10 Best Tablets for Graphic Design, Drawing & Art 2021

10 Best Tablets for Graphic Design, Drawing & Art 2021

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Many artists, illustrators, and graphic designers have started to turn towards using tablets to complete their art projects. A good tablet offers an artist a light, handy, responsive, and electronic option to get projects done, even when they aren’t at the office.

Although everyone will have different requirements, these are the top drawing tablets for designers in 2021.

What is the best tablet for graphic design to buy in 2021?

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Check out our post below to see the best tablets for graphic design, drawing & art in 2021.

Best Drawing Tablets for Graphic Designers in 2021

Prices are approximate only. Live rates shown below. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Once you’ve got your tablet, make sure you grab a tablet keyboard too.

 

Top 5 Best Graphic Design Tablets in 2021 Compared

Thumbnail
Best Large Tablet
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Best Overall Value
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
Best For Beginners
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
Best Budget Friendly
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
Best For iOS
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray (4th Generation)
Title
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray (4th Generation)
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
2,111 Reviews
835 Reviews
2,282 Reviews
4,658 Reviews
10,602 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
19.5 x 11.5in
13.6 x 7.6in
6.2 x 3.8in
10 x 6.25in
10.32 x 7.74in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
1,920 x 1,080
-
n/a
2,732 x 2,048
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
8,192 levels
8,192 levels
8,192 levels
Not specified (requires optional Apple Pencil)
Connections
HDMI, USB 2.0
HDMI, USB 2.0
USB, Bluetooth
Micro USB (USB-C adapter included)
Lightning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
OS
-
Windows or macOS
Windows or macOS
Windows, macOS or Android
iPadOS 13.4
Price
$1,199.95
$901.57
$249.95
$49.99
$953.42
Best Large Tablet
Thumbnail
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Title
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
2,111 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
19.5 x 11.5in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
HDMI, USB 2.0
OS
-
Price
$1,199.95
Buy Now
Best Overall Value
Thumbnail
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
Title
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
835 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
13.6 x 7.6in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
HDMI, USB 2.0
OS
Windows or macOS
Price
$901.57
Buy Now
Best For Beginners
Thumbnail
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
Title
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
2,282 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
6.2 x 3.8in
Resolution
-
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
USB, Bluetooth
OS
Windows or macOS
Price
$249.95
Buy Now
Best Budget Friendly
Thumbnail
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
Title
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
4,658 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
10 x 6.25in
Resolution
n/a
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
Micro USB (USB-C adapter included)
OS
Windows, macOS or Android
Price
$49.99
Buy Now
Best For iOS
Thumbnail
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray (4th Generation)
Title
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray (4th Generation)
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
10,602 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
10.32 x 7.74in
Resolution
2,732 x 2,048
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
Not specified (requires optional Apple Pencil)
Connections
Lightning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
OS
iPadOS 13.4
Price
$953.42
Buy Now

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10 Best Graphics Drawing Tablets with Screen

For those that prefer a standalone drawing tablet to work directly on a screen or monitor, these are your top drawing tablet choices:

  1. Wacom Cintiq 16 $649 – Best overall value tablet (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Wacom Cintiq 22 $1182 – Best large tablet
  3. XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display $299 – Best budget tablet
  4. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020) $949 – Best Tablet for iOS
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 $550 – Best Tablet for Android
  6. Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5 inches) $1364
  7. Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 $2299
  8. Huion Kamvas Pro 24 $899
  9. Wacom One (2020) $399
Thumbnail
Best Large Tablet
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Best Overall Value
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
Best Screen Size
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
Most Affordable
Wacom DTC133W0A One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen, 13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and...
Best For Android
Samsung Electronics SM-T830NZKAXAR Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, 10.5", Black
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
Title
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
Wacom DTC133W0A One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen, 13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and...
Samsung Electronics SM-T830NZKAXAR Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, 10.5", Black
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
2,111 Reviews
835 Reviews
1,166 Reviews
1,647 Reviews
1,304 Reviews
4,658 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
19.5 x 11.5in
13.6 x 7.6in
13.54 x 7.62in
11.6 x 6.5in
7.65 x 5.04in
10 x 6.25in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
1,920 x 1,080
1,920 x 1,080
1,920 x 1,080
2,560 x 1,600
n/a
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
8,192 levels
8,192 levels
4,096 levels
4,096 levels
8,192 levels
Connections
HDMI, USB 2.0
HDMI, USB 2.0
USB-C
USB-C, HDMI
USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Micro USB (USB-C adapter included)
Price
$1,199.95
$901.57
$239.99
$399.95
$349.99
$49.99
Best Large Tablet
Thumbnail
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Title
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
2,111 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
19.5 x 11.5in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
HDMI, USB 2.0
Price
$1,199.95
Buy Now
Best Overall Value
Thumbnail
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
Title
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display for On Screen Sketching, Illustrating and Drawing with 1920 x...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
Reviews
835 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
13.6 x 7.6in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
HDMI, USB 2.0
Price
$901.57
Buy Now
Best Screen Size
Thumbnail
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
Title
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
1,166 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
13.54 x 7.62in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
USB-C
Price
$239.99
Buy Now
Most Affordable
Thumbnail
Wacom DTC133W0A One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen, 13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and...
Title
Wacom DTC133W0A One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen, 13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
1,647 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
11.6 x 6.5in
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
4,096 levels
Connections
USB-C, HDMI
Price
$399.95
Buy Now
Best For Android
Thumbnail
Samsung Electronics SM-T830NZKAXAR Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, 10.5", Black
Title
Samsung Electronics SM-T830NZKAXAR Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, 10.5", Black
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
1,304 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
7.65 x 5.04in
Resolution
2,560 x 1,600
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
4,096 levels
Connections
USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Price
$349.99
Buy Now
Thumbnail
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
Title
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
4,658 Reviews
Active Drawing Area
10 x 6.25in
Resolution
n/a
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
Micro USB (USB-C adapter included)
Price
$49.99
Buy Now

More information on each tablet is provided below.

 

Top 6 Best Standalone Graphics Drawing Tablets with No Screen (Flat)

Here are the best tablets without a screen or monitor:

  1. Wacom Intuos Pro (Medium) $289 (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Wacom Intuos Pro (Small) -$232
  3. Huion H430P $29
  4. Wacom Intuos Pro (Large) $399
  5. Huion H610 Pro V2 $49
  6. XP-Pen Deco 03 $99
Thumbnail
Best Overall
Wacom PTH660 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model, Black
Best Mid-Range
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
Best Budget-Friendly
HUION Inspiroy H430P OSU Graphic Tablets Student Drawing Tablet with Glove and 4 Express Keys,...
Best Slim Design
XP-Pen Deco 03 Wireless 2.4G Digital Graphics Drawing Tablet Drawing Pen Tablet with Battery-Free...
Title
Wacom PTH660 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model, Black
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
HUION Inspiroy H430P OSU Graphic Tablets Student Drawing Tablet with Glove and 4 Express Keys,...
XP-Pen Deco 03 Wireless 2.4G Digital Graphics Drawing Tablet Drawing Pen Tablet with Battery-Free...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
2,282 Reviews
2,282 Reviews
345 Reviews
920 Reviews
Prime Status
Active Drawing Area
8.7 x 5.8in
6.2 x 3.8in
4.8 x 3in
10 x 5.62in
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
8,192 levels
4,096 levels
8,192 levels
Connections
USB, Bluetooth
USB, Bluetooth
USB
USB-C, wireless (with USB dongle)
OS
Windows or macOS
Windows or macOS
Windows or macOS
Windows or macOS
Price
$299.99
$249.95
$33.99
$99.99
Best Overall
Thumbnail
Wacom PTH660 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model, Black
Title
Wacom PTH660 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model, Black
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
2,282 Reviews
Prime Status
Active Drawing Area
8.7 x 5.8in
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
USB, Bluetooth
OS
Windows or macOS
Price
$299.99
Buy Now
Best Mid-Range
Thumbnail
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
Title
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
2,282 Reviews
Prime Status
Active Drawing Area
6.2 x 3.8in
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
USB, Bluetooth
OS
Windows or macOS
Price
$249.95
Buy Now
Best Budget-Friendly
Thumbnail
HUION Inspiroy H430P OSU Graphic Tablets Student Drawing Tablet with Glove and 4 Express Keys,...
Title
HUION Inspiroy H430P OSU Graphic Tablets Student Drawing Tablet with Glove and 4 Express Keys,...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
345 Reviews
Prime Status
Active Drawing Area
4.8 x 3in
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
4,096 levels
Connections
USB
OS
Windows or macOS
Price
$33.99
Buy Now
Best Slim Design
Thumbnail
XP-Pen Deco 03 Wireless 2.4G Digital Graphics Drawing Tablet Drawing Pen Tablet with Battery-Free...
Title
XP-Pen Deco 03 Wireless 2.4G Digital Graphics Drawing Tablet Drawing Pen Tablet with Battery-Free...
Prime Status
Star Rating
Reviews
920 Reviews
Prime Status
Active Drawing Area
10 x 5.62in
Pen Pressure Sensitivity
8,192 levels
Connections
USB-C, wireless (with USB dongle)
OS
Windows or macOS
Price
$99.99
Buy Now

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Best Graphic Design Tablets List for 2021

 

Wacom Cintiq 16 (Editor’s Choice with Screen)

Wacom Cintiq 16
Wacom Cintiq 16. Image credit: Wacom / Amazon

The best value tablet with screen for designers

Active drawing area: 16.6 x 11.2in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: Micro USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows or macOS

The Cintiq 16 from Wacom is an incredible entry-level tablet that is more attractively priced than other similar tablets. Being entry-level may invite some designers to dismiss it, the Cintiq 16 has a trick up its sleeve – the Wacom Pro Pen 2. Topping out at 8,192 levels of sensitivity, the pen beats out many tablets that are similarly priced. The gorgeous display accentuates the quality that Wacom brings to the tablet marketplace. The Cintiq 16 from Wacom is a perfect example that a high-quality tablet doesn’t need to cost a small fortune. For any designer just beginning their career, this is a great tablet to start with.

Pros Cons
➕ Nice large screen ➖ No multi-touch support
➕ Easy to set up ➖ Not 4K
➕ Wacom’s best pen ever (no charging needed)

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
2,111 Reviews
Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
  • A more affordable pen Display with Wacom Pro Pen 2 technology, 8,192 pressure levels and tilt recognition; It's amazing precision and reduced Parallax provide the most natural drawing experience
  • Cintiq’s 15.6 inch 1920x1080 HD displays provide you with clarity to see every detail of your work; The scratch resistant, anti-glare surface prevents distracting reflections as you create
  • See your creations in vibrant color on the Cintiq’s HD display (16.7 million colors bit, 72 percentage NTSC/Cie1931 typical); Work as long as you'd like with the battery free pen that charges off...
  • Connect to your computer with the convenient 3 in 1 (HDMI) connection cable and get into the perfect position with foldable legs that let you adjust how you want to work; Brightness 250 CD/m2
  • Warning: Manufacturer's warranty is only valid when purchased from an authorized reseller or amazon.com

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Wacom Intuos Pro (Medium) (Editor’s Choice for No Screen)

Wacom Intuos Pro (Medium)
Wacom Intuos Pro (Medium). Image credit: Amazon

The best value drawing pad with no screen for designers

Active drawing area: 8.7 x 5.8in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows or macOS

While on the surface, there is a lot of commonality between what designers and illustrators do. However, graphic designers don’t always need the kind of room that an illustrator may need. This is what makes the Intuos Pro Medium from Wacom such a great piece of technology. By giving you all of the tools you need including eight shortcut keys and a Touch Ring which provide you with access to the tools and commands you use most often. This can certainly help your productivity and keep you from going back and forth between your tablet and keyboard. The Pro also supports multi-touch gestures from your fingertips, making it easy to pan and zoom any part of your work.

Pros Cons
➕ You will get a sketchbook feel ➖ Touchscreen and pen don’t work smoothly together
➕ Multiple ports for easy connectivity ➖ Limited shortcut keys
➕ Finger gesture support

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Wacom PTH660 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model, Black
2,282 Reviews
Wacom PTH660 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model, Black
  • Wacom’s trusted professional Pro Pen 2 technology in a precision graphics tablet, optimized for hours of image editing, illustration or design work
  • Slim tablet design in our most popular size (13.2” x 8.5”) with an active area of (8.7” x 5.8”) for anyone with a serious creative passion.No parallax
  • The Pro Pen 2 features 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt-response and virtually lag-free tracking for ultimate precision and control – and because it’s battery free it never needs...
  • Speed your workflow with the multi-touch surface, programmable express keys, radial menus and pen side-switches; Customize your experience with pro pen slim or pro pen 3D (sold separately)
  • System requirements: USB port, Windows 7 or later (64bit), Mac OS 10.12 or later, Bluetooth Classic for included wireless connection to PC or Mac

 

Wacom Cintiq 22

Wacom Cintiq 22
Wacom Cintiq 22. Image credit: Amazon

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The best large drawing tablet

Active drawing area: 19.5 x 11.5in | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0

With its combination of a huge drawing area, a highly sensitive stylus, and a comfortable drawing experience, the Cintiq 22 from Wacom is the best option on the market today. Bundled with the Pen Pro 2, the stylus has a pressure sensitivity of 8,192 levels plus the screen comes with an anti-glare surface that will provide anyone with a level of drag when drawing that any artist will be satisfied with. While not exactly budget-friendly, the Cintiq 22 is a tablet that provides a level of quality that is simply unmatched.

Pros Cons
➕ Big drawing area that offers a wide range of angles ➖ Hefty weight 
➕ Incredible pressure sensitivity ➖ Anti-glare film slightly dulls the colors
➕ Quick and easy setup ➖ No pen stand
➕ Has an anti-glare film

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
2,111 Reviews
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
  • A more affordable pen Display with Wacom Pro Pen 2 technology, 8, 192 pressure levels, low activation force and tilt recognition. Its amazing precision and reduced Parallax provide the most natural...
  • Cintiq’s 21.5” 1920x1080 HD Display provides you with clarity to see every detail of your work. The scratch-resistant Anti-Glare surface prevents distracting reflections as you create
  • See your creations in vibrant color on the cinq's HD display (16.7 million colors, 72% NTSC/Cue 1931 typical). Work as long as you'd like with the battery free pen that charges off the screen while...
  • Connect to your computer with the convenient HDMI and USB cables and get into the perfect position with the included adjustable stand that lets you adjust how you want to work
  • What’s in the box: Wacom Cintiq 22 pen display, Wacom Pro Pen 2, detachable pen holder with 3 replacement nibs (standard) and nib removal tool, Adjustable Stand, HDMI & USB 2.0 cables, AC adaptor,...

 

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display
XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display. Image credit: XP-Pen / Amazon

A pen display with a great combination of size and price (Best budget tablet)


Active drawing area: 13.54 x 7.62in | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB-C | OS: Windows or macOS

With a reasonable size to its drawing area, the Artist 15.6 pen display from XP-Pen comes with a comfortable stylus with a quality level of pressure sensitivity, plus a good screen. While it may not have the attention to detail of some other tablets, it is still a pen display that can help take your digital creativity to new heights, all without breaking your budget. Without a doubt, the pen display from XP-Pen is one of the best budget-friendly options out there that doesn’t sacrifice quality for the price you’re paying.

Pros Cons
➕ Large and smooth drawing area ➖ Wobbly lines after prolonged drawing
➕ High resolution and slim build ➖ Customer service not good
➕ Comfortable pen for graphic design

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
1,166 Reviews
XP-Pen Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with...
  • [Warm Reminder: Artist15.6 drawing pen display must be used with a computer] Functions allow users to sketch, paint, design and edit directly from the tablet screen. Your work function will flow...
  • The latest Passive Pen design! Our Passive stylus technology provides 8192 levels of instant pen pressure sensitivity―Providing you with groundbreaking control and fluidity to expand your creative...
  • 15.6” 1920x1080 IPS 16:9 Display with 178° degree of visual angle delivers life-like colors, greater contrast, sharper, and vivid images..The Artist 15.6 driver can support 4k displays. Now you can...
  • Features USB Type-C input design, easy to plug in and out. Features come with a 11mm thin design, 3 in 1 cable, and a new brightness adjustment button. 6 fully customizable express keys create a...
  • We’ve adopted the newest F900 High Tech IC, to make lines flow smoother and perform better. Compatible with Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS version 10.10 or later, and major graphics software such as...

 

Wacom Intuos Pro (Small)

Wacom Intuos Pro (Small)
Wacom Intuos Pro (Small). Image credit: Amazon

The best tablet for beginners

Active drawing area: 6.2 x 3.8in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows or macOS

Don’t let the ‘Pro’ moniker on the Intuos Pro (Small) tablet from Wacom fool you. While you can get it for a great price, the tablet is also the perfect jumping-on point for beginners or novices looking to improve their skills. Durable, the Intuos Pro Small is light enough to take with you and built strong enough to handle a few knocks here and there. Like its bigger brothers, the tablet comes with all of the commands and functionality and the Pro Pen 2 with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity give you the tools needed to create amazing artwork wherever you go.

Pros Cons
➕ You will get a sketchbook feel ➖ Touchscreen and pen don’t work smoothly together
➕ Multiple ports for easy connectivity ➖ Limited shortcut keys
➕ Finger gesture support

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
2,282 Reviews
Wacom PTH460K0A Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model
  • Wacom trusted Professional Pro pen 2 technology in a precision graphics tablet, optimized for hours of image editing, illustration or design work
  • Slim tablet design with the most compact footprint in the Intuos Pro line (10.6 inch x 6.7 inch) and an active area of (6.3 inch x 3.9 inch) for anyone with a serious creative passion but lacking in...
  • Pro pen 2 features 8, 192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt response and virtually lag free tracking for ultimate precision and control; Latex free silicone rubber grip
  • Speed your workflow with the multi touch surface, programmable express keys, radial menus and pen side switches; Customize your experience with pro pen slim or pro pen 3D (sold separately)
  • System requirements: USB port, Windows 7 or later (64bit), Mac OS 10.12 or later, Bluetooth classic for included wireless connection to PC or Mac

 

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020)

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020)
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020). Image credit: Apple / Amazon

The best graphics tablet for iOS

Active drawing area: 10.32 x 7.74in | Resolution: 2,732 x 2,048 | Pen pressure sensitivity: Not specified (requires optional Apple Pencil) | Connections: Lightning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | OS: iPadOS 13.4

With its new A12Z Bionic chip and 8-core graphics engine, the iPad Pro from Apple performs better than ever. Using the Apple Pencil (sold separately, of course) is a dream and the iPad comes with some neat features to make it worth getting one. Features such as automatically charging the pencil when it’s attached magnetically at the top of the tablet make it stand out and the Pencil feels good in your hand and is incredibly accurate along with a perfect sensitivity curve. Of course, any high-end Apple product isn’t going to be cheap but if you can afford it, the iPad Pro is like no other tablet out there, it’s Apple’s best tablet after all.

Pros  Cons
➕ Trackpad support ➖ Processor not good
➕ Beautiful display ➖ Not suitable for heavy tasks
➕ Faster chipset & LiDAR scanner

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray (4th Generation)
10,602 Reviews
2020 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 256GB) - Space Gray (4th Generation)
  • 12.9-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
  • A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR Scanner
  • 7MP TrueDepth front camera
  • Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: Amazon

A great all-round Android tablet that includes a stylus

Active drawing area: 7.65 x 5.04in | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Connections: USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | OS: Android 8.0

Having to buy an accessory when you buy something can be super annoying. Thankfully, the Galaxy Tab S4 from Samsung includes a stylus in the box. It’s a small touch but extremely welcome. A smooth and satisfying drawing experience awaits anyone who tries the Tab S4 and although iOS has an advantage, the Android marketplace has a decent number of drawing apps that you can use. Samsung’s Dex software, designed to emulate a computer desktop means that you can use the Galaxy Tab for general work as well. While it is a tad expensive, the Galaxy Tab S4 is the best android tablet available and a great all-purpose option.

Pros Cons
➕ Beautiful and sharp display ➖ Dex touchscreen detection off
➕ Interface similar to desktop ➖ Keyboard accessories cost extra
➕ Fast processor for smooth performance

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Samsung Electronics SM-T830NZKAXAR Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, 10.5', Black
1,304 Reviews
Samsung Electronics SM-T830NZKAXAR Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, 10.5", Black
  • DeX: Transform your tablet into a PC
  • S Pen included. Imagination unlocked
  • With far field mics, your tablet listens and responds to your voice when your tablet is out of reach
  • Super AMOLED Display, Crisp, Clear, Captivating
  • Cinematic Dolby Atmos Surround for truly cinematic surround sound.Bluetooth v5.0 (LE up to 2 Megabits Per Second)

 

Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5 inches)

Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5 inches)
Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5 inches). Image credit: Microsoft / Amazon

The best Windows tablet with a price to match

Active drawing area: 11.25 x 7.5in | Resolution: 3000 x 2000 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels (with Surface Pen) | Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, USB-C | OS: Windows 10 Pro

An impressive hybrid, the Surface Book 3 from Microsoft feels like a premium product from the moment you open the box. With an exceptional display and impressive build quality, the Surface is already a great laptop and tablet machine. Add in the Surface Pen (for an additional cost) and the Surface turns into a great graphic design tablet with a fantastic stylus. Along with its 15-inch display, there isn’t much that any designer can find fault with on the Surface Book 3, except the price is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum.

Pros Cons
➕ Solid battery life ➖ No Thunderbolt 3 support
➕ Perfect for drawing ➖ Outdated design
➕ Detachable screen ➖ Limited colors for graphic design

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
New Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5' Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD...
74 Reviews
New Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD...
  • Most powerful Surface laptop yet, with quad-core powered, 10th Gen Intel Core processors. More than 50% faster than Surface Book 2 13.5”.
  • Power when you need it. Up to 15.5 hours battery life [1] — plus improved standby that extends battery life when you’re away.
  • The connections you need, including USB-A, USB-C, and full-size SD card slot.
  • High-resolution PixelSense touchscreen display. Also available in 15”.

 

Huion H430P

Huion H430P
Huion H430P. Image credit: Huion

The best budget-friendly tablet for designers

Active drawing area: 4.8 x 3in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Connections: USB | OS: Windows or macOS

Normally, if you saw a graphics tablet at such an affordable price, you might think there was something wrong with it and avoid it completely. In the case of the H430P from Huion, you’d be wrong. The incredibly affordable tablet gives you all of the basics that you need without having to make a huge investment. While the drawing area is small, the pen has enough sensitivity to provide a true sense of the benefits that a graphic design tablet can offer. While you will probably outgrow the tablet pretty quickly, it is a great tablet for beginners or even as a backup on the road.

Pros Cons
➕ Smooth movement and balanced sensitivity ➖ Driver issues with some software
➕ Detects pen pressure accurately ➖ Size might be small for some users
➕ Value for money

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Huion Inspiroy H430P OSU Graphic Drawing Tablet with Battery-Free Stylus 4 Press Keys, Compatible...
695 Reviews
Huion Inspiroy H430P OSU Graphic Drawing Tablet with Battery-Free Stylus 4 Press Keys, Compatible...
  • Huion H430P supports Mac (OS 10.11 and above), Windows 7 and above, Chromebook (running the latest ChromeOS 88 and above)and Android devices (OS 6.0 and above).It can easily connect to your PC, laptop...
  • Digital pen PW201 is battery-free, no need to be charged. 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity with 233pps report rate provides you responsive and natural drawing and handwriting experience with...
  • 135g in weight,6.3mm in thickness,H430P graphics tablet is portable and compact. 4.8x3 inch active area offers perfect creative space for limited desktop areas.4 express keys on the top can be...
  • Compared with computer mouse,it couldn't be easier to draw,edit photos,annotate document,take notes,write formulas and equations with a digital pen. H430P is ideal for collegers and teachers to...
  • H430P pen tablet is compatible with most mainstream drawing softwares like Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop,Illustrator,Huion Sketch, SAI and so on. It also work with most softwares for...

 

Wacom Intuos Pro (Large)

Wacom Intuos Pro (Large)
Wacom Intuos Pro (Large). Image credit: Wacom / Amazon

The best graphic design tablet for artists and illustrators

Active drawing area: 12.1 x 8.4in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows or macOS

Having enough room to create your artwork is generally number one on many designers’ wishlists and thankfully the large Intuos Pro from Wacom provides more than enough room and one of the best experiences drawing on a tablet anywhere. With over 8,000 levels of pressure sensitivity, the pen feels natural in your hand and the active area, while it’s not the largest, gives you more than enough room to draw comfortably. With a wide array of alternative pens and texture sheets from Wacom to support your brand new drawing surface and give you a distinctive feel for every project, you work on.

Pros Cons
➕ You will get a sketchbook feel ➖ Touchscreen and pen don’t work smoothly together
➕ Multiple ports for easy connectivity ➖ Limited shortcut keys
➕ Finger gesture support

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Large Tablet (PTH851) OLD MODEL
221 Reviews
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Large Tablet (PTH851) OLD MODEL
  • Quickly and professionally edit photos and create digital artwork using natural pen control
  • Wireless accessory kit included
  • 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity in both pen tip and eraser
  • Zoom, scroll, navigate your artwork with multi-touch surface and gestures
  • 8 customizable application specific Express Keys and multi-function touch ring with 4 customizable buttons

 

Huion H610 Pro V2

Huion H610 Pro V2
Huion H610 Pro V2. Image credit: Amazon

One of the best budget-friendly tablets you can get

Active drawing area: 10 x 6.25in | Resolution: n/a | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: Micro USB (USB-C adapter included) | OS: Windows, macOS or Android

A much more affordable tablet than most on our list, the H610 Pro V2 from Huion is anything but a piece of cheap, flimsy technology. Huion, a maker of great, quality products does so again with the Pro V2. It doesn’t have a screen, meaning that to see your work, you’ll need to hook it up to a monitor via USB to your PC, Mac, or Android device. While it can take some getting used to, it becomes much easier thanks to the wonderful drawing experience that the H610 gives you. A battery-free stylus and highly sensitive surface help make every movement rendered with incredible accuracy and along with the affordable price, make this one tablet to consider.

Pros Cons
➕ Great build quality ➖ Lag issues with some graphic software
➕ Pen pressure works amazingly ➖ Battery powered pen
➕ Lot of shortcut keys ➖ No eraser on pen

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
4,658 Reviews
Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function...
  • Chromebook Supported - Huion H610 Pro V2 is compatible with Mac (OS 10.12 and above), Windows 7 and above, Chromebook (running the latest ChromeOS 88 and above)and Android devices (OS 6.0 and...
  • Innovative Tilt Control System - Provide you better pressure detection and accurate cursor positioning with different angles, restore the true feeling of painting.
  • 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity - Outfitted with Huion's latest battery-free stylus PW100 of 10mm reading heights; 5080LPI in resolution and 233RPS in reading rates, which offers more accurate and...
  • Customizable Shortcut Keys - 8 Customized Press Keys + 16 Customized Soft Keys, all customizable and easy to set up; With the two pen buttons, you can set it to the function like eraser as you...
  • Online Teaching and Working - Meet all your needs for every subject with online tutoring softwars: Power Point, Wrod, OneNote, PDF... Let's work more efficiently. Use Huion for for online conference...

 

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13. Image credit: Wacom / Amazon

A great tablet complete with Windows inside

Active drawing area: 11.6 x 6.5in | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: 3 x USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | OS: Windows 10 | Requires: Windows or macOS (with optional Wacom Link)

The first thing that you’ll notice is the price of the MobileStudio Pro 13 from Wacom and with good reason. While it is quite an expensive tablet, the MobileStudio Pro 13 brings designers a choice of an Intel Core processor and solid-state drive capabilities, effectively giving you a complete Windows computer. The tablet also benefits from the technology Wacom brings to their Cintiq line, making the MobileStudio an absolute joy to use. You can even tether it to your PC or Mac with the optional Wacom Link.

Pros Cons
➕ Sleek and matty display glass ➖ Issues with battery life & slow charging
➕ Fully functional Windows PC ➖ Finicky touch ring sometimes
➕ The glass creates perfect surface tension

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13' Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
16 Reviews
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13" Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD: Second Generation
  • Our most powerful compact device yet with enhanced computing power fast data processing & quick data transfer powered by Intel i7-8559U processor 16GB system memory 512GB SSD & Thunderbolt 3...
  • See your graphics & artwork in great detail and clarity with high-resolution 13 3” WQHD (2560 x 1440) screen with up to 82% Adobe RGB coverage (CIE1931) and included 3-angle adjustable Wacom Stand
  • Enjoy fast-processing and performance in 2D illustration and photo-editing with graphics options including Intel Iris Plus Graphics card
  • Extraordinary precision with the Wacom Pro Pen 2 and 8 192 levels of pressure sensitivity tilt response & lag free tracking – drawing tablet computer includes customizable ExpressKeys & multi-touch...
  • Comes with 16GB system memory and 512 GD SSD With upgradable memory and hard drive this all-in-one studio provides a future-proof creative workspace

 

XP-Pen Deco 03

XP-Pen Deco 03
XP-Pen Deco 03. Image credit: XP-Pen

A large working area in an ultra-slim design

Active drawing area: 10 x 5.62in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB-C, wireless (with USB dongle) | OS: Windows or macOS

Blending style with functionality, the Deco 03 from XP-Pen follows the trend that the company sets with every tablet they create. The overall design with its matte black color and ultra-sleek build not only looks good on your workstation but is also a joy to use. This is in large part to the generous active area and pen that is very well-made and comfortable to use. A multi-functional dial and customizable express keys help your overall productivity so you can spend less time fiddling around and more time working. While for some, the overall thickness of 8 mm may be a cause of concern, those who don’t feel that way will find a great tablet at a good price.

Pros Cons
➕ Thin and lightweight ➖ Less smooth flow in some software
➕ Superb drawing experience ➖ Not suitable if you need pen tilt/rotation
➕ Solid build quality and essential features

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
XP-PEN DECO-03 Wireless Drawing Tablet, Graphic Tablet with 8192 Level Pen, Dial Knob, 6 Express...
466 Reviews
XP-PEN DECO-03 Wireless Drawing Tablet, Graphic Tablet with 8192 Level Pen, Dial Knob, 6 Express...
  • DECO 03 Unique designed drawing tablet with 10*5.62 large drawing area and full screen scratch free protective layer offers grand creation space for natural and smooth digital art creation without...
  • Creative multi-function Red Dial built-in for faster operation, utilized the functional dial by rotating for creative design, 6 programmable short cut keys increase the productivity and performance...
  • Wireless drawing tablet release you from limitation of connection cable, enjoy the freedom of movement for digital art creation, the built in rechargeable battery offers hours of working time and...
  • 8192 level pressure sensitivity pen stylus enables you to draw lines and sketch with brush tool with the pressure you apply to the pen in more precise and accurate way, newly design Pen holder with 8...
  • Ultra thin 8mm body with light weight design, makes it easy to hold and carry in hand, compatible with Windows 10/8/7 Mac OS operating system, suits for creative software such as Photoshop, SAI,...

 

Huion Kamvas Pro 24

Huion Kamvas Pro 24
Huion Kamvas Pro 24. Image credit: Huion / Amazon

The top of Huion’s Kamvas range of tablets

Active drawing area: 20.7 x 11.6in | Resolution: 2.5K 2560 x 1440 QHD | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: HDMI/DP/VGA

In 2020, Huion refreshed the tablets that they offer and the Kamvas Pro 24 is the best that the newest line from the manufacturer has to offer. While it’s more affordable than some higher-end tablets on this list, the specs aren’t lacking in any way with a 1440p QHD display that looks beautiful. A delightful drawing experience awaits any designer with a stylus included that touts pressure sensitivity of 8,192 levels. With a big drawing surface to work on, you have more than enough space for all of your designs and with the tablet covering 120% of the sRGB color gamut and its ability to display 16.7 million colors, the Kamvas Pro 24 ensures that your image is rendered with perfect accuracy.

Pros Cons
➕ Fantastic drawing experience ➖ No eraser
➕ High resolution for clarity ➖ Can’t customize the sensitivity
➕ Matte, anti-glare display ➖ Quality of the stand is not good

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

HUION Kamvas Pro 24 Graphic Drawing Monitor Pen Display Drawing Tablet Screen Full-Laminated Tilt...
19 Reviews
HUION Kamvas Pro 24 Graphic Drawing Monitor Pen Display Drawing Tablet Screen Full-Laminated Tilt...
  • [Note: It must be worked with the computer]As the largest drawing monitor of Huion, Kamvas Pro 24 equip the 23.8 inch screen that boasts 2.5K(2560X1440) QHD resolution enables every detail of your...
  • The etched anti-glare glass, which makes the screen can virtually eliminate reflections and reduce eye strain. The etched surface can also provide a matte finish and paper-like texture. Besides, it...
  • 120%sRGB color gamut combined with 16.7 million display colors enables your work to be presented in a more vivid way, which can be further enhanced with the help of 5080 LPI pen resolution. Such high...
  • Multiple video interfaces including VGA, HDMI and DP, which helps to support the connection to other devices, also maxmize your creativity and productivity. Adjustable desk stand ST100 allows you to...
  • Battery-free stylus support ±60° tilt function on tablet screen, you don't need to adjust the brush direction in the software again and again, drawing with smooth and delicate line presentation....

 

Wacom One (2020)

Wacom One (2020)
Wacom One (2020). Image credit: Amazon

A great tablet at an incredibly affordable price

Active drawing area: 11.6 x 6.5in | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Connections: USB-C, HDMI | OS: Windows, macOS or Android (some devices)

The newest tablet from Wacom, the One, is a separate release from the manufacturer’s previous releases under the same moniker. The 13-inch tablet has an affordable price tag, which may turn some who were considering the tablets from their competitor, XP-Pen to look elsewhere. A Full HD display comes with 72% NTSC color as well as an anti-glare treated film. The tablet itself comes with legs that help it stand up to work at a comfortable angle. Not too large, the tablet slips easily into your day bag and gives you a great experience without an astronomical cost.

Pros Cons
➕ All key features present for graphic design ➖ No eraser on pen
➕ Solid and simple design ➖ Low screen resolution
➕ Smooth drawing experience ➖ Low sensitivity

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Wacom DTC133W0A One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen, 13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and...
1,647 Reviews
Wacom DTC133W0A One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen, 13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and...
  • See your imagination come to life in full color on a 13.3” display with a natural surface friction that makes for intuitive drawing on screen. When working from home use the Wacom One as an extended...
  • Feels like a real pen – No need for batteries, the pen feels and looks right. Plus, this one pen uses software to act as multiple pens and brushes in a full range of colors, with superb accuracy
  • Digital freedom – Sketch or paint directly on screen, draw diagrams, annotate documents, enhance photos and videos, plus you can delete, edit and share your creations with ease
  • Includes creative software: Purchase and register your Wacom One and receive Bamboo Paper Pro, Clip Studio Paint Pro (3-month license), Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom (2-month license), and Adobe Fresco...
  • Software offerings only available for customers located in the Americas

 

How to choose the right tablet for graphic design

While tablets have been around on the marketplace for more than a decade, for professional graphic designers, many of the tablets that would be considered professional grade won’t be available at your local electronics store.

With all of the tablet choices available, today we’re going to narrow it down and take a look at the best graphics tablet for graphic designers. If you’re ready, we’d like to get started by letting you know what you should be on the lookout for when you start shopping so you can make sure that you’re choosing the tablet that’s right for you.

how to choose a graphics tablet

Graphics tablets vs Pen displays vs Tablet computers

For many artists, the choice of tablet typically resulted in either a graphics tablet or pen display. With the advancements in tablets like the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, they have provided artists another avenue to create amazing work. Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Graphics Tablet

A graphics tablet features a flat, plain surface that you use a stylus to draw on, with the image being displayed on your computer monitor. While these remain the best budget-friendly option, their downside is that they can give a user a feeling of disconnection between the tablet and the monitor although many will become accustomed to this quite easily.

Pen Display

A pen display is a flat-screen monitor that has a pressure-sensitive surface you draw on using a stylus. Unlike graphics tablets, users don’t experience the disconnect that can happen. They are also better at portability and do cost relatively more. There do tend to be a lot more cables between the display and monitor than with a graphics tablet, and for some, a pen display doesn’t provide the same feeling that a graphics tablet does.

Tablet Computers

A tablet computer such as the Apple iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab does things that the other two options don’t. With a tablet computer, you don’t need to connect to an external monitor or use another computer. Simply download the art app you want and start creating. While the price can range from affordable to super expensive, they are portable and a great combination of the features of both other options.

What are you using your tablet for?

Like any other purchase, buying a graphics tablet can be quite an investment. Making sure that you know what you’re looking for before buying can help you narrow down your choices so you get exactly what you need. To help narrow down your choices, you should ask yourself questions such as the following:

  • Are you a student in college with a limited budget but still need a good quality tablet?
  • Are you a professional graphic designer looking to take the next step in your career and upgrade your tech?
  • Are you looking for a standalone option or maybe a tablet computer so you can save space without extra cables and equipment?

The answers to these questions will help you pick the right option that meets your needs and your budget.

Do graphic designers need a tablet?

Having a graphic tablet as a designer is an option but not a requirement. Tablets offer a more natural way for designers to draw and interact vs just using a mouse or a touchpad. They are particularly useful for illustrators.

What’s your budget look like?

No matter what you’re buying, at some point, it always comes down to what you’re able to spend. Graphics tablets can vary greatly in price from $20 up to $3000. This doesn’t mean that if you can’t afford to spend $3000 on a graphics tablet, then all you’ll be able to get is bargain-basement products. There are quite a few tablets that are of excellent quality for less than $100.

If you do spend less, you will have to compromise on the active area the tablet has. Generally, the more expensive a tablet is, the larger area it comes with.

Does it work with your OS/software?

While you could find the perfect tablet that checks off all of your boxes from features to price and everything in between, if it only runs on macOS and you own a Windows PC, there’s nothing that will get them to work together.

While the majority will work with both, some will only work with one or the other. Compatibility with the software you use is important to check as well. Again, most of the major design software names such as Photoshop, Corel, and others will be supported but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

Do you have enough real estate?

No, we’re not talking about the land in your backyard. When it comes to tablets, there will generally be two important measurements:

  • The size of the overall tablet
  • The size of the active area, i.e. the area you’ll be drawing on

Considering both when choosing a tablet is important. There are small, portable tablets that come with a large amount of drawing surface and the larger the drawing area the graphics tablet comes with, the more comfortable you will be using it.

Apple Pencil

EMR Styluses

EMR styluses use low energy levels that are generated by the pen’s circuits which react with the active area on the tablet. They tend to be thinner than battery-operated styluses and have a thicker point. On the other hand, a battery-operated stylus is designed with a finer point and made to be used for pen-to-tablet drawing.

On-screen Monitor or Flat Models

When you’re looking to buy a tablet to use for your projects, you’re going to run into one of two basic tablet designs. Flat and on-screen monitor models. Now, obviously there can be a price difference between the two of them, but which one is better for you generally comes down to personal preference. The LPI (lines per inch) for an on-screen tablet will generally be the same as the LPI for a flat model tablet.

For some though, using a flat model can take some getting used to. Drawing on a tablet while looking at your monitor or laptop screen can be discombobulating at first, while those who prefer drawing on an on-screen tablet are comfortable drawing right on the screen as they do not have any other option.

Pressure Sensitivity

A drawing tablet typically isn’t something that someone would buy unless they need it for a specific purpose such as drawing, illustrating, or graphic design work. The one that is ultimately chosen has many things considered, but one of the most important is the table sensitivity. Everyone has a different drawing or illustration style. Depending on yours, you may want to choose a tablet with an ultra-sensitive and responsive surface.

Another major factor is the pressure sensitivity, although this is a hardware issue for the tablet. Pressure levels on tables start at about 300 levels of pressure and go up to around 3000. In this case, the higher the number, the more responsive the tablet will be for you. For illustrations and design work, the optimal pressure level to look for on a tablet is in the 1024 range.

Resolution

If you work in a field where you need to make very high-resolution images that also have very sharp graphics, picking a tablet with a high LPI would be best suited for you. Think of LPI the same way that people think of 4K resolution found on televisions and computer monitors. With 4K resolution, the image on the screen is as bright and sharp as it can be, and a higher LPI can provide the same effect on a tablet.

Scrollers

Moving around the screen on your tablet using the stylus to get around or even your finger could cause mistakes to be made on your project, meaning you’d have to spend more time fixing errors and not meeting your deadline. Thankfully, many tablets have a scroller built into the tablet already. This will help you move around the project quickly without unforeseen errors occurring.

Wireless or Wired

Like the tablet you choose, whether you decide to use a tablet that is wireless or wired is a personal choice. While a wired tablet keeps you at your desk and doesn’t give you the freedom of movement that a wireless tablet may, it will give you a direct connection to your workspace or monitor.

Wireless tablets have become a default choice for a lot of graphic designers. The freedom that it gives you to move around without accidentally pulling on the cord and possibly damaging the tablet is beneficial. However, with a wireless tablet, you’re reliant on having a good connection to your monitor or workspace, which may not be as secure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best graphic tablet for beginners?

Wacom Intuos S is a perfect graphic tablet for beginners. It is Wacom’s least expensive, entry-level tablet that will last for years.

  • What is the difference between a graphic tablet and a drawing tablet?

To use a graphic tablet, you’ll need to attach it to a screen to see your work. This isn’t necessary with a drawing tablet, as you can draw right on the display.

  • What tablet do most graphic designers use?

Wacom Intuos Pro (PTH660) is the one tablet graphic designers use the most. 

  • Is the iPad suitable for drawing?

Yes, the iPad is an excellent choice for any work, be it drawing, designing, or editing pictures.

 

The Best Drawing Tablet in 2021: Our Top Pick

Like any artist, having the right tools is key. The right tools can take a piece of art that might otherwise end up on your parent’s refrigerator and instead place it in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With the choices we’ve highlighted on our list of the best graphic design & drawing tablets, you can grab the best tools for your work and take your career to new heights!

  • What is the best drawing tablet in 2021? 

The Wacom Cintiq 22  is the best overall drawing tablet with its combination of a huge drawing area, a highly sensitive stylus, and a comfortable drawing experience.

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
2,111 Reviews
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels (DTK2260K0A)...
  • A more affordable pen Display with Wacom Pro Pen 2 technology, 8, 192 pressure levels, low activation force and tilt recognition. Its amazing precision and reduced Parallax provide the most natural...
  • Cintiq’s 21.5” 1920x1080 HD Display provides you with clarity to see every detail of your work. The scratch-resistant Anti-Glare surface prevents distracting reflections as you create
  • See your creations in vibrant color on the cinq's HD display (16.7 million colors, 72% NTSC/Cue 1931 typical). Work as long as you'd like with the battery free pen that charges off the screen while...
  • Connect to your computer with the convenient HDMI and USB cables and get into the perfect position with the included adjustable stand that lets you adjust how you want to work
  • What’s in the box: Wacom Cintiq 22 pen display, Wacom Pro Pen 2, detachable pen holder with 3 replacement nibs (standard) and nib removal tool, Adjustable Stand, HDMI & USB 2.0 cables, AC adaptor,...

 

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10 Best Tablets for Graphic Design

1 thought on “10 Best Tablets for Graphic Design, Drawing & Art 2021”

  1. Hello! This is an awesome post like always, the factors listed are indeed the important ones and all factors I took into consideration when picking a tablet for my work. And as now a really happy owner of a Star06 by XP-Pen(Wireless version), however, I realized that the image of it shown in the post actually seems to resemble more the Star03 Model. It is easy to spot because the description of the Star06 under the image states that it has a wheel and 6 hotkey buttons, while it is clear in that Screenshot that the tablet has 8 hotkeys and no wheel, exactly like the Star03 model. Other than that a great post like always! Keep up with the good work!

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