The ability to create art is a beautiful thing and in most cases artistes, graphic designers and animators get inspired by different objects or moments at different times of the day. When this inspiration occurs, the need to quickly sketch a model framework for posterity sake means you must have access to faster tools than a computer aided design software and this is where a best drawing tablet comes in.
And what’s a Drawing Tablet?
A drawing tablet otherwise known as a graphic tablet or pen tablet, is a hardware input device used for transferring hand drawn objects to a digital monitor. The average drawing tablet consists of a touch sensitive board and a corresponding stylus pen which is used to draw objects on the board.
So in simpler terms, it allows users hand-draw images to a digital surface in the same way you use a pen and a note pad. The versatility of a drawing tablet also means that its users can also employ it as a printing device to replace your mouse. This in its own little way reduces the possibility of repetitive strain injuries to long term users of mice for design purposes.
Since we are done with explanations, the next stage is discussing some of its benefits, such as an artist or graphic designer will have an opinion about the best drawing tablets available on the market.
Do you need a Graphic Tablet?
Although a drawing tablet cannot thoroughly be considered as a key equipment to your creative process, its features go a long way in simplifying how you work. So if you are an illustrator, animator or graphics designer, purchasing one would definitely improve your workstation.
It is also of some importance to note that drawing boards are quite compatible with your favorite graphic or computer aided design app. You can argument, paint or edit drawings by integrating the use of apps such as Zbrush, Corel Painter and in some cases even AutoCAD. But before going all out to purchase a drawing tablet, here are a few criteria we would like you to consider.
Our Criteria for Selecting the Drawing Tablets
The criteria to consider when selecting a drawing tablet will cover the most important features one must know about a particular drawing tablet. These criteria includes the following:
- Programmable Features: most drawing tablet come equipped with a couple of Programmable buttons which are important to the operability of the tablet.
- Stylus Features: this consists of the stylus options, pressure level and shape of the stylus pen that comes with each tablet.
- Tablet Size: everyone draws differently and for some a large surface is important for the drawing process while others may prefer small surfaces.
- Other Features: here, we will discuss the drawing tablet’s compatibility with external monitors as well as with other software applications. These extra features are needed to help users draw and paint better digital pictures.
Best graphic tablet comparison table
Number of programmable keys
The Best Drawing Tablet
Now that we have gotten the explanations and provided a brief outline on how we chose the best drawing tablets on this list, I believe it’s time to outline these boards, including the cost of purchasing one wither at your local store or online.
Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW Digital Drawing Tablet
Just as Apple is famous for its smart devices, Wacom is likewise recognized as the leading manufacturer of drawing tablets. The Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW which costs approximately $95, has the following features:
- Programmable Features: this tablet is equipped with 4 customizable express keys which you can programme to carry out functions you frequently use.
- Stylus Features: the Intuos stylus pen is wireless and highly sensitive to pressure which means users can vary their drawing technique as the need arises. It also spots up to 2048 levels if pressure is put on its surface while drawing.
- Tablet Size: the size of the Intuos Draw, varies and you could choose to purchase either a small, medium or larger tablet surface depending on your need and the size of your workstation.
- Other Features: Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW Digital Drawing Tablet is compatible with Mac and Windows OS making it possible to draw digitally on them. Included in its package is a user guide and an online tutorial.
Wacom intuos Art pen Drawing tablet
This is another exquisite drawing tablet from the staple of Wacom. The Intuos Art takes digital drawing a step further by including the ability to color the objects you draw as well as it’s compatibility with painting apps like Corel Painter. The approximately $90 drawing tablet, comes with the following features:
- Programmable Features: like its predecessor, it also spots for express keys which can be customized to handle cropping, cutting and other activities.
- Stylus Features: the Intuos Art stylus pen is quite sensitive and a user can vary the thickness of drawn lines by adding or reducing pressure. Also like most smart devices, you can make use of your fingers and multiple touch features to execute different tasks such as zooming in or moving digital objects. Lastly, it is a workers stylus pen that does not require batteries to function.
- Tablet Size: the Intuos Art comes in a small compact size of 8.25 by 6.7 inches which makes it a good fit for most workstations or office desks.
- Other Features: Note that the drawing tablet is compatible with Mac and Windows OS which means you can draw via the Intuos Art on your Apple or Windows PC. Included in the box are Core Painter Essentials software, an online tutorial and an 8 by 8 shutter photo album.
Huion H610PRO drawing tablet
Another classy and highly efficient graphics tablet is the Huion H610 PRO drawing tablet. This large tablet provides users with the versatility and precision needed to create accurate art via a drawing tablet. At $76, the Huion Pro is relatively cheap but it has the following premium features:
- Programmable Features: the Huion Pro is very customizable and with 8 express keys and 16 hotkeys, you can virtually handle drawing functions without any issues.
- Stylus Features: here is another tablet which is very sensitive to pressure. The Huion at 2048 levels of levels of surface sensitivity makes the drawing of thin or thick lines possible with a little pressure. The stylus pen is also battery less.
- Tablet Size: with a surface of 10 by 6.25 inches, the Huion Pro is quite large, and provides users with more drawing space. As stated earlier, its ample size also provides room for its 24 keys or buttons. Also note that th stylus pen is wireless and does not require the use of a battery to function.
- Other Features: in terms of compatibility, the Huion works perfectly with Mac and Windows OS as well as with a variety of accessories. It is compatible with the following software applications; Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter, Autodesk Sketchbook, Manga Studio, Clip Studio, and Zbrush. Lastly, an online tutorial is included to help users master its features.
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet
Serious creative minds who understand the benefits of a drawing tablet and continuously make use of one, will enjoy the increased drawing capacity the Wacom Intuos Pro provides. At approximately $250, this is a quite expensive graphics tablet and it spots the following features:
- Programmable Features: unlike the Intuos Art and Draw, the Intuos Pro is equipped with five customizable express buttons which can be assigned to popular drawing features such as move, crop etc. It also spots a multi-function touch ring with four customizable functions.
- Stylus Features: the sleek stylus pen with surface pressure capacity of 2048 levels is the most sensitive pen out there. The pen can be used to draw as well as edit images. Note that it is wireless and not powered by batteries.
- Tablet Size: As sizes go, the Intuos Pro Pen provides a large surface for digital work, 12.5 by 8.1 inches, which is enough space for drawing and editing. Its surface also supports multi-touch activities and allows your fingers serve as a capable tool for editing images.
- Other Features: the Intuos Pro Pen is compatible with all versions of Mac and Windows OS as well as with other external software applications. Users can draw and paint by integrating Corel Painter with it.
Turcom TS-6610 Graphic Tablet Drawing Tablets
The Turcom TS is an affordable yet efficient drawing tablet which can be used to draw digitally images on Apple and Microsoft products. The tablet costs about $48, which makes it one of the cheapest graphic tablets on the market. Its features include:
- Programmable Features: Turcom TS spots 8 express keys and a further 16 functional keys which allows for the use of commands and shortcuts while drawing.
- Stylus Features: the stylus pen of this tablet is powered by 1 AAA battery, and it is quite sensitive. It combines with its sensitive tablet surface to produce 2048 pressure sensitivity levels. The pen also has 2 programmable buttons and 4 nibs.
- Tablet Size: the Turcom TS is quite sizable and it has a working surface of 10 by 6.25 inches which provides ample room for drawing.
- Other Features: in terms of compatibility, the tablet is compatible with a variety of operating systems and applications which include; Mac OS, Windows, Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Macromedia Flash, ComicStudio, SAI, Infinite Stratos, 3D MAX, Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic ZBrush and sketchbook. Included in its package is a user guide to help you get started
Turcom Graphic Drawing Tablet 8 X 6 Inches
Turcom is known for its economical drawing tablets and the Turcom Graphic Tablet is one of its more economical versions. At a mere $40, it packs the features and power needed for you to be as creative as you choose. Its features include:
- Programmable Features: This tablet includes 8 express keys that can be programmed to the present commands and shortcuts you learn to make regular use of. It simplifies the drawing process and increases accuracy.
- Stylus Features: the stylus pen is powered by 1 AAA battery and it is quite sensitive which makes drawing thick or thin lines easy. The stylus pen combines with its small drawing surface to provide the user with 2048 levels of sensitivity.
- Tablet Size: an active area of just 8 by 6 Inches makes the Turcom Graphic the smallest tablet on this list. Therefore, it should be considered by artistes with limited working space in their work stations.
- Other Features: like its predecessor, the Turcom Graphic is also compatible with exactly the same operating systems and apps which include: Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Macromedia Flash, ComicStudio, SAI, Infinite Stratos, 3D MAX, Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic ZBrush, and sketchbook. Lastly, included in its package is a user guide to help you get started
Here are our top six graphic tablets arranged in terms of the stated criteria and we also endeavored to cover cheap, slightly expensive and quite expensive drawing tablets to help each user make an informed choice when looking to purchase the perfect drawing tablet.