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Best drawing tablet for you: An introduction

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Best drawing tablet and graphics tablets of 2016

Choosing the best drawing tablet for your needs can be hard. Tablets for Artists helps you by offering detailed drawing tablet reviews and news. Do you aim to draw, paint, write, upload, and share your art? Or maybe you’re a parent encouraging your child to draw? There’s a tablet for every artist and budget. Even cheap drawing tablets will greatly improve your art workflow.

Below are our top picks for graphics tablets, pen-display tablets with screens, and the best tablet PC laptops or 2-in-1s. They are digital drawing pads, monitors, or computers you can draw on. Free free to ask questions.

FIND THE BEST DRAWING TABLET 2016: OUR TOP PICKS
Top 3 picks: pen display tablets
Sometimes called tablet monitors, these attach to a desktop or laptop and you draw on the tablet's pressure-sensitive screen. Some offer sophsticated features such as tilt and rotation sensitivity. They are less portable, but with their wide choice of sizes, they can feel akin to painting on canvas.
Wacom Cintiq 13HD Pen & Touch
wacom cintiq 13hd pen and touch
Cintiqs go up to 27". Top brand with the most features.
Check price

Amazon UK users

Amazon Canada users

Read our review
XP-Pen 22 tablet monitor
xppen22review
Cintiq 22HD alternative offers size and value.
Check price

Amazon UK users

Read our review
Yiynova MVP22U (V3)
Yiynova MVP22U.V3 pen digitizer
22" Cintiq alternative gets the thumbs-up from artists.
Check price

Amazon UK users


Read our related review of a Yiynova MSP19U
Top 3 picks: graphics tablets.

These attach to a computer and you draw on them. They do not have a screen. Often used by beginners to digital art, but also used by pros. For more info on Wacom graphics tablets, read this post.
Wacom Intuos Pro Medium
Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium
Premium-quality graphics tablet.
Check price

Amazon UK users


Amazon Canada users


Read our review
Huion 610 Pro
huion-h610-pro-review1
Popular, affordable Wacom Intuos alternative.
Check price

Amazon UK users


Amazon Canada users

Read our review
Wacom Intuos Art Pen & Touch
wacom intuos art pen and touch tablet Great for students & hobbyists, & pros.
Check price

Amazon UK users

Read our review
Top 3 picks: digital sketchbooks.

I came up with this term to describe art tablets that are great for art on the go. They may run Windows or mobile apps. For full Adobe programs, a tablet PC is best.
Apple iPad Pro

appleipadprofordrawing
12.9" or 9.7", tilt-sensitive, works with Apple Pencil
Check price

Amazon UK users
Read our review
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
galaxytabaspen10-1sm
Android. Great size & value. Wacom. New 10.1" HD!
Check price

Amazon UK users (9.7" only)

Amazon Canada users

Read our review

Toshiba dynaPad

toshiba-dynapad-review-pen
Peppy, Windows 10 Wacom-penabled tablet.
Check price (Microsoft)


Read our review
Top 3 picks: tablet PCs

Tablet PCs can be laptops with a nondetachable keyboard or with a detachable one. They run Windows and do everything a laptop does. They can be a portable, all-in-one device for general use plus Adobe programs.
Vaio Z Canvas

vaioz-canvas
Fast as mobile workstation; good for video editing.
Check price

Amazon UK users
Read our review
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 (1st gen.)
newthinkpadyoga14
Clamshell laptop. Windows 10. Good overall value.
Check price

Amazon UK (TP Yoga 460)

Read our review
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
microsoft surface pro 4 with surface pen
Popular Windows 2-in-1 for art, notetaking, general.
Check price
Amazon UK users

Amazon Canada users

Check price (Microsoft)

Read our review



Wacom dominates the tablet market with their Cintiq tablet monitors and Intuos graphics tablets. but they’re not the only game in town for computer drawing pads. They offer the most advanced features and excellent build quality, but some Wacom alternative tablets are not bad. In graphics tablets, the Intuos or Intuos Pro Medium size is a top pick, with the Huion H610 Pro also a good choice–we recommend the Huion if you have a bit of computer savvy.

In tablet monitors, the Wacom Cintiq is the most popular, but the XP-Pen 22 and Yiynova have also made the list, bringing a larger tablet with screen to those on a budget. Another alternative to Wacom that we like for those on an even tighter budget is the Ugee 1910b.

The main features that Wacom has is multitouch (the abiity to use your hands on the screen to do gestures and finger paint), tilt sensitivity, and in some cases rotation sensitivity, where you’re able to draw patters by rotating the pen barrel.

In portable tablets, we love the iPad Pro 12.9″ because of its size and the tilt-sensitive Apple Pencil. But the Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen is almost as good for art and more budget-friendly. We feel it’s the best Android tablet for drawing, and it now has an HD screen.

As well, a tablet PC might be right for you with its versatility as combination computer and drawing tablet. Several Lenovo ThinkPad Yogas have Wacom pens and are powerful and rugged computers with comfortable keyboards.

Take your time to browse the choices before making a decision, and feel free to ask questions.

Who uses tablets for art?

Illustrators, graphic designers, photographers, animators, crafters, architects, and other visual artists use a digital drawing tablet with stylus. There are specialized, art-centric drawing tablets, and general tablet computers with art capabilities. There is no one-size-fits-all digital art tablet. There’s only the best drawing tablet for you and your individual requirements.

OK, what’s the best tablet for the money?

If you want a portable tablet with a screen, I’m going to go with the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen 10.1″. You will have portability, the whole Google Play store, an SD card slot, and a Wacom tablet.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ART TABLET

best drawing tabletThe best drawing tablets are those that feel the most natural. What’s beneath the screen has a lot to do with this. Drawing tablets have an active digitizer under the screen. The digitizer picks up signals from the pen. Art-tablet pens are called active pens.

First of all, nearly all artists need pressure sensitivity. Pressure sensitivity makes it so that the harder you press down, the thicker your line gets, just as using a pencil on paper. In some programs, you can also control opacity and other features using pressure sensitivity.

You also want good pen accuracy. “Parallax” is the name for the little gap you will see between your pen and line.

And, you want no lag time between when you touch the pen to the tablet and when you see your line.

Palm rejection is important. It enables the computer to distinguish between touches your hand and from the pen, so that you don’t accidentally make a mark with your hand while drawing with the pen.

Multitouch is the ability to use gestures such as zoom, pan, and navigate by using two or more fingers. Art software is increasingly made to integrate with touch.  Almost all Wacom Intuos graphics tablets have multitouch. However, this feature is not a necessity. A lot of the Wacom alternatives do not have it.

TYPES OF TABLETS

Graphics tablets, popular with both beginners and pros, have all these features, but don’t have a screen; instead, you draw on the tablet and look at your computer screen. These are considered the best drawing tablets for beginners or those on a budget, or if you don’t need to draw on the screen. If you mainly want a cheap drawing tablet, this is the type for you. Our graphics tablet reviews take an in-depth look at individual models.

tablet with a screen, or pen-display tablet, is when you draw directly on the screen. Many people prefer this for its directness. A Wacom Cintiq tablet is one example. It’s a monitor your draw on that mirrors your computer display. Because you draw on it, it’s referred to as a tablet monitor. Most people prefer a tablet with screen.

Tablet PCs run Windows. Some of the best Windows tablet PCs are 2-in-1s, such as the Surface Pro 4, Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 14, or the art-centric Cintiq Companion 2. The best choice of drawing tablet for students might be a tablet PC 2-in-1, since it can be a general-use laptop as well.

Some portable mobile tablets, such as the iPad Pro, also provide art features such as pressure sensitivity.

Most tablets that attach to your computer will work equally well on a Mac or PC, so there’s not one best drawing tablet for Mac or PC.

Most tablet PCs offer full-size USB ports, with portable tablets having micro USB. See each review for details on ports.

 

best drawing tablet

Here’s a comparison chart of all the tablets we’ve reviewed so far.

Best Drawing Tablet Comparison Chart

TabletTypeFeaturesOur RatingOur Review
Ugee 1910B
ugee-1910b-review-th
Tablet monitor19" display, UC-Logic digitizer, 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, two pens included. Very economical tablet monitor.4 out of 5 stars
Read our review

Check price
Toshiba dynaPad
toshiba-dynapad-review-pen
Windows tablet, optional keyboardWindows 10, 12" screen, lightweight, Wacom ES pen with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity4.7 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price at Toshiba.com
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
samsungtabprosblack
Windows tablet 2-in-112" display, sAMOLED screen, 4GB RAM, pen not yet availableRead our review







Asus VivoTab Note 8
asus vivotab note 8 review
Windows tabletMultitouch, 8", Wacom pen with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity3.8 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Toshiba Encore 2 Write
toshiba-encore-write-review
Windows tabletWacom digitizer with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity; battery-operated pen included; 8" and 10" models4.4 out of 5 stars

Read our review

Dell Venue 8 Pro
dell venue 8 pro review
Windows tabletSynaptics digitizer; 256 levels of pressure sensitivity; battery-operated pen (Dell Active Stylus)3.8 out of 5 stars
See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Read our review

Microsoft Surface 3
microsoft surface 3 review
Tablet PC, optional keyboardMultitouch, Atom processor, 10.8" HD display lightweight (1.37 lbs.), N-trig pen, 256 levels of pressure sensitivity4.2 out of 5 stars
Read our review


See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Mytrix Complex 11t (Cube i7 Stylus)

cubei7review
Tablet PC, includes detachable keyboardWindows 10, 10.6" screen, Wacom EMR digitizer with 1,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, pen and keyboard included. Economical pick.4.0 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more info and reviews on Amazon

Microsoft Surface Pro 4
microsoft surface pro 4 with surface pen
Tablet PC, detachableMultitouch, 12.3" screen, N-trig digitizer, 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, pen included4.6 out of 5 stars
Read our review

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
surface-pro-3-review
Tablet PC, detachableMultitouch, 12" screen, N-trig digitizer, 256 levels of pressure sensitivity, pen included4.5 out of 5 stars
See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Read our review

Microsoft Surface Book
microsoft surface book review
Tablet PC, comes with detachable keyboard13.5" screen, N-trig digitizer, 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, pen included4.6 out of 5 stars

Read our review

See more reviews and info on Amazon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
hpspectre2
Tablet PC laptop
Multitouch, 14" screen, Wacom ES, 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, lightweight, high-end Ultrabook, pen included4.6 out of 5 starsRead our review
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga
lenovothinkpadyoga14review
Tablet PC laptopWacom ES digitizer; battery-operated pen sold separately; 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity4.4 out of 5 stars
Read our review
Lenovo ThinkPad 2 in 1 Yoga 2 in 1 Ultrabook
lenovo thinkpad yoga2 in 1 review
Tablet PC laptopWindows laptop running 8.1 Pro, Wacom digitizer with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity; stylus included; multitouch; 12.5"; 4 positions; HD display4.5 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Acer Aspire R13
acer-aspire-r13review
Tablet PC laptopSynaptics digitizer with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity, pen sold separately3.7 out of 5 stars
Read our review
HP Spectre x360
hpspectre15review
Tablet PC laptopSynaptics digitizer, 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, pen not included. 15.6" and 13.3" options4.0 out of 5 starsRead our review


Vaio Z Canvas

vaioz-canvas
Tablet PC 2-in-1N-trig digitizer, 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, pen included, 12.3" screen, powerful processor4.7 out of 5 stars

Read our review

See more reviews and info on Amazon
Cintiq13 HD
cintiq-13HD-review
Tablet monitor13.3" HD Display; 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity; tilt-recognition pen
4.7 out of 5 stars
Read our review

Yiynova MSP19U+
Tablet monitor19" display; 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity4.0 out of 5 stars

Read our review
XP-Pen 22" pen display tablet
xppen22review
Tablet monitorUC Logic digitizer, 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity4.3 out of 5 stars

Read our review



Apple iPad Pro

appleipadprofordrawing
iPad tablet, optional keyboardForce Touch digitizer, Bluetooth, iOS9, tilt sensitivity, unknown levels of pressure sensitivity, Apple Pencil sold separately4.5 out of 5 stars

Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Huion H610 Pro
drawing-tablet-for-pc
Graphics tabletActive Area of 10'' x 6.25''; 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity4.4 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Monoprice Graphics Tablet
monoprice tablet review
Graphics tablet2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity; attaches via USB 2.0; battery-operated pen included; affordable price4 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium Tablet
Graphics tabletWi-fi kit included; multitouch and gesture; 2,048 levels of
pressure sensitivity; tilt-recognition pen
4.7 out of 5 stars
Read our review

Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch (small)
intuos pen and touch small review
Graphics tabletMultitouch and gesture; 6 x 3.7" active area; 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity4.4 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Turcom TS-6610
turcom tablet review
Graphics tabletTurcom digitizer, 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity3.7 out of 5 starsRead our review

2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
samsunggalaxynotereview
Android tabletWacom digitizer with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity; bright, high-resolution display; S pen included4.4 out of 5 stars
Read our review

See more reviews, info, and price on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Tab with S Pen
galaxy tab a with s pen
Android tabletWacom digitizer with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity; S Pen included4.2 out of 5 starsRead our review

See more reviews and info on Amazon
Artisul D13
artisulD13review
Tablet monitorUC-Logic digitizer, EMR (non-Wacom) with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity; pen included4.5 out of 5 starsRead our review

 

Digital Drawing Tablet Brands

Wacom (pronounced Wah-kem) dominates the market. Their Intuos and Cintiq line are considered the top drawing tablets. The Intuos line is considered the best graphics tablets, and the Cintiq tablet line is considered to be the best tablet monitors. Wacom tablets offer the most advanced features and controls, including pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator.

There are some Wacom alternatives for those on a budget. Companies such as Huion, Yiynova, Monoprice, Bosto, Ugee, Artisul and more make both graphics tablets and tablets with screens that offer most of the same functions. These lack some of the features of Wacom, but can be good choices, and some made our top art tablet list.

Computer companies such as Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Vaio, Toshiba, Fujitsu and more also make Windows tablet PCs with digitizers for use with art. They can handle full desktop digital art software programs. The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga line has a lot of Wacom-penabled tablet PCs. These are best for artists who want the efficiency of an all-in-one.

This site contains many drawing tablet reviews, so use the menu or search bar on the right to find them by type or brand.

Digital art tablets at a glance:

best drawing tablet infographic

This might help you figure out the best art tablet for your needs.

If you would like to share this infographic, please use the embed code on this page.

Best graphics tablet: Wacom Intuos Pro

Graphics tablets are plastic tablets that attaches to a computer. Some people call them computer drawing pads. The keys on the side, and the buttons on the pen, can be customized to your favorite keyboard shortcuts. Graphic designers and photographers, as well as illustrators, often use graphics tablets. Our favorite is the Intuos Pro. It’s also the most popular among graphics professionals.  Click here for more info on choosing a Wacom graphics tablet.

tablet-with-stylus-intuos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch. See it on Amazon.
Read our Pro Pen & Touch review).

Here’s some more info on some of our top choices.

Powerful Tablet PC 2-in-1: Vaio Z Canvas

vaioz-canvas

We favor the Vaio Z Canvas in this category, with the Microsoft Surface Pro line close behind. These, as well as the Surface Book, are Windows tablet PC 2-in-1s with detachable keyboards. Microsoft released the 28″ Surface Studio all-in-one in Nov. 2016.

(Click for our Surface Pro 3 review)

(Click for our Surface Pro 4 review)

You may decide that a 2-in-1 or tablet PC is the best tablet for the money, since you can use it as a computer as well as an art studio.

Slate tablets have been getting rarer, but Wacom has just created a new one with its MobileStudio Pro. A slate tablet has no keyboard specifically made to connect with it–you can connect your choice of keyboard via USB or Bluetooth.

 

microsoft surface pro 4 with surface pen

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Tablet PC Convertibles: Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga line

A convertible tablet is a laptop where the screen swivels or bends back so you can lay it flat with the screen facing up. We like the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 14, 460, Carbon, and X1. The 460 is a good general-use tablet PC convertible that’s not too pricey. The 14 has a discrete graphics so is good if you’re a heavy graphics user. ThinkPad Yogas bend into different positions called modes.

(See our review of the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 14, a Wacom-penabled tablet PC.)

 

newthinkpadyoga14

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14

Wacom 2-in-1 PC: MobileStudio Pro

Some of the best drawing tablets are yet to come. The new Wacom MobileStudio Pro is a slate. While it’s a tablet PC, it’s sort of in an elite class by itself because it has the controls of the Cintiq. It has much higher specs than the Cintiq Companion 2. Both have Wacom controls, tilt and rotation sensitivity, traditional EMR, and can be used alone, or attached to a Mac or PC and used as a regular Cintiq.The Mobile Studio Pro has a whopping 8,192 levels of pressure.

Microsoft also has just issued a powerful 2-in-1 that’s 28.” As well, Wacom is releasing the Cintiq Pro. Click for coverage of new art tablets for 2017.

Wacom MobileStudio Pro

Wacom MobileStudio Pro. Source: Wacom

The Cintiq Companion 2 (see it on Amazon) is for serious artists on the go. It’s a standalone Windows computer that can run full programs such as Photoshop. It’s all you need. Some don’t like the fan noise, and the battery life is not so great, but drawing is smooth and silky.

best drawing tablets-Cintiq Companion 2

Cintiq Companion 2 with pen

 

cintiq companion

Cintiq Companion on its stand

Top Tablet Monitor: Wacom Cintiq HD Touch

The Cintiq is a combination of tablet and monitor.  This Cintiq has to attach to a computer (laptops are fine, as are operating systems Windows, Mac and Linux). These come in sizes from 13″ to 22″ to 27.” Touch is an optional feature.

best drawing tablet

Artist drawing on Wacom Cintiq 27HD

 

wacom-CINTIQ-22HD-TOUCH

Cintiq 22″ HD Touch used with a pinch/zoom gesture

Here’s a 22″, 18 lb.  Cintiq 22HD Touch, used by artists and animators. This Cintiq tablet has to be attached to a computer. It can be put on a stand or on the table, and uses both touch and pen input. Art programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator are increasingly offering functions that can be used with touch. We also like the XP-Pen 22. Click for review

 

best drawing tablet with screen - cintiq 13hd

Wacom CIntiq 13HD with pen

 

best drawing tablet

Artist drawing on Wacom Cintiq 13HD

 Click for our Wacom Cintiq 13HD review).

In this size, we also like the Artisul D13. Click for review

Portable and mobile drawing tablets

iPad Pro. The iPad Pro also uses only apps, but the Apple Pencil is an excellent stylus for drawing. It’s the best active pen (or pencil) I’ve tried, and many artists agree. Portable tablets are great travel companions–not only can you draw, write, type, and transmit, but they can serve as cameras, phones, and navigators.

Drawing on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil

Drawing on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, Sketchbook Pro app

Android drawing tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen

Android tablets. A tablet with stylus that only runs Android apps. One of our favorites in the affordable range is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 9.7 with S Pen, which has a Wacom digitizer. It’s affordable and versatile, and the Enhanced S Pen lets you use different angles. The Note is more powerful, but older.
An upgraded Galaxy Tab A with S Pen that’s 10″ and HD is now available. For general use and drawing combined, this may be the best tablet for the money.

samsung galaxy tab a s pen review

There are also Atom-powered tablets that run Windows, such as the Toshiba dynaPad or the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Atoms are processors that are not as powerful as processors such as the Intel i3, 15, and i7. But Atoms have improved greatly, and now can run serious art programs, though still not as fast or as well as full PCs.

For most professional artists, it is best to use a tablet that runs full Windows.

What about the regular iPad?

The non-Pro iPad runs a mobile Apple OS. can’t run full Photoshop, only apps, and it does not have pressure sensitivity. You can use a pressure-sensitive stylus with it, such as the Jot Touch . (Read our iPad stylus reviews.)

But overall, the regular iPad is not the best art tablet for the majority of users. It is certainly possible to do fantastic art on it, and there are many great art apps you can use with it. But you’d be working around limitations.

Vector and 3D art programs with tablets

You can use all these tablets with vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator, but only Wacom drivers will give you pressure and multitouch. You can also use any of them with 3D software such as Blendr.

Trends in drawing tablets

Trends right now include real-world elements such as ways to digitize using real pens and markers, stronger 3D program support, innovative input devices such as the Microsoft Surface Dial, and, though this has yet to hit consumer drawing tabets, increased sophistication in optics, such as scanning 3D objects from the screen and being able to manipulate them.

lenovo-yoga-book
The Lenovo Yoga Book is an eye-catching portable tablet with a built-in graphics tablet that changes to become a digital keyboard. The design is innovative, though the screen has no pressure sensitivity.

Best tablet for beginners

If you’re just getting your feet wet, it may be wise to try a graphics tablet, as it’s the least expensive of the options. The Wacom Intuos Draw is the simplest Wacom. It doesn’t have touch. It’s small, so good for kids and small drawings.

Any tablet is fine for beginners. The main challenge with tablets is learning the software, such as Photoshop. There is some learning curve to customizing the keyboard and pen shortcuts. But you don’t have to use those controls. It’s best to start with a simple drawing program such as ArtRage or Sketchbook Pro and work your way up to Photoshop. Photoshop Elements may be all you need. Learning the basics such as layers and brushes will get you on your way.

Types of digitizer

Best drawing tablets’ digitizers: Wacom EMR, Apple iPad Pro

The digitizer in a tablet refers to a layer under the screen or surface that reacts to the pen and maps its location on the tablet. Those with pressure sensitivity are called active digitizers. The main active digitizer systems are Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR), which is found in Cintiqs and older tablet PCs, and Wacom Intuos graphics tablets, and some Wacom alternatives. Wacom has its own patented EMR system.

Most artists consider EMR to be the best digitizer, as it’s the most sensitive, highest resolution, natural-feeling, fluid drawing experience. The drawbacks are that there can be jitter around the edges of the tablet, and there’s a bit of parallax, meaning a gap between the pen and tablet. The company has improved upon these flaws a lot in recent years. Apple’s iPad Pro is equally sensitive.

Outside of the Wacom-made tablets, currently, the Mytrix, which is a Chinese company, and the Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, have Wacom EMR. Samsung doesn’t make it that clear, but these are Wacom-penabled tablets. Newer tablet PCs mostly have Wacom AES.

Wacom EMR has a batteryless pen, meaning the pen is “passive,” because it’s drawing power from the tablet. (You will still hear these pens called “active pens,” a general term for pressure-sensitive pens whether they are technically active or passive).

 Wacom AES digitizer

The newer Wacom-penabled tablets have Wacom Active Electrostatic Solution, also called Wacom ES or Wacom AES. Some of these pens take a battery; others can be charged via a charging port; the pen and digitizer work together to complete the charge. These are quite sensitive and nearly as good as EMR. Here’s a diagram from Wacom:

wacom-aes-diagram

Wacom AES.   Source

“Latency” refers to the distance between when the pen touches the tablet and where the mark appears.

N-trig digitizer

Microsoft’s Surface line, which includes the Surface Pro 3 and 4, Surface Book, and Surface 3, and now the large, 28″ Surface Studio, all use N-trig, though the original Surface Pro and Surface 2 used Wacom EMR. The Vaio Z Canvas also uses N-trig.

N-trig DuoSense pens take a battery and are based on projected capacitive touch technology, and combine pen and multitouch. They don’t have the extra sensor layers Wacom tablets do, so there is less parallax.

With N-trig, you do not see the cursor, whereas with Wacom you do. When you draw, the mark is right below the pen, as with a real pen. Other N-trig tablets include the Vaio Z Canvas and Acer Aspire. Though we do not feel the N-trig has as fluid a drawing experience or the accuracy of Wacom, the design and features of some of the N-trig tablets make them some of the best tablet PCs.

Synaptics digitizer

Synaptics is a less popular type of digitizer in the a the art-tablet world, but it’s still out there. It uses ClearForce pen and touch controllers. One computer with Synaptics is the HP Spectre x360.

Force Touch digitizer

Apple’s iPad Pro uses the Force Touch digitizer. Apple doesn’t release info about levels of pressure sensitivity, but the Apple Pencil is very sensitive, and accurate as well. It also has tilt sensitivity. You don’t see the cursor with the iPad Pro.

Other digitizers

There are numerous other tablet makers that use digitizers such as UC Logic, Hanvon, Atmel, and more, and there’s the NVIDIA Shield that works in a different way, but Wacom’s EMR and AES, and Microsoft’s N-trig, dominate the art-tablet market.

Most Wacom alternative tablets use UC-Logic or something close to it. These tablets provide an excellent drawing experience. But they are less customizable than Wacom’s.

Which digitizer you choose to use is a personal choice based on preference. Wacom and Microsoft will soon be releasing a universal pen, so there will be fewer decisions to have to make.

Drawing with the active pen

The following are different aspects of digital drawing. The first two are elements of the drawing experience.

Pressure Curve

The pressure curve refers to how hard you press to get your lines to a certain thickness. It’s an adjustable setting in Wacom and other drivers. If the pressure curve is steep, small increases in pressure will produce a thicker line or deeper opacity. If the pressure curve is shallow, you will need more force to increase line width or opacity.

Initial Activation Force

This refers to the amount of pressure needed to make a mark. Wacom EMR requires the least pressure; even gently gliding the pen over the screen produces a mark. On N-trig, the IAF seems to be about the weight of the pen itself.

Drawing tablets with Tilt and Rotation Sensitivity

Certain pens allow you to hold them at different angles and get natural tilt sensitivity (angle detection). Wacom drawing tablets have this, and the iPad Pro. On Galaxy Tab A with S Pen and Galaxy Note tablets, Samsung’s Enhanced S pen has it to an extent. The Lenovo Yoga Book offers 100% tilt sensitivity. Tablet PCs don’t have the tilt feature even if they are Wacom-penabled.

A tablet PC won’t give you as many customizable features such as physical hotkey shortcut buttons, but you can use an on-screen Wacom Radial menu or an app if you want to program shortcuts.

As mentioned, only Wacom professional-level tablets offer rotation sensitivity, also known as barrel roll, which lets you create patterns, sort of like Spirograph, by rotating the pen. The bad news is  you have to use the optional Art Pen in order to do this.

Wacom not only supports pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator, but Adobe program features  increasingly work with touch. Wacom’s advanced features such as this add to its reputation as the leading art tablet company.

If you want to get pressure sensitivity on tablets without an active digitizer it can be done, usually via Bluetooth; some iPad styluses offer this and some work on Android as well. However, for drawing, you’re better off having a tablet with an active digitizer.

For info on what tablet uses what digitizer, please refer to the comparison chart.

What about Apple?

“But I love MACS!” Steve Jobs did not like tablets too much at first, though he later changed his mind and put out the iPad–but even then, he was anti-stylus, thinking hands were enough.

Now there are two models of iPad Pro, which requires a separate purchase of the Apple Pencil. The iPad Pro can be a professional digital drawing tablet. It’s definitely one of our top portable tablet picks.

The Axiotron Modbook Pro [Mac OS X] (see its Amazon page) is a MacBook Pro that runs the full Mac OS, but sadly it costs much more and does not do quite as much, as, say, the Microsoft Surface Pro. Apple does not make the Axiotron, but worked with Axiotron to make it. We do not feel the Modbook is the best drawing tablet choice. But If you’re dead-set on using Mac OS and having an all-in-one, then it’s the only choice, but it uses the same Wacom digitizer that other tablet PCs do.

Tablet PC, tablet monitor, or mobile tablet? How to decide

A familiar quandary for artists is trying to decide between a Cintiq and a Tablet PC or even a high-end Android tablet such as the 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note (read our Galaxy Note 10.1 review). That is a difficult choice. This New York Times article outlines the difference between a tablet running Windows and one with a mobile operating system. Mainly, a mobile operating system won’t be able to run desktop Adobe programs such as Photoshop.

If portability, even around the house is not extremely important to you, then the Cintiq (or Yiynova–see our review–also see our Huion review) is a more satisfying art experience. Cintiq pens and drivers do more.

But if you don’t want to deal with having to attach a tablet to your computer, then a Tablet PC with pressure sensitivity, such as a Surface Pro or Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga, is not a bad choice. A 2-in-1 gives you the option of a tablet or attached keyboard.

A portable Android tablet or iPad Pro is a great thing to have, too. The convenience of just picking it up and drawing, rather than waiting for boot up, can be motivating. Apple iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil arguably has the best active stylus. Mobile tablets let you use the large app stores associated with them.

Many feel that the best drawing tablet is one that’s just flat that you can detach from the keyboard, and they don’t feel they need Express Keys (customizable physical buttons). Others want a 2-in-1 with all the bells and whistles, such as the premium, detachable Cintiq Companion 2 or Vaio Z Canvas. For something really large, the Surface Studio is a big 2-in-1 with very high specs.

Since children are natural artists, we’re also reviewing tablets for kids.

WHY USE A DRAWING TABLET?

People first got a glimpse of tablets in sci-fi works in the 1960s. Apple sold the short-lived Apple Graphics Tablet, made by Summagraphics in 1979, with a price tag of $650.  It attached to the Apple II.

In the 1990s, the only drawing tablets available were Wacom graphics tablets and they cost hundreds of dollars. Digitizing was starting to catch on with the public in the form of scanners. In 2000, Microsoft introduced the first commercially sold tablet PC that allowed people to draw and write on-screen. No one was interested, save for a few curious artists who saw the potential.

In 2006 I got my first tablet PC, a Toshiba Satellite Portege, and I was hooked. I was able to make more money as an illustrator because I was so much faster. I’d either solely use the Portege, or I’d use traditional media and then scan and edit the image.

I was able to simply upload art to the company’s server or email it to them, whereas before I would send original art to be drum-scanned, a process too expensive for artists to do themselves. (For professional art, if you’re scanning, you should have a professional quality scanner, cheaper than a drum scanner but still pricey).

Traditional vs. digital art

Digital art is a very forgiving way of working. You can email or upload files; you can have them printed halfway around the world in the blink of an eye. Creating digital art doesn’t mean you have to stop using traditional media. Many artists combine the two. Some release limited-edition prints of digital art. I still advocate learning and continuing to use traditional materials as essential to being  well-rounded artist.

Ask yourself what type of artist you are. Do you work on a deadline? Is your art detailed? Would you prefer to not have to scan your artwork? Do you like to use traditional media, but change things around or add backgrounds? Working in layers, such as with Photoshop, provides great freedom. Clients pretty much all want the artist to deliver digital files.

In these mobile times, tablets can serve many purposes besides art. If you can draw on one, you can write on it too, and apps let you turn your handwriting to text. You can edit photos or even video, and use the stylus to play games such as OSU.

With all the choices, everyone from doodler to pro should be able to find the best drawing tablet for their needs and budget.

Other ways to use drawing tablets

You can use apps such as Astropad on a Mac, and Duet Display on a tablet PC, to turn your iPad Pro or iPad into a sort of Cintiq. Here is the Astropad site if you would like to learn more. Astropad only works with Apple devices, so you would need an iPad or iPad Pro and a Mac. It works quite well.

New tablets coming out

We have covered some here, but for a closer look at drawing tablets of late 2016 -2017, check out this post on the best drawing tablets of 2017.

Here’s an introductory video by Wacom about using the Intuos tablet.

We have created this site to help you find YOUR best drawing tablet for drawing, painting, designing, sketching, editing, and doodling. Please share, like, follow, and repin. We love to hear from you in the comments.

Tablets are a great way to make art that’s “pretty as a pixel.”

 

history source: Wikipedia

end of The best drawing tablet for you

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Tablets for Artists is all things ART TABLET, offering <b>detailed, comprehensive reviews, tablet news, and clear explanations of graphics tablets, tablet PCs, and tablet monitors</b> from an artist's viewpoint. For beginners to pros.
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187 thoughts on “Best drawing tablet for you: An introduction

  1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Christina S.

    Hi, I have no idea what I’m looking for honestly. I’m new to digital and don’t need anything professional as I’m just a college student and could probably be classified as a “doodler”. I do know I want to be able to draw directly on the tablet versus having to look at a separate screen and pen sensitivity is good, any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, it sounds like the Toshiba Encore 2 Write or the Samsung Galaxy Note might be the best drawing tablet choices for you. You could use them in your academic studies as well. The Asus VivoTab Note 8 has some good prices now and works well as a portable sketchbook.

      If you want something that’s more of a laptop (more expensive though), I’d go with the Surface Pro. The original Surface Pro one is good (though we haven’t reviewed it), also the 2 or 3, though I favor the 1 and 2 because they have Wacom digitizers). Any more questions just ask.

      Reply
    2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Michelle Webb

      Hi you more than likely have purchased a tablet by now, but if not….i suggest you look at the Yinova MVP its the top of their range…but far less expensive than Wacom Cintiq esp the same size. I have a Yinova & am working proffesionally as a graphic designer & paint proffesionally also using PhotoShop & Painter 2016 & i bought my Yinova second hand last year. Im on my computer & tablet about 10-14 hours a day & have had no issues. Its a 22inch tablet/screen thats attached via usb & vga-i use a converter lightening bolt to digital display port as my Alienware computer doesnt have vga, being a newer model. If you are lucky enough to find one second hand in good condition go for it, but even new the price is very good for this type/size tablet.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

        Thanks for your comment, we have reviewed the Yiynova MSP19U+ here. Glad to know you like the MVP22U.

        Reply
  2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Deanna

    Hello,

    I have been doing internet searches for hours, and am still undecided as to what I want. :\ For a graduation present, I received an HP Envy x360, but after finding out that because it has a capacitive screen there’s no hope for pressure sensitivity, I want to return it and get something new. I used to have an HP Touchsmart tm2, which was perfect because it was a fully functional laptop that came with a pressure sensitive stylus so I could put it into tablet mode and do digital art. What do you think is the closest to that? I’ve been looking at the Lenova Thinkpad Yoga, but I’ve never even really heard of Lenova before so I’m a bit worried.

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Deanna

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,

      Thanks for the question, and congrats on graduating. Glad you can return the tablet you got for one with pressure sensitivity.

      Lenovo is the third largest computer company and has an alliance with IBM. They are now one of the main makers of laptop tablet PCs, which are less common than they used to be. If there’s a Microsoft store near you, they generally sell the Yoga Thinkpad 2 in 1 and have it on display, as do other stores, so you could try one out.

      Here are some laptop tablet PC options besides the Yoga ThinkPad 1 in 1–I think you’d be fine with that, though.

      This is a different Yoga, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14, which is 14″. Here is our review.

      Here is the Toshiba Portege Z20t (detachable keyboard though) laptop.

      Here is the Lenovo Helix 2.

      There is also the Surface Pro (SP) line. The Surface Pro 1 and Surface Pro 2 have Wacom tech and the SP 3 has N-trig, there is also the less expensive Surface 3 if you don’t mind that it’s less powerful. You can attach a keyboard or use a Bluetooth keyboard to these. If you want a real laptop with a nondetachable keyboard, then choose one of the Lenovos or the Toshiba.

      Good luck! Feel free to ask more questions.

      Reply
  3. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Petrosman

    Hi,

    I’m a retired engineer / failed cartoonist. Well, not failed. Life got in the way decades ago. I’m trying to get back into it and the cost of materials and time and digital submissions make a digitizer or tablet seem like a good idea. One down side I’ve had using my iPad is that I’m left hand dominant and rest my hand on the pad (or the paper) while drawing. With paper I learned to work right to left to avoid smearing my work and inking the side of my hand. However, on the iPad it’s a problem because it picks up the motion of my hand.

    Is this likely to be a problem with say a Surface Pro 3 or the Wacom Cintiq?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, thanks for your question. That is great that you’re getting back into cartooning. You would not have that hand problem on a Surface Pro 3 or a Cintiq. You can touch the screen all you want with those. You could also continue to use the iPad by using an app that has built-in palm rejection (meaning the screen can distinguish between the stylus and your hand), such as Notability–the palm rejection in that appworks well, and you don’t need a special stylus, you can use your regular stylus or finger. Penultimate is another app that has palm rejection. The Paper by Fifty Three app now has it too, if you use it with the Pencil by 53 stylus, which is Bluetooth (linking to my review of the best iPad styluses for drawing, of which Pencil is one). You’d get both palm rejection and pressure sensitivity.

      If there’s an iPad app you really like to use that doesn’t have palm rejection you could try wearing a glove such as this one specially made for the iPad, or you can make your own such glove by cutting the fingers off a fairly thick glove. Good luck!

      Reply
  4. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Cj

    You might want to consider trying the new surface 3. It runs windows 8.1 and cost much less than the $1,000 pro version you keep referring to people

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Thanks, I have a review of the Surface 3 here, but concluded that the Surface Pros (I don’t think I voiced a preference for the SP3 over some other tablets) are better for professional artists because they are more powerful. However, it’s a good tablet. The Surface Pro 1 is a good deal. The Asus VivoTab 8 also runs Windows 8.1, it’s small, but it’s low cost.

      Reply
  5. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Naji

    This is great, but what about tablet cases/skins/folios? Whats a good case to protect the tablet of the artist on the go?

    Personally I own a Samsung Note 10.1 2014. It’s great, but I really want to get it a case for protection that keeps it quickly accessible on the go.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, this would be a good one, an Otterbox Defender, which is durable though adds weight, and here is a lighter one, the ProCase. You can put the tablet with or without a case into a neoprene sleeve and put the whole thing into a backpack. It really depends how rough the conditions are when you travel. You might want to read this post and other posts here about iPad cases, the same info pertains to cases for the Note and in some cases the same cos. make cases for both. We will be adding more reviews of accessories.

      Reply
  6. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet si

    Hey – I’m looking for a tablet pc to use photoshop on basically to draw on it – don’t need it for anything else – what should I get? I want a largeish screen and something that will run the version of photoshop I have (cs 2012 I think don’t wanna buy it again) obviously need pen sensativity

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,

      It sounds like you mean a Windows laptop with nondetachable keyboard. Some larger ones are the Sony Vaio 13A, 14A, and 15A, and Sony Vaio Duo 13, and Sony Vaio Tap 11 is 11.6″, all with N-trig digitizers, Sony Active Pen sold separately. There’s also the pricey 13″ Fujitsu Lifebook T902, the incredibly expensive Panasonic 20″ (!) ToughPad 4K.

      For something newer, there are the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 (just released, Wacom ES) and the ThinkPad Yoga 12 with a 12.5″ screen, traditional Wacom. There is also the 11.6″ Lenovo ThinkPad Helix with traditional Wacom.

      If you would consider one with a detachable keyboard, the Toshiba Portege Z20-B111 is 12.5″. Of course there are also the Surface Pro 1, 2, and 3 also but those are smaller, also detachable.

      For Photoshop you need 2GB just to run it, at least 8GB is best.

      There’s also the 11.6″ ThinkPad Helix 2 with traditional Wacom, also with a detachable keyboard.

      I’d probably get one of the ThinkPad Yogas if you want a larger screen plus nondetachable keyboard.

      Feel free to ask more questions.

      Reply
  7. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Hannah S.

    Hi, I’m looking at a tablet for my younger sister. She’s 14, but incredibly talented (I’m not biased, I swear). She dabbles in all different forms of art, but primarily digital. She’s used to touch screens without a stylus, but I really think having something pressurized could open a lot of different doors to her. But I don’t need something fancy that’s got all kinds of gadgets and gizmos, she’s fairly simple. It doesn’t need to be a computer, or even the latest update to something. Have any ideas?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      This is a very general question so I would need to know more about your budget. All the tablets with screens on this site would work. I suggest reading the article about best drawing tablets on the home page to familiarize yourself with the types of tablets. The simplest option is a graphics tablet that has no screen, which attaches to a computer, such as an Intuos or Huion. The very simplest one on this site is the Huion. If you can be more specific perhaps I could be of more help. A Surface 3 could be a good option for her if she wants a screen but there are quite a few options.

      Reply
  8. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Caitlin

    I’m looking to get back into art after 15 years of death by admin. I am looking to be a freelance artist while studying an art degree. My brother has the galaxy notebook 10.4 which he let me try out but I’m finding it really difficult to decide… I want to use photoshop again, will the notebook sustain this? My specifications are it needs to be as high spec as possible so it’s ready to print in larger format, screen size as big as possible and pressure stylus. Also like drawing straight onto tablet.

    So what are my best options? Taking this so seriously, I would be willing to spend a lot on the right product…

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, you will only be able to use the Photoshop app, not full Photoshop with a Galaxy Note or Galaxy Tab (there is no Note 10.4 but there is a Tab 10.4, so I am unsure which you mean). There is a Galaxy Tab 10.5 with S Pen that has pressure sensitivity. Your best bet for Photoshop would be a Windows tablet such as a Surface Pro 3, or using a Mac or Windows computer such as a Cintiq or Yiynova.

      Reply
  9. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Cindy

    Hi,
    Thanks for all this helpful info! I have a almost 14 year old who has been drawing manga & some more realistic figures with Copics. Has been paid to illustrate a book this summer. She’s been working to save $$ for a computer b/c she wants to try digital art & we need another family computer … too may people checking email, doing homework, looking up reference drawings now. She also thinks she might like animation & was assuming she’d need a computer with better graphics card for that. She doesn’t have Photoshop but may someday … right now we are trying to learn the PhotoStudio program on our Epson V600 scanner. I would love it if this new computer would serve her into college which she currently hopes will be an art school. Would the Surface Pro or Lenovos you write about cover all those bases – email/homework/art … full Photoshop someday & ideally animation?
    Thanks again for your help!!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Yes the Surface Pros or Lenovos would be good for that. You could use animation programs on those. The higher the specs the better. You can’t add RAM to the Surface Pros (or anyway, it is not made to be able to do that, though some people forcefully do so and I would not recommend that) so for your use, if you go with a Surface Pro you should get an 8 GB one with i7. That is for the 256, they are charging a lot more for the 512 GB one, but she can get the 256 one and keep files someplace else (such as online or an external drive) if she needs more storage.

      Reply
  10. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Tytania

    I am just getting into art, first starting as traditional and then digital, and I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I have two digital tablets in mind: The Huion 610Pro as a starter tablet and when I become more professional the auger 19″ drawing tablet. (They both seemed fairly well and fit my limited price range.). Would these be good choices in beginning digital art? And if possible could you tell me some good laptops that are good for digital art also, or would I even need a laptop with these drawing tablets?

    Thank you! God bless~

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, thanks for your question. I am not familiar with the Auger tablet, do you mean the Ugee? A 19″ tablet is large, that would be great to work on, and only comes in tablets that have a screen. Yes both are good choices. The Huion is affordable and does the job. Yes, you would need a separate computer for those tablets–either laptop or desktop.

      If you want an all-in-one, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga is good, or the 14″ model if you want larger. The Microsoft Surface 3 and Surface Pros all allow attaching a keyboard to make a quasi-laptop. The original is a good price now.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Tytania

        Yes, I meant that one. A Ugee 19″. My computer used auto correct and I was in a hurry to leave.

        Thanks so much for answering so soon. And thanks for the advice~

        Thanks for the advice!

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Tytania

          Oh, and another question. Would you perhaps know of a laptop (just a laptop) that would work well with these tablets and several art programs like paint sai, gimp?, and Photoshop. I’m not much of a gamer person, so a laptop that works well with all those and games is not much needed unless it has a lot of RAM or …memory storage?

          P.S. I don’t know a lot of these terms in correct context.

          I would prefer it to be cheap or within a moderate price range rather it being expensive.

          Could you please help me?

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            Hi, yes, the ones I mentioned would work and are in the moderate price range. There are other laptops, but many are no longer being made or are more expensive or are similar.

            This Samsung Series 7 Slate Windows tablet has been marked down a lot. Like the Surfaces, it’s not a true laptop, but you can snap on a keyboard (sold separately, pen also sold separately) or you can use a USB or Bluetooth keyboard. I got one a couple years ago and still use it quite a bit for drawing but not much for typing.

            If you want a true laptop, I would recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 2 in 1 that I mentioned before. It has Wacom tech and comes with the pen. The laptops with non-detaching keyboards, such as the Lenovo x230t, or Fujitsu T904 or the ThinkPad Yoga 2 in 1 are more expensive than many of the convertibles. The market has gone toward mobility and detaching the keyboard.

            This one is recent, the HP Spectre x360 laptop with an active stylus sold separately. As you can see in this video, it’s good but not as good as the more established art tablets. There are some other ones out that are similar to this one.

            There are not any true, unused laptop tablet PCs below this general price range.

            lol, don’t we love auto correct. Sure, anytime!

  11. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Richard Venneman

    I am looking for a tablet that I can use Photoshop CC, Lightroom, and Topaz filters. I would like the tablet to be in the 12″ range. I have looked at the companion and also the surface pro 3, and looking forward to the updated surface pro 4 and the slightly updated Companion .. I need it to work with and independently of my MacBook Pro.
    Do you have an opinion?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      Thanks for your question. Both those are good choices for your purposes. I’d say if you find it helpful to your workflow to use the buttons such as ExpressKeys and Rocker Ring that are on the Cintiq Companion 2, and/or you prefer the size and aspect ratio of the screen, then go with that. If you prefer something more portable and easier to hold in your lap, go for the Surface Pro 3. Good idea to see what the next iterations hold.

      Reply
  12. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Dmitry

    Hello!
    Thank you for interesting article!

    I have a question:
    If I’m not an artist, but would like to practice drawing, and have possibility to purchase used Lenovo x201 for around 200$ – should I buy it, or get some Wacom device for that money?
    Currently I have Genius G-Pen 450, and it’s not very accurate, as I think. Here’s a sample of what I was able to draw with it:http://i0.wp.com/dmitry-rublev.name/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/005-female3.png

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      The Lenovo x201 tablet has a Wacom digitizer, and it would be fine to practice drawing. I found the pen to come with it is not as accurate on it as using a different pen, I used this one (it does not fit into the computer’s pen slot), it’s a standard pen that will work with traditional Wacom penabled tablet PCs. In fact at first, I thought there was something wrong with the digitizer until I used a different pen. This video shows using a different pen on it. Looks like you were able to get accuracy on the Genius.

      Reply
  13. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet hari

    I’m looking for a replacement for my ageing HP Touchsmart tm2 which has traditional Wacom screen and has served me well so far for my digital artwork. I doubt whether I could go back to non-screen drawing tablets (i.e. the desk ones).

    I’m unable to find any reasonable priced ones which are around 11″ or more and which use wacom technology.

    Any suggestions? I live in India and USD -> INR is not very favourable right now, so lower priced is better.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, depends on your main use the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 or Acer R7, Dell XPS 13, older with optional keyboard, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 or (cheaper) the original Surface Pro.

      Reply
  14. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet lawli

    I started digital art in April, using my Kindle Fire HD (mostly since I realized it had pressure sensitivity.) I’m interested in getting a drawing tablet for around 100-250$, but I’m not sure what to pick~ (A lot of people have recommended the Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch as well as Wacom Bamboo, though.)

    Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      I recommend getting a medium-sized one. I agree with the people you spoke to about the Pen & Touch. The Wacom Intuos Art is the newer version (different package of art software and other stuff) of the Intuos Pen and Touch Medium. (What used to be called Bamboo is now called Intuos, Wacom changed the name a couple years ago.)

      Reply
  15. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet G

    Hi! Have always been cruising the net to look for blogs dedicated to the artists in the digital world. And I’ve found what I’m looking for here in your site. So first of all, thanks!

    I am planning to buy a Microsoft Surface Pro (can’t decide yet on 1,2 or 3) and would like to use this mainly on digital art (with full use of PS CS, Corell and other Art software) and with Microsoft Office software for work.

    Would like to ask what Wacom pen[s] are compatible with a Microsoft Surface Pro (1,2,or 3) aside from the N-Trig stylus that comes with it? Would the difference in pen pressure sensitivity (256, 1024 and 2048) be critical in looking for the best pen to accompany a Microsoft Pro (1,2 or 3)? And what pen would you recommend in the Wacom Stylus line? From what i understand the difference in pressure sensitivity affects the thickness and flow of lines on the tablet’s surface as you work through it lightly or with more pressure (creating thicker lines).

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, thanks for landing here!
      The Surface Pro 1 and 2 have Wacom digitizers and use the Pro Pen, which offers 1,024 levels (here is more info on Microsoft’s site) or any Wacom-penabled pen, such as this one or the Wacom Feel Carbon or less expensive Wacom Bamboo Feel. You should download the Wacom Feel driver for best results if you get an SP1 or 2 (regardless of whether you get one of the Feel pens). You will get the same levels of sensitivity regardless of which of these pens you use, but you have to use the pens that are compatible with the computer. You can’t use the SP3 or SP4 pen on the SP1 or SP2.

      The Surface Pro 3 is N-trig and takes the Surface pen (that Microsoft page goes into it a bit). The SP3 has 256 levels. The soon-to-be released Surface Pro 4 will have 1,024. The new Surface Pro 4 pen is backward-compatible with the SP3, but, according to Microsoft, you will only get the 1,024 levels on the SP4; if you use the pen on the SP3 you will still get 256 levels. The SP4 pen has the advantage of coming with a kit of 4 nibs that simulate different artist pencil leads and a low-friction, fine-point pen.

      If you use a Cintiq or Cintiq Companion, there are several pen and/or nib options depending which device, but this is not so much the case with the Surface Pros and other tablet PCs; they are more limited, with the Surface Pro 4 pen’s additional nibs being a pleasant advance. Cintiqs also offer tilt and rotation sensitivity and added pressure sensitivity (2,048 in the newer ones).

      Yes, pressure sensitivity means that when you press lightly, you will get a lighter (as in less dark) line and you can set whether or not you also want that to affect the thickness and in some programs, you can set a specific range of thicknesses and opacities.

      The amount of levels do not matter that much, as most people will only use a fraction of them, but many artists prefer Wacom for its more fluid and natural feeling which is not altogether because of the levels, but other factors as well. N-trig offers some advantages, too, and some people prefer it.

      So basically, it’s best to try the pens that come with the computer, then if you get a 1 or 2 you might at some point decide to try one of the Feel pens as well, or if you get an SP3 you might want to get an SP4 pen after a while. (The SP3 pens have a reputation for wearing down quickly and don’t offer different nibs). If you get an SP4 then there’s just that pen, but it has the nib kit.

      Reply
  16. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet LaPriest

    Hi, I wonder, do you have any info on the cintiq 24hd model and if so what are some cons and pros to it. Sure does look like an amazing tablet. I just don’t want to buy it just to be disappointed. Anyway I’ve heard it over heats and sometimes is glitched. So whats the duration time before it starts to over heats. I have to also say the yiynova models actually look appealing as well because of their price range. Well hoping to hear back from you soon thank you

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, Thanks for the question. I’m sure you would be quite happy with the Cintiq. I don’t think the overheating is that common a problem or would automatically happen. If it does, you should call Wacom and if they can’t help fix it then you should return it. Everything electronic is at risk of glitching but it’s not the norm. The Yiynova (linked to the mvp22u v3)is very good too. The main differences are that the Yiynova has a slick glass screen, which shows the colors more brightly than the Wacom, but, many people prefer the feeling of drawing on the matte surface of the Cintiq. You can buy a matte screen protector to get a more toothy surface for the Yiynova. The Cintiq has controls on the sides, a bit easier to reach than the buttons on the Yiynova, which are on top. The Cintiq offers tilt and rotation sensitivity, meaning if you are using something like a palette brush, the resulting paint stroke would match as if you were really painting it. You can also make patterns with the rotation sensitivity using some Cintiq pens. It’s not a dealbreaker for most people, it doesn’t make much difference with most brushes. Wacom is top of the line, but the differences are not that big.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet LaPriest

        Hey, thank you for the feed back this will be very helpful in making a decision. I know the cintiq and the yiynova mpv22u v3 have different tablet pens. Do they both take batteries ?

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Sure, good luck with whatever you decide. The Cintiq pens do not take batteries, but the Yiynova pens do.

          Reply
  17. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet mickenzie

    I am so horrible when it comes to picking out electronics! This probably made me more confused because of all the choices. I am an artist, mostly for drawing, illustration, and painting (I want to start digital painting), but its not my profession. I don’t need a super hi-tech expensive drawing tablet but I want a good quality one that doesn’t make me wanna throw it at a wall because it glitches or drags. Do you have a couple options for both on-screen and non-screen tablets that you would suggest? Ive heard that Bamboo’s are good…

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, it can be pretty overwhelming. A lot of it depends on your budget. Others with screens would be any of the Surface Pros, or the Surface 3 (that one is Atom so not as powerful as the others, but the drawing experience itself feels the same as the SP3, 4, and Book. It’s fine if you are not using a lot of Photoshop layers, filters, etc.; pr you might want to use a smaller art program such Photoshop Elements, Sketchbook Pro etc.) The original Surface Pro is good, and has Wacom (as does the SP2). (Though opinions vary, Wacom tech is usually considered the closest to natural-feeling). I suggest at least an i5 processor with 8GB RAM, for speed, though Photoshop will work with less. If you want one that’s a laptop as well, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 2 in 1 is a good option.

      The Bamboo line is now called Intuos. The Intuos Art Pen and Touch is good; I suggest Medium size. The most popular of this line is probably the Pro Pen and Touch Medium, which has more features, including tilt sensitivity. For Cintiq-type of things, I would suggest the Cintiq 13HD.

      If you’re still not sure and have more questions, if you can tell me more about your budget, what you are using it for, what programs do you use, do you want to carry it around a lot, what size do you want, etc., it would help me help you narrow it down.

      Reply
  18. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Joshua Jacobson

    Hello,

    I’ve been using a Wacom Bamboo tablet for a couple of years now, and I figured it’s time for an upgrade. However, I’ve been stumped on what to upgrade to. At this point, I’m pretty comfortable with drawing indirectly from the tablet to the screen, and I use Adobe Photoshop CC on a MacBook Pro. The things I draw are considerably more cartoon-eque/stylistic with quick, clean lines if that gauges anything. Pressure sensitivity would be preferred–However, whether its 1024 or 2048 doesn’t matter too much. My biggest question is whether to stick with my current “indirect drawing” or go to drawing directly on a screen like an iPad. My budget is at most $250.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      Well, I think it is a big difference to draw directly on a screen. I encourage you to try it out. At your budget you may want to get an Android tablet and use some pressure-sensitive drawing apps along with a fine-point stylus. Within your budget there’s the Asus Vivotab Note 8 but with just 32 GB. If you could go a little over your budget, you could get a Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen. Other than that, there are less powerful tablets that are used, such as this Samsung ATIV Tab or Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. These are not super powerful though, you’d be best off running things like Photoshop Elements or Sketchbook Pro than the full programs, though you can put full Photoshop on them. Or other used tablet PCs with similar or better specs. For that budget it’s hard to find a full Windows PC that’s powerful but you can certainly get something to draw with you can get some drawing done using any tablet. But yes, I do think you should give drawing on the screen a shot. Not everyone feels they need it and I know some artists who choose to draw with just a mouse.

      Reply
  19. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Shawn

    I have a Motion Computing LE1700 and I got primarily because a friend of mine has it and he does a lot of artwork on his and he has told me that he got his to function with pen pressure sensitivity. I liked the idea of having something like that I could walk around and do some doodling on the spot. When I got mine and I took it over to him we had tried to download a driver from Wacom, drives from Motion Computing(c) and just everything but nothing would work on my tablet, and yet it works on his. Now I’m thinking that the LE1700 that I got was a waste seeing as how I can’t draw with pen pressure. I know it’s something that can work without it, but still it is something that would be really really really nice to have on my tablet in order to sketch digitally. Does anyone know of any other way I could remedy this situation? Know of any drivers or some special software I can download? Many thanks!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Have you tried contacing their support? It’s at https://www.motioncomputing.com/us/support/products/le1700
      Did you delete drivers previously on there before adding new ones? Sometimes the old ones can interfere with the new ones. So the drivers installed but pressure sensitivity is not working? Or the drivers did not install? Which programs and versions are you using?
      If anyone has thoughts on this, please chime in.

      Reply
  20. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Terrie

    Hello, I want to thank you for all the information you have provided. However, I’m still struggling to make a choice. My younger sister wants to take her artwork to the next level. I wanted to get her something nice for Christmas as a surprise. I know right now she draws her artwork by hand then scans it into her computer and edits it. I know she has a desktop computer but I don’t know what kind of computer or how old it is. The reason I’m having a problem making a choice is the Wacom Intuos price seems great. However, I don’t mind spending more if it’s something my sister can really use to pursue her dream. That being said it seems like the Cintiq13 HD is what most artist like the best. However, the price for that is similar to the Surfaces. Then I get lost in the Surface models. I been told with surface I need different GB and graphic cards to do artwork and run adobe. I’m lost and I want to get the most bang for my buck. I don’t want to be cheap for my sister but I don’t want to break my bank account. Help!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, how nice of you to get her an art tablet. The Intuos is great, but it’s true that having a tablet with a screen makes the biggest difference. The average user does not need the dedicated graphics card. For around the price range of the Cintiq, you can the Surface Pro 4 http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/productID.325711500?icid=en_US_SurfaceP4_cat_modF_100615 icon” target=”_blank”>Surface Pro 4 i5 with 4 GB RAM–though the one with 8Gb (listed on same page, costs more) would be better for Photoshop and I would advise that one. The Surface Pro 4 gets the full benefits of the new Surface Pen.

      Surface Pro 3s are on sale at Microsoft (and the price is also good on Amazon, as you can get the Windows 8.1 cheaper and upgrade free to Windows 10).

      Even the Surface 3 4GB, which is inexpensive, would work if she uses Photoshop in a light way or uses smaller art programs like Photoshop Elements.

      It really depends how she is using the programs.

      One advantage of the Cintiq is that you don’t need to worry about the various specs like you do with a computer, and you can use the Cintiq with multiple computers and keep using it for a long time. They tend to retain their value more than a computer does, if she ever wants to sell it.

      I know, there is a lot to think about!

      Reply
  21. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Alexus

    Hi im wondering about a tablet that can have either paint tool sai or manga studio without connection to another computer, if there are any recommendations please tell me because im kind of at my wits end.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      I am not sure I understand the question. You need a computer to run those–a Windows computer. You could choose one that is a standalone, such as a Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga, where it would just be one piece, if that’s one you mean. If you check the comparison chart you can pick any one that says Windows. But those are programs that have to be installed on a computer. You could get a slate tablet such as the Asus Vivotab Note 8. But mainly what you need is Windows.

      Reply
  22. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Alex

    Hi,
    great website, which I disovered when searching for specific information about different sorts of stylus, digitizers and principles. It seems not easy 🙂
    My question would be: having a new windows 10 tablet which is supposed to support a stylus/pen, how can I get a hint, which technique or OEM like Wacom / Synaptics etc. is used? I would like to try an existing pen from a different OEM as long as there is no pen offered to that specific tablet. Shouldn’t it be possible by checking some drivers or BIOS or FCC Numbers when there is no infos from the vendor?
    thx in advance.!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, thanks. Yes, it can be challenging–especially trying to get info from manufacturers 🙂

      If you can finger-paint on the screen, then that means the screen is multitouch (usually it will say that in product info) and it will work with a capacitive stylus (the type of stylus that will work on an iPad). It is common for current tablets to have multitouch. But that does not mean the screen has an active digitizer such as Wacom, Synaptics etc. Info aboutthe digitizer is usually not that hard to find in the product info, or reviews, or doing searches such as product name + digitizer. (In some cases the co. has not bothered to include such info, but as it’s considered a benefit, it generally appears in the marketing material. For instance you could try looking for the prodcut on Amazon or other shopping sites, or the manufacturer Web site. The pen may appear as on option when you are looking at the listing, or there may be photos of doing art on the tablet and info on the digitizer. Or, if you have a brand in mind, such as Dell, you could look up Dell Active Stylus and as you can see on the page, a list of compatible tablets is included.

      You can look at drivers and pen settings, but this will not always give clear-cut answers–for some brands it will, such as Wacom.

      Most touchscreen tablets do take a capacitive pen but do not have an active digitizer, so a specialized, active pen won’t work, as those pens are designed to communicate with the digitizer. The number of tablets that HAVE an active digitizer is far smaller than the ones that do not have one.

      If you have a specific model you’re wondering about, you can ask here and we will try to find out for you.

      Reply
  23. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Aimee

    Hello! I am so glad I stumbled upon this website, I’ve already learned so much! I have recently discovered that I have a true passion for art and have been told I have a natural gift. I’ve been trying out as many mediums as I can and I have even played art “games” on my Nintendo 3DS (Art Academy and Pokemond Academy) and have managed to make some beautiful pieces so now I’m seriously interested in checking out more ways to create digital art. I have a MAC desktop (2011) and MacBook Pro (2015) and it seems as if the Wacom pen and touch medium or Wacom cintiq 13HD might be two good options. However the Huion h610pro has a very appealing price point. I’m a bit lost on what is best since this will be my first tablet. Should I go with the cheapest and upgrade later or invest and start with something better that I can use for a long time? I’m also unsure of drawing on a graphic tablet vs the cintiq screen. Thanks so much, any advice is really helpful!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, glad you have learned a lot, and that you are exploring and developing your art. I think it’s great to continue working with traditional media as well as digital. I think the Huion is quite good, though the installation can be tricky, but it’s a good tablet. There’s a big difference between using a graphics tablet vs. one with a screen. If you do a graphics tablet, I think it’s easier to scan in your line art, then color than to draw right on-screen, though some people are fine with drawing right on it. You can also scan in paintings/drawings and continue to work on them digitally. There are some tablets with screens that are like the Cintiq, but less expensive, such as this Ugee (for which we have no review) and others like that too from brands such as Huion and Yiynova. I think it boils down to, do you like the idea of drawing on a tablet but looking at a screen. I find that it’s OK for some things but I knew I had to upgrade pretty quickly. Another lower- cost alternative would be something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 9.7″ which is a Wacom tablet. You won’t be able to run full Photoshop, only apps, but it’s good for drawing, you could then transfer your line art to the Mac via email or other ways, and then use a graphics tablet to develop the image. I guess think about your goals and art style and where you see yourself artwise 6-12 months from now, if that helps.

      Reply
  24. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Alex

    Thx for your fast and comprehensive reply. I already tried all your suggestions without luck. The model is launched a few days ago and obviously locally in Europe. I could figure out the screen to be a goodix device and they indeed promise an (own?) active stylus with 2 buttons and hand palm detection. I guess this is done without digitizer layer.
    This leads me to another two questions: how do active stylus transmit pressure level and buttons to the tablet? And shouldn’t be this goodix touch screen compatible with existing active pens?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Active pens work by communicating with the digitizer layer, a grid behind the screen. The layer can detect pen location and pressure, provide hover and palm rejection, and understand the button commands.

      When a co. calls its stylus active, it usually means one that has a battery, so that the digitizer is passive and the pen is active (as opposed to traditional Wacom where the power comes from the digitizer and the pen is batteryless). But the term “active stylus” is a pretty loose term and can be used for any pen that works with a digitizer, such as traditional Wacom–the pen is still “active” to an extent, as opposed to a capacitive stylus, which is passive. There are numerous cos. that put out pens with “active stylus” in the name and they aren’t all compatible with each other’s tablets.

      You could try different pens–I would suggest first a Synaptics pen (like Dell Active Stylus, best is 750-AAGN REV03) on the Goodix, then maybe an N-trig pen. There are others, but those are probably the most likely.

      If your tablet has no digitizer layer, then it could be Bluetooth or something like the NVIDIA Shield, which is accomplished by its processor. Or Hanvon’s “active capacitive” pen.

      There is no guarantee of stylus compatibility. It could be its own unique system. If I find an answer I’ll let you know!

      Reply
    2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, I had put in a question to Navitech for you, they make styluses that are widely compatible, here is one. They said they can’t guarantee it, but as the pens can work with 95% of tablets, they think there is a very good chance. Maybe worth a try.
      http://www.navi-tech.co.uk
      http://www.navi-tech.eu

      Reply
  25. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Surgical Glitch

    I have some questions maybe you might be able to help me with, I am a professional artist that is looking for a portable device that can run on windows 10 and has good pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, and can do angle sensing as well. I was even going to go to the point of buying a Wacom Cintiq 13′ inch then buying a Mac mini so I could essentially have a Wacom Cintiq with a Mac operating system. But I don’t really use Mac, and prefer not to, but it seems like a better alternative considering the limitations of some of these devices, where the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 that runs on 8.1 is almost $3,000 australian. Where as if I got a Cintiq 13 + Mac Mini its a portable system that will cost about $1.400 Australian. I was looking at the Surface 1-2-3 and 4 as well as Surface Book Pro, which look good, but are also fairly expensive, DO run on windows 10 which is a massive plus for me, come with a stylus massive plus, but the pressure sensitivity is only Half of that of a Cintiq 13′. Which makes me worried, because I have a tablet at the moment that runs on 1,024 levels and its good, but I also have a Wacom Cintiq 27HD Touch with 2,048 levels, its like comparing standard TV to Super HD TV in a sense. But as I was saying, the big put off for me, is I already spend a hell of a lot on PC and Wacom gear. The Companion 2 looks good, but for an operating system at Windows 8.1 with upgrade to windows 10 NOT recommended by Wacom because hardware is reliant on the system model inside the Companion. it’s a real put off. So I am sort of at a very confusing crossroads as you can see. Right now the Surface book Pro looks like the only good buy, but I would have to get the lowest version at $1.500 as budget is tight around Christmas and I am building a house and running a business, plus I need to constantly travel overseas to run my business. So I wouldn’t be investing high amounts, its mainly for Art with Photoshop, Painter, ArtRage, Zbrush and Maya (Not Super High Poly Renders) and Substance Painter/Designer.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, there is a page on the Wacom site here with a download to fix the Windows 10 Companion 2 issue.
      The Surface Pros 1,2, and 4 all have 1,024 levels, and the SP3 has 256. But none of them have pen tilt/rotation, so if those are important, that leaves you with the Cintiqs. Do you have a laptop you travel with that you could use with the 13HD?

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Surgical Glitch

        No, But I was thinking that maybe that is the option I might have to take. But I really like the idea of having the Keyboard on the Surface Book Pro, and even to an extent the 4. The Surface really looks good. There is something about the Companion 2 that does not sit well with me, maybe its the reviews that state that its vibrancy is less than that of other tablets. The other thing is I use a lot of photoshop and Zbrush/Maya in the mix, as well as do journalistic work and publishings, so a keyboard, especially minimal hard keyboard that is flexible in its angle level is a huge plus since it’s an issue using soft keyboards and thin keyboards/tablet keyboards in aircraft and the like. Thats why I was looking at the Book, rather than the 4 since its a bit more sturdy. I would consider a Laptop with a Cintiq 13. But it would have to be fairly compact in thinness, not very expensive, and be able to run applications higher applications like Zbrush and Maya without any issue. Thats why I was looking at the all in one solutions like 1,2,4,Book and Companion 2. Because buying a 13HD Touch + Laptop may be to much.

        Is there any difference between the Book and the 4? I really can’t see any besides the obvious battery life and keyboard. As well as some extra kick in some specs, but as far as touch and all the rest go, there are both essentially Surface 4’s only with a better bottom half?

        I would look into a 13HD + Laptop, but its a lot to carry around and in the end, it’s only a travel companion I’m after, not replacement. So, the full kit isn’t necessary, but the more feature perfect, the better, so to speak. I know that Wacom is the best. I don’t know, maybe I am trying to justify myself getting a Surface book because I like the look of them, they have a medium pressure of a say, standard Intuos, and they have laptop ability with USB ports for extra things.

        Reply
    2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      It does sound like the Book might be right for you. The main differences with the Book are the screen size (about 20% larger than the Pro 4), the battery life is longer, and some models have the discrete GPU. It also weighs about a pound more than the SP4 with Type Cover. The Cintiq Companion battery life is not too good. I guess your other options would be penabled tablet PCs such as Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 2-in-1 or ThinkPad Yoga 14. Those have nondetachable keyboards.

      Reply
  26. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Polly

    Hello!
    I’m not sure which tablet to buy. I am a student, and is experienced in digital art. I previously used an iPad with a rubbery stylus. I am very serious about art and am planning on continuing with it through my life. However, I don’t want something too expensive, as I might upgrade later as needed (but not too often.)

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Polly

      Also, forgot to mention that I would prefer writing with a stylus and a screen (like having the screen on the tablet) .I am currently saving up at a decent pace as well. I already have a macbook air (13 in.) and an iPad air. I can hand the Macbook down to my brother if needed (I am fine either way).

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

        Hi, since you already have the MacBook Air, I’m going to suggest the Cintiq 13HD, which is top of the line the model reviewed does not have touch; that one is more expensive, and touch isn’t really necessary but here is the touch model if you do want that), If you want something you can walk around with, I’d suggest a Surface Pro 3. These would work with programs such as full Photoshop. The Surface 3 is lower priced, but less powerful. In laptops, there’s also the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 which has quite a good price though some of them had battery issues. If you don’t need new, then the original Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 are quite good. Lower=priced are portable digital sketchbook types of things, let me know if you have more questions.

        Reply
  27. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Amnah

    Hi!
    I’m a hobbyist digital artist, I draw anime fan art and use softwares like Paintool SAI, Autodedk SketsketchBook Pro and many more. I have developed my skills on a 7 inch android tablet and am used to seeing my hand draw on the screen. I started with a computer and a mouse, but I sucked with those. On the tablet my art improved considerably.
    However now I feel rather restricted, I would like to get a larger screen with pressure sensitivity and want to work on better softwares like photshop and Painttool Sai which I could not work with on the android tablet.
    The problem is which type if tablet I should consider, I’m stuck between Wacom’s desk tablet or a tablet PC. I also don’t want to spend too much of my budget.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, good that you have developed your skills and are ready to move to a higher level. what is your budget? Which ones are you considering? The Cintiq is good and if you get the non-touch one and if you already have a computer to connect it to, it ends up costing less than buying a tablet PC in most cases. Any of the Surface Pros are good. The Surface Pro 3 is a good value right now since it’s discounted–here’s the For Photoshop, it’s optimal to have at least 8 GB of RAM and at least an i5, for instance, this one. I tend to prefer Wacom for drawing, though it’s personal taste. I think the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 is a good value, though some (not all) have had battery issues, so you have to keep that in mind. The Cintiq offers the most advanced art options (tilt/rotation etc.).

      Reply
  28. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Hugo

    I have a question.
    My daughter is a freshman in high school.
    She loves to freehand alot.
    She actually had some talent.
    I am contemplating laptop or tablet.
    Whats worth my by buck.

    She currently taking some art and animation classes

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, that is nice to encourage her. I think the Surface Pro 3 is a good value now. Any of the Surface Pros are good (the original Surface Pro, though discontinued, is very good and there are still some around). For a student, the Surface 3, is good, unless she wants to use larger programs such as Photoshop. The Cintiq 13HD is good, if she already has a computer that can run the programs she wants; the non-touch one (the one in the review) is a good value. Or you could also start with something less costly like a graphics tablet such as the Intuos Art Pen and Touch Medium, then she could scan in her drawings and color them using a computer (there are smaller Intuoses that do not have touch and cost less, but are a bit small to draw on; they are not “bad” choices for coloring and some drawing). The Intuos Pros offer additional art options where you can get added effects, optional but depends what she does. The Huion 610 Pro is also a good value though the manual and drivers can be a little bit hard (can’t say Wacom drivers never cause trouble, but they’re overall more user-friendly).

      She might enjoy the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, though it is pricey. It’s great for drawing because of the Pencil, but it’s not something you can run full programs such as Photoshop on. It’s more like a very nice sketchbook.

      Really have to know your budget and especially what programs she wants to use, if you have definite ideas on those requirements then the choices narrow. The Cintiq and Intuoses offer the most flexibility and in some cases longevity of use. She could change computers as her studies progress. Thinking back to my own high school years, though these things didn’t exist yet, I think I would have been happiest with the iPad Pro, the Intuos (harder to draw freehand on, but you scan your traditional-media drawings in and color them; you can change the line, too), or a Surface Pro/Surface 3. A Cintiq takes a bit of patience to set up and isn’t very portable. It takes a person who doesn’t mind sitting still, which doesn’t describe a lot of teenagers. Some might love it though.
      Or there’s some Android tablet digital sketchbooks such as Galaxy Tab A with S Pen and Galaxy Note 10.1.

      I hope I haven’t made too many options, if I knew the budget/programs/portability requirements I could narrow it down!

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Hugo

        Ok.
        Thanks
        In your opinion would the i pad pro be the best.
        Can you give me the best of the best?
        Medium of the best?
        Worst of the best.
        I am leaning towards the pro or either android tablet to be honest.

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Hugo

          Sorry 1 more question does the pro come with adobe illustrator and photoshop

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            No. Those are full desktop programs, and the iPad Pro has only apps, like a regular iPador Android. Is has the Adobe Sketch app, there are lots of art apps, but no, not Illustrator, Photoshop or anything–nothing comes with those anyway, you have to subscribe to them from Adobe, or buy the older ones via disk or download.
            What is best for you depends on what you intend to use it for. There are lots of decent mobile art apps, but like i said if your goal is print production or you just want all the features of Photoshop and other full programs you need a full PC, you can use a Cintiq or other tablet to attach to a computer, or buy a tablet PC such as the Surface Book or Surface Pro. (the orginal Surface Pro and the Surface Pro 2 are both Wacom–discontinued but some are still around)

        2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Kind of subjective and depends on the person. I’d say Surface Book or a Cintiq (the Wacom drawing experience is more sensitive and more fluid than the Surfaces–but some people prefer the Surface–overall I think most prefer Wacom). The iPad Pro is very nice, great to draw on. But it uses mobile apps, not full programs. if you just want to draw it’s fine but if you are doing work for print publication, using Photoshop, it’s not the right thing.

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Hugo

            Thanks.
            She will basically be drawing and sketching, no print production.
            We are android people with tablet would you prefer the galaxy 10.1 or the galaxy tab a?

          2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            The Galaxy Note 10.1 has higher specs than the Tab A with S Pen–a higher resolution screen and more memory. But it’s older and more expensive. Just a reminder–to draw, you want the Note 10.1–not the Tab 10.1. And the Tab A with S Pen–not the regular Tab A. The 10.1 will be a bit faster and the screen is nicer. For overall value, I’d pick the Tab A with S Pen as it gives you almost the same thing for much less money, but the low screen resolution (same res as iPad2) is a sticking point for some people. In short, the 10.1 is a higher-end tablet.

  29. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Kendra

    Hello!
    I’m looking for a tablet that works with Windows 7 and Corel Paint (x3 I think). I illustrate YA and children’s books as a side job. I have never owned a tablet, so any advice at to type would be welcome.
    What would be your recommendation? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, let me ask–are you looking for a tablet that already has Windows 7 on it, or did you want a newer tablet and downgrade it to 7? (This can be done, but it would be a bit of a pain.) If you want one with Windows 7 already on it, of course it’s hard to find a new one, but this Samsung Series 7 slate would work. It’s Wacom penabled (meaning it has a Wacom digitizer), so you would need to use a compatible pen, such as this one. The keyboard is optional. If you don’t want to buy it, you could use any Bluetooth or USB keyboard–you might need one for keyboard shortcuts. Also found this Lenovo ThinkPad x201T that still has 7. It’s also Wacom-penabled and you could use that same pen. Putting an SSD into that would speed it up a lot (a computer shop can do that for you). I like the Samsung, I think it’s easier to draw when it’s a slate. There’s this old Panasonic Toughbook, too, also penabled.

      This Motion Computing LE1700 is Windows XP, but if you have the Windows 7 disk of 7 you could upgrade it to 7.

      When buying used, of course, take precautions, test thoroughly, be aware of the warranty (if any) and the return window. Microsoft actually sells a very reasonable aftermarket warranty that covers multiple computers, even if you didn’t buy from them.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Kendra

        So would you recommend buying the Samsung and adding a pen and keypad?
        The art program is downloaded on my computer, would I need an additional chord or wireless set to connect them?

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Oh, I thought you were asking about a tablet that runs Windows 7. Please ignore the suggestions I made–the Samsung is an actual Windows Tablet PC. I understand now–you have a computer with Windows 7, and you want a tablet to attach to it. There are two kinds of tablets you can use–those with, and without, a screen. You draw directly on the ones with a screen. The ones without a screen cost less. With the screenless ones, you generally scan your art into the computer and color on the tablet with the pen. Some people can draw right on the tablet.

          If you want one with a screen (much easier to draw on), I suggest the Cintiq 13HD or the CintiqHD touch. You don’t really need the touch, and I don’t know how well it would work with that version of Corel. It’s more designed for later programs like Photoshop CC. If you think you might upgrade later, it may be worth it.

          You’ll need the driver for Windows 7. Here is the Wacom drivers page that has it.

          If you decide on a tablet without a screen, I suggest the Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium. That’s a good size for drawing. You could also use the less expensive Intuos Art Pen and Touch Medium, which lacks some of the features of the Pro. That same drivers page has the Windows 7 driver for this.

          The Wacom YouTube channel has many helpful videos on installing and using Wacom tablets.

          The cords, chargers, pens etc. are included.

          Let me know if you have more questions. Good luck with your illustrating!

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Kendra

            Because I can’t draw in Corel with my mouse, I’m just clarifying this: I can draw right on those tablets and it’ll save on the computer?
            Is there an advantage to screen over screenless or is it personal preference?
            Thanks so much for all your help, I really appreciate it!

          2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            When you draw on the screen, you draw directly on the screen. When you draw on a graphics tablet with no screen, the tablet is next to the computer, and you have to draw on the tablet but you have to look at the computer at the same time. I, for one, find this a tricky feat of coordination.

            Most people prefer to draw on the screen. I think coloring on the non-screen is okay but line drawing is difficult. If your style is very simple, then the nonscreen may be okay if you scan in art or draw right on it. For more complex, then the screen is a lot easier.

            Yes, if you draw on the screen, it will save to the computer. The tablet is a monitor. It will show the same thing that is on your computer screen. You will see the same thing on two screens.

          3. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            You will see the commands that are on your computer. You could use your computer keyboard to save or you could use the pen to click Save right on the tablet. It’s pretty intuitive, but you might need some help installing the tablet driver (or follow the videos). It’s not hard but you need to follow the steps carefully.

  30. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet darshith

    Hello there, hope you remember me . just checked your website and trust me its really awesome. It’s very much informational and moreover much organized.
    All the best buddy

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hey Darshith, yes I remember you. Thanks for stopping by!:-)

      Reply
  31. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Enji

    Hello there! This is my second post here! But this time I would like to know if you have any updated review for Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the latest Cintiq Companion 2?

    Have been comparing these two and weighing the pros and cons. I really prefer longer battery life and a good pen to surface feel (much like how a pencil marks on paper). And one with less issue when traveling, though preference on a lighter/more portable option as most of my travels are typically “see-and-go” and in places with drastic weather changes.

    Apologies, if I seem to bombard you with my personal preference, but any comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you! Merry Christmas.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Nice to hear from you again! I will update the SP4 review. There have been a lot of battery-life issues reported. No I don’t have a CC2 one as of now. I don’t know how well that works. I wish there were more Wacom tablet PC slates around, like the Surface Pro 1 and 2.

      The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga is a full laptop, about 3 1/2 pounds, the tablet doesn’t detach. Have you tried the iPad Pro? The Apple Pencil is natural-feeling and the Pro is only about a pound and a half without the keyboard. That would be nice to travel with, though it uses apps rather than desktop programs.

      Good luck! Merry Xmas to you too!

      Reply
  32. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Pandora

    Hey, so I love doing traditional art with pens and pencils, but I want to move on to digital art. I’m looking for one where you draw directly on the tablet rather than having to look on your computer, and I usually rest my hand on the paper so I’d like one that wouldn’t sense my hand. I also don’t want to spend that much but I still want a good quality tablet. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, I suggest you check out the comparison chart and sort by price, read the reviews, and see which ones fit your purposes. Did you want to just sketch? Use full Photoshop and other Adobe programs? There are many tablets that would work for you, from Android to Windows, (which vary in price) to the iPad Pro. There are some low-cost Android ones, such as the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, or the moderately priced Microsoft Surface 3 that runs Windows. You need to decide what size and features you want (palm rejection, which you mentioned, is something all of them have), what programs you would like to use, and what you are willing to compromise on to get the price you want. Generally, the higher-priced ones have faster processors. The Android ones allow to use only drawing apps, not Photoshop. The iPad Pro has a great stylus, though only uses apps. There are also tablet monitors with screens where you draw on the screen but that attach to your computer, as well as laptops where you draw on the screen. Please read the introductory article, look around the site and if you have more questions I’m happy to help.

      Reply
  33. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet dorrie

    hi! im a young artist who likes to doodle in my free time! im on a windows 10 laptop so is there anything thats compatible with that? i was thinking about getting the wacom inous but im not sure what the right choice is!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      Drivers are generally kept up to date, with updates issued when needed. The current Intuos driver supports Windows 7, 8, and 10 so you’re OK there. I suggest a medium size Intuos Art Pen and Touch for maximum comfort with arm motion, and flexibility with art sizes. If you can spend more, the Intuos Pen and Touch Medium gives you more pressure sensitivity (though that will not make a big difference as 1,024 is enough), comes with a wifi kit, and has more customizable express keys (those are keys you can program to do shortcuts).

      Reply
  34. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Holly

    Hi, is acer aspire switch 10 good for digital art?. I check out the 2 in 1 laptops on your list but they’re too expensive and I don’t want to spend over $300 in CAD.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      It uses a Synaptics digitizer, which isn’t as good in terms of accuracy as Wacom or N-trig and you have to press the pen harder, but yes you would be able to use it for art. You have to buy the pen separately.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Holly

        Thanks for your help!. I’ll look into the tablets you mentioned because I need the best accuracy.

        Reply
  35. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Kay

    Hi I need help on picking a wacom tablet for my 13 inch macbook air. Can you tell me which one would be good for my macbook air. Much is appreciated.

    Reply
  36. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Kay

    Hi I need help on picking a wacom tablet (really checking out out the intuos pro one) for my 13 inch macbook air. Much help is appreciated.

    Reply
  37. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet KR

    Hi I’m looking for a Wacom tablet (possibly an intuos pro) for my 13 inch Macbook air so I can draw art and create animations. Any help is very much appreciated. Any suggestions and tips. I really need this ASAP. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, the Intuos Pro is a great choice. It will work with Mac or Windows. I suggest the medium size as it’s appropriate for the screen size and the most comfortable to draw on. Good luck!

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet KR

        Thank you so much for your help! So is the Intuos pro pen and touch tablet okay then? Just checking.

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Yes, that’s great!

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet KR

            Thank you so much! Will check out the Intuos Professional Pen and Touch Medium Tablet! Thanks!

  38. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Abby

    Hi, I am trying to make a decision between the surface pro 3 (Windows 10, i7, 128 gb, 8RAM) and the surface pro 4 (Windows 10, i5, 256 gb, 8RAM). I will be using this for professional graphic art running photoshop, illustrator, etc. Do you have by suggestions on which would serve better for this type of work. Thank you for any help you can give and for your informative site here.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      They are both good for that type of work.If you do a lot of rendering, use filters heavily, and especially if you do 3D and video, then the i7 would give you a boost, but otherwise does not have a real advantage over i5 even with those programs. If you don’t really need the i7, then you might like the SP4 for the pen with the 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity vs. 256 (though even that isn’t really as big a difference when actually using it as the numbers may suggest). You can use the new pen on the Pro 3, but would not get the added pressure levels). The SP4 has better processing speed, screen res and size, and lighter weight. Microsoft still hasn’t issued a fix for the SP4 battery glitch that a lot of users (not all) got. They said “early 2016” so you might want to wait (I am following the issue, and will write a post about it when I hear anything). If you already had a Pro 3 I’d say it’s not really worth upgrading to the 4, but starting from scratch, I’d say the 4 over the 3. Until a fix for the battery is issued, set the lid to “sleep” and power to “hibernate” when on battery.

      Reply
  39. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Abby

    Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate your help!! You have done an incredible job making a difficult decision for artists much easier.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Thank you!

      Reply
  40. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Julie

    Hi, i owned a refurbished lenovo tablet pc x200 (pressure works on it and the screen doesnt detect my hand at all ) to draw but it has become barely usable because of the 2G ram. I am desperately in need of something new to draw, but it must be able to use for typing as well as i am a student in professionnal translation (i type a lot). I am totally at lost with the newer technologies since my computer dates from 2008. Im not sure if I should trust separated keyboard that you can plug in tablets and i’d rather have a working screen under 14 inches. I mainly use paint tool sai, photoshop, ms paint. Do you have any advice or recommendation for me?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, you can actually have up to 8GM RAM in the x200, so you could replace the 2GB with two 4GB memory sticks. You can also replace the hard drive with an SSD for better performance. If you decide to do either or both of those things, I can point you to some more info. But that is pretty old in computer years, and you are right that it’s probably time for a new one. There aren’t that many nondetachable tablet PC laptops around these days, so I will recommend another ThinkPad, the ThinkPad Yoga 12 (also called ThinkPad Yoga 2-in-1). This model has 8GB RAM, which is better than the 4GB one for using those programs.
      Also, the Surface Book is detachable but has a very sturdy connection between the keyboard and screen, it’s a “laptop-first” hybrid. But if you like Wacom to draw (I prefer it, personally) and want a nondetachable keyboard, I’d get the ThinkPad Yoga 12, it has a 12.6″ screen. It comes with a pen, and you can also keep using the same pen you use for the x200t. Good luck, let me know if you have more questions.

      Reply
  41. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Josh

    Hi, I am wanting to draw my line art and scan it to my computer. I have windows 7 with gimp installed. I was hoping to find a tablet to color my line art and add shading as well, do you have any suggestions for a tablet?

    Reply
  42. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Josh

    Sorry, forgot to add also…I am wanting to draw/color/edit line art on screen, not look at pc monitor and do. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, if you want to continue to use your computer with Windows 7 and also draw on the screen, you would need a tablet monitor, such as a Cintiq or a Yiynova . Does that sound like the kind of thing you want? Those are both good and go from 13″ up to 27′.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Josh

        Hi, thank you very much for responding. I guess my problem is that I’ve never used a tablet and know nothing about them. What I am used to doing is drawing line art and scanning to computer and colorizing in gimp. I do this mostly for fun but am trying to improve. I am left handed and thing is doing it this way I can only do so much using a mouse. I want to continue scanning line art, but thought I could easier color and make look more real on graphics tablet. I’m not wanting to spend too much money being I don’t know how well I will do with this…

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Hi, it would be cheaper for you to buy something like a Microsoft Surface 3, which is a tablet that comes with an optional keyboard, than to buy a Cintiq. You could also try an Android tablet that has a Wacom pen, such as the affordable Galaxy Tab A with S Pe, review here. Or try looking for a slightly older, used tablet PC slate such as Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro 1, both Wacom.

          Reply
        2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          If you really just want to try tablets and not spend much, I suggest getting an inexpensive graphics tablet without a screen, since you are scanning the line art. The line art is the part most difficult to do if you are not drawing on the screen.

          Reply
  43. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Ken Mounsey

    Does anyone other than Wacom sell a graphics tablet that works in Windows 10 and uses a mouse. I use it for CAD work so ideally the mouse would need to work in absolute tracking

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet tabletsforartists.com Post author

      Hi,
      Huion and Monoprice do not (I checked with them), and I don’t know about other companies, but it’s not likely–I don’t see any on the Ugee site. The Huion pen has a center button with a scroll function, if that makes any difference.
      If you have a tablet set up, you can generally (though depends on driver requirements for the specific tablet) also use a mouse and mousepad, just not both at the exact same time.

      Reply
  44. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Trinity

    Thoughts on the best option for me?
    I have recently started a small business with a friend of mine. We are currently working on creating our second coloring book. I am the artist and draw the pages by hand with pencil, then go over them in pen, and then scan them in and clean them up in photoshop, getting rid of any remaining pencil lines and smudge marks. Being able to completely SKIP the step of tracing my illustrations with pen, and instead, scan the pencil drawings in right away so that I can trace digitally would be ideal! I need something that could run photoshop or have a program similar to it that I could work in layers. Definitely would need the good sensitivity and the ability to be able to trace/draw while my hand/palm is resting on the screen. At first I was thinking one of the Surfaces….but I’m not sure. Help?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      The Surface Pros would be good, or the Surface book, or you might try a Cintiq or Yiynova or the Yoga 12, Yoga 14, or new X1 Yoga.

      Reply
  45. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet JUDGEFAULT

    Hi, nice post and very helpful for it brings a lot of info, so thanks.

    However I do have a question, I’m just getting started into drawing (I’m learning to) so I use basic pencil and paper, but I think it would be better to use a tablet and being able to sketch everywhere (I’m 21, a student, and in the bus or waiting for classes it would be nice, because I can’t always put my paper sheet on a hard surface, but with a tablet it wouldn’t be a problem I think). Any advice on which one to choose ?

    Knowing that I already have an IPad Air 2, but stylus don’t work with this tablet. I would also like to use the tablet as a PC (word, excel, videos, Internet).

    Thanks in advance for the answer.

    Ps : excuse my English, it’s not perfect (I am French).

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      You didn’t mention your budget or which art programs you want to use. But if you like iPads and you want to sketch and have a laptop, the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and keyboard would be a good choice because the Apple Pencil is excellent for drawing, and with the keyboard attached, the Pro with its powerful processor is a good laptop.

      Pretty much any of the Windows tablets on this site would also work–such as the Surface 3 or Toshiba dynaPad with optional keyboard, or the Surface Pro line (this site has reviews of the 2, 3, and 4) or Surface Book.

      There are also the Lenovo Yoga ThinkPads if you want a non-detachable keyboard. The 14 is a little heavy, the new X1 Yogais light and there’s also the Yoga 2-in-1. These also run Windows and are powerful laptops.

      The iPad Pro only runs art apps, not desktop programs, but that’s not a problem for casual drawing and sketching. All of the ones mentioned can do Microsoft Office, Internet, and video. Let me know if you have more questions.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet JUDGEFAULT

        I don’t study art but something else, I’m just learning to draw at the same time ^^
        As for my budget I should have specified it, I would say 1200€ (France), which is approximatively the price of the IPad Pro.
        Though after reading all your reviews, I think the surface pro 4 would be best for me, not too expensive (128go/Intel I5 model) and it’s like basically a laptop.
        However the important part for me here is the stylus (keyboard for both seems to be on par), and I don’t know which one is the best. What do you think ? (Life span, parallax, sensitivity).

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Hi, the iPad Pro stylus is the best, actually, followed by Wacom (the ThinkPads and earlier Surface Pros 1 and 2)–Wacom ES is more accurate than EMR, but some people still like traditional EMR better, it’s the most sensitive but ES is close and more accurate. N-trig (uSurface Pros) are very accurate but you have to press harder, so it depends on your drawing style. I prefer Wacom. I don’t know if you can try them out in France at stores, but if you can, then you should.

          There are some I have not yet reviewed, like the Lenovo MIIX 700, which has Wacom AES, and HP Spectre X2, which are also in that range. These are similar to the Surface Pro, and I think the pen is a little better–but lots of people are fine with N-trig, and Microsoft developed it in consultation with artists–it’s a personal choice. But iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil is the best stylus out there right now. It has tilt sensitivity (Cintiqs and Intuos Pros allow that, and some Samsung penabled mobile tablets, but tablet PCs do not)–though not a dealbreaker, it makes it feel more like real pencil and paper–and it allows you to shade using the side of the tip, like a real pencil, which is unique. Maybe check YouTube for various pen demonstrations of different computers.

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet JUDGEFAULT

            Okay thanks a lot for your answers, you really helped. I’ll try to test different tablets if i can and probably will get the IPad Pro. But I’ll still wait march if rumors about the iPad Air 3 are true, just in case the IPencil works with it.
            Thanks again !!

  46. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Emma

    Hi. I was wondering if you would have any apps you could suggest I use for ipad 2. I am soon purchasing Adonit Jot Pro Fine Point Precision Stylus and am just trying to figure out now what apps are best to use with it. I would really appreciate if you could help me and offer some advice. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, the list of apps you can use with a Jot on the iPad2 is here. However, you will not be able to get pressure sensitivity, because the iPad2 has Bluetooth 2.1, and the Jots that have that feature work only with Bluetooth 4, which is on later iPads. So Jot recommends using a non-Bluetooth Jot stylus with the iPad2. These include Jot Pro, Jot Mini, Adonit Switch and Adonit Mark, and the discless Jot Dash. of the apps, Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Photoshop Sketch work well with iPad2. But again, you won’t get the pressure sensitivity, just the fine point.

      Reply
  47. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Mike

    Hi, I have a acer R7-572. do they think of this pc? the n-trig driver does not work like a wacom, but it works well in clip studio paint.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, yes, that is a PC (I think that’s what you’re asking).

      Reply
  48. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Athlein Lapid

    Hello! I like to sketch, draw and work best with paper and pencil, but for a long time I’ve wanted to draw digitally but it’s really hard through just a mouse or my laptop’s touch pad. I’m not going to be drawing professionally, but I do want something I can grow with. I like any of the Wacom products or the Samsung Note?Tab with S pen, but I really don’t know how to go about narrowing down the list of these and am not sure if they can connect to my laptop? I’m hoping to find the cheapest option but without compromising productivity/use/ability for drawing. I’m a college student and it would be cool to have more than just the features of a graphics tablet. But if it would be better to get a graphics tablet instead for drawing, then I will forgo android tablets. (It really comes down to whether I can use most of the same features as a graphics tablet with an android tablet). It would be great if I could get your advice on this!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, I’m not sure what features you mean. The Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab A 9.7 with S Pen have pressure sensitivity. To attach a Cintiq to a Mac you will need an adapter, but graphics tablets will attach to a laptop via USB and some have wireless options as well. A smaller iPad Pro is supposedly coming out soon, so maybe consider that. You can also check out the Dell site as some are on sale; the Venue 10 Pro, for example, is a Windows tablet you can draw on, but it has little memory. If you get a graphics tablet, you will have all the power of your laptop. With a graphics tablet, it’s easier to scan in art or photograph it and upload the photo) and color it than it is to draw directly on one.

      Reply
  49. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Raquel

    Hi there,
    I’m still in high school, but have been painting digitally for almost four years now using a touchscreen laptop from my school. Knowing that I will no longer have access to this computer at the end of this year, I’m looking to invest in a tablet, and while I really want to go for the high-end stuff, I’m worried that the money won’t be worth it. For some background info, I’m planning to study animation and/or graphic design at university, and may be starting commissions as an online artist. I really want something where I can draw on the screen, and which will be usable for a number of years, and which also gives me the chance to develop more as a professional artist. does anybody have any ideas as to whether a high-end tablet is the way to go?? or some suggestions as to some less pricey ones that work at the same standard??

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, maybe consider a Lenovo Yoga or one of the Surface Pros or Surface Book. Or a Vaio Z Canvas. Or you might want to ask the school what they recommend for the courses. You might consider a Cintiq, they have held their value better than laptops, and you can change laptops. That should last longer than a laptop. I think I would do that if I were you, unless you need to walk around a lot with it and your laptop. Maybe others can weigh in.

      Reply
  50. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Caroline

    Hi,
    Fantastic article, so much advice. Brilliant and thanks.
    My son is doing an undergraduate degree in Automotive/Transport Design. He thinks he now needs graphics tablet.
    We are looking at buying for him as his birthday present. We are willing to spend what is needed (within reason) but are cautious of spending too much today to find it needs updating in a couple of years. I’ve would rather spend and get longevity or down grade today to be able to upgrade in the future. If that makes sense.
    He has an alienware desktop computer attached to a 27″ screen and no laptop. Don’t think that’s much of a problem as he does most of his work in his flat and he has a external hard drive if he wants to take his work into uni and work on the computers there.
    What suggestions do you recommend?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, that’s a nice present. I would suggest an Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Medium. The model without the touch is fine too, but the touch should makes it so he won’t feel he has to upgrade soon–he won’t necessarily have to, but software is becoming more aligned with touchscreens. Also, you can use the pen can be butons to pan/zoom, which is useful in some architectural programs, such as CAD. Huion tablets allow that too and are less high-end, but also good. Here is an article about choosing a Wacom tablet. If he wants a tablet where he can draw on the screen and that’s portable, I’d suggest the Cintiq 13 HD, either with touch or without. A less high-end alternative is the XP-Pen 10.1 (the review is about a larger one, but they have a smaller one that’s mentioned in there too). Let me know if you have more questions.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Caroline

        Thanks. The intuos pro medium touch or Cintiq13hd were the options we were considering. I wondered whether getting Intuos pro touch against cintiq 13hd would be more future proof because of touch facility? Can’t quite run to 13hd touch.
        Also what accessories would you say are most useful? Other family members are looking to buy.

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Hi, yes, the touch does provide some future-proofing, and the Pro line has all the advanced features of the Cintiq Touches. Usually people eventually want to draw on the screen, but a tablet PC laptop can be a good solution when that time comes, or some people are fine with only a graphics tablet. For accessories, I would recommend the nib kit accessory that has replacement nibs (but can be bought later, too). Another is the Intuos Art Pen, which allows barrel rotation, which allows you to create designs by rotating the pen barrel, sort of like a Spirograph, in certain art programs–the pen that comes with the Cintiq does not have that feature. There are more pens, too–the Airbrush Pen–you probably are familiar with airbrushes–they are like spray paint, and the Inking Pen which gives a crisp graphical line, good for cartooning. It’s really up to individual preference. I like the idea of being able to use the barrel rotation even if I don’t use it a lot, because that’s a feature unique to the Pro line and Cintiqs and to Wacom (for now). There is also the WacomErgonomic Grip for the pen that comes with the tablet, which makes it more comfortable to use the pen for long periods. Lastly, there is the carrying case for the tablet. And of course there is lots of art software, such as Photoshop, but the program might have specific software for him to use, I would think. Photoshop Elements is a smaller version of Photoshop and that does most of what Photoshop does and is available by disk or download, whereas the larger version is just download with a monthly fee (as a student he is eligible for a discount from Adobe). For accessories, I’d especially recommend the Art Pen (my personal favorite), or if he’s into airbrushing then the Airbrush pen. The Intuos Pro tablet has Wi-fi already so you would not need the Wi-fi kit.

          Reply
  51. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Josh

    Hello – This site is great! It seems to be the only honest tablet review site for artists and aspiring artists. I’ve been researching tablets for a while, but poor reviews keep me from actually making a purchase. I keep going back and forth with the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and the iPad Pro. Since it’s 2016, the Galaxy Note Pro has been out for 2+ years already and I’m looking for something that can last a while, so that’s potentially out. It seems like the Surface Pro 4 was the one I was moving toward until I saw A LOT of bad reviews and terrible glitches with the product (windows 10 problems needing hard reboots often, especially while drawing – not to mention pencil connecting problems). I’ve read your review, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the SP4 since all these problems have cropped up.
    I’m only an amateur sketcher, but I’m looking to use this tablet to get back into it more. Originally I wanted a tablet just to sketch on, but have warmed to the idea of using the photoshop suite software since i’m trying to get back into that. Other than drawing, my other uses plan to be watching movies/tv, reading books/comics, and email. This is not meant to be a laptop replacement. I’m simply trying to use it as a mobile art tablet first with the ability to use it for media purposes as well.
    I’m not bound to any particular tablet at the moment, so I’m interested in hearing your recommendations, even if it isn’t any of the tablets I’ve listed.
    Thanks very much!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, there have been quite a few reported issues with the latest Surface Pros, some have been fixed, and they haven’t affected everyone, but it’s enough to take pause. You do have time to test it and return it if needed. Have you considered the Surface Pro 3? If you want to use the Adobe Suite, then you are looking at a laptop replacement. There’s a dearth of detachables other than the Surface Pro that are powerful enough for that (there is that and the Cintiq Companion 2). For something that’s more like a digital sketchbook I like the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (newer than the Note) and the Galaxy TabPro S is coming out. Initially they said there would be no pen but now there is a pen scheduled to come out but little is known about the pen–it should be soon, though, so you may want to wait for that. There are a lot of choices in the “digital sketchbook” arena. If you don’t want a laptop replacement I think the iPad Pro is nice for drawing and doing the things you mentioned. One solution might be to do line art in an app at high-res on a “digital sketchbook” tablet (Windows, Android, or Apple), then use your full computer with a graphics tablet to color using Adobe Suite. The less powerful Windows tablets can generally run things like Photoshop Elements or Autodesk Sketchbook and some can run Photoshop but just not that well. I prefer Wacom pens (or the Apple Pencil) to the Surface Pro pens. An older Surface Pro 1 or 2 can run the Adobe Suite and are detachable.

      Reply
  52. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Ferzy

    Hi I already have the wacom pen and touch small, but i wanted to buy a tablet so when im working i can also watch series and when i´m out of the house i can sketch on the tablet (so it needs to have pressure sensitivity). I was thinking on buying the Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen but since I have a Mac I don´t know if the stuff i make on the samsung are compatible with the Mac. Or do you recommend me something else.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      The compability isn’t dependent on the hardware (tablet or Mac), but the software. The Tab A is an Android tablet, so you’d be using art apps from the Google Play store, and there are also Samsung-only apps. Apps could include Autodesk Sketchbook Express, Photoshop Express, ArtRage, or many others (some apps also have a desktop/laptop version, but if you use, say, the Autodesk Sketchbook Express app, it doesn’t mean you need to have the Autodesk Sketchbook program on your Mac). With the apps I mentioned and most other apps, you can save your art as common file types such as jpg, gif, psd (if there are layers), PNG (which have a transparent background), and gif. If an app does not have “save as,” it will sometimes have “Export as” and give you more choices of file types. For drawing, you’d probably mostly wanta JPG or PSD file. Then you can open those files on your Mac in Sketchbook, Photoshop, Gimp, or other art programs. And you can also move files from your Mac to the tablet and open them to work on. Some art apps (mostly less widely used ones) have their own file types, so those would require converting to a more common file type, but most allow saving files as a common file type, so there aren’t compatibility issues.

      Reply
  53. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Marine

    hi !!

    I just bought a HP spectre X2 with a stylus and pen-pressure sensitivity… I use paint tool sai a a drawing software and usually link a wacom tablet to draw with pen-pressure sensitivity…

    … I thought maybe the built-in pressure sensitivity would apply to my software if I drew directly on the tablet using the pen, but it’s not the case at all… Is that normal ? can you think of any tips to unlock pen pressure sensitivity for softwares like paint tool sai ? Or do I have to stay dependant of my wacom tablet after all ??!

    thanks you for any answer or advice !

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, unfortunately, the X2, even thought it is Wacom AES, is not compatible with the Wintab (Feel) driver required to use Sai. So unless that changes, you won’t be able to get pressure with Sai. My suggestion would be to use a different art program.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

        You could try downloading the beta version of version 2 and see if maybe it works. It won’t necessarily be stable. But if it does work, then when it’s done, you could use version 2.

        Reply
  54. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet LVUER

    Hi, thanks for the review… this site is just what I’m looking for… I don’t know why I didn’t find this site long time ago. This is not my first post btw…
    Anyway, I just found out that Toshiba released Portege Z20t, a tablet with keyboard dock (which really looks like a laptop… really nice looking)… and the most imporant part, equipped with Wacom technology.
    Could you perhaps make a review about this one?
    Regards.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, I remember your posts from the other day. The Portege Z20t is from last year. What is it that you want to do with the tablet? If you want to run Adobe CC then that isn’t the best choice.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet LVUER

        Thanks. Yeah, I just notice that Z20 was launched yesteryear, makes me wonder why I didn’t find the review until 2 days ago…
        I have Wacom Bamboo Fun Medium and a pretty strong desktop, and I also have Photoshop CS3 and Flash CS3. I often used both to draw and make animation (just for hobby tho)
        Anyway, I want something like Cintiq (where I draw directly on the picture) but I also don’t want to spent too much (my budget is about 700USD). Since if it’s anymore expensive, I would buy iPad Pro instead. I also want to avoid Cintiq 13HD (22 is way out of my budget) because it’s just an overpriced outdated graphic tablet.
        I want something that can run full Windows since I need a laptop. I won’t run Adobe CC but I want something that able to run Adobe Flash CS3 and Corel Draw X. I’m also planning on purchasing Clip Studio Paint. So Android is definitely a no.
        My current choice is Thinkpad Yoga. It will either Yoga Pro 14 or 260. BTW, the only Thinkpad series that available in my country is Pro 12, Pro 14, and 260. In the product description (from Lenovo website), 260 have pen with 1024 pressure sensitivity level while 12 and 14 only mentioned “a pen for writing” or something like that.

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          The 12 has a pen, at least here. Usually they would not mention a pen unless it’s an active pen. For some reason, Lenovo does not really market the pens as a benefit, or even bother to mention them in some cases. The 14, at least here, has higher specs than the 260 that’s sold here, which has an i3. But they are not called Pro here–there is a Yoga Pro line that’s different. If it says “AnyPen,” that is not penabled (having pressure)–just means you can use other things as a stylus. But there’s stylus included.

          The ThinkPad Yoga 12 (here) is also called 2-in-1–it’s the second-generation 12, there is also a first-generation one that says S1.

          There are other Cintiq-types of things, such as this XP Pen and others (Yiynova, Ugee, and more).

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet LVUER

            Oops, I made a little mistake… it’s not Yoga Pro 12 or 14, but just Thinkpad Yoga 12, Thinkpad Yoga 14, and Thinkpad Yoga 260. While there’s only one Yoga Pro, which is Yoga 3 Pro (from Yoga series, not Thinkpad) and the spec is bad.
            Anyway, 12, 14, and 260 all have similar specs. The difference is perhaps (looking strictly at the web page) is that 260 has Windows 10 pre-installed and it only has SSD as storage option. 12 and 14 has Windows 7 (downgrade), 8.1, and 8.1 Pro. Also 14 has 14″ display and could choose between Intel HD or NVidia.
            While for the pen:
            – 260 is written to have 1024 level pressure sensitivity
            – 12 is written to have active pen
            – While 14 doesn’t have anything about pen…

          2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet LVUER

            Oh, and all of them (12, 14, and 260) can choose between i5 or i7, all the same options.

  55. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Car

    Hi.

    I Have a Galaxy Tab S2.
    ¿Exist some pen for this? I read that the Wacom Fileline work in this Tablet, but I don´t know.
    I Have the Wacom Bamboo Solo but is horrible.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Most of the styluses in this article about iPad styluses will also work on Galaxy Tab S2. Some are app-dependent, in that case you need to make sure they work on Android, they should say.

      Reply
  56. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet lvuer

    I have looking around on the website and it seems ThinkPad Yoga 12, 14, and 260 only all available at the most expensive iteration (i7). At that price, I can buy an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
    If looked purely in term of drawing capability (screen real estate, parallax/distance from pen to screen, lag, pen, sensitivity, tilt, etc), which one do you think is better; iPad Pro or ThinkPad Yoga?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      You mean the Lenovo site in Indonesia? The Yoga would not have tilt, no laptop has it. In terms of screen real estate, the 14 is a bit bigger. The TP Yoga 12 has EMR. Both are fine for drawing, the ES has more jitter when drawing diagonally but less parallax.
      For drawing, I think Apple Pencil is tops because it does have tilt, can draw on any part of screen, no visible jitter issues, and I prefer to detach the screen to draw. Both iPad Pros cover over 100% of sRGB. As a general-use laptop, though, the IPP is lacking, and the file management is not great. (see review here)If you mainly want it for art, unless you really need to use desktop art programs, I’d go for the IPP.

      Reply
  57. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Janet

    I’m a professional artist, painting in WC and oil and make large scale mosaics. I’ve been using a 2009 Macbook Pro and a 2003 HP desktop, both with photoshop CS3, mainly to manipulate photos or to contemplate painting revisions. I desperately need a new computer as both on on their last legs, but have also been lusting after a quality tablet for some time. The choices seem without end. While I’d really like to have something portable to take to open painting studio, I’m not sure if the Surface or Ipad offerings (Pro or otherwise) will be sufficient. Drawing is important, but I haven’t seen much discussion about painting — or am I just such a newbie that I don’t understand pen nibs? I do a little graphics work, but my main purpose is as an assist for fine art painting. Do I first need to decide whether I want to be laptop-free? I should also say that it would be great to work right on the screen rather than a blank pad where the image shows on the monitor only. Any advice?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      The terms painting and drawing are used interchangeably here. You would be using the same art apps. I do think the Surface Pro (or Surface 3) iPad Pro or, really any art tablet would be sufficient, it’s a matter of learning the apps or desktop programs. Procreate on the iPad Pro is good for painting. Yes I think you should first decide if you want to be laptop-free. It also depends on your process–if you use a ton of layers and filters you need something fairly powerful, but if you don’t then any art tablet can be used for painting digital oils and watercolors. I suggest you look into programs such as CorelDRAW (which you can use for painting), Photoshop, and ArtRage, as well as others, for painting. Some of the tablets have pens with different nibs and some don’t. You can also buy sets of digital brushes for Photoshop that greatly expand what it comes with. If you want portability, then you’re better off with a tablet or detachable. A tablet PC laptop is portable too but I think in a studio it’s easier to have something that detaches. Also you need to think about what size you need, and your budget.

      Reply
  58. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Jan

    Thank you for your response. Your discussions on this topic are the best I’ve run into.

    To clarify my situation, my 2009 Macbook Pro 13 and 2003 desktop PC both desparately need replacing. MBP’s 2GB ram is almost fully used despite repeated dumps to external drives AND it may have died altogehter last night when I tried installing El Capital so I could use free trial of Corel Paint Essentials, as it will not open). Photoshop CS3 is on both machines and yes, I use tons of layers and filters (always ge the “scratch disk full” error message). The 2003 PC also has an old CorelDraw version. I’ve been using these with just a mouse and trackpad, so the Wacom Intuos and Cintiqs have interested me as a someday purchase. but first and foremost, I need a laptop for for every day business use.

    Simply replacing my MPB 13 has many pros and would be my preference, but the main drawback is that a tablet must also be purchased:
    – Ipad Pro 12.9 is laptop-free, but is limited to IOS apps and accessing/saving files from IPP to MBP is putzy; sorta seems more like a toy than the Wacom products (tho I’ve never used any tablet at all)
    – Intuos Pen Pro Med is affordable , but no display screen and must connect to laptop
    – Cintiq HD 13 has a display, but would still have to connect laptop.

    Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 offer a compromise by giving me a laptop and a stand-alone tablet which will still run art-rich programs. But I’ve always been a mac girl, and just bought a new Iphone 6s, and preferred IOS to Windows (propriety issues aside). Jumping into Windows 10 for my main computer use means a learning curve and no more auto-synch. Would a better Wacom pen work on this tablet? And which model, SB or SP4, and configured how? It seems that everyone I talk to has a different recommendation on ram and processor amount (I’m ok with ext. storage) despite my assurances that I don’t game or edit video. I would like to be able to run several heavy art programs at the same time. Some say I need a quad processor over a dual…….? And when they start talking SSD, onboard flash and all that, a bag drops over my head.

    The Cintiq Companion is just plain out of the $ ballpark for me, and still would leave me without a computer.

    My budget is limited but to get the right setup it could flex some. I’ve got a huge project deadline coming up and am really getting nervous about whether I’ll have ANY tech capabilities much longer.

    Oh, I should also say that I’ve been offered a free 3 year old 15″ PC laptops running Windows 7, but it feels too heavy and big after getting used to a 13″ MBP. Lightweight and portability are important to me, high on the list, but don’t have priority over being able to run the art programs I’d like (PS, Corel at a minimum).

    Does your recommendation change any given this background? [also, can you remove my last name from the first post?]

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Thanks, glad you enjoy the discussions. I’ve removed your last name from your other comment as you requested. To answer your questions: iPad Pro is not a toy, it’s more powerful than regular iPads and in some measures as powerful as some laptops, and the display, especially on the newer, smaller one, is excellent. The drawbacks are as you said, and it’s not a good all-around laptop substitute. The Procreate app is very good for art, the Apple Pencil is excellent for art, and you can store files in the Cloud.

      Surface Pros are not Wacom, they take only the Surface Pen, which does offer different nibs.

      There’s really little learning curve going from a Mac and Windows, they both use windows (small W), just a few minor things.

      Another option might be an iPad Pro with a Mac laptop or desktop and the Astropad app, which allows you to use full Photoshop, essentially using the iPad Pro as a Cintiq.

      For the Surface Book, if you really use that many filters than the i7 with the most memory and NVIDIA graphics is the best one. The graphics card helps with rendering, which is what those filters do. If that one’s too much, at least the SB or SP4 i5 with 256 GB and 8 GB RAM (16 is better). A quad processor is better than a dual for what you want.

      It’s true that a lot of people will disagree on these things. You do not NEED the discrete graphics, they just help. And, you can use the programs with just 4 GB of RAM (even less, for very basic use) but they will be slower and may cause the programs to crash. If you can reduce layers, that helps.

      The Cintiq Companion is a standalone Windows 2-in-1, it’s different than a regular Cintiq. It is a full computer in itself.

      You might want to consider a Lenovo ThinkPad 14 or other of the ThinkPad tablet PCs. It’s not the very highest end, the colors aren’t tops, but it’s a laptop with a nondetachable keyboard. Or take a look at the HP Spectre 360, which is lightweight–be sure to use the Dell pen I’ve suggested. The drawing experience is not quite as accurate as Wacom, but almost. Both these have nondetachable keyboards, to me those are the best for typing. The Surface Book detaches but is pretty much like a laptop once attached.

      Reply
  59. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Paresh

    Hi!
    A student of fine arts and using a laptop, having a limited budget, wishes to use a graphics tablet. Which would you suggest – Huion / Wacom Intuos ? He primarily uses Photoshop.

    Thnx in advance. Btw, that’s a most detailed comments section that I’ve seen since a long time. You are really committed to helping out people like us. Keep going.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, Huion does most of the things Wacom does (drivers don’t have as much customization), and the drawing aspect is fine, but the drivers can be difficult. It’s best for someone who understands their computer well. It works well with Photoshop. I’m going to post a Turcom tablet review soon, which is pretty much a Huion and uses Huion drivers, and say which software I tried on it. Thanks, it’s great that people write in!

      Reply
  60. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Sunny

    Hi!
    I’m just a high schooler, but I seriously want to try digital art. I originally do traditional art, painting sketching, doodling. Mostly anime. And I wanna work on creating Mangas. I just wanna know if there is a tablet that can let me look at the screen directly and able to download it. Uhhh… yeah. And for it to have a pen as well. I’m not into using my fingers to draw on a tablet.

    Thanks for answering if you’re able to. I just want to know and want to try it out.

    Thanks! Have a good day!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, yes please go to the large comparison chart. All of the ones pictured that have screens can be drawn directly on. If you want just one thing (not one that attaches to your computer) then look at all the types except those that say Tablet Monitor.

      Reply
  61. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Sam

    Hey hey. I have a Yiynova MSP15, and it did the job for a good few years until the backlight died. I managed to replace the backlight, but messed up the screen in the process. Whoops! It still works as a non-monitor tablet but the itch to have the screen back has never gone away.

    I thought I would go for the Surface Pro 4, but I now think I want the Cintiq Companion 2. Because I want a drawing tablet first, and a portable computer second. I wouldn’t have to have the latest and greatest to guarantee the CC2 would last me many many years (in theory) because my desktop is a gaming PC that can handle pretty much anything. 3D art, 2D, lots of layers, animation, no sweat. Being able to take it with me to get basic work done away from the desk would be a nice little bonus–a bonus I’d probably use almost every day, but still just a bonus–while my main computer would do all the heavy lifting. So, a peripheral tablet with its own computer in it is very appealing to me, and a few of the complaints about it like the battery life and screen brightness don’t matter that much to me. The price is no deterrent, since I was thinking I’d have to get a $1600 Surface just to make sure it would last a long time, and, well, it’s not for casual use.

    But I can’t find any reviews from people using it the same way I would. They all talk about it as a standalone device and how it compares to others. I need to know if there are any problems connecting it to a PC. I bet I can trust Wacom to make a top-tier tablet monitor, but you never know. I also want to know if there are any other tablets out there that can be used both as tablet monitors and as standalone computers.

    It’ll be about a month and a half before I make a move, so I want to make sure I spend it deciding to make the right one.

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, yes, please see this post over at the Wacom community blog.

      Reply
  62. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Kathy Engelhard

    Thank you for this great website for artists. I can’t find a mega laptop that is 15″ or so
    that has a NVidia 980 GPA, 970 GPA or 780 GPA and works with a pen…
    I7 CPU at least 16GB RAM. 2K would be the icing on the cake.
    I want to draw in Toon Boom Harmony Premium 14 and do all kinds of video and image
    editing. And, I want to sit on the couch and draw.
    Thanks again.
    Kathy

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, unfortunately, to my knowledge there is nothing quite as powerful as that in that size, wish there were. There are some without the discrete graphics, and some that have it but are just touchscreen (not pressure sensitive). The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 (gen. 1) is closer as it has the graphics, but the screen is smaller and it’s i5. If you could go even smaller, the Vaio Z Canvas might be good for you. Dell Inspiron 15 7568 and HP Spectre x360 15 are the right size but integrated graphics (less powerful than the Vaio’s). Sorry!

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Madge

        Hello-

        There is a very recently released convertible laptop that fits most of those specs- the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin. (i7, NVIDIA 940, 16GB RAM, 15.6″). I purchased it with the intent of digital design programs and thus far, the graphics are great, and the only problem has been finding a pen that works. (The model has only been out a few weeks so the hunt for all the specs is still going on but it is a touchscreen with the RAM and discreet graphics. I’ve yet to figure out if it is wacom enabled, as I am new to the whole stylus world and it’s hard to understand, plus the computer sales guy said it might not be). I think for people whose primary need is the discreet graphics, it might be something to look in to! I’ve had mine a few weeks and am very happy with it using photoshop and lightroom. (The pen hunt is still on, though, so if anyone here has found something for it…)

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Hi,
          No, that doesn’t have an active-pen option. Most computers don’t, if you want that you really have to pick one ahead of time. You can use a graphics tablet or tablet monitor with it though, or you can get pressure sensitivity via Bluetooth with some apps. This article about iPad drawing styluses has some that can be used on Windows too along with the apps. You can also use any regular stylus without pressure if that’s of use.

          Reply
  63. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Ariana

    Im a artist who likes to get her hands with the art and pressure sensitivity is a big deal to me, i am on the go alot and need something that has a sturdy travel quality with long lasting battery and pen sensitivity to it. ive had a bamboo tablet that has no screen and very drable but sadly i think a charger peice is going to be costly to replace. also the length of it was fine for me and i enjoyed having something physically to draw on while looking at another screen but the sensitivity of some of the buttons that where on the tablet itself like quick shortcuts would sometimes get in my way. id like to think that a tablet with a screen would be an option however im not sure about which one and what kind of programs i can fit into the storage (or might even come with it already, is that an option too?) without having the system slow or cause any problems. i was wondering if there might be any suggestions that might fit the universal tablet i might be searching for. my birthday is comming up soon so im hoping to ask for it as maybe a present or even save up for the said tablet. please help soon

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, it would help if I could know your budget, and which programs you want to use. For being on the go, something like the iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen or Galaxy Note are all good choices. These run apps that you can download from the tablets. The storage should be ok for the apps, you can keep large art files in cloud storage or an SD card (except iPad Pro does not have an SD slot, but you can buy the Pro with different amounts of storage, or use Cloud storage or sync files to your computer). If you want to run full desktop programs like Photoshop then you’re looking at a Windows PC type of tablet or laptop such as Surface Pro 4. All the tablets on this site have pressure sensitivity. Let me know if you have more questions.

      Reply
  64. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Emily

    Hello, thanks for this helpful article! I was so excited to see that comments are still receiving replies so many months later. Anyway, I have just recently been getting into art, mostly pencil and paper but some oil and watercolor painting too. I already have a laptop but I want a tablet to work on digital art because my phone isn’t quite doing it for me anymore. I’m a college student so price is important, I’d like to go as cheap as possible while still getting a product that will work for me. the pressure sensitivity is something I definitely want. I don’t want anything with a keyboard or that must be attached to a computer, I want something that works by itself and that I can draw on just like pencil and paper. Thanks for all your help!

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, yes I’m still here lol. I think iPad Pro is a great tool–the larger screen especially gives adequate room to draw. Or, a less costly, the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, which runs on Android. If you want Windows, which would allow you to use full desktop programs and not just apps, then the Surface 3 and Mytrix are both pretty affordable. Or a used Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro 1, they are not made anymore but some are still around.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

        also Yoga Book will be out in stores in October, I am just working on a writeup. That comes in Android or Windows. You cannot draw on the screen with that but you can draw on paper or a panel, and instantly digitize onto the screen.

        Reply
      2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Emily

        thanks for the quick response! My budget is definitely on the lower end of this. I think a used Surface Pro 2 might work for me, but it doesn’t look like it comes with a stylus or pen? do you know if there is a generic stylus I can buy that will still allow for pressure sensitivity and stuff? sorry for the dumb questions I’m clueless about this. thanks in advance!

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Emily

          Actually I found a refurbished Samsung galaxy tab 3 for a good price, do you know of a stylus or pen that I can buy separate that will be compatible with that? thanks again.

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            That doesn’t have pressure sensitivity or palm rejection. You could get it in some apps with specific pens–this article about styluses goes over some pens and apps (most will work with Android as well as iOS). But the Galaxy Tab 3 would be more like drawing on your phone, the drawing experience won’t be as good as using a pressure-sensitive tablet.

        2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Hi,
          Not dumb questions at all. I just saw this question, but I think it actually came before the last one. Here’s the answer if you’re still considering the Surface Pro 2. This one is the original Microsoft pen for the SP2. As they are not made any more, they have gone up but the refurbished ones are more reasonable. This oneis a copy of the MS pen and has the magnet and eraser.
          Or, this one, made by Samsung (for their computers that use the same tech), will also work on the SP2, but won’t have the eraser or the magnet that holds the pen to the side of the tablet.
          P.S., you don’t really need an eraser end, as you can use an eraser “brush” in your art software.

          Reply
          1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Emily

            I made a huge mistake a placed my order before reading your response! I do not like the Samsung Galaxy tab 3, even just the way the screen looks is strange and makes my eyes hurt somehow. I’m planning on returning it and looking into other cheaper options. I was looking at some earlier comments and I was wondering if you still recommend the Toshiba Encore 2 Write? There is a cheaper version without the “Write” bit in the title but I’m assuming that means it’s without all the features that make it a great drawing tablet?
            Thanks again so much for your time!

          2. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            Oh! sorry about that. Perhaps you can adjust the settings to turn the brightness down. Or type “blue light filter” into the Google Play store and download one of those apps, they will make the screen easier on the eyes by taking out the blue light. Yes the Encore 2 Write is good. You are correct, if you get the one without the Write, you will not be getting the drawing features. Maybe also consider the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, which is pretty affordable.

          3. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            This Dell Venue 10 Pro is cheap, you have to buy a pen though.
            Pen for 10 pro is this one, I would not say the tablet is top of the line, but it has drawing features. Pen is good, it’s a Wacom pen. I wouldn’t run full Photoshop on it, maybe Photoshop Elements, Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage.

          4. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Emily

            Hi,
            Do you know if all iPads have pressure sensitivity and/or palm rejection? the cheapest one is the iPad mini 2 but I can’t find this information. thank you for helping me so much!

          5. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

            Hi, only the iPad Pros have those features, and they require the Apple Pencil.

  65. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Johanna

    Hello. I hope that I’m not too late to get answers to my questions. I have just started using digital media for art. I want to start a web-comic by the end of this year but I don’t have a drawing tablet and my regular tablet(not a drawing tablet) has met it’s end. My comic won’t be super detailed but it will be colorful.(I don’t know if that affects my tablet options or not).
    Anyways, I am looking for a drawing tablet that is smaller than 15 inches and can run apps like MediBang(paint/drawing app) Gimp(a free “like” Photoshop program; optional) LINEWEBTOON, and games like Iruna and Fallout Shelter with a decent amount of space and the ability to have a 16GB SD card on it as well.. I think I’d like see what I am drawing on the tablet’s screen and on my laptop, rather than just on my laptop. My laptop is the Lenovo Think Pad T400 and I have Windows 7. It’s fine if I can only draw on it while it’s connected to my laptop but I would like to be able to use all of the other features(like app use) if there are any, anywhere that I have WiFi. Pressure sensitivity is not super important to me because I tend to write really heavily and go over lines more than once to get them thicker rather than press harder. I don’t have Bluetooth connect-ability with my laptop so using cords is a must! My price range is under $200. Also, do all drawing tablets automatically come with an art program on them? Do they have app stores too? I’m looking forward to your help and reccomendations.
    Note~ I read about %90 of this really helpful article but I can’t accurately use all of the terms yet so I hope this was descriptive enough. ~

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi,
      Most do come with apps or downloads, but some of the lower-cost Wacom-alternative ones (such as Huion) do not. Wacom does, and any separate tablet that’s also a computer has apps.

      For your budget, unfortunately, there aren’t tablets with screens that you attach to your computer, unless you buy used. The cheapest one is the XP-pen 10″ but it’s around $300 right now. There are some small Windows art tablets you could use by themselves (not attached to a computer) that around that much, such as the older Asus VivoTab Note 8, or the Dell Venue 8 Pro, also older.

      If you don’t care about pressure sensitivity, you can use anything with a touchscreen and regular stylus (like non-Pro iPad type of stylus) Android tablet, any touchscreen computer, or iPad. But then you will also not have palm rejection, which is a pain, as it means your palm can make a mark. You can check out this post about drawing styluses that can give you some pressure sensitivity–some work for both iPad, Android, and PCs–they do work through Bluetooth so the tablet would need those. All Android tablets give you access to the Google Play store, which has tons of apps, some free. iPads don’t have SD card slots but most other tablets do. There are a lot of Android tablets in that price range. You would have to use mobile apps from the Google Play store, not the desktop Gimp that you have.

      Wi-fi doesn’t really relate to the features, they will work without Wi-fi. Wacom Intuoses can attach to a computer via Wi-fi or cord. The tablets with screens that attach to computer all use cords.

      You may be OK just buying a non-screen tablet such as an Intuos, then you can stick to the art programs you have or use the ones that come with it. There’s an Intuos Comics Pen and Touch that comes with Clip Studio Paint Pro and Anime Studio.

      If you decide whether to get one with a screen or not and still have more questions let me know.

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet Johanna

        Thank you! This helped a lot. It looks like I’ve got just a bit more searching and shopping to do.

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          Glad to help!

          Reply
  66. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet R

    Hi I was wondering.. is it possible to use the Intuos pro pen and touch tablet (medium ) with the program Clip Studio Paint/Manga Studio5? If so how can we adjust the hand gestures so we can pinch, zoom etc ?

    Reply
    1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

      Hi, yes it is, actually one of the Intuos tablets, the Manga, comes bundled with it. A few years ago, the program updated to enable touch. Here are some specifics from the Clip Studio Paint user manual.
      here is the Intuos Comic and it talks about Clip Studio Paint:

      http://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-tablets/intuos-comic

      Reply
      1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet R

        Thank you so much. I do have this tablet and I am looking into this program to use so thank you for your help.

        Reply
        1. Tablets for Artists | Find the best drawing tablet [email protected] Post author

          It was the online user guide to Clip Studio Paint, and it lists some Mac differences http://www.clip-studio.com/site/gd_en/csp/userguide/csp_userguide/500_menu/500_menu_cpl.htm?rhsearch=mac&rhsyns=%20
          But when you download the program, you do a separate download for Windows and Mac along with the matching manuals–I have not compared them–but it shouldn’t make any difference as far as using it on a Wacom tablet.

          Reply

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