Top 13 Drawing Tablets of 2022!

Best 13 Drawing Tablets of 2022!

Here, we introduce and compare 13 drawing tablets and tablet computers of all varieties recommended for first-time users who want to start digital art.

What types of drawing tablets are out there?

Tablets can be broken down into roughly three categories:

 

Digitizer Tablets (tablets without a monitor)

   Pros: Draw while retaining good posture, can be less than $100 USD

   Cons: Tablet to screen acclimation needed

 

Monitor Tablets  (also known as pen display or LCD tablets)

Pros: Draw as you would on pen and paper, but digitally!
Cons: Depending on size these drawing tablets can be $300-$3,500 USD

 

Tablet PCs/Tablets  (PCs and tablets in one device)

Pros: Just use one device with stylus tools like Apple Pencil for the iPad and Wacom Bamboo Sketch for macOs and Android devices. 

Cons: Separate stylus is usually needed at an extra cost

 

The above tablets were tested using the following specifications:

  •  OS: Windows 10 except when noted
  • Drawing software: Clip Studio Paint
  • The pen is used with default settings.

 
Line weight will fluctuate depending on personal preference, but we recommend the “light and thin” option to start. You can always adjust this later. You can also adjust your drawing weight and line thickness by adding a pen cover or a small weight to the pen stylus.

 

For more on pen tablet and monitor sizes, refer to the “Match your hand movements with the movements on the screen” section in the article “Must-Know Tips to Improve Your Tablet Drawing Experience!”

 

・ Wacom Intuos S with Bluetooth

An introductory model drawing tablet that comes bundled with Clip Studio Paint PRO!

 


Wacom’s Intuos series is a high-quality line of pen tablets that covers a wide range from beginners to advanced users. The pen is about the same thickness as a mechanical pencil or ballpoint pen, so it fits comfortably in your hand. Additionally, there is no need to insert batteries into the pen, making it light and easy to handle.

It can be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth, which frees up vital desk real estate. When you aren’t using the pen, you can place it in the grove above the express keys, allowing you to forego the traditional pen stand.

 

The benefit of the Wacom brand is that large electronic retailers often have samples displayed in stores that you can try out before purchasing them. After you do buy one, you can then download the drawing software you prefer, such as Painter Essentials 8 or Clip Studio Paint PRO. In the case of the Wacom Intuos S, which does not support Bluetooth, the drawing software that can be downloaded is limited, but the purchase cost of the pen tablet is cheaper. If you have already purchased drawing software, we recommend choosing this pen tablet option.

 

This pen tablet comes in three colors: Black, Berry Pink, and Pistachio Green.

 

 

 

The Wacom Intuos S models are also compatible with select Android smartphones and tablets that use Android OS 6.0 or later. You can connect one using a compatible USB OTG adapter.
For details, please check the official website:
https://community.wacom.com/making-your-wacom-intuos-mobile-introducing-android-compatibility/

 

 


・ Inspiroy H430P (HUION)

Handy little tablet for your life on the go.

 

The Inspiroy H430P by Huion is the cheapest pen tablet we introduce in this article.

Portability-wise, if you want to carry a pen tablet for use with a laptop with a small screen, this might be an option for you, however, due to its small size, you may find it difficult to draw on when using a large display when you’re at home.

It has drawing capabilities as well as pen pressure sensitivity. The pen tablet’s drawing surface is very smooth, and the pen tip sinks into the pen as you apply pressure. The depression in the tablet’s surface results in a strong pen pressure deflection.

 

This is a Chinese product, but the manual and driver are both available in English. You can only purchase it online. While this little tablet will be easy on your wallet, please be aware that it isn’t made from highly durable materials, and it also cannot be tested out in-store.

We recommend this model for those who just want a cheap pen tablet.

 

 

・ Intuos Pro M PTH-660 (Wacom)

Step up to the next level with 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity!

 

 

The Intuos Pro pen tablet model has 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity. This is double the level of the standard Intuos model and allows for smoother drawing. Its high-precision allows for nuanced line work, such as calligraphy or comic book inking. With an Intuos Pro pen tablet, you can adjust line strength and depth using pen pressure. It also supports pen tilt, so you can sketch using the side of the pen stylus in drawing programs that also support this. This is a tablet that an artist of any level would feel confident in purchasing.

 

The surface of the tablet has a moderate amount of friction, mimicking how it feels when you draw on paper. This model also has wireless Bluetooth capabilities, which helps keep the area around your desk less cluttered, even if the tablet itself is large. 

 

 

 

・Deco mini7(XP-PEN)

A compact and portable pen tablet

 

Deco mini7(XP-PEN)

 

This is an XP-PEN tablet, manufactured by a Chinese pen tablet maker. It is about the size of a B5 paper, great for if you are drawing on the go.

 

This tablet supports pen tilt which is very rare for a tablet of this price. This pen tilt is a bit trickier than the Apple Pencil and other stylus, so it might take you some time to get used to it. You might not notice it when doing normal pen strokes.

The stylus pen comes with two side buttons and the tablet itself features 8 buttons, which you can use to set your own shortcuts. Download the driver to customize and optimize your workflow. When you install the driver and set it, you can also change the orientation of the tablet to work best with you, whether you are right-handed or left-handed.

 

Included with the tablet are replacement nibs and a 3-in-1 cable that lets you connect the tablet to an Android smartphone. Unfortunately there is no standing pen holder included. With no way to store the pen on the tablet, it’s a bit hard to know where you would place the pen when not in use.

 

  • Product dimensions: 260.2×162.2×9.3 mm
  • Drawing area: 177.8×111.1 mm
  • Pen pressure sensitivity: 8192
  • Price: $49.99 USD(tax included, as of April 2022)
  • Official website:
    https://www.xp-pen.com/product/613.html

 

・ Wacom Cintiq 16 (DTK1660K0D) (Wacom)

A simple and inexpensive monitor tablet with the same Wacom pen tablet quality.

 

 

This is a simple Wacom monitor pen tablet model specialized for drawing.

It has a low price point without sacrificing the drawing comfort and quality of a Wacom pen tablet. The parallax between the pen tip and the cursor is minimal, which allows for accurate drawing. The pen slides with ease, producing long natural pen strokes. It has 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and supports pen tilt so you can draw intuitively. The pen itself is also durable, so you don’t have to worry about applying force to it when drawing. Its cables are bundled into a single cable, with the end of the cable split into multiple plugs, which helps to reduce desk clutter. Overall, its structure is very solid and durable.

 

However, it may be necessary to additionally customize it. For example, there is no button on the main unit to register shortcuts. If you want to access these buttons, you need the optional ExpressKey Remote or other handheld device to do so. Furthermore, it does have a stand but is attached to the body of the tablet, and the angle is fixed at 19 degrees. If you purchase the optional stand, you can change the angle anywhere from 19 to 68 degrees. So, if you are particular about your drawing set-up, you may need to make additional investments.

The screen color accuracy isn’t as good as Wacom’s top models, but it is still more than enough for hobbyists. If you want to draw color illustrations professionally, however, we recommend the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 model.

 

 

 

Wacom One LCD Monitor tablet 13 (DTC133W0D) (Wacom)

Expand your Android device! The perfect monitor tablet for first-time digital artists!

 

 

The Wacom One is a monitor tablet developed and sold by Wacom. Price-wise, it is one of the more affordable of its type, even for first-time digital artists.

 

While this affordability comes at the cost of slightly lower image quality and color accuracy, a slight delay in strokes and 4096 levels of pen pressure, the tilt detection and pressure are very accurate, allowing for linework comparable to high-end models.

The tablet can be connected to Android devices as well, and with a smartphone and drawing app that supports pen pressure, you can start drawing with a monitor tablet even if you don’t own a PC.

 

While high-end stylus pens such as the pro pen are unavailable, the pre-packaged Wacom One Pen is exceptionally lightweight, easy to use, and doesn’t need recharging. In addition to the Wacom One Pen, stylus pens with EMR technology from renowned art supply manufacturers such as Staedler can be used, allowing you to experiment with a variety of pens.

 

 

 

・ Artist 15.6 Pro(XP-PEN)

 

 

This is an XP-Pen display tablet manufactured by a Chinese tablet maker.

This tablet doesn’t cost a lot but has everything you need to create at a professional level and even has full lamination on the screen. However, the cable is located on the right side (on the side opposite from the shortcut keys) so it might be hard using a mouse together with this tablet.

It feels good when you draw on this tablet and it responds in the way you want. The smooth line drawing is nice, but when you try to make more varied strokes you can see how the tapering might leave something to be desired. You can customize the 8 shortcut key buttons and the roller wheel. The keys respond to even light touch and the wheel has a satisfying feeling when you rotate it.

 

The pen has two side buttons, similar to a Wacom stylus but does not have anything on the back end. This will be important for people who are used to being able to use the back of the pen as an eraser.

Included with this display tablet is a stand that you place the tablet on top of and it did not budge while we were testing it. Also included with this tablet are a glove and screen cloth. This might be the tablet for you if you are looking for a display tablet with the right specs while on a budget.

 

  • Product dimensions: 443 x 280 x 12.6 mm
  • Drawing area: 15.6 model (display resolution: 1920 x 1080)
  • Pen pressure sensitivity: 8192
  • Price: $369.99 USD(tax included, as of April 2022)
  • Official website:
    https://www.xp-pen.com/product/65.html

 

 

・Wacom MobileStudio Pro

Wacom’s unique tablet PC that focuses on drawing.

 

This is Wacom’s tablet PC. Drawing software is not included, so you need to purchase it separately. It runs Windows, so you can use graphic software such as Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, and SAI. It sports 8192 levels of pen pressure and has excellent responsivity. This tablet PC is highly recommended for those transitioning from paper to digital as it also supports pen tilt, so if you sketch with a program that also supports this feature, such as Clip Studio Paint, you can draw digitally using the side of the pen as if you were drawing traditionally with pencil and paper. Drawing with Clip Studio Paint’s watercolor brush also makes it easy to create shades that match pen pressure, making drawing incredibly intuitive.

The main unit has function keys in which you can register keyboard shortcuts on. It’s also convenient when transferring from a Wacom tablet as it too has function keys. Furthermore, if you connect a keyboard and mouse to it, you can use it as an ordinary PC. It can also be connected to an existing PC like a monitor tablet.

Getting a high-end model like this allows you to draw illustrations with a lot of layers or comics with many pages without worrying if your PC can handle the workload. The 15.6-inch model weighs about 2.10 kg or 4.6 lbs, which is a bit heavier than other tablet PCs, but still a good choice if you want to carry it outside and draw.

 

 

・Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Models from entry-level to high-end models! Select your PC according to your budget and purpose.

 

 

The Surface Pro isn’t a tablet PC solely for drawing. Rather, it is a tablet PC that you can also draw with. By purchasing optional peripherals, you can tailor it according to your needs. 

 

Word and Excel come with this product so if you get the keyboard as an add-on, then you can also use this device for business to create documents and reports. On the other hand, you can also download drawing software and get the Surface Slim Pen 2 as an option to take advantage of the pen pressure functionality and get to drawing.

Surface Pro works well as a drawing tablet because combined with the Surface Slim Pen 2, you can enjoy 4096 levels of pen pressure as well as tilt to get an experience not that different from traditional drawing. 

The pen charges wirelessly, so you never have to worry about connecting the stylus to charge. If you get the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard or the Surface Laptop Studio you will be able to charge your pen when it’s stored. 

Unlike other tablet pens, this stylus has a  flat form and is easy to carry around. You might feel a bit strange gripping it if you are used to round pens.

 

The original kickstand attached to the device is well made and helpful for artists because it allows you to angle your device as needed without having to purchase any additional peripherals. Microsoft also took into consideration those who draw while at a desk when designing the Surface series. The Surface GO, for example, has a 10 inch display, which is a good size for drawing on the go. The specifications for it aren’t as high end as the Surface Pro, but if you want to keep your start-up costs low, it is a good option to consider.

 

 

 

・Galaxy Tab S8+(Samsung)

Take your creativity on the go with the newest Galaxy Tab with its patented S-Pen from Samsung

 

Galaxy_tabs8+(Samsung)

 

This powerful tablet comes with the S-Pen, which boasts 4,096 levels of pen pressure sensitivity. Take advantage of this LCD pen tablet for amazing variations in your brushstrokes. The S-Pen is a slim stylus, much like a pencil, making it easy to grip.

The main difference between this tablet and the iPad with Apple pencil is that you can use the cursor to hover over elements on screen to bring up menus. This means changing brush size, shape, and more will be easier while you are drawing.

The Galaxy Tab S8 series uses the same digital pen technology (EMR) as Wacom. Response speed has been improved 30% compared to the Galaxy Tab S7. This tablet is great for drawing lines smoothly and quickly. It is compatible with Wacom’s Electro Magnetic Resonance (EMR) technology so you can even use other styluses like the Hi-uni DIGITAL for Wacom, sold separately.

There is a storage area on the back of the tablet to safely place your S-Pen. It will stay in place because the storage compartment is magnetic and will also charge the pen. The S-Pen allows you to perform “air actions” that are customizable gestures with your pen. Press down the S-Pen button while doing the action to perform these shortcuts.

Clip Studio Paint comes pre-installed on the Galaxy Tab and you can use it for free for six months. Try it out if you are curious about transitioning to a tablet for drawing or just want to try out Clip Studio Paint.
Take advantage of Companion mode in Clip Studio Paint and use your smartphone as a handheld shortcut remote when you connect it to your Galaxy Tab via Wi-Fi. Take advantage of having your controls offscreen to make full use of the 12.4 inch canvas the screen provides.

You can also use the Clip Studio Tabmate as a shortcut tool.

The device has 2 options for storage: 128GB and 256GB. However, you can purchase a MicroSD separately to get up to 1TB of storage.

 

 

 

 ・iPad 10.2 inch 9th generation + Apple Pencil (1st generation)(Apple)

Small tablets for beginners for around US$500.

 

 

These can be purchased with an Apple Pencil for under $500 USD. 

The color gamut and parallax aren’t as good as the iPad Air, but this doesn’t interfere with drawing, and overall, its cost-performance ratio is high. The same Apple Pencil can be used on either model, so both devices feel the same when drawing on them. It also supports the Smart Keyboard.

The cheapest model will have the least amount of storage capacity, but if you use a drawing software like Clip Studio Paint that offers cloud storage, you can draw without worrying about space. Also, please be aware that there is a risk that OS upgrades might eventually be phased out.

 

  • Product dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm
  • Drawing area: 10.2 in model
  • Pen pressure sensitivity: Unspecified
  • Price: $329.00 USD (tax included),
    Apple Pencil (1st generation) $99.00 USD (tax included, as of April 2022)
  • Official website:
    https://www.apple.com/ipad-10.2/

 

 

・ iPad Air (5th generation) + Apple Pencil (2nd generation)(Apple)

A simple, lightweight, and easy to use digital drawing set!

 

 

The Apple Pencil has excellent line tracking and draws smoothly on the 10.9-inch iPad Air. It also supports pen tilt, so if you sketch with a program that also supports pen tilt, such as Clip Studio Paint, you can draw digitally using the side of the pencil as if you were drawing traditionally with pencil and paper. Apple Pencil pairing can be set up by Bluetooth and the stylus charges from the magnet on the side of the tablet, making it extremely simple to use. The Apple Pencil produces lines that are the thickness of a pencil, and despite being heavier than one, it is still easy to use. There are no variations of the pen body and nib (as of April 2022).

The iPad Air fits in an A4 size bag (standard copy paper size) and weighs only 461g, making it ideal for those on the go. It’s cheaper than the iPad Pro, and for even lower prices, you can combine the 9th generation iPad with the (1st generation) Apple Pencil.

 

  • Product dimensions: 178.5 x 247.6 x 6.1 mm
  • Drawing area: 10.9 in model (Resolution: 2224 x 1668)
  • Pen pressure sensitivity: Unspecified
  • Price: From $599.00 USD (tax included),
    Apple Pencil (2nd generation) $129 USD (tax included, as of April 2022)
  • Official website:
    https://www.apple.com/ipad-air/

 

 

・ 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) + Apple Pencil (2nd generation) (Apple)

This version of the Apple Pencil is easier to use, and the iPad screen size is also bigger!

 

ipad pro(Apple)

 

The combination of the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil is extremely smooth, and it is now even simpler than ever to use. It can now be attached to the iPad Pro via magnet, which allows it to both pair and charge. However, this makes grip customization tricky as it might prevent it from being paired or charged. Because of this, there are now some grips that leave the area that connects to the iPad unobstructed, so we recommend looking into those if you want a customized grip for your Apple Pencil.

The iPad Pro is bigger than the iPad Air, but still a good portable size for using it around the house or in a cafe. It has a large screen for a tablet that gives a nice, big drawing surface. The specs of the iPad Pro are good enough to be used in professional settings. There are professional illustrators and manga artists who create works only with iPad Pro.

 

  • Product dimensions: 214.9 x 280.6 x 6.4 mm
  • Drawing area: 12.9 in model (Resolution: 2732 x 2048)
  • Pen pressure sensitivity: Unspecified
  • Price: iPad Pro (5th generation) $799 USD (including tax),
    Apple Pencil (2nd generation)$129 USD (including tax, as of April 2022)
  • Official website:
    https://www.apple.com/ipad-pro/

 

 

Final Recommendations

 

Overall, we recommend a Wacom brand digitizer or monitor tablets due to their functionality, track record, stability, and support.

There is a sense of security when buying one because you can try them out at electronic retailers before purchasing one.

Although the price point for a Wacom tablet is higher compared to many other manufacturer’s tablets, pen refills and stylus replacements are readily available and easy to buy. It is also safe in terms of maintenance, allowing the tablet to be used for a long time before it needs replacing. It’s hard not to go with a top brand and leader in drawing tablets!

 

 

It’s also easy to try the comfort of drawing with the Surface Pro and the iPad Pro!

 

The Surface Pro and the iPad Pro are also available to try at many consumer electronics retailers. However, they may be located in different sections of the store, as apple and windows products are usually separated. At some stores, you can even draw with software such as Clip Studio Paint. However, unlike a drawing tablet, it is not a device developed exclusively for drawing, so even if you can use a pen with it, some stores may not offer this option.

 

 

Fully laminated display screens can reduce parallax.

 

If you’ve tried using a pen monitor but are still wondering about purchasing because you can’t draw as you’d like, let’s focus on parallax.

 

Unlike drawing with a pencil on paper, a monitor tablet is made up of multiple panel layers. These layers cause a gap between the physical pen tip position and the digital line input location. This is the most common cause of the inability to draw lines when drawing with a pen monitor for the first time. You may be able to improve the situation by getting used to your monitor tablets particular parallax or by calibrating your pen’s position.

 

For this reason, we recommend checking whether or not the display screen has been fully laminated when you are looking to buy a new tablet. Fully laminated screens merge the multiple layers that make up the display, reducing the gap between each layer, which in turn reduces parallax to almost zero. If you are used to a non-laminated monitor tablet, you may feel uncomfortable switching to a fully laminated tablet, so be careful when buying a new one. If you are considering a replacement, and your current monitor tablet is fully laminated, you may want to make sure that your next tablet is also fully laminated.

 

The following products are fully laminated:

Artist 15.6 Pro (XP-Pen)

Kamvas Pro 12 (HUION)

iPad Pro 11 inches & 12.9 inches (Apple)

 

 

Final words

 

Digitizer and Monitor tablets are essential factors when creating digital illustrations with a PC. A tablet’s comfort impacts how easy it is to draw on. Your best strategy is to try out all the tablets you are interested in in-store. If there isn’t anything in your area or you are interested in a tablet that is only sold online, we recommend thoroughly researching it before purchasing it.

Here’s to finding the right drawing tablet for you!

 

(Written by Art Rocket)

 

For more information and the latest comparison of drawing software, see “Top Drawing Software and Apps in 2022 (Free & Paid).”

Top Drawing Software and Apps in 2022