operating systems
- A bit pricier and not worth for beginners but only for pros
XP-PEN Innovator 16
Best For Drawing On The Go
Ever thought about how absolutely fantastic would it be to carry an entire set of all the tools a digital artist needs to create breathtaking visuals? If so, let me introduce you to the XP-PEN Innovator 16!
This exceptional drawing gadget is outfitted with one of the slimmest graphic displays on the entire market. With a 15.6 feet display, you are all set for high-quality visual production.
Lamination technology assures seamless, parallax-free drawing. Combined with a screen color gamut of 92%, the vibrant colors and vivid artwork are just a few steps away from realization within this marvel of graphical advancement.
The controls are backed up with 8 shortcut keys that can be additionally programmed and a double wheel. The zooming functionality is controlled by both manual and virtual control wheels, enabling effortless control of every functionality.
The pen is more tapered near the end, with integrated tilt sensitivity and a whooping 8192 pressure levels. It is larger than the pen included in previous versions and without a battery.
Connected to a pc/laptop base, the possibilities of its usage extends even further! From Blender to Photoshop, the compatibility of this device makes it great for artists and designers alike.
With an elegant display of black and silver, the aesthetics complement the powerful specs of the device in question. A multifunctional gadget for every designer!
- Highly functional pen
- Stunning display
- Lifetime technical support
- Extremely slim: 9mm
- Must be connected to a laptop/pc to function
Huion HS611 Graphics Drawing Tablet
Best Budget Choice
Most of the high-end drawing tablets or monitors that are seen on the market almost exclusively want you to break the bank before getting the opportunity to experience the potential a powerful drawing device can offer. Huion HS611 is a product that gives you power and potential within an affordable price tag.
This device was designed to be, first and foremost, a practical solution for the mobile artist. Weighing just 550 grams and being 7.3mm thick, it can be carried with you wherever you go.
The working area of the tablet is 6.35×10.17 inch which gives ample space for the most detailed of projects. The PW500 provides a battery-free experience of using a sensitive stylus with excellent tilt and pressure support to bring your drawings to life like never before!
It’s 10 press keys are entirely programmable and constructed in a way that will enable comfortable use no matter the circumstances! The implementation of anti-slip rubber allows for comfortable access to controls without sacrificing a comfortable grip on the device itself.
Alongside the included 8 multimedia keys, controlling your device and background settings is a seamless task that will complement a pleasant workflow.
Compatibility with both android and pc os systems provides for an experience that will cover all of the basic and advanced needs for every graphic designer.
- Excellent control
- Extremely well rounded overall
- Needs to be connected to work
Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet
The Best for Beginners
New to the world of graphic design and digital drawing? Unsure what programs you need to get started? Look no further as Wacom One comes with all the tools necessary to realize your ideas.
The 13.3” display is a beast to behold – highlighting the tiniest of details due to an innovative design that allows for surface friction on the screen. With a battery-free pen, made to fill the highest quality standards, your work will realize itself on the device in a high-resolution manner without any additional editing required.
The main package, however, lies within the bundle of software that comes with the device. When you register your Wacom One you are granted immediate access to industry-standard creation software such as Adobe Fresco, Studio Paint Pro, and Adobe Photoshop.
With the numerous capabilities that this device brings to life, it also is a popular choice for teachers and course creators to demonstrate absolutely any concept, idea, or any other conceivable piece of information on the tablet’s screen, bringing it to vivid effect.
Connecting it with an external device (mac/android/pc) further expands on its capabilities, offering you a truly unique experience within an affordable package that covers the best software within its bundle.
- Excellently built
- Contains fantastic software licenses
- Used by cross-industry professionals
- Software licenses are time-limited
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Best Drawing Tablet
- 11 Best Drawing Tablets