Best Portable Drawing Tablet for Graphic Designers

Thanks to the digital era, you can now work remotely using a portable drawing tablet. The only problem is differentiating from the many brands , which one is the best tablet for your graphics projects or artistic tasks?

Even if you key in your budget and needs for the tablet, you will notice there are an endless list of products and brands to choose from.

As an artist the kind of tablet you go for is determined by the nature of work you do among other factors. For instance if you are creating artworks on the move or out of office then you need a portable tablet. Another factor that determines can be your budget range. We have included various budget ranges and functionality variations to make our list more competitive.

Wacom and Huion as the top players in this industry are common appearances on the list. For Wacom Cintiq vs Huion comparison please check our other unbiased article Wacom Vs Huion Which One Is Better For Artists

For that reason, we compiled a list of the best drawing tablets for artists and graphic designers. We also want you to know what you need to look out for when shopping for your professional tablet that is why we have included an up-to-date buyers guide at the end.

Check it out because the buyer’s guide will make it very easy for you to choose the best drawing tablet from a good manufacturer.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Best iOS Tablet
Wacom Cintiq 22 Best overall
Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5 inches) Best Windows Drawing Tablet
Wacom Cintiq 16 Best Drawing Tablet For Beginners
VIEKK Drawing Monitor Tablet

Best Drawing Tablets under 300$
XP-Pen Artist15.6
GAOMON PD1560 15.6

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Apple iPad Pro 12.9

Drawing Area: 10.32×7.74 inches

Connections: Wifi, Lightning, Bluetooth

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Apple has been a choice for many graphic designers and artists when it comes to their drawing tablets because the brand is known to be reliable. They outdid themselves yet again with this Apple iPad Pro 12.9. The tablet has a powerful graphics system that outshines most PCs in the market today all thanks to its A12Z Bionic chip and 8 core graphics.

The Apple iPad 12.9 offers you a sublime drawing experience with tones of intuitive touches to make it even easier for you to carry on with your projects. The stylus pencil recharges itself once it is placed at the magnetic storing space of this portable drawing tablet. If the price is not the issue for you, then this drawing tablet will provide that stellar experience you’re yearning for.

Unfortunately, you will have to pay extra for the pencil because it is sold separately. However, it’s worth the cost because the pencil is highly accurate with a perfect pressure sensitivity curve. The massive storage space will hold all your projects, programs, and extra files because the storage space is more than enough. You don’t have to get stuck on your PC anymore, this drawing tablet offers more than what your PC can offer. If you’re an artist or graphic designer looking for a drawing tablet with a lower budget, you can take a look at Apple’s older versions of drawing tablets on amazon.

We recommend that you go for the Apple iPad 12.9 if you can afford it because it cannot be compared to other brands. Tech doesn’t come cheap, neither is Apple iPad 12.9 drawing tablet.

Pros

  • Fast performance of the tablet
  • Magnificent display
  • Large storage space
  • Sharp screen with color accuracy of 112%Srgb
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Expensive and you have to pay more for the stencil pencil
  • Short charging cord
  • Reflective screen

Wacom Cintiq 22

Best overall

Resolution: 1920×1080

Drawing Area: 19.5×11.9 inches

Connections: HDMI, USB 2.0

Rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 stars

Wacom Cintiq 22 is here to give you a tremendous and natural drawing experience. Its HD display and the non-reflective screen provide you with clarity which enables you to spot all the details of your projects with so much ease.

Wacom Cintiq 22 comes with Pen Pro 2 with a pen pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels. This portable drawing tablet is undeniably one of the best tablets in the market at the moment. With all the specifications and efficiency, it is definitely worth the price.

We highly recommend the tablet if you can afford it. However, you can check out a cheaper drawing tablet on Amazon from other manufacturers.

Pros

  • Magnificent pressure sensitivity
  • Good price for the size
  • Excellent display
  • High performance

Cons

  • Doesn’t have built-in express keys
  • The resolution is low for the screen size

Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5 inches)

Best Windows Drawing Tablet

Resolution: 3000×2000

Drawing Area: 11.25×7.5 Inches

Connections: USB, USB-C, WIFI, Bluetooth

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars

Although it comes at a high price, Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a highly impressive tablet from Microsoft. The tablet comes in two versions, 13.5 inches, and 15 inches. If the display seems to be small for you, you can pick the 15 inches.

This drawing tablet is what you might be missing for a faster and efficient drawing. Microsoft Surface Book is one of the most powerful tablets with quad-core and 10th Generation Intel Processors.

With the Surface pen and sensitivity pressure of 4096 levels, this tablet can give you a tremendous drawing experience. However, the pen will cost you more because the pen is sold separately. Apart from that, you’re good to go with this powerful portable drawing tablet.

Pros

  • Highly versatile
  • Good build quality
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • The tablet is a bit expensive
  • The extra cost of the pen

Wacom Cintiq 16

Best Drawing Tablet For Beginners

Resolution: 1920×1080

Drawing Area: 16.6×11.2 inches

Connections: HDMI, Bluetooth

Rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 stars

Wacom Cintiq 16 is a great drawing tablet for starters or entry-level users although it is a bit expensive keeping in mind that it is best suited for amateurs. However, it does possess great features like a perfect stylus, the working area not forgetting the pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels.

This tablet is also compatible with other devices like Windows and macOS. Wacom products are known to be of good quality and superb build and thus Cintiq 16 is no exception. The display is superior and it has impressive responsiveness.

With its Pro Pen 2 Stylus, the drawing experience is simply amazing making it worth every coin.

Pros

  • Good for entry-level users
  • Reliable
  • Affordable compared to other Wacom models

Cons

  • Doesn’t have touch support
  • Limited color range
  • Needs a computer (not a stand alone)

Simbans Picasso Tab

Resolution: 1280×800

Drawing Area: 10 Inches

Connections: WIFI, Bluetooth, USB Type C

Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 stars

Simbans Picasso Tab is ideal for both students and professionals. If you want a cheap drawing tablet that will also allow you to take notes and draw efficiently then Simbans Picasso is just what you need.

Simbans Picasso Tab comes with 10 inches IPS HD screen which gives high-resolution images. Another advantage of buying this tablet is that it has a MediaTek  Quad-core processor which makes it even easier to multitask.

The tablet also has memory storage of 32GB disk which allows you to download and store your favorite apps and important projects.

What’s more? The tablet comes with a screen protector, a protective case, and a good power adapter.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • A multi-tasking tablet

Cons

  • The tablets become slow when you install too many Apps

VIEKK Drawing Monitor Tablet

Resolution:1920×1080

Drawing Area: 15.6 Inches

Connections: HDMI, USB

Rating: 4.3 Out of 5.O stars

This tablet was specifically designed for artists. With VIEKK tablet, you can create high quality animations with the help of its 1920×1080 display. With the 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, you can create incredible images with little physical effort.

If you’re looking for a tablet that has a high color accuracy, consider buying VIEKK drawing tablet because it has a 92% NTSC and a visual angle of 178˚ that gives sharp and deep details resulting in amazing images.

What to consider when Buying A Drawing Tablet

Buyers Guide: What To Look For When Buying A Drawing Tablet

Operating System

An operating system is a program that is responsible for the functionality of any device. Most devices use Windows, Mac, and Linux as operating systems. When choosing a drawing tablet, it is advisable to go for a tablet that has Mac or Windows operating systems.

According to recent surveys, Mac tends to meet customer’s needs and it also has a simple user interface. That doesn’t mean that Windows OS isn’t good. The majority of users prefer devices with Windows OS.

Pressure Sensitivity

When you buy a highly sensitive drawing tablet, you’re going to use less effort to draw. The amount of physical pressure you have to put on the tablet’s screen when drawing is inversely proportional to the pressure sensitivity of your tablet.

But this doesn’t mean that the higher the sensitivity the better for you. Remember, there’s a high chance of more errors with higher pressure sensitivity so you have to be wise when choosing your tablet.

Active Working Area

An active working area refers to the area on your tablet that the stylus can react to and draw. The size of the working area of your drawing tablet doesn’t have to be extremely big. An extremely big screen might make it hard for you to draw because of positioning especially when you’re using your tablet without a stand. 

The screen shouldn’t be too small too because you don’t want to run out of room when working on your projects.

Most tablets come packaged with labels indicating the size of the working area. You have to countercheck before buying the tablet just to be sure the sizes indicated are correct.

Resolution

Just the way you check for resolution on your T.Vs before purchasing, you might want to check the resolution of a drawing tablet before you pay for it. If you want a tablet that will help you produce high-resolution images or graphics, then a tablet with a high LPI will be ideal for you.

Wireless Or Wired

Many graphic designers want a portable drawing tablet for their needs and thus a wireless tablet wins in the battle between wired and wireless. You want to move around freely when working and a wireless tablet will provide you with exactly what you want.

Although a wired tablet might limit your freedom in terms of movements, it can connect to your monitor or working space directly.

Additional Features

Additional features might not be that important but they can play a huge role when choosing a drawing tablet and you’re torn between two tablets.

Additional features like hotkeys can be important because they act like shortcut keys making it easier for you to program the keys to your most-used shortcuts. Some features like multi-touch capability make it easier for you to use the tablet.

Drawing Tablet Model Type

There are many models of drawing tablets. Some of these are:

  • Portable drawing tablet
  • Flat tablet
  • On-screen monitor tablet

If you’re looking for a drawing tablet on a tight budget, the flat tablet will be ideal for you. Flat tablets are the cheapest compared to the other models. The flat tablets are not only cheap but they are also light.

That’s not all, you can easily connect a flat tablet to your computer as a peripheral. As you draw on your tablet, the drawings get reflected on the screen.

On-screen tablets are the most expensive tablets. They also connect to the computer just like flat tablets.

When it comes to portable tablets, you don’t need to connect the tablet to your computer. The tablets come with operating systems like Android, Windows, or and Apple Mac. With a portable drawing tablet, you can work from anywhere because you can draw on your screen directly.

Stylus

A stylus pencil is also known as an optical pencil. This accessory is very essential because it is responsible for recording the strokes that you make on the working areas and displaying them on the screen.

It is very uncomfortable to draw without an optical pencil therefore you should ensure that you have this accessory in mind.

How do you know the best type of stylus? Stylus pencils come in two designs; with battery and without battery.

A stylus that comes with batteries tend to be a bit heavier because of the battery weight while the stylus without battery ( also known as electromagnetic resonance) is light weight.

When choosing a stylus, we recommend that you go for the one without batteries because you will reduce the stress of replacing the batteries and they are also light.

Final Word

There are many drawing tablets out there and the biggest factor when choosing one is your budget and your needs. Just like we stated above, some models are very pricey while others come cheaper but they might not fit your professional needs.

You can try to check out other models in the market or try to look out for other models of drawing tablets on Amazon.

Just Creative Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Article by Gloria Mnyaki

For: www.justcreativedesigns.com

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