Art Tablet Gift Guide for 2015
‘Tis the season to paint with pixels… here are some nifty gift ideas for the tablet-totin’ creative type in your life (and maybe that someone is you!)
PENCIL BY FIFTY-THREE
Pencil by Fifty-Three for the iPad, This Bluetooth stylus works with Paper and other art apps. And it looks like a carpenter’s pencil. Compatible with iPads 3+, iPad mini, iPad Pro, iPhone 4s and above.Artist gloves keep that tablet finger-print free and reduce friction.
SENSU BRUSH AND STYLUS
This Sensu brush and stylus adds painterly touches and brushy textures to iPad art. It opens up many new possibilities to painting on a capacitive screen.
For more of the best iPad styluses for art, lookie here.
SURFACE PEN TIP KIT
This Surface Pen TIp Kit with varying nibs (2H, H, HB, B, and ballpoint pen) for the new Surface Pen makes a super stocking stuffer for your doodler.
–Here’s the skinny: The new Surface Pen is included with the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, but the tip kit is not included. The new pen also works with the Surface Pro 3, but the SP3 comes with the old pen, and the nibs can’t be used with that. If you buy a new Surface Pen by itself, the tip kit comes with it–so if your artist has a Surface Pro 3 and you want these nibs, you have to buy the whole pen. How do you tell which pen is which? The new pen has just one button on the side.
TSA-FRIENDLY LAPTOP BACKPACK
A TSA-friendly laptop backpack is a great present for your traveling artist. At many airports this will speed you through security. The packs open up to reveal your laptop. Some also are tricked out with additional safety features, such as RFID blocking and slash-proof fabric
LAPTOP AND TABLET MESSENGER BAG
For daily commutes or interviews with art directors, this TSA-friendly messenger bag by Timbuktu has both a laptop and tablet compartment to keep gear safe. It also has a handy handle.
MOLESKINE ART PLUS SKETCHBOOK
You can’t go wrong with a Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook. Why is this in a tablet gift guide? Pretty much all artists, digital or not, still carry a sketchbook (or they should). Best of all … no batteries. The this classic style and high quality make it an ideal gift or stocking stuffer.
These are handmade, artisanal cases for Cintiq Companions, iPads, paper pads, and more, with unique features. Buy straight from the maker. Use the code tabletsforartists to get $5 off. Also, we interviewed the maker.
GAMEVICE IPAD MINI GAMING CONTROLLER
The Gamevice turns your iPad mini 1, 2, 3, or 4 into a gaming console for a large and ever-growing game library in the App Store. Non-Bluetooth; attaches to Lightning Port.
PORTABLE EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
This popular portable external hard drive by WD comes in 500GB, 1 TB, 2 Tb, and 3TB. That should be plenty to carry all those big files anywhere.
WACOM INTUOS CREATIVE STYLUS 2
Turn your iPad into a pressure-sensitive canvas with this Wacom pen. The Bluetooth stylus affords Wacom features to your iPad.
BOOGIE BOARD E-WRITER
It’s weird, but I really love my Boogie Board (and apparently thousands of other people do, too!). It’s a low-cost LCD writing tablet made of lightweight plastic. The surface is pressure sensitive, and you can draw on it with a stylus or just about anything. (You can upload images you drew if you use this Bluetooth model) Check out their site to learn more.
Manga madness in the house? Encourage it with this Wacom Intuos Comic tablet. It comes with a Comic Pack of software to get them cranking out manga and anime, art forms with distinctive characters and dynamic compositions. For software only, try Manga Studio 5. Oh, and here’s a highly rated book, Beginner’s Guide to Creating Manga Art.
The Bamboo Spark lets you draw on real paper but captures your art digitally. You draw with a a ballpoint pen, press a button, and the drawing goes to immortality in the Wacom Cloud. Here’s a video if you don’t believe it.
ERGONOMIC GRIP FOR WACOM PRO AND GRIP PEN
Forget that suffering for art stuff. An ergonomic grip for the Wacom Pro and Grip Pens. It’s a wider grip shaped to lessen stress. Illustrators often draw for hours on end, and this makes it more comfortable.
A mounting arm might really help that illustrator laboring in front of a big, table-bound Cintiq or other tablet monitor. It allows more freedom of monitor position, and saves space–just clamp it to a desk or use a wall mounting arm. Be sure you have a VESA mount on the back of the monitor and that the arm can hold the correct weight. This one’s by Ergotron.
AEROPRESS COFFEE AND ESPRESSO MAKER
No art tablet gift guide would be complete without… Coffee! The popular Aeropress coffee maker uses the scientific method to make a brew potent enough to meet those deadlines. Geeks love it.
OTTERBOX CASE FOR IPAD
If you’re looking for a case to protect your iPad, the Otterbox is built like a tank.
NVIDIA SHIELD TABLET
Got a gamer who likes to draw? Or someone who doesn’t game, but likes to draw? This affordable, newly released NVIDIA Shield tablet is speedy as a road runner. It has a drawing app called Dabbler that takes advantage of the fast Tegra chip. For more info, see this post.
Give a Lynda.com gift subscription of one month, three months, or a year. Lynda is a software-tutorial site that’s is the go-to place to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. There are courses in many, many programs, enough to keep anyone occupied forever. (You can also access the content for free via many libraries if you’ve got a library card. Check with your local library.)
IPAD PRO WITH APPLE PENCIL (Pencil is sold separately)
iPad Pro, of course. Don’t forget the Apple Pencil. The Pencil delivers natural-looking, soft pencil goodness in digital form. Addictive.
end of Art Tablet Gift Guide 2015
I do not know what I am looking for and am running out of time. My 13 year old granddaughter likes to draw and wants some type of tablet that connects to her laptop so that she can drawl and the print, etc. Problem… what I think I am finding all have small surface areas (10 x 6 is the largest so far) unless I go into the 300.00 range.
Can anyone help me with what I am looking for?
Time is running out.
Hi, this one, the Intuos Art Pen and Touch Medium, costs less. The active area is 8.5 x 5.3 in.; the size they give is the entire area. This one, the Huion, has an active area of 10 x 6.25. This one, the Monoprice, is about same size. These are all medium and the most widely used size. I don’t recommend going larger than this, unless she has a very large monitor. But if you want that, this large Monoprice is low-priced and has an active area of 14 x 9. It says it may not arrive by the 25th.
If she gets a large one but has a screen 15″ or less, she will end up being able to use less of the active area of the tablet. The medium size corresponds to most screens. But if her screen is larger a large is OK. Medium is the most comfortable for drawing. With large you have to move your hand and arm more.