Best drawing tablet

Tablets & Accessories

To get the most out of your tablet, take the time to customize both the pen/stylus and any function or shortcut keys your tablet may have.

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Which drawing tablet is best?

Being an artist requires a bit of fearlessness. Knowing it’s possible to take creative risks without doing irreparable harm to your art is extremely liberating and could be the key to finishing that masterpiece.

A drawing tablet is a tool that allows you to be boldly creative and helps you execute your vision with precision. Since what you are drawing is only visible on a connected computer screen (not the tablet, itself), it may take a little bit of practice to become comfortable using one — but once you get the hang of it, it’s as easy as can be.

If you’ve never tried digital art, knowing which drawing tablet to purchase can be more intimidating than a blank canvas. Our top pick is Wacom’s Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for it’s almost nonexistent lag time.

What to know before you buy a drawing tablet

LPI

While it might not seem important to the novice, the more you use your drawing tablet, the more you appreciate accurate pressure sensitivity and the ability to tilt your stylus to achieve a variety of effects. Resolution is important as well. The higher the LPI (lines per inch), the more realistic your artwork can appear. A low LPI looks dotty or pixilated, while a high LPI looks more like a photograph.

Positioning

While some people enjoy a larger tablet that has absolute positioning (the upper right corner of the tablet is the upper right corner of the computer screen), others may prefer a more compact tablet that can offer relative positioning. One advantage of relative positioning is you don’t always have to move your pen to get to another part of the screen.

What to look for in a quality drawing tablet

Comfort and control

Your pen or stylus should feel comfortable in your hand and allow you to create while holding the tool and the tablet however you prefer. The more control you have over fine-tuning the way the stylus functions, the happier you’ll be.

Shortcuts

Having a drawing tablet with programmable shortcuts allows the artist to pick and choose the actions they use the most and makes them accessible with the tap of a button.

How much you can expect to spend on a drawing tablet

A beginner can purchase an entry-level drawing tablet for $50 or less. Accomplished hobbyists as well as professionals may be fine with a $300 model. If budget is no object, you can easily spend over $1,000.

Drawing tablet FAQ

What is a nib?

A. The nib is the replaceable tip of your pen/stylus that comes in contact with the tablet. These items eventually wear out, so you have to replace them. Additionally, many drawing tablets feature a variety of nibs to provide different feels while using. Some may be designed to function like a felt tip pen, while others may feel more like a paintbrush. Choose the nib that feels best to you.

How long does it take to learn to use a drawing tablet?

A. Learning to use a drawing tablet is a new skill that takes a great deal of patience and practice. There may be times when you’re convinced the tablet isn’t working right, but if you give it time, the process of drawing in one location while looking at another will eventually feel almost as natural as drawing with a pencil on a piece of paper.

What’s the best drawing tablet to buy?

Top drawing tablet

Wacom’s Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet

Wacom’s Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet

What you need to know: This model can interpret an impressive 8,192 levels of pressure.

What you’ll love: Lag time has been almost eliminated while accuracy has increased. The smaller size means a more compact footprint.

What you should consider: Certain nibs can wear down more quickly. If those happen to be your favorite, order backup nibs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top drawing tablet for money

Turcom’s Graphic Drawing Tablet

Turcom’s Graphic Drawing Tablet

What you need to know: This affordable and versatile tablet interprets 2,048 levels of sensitivity and offers a good approximation of what it feels like to draw on paper.

What you’ll loveL The comfortable stylus is suitable for drawing, painting and editing tasks.

What you should consider: It’s best to read all the instructions before installing, as some steps might not be intuitive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Huion’s H610PRO V2 Graphics Drawing Tablet

Huion’s H610PRO V2 Graphics Drawing Tablet

What you need to know: The tablet has 16 function keys, eight customizable keys, and offers a 10 x 6.25-inch drawing surface.

What you’ll love: The battery-free stylus has a 5,080 LPI resolution and a tilt range of ±60 degrees.

What you should consider: Setup with a Mac may require an extra step, so be sure to follow all installation instructions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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