The 10 Best Drawing Tablets

Sara Mandeed
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Nowadays, pretty much everyone has access to a tablet of some sort. The use of tablets has skyrocketed among professional designers in particular. While most artists are still far more comfortable and prefer to use pencils and paper, many are also looking for a tablet that is going to make their work life easier.

Many already have different tablets which they use at home or at work. The problem is that unless you are willing to pay a pretty penny, you often only get a few extras. Those might be handy, but the core functionality is lacking for what you need. This often means you have to buy two different models. Well, that is, until now.

Drawing tablets are a great investment for designers. We have done the rather difficult work of sorting through the market and bringing you some great options. These are the best drawing tablets available in 2016.

NameCategoryProduct
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing TabletBest Overall
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet
Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board KitBudget Pick
Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board Kit
Wacom PTH860 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing TabletUpgrade Pick
Wacom PTH860 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet

1. Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet

Our rating: 9 / 10


Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet

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Pros:

  • Full color, HD multitouch display with 16:9 aspect ratio and 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2048 pressure levels (8192 pressure points with pressure curve interpolation)
  • Up to 120 /sec drawing speed
  • USB 3.0 and HDMI connectivity
  • No lag and 1ms response time
  • Comes with a Creative Pen, Pen ring, power adapter, USB cable, install CD, and quick guide
  • 11.3 inch screen for comfortable drawing display
  • Three customizable express keys and five free-drawing keys
  • Support for Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Choice of red or black case

Cons:

  • A bit expensive but worth it
  • Heavy and big
  • Difficult to calibrate

Black.

Wacom Cintiq started off as a table top graphics display. However, the newest version is quite big and heavy, weighing about 4.4 lbs. With that said, this only adds to its advanced and high tech features. Many artists that have tested this product insist that it is absolutely worth the price tag.

According to reviews, the drawing display is quite sensitive to pressure levels and most users find that it offers incredible performance. However, it can be quite hard to calibrate this product since the sensitivity has to be customized as per preference.

2. XP-PEN Artist12 Pro 11.6 Inch Drawing Monitor Pen Display Full-Laminated Graphics Drawing Tablet

Our rating: 8 / 10


XP-PEN Artist12 Pro 11.6 Inch Drawing Monitor Pen Display Full-Laminated Graphics Drawing Tablet

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Pros:

  • Rechargeable pen
  • Screen protector inside box
  • Good build quality
  • Very good drawing experience
  • Can be connected to several computers
  • Stable during gaming
  • Screen is fully laminated and is super bright
  • Docking station for pen is included
  • Small and lightweight
  • Some customers have found it to help with ADHD and autism

Cons:

  • Some customers have said that the tablet is slightly too small
  • For the mouse, they had to purchase a wireless USB mouse
  • The pen feels light
  • The screen isn’t 10.6 inches, it’s really around 9.6 inches

The Artist12 Pro is the world’s first drawing monitor pen display. It’s an intuitive pressure sensitive monitor that allows you to draw directly on a fully laminated screen. It has a rechargeable pen, mouse, and wireless keyboard (optional ).

3. GAOMON PD1560 15.6 Inches 8192 Levels Pen Display

Our rating: 8 / 10


GAOMON PD1560 15.6 Inches 8192 Levels Pen Display

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Pros:

  • Great resolution and large display area
  • You can use it for photo editing
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable price
  • Free drawing tablet software
  • Good customer service

Cons:

  • If you put a lot of pressure, you might tear the screen
  • Screen is relatively reflective
  • Pen is difficult to remove
  • Some users report that they had to replace the stand

We love the accuracy and responsiveness of the pen, and the large display size lets you work on larger images. The stand allows you to easily position your tablet into landscape mode, which is a nice and convenient feature.

The tablet feels a bit heavy, but the stand makes it look a lot nicer – and holds it in place. It can be used almost anywhere, and it is also useful for watching movies in the office. The pen is rechargeable, but you have to plug it into the tablet in order to use the tablet, which is inconvenient.

The screen is glossy, meaning that you may need additional lighting. However, it’s very pleasant to work with and has very accurate touch response. The stylus is pressure sensitive as well, and it has no lag at all.

4. Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function Battery-Free Stylus 8192 Pen Pressure

Our rating: 8 / 10


Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Android Supported Pen Tablet Tilt Function Battery-Free Stylus 8192 Pen Pressure

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Pros:

  • Android tablet supported
  • Free education resources
  • Quality pen and tablet set
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Affordable price
  • 8 express keys
  • 4,096 pressure levels

Cons:

  • Colors are not very vibrant
  • Pen size is somewhat big

The Huion H610 Pro v2 has an impressive set of features, and its tablet provides natural control for creating artwork. Since this is not computer software based, you can use it with any operating system.

Its Android tablet compatibility is a nice touch as you can use a larger screen to do your work. We think this is especially handy if you like to multitask with the tablet and have an entertainment setup, while still being able to do work on this drawing tablet.

The Huion H610 Pro has an artistic design as there are adjustable tilt levels and an 8 express key function. This adds to the versatility of use of this drawing tablet as you can flip the tablet and input commands and draw from a wide range of angles.

5. Wacom PTH860 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet

Our rating: 8 / 10


Wacom PTH860 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet

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Pros:

  • Bigger size – 8 x 6.25 inches
  • Pressure-sensitive
  • Quick response for drawing and sketching
  • Works via power source or USB connection
  • Intuitive to use

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy and bulky to transport

This Wacom tablet comes with customizable features including 4 ExpressKeys with 2 customizable settings, as well as touch ring navigation. You get highly detailed express pen technology for quick sketching. There are also shortcuts to common tasks and multi-touch gestures for cursor control. The tablet is tilt-aware with 16 express keys. It comes with a USB cable and large Intuos Pro pen.

The Wacom Intuos comes with a one-year warranty. The pressure sensor on this tablet is advanced and responsive. You’ll love the smooth performance of the Intuos Pro.

6. Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet

Our rating: 8 / 10


Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet

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Pros:

  • Allows for quick workflow
  • Stylish tablet design that is lightweight and easy to hold
  • Good size to do detail drawings
  • Wacom Active ES technology minimizes hand fatigue
  • One-year warranty

(CTL4100-100-0-03)

If you prefer to make your own graphics at home, rather than using your phone, then your best bet is to get yourself a drawing tablet. Wacom is a titan in the pen tablet industry, and the Intuos line is their most popular set. This is their smallest graphics tablet, which is great for those with a smaller desk. It has a 12 x 8-inch surface with an ergonomic design for extended use.

The Intuos has an integrated mouse and pen as well as 2 customizable Express Keys, which allow you to quickly access the tools you want. It also comes bundled with Photoshop Elements, a great photo editing tool.

7. VEIKK A30 Graphics Drawing Tablet Pen Tablet

Our rating: 8 / 10


VEIKK A30 Graphics Drawing Tablet Pen Tablet

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Pros:

  • Uses a much more accurate electromagnetic signal transmission technology for smoother drawing
  • Offers up to 16 touch points of sensitivity and more, 256 pressure sensitivity levels for a natural, realistic feel
  • Includes eight user-programmable hotkeys for shortcuts, touchscreen navigation, and other features like scroll wheel and instant application switching
  • Thick, curved drawing surface so you don’t need a heavy pencil
  • Anti-skid base to prevent the graphics tablet from moving
  • 64-level color display for five adjustable colors and brightness-light controls
  • Stylish design that’s better than a bulky computer input device

Cons:

  • Some users complain about lagginess
  • Design is a little flimsy, and the pen plate frequently moves to the side
  • Eraser on the pen isn’t very useful; it only erases in a circular motion
  • Layout is a little small

8. HUION New 1060 Plus Graphic Drawing Tablet

Our rating: 8 / 10


HUION New 1060 Plus Graphic Drawing Tablet

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Pros:

  • 10-year manufacturer warranty
  • USB-cable attached
  • Large drawing area
  • Registration no. is pre-set
  • 2 shortcut buttons
  • Most affordable drawing tablet on our list

Cons:

  • Button-presses seem to be hard to press
  • Large drawing area causes potential for mis-registrations
  • Pen doesn’t come with an eraser on the back

Another top pick is the HUION New 1060 Plus Graphic Drawing Tablet from Huion.

You’d expect a drawing tablet with the specs of this one to cost thousands of dollars, but the truth is, this tablet is surprisingly affordable. Huion has set a price point at just a couple of hundred bucks and is without fail one of the most affordable drawing tablets of such high quality.

This tablet comes with an area of 10 x 6.25 inches, and is ideal for large, intricate drawings and illustrations. It also has 8,192 possible angles of pen pressure, which allows you to sketch in just a way that you like. It also features a smooth, anti-glare matte screen, and a rechargeable battery that can last up to 10 hours on a full charge.

9. Monoprice 110594 10 x 6.25-inch Graphic Drawing Tablet

Our rating: 7 / 10


Monoprice 110594 10 x 6.25-inch Graphic Drawing Tablet

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Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Decent precision for a cheap drawing tablet
  • Warranty & customer support
  • Sensitivity can be changed between 200 and 4096
  • 8 Express Keys for use with any software
  • Comes with drivers for use with a variety of software
  • Extra pen nibs included
  • Nice size if you would like to draw on a desk or display it on your wall
  • Backlight turns on when you lift the pen

Cons:

  • Clicking can be annoying/noisy
  • Drawing surface is stiff
  • Pen stops working randomly
  • Pen needs to be clicked before each use
  • Pen is hard to replace

Overall the Monoprice drawing tablet is a good tablet. The pen is fine, but there isn’t much you can do to replace the nibs. It also does get on my nerves how the pen is sensitive to pressure and if you push down too hard, the pen stops working.

10. Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board Kit

Our rating: 7 / 10


Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board Kit

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Pros:

  • Incredibly responsive pen
  • Very detailed and highly accurate
  • Designed to work with popular software applications
  • One size fits all
  • Pen doesn’t have to be charged
  • Wireless connectivity

Cons:

  • Does not come with any accessories
  • Pen is a little thin for some
  • Doesn’t come with an eraser

If you want a drawing tablet that can do it all, make sure to consider the Huion H420. This drawing tablet includes everything you need to create a detailed and professional piece of artwork. It’s great for beginners and professionals alike. The package includes a Huion H420 graphics tablet, a slim design pen, a pen holder, a pen nib removal tool, a driver CD, and a pen stand.

The tablet works with a variety of software applications, including Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, Manga Studio, Autodesk Sketchbook, and more. It also auto-detects how you’re using your pen, whether it’s to draw, erase, or navigate through your projects.

The pen feels quite light when you’re using it, but it’s durable and sturdy. The pen is very responsive and you can feel very detailed and accurate strokes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best drawing tablets?

This is a very popular question among hobbyist, aspiring artists, and professionals. First of all, you should set realistic expectations before deciding on the best tablet to buy.

Box-store tablets may be a good choice for occasional casual use, but they vary wildly in reliability and performance. Low-cost tablets may be cheaper, but they are better suited for kids. If all you use it for is to occasionally doodle or sketch, a device like the Wacom Intuos Draw or the Huion H610 would work perfectly.

The Intuos line comes in four form factors. While they are similar in basic functionality, there are slight differences in the size and intended use of each type.

Descriptions follow:

What is the best drawing tablet 2020?

This is a tricky question to answer because best is a very subjective term. What’s best for one person could be completely inadequate for another.

Even within a specific budget, there are too many variables. For example, some hot tablets allow easier access to software and allow for more customization/control over your creative process. Other tablets are more budget friendly yet offer a high level of functionality. And finally, still others might offer a faster response time but are cheaply built.

Moreover, what I think would be the best drawing tablet for the year 2020, could be far from your estimation. For example, take into consideration the drawing tablet reviews written by other experts. These are just some of the ways to find the best drawing tablets 2020 for you.

What is the best cheap drawing tablet?

Models vary widely in price. It's important to choose a pen display based on your own budget and needs.

Cheap tablet best also varies with the operating system. Windows tablets tend to be more expensive than those running Android, while the iPad is basically reserved for those who are looking to get one exclusively for the purpose of entertainment. As far as operating systems are concerned, Android is designed for those who have basic needs while iOS is primarily designed for those who enjoy graphic design. In the end, Windows is the most expensive simply because it is the most comprehensive and can be used for many purposes, not just drawing and sketching.

What tablet do digital artists use?

Why do you you need a pen on a tablet? What is great thing about a pen is that its tip will give you haptic feedback, which can tell you if you are pressing too hard. It also has the capability of detecting pressure sensitivity.

This allows you to create a shade of gray close to that of a pencil. This is impossible to achieve using a mouse alone. This is because what you do on a mouse just translates into a black and white surface. It is a black and white cursor.

The pen tablet allows you to movement literally translate into a 3D model. This is done through tablet drivers. What makes a pen tablet a must have for digital artists is that it offers realistic movement and pressure sensitivity. It also allows you to zoom in and out with a pen. This can give you a level of precision that you can barely get using a mouse.

Conclusion

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing TabletBest Overall
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet
Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board KitBudget Pick
Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board Kit
Wacom PTH860 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing TabletUpgrade Pick
Wacom PTH860 Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet