samsungnotebook9proreview

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro Review, S Pen included

samsungnotebook9pro

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review: an all-you-need 2-in-1

This relatively powerful, relatively affordable, art-friendly 2-in-1 tablet PC laptop is on my list of top drawing tablet PCs. This is the second generation and came out in late 2017.  It comes in 13.3 and 15″ versions. This Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review focuses on the 15.”.

(There is no upcoming 2018 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, but the soon-to-be-released Notebook 9 Pen will be similar).

The 15″ Notebook 9 Pro is one of the lightest in its class on the market, and the included S pen saves you money on an extra pen purchase. It also rests in a built-in silo, so you don’t have to keep looking for a place to stow it.

It’s not super powerful, but it can handle Photoshop, light gaming, and general use. The best thing about it, and Samsung’s myriad other S-Pen offerings, is the smooth Wacom EMR pen experience.

Type of tablet

2-in-1, nondetachable
Runs: Windows, comes with Windows 10 Home and Creator Update

Digitizer

Wacom EMR, S Pen, 4096 levels, tilt sensitivity
Uses Windows Ink

Features

Comes in 13.3″ and 15″
Nondetachable keyboard
360-degree hinge
8th-gen Intel i7 processor (on Best Buy model, only on the 15″)
The 13 also has an i5 version.
Aspect ratio 16:9
Can charge with portable charger
Display: LED LCD. HD 1920 x 1080p
Brightness 350 nits
Color gamut: 106% sRGB, 77% Adobe RGB
Windows Ink
Weight: 3.79 lbs (15″)
2.91 lbs (13″)

Graphics:
AMD Radeon 540 (15″ – 15 also discrete graphics (2GB GDDR5, switchable).
Integrated Intel UHD graphics 620 (13)
Backlit keyboard

RAM: 16GB (15) 8 GB (13). RAM not upgradeable
Storage: 256 GB (can swap to larger hard drive)
720p HD Webcam with microphone
Samsung’s Dual Channel Memory (quickens multitasking, viewing, and rendering)
Windows Hello facial recognition
Modes: Outdoor, quiet, HDR mode for videos

Ports

1 USB-C
2 USB 3.0
headphone,
Micro SD
HDMI
Dimensions:
13.7 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches (15)
12.21″ x 8.54″ x 0.63″ (13)

What’s in the Box

Notebook Pro 9
Battery (3-cell)
Charger

Build

The Notebook 9 Pro has a solid build quality with utilitarian style, meaning, not  much style. It has an all-metal, aluminum alloy body. It’s slender but solidly built, doesn’t bend, and has nicely rounded edges that won’t dig into your hands and thighs.

Its two hinges let you pose it into laptop/tent/stand/tablet.The hinges are sturdy and hold the positions without making the screen wiggle. It takes a little effort to open it from a closed position.

When bending the laptop into a tablet, I immediately accidentally shut off the power key, which sits on the right side where it’s easy to do that.

The other easy accident is putting the S Pen back upside-down, which I also immediately did. If you put it in wrong, it can get stuck and even cause damage.

samsung notebook 9 pro review

Notebook 9 Pro in tablet mode

For lefties

It’s fine for lefties, but as one Samsung Notebook Pro review observed, lefties may do well to get a longer pen to be able to reach scrollbars.

Display

The screen has really good color to the eye, bright without being oversaturated. It’s sharp (though not 4K) with realistic colors and deep blacks. You can pick different color profiles.

It’s glossy but not overly slippery or glarey and doesn’t attract a lot of fingerprints.

The display is bright at 350 nits, and colors are faithful, with deep, rich blacks.

The slightly raised bezel is thin, not the minimal “infinity” style, but i I don’t mind having what I’m doing separated from the environment around it.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard is backlit. Keys are comfortable and quiet, chicklet with each key slightly curved. It would be nice if they had more travel.

The keyboard when on the bottom, does not retract, but the keyboard and trackpad both stop working when folded back. So, if you want keyboard shortcuts you would need an external Bluetooth or USB-connected keyboard.

The trackpad is large, accurate, and accepts gestures.

The 1.5-watt speakers don’t seem to be a priority. They don’t have much bass or oomph.

The machine boots up really fast, and it’s fast and responsive; I didn’t get any annoying blue circles as can happen on lower-power computers even with undemanding tasks.

The 8th generation Intel chip, the dual core  i7-8500, is the same  used in the most recent MacBook Pro 15. The 15″ Notebook 9 Pro has a 2GB dedicated graphics chip that’s about half again as fast as the 13’s integrated chip. Both sizes are fine for Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite, video editing, and light gaming.

The 9 Pro is not a super powerhouse but it’s fine for digital art, students, and general productivity or busness.The quadcore Lenovo Yoga 720 is more powerful, but heavier.

It comes with some bloatware, such as Samsung apps you may not have much use for and can remove.

Portability

At 3.9 lbs., the 15″ is lighter than the same size Yoga 720 or HP Spectre. It’s still a little heavy to carry around but you won’t find something lighter at that size. The 13″ is a pound lighter and easier to slip into a messenger bag. The pen weighs hardly anything and the included charger is compact. The Notebook 9 Pro is lighter than Yoga 720 15 or HP Spectre 15.

You can charge it with a portable battery charger (not included) via the USB-C port.

Battery life

About 7 hours of mixed use on both models.

 

Pen

2018samsungnotebook9review

Notebook 9 Pro S pen and keyboard

The battery-free, Refined S pen fits into a silo in the front of the laptop base. The pen is skinny and short, and very light. Its fine point is .07mm.

Having a silo is super convenient since you don’t need to worry about keeping a separate pen someplace.

Should you want a larger implement, older Wacom EMR tablet-PC pens as well as the golden Staedtler Noris are compatible. The tilt sensitivity works with these pens as well as the S-Pen.The older tablet PC pen I tried on it didn’t produce an offset.

As with the Galaxy Note, the pen opens up Air Command, where you can do things like screenshot and annotate. Beyond the usual Windows Ink settings, there aren’t specialized pen settings.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review

Samsung Air Command and S Pen

Drawing on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Having a 15″ display is almost like having a Cintiq MobileStudio Pro 16, without quite the power so many art features, but the size makes up for it in many ways.

Being able to stow the stylus right in it makes working less fraught with anxiety over losing the little devil. Though you may definitely want a larger, slightly heavier pen for heavier work.

The pen has great accuracy, nearly no parallax (offset), and is calibrated right out of the box. It’s also very sensitive. Even though it’s superlight, gently running it over the screen produces a line.  Lines come out fluidly, almost like ink. The fine tip makes it precise in hitting icons. Palm rejection works fine.

Tilt sensitivity doesn’t seem as obvious as with a Cintiq pen. I’ve gotten something resembling barrel roll with some apps using the S Pen, but I don’t think this is a feature intended to create designs the way it was in the old Wacom Art Pen for Cintiqs.

If you want to do 3D, it comes with Microsoft 3D, which is, as they say, fun for all ages. It’s sort of a premade way for young Makers to assemble a quick monster or robot. You can also go a lot farther with it.

User Reactions

Most who penned a Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review were very satisfied. Some praised the color quality as well as speed. While some wish the screen were 4K, others don’t mind. One pointed out that a higher resolution screen would cause issues with scaling Adobe icons. Most thought the speakers were just OK.

Pros

lightweight
can charge via portable charger (not included) via USB-C
well-built
value
fast, smooth
Wacom EMR, S Pen included

Cons

Must remember to put pen in silo the right way or can get stuck
RAM not upgradeable
Speakers lack oomph
Bloatware

The Verdict

This Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review is a pen’s-up. It’s speedy, affordable, portable and all you need for general art use. If you had one of the old Samsung slates, this will replace that with the same drawing experience and a lot more power.

Still, you might want to wait for the Notebook 9 Pen which you might think of as the 2018 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. It’s not that different from the Pro but will weigh only 2.2 pounds because it’s built with a lighter-than-aluminum alloy called Metal12. You can see what’s ahead for Samsung’s new lineup.

See Samsung Notebook Pro 9 at Best Buy

Save $100 on a Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 13″ (256GB SSD) (1/28 – 2/3 only!) Reg. $1,099.99. Plus free shipping! (Samsung)

See on Amazon

Optional, if you want a longer pen than the one it comes with:

End of Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review

See best 2-in-1s for drawing

12 best drawing apps for iPad Pro

Best drawing apps for iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and other styluses

What are the best drawing apps for iPad Pro? Artists love the iPad Pro, and so do the app developers who cater to them. I tried a whole bunch and picked these–it’s a pretty long list, because not every app will appeal to everyone.

Mobile art apps of 2017 and 2018 offer advanced features once found only in desktop apps. Some have Android and desktop Mac and/or PC versions as well. iOS 11 has made it easier to transfer files from app to app, in case one doesn’t do something that another does.

Most of the best art apps for iPad Pro strongly integrate the Apple Pencil and  multitouch gestures. Most also support other drawing styluses, including Adonit and Wacom. (See the top drawing styluses for iPad and Android). These iOS apps also work on regular iPad and iPhone.

What should you look for in a mobile art app?

Mobile art apps run a gamut, with some strongly enabling drafting or constructing and including features like  perspective grids, ellipses, rulers, and shapes, while others focus more on painterly effects,  brushes, customizations. And some have all of these. Do you need comic panels? Shapes? Perspective? 3D? Good text tools? Vector? Realistic oil brushes? Replay? Most people will probably want a good pencil and pen tool, the ability for high-res paintings, layers, and easy sharing.

Links go to the app’s Web sites, which you can find links to the various app versions including AppStore, Google Play Store, and desktop.

Procreate 

procreate ipad pro

Procreate Apple Pencil settings

Procreate is probably the most popular app with professional iPad Pro artists, and comes only on iOS. It has a stellar array of brushes, or make your own from a library of shapes and textures. You can also upload textures or use brushes made by other users. The app also cleverly uses iOS 11 by letting you do timesaving tasks such as dragging a custom brush off the Web or emailing a layer.

You can use huge canvases and unlimited layers, adjust Apple Pencil settings, and record and play back paintings.  Some find it easy to learn while others may not find it that intuitive. If your needs are only light drawing and painting, then Procreate may be like splitting peas with a sledgehammer.

The current version lacks a ruler and grid, and doesn’t have vector brushes, symmetry, ellipses, or an easy way to make paper textures.

Procreate site

Autodesk Sketchbook and Sketchbook Pro

sketchbook pro app

Sketchbook Pro

Autodesk Sketchbook apps’ appeal is an easy, intuitive interface combined with a lot of power. Sketchbook by Autodesk has many brush textures, and you can create your own. Its Copic marker library makes it perfect for manga. It has, radial symmetry (perfect for mandalas!), guides, and ellipses to help with perspective.

Drawing on the iPad with Sketchbook Pro is nice and uncluttered, as you can hide the UI. The free version, Sketchbook, gives you limited tools and just a few layers, while Pro, which is by annual subscription, adds a lot more. It’s a very simple app to use, without much learning curve. It’s an excellent drawing app for beginners.

Sketchbook doesn’t have things like wet paper, blending, or specific simulation of types of paint. The selection tools are there, but they could be more intuitive.

Freemium. Great art app for beginners.

Autodesk Sketchbook site

Level: easy to learn

Tayasui Sketches and Sketches Pro

tayasui sketches app

Tayasui Sketches

Tayasui Sketches/Sketches Pro has a pleasant, airy feeling the company describes as Zen.  Its interface is wordless, so language isn’t a barrier. This is a fun and easy app popular among illustrators.

Tayasui’s UI keeps brushes and tools out in the open. You can change the icons to look more like real tools. You can set the tools to remember color. There’s a cool pattern brush that includes a set delicate hand-drawn patterns. The free version is great for sketching (you get the Rotring Pen and a handful of other brushes that emulate real-world tools, such as Acrylic Brush.) Supports gestures, Apple Pencil, and other Bluetooth styluses. It’s a nice, simple and easy drawing experience. Though it’s not the most extensive app, it’s smooth and works great.

Freemium. Great art app for beginners.

Tayasui Sketches site

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

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Adobe Photoshop Sketch  appears minimal at first glance, showing just 5 brushes–pencil, marker, watercolor, ink, and acrylic. But each one has lots of settings like desktop Photoshop, including pressure, flow, size, and velocity. Tap on the “plus” and a plethora of new brushes appear, including Kyle T. Webster brushes. The app also as layers, shapes, grids,  a wide variety of premade formats, and the ability to save to the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can a timelapse, share, and send to Behance. Adobe Photoshop Sketch manages to offer a lot while still keeping it simple and intuitive. This app has grown into one of the best free art apps for Apple Pencil and iOS out there.

This is one of the best drawing apps for iPad Pro if you’re just starting but want expressive brush options and are ready to tackle some more meaty features.

Free

Adobe Photoshop Sketch site

 

Adobe Illustrator Draw

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Adobe Illustrator Draw is a powerful vector app. No more fussing with Bezier curves and handles, you can just take your Apple Pencil and have completely natural control, turning out tapered, pressure-sensitive lines. Or just finger paint.

You can also do things like upload your own textures which, zap, get turned into vectors. So your art is all fully scalable. You can even export your files over to the desktop version of Illustrator, layers included. Adobe Illustrator Draw can streamline your workflow as an illustrator. You’ll need to have an Adobe Creative Cloud account to use it.

Free, easy to moderate

Adobe Illustrator Draw site

ArtRage

ArtRage a fine art painting app that lets you express yourself in truly painterly ways. It’s got brushes that emulate oil, impasto, pastels, rollers, pencil, crayon, airbrush, eraser, even glitter. You can even squeeze paint out of a tube. You can use layers, different paper textures, view brushes in a close-up window, and export to png, jpg, or the native ptg app, but not to psd. The app focuses on being close to painting in real life. One interesting thing this artist is doing in ArtRage is using the tools to hand-transform photos into paintings complete with brushstrokes. ArtRage settings for Apple Pencil and Bluetooth styluses.

The mobile version lacks selection tools, though, so you’ll need  a workaround.

Paid. Very easy to use.

ArtRage site

 

Infinite Painter

Infinite Painter states, “We are not Sketchbook.
We are not Photoshop.
We are not Procreate.”

Infinite Painter

Infinite Painter

The app aims to distinguish itself, and it does. Popular with Android users, there’s also an iOS version. The UI is nearly invisible, you use a pulldown menu. There are  pattern tools–Path, Symmetry, Quilt, and Tile as well as brush masking for filters. There are built-in paper textures, and brushes act on them as they would in the real world–how cool is that? Also, you can paint with a brush on the canvas and it picks up the color. Infinite Painter also has features borrowed from Photoshop, like Clipping Masks and Curves. It also has canvas textures, symmetry, and ellipses. It lets you import photos from free photo site Pixabay, so you can bring an image in as inspiration, or use one on your iPad.

Infinite Painter does not have  specific customizations for Apple Pencil or other styluses, nor does it have PSD import or replay, but we still think it’s one of the best free drawing apps for iPad and a good free alternative to Procreate–most of the free ones do not do as much as this one.

Paid. Level: Moderate

Infinite Painter site (Sean Brakefield)

Sketch Club

Sketch Club

Sketch Club

SketchClub is a fun, popular, sophisticated, and cheap iPad art app. I has a large, engaged community you can share your work with, as well as community-made brushes. It even has its own zine. It’s got plenty of advanced features, including Smudge and vector tools; bristle brushes; layer transform, customizable color theme, a fast brush and compositing engine, gif export and up to 64 layers. It has autosave and HD canvas recording and playback. Its inking and coloring panels are perfect for creating comics. It even lets you upload T-shirt designs directly to Snaptee.  Sketch Club is about the users.

Paid

Sketch Club site

Inspire Pro

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Inspire Pro is something like Painter and ArtRage, with oil paint, airbrushes, markers. It’s got a wide array of brushes, divided by media into sets.  Like Procreate, you can make dual-texture brushes from shapes and textures. Inspire Pro has extensive customization of the UI and brush strokes. It’s designed as an Apple Pencil drawing app in that it lets you customize settings for that and other styluses as well.  If you want brushes that simulate traditional media plus the ability to make extensive customizations, then this is for you.

Alas, Inspire Pro allows only one layer, so that may be an issue, bringing the experience closer to real-world painting. After buying it, there are still in-app purchases.

Paid

Inspire Pro site (Snowcanoe)

ArtStudio Pro

ArtStudio Pro app

ArtStudio Pro

The update of the old ArtStudio is packed with features that utilize the Apple Pencil in this new version. The company is on its way to adding support for other styluses but right now it’s one of the best Apple Pencil apps in 2017. ArtStudio Pro lets you create stunning art. There are 450 brushes (150 of them free). There are also 40 filters, such as Gaussian Blur, Render Clouds, and Elastify. So you can edit photos and utilize text: it’s got 150 fonts and support for TTF fonts that you can add. If you have the old ArtStudio, you can upgrade to this one.

Paid

Art Studio Pro site (Lucky Clan)

Medibang Paint

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Medibang for iPad has almost as much going for it as its desktop version, and both are free. It offers so much it’s kind of dizzying. Similar to Paint Tool SAI, Medibang is a great app for comics and cartooning, since it lets you easily make panels of different shapes and layouts. There are also free comic book fonts. There’s a library of tones, word balloons, and other goodies. It has interesting pens like Symmetry, Turnip, and Sumi. You can also do layer masks and customize shortcuts. There’s autobackup in case of crashes. Supports Apple, Wacom, and Adonit styluses (remember to turn on pen pressure). It’s a fun ride. Users can create an account to save their work to the Cloud.

I do wish it had better selection tools.

Free

Medibang site

Paintstorm

paintstorm app

Paintstorm

Paintstorm is extremely versatile and perfect for app geeks who love to experiment. Its devotees put up with some glitches here and there to enjoy this fun (though memory-intensive) program. The app may be a work in progress, but some glorious art is made with it. One of its more unusual features is being able to blend multiple  layers together. There are all sorts of oil brushes, gradient brushes, shortcuts, Incredible options for customizing brushes, support for PSD and ABR, full support for Apple Pencil, rulers, ellipses, perspective brush tools, and the ability to correct brush strokes for any parameter. It’s something like Corel Paint. The mobile app offers the same exact features as the desktop Mac version. The free version (the one I tried) allows you to work in up to 10 layers but only to save to one and to open a single-layer file. The paid one allows PSD import and export.  The app could use more type and comics-panel options.

Freemium

Paintstorm site

Conclusion

There a lot of great art apps  but these are some of the best drawing apps for iPad Pro and other styluses. So if you’re still using Paper by Fifty Three (a classic that’s not bad to get started with), don’t be afraid to try something new. All of them offer different versions of analogue art supplies, which are, in short, brushes, colors, and surfaces. Just think, this guy does his art in Excel!

 

end of Best drawing apps for iPad Pro

 

 

 

best cheap drawing tablets

Best cheap drawing tablets: 10 for [2017-2018]

best cheap drawing tablets

Best cheap drawing tablets: our favorites for 2017-2018

Starving artist seeking the best cheap drawing tablets? Look no farther. Going digital without breaking the bank is a question on the minds of many. I’ve been lucky to be able to test quite a few cheap tablets and I’m a believer. I do not agree with reviewers who say you have to buy a Cintiq.

Here are top picks and links to our reviews.

CHEAP GRAPHICS PADS FOR PC OR MAC
  
Huion 610 Pro
Read Huion 610 Pro review
International customers
Wacom Intuos Draw
wacom-intuos-draw
Read Intuos Draw reviewInternational customers
Wacom Intuos Art Pen & Touch
Read Intuos Pen & Touch review
International customers
BUDGET PEN DISPLAYS
XP-Pen Artist 22E

Read XP-Pen Artist 22E review
International customers
PNBOO PN2150
Read PNBOO PN2150 reviewUK customers
(only in US and UK right now)
Ugee 1910B
Read Ugee 1910B review
International customers
Artisul D13
Artisul D13 reviewInternational customers
STANDALONE MOBILE AND 2-in-1s
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
Read Galaxy Tab A with S Pen review
International customers
Lenovo Yoga Book
Read Yoga Book review

International customers
Lenovo Miix 320
Read about Miix 320International customers

I’ve made a list that includes the 3 different types: cheap graphics tablets without screens, budget tablet monitors, and cheap drawing tablets with screen–Android tablets or cheap 2-in-1 tablet PCs. All come with an active pen.

If we were talking about traditional art supplies, I would say to spend more, because of factors such as pigment, fillers, and lightfastness. But pixels are pixels. It’s the experience of using the tablet, and its reliability, that matter the most.

A good cheap drawing tablet does most of the same thing as an expensive drawing tablet. Some might say you shouldn’t penny pinch, but the price difference can be huge.

Below I go over the differences and want to look for.

Ultra cheap pen display

I’ve tested and reviewed this PNBoo PN10 as a small ultra-cheap tablet monitor. It has Express Keys. I think this is a good choice for a small cheap drawing tablet with screen.

A cheaper graphics tablet is the Turcom TS 6610, which is similar (with small hardware and driver differences) to the Huion 610Pro. If you use the Huion driver, you’re better off.

 

bestcheapdrawingtablets (1)

Dog knows.

Cheap tablets vs. Wacom

Build

Cheap drawing tablets, and their pens, are made mostly of plastic and thus are lighter. Parts are metal, including the stand. Expensive drawing tablets have more metal alloy and tend to weigh more.

Features and hardware

These budget brands, and most others, use EMR, which is the same type of technology that Wacom uses in their digitizers. EMR is highly sensitive, so you will not be missing out in terms of pen responsiveness.

Lower-cost tablets usually have no tilt sensitivity, no multitouch (ability to finger paint). A cheap drawing tablet won’t get pressure sensitivity in vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

For vector art, the best option is to use Clip Studio Paint, where you can get pressure sensitivity with a budget tablet. Though those files stay in their native file type and can’t be exported to .eps or .ai files.

Cheap graphics tablets don’t have a wireless kit the way the Intuos non-Pro models do (note, that costs extra).

Most budget tablet monitors lack external, customizable Express Keys. Some do, though.

Cheap tablet monitors come with a stand, but the stand doesn’t swivel the way Wacoms do.

Budget tablets usually have 2048 levels of pressure and Wacoms have up to 8192, though some still have 1024. All are fine.

Generally, a cheap drawing tablet won’t come with bundled art software. Wacom Intuoses do, though.

Wacom Intuos as a cheap drawing tablet

As you can see, two Wacom Intuoses are named as a best cheap graphics tablet. That may seem strange, but the small non-Pro Intuoses really aren’t that expensive. They don’t have all the features of the Pro line, but that’s OK for most people.  I think Medium is the best size for drawing, but it depends. With the Intuos you get bundled art software.

(See  best Wacom tablets.)

Drivers

Drivers for budget tablet brands do not offer as much customization as more expensive ones. They can also be harder to install or have occasional hiccups.

Wacom drivers are not immune from hiccups, but the installation process takes you by the hand more. Usually I find the budget ones to install quickly, but now and then there’s a hitch.

Low-cost tablets usually do not come with bundled art software. Wacom’s do, so that adds value.

Other differences are simply in the packaging. Some budget pen displays come in plain boxes without printing on them. The manuals may not be written in perfect English or may say “works with Windows 8” when the world is on Windows 10.

Don’t worry about that. Companies keep the drivers updated even if they don’t always keep the printed matter up to date. Download the drivers from their sites.

The screen tends to be smooth; there’s no texture as there is on some Cintiqs.

Many of the budget graphics pads and pen displays come with a generous assortment of accessories such as a drawing glove, bag, screen protector, and extra pen.

Tip:

A lot of the low-cost tablet brands have interchangeable drivers, meaning those from one company can work on another’s. That’s a positive. If you have trouble with a driver, you can sometimes download a driver from a different site. In some of my reviews, I’ve noted where I had difficulties with drivers and tried alternative ones that worked better.

Support

As far as support, most of the companies have ways of reaching them online, including forums, phone, and Skype chats. Some have offices in the U.S. and other countries and some don’t. Not all have Facebook pages and Twitter, as some are in countries where those are blocked. So you may need to use email or Skype.

Buying on Amazon is probably your best bet since you will have their return policy and guarantees.

Most of these are for sale only online, except the Wacoms. You won’t find cheap drawing tablets at Best Buy or other big box stores.

What to look for (and look out for) in an affordable art tablet:

Drivers should install without a struggle. Be sure you have deleted all previously installed tablet drivers first. (If you’re on a tablet PC, you can leave the tablet PC software. Only delete drivers that you or someone else installed onto the computer.)

If you do have a struggle, contact support of that particular company. You can also try deleting and reinstalling. It seems to me that installation is getting easier.

Drivers should work well across programs and for Windows and Mac.

Ports should not be loose. Loose ports are even a problem in some Wacom tablets. Cables should fit snugly into ports.

Don’t be alarmed if the screen squeaks at first when you use the pen; rub the screen with your hands a few times to quiet it down.

 

cheap drawing tablet

 

Cheap Android and 2-in-1s

I’ve included standalone, direct drawing tablets on my list too, including the Lenovo Yoga Book and Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, an excellent choice for a relatively cheap 10″ tablet.. There are some relatively inexpensive tablet PCs and Android tablets.

A lot of people want a 2-in-1. None are super powerful, though. If you want a lot of processing power at the lowest price, you may be better off using a PC with an attached graphics pad.

Students, beginners, hobbyists, and artists on a budget–including professional ones–all can benefit by saving money. Many people have been using these best cheap drawing tablets and are happy with them. I’ve been glad to have had the opportunity to try some.

You can always start out with an affordable option then move up. Or you may just decide to keep it.

You will find you can get good results without spending so much.

Read more drawing tablet reviews.

end of Best Cheap Drawing Tablets

 

 

 

PNBOO PN10 review

PNBOO PN10 review: pen display under $250. Testing and video

PNBOO PN10 review

Image courtesy PNBOO

PNBOO PN10 review: Amazingly affordable

The PNBoo PN10 is a small, lightweight tablet monitor with screen that costs under $250 as of this writing (Dec. 2017).  It’s just 10″ diagonal, with an active area of 8.5 x 5.3″ (217 x 136 mm). It’s amazingly affordable.  PNBoo sent me the PN10 to review.

pnboo pn10 review

Click image if you’re already ready to see it on Amazon

Type of tablet

Pen display/Cintiq alternative

You have to attach it to a computer.

PNBoo also makes the 21″ PN2150 (review here).

Features

Active area: 8.5 x 5.3″
Pen: batteryless, lightweight
Display: HD (1280×800)
Pen pressure: 2048 levels
Resolution/Report Rate: 5080 LPI, 220 pps
ms 5

What’s in the box?

The PNBOO comes in an attractive white box with graphics. (Unlike some budget ones that come in plain cardboard). You can see the box at the bottom of this page where it says unboxing video (you don’t have to watch the video to see it).

10intabletaccessories

PNBoo PN10 with pen, pen holder, glove, CD

Pen display monitor
1 Pen
Pen holder
8 extra nibs
1 pen page
USB cable
HDMI cable
Plug
2 in 1 cable

Like other budget graphics monitors, it has no multitouch (can’t finger paint on it), no tilt sensitivity, and no pressure sensitivity in Illustrator. Palm rejection is not an issue since it doesn’t have multitouch.

I recently reviewed the PNBOO PN2150, a 21″ tablet monitor. The PN10 is around a couple hundred bucks at this writing.

pnboo 10 small tablet

Tablet

The build quality is nice. The PNBOO is really lightweight, lighter than an iPad Pro. It’s made of plastic and pretty solid, with two rubber grips along the back so you can grab it easily. There’s a raised bezel around the screen. Unlike most budget drawing monitors, there are six Express Keys that are programmable in the driver. The driver has presets to some popular drawing programs.

You can use any art software with it, including Photoshop, Sketchbook, Gimp, Blender, Illustrator and more. It gets pressure sensitivity (not in Illustrator or Inkscape though–for pressure in vector, use Manga Studio). You can’t finger paint on it, though, you have to use a stylus.

On a Mac, you will need a MiniDisplayPort to HDMI adapter.

There’s no need to plug the PNBOO PN10 tablet into a wall, which gives it a lot more mobility. I was easily able to sit on the couch and draw, and at the desk, it doesn’t take up much space.

The best thing about it (besides the price) is how light it is. The pen is very light, too. It’s thin, more like a ballpoint pen. It’s similar (perhaps the same) as the pen that comes with the ArtisulD13. The driver says Artisul, so there’s some connection there.

Pen

The pen has a more premium quality than the thick pens that come with most budget tablets. It has a chrome band at the place you can unscrew and open the two sides (though there’s no good reason to open it). The pen doesn’t need a battery or charging.

The pen is accurate, without much parallax. I did recalibrate it, but it was fine out of the box. The plastic on the screen is pretty thin so there’s not a lot of distance between the surface and the digitizer layer, thus, not much parallax. It’s not possible to have zero.

Driver

Driver installation was simple. I used the site to get the driver, rather than the included CD, since my computers lack a CD drive. It’s always better to use downloaded ones anyway, because they are kept updated.

The driver says Artisul, and as mentioned, it has shortcuts for the express keys and pen buttons. More on the driver later.

pnboopn10driver

Screen

The drawing surface is plastic. It’s not too slippery. It’s a lot less slippery than the iPad Pro. In fact, when home, I find myself using this instead of the iPad Pro, which surprised me. I like that I can use desktop programs, that it’s not too slippery, and that it feels like a dedicated drawing surface rather than something that invariably distracts me with all the online temptations (even though I can on those on the tablet screen, the icons are so small on it that it’s less tempting.

Colors on the IPS LED screen are rich and bright, with deep blacks.

Changing the brightness on the computer screen does not affect the brightness or color on the PnBoo.

The pen is thinner than most budget pens. It’s like the Artisul D13’s pen.

Drawing on the PNBOO PN10

pnboo pn10 drawing

lines done in Clip Studio Paint

At first the driver was fine but then it started to behave inconsistently. I deleted, then reinstalled it, and since then it has been fine. Pressure sensitivity works well and there’s good pen accuracy. You have to press a little bit but it’s fine.

I also tried the Artisul D13 driver from the Artisul site (Artisul.com) and that one worked well, so if you have any driver issues, or just want to compare, try that one.

PNBoo PN10 review: the verdict

I’d recommend the PNBOO PN10 for people who want something small, light, and cheap, who want to use desktop programs as opposed to apps. The PNBOO could be a good travel pick if you are working on a larger Cintiq type of tablet but can’t bring it with you. It also could be good for a starter tablet for a student. The size makes it more like a sketchbook.

Here’s a quick pen test from the outside of the tablet:

Here’s my unboxing video.

See it on Amazon: click for US

See on Amazon: click for UK

News from Tablet Pro Windows app

A word from Tablet Pro Windows app

Tablet Pro app will be adding new features. The app will be on sale before prices goes up Dec. 4.

… posting this for my buddy Justice over at Tablet Pro. Tablet Pro is an app available in the Windows store that provides a robust on-screen menu for artists. It lets you stop using your keyboard and mouse and just use your screen.

Check out the Tablet Pro site

They’re going to add features like pen-button remapping, layout switching and more. Because of all the new features and their concentration on this app, they’re going to increase the price. But if you get it before next Monday Dec. 4th, it will be discounted.

This is one of the very few Windows apps out there for tablet artists. If you have a Surface Pro or other tablet PC, it’s well worth a try.

Here’s the update:

Next Monday we are going to be changing our pricing. The new price of the total package will be $54.99. This is a big jump and I’d like to explain our thinking.

In order to further develop Tablet Pro, we need to increase our funding. I believe the end goal is to have the best software possible, that means adding a number of exciting new features (like automatic layout switching, built in pen button remapping, custom button colors and a host of new awesome improvements)

Here is the idea for the price change. We are wanting to increase revenue while doing our best to give our users the best possible deal.

Pricing will look like this next Monday. Artist Pad $19.99 (doubles in price) Fullscreen and Gesture $14.99 ($5 additional) Touchzoomdesktop $9.99 Gamepad $9.99 ($5 additional) Total Price Valued @ $54.99  Full package bundle price $34.99

This is a good discount for the whole package. Most of the time however, we plan on putting the discounted full package price at a steeper discount at $27.49 (50% off for a limited time). In practical terms this is a price increase of $1.50 over the current full package price of $25.99.  We feel that this price will more effectively convince new users to opt for the whole package with more confidence in its value.

So, why am I telling you? It occurred to me that some of our current users may have bought one or part of our software and upgrading from a single purchase to the Full package doesn’t make sense as the price doesn’t adjust to compensate for your previous purchase.

So this week only we are doing the Full Package for $9.99  It’s important to me that we honor and do our best to treat our current and future users well. I hope this pricing change makes sense to you. Our goal is to increase profits enough for Takashi to make improving Tablet Pro his full time job. This will benefit all of us greatly.

Please share this sale with as many people as possible (Reddit) and any news sites or social communities you feel would post an article. We want to grow and continue to develop Tablet Pro at an increased speed for everyone’s benefit!

Thank you for being a fantastic community to serve, Justice Frangipane