When choosing the best drawing tablet for your needs, there are several features to look out for.
Aside from price, tablets vary in their size, display types, pen responsiveness and compatibility with certain programs and devices.
In this review, we’ve compared the best drawing tablets, reviewing their price, performance and features to help you decide which is the best graphics tablet for you.
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Apple iPad Air 5th Gen
Attributes: tablet display with screen, lightweight, portable
The iPad Air is a great option for artists who are looking for a light and portable tablet. It features a large 10.9-inch display, making it perfect for drawing and painting. Plus, the inclusion of Apple Pencil support means that you’ll be able to get the most out of your creative apps. It’s cheaper than the iPad Pro, so you have have the functionality and experience of the iPad at around half the price.
This tablet is a powerful device. It has one of Apple’s M1 chips, meaning that it’s capable of running demanding apps and software. With 64GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and a Liquid Retina display, you will be able to run your creative apps smoothly. The Liquid Retina display means that you’ll be able to see the smallest details and subtle colour transitions.
Another great thing about this tablet, is that you can take photos and film in 4k. So whether you want to film your creative process for social media, or take reference photos to work from later, this would be a great versatile device to use.
Get some accessories for you iPad, if you want to draw on the screen with a stylus, the Apple Pencil is a great tool. Other accessories to consider are the Magic Keyboard and a hand guard to protect the screen from smudging when you are drawing.
The drawback of this tablet, is that it is on the expensive side and the Apple Pencil has to be bought separately. It’s also not quite as powerful or smooth running as the Apple iPad Pro. However, apps like Photoshop and Procreate integrate wonderfully with the device. Check out our guide of the best software programs for artists to find one that would suit your practice.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
Attributes: Pen included, all day battery, AMOLED display
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is a great tablet for artists. It comes with an S-pen, which makes it super easy to draw and paint. The pen is pressure sensitive and has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, so you’ll be able to create subtle gradations in your work.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 tablet has up to 12GB of RAM, so the processing power is high for a tablet. This makes it an excellent choice for running Adobe apps and more. It also has a decent amount of storage, with 256GB built-in and the option to add up to 1TB with a microSD card. It has a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes for a smooth drawing experience.
The main downside of this tablet is that it’s not as widely compatible with software and devices as Apple products. So if you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem, this might not be the best option for you. However, you can achieve a desktop experience by using it with a Samsung keyboard and monitor.
The Super AMOLED display provides wonderful colour clarity and contrast that automatically adapts to the lighting of the environment. The pen attaches to the tablet magnetically and can charge whilst attached to the device.
If you’re looking for an Android tablet that can execute a range of creative tasks with speed and efficiency using industry standard software such as Photoshop, this would be a perfect choice.
Wacom Cintiq Pro
Attributes: 4K UHD display, colour accurate, variety of sizes, professional tablet
Size: 16″, 24″ or 32″
Price: from $1,499
This tablet is perfect for professional work. To get started with the tablet, you will need to sync it to your Mac or PC, then calibrate the pen. The shortcut buttons and pressure sensitivity of the pen is completely customisable.
The pen provides almost perfect lag-free tracking, making it feel natural to draw on the tablet. The Wacom Cintiq Pro is also colour accurate, so you can be confident that what you see on screen is close to the final product.
The Wacom Cintiq Pro features a 4k 16-inch, or 24-inch display, making it perfect for detailed work. The colour accuracy is first-rate, with 98% Adobe RGB coverage. You’ll be able to see subtle details and colour transitions with ease.
The Wacom Cintiq Pro also comes in a 32″ size, which is their largest canvas yet. The benefit of a large screen is that it gives more space for you to work on. This means, less time spent zooming in and out and it reduces the need for a secondary screen to keep reference photos in sight. However, it also comes with a higher price tag.
If you want to opt for the larger screens of the Wacom Cintiq Pro, you can also get the Wacom Ergo to go with it. This gives you the flexibility to adjust your workstation by tilting your screen, so you can work with comfort.
This tablet has some great features, such as 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition. Use multi touch gestures to pan, zoom and rotate, so that you can use the tablet intuitively. It’s compatible with both Mac and PC, and it comes with a 3-in-1 cable that supports HDMI, USB and AC connections.
The main drawback of this product is the price. It’s a significant investment and may not be feasible for all artists. Another drawback is that this tablet is heavier than some of the other tablets on this list. It’s not ultra portable, but it’s a great option for studio or office use.
Overall, the Wacom Cintiq Pro is a great tablet for professional artists who are looking for a high quality display and precision. It’s available in three sizes, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Huion H610 Pro V2
Attributes: affordable, wireless connectivity, no screen
Size: 10″ x 6.25″
The Huion H610 Pro V2 is a great affordable option for artists. It features a medium sized drawing area, making it perfect for those who want to create detailed work. Plus, the wireless connectivity means that you can use it without being tethered to a computer.
It’s compatible with PC and Mac, use it with Photoshop or any of your favourite digital art softwares.
The stylus is battery-free, and the tablet has shading tilt support, so you can create lifelike renderings. Plus, it has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, making it feel natural to use.
If you’re looking for an affordable drawing tablet, the Huion H610 Pro V2 is a great choice. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have a screen, so you’ll need to use it with separate display, like a laptop or computer.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite
Attributes: affordable, Android, pressure-sensitive pen
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a great affordable option for artists. It comes with an S Pen included, which is pressure sensitive and supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
The big selling point for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the price. It’s a more budget-friendly option, for a screen tablet, that doesn’t sacrifice quality. It has up to 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, so the performance isn’t as good as the Samsung S8, but its advantage it that it costs less and weighs a lot less too.
The display is HD and vibrant, and the S Pen is great for drawing and painting. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a great affordable option for artists. It comes with an S Pen included and has a large 10.4-inch display.
iPad Pro 2021
Attributes: M1 chip, large display, great camera
Size: 11″ or 12.9″
Price: from $799
The iPad Pro is a powerful device that is perfect for artists. It features an M1 chip, a Liquid Retina Display. The M1 chip is the silicon chip that powers the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, with an 8 core CPU to maximise power and efficiency.
With up to 512GB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM, the tablet performs well with the use of multiple apps. If you want a high performance model, get the tablet with the larger display and more RAM. This comes in handy when doing demanding creative tasks and reduces the need for panning around an image to work on it. If you anticipate you will need the iPad to store lots of image files of designs and artworks, a the iPad with 512GB of storage could be suitable. The device is compatible with the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) and the Magic Keyboard.
The Liquid Retina Display offers near perfect colour accuracy, with vibrant tones and deep blacks. Apps like Photoshop and Procreate run incredibly smoothly on the iPad Pro, the ProMotion display means that marks made by the Apple Pencil show instantaneously, simulating a true to life drawing experience. With the power of the M1 chip CPU, the apps run fast, without lag.
The only downside of this tablet is that it’s on the expensive side and that it only works with the second generation Apple Pencil. However, if you’re looking for a powerful and versatile device, the iPad Pro is the perfect choice.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Attributes: versatile, powerful, great for drawing and gaming
Price: $464 to $1099
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a versatile and powerful tablet that is perfect for both drawing, gaming and more. It features a 12.3″ display and an Intel Core i7 processor. The processor is fast and efficient, making the tablet perfect for demanding tasks. Plus, the 16GB of RAM means that your apps will run smoothly.
Use it to run the Adobe Suite, to edit videos, create animations or wonderful digital art in Photoshop. Anything is possible with the Surface Pro 7. Plus, the tablet comes with a pressure sensitive pen, so you can draw and paint to your heart’s content. The only downside is that the pen is not included in the price and needs to be bought separately.
The premium model of this tablet comes with up to 512GB SSD, so you can store all of your files and photos without worrying about running out of space. Plus, the microSD card reader means that you can easily expand the storage.
The tablet also comes with a detachable keyboard, so you can use it as a laptop when you need to. Plus, the kickstand means that you can use it as a drawing tablet when you want to. The Surface Pen is included, so you can start drawing right away. If you’re interested in reading a review of the best laptops for artists, check out our guide.
Wacom Intuos Pro
Attributes: professional, accurate, pressure sensitive, no screen
Size: Small, Medium, or Large
Price: from $199
The Wacom Intuos Pro is a professional drawing tablet that is perfect for those who want accurate and pressure sensitive results.
It features 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition. Plus, the battery-free pen means that you can use it for hours without needing to worry about charging it. This tablet is designed for artists who want to create professional quality artworks with precision. The pen is almost perfectly responsive and lag-free.
The tablet is a fraction of the cost compared to the Wacom Cintiq Pro but still offers a high level of accuracy and smooth drawing experience.
The Intuos Pro comes in three sizes, small, medium and large. Choose the size that is right for you, depending on your budget and desired workspace.
If you’re looking for a professional drawing tablet, the Wacom Intuos Pro is a great choice. However it doesn’t have a screen and the drawing area isn’t as large as some of the other tablets on the list.
Huion Kamvas Pro
Attributes: affordable, large screen, great for beginners
Size: 15.6″ or 19.5″
The Huion Kamvas Pro 20 is an affordable drawing tablet that is perfect for those who want a large screen. It features a 15.6″ display and a resolution of 1920×1080. Plus, the 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60 levels of tilt recognition.
The tablet is compatible with Windows and Mac, so you can use it with the software that you’re already familiar with. The screen is anti-glare, so you can draw in bright light environments with ease.
The colour accuracy is good, with 92% Adobe RGB coverage. This makes it suitable for professional work. The coverage is lower than the Wacom Cintiq pro, however.
There are 6 keys that can be customised to your own preferred shortcuts, such as changing the brush size or zooming in and out.
If you’re looking for a large screen drawing tablet that is more affordable than some of the high end options, the Huion Kamvas Pro is the perfect choice.
How to choose the best drawing tablet: The features
When choosing a drawing tablet, there are a few features that you need to consider. Firstly, you need to decide what size tablet you need. If you want a large screen for working on complex designs, then you should choose a tablet with a screen size of at least 12″.
You also need to consider the pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition. The pressure sensitivity is measured in levels, with 8,192 being the highest level. The higher the level, the more sensitive the tablet will be to your brush strokes. Tilt recognition is also an important feature for digital artists. This feature allows the tablet to recognise the angle at which you’re holding the pen, so you can vary the brush strokes of the stylus.
Finally, you need to consider the compatibility and connectivity. The tablet should be compatible with your computer and software. Plus, it should have a USB port so that you can easily connect it to your computer. Some drawing tablets, like the iPad Pro, don’t need a computer to work, if they have their own central processing unit.
Best drawing tablet with a screen
The top pick for the best drawing tablet that also has as screen display to draw onto is the Wacom Cintiq Pro. It offers a ultra high definition display, with accurate colour rendering. Plus, it’s compatible with both Windows and Mac.
If you want a more versatile tablet, that you can also use for listening to music and gaming, the iPad Pro would be the best choice. It’s powerful device that integrates wonderfully with Photoshop and other professional graphic design software.
Best drawing tablet for beginners
If you’re just starting out, the Huion H610 Pro is the perfect choice. It’s an affordable tablet that still offers a high level of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition.
Wacom vs Huion: Which is the best drawing tablet brand
When it comes to choosing between Wacom and Huion, it really depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a professional tablet with a screen that offers ultra high definition tablet with impeccable colour accuracy, the Wacom Cintiq Pro would be the best choice. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, then Huion is the way to go.
Choosing the right drawing tablet can be a daunting task, but we hope this article has helped you narrow down your choices. Whether you’re looking for a professional tablet or an affordable one, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect one for you. If you’re just getting started with digital art, check out our digital art tips!
Thanks for reading!