Tablets have become an important part of daily life for various professionals whether at home or in the office. Whether you need a tablet for note taking in the office, drawing for an artist and architect, or even a tablet for photo editing for graphic designers, the price is one of the first factors to consider.
Even with this in mind, a balance of the budget you have for the device should be put against the requirements you have for the tablet. For this reason, we have created a detailed article on the best tablet under 300$ you can buy and why.
In this review we will categorize the tablets to 3 categories.
- Tablets that don’t need a computer or Standalone tablets
- Pen display Tablets: Tablets with a screen but need a computer for software
- Graphic Tablets: Tablets with no screen and cant install software but need a computer to use the screen and software installed in it
Tablets that don’t need a computer or Standalone tablets
Standalone tablets are tablets that have both a computer and a screen. You can install software in them and use them independent of a computer. They are sometimes referred to as portable tablets because adding this to a long life battery, they can easily be used on the go or when travelling.
The most common brands include, Samsung, Lenovo, Apple, Simbans, Microsoft and more. We have done a full review on Best Standalone Drawing Tablets that do not need a computer.
Best Standalone Tablet that don’t need a computer Under 300$
For the purpose of this section that is Best Standalone Tablet Under 300$, we have reviewed Best Android Tablet Under 300$, Best windows tablet under 300 and best Apple Tablets under 300$. If you are looking for a great tablet above this range, check out Best Standalone Drawing Tablets That Don’t Need A Computer
Best Android Tablet Under 300$
- Samsung Galaxy S6 lite Best overall
- Simbans PicassoTab 10 Inch
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A
- Huawei Mediapad M5 Best Samsung Alternative
- Dragon touch K10
- Lenovo Smart TAB
Samsung Galaxy S6 lite
If you are looking for a great Samsung Android tablet for drawing or note taking, that will not break the bank, then the Samsung Galaxy is the best pick for you. The 10.4 inch screen is large enough working area for different tasks whether drawing, writing or gaming.
The screen is great comes at a 2000×1200 pixel resolution that is crisp and clear. Although you can watch or view on the screen from virtually any angle, it lacks a super Amoled screen display present in the more expensive S7+ that allows for enhanced detailed view. This means that blacks will not appear as deep on the S6 lite as would be on S7+, but it will be clear enough and appealing all the same.
The tablet is great for Multitasking with 4 GB of RAM memory, coupled with a great 1.7GHz Exynos 9611processor. On purchase it comes with 64 GB of storage space but features a Micro SD slot that is expandable up to 1 TB where you can save all your files and applications.
Another great thing is that it comes with a sensitive S pen and you will not have to buy it seperatly.
Just like the other tablets in this category, it has both a screen and a computer and is therefore a standalone tablet and does not need a computer to use. A long life fast charging battery with up to 13 hours Battery life makes the Samsung S6 lite a fully portable tablet and you can use it for outdoors or when travelling.
Simbans PicassoTab 10 Inch
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.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
Cheap Samsung Android Tablet
The Samsung Galaxy TAB A, has a one of the best built body for this price range. Although very different from an iPad, its aluminum feel at the back makes it feel like an iPad, but cheaper. There are 2 varieties of sizes one at 8 inches and a 10 inch option. Although both sizes are smaller than a Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite or S7+, both options are large enough for drawing and can make for a great tablet for writing and note taking.
For a budget tablet, the slim 7.5 mm feel is classy and sleek compared to other tablets in its range and will make it an easy carry for your college classes or travel from place to place. The lack of finger print identification takes from the greatness of the tablet but hey the price makes up for everything here. Oh it is also not water resistant.
The speaker quality is not the best compared to this tablets bigger high end more expensive brothers, and the storage too is only 32 GB. Although expandable with a micro SD slot, it is not possible to integrate to device internal storage.
For this price, the 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 pixel screen is ok but it however lacks the amoled technological and backlight used in Samsung quality Tablets, of the S7+ and S6.The clarity is therefore not as crisp but good for the cheap price.
To maximize the working area, Samsung have reduced the thickness of the screen to edge border and makes for a comfortable working area for artists and different users too.
The battery life is great with up to 13 hours battery life. As a standalone tablet, you will not need a computer to use it and you can install software on it. Although you can easily play games with it, the Amazon’s Fire HD 10 is a better pick for faster CPU but ultimately for a smooth gaming tablet experience, you might want to invest on a Samsung S6 Lite or S7+.
Huawei Mediapad M5
Huawei Mediapad M5 Lite may be a great alternative if you’re not a Samsung fan otherwise you want to get an android tablet on a decent budget a bit like the Samsung Galaxy S6, Huawei Mediapad features a superb performance and high resolution (1920×1200) ideal for drawing and illustration.
The only downside about this tablet is that you simply will need to purchase the S pen separately. However, you won’t regret it because the pen has accurate tracking and 2048 pressure sensitivity levels offering you an excellent drawing or note taking experience.
Another thing we noticed is that the pressure pen sensitivity levels however won’t work with some apps.
Dragon touch K10
The Dragon touch K10 from Tabletexpress, is a great cheap android standalone tablet. It comes with a wide 10 inch display which is wide enough for different uses including note taking.
It has a great and simple to use customizable interface. The screen is crisp, easily sizeable, can have its brightness adjusted, and comes with a blue light level adjustment mode
The audio quality is quite good and may reach quite high volumes on full battery
It is compatible with a lot of android software and apps furthermore 64 GB AND 128 GB storage capacity makes for a good reading tablet. Although relatively ok, a 5 hour battery life is a little short compared to similar tablets in this price range.
LENOVO TAB 4
To get an incredible quick and smooth performance, The Lenovo tab 4 or more contains Octa-center Snapdragon 625 chipset with 2GB RAM.
It has the best gaming style and with this tablet, you can manage a wide range of top of the line android games and applications. Make for an incredible gaming tablet.
The extra room is somewhat low at 16GB, yet it is expandable to 256GB, that is the reason you can store various things according to your necessities. The 2 cameras one at the front and another at the back, are great for video conferencing.
Best Apple Tablet Under 300$
Apple iPad 2020
The Apple Ipad 2020 is an upgrade from the smaller iPad 2018. Unlike the 2018 model, it comes with a bigger 10.2 inch retina view screen which is great and ideal for a gaming, drawing or note taking tablet. The screen display is also decent with 1620×2160 pixels display and matches brightness levels to the perfect more expensive iPad PRO.
Fast processing and Multitasking is made possible by a 3GB RAM plus two additional processing cores from the 2018 model. This tablet is an Apple product and processes faster than any other Android Tablet in its range thanks to the A12 Bionic chipsets that can process up to 2.5 Ghz which is almost as fast as some Best computers for Graphic Design.
The 32 GB of storage memory is however a little small and may not be large enough to save your files and apps. To make up for this, there is a 128 GB option for a little more.
The Apple iPad 2020 has both a screen and computer and can be used without a computer or PC connection. This means it is a standalone and fully portable tablet that you can use for your outdoors or travel. Adding to this the battery life is good with up to 10 hours.
An extra fingerprint scan security feature plus the 8MP rear camera and 1.2 MP front selfie camera make this a definite top contender for the best Apple tablet under 300$.
Best Windows Tablet Under 300$
CHUWI Hi10 X
Best windows tablet under 300$
The CHUWI Hi10 X takes our best windows tablet under 300$. Crisp and clear display on its 10.1 inch and 1920×1200 pixel screens makes it great for use in different professional fields including drawing and gaming.
It stands out as a great gaming tablet because of its fast 1.1 Ghz speed made possible by its Intel Celeron N4120 processor and a large 6 GB RAM. Inbuilt storage space is great and adequate for large file saving, at 128 GB and expandable through a memory slot to another 128 GB.
The device has Windows 10 installed on purchase and what is awesome is the switch from tablet to PC mode to suit your needs.
This is a standalone tablet and does not need a computer to work and for portability, it comes with a 6 to 8 hour battery life. Although it is an awesome tablet, we noticed the camera was not all that good.
Fusion5 Ultra Slim 128GB
Best for PC
Like most entries in this category, the Fusion 5 boasts of a large 10.1 inches display screen size with 1280×800 pixels display resolution that makes for a great viewing experience. The touch is highly responsive, only problem is the directional reflection which can be annoying sometimes.
It comes with 64 GB memory and a 128 GB option which is upgradable up to 256 GB through the micro SD slot is enough for file saving. The tablet comes with windows 10 pre-installed, which runs well on 2 GB of Ram. However, this device comes with 4 GB Ram memory that allows it to run apps smoothly and reduces boot up time.
An Intel Quad Core Processor makes the device fast and able to run heavy software, basically any that can run on a similar windows PC. The processor runs at a speed of 1.92 Ghz which is relatively fast but falls short of a graphic design computer which is 2 Ghz.
The speaker quality is not the best and although it is an overall great tablet, there are by far better options you can get for this price which I find a little high.
A fully portable, standalone tablet with up to 6 hours battery life
which huion and wacom do not need a computer
We have mentioned above that popular brands for standalone tablets are Apple, Samsung and Simbans however as an artist, you may be asking whether there any Wacom tablets that do not need a computer connection, or which Huion tablets standalone.
The answer is yes. The 2 top players in the drawing tablets world also have a tablet in this category. Wacom Mobile Studio Pro (2nd Gen) makes our list for the Best Wacom Standalone Tablet and HUION KAMVAS PRO 22 is the Best Huion Standalone Tablet. Unfortunately they both fall beyond our 300$ budget.
Best Tablet Under 300$ For Artists
Drawing Tablets with a screen (pen display)
In the previous section, we have looked at the Best Standalone Tablets under 300$. There is another category of tablets that have a screen, but do not have a computer to install software. To use them, you need to connect to a computer and you will work with software installed in the PC or Mac computer.
These tablets with a screen but no computer are called Pen display tablets and are mostly used by artists and digital illustrators. When you connect them to a PC or Mac, you are able to view the monitor display on the tablet just like on your computer.
The main brands in this category are Huion and Wacom, long time players in the digital art niche. We have done other articles on Wacom Vs Huion that you can check by clicking here.
Best Drawing Tablets with a screen Under 300$ For Artists (pen display)
- Huion KAMVAS Pro 13 Best overall
- VEIKK VK1560 15.6 Inch
- GAOMON PD1560
- Wacom Intuos Pro S
- HUION KAMVAS 12
Huion KAMVAS Pro 13
The Huion Kamvas Pro 13, comes with a nice full laminated 13.3 inch screen that comes with antiglare technology. The antiglare screen protects your eyes from direct light and is great for artists and animators who spend a lot of time on screen.
Apart from the larger working area and anti-glare properties you can achieve rich depth of color as the screen allows up to 1120% sRGB color Gamut. The view is also crisp and clear thanks to 1920×1080 HD resolution and 178° viewing angle IPS monitor paired with 85% NTSC(120%SRGB) Color Gamut.
The 8192 sensitivity levels and +-60 degrees battery free stylus pen tilt guarantees clarity as you work on your artwork. The pen also comes free with the tablet so no need to buy separately.
VEIKK VK1560 15.6 Inch
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.
GAOMON PD1560 15.6
Gaomon PD 1560 a competent Wacom rival has a large display area of 15.6 inches and a full HD resolution of 1920by 1080. It also has a laminated screen with minimal parallax that makes drawing more accurate, and a color gamut of 72% NTSC which is relatively low but sufficient for design creative.
Gaomon pen tech 3 has a high pressure sensitivity of 8192 and is firm and does not wobble when drawing.
Best Small Drawing Tablet For Armature Artists/Designers
Although big screens seem to be fancied by many artists and designers, there are those people who prefer smaller screens. If you’re one of the small screen lovers, then this Wacom Intuos Pro S might be the best tablet for you.
The Wacom Intuos Pro S weighs less than a pound and has a diagonal measurements of 7.4inches. The active area of the tablet is 160×110mm AMD a screen resolution of 5080LPI.
Despite the size, Wacom Intuos Pro S drawing tablet has impressive levels of pressure sensitivity (8092LPS).
The Wacom Intuos Pro S tablet is also compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS.
The Huion Kamvas 12 is the best choice to be your first pen display with the high cost performance with its 11.6 inches full HD display and a screen resolution of 1920 by 1080.
It also has a laminated screen which helps with drawing accuracy and a mate anti-glare screen to help with reflections.
It can be plugged to certain android phones and laptops.
The Kamvas 12 has a pen with a pressure level sensitivity of 8192 and a 600 tilt.
Best Graphic Tablets without a screen
This are Graphic Tablets with no screen and cant install software but need a computer to use the screen and software installed. We have reviewed this types of tablet previously under the 10 Best Drawing Tablet Under 100$ Budget. Frim our research the Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic was the best overall. Below is a list.
- Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic – The best Huion drawing tablet for this price range
- Wacom CTL4100WLKO Intuos – Best for all experience levels
- HUOIN H640P Best cheap Huion Drawing tablet
- VIEKK A15 Pro Graphics
- VIEKK A30 V2 Best for Beginners
- Huion Inspiroy H1161
- XP-PEN Deco 01 V2
- Parblo A610 PLUS
- HUOIN H430P
What To Look For When Buying A Drawing Tablet
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.
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.
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 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.
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.