The Best Drawing Tablets for Artists 2018-2019

In Art Supplies, Review, Tablets & Devices, Uncategorized by improveyourdrawings3 Comments

When it comes to professional drawing tablets, it’s essential to choose a tablet which works for you and takes your working style into account. For example, although one certain drawing tablet may be hailed as the best one, does it have a big enough display area for your needs? Does it have the levels of pressure sensitivity that you require? Many artists have very specifics workflows and systems set up for their work, so it is essential to choose a tablet which matches your needs and can slide into your workflow seamlessly.

They say that a bad craftsman blames his tools, and the same could be said for artists too! Nonetheless, arming yourself with state-of-the-art design tools and tablets means that you are able to harness cutting-edge power which allows your artistic dreams to become a reality before your very eyes.

As a result, here we have compiled short reviews of 9 of the most popular tablets on the market for artists and designers, from mass-produced affordable tablets to medium-size pen display tablets, all the way up to large-sized pen display tablets. We hope that this gives budding amateurs and professional artists alike the information that they are looking for regarding their next tablet purchase.

AFFORDABLE TABLETS

Wacom CTL-4100K-S Intuos Small

The best affordable tablet on this list, the Wacom CTL-4100K-S Intuos Small currently retails for around $120 online. It features an ergonomic pen which allows you to be incredibly creative, as well as Bluetooth functionality which means that you’re not stuck in one place due to wires and cables. It also comes with a compact design, which makes it very portable and convenient for those with limited desk space to utilize.This tablet features a wide-format active area, in addition to a pressure-sensitive pen which is ergonomic and lightweight in nature.

This tablet and its pen are as close to pencil and paper as you can get without actually using pencil and paper! The tablet also boasts a Micro USB connection for transferring your work, although it lacks an ambidextrous design, which could be disappointing for left-handed artists. Nonetheless, this is the best cheap tablet on the market, making it perfect for wannabe artists and professionals who want a portable tablet which allows them to create ideas whenever inspiration strikes.

Display area: 7-inch
Pressure Sensitivity: 4096 levels
Resolution: 2540 lpi
Express Keys: 4 customizable keys
Connections: Micro USB
Weight: 0.55 lbs

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Wacom Intuos Pro M

Featuring the best pen of the affordable tablets, the Wacom Intuos Pro M is a medium-sized graphics tablet which is brilliant for digital sketching, as well as more niche areas such as professional fashion design. The Intuos Pro M is frequently described as ideal for photo editing, illustrations, and 3D sculpting, retailing for around $400. However, the Wacom Intuos Pro M is most famous for its pen.

Including the Wacom Pro Pen 2 as standard, this cutting-edge pen perfectly complements the natural sensitivity and creativity that this tablet boasts. This lethal pen/tablet combination allows you to use 8192 pen pressure levels, as well as 60 levels of tilt recognition which work in every direction. All of this makes for a natural feel and intense precision – something which is hard to find on such a cheap drawing tablet.

Although this tablet may be somewhat overshadowed by its notorious pen, Wacom has clearly built the pair to be perfect for one another, encouraging artists and fashion designers alike to draw with writing-esque precision and maximum creative control.

Display area: 10-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
Resolution: 5090 lpi
Express keys: 8
Connection: USB or Bluetooth
Weight: 1.54 lbs

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Huion WH1409

The best pen tablet alternative to the famous Wacom models, the HUION WH1409 retails for around $175, making it a significantly cheaper option when compared to some of the higher-end Wacom pen tablets. Boasting a compact 13.8×8.6 inch screen size, the WH1409 gives you a lot of space to work with without cluttering up your desk in the process. The tablet also features both wired and wireless modes, adding to its practicality and efficiency. A USB wireless 2.4 GHz connection means that you can work up to 12 meters away, while the wired option allows you to work normally with the fastest and most reliable connectivity.

One unique and appealing aspect of this tablet is its 2000mAH battery, which enables the tablet to run for over 40 hours before shutting down. In a world where we have an ever-growing number of devices to charge, the HUNION WH1409 eases that burden for you. The tablet comes with 12 customizable press keys in a 3×4 layout, allowing you to customize it to your heart’s content and build a unique tablet which works for you.

Display area: 13.8-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 2048 levels
Resolution: 5080 lpi
Express keys: 12
Connection: USB wired and wireless
Weight: 2.42 lbs

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MEDIUM SIZED DISPLAY TABLETS

Wacom Cintiq Pro 16-inch

Coming in at around 2,000 dollars, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16-inch is one of the best medium-sized pen display tablets on the market, featuring a digitizer which is frequently lauded as the best in its range. The Cintiq Pro 16-inch showcases brilliant clarity for designers, with the tablet’s high-res display and top-notch color quality leading to its 94% Adobe RGB quality. This tablet exemplifies the manufacturer’s best pen performance, featuring accuracy which is increased fourfold and lag-free tracking which makes for a seamless drawing experience.

The Pro Pen 2 is, of course, a brilliant feature of this product, offering unlimited creativity and control on the Cintiq’s stylish and practical end-to-end glass screen. In terms of convenience, the Cinitq Pro 16-Inch features pop-out legs which allow you to draw at an angle without required external tablet holders or stands. In addition, there are multiple connectivity options which allow you to use this tablet in a versatile manner for a whole host of potential work projects.

Display area: 15.6-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
Resolution: 3840×2160 (4K)
Express keys: 17
Connection: USB 2.0 and wireless
Weight: 6.92 lbs

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Huion Kamvas GT-156HD V2

Coming in at around $600, the Hunion Kamvas GT-156HD V2 is renowned for being a good alternative to Wacom tablets of a similar ilk. If you’re looking to buy a Cintiq but can’t afford those Wacom prices, maybe you should look into this reasonably priced screen tablet. Featuring a staggering 14 express keys and a touch bar, the Huion Kamvas GT-156HD V2 can be customized and configured to complement the kind of work that you do!

Now harboring a massive 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, this tablet allows you to control your lines even more accurately than ever before. It also features a 178-degree wide viewing angle and HD resolution in addition to a 72% NTSC color gamut. This allows you to create high-definition images on a budget, using levels of control and sensitivity that is often limited to high-end tablets. The Kamvas GT-156HD V2 is incredibly lightweight and thin, making it easy to carry around with you wherever you may go! The portability and accuracy of his Wacom alternative have seen its popularity skyrocket since its release, and its compatibility with programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Sketchbook have probably helped too.

Display area: 15.6-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
Express keys: 14
Connection: 1 Mini HDMI cable w/ 3 cables (HDMI cable, USB cable & power cable)
Weight: 8.47 lbs

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XP- Pen artist 15.6

The XP Pen Artist 15.6 retails for around $600, making it one of the cheaper medium-sized tablets available on the market. Coming equipped with a Full HD 16.6-inch IPS display, the XP Pen Artists 15.6’s ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle allows you to draw from a range of angles with efficiency and accuracy.

This tablet comes with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is perfect for some graphic designers but could leave a lot to be desired if you’re used to working on more intricate projects. Nonetheless, the tablet comes with 8 express keys, which can prove very convenient when working on projects with more niche requirements. The XP Pen Artist 15.6 is also compatible with programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Manga Studio, which could be perfect for amateurs and mid-level designers alike. Bear in mind, however, that at 10 lbs, it’s a little heavier than other mid-sized tablets.

Display area: 15.6-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 2048 levels
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Express keys: 8
Connection: HDMI, USB
Weight: 10.05 lbs

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LARGE SIZED PEN DISPLAY TABLETS

Huion Kamvas GT-191

Retailing for around $550, the Huion Kamvas GT-191 offers you creative control on a satisfyingly large canvas. Equipped with 8192 levels of pen pressure, you’ll be able to control the thickness or your lines with dexterity and finesse. The large 19.5-inch widescreen display makes this monitor perfect for designers and artists who require a screen which is a bit on the larger side. Coming equipped with a 72% NTSC color gamut and a display which showcases over 16.7 million intense colors, you can ensure that your art is displayed as you intend it to be.

The 178-degree ultra-wide viewing angle makes this tablet incredibly convenient, while the Huion Kamvas GT-191’s pen will work for 350 hours after a mere 90 minutes of charging. Furthermore, it also comes with an auto-sleep function which will kick in after 15 minutes of inactivity, saving precious battery life for those more forgetful designers. Boasting a range of ports and compatibility with programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Manga Studio, this large-sized tablet has limitless possibilities and gives you the chance to work in great detail.

Display area: 19.5-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
Resolution: 1920×1080 Full HD
Express keys: None
Connection: USB port, HDMI port, VGA port, and DVI port
Weight: 15.87 lbs

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Huion GT-220 V2

Lauded by many as the best non-professional pen display tablet, the Huion GT-220 V2 will set you back around $750 depending on where you get it from. The V2 greatly improves upon its predecessor, with upgraded firmware enabling you to harness responsive pen actions and accurate cursor positioning, fostering a drawing experience on a large screen which grants you unprecedented levels of accuracy and intricacy.

The very large 21.5-inch IPS display can replicate nearly 17 million colors, featuring a Full HD native resolution in a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. In addition to all this, the tablet also boasts a super-quick response time of 14 ms, making the drawing process appear to be seamless and real-time. This large-screen tablet is compatible with numerous pieces of software, including Corel Painter, SAI, and Adobe Photoshop, providing users with endless possibilities to integrate it into their workflows. Weighing in at 13 pounds, it’s also a fair bit lighter than many of its similarly sized competitors.

Display area: 21.5-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 2048 levels
Resolution: 1920×1080 Full HD
Express keys: None
Connection: USB port, HDMI port, VGA port, and DVI port
Weight: 13 lbs

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XP Pen Artist 22

Setting you back around $850 depending on where you look, the XP Pen Artist 22 is a large-scale tablet with the specs to match. With a screen size of 22 inches, the XP Pen Artist 22 is the largest tablet on this list, allowing designers to achieve a greater level of detail than ever before. Furthermore, the XP Pen Artist 22 comes equipped with 2 sets of 8 express keys, making for a grand total of 16 express keys! It’s also designed to be ambidextrous, something which ought to be a relief to left-handed designers and artists everywhere!

Coming with a 1080p Full HD IPS display, this tablet’s color accuracy and 178-degree viewing angle are perfect for designers working on larger projects which require great detail. The tablet also comes with 4-point and 9-point calibration for greater accuracy, while its 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity make it ideal for those who like to add some dexterity to their work. The tablet even comes with an ergonomic adjustable stand which the manufacturer describes as “slide proof”, meaning that it will keep your precious tablet safe when you prop it up. Compatible with design software such as AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, Manga Studio, and Sketchbook, this ultra-large 22-inch tablet could be the answer to a professional designer’s prayers. Just bear in mind that it weighs nearly 19 lbs, so it’s not what you’d call portable.

Display area: 22-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
Resolution: 1080p Full HD
Express keys: 16
Connection: USB port, HDMI port, VGA port, and DVI port
Weight: 18.7 lbs

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LARGE SIZED PROFESSIONAL TABLETS

Wacom Cintiq 22HD TOUCH

Probably the most desirable drawing tablet on the market, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD touch enables you to draw directly onto its screen. It’s generously sized so you can go large with your brush strokes, but the stylus is sensitive enough to cope with your most subtle expressions, too. The stand takes some getting used to but enables you to switch between a near-flat configuration for drawing and an upright position for when you want to use the Cintiq 22HD touch as a regular monitor.

This is the tablet I use at work. It has his pros and his cons. On the good side, I like the quality of materials and how solid it is compared to other similar devices like the Yiyinova’s or Ugees, which are built weaker, especially the stand and the screen. On the bad side, the parallax on this device is quite evident but is not a deal breaker in my opinion.

Size:21.5 inches
Weight: 18.8 lbs
Size: 25.6 x 15.7 in
Pressure sensitivity: 2048 levels
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Full HD

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Wacom Cintiq 27QHD TOUCH

The Cintiq 27QHD offers true-to-life color on a high-resolution display giving you clarity and color sensitivity in creative areas like image editing, 2D/3D animation, Game Development, Print and Pre-Press Proofing, and Graphic Design. A widescreen 16:9 display with four times the pixel density of standard HDTV gives you the resolution  (2560 x 1440) to handle the finest detail. Experience the possibilities with 97% Adobe RGB, 1.07 billion colors and REC 709 for frame-to-frame color matching. It’s a whole new definition of “exact” in color management.

The main point of criticism on this on this device is the stand. The tablet comes with two little legs that act as a stand. These two legs don’t give too much option to the artist in terms of positioning your tablet. So after spending over 2400$ on the tablet itself, you are still left with the need for a good stand. Wacom offers their own stand retailing over 399$. This, in my opinion, is a bad business practice. A device of this price should have a good stand included in the price.

Display area: 27-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 2048 levels
Resolution: 5080 Ipi
Connection: USB port, HDMI port, and DVI port
Weight: 19,8 lbs without the stand, 55.1 lbs with the stand.

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PORTABLE DRAWING TABLETS

iPad Pro 12.9

Maybe you are doubting if the 12.9 is really worthy compare to the 9.7-inch version. My answer is if you are going to draw on it a lot, totally yes. Indeed it’s almost 300 grams heavier than the smaller version but is not a deal breaker and you can take it and use it everywhere. If you are looking for a portable tablet for drawing everywhere I really recommend you this one. Is just awesome for sketching. The downside is the price and you gotta spend some extra cash buying the Apple pen. On the bright side, if you install Procreate your tablet becomes an amazing artistic tool. There’s basically almost no parallax and the pen sensitivity is simply fantastic.

The Apple Pen
In Appel words “Apple Pencil extends the power of iPad Pro and opens up new creative possibilities. It is sensitive to pressure and tilt so you can vary line weight, create subtle shadows, and produce a wide range of artistic effects, just like with a conventional pencil, but with perfect pixel precision”.
In my humble opinion, I think this is probably the best digital pen I ever used in my life.

Display area: 12.9 inch
Resolution: 2732x2048px
Connection: 3.7mm Jack
Weight: 1.49lb

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Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 and 16

Designed to give you the freedom to create anywhere, Wacom MobileStudio Pro packs a whole studio of creative tools into a lightweight mobile pen computer featuring the new Wacom Pro Pen 2. Move seamlessly through your workflow from 2D to 3D wherever you want to create. It comes in 2 sizes, 13 and 16-inch screen size.

This tablet gives you the chance to take your desktop workflow to any place you want. All in one screen, with similar specs of a Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 inch and the processing capacity of a desktop computer. You can choose up to 16GB of RAM, an Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA Quadro graphics – with up to 512GB of fast storage. The Mobile Pro comes with Windows 10 Pro installed the operating system.

Display area: 13.3-inch
Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (4K)
Express keys: 6 customizable
Connection: USB 2.0 and wireless
Weight: 3.13 lbs

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