Art is as old as I can remember. And drawing alone has come a long way, to be frank.
In the past, an artist would use pieces of papers and a variety of brushes to get the most out of their skills.
But if something went wrong, they wouldn’t erase the painting. So, they would have a difficult time with their artwork.
The launch of computer programs like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Autodesk Sketchbook didn’t make things easy either. That’s because keyboard and mouse input still can’t deliver accuracy.
Things became a lot simpler when Wacom Technologies introduced the first drawing tablet and a set thereof, which could accurately emulate hand-drawn art on computer screen.
How then do you choose a good graphic tablet? To do this, consider pressure sensitivity, screen size, and the accuracy of the device. You also need to consider the cost, especially if you are on budget.
Best Drawing Tablets for 2021
1. Wacom Intous Draw
Wacom Intous Draw is the most simplified digital tablet for artists, and the oldest version from the company.
It features a pressure sensitive pen that draws thinner and thicker lines, depending on the intensity of the push.
It is compact, easily fits in limited desktop area, and easy to setup for right and left hand use.
Intous Draw has little empty space around the active area. That’s why it is thinner and lighter, unlike other Wacom’s models.
The active area is very small, measuring 152 x 95 mm. While this area isn’t a problem for drawers working with laptops, it might inconvenience artists who use high-resolution monitors.
Intous Draw is a cheap model with a premium feel. The design is sleek, and every component is well put together.
Although it does not have wireless functionality built-in, it has space for an optional wireless card (bought separately).
Intous Draw works well with Mac X version 10.8.5 and above and PC running Windows 7 or later. All you have to do is to create a connection via a USB cable, and turn your personal computer into an easy-to-use digital canvas.
Wacom Intous Draw is easy to use and it comes with free draw pack that includes free metal photo print, Art Rage Light software for drawing and sketching, and online tutorials.
- It is small, lightweight, and easy to carry
- Free software and online tutorials included
- A cheap tablet under 100 from an established brand
- Buttons are easy to customize for quick access
- This pen doesn’t have an eraser on its tip
- The active area is too small to be used with big monitors
- It doesn’t have wireless features built-in
2. Huion H610PRO Graphics Tablet
Huion H610PRO Graphics Tablet with Stylus is lightweight and easy to bring with you wherever you go.
The large drawing surface makes it a perfect alternative to Wacom Intous Draw, making it a good choice for those who work with high resolution monitors.
The new version of the rechargeable stylus is lighter and easier to use, and it comes with a nice-looking penholder to balance the pen on when it is not in use.
The battery life of this pen is higher than that of the previous version. It can last up to 800 hours after only two hours of charge.
The pressure curve is somewhat harder, but you can adjust it until you find it more comfortable to work with.
Huion Pen Graphic Tablet can work with any software on your PC, so it is up to you to choose a software solution you feel is suitable for you. Some of the more reliable solutions to use include Word, Adobe Photoshop, and Toon Boom.
The driver software is not as robust as the one used on Wacom, though, because it doesn’t support program customization, screen mapping, or radio menu.
Huion Pen has a premium feel that blends well with the sturdy design. The shortcut buttons are located on the left side of the screen. Every button has a firm feedback on press. The shortcut puts the most essential buttons right in front of your eyes for quick access.
The stylus is lightweight and high quality. Its battery has a lifespan of week for a few hours of charge. You get a charging cable for the pen, which should be used every time the battery runs out.
- The pressure point of the pen works well
- This table has many shortcut keys
- The package comes with four replaceable nibs
- The pen doesn’t have an eraser.
- The pen is powered by battery
3. Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display
Wacom knows how to add a natural creative experience to its products. And they have Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display to show for it.
Cintiq 13HD is compact and lightweight, and it comes with a pen that works like a traditional brush.
This pen Display features a 1920 x 1080p responsive display. The screen is sharp, colorful, and very bright.
Although the display has a slight issue with parallax near the edge of the screen, it shouldn’t stop you from drawing.
Cintiq 13HD’s pen is solid yet very light. It doesn’t use a battery, and it has a tight silicon grip that makes it easy to hold for hour.
Unlike Wacom’s Intous Draw’s pen, Cintiq 13HD’s pen has an eraser at the tip. Both the eraser and the tip have the same levels of pressure sensitivity.
The beauty of Cintiq 13HD is that you can use it with whatever computer software you want, including Adobe Suite, Maya, and Adobe Photoshop. It also works well with Mac Operating System as well as with Windows Operating System.
Unfortunately, Cintiq 13HD lacks the touch feature. You can interact with the screen using the tablet’s pen, but you cannot interact with it using any of your fingers.
- You can use it with different computers and operating systems
- Good display, unbeatable art experience
- Easy to setup and use
- High level of pressure of pressure sensitivity (2048)
- Insanely expensive.
- It lacks the touch feature
- It doesn’t support wireless connectivity
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab for Android Users
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen runs on Android OS, it has a 1024 x 768 resolution with a 7-inch primary display, and it features a built-in Wi-Fi.
It is a good choice for beginners who are looking for flexibility, reliability, and speed.
With a 2 GB RAM and a 16 GB internal memory, this tablet works fast, and it gives you enough storage respectively.
The S Pen has a plastic tip, which glides easily on the Gorilla Glass Screen. For beginners, the S pen might be difficult to use at first.
But with more practice, they should get used to drawing high quality graphics that the tablet can read and understand.
This product is lightweight. Weighing just a pound, it should be easy for you to bring it with you wherever you go.
You do not want to carry this tablet without casing it. So, find a case or sleeve that also weighs less than a pound.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen runs on Android 5.0, Lollipop, and it has a built-in internal storage of 16GB. The storage is expandable by up 128 GB. So, for people who need more disk space, an additional microSD card can save the day.
The battery can last for up to 15 hours of internet use. If you charge the tab and not use it, for say like a week, you’ll notice that the battery still holds all of its charge.
- It is fast
- Storage space is expandable.
- Wider screen comfortable for drawing.
- It can multitask without straining the processor speed
- It supports Wacom pens
- The screen resolution is lower
- It has limited memory
5. Apple iPad Pro for Beginners
Here is something for the lovers of Apple product, a high quality tablet with a 12.9” retina display that takes an upper hand in the technology market.
Apple iPad Pro is both slim and lightweight. It features a 2732 x 2048 display; this makes it the most in-demand gadget for beginners and pro artists.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 makes the 9.7-inch Pro to fall somewhat out of place, and for a good reason.
It has a larger screen, making it a first priority device over the earlier version for creative art.
In other words, the wide display offers you the comfort you need to get creative with your work of art from start to finish.
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch tablet is fine-tuned for rough cuts, ideation, and sketching. It is improved to make drawing easy, so you can create high quality diagrams in the shortest time possible.
The iPad Pro is improved so much that you don’t have to pass your project on to your personal computer for fine-tuning.
Keep in mind that the time required to complete a project depends on the size of the task on hand.
This tablet is similar to Wacom’s Cintiq Companion and Microsoft Surface Pro in the sense that it comes with a stylus, which is in the form of an Apple Pencil.
The pen has a natural look and feel, and it is by far the best stylus on the market. Whether or not an artist chooses to use the pen is a matter of personal choice. After all, Apple sells the pen separately.
Apple iPad Pro comes with a new document scanner that does three things. It scans single and multiple pages, it filters images to enhance clarity and readability, and it removes all the unnecessary shadows from your content.
- It has a file app that lets you keep your files all in one place
- The multitasking feature supports moving between active apps
- It has a dock that provides access to frequently used apps
- It is quite pricey
How to Choose a Good Graphics Tablet for Drawing
With many tablets on the market, you are pretty much spoiled for choice. So, picking just about any isn’t much of a bigger problem. It is picking a good option for the art that’s more challenging.
When it comes to buying the best tablet for creating unique diagrams, I do recommend considering the following features.
1. Pressure Sensitivity
When it comes to drawing, pressure sensitivity is something you cannot compromise. And given that different manufacturers guarantee different levels of pressure sensitivity, it is important to play your due diligence to walk home only with the right product.
As an example, a tablet that offers 2048 level of pressure sensitivity would be worth buying as opposed to a tablet that offers 1024 levels of sensitivity.
The more the pressure sensitivity a tablet has the more a variety of thickness you are likely to get. As such, you should consider one with a higher level of pressure sensitivity.
Size will always be an important factor to consider when choosing a graphics tablet. Consider one with a bigger surface area, because it offers enough space for undisrupted drawing.
Tablets with larger surface areas are often more advanced. Besides improved input quality, you also get more shortcut keys for efficiency.
I thought I should ignore this, but I know how much important it is to consider cost. After all, no one likes to break the bank. And, I wouldn’t advise you to hurt your wallet either.
So, when choosing a tablet to draw on, consider how much you are willing to pay. Depending on your budget, you can find a brand that deals in tablets that you can use for your work of art.
Consider a tablet that has functional keys, which you can easily program if you want to.
Or you can choose a brand that that integrates these controls on the drawing pen. Functional keys, aka the controls, are important because they make it easy for you to use the tablet.