Best Drawing Tablets for the Money
Nowadays, you no longer have to rely on paper and brush for creating a fine piece of art. With the invention of drawing tablets, artists feel more empowered for creating a digitalize version of their creations. Likewise, such allows them greater flexibility as they can edit their work real-time. It also helps them come up with a magnificent final product. So if you’re an artist who is serious about your work, it’s time to invest in the best drawing tablets.
There is a wide range of drawing tablets which you can purchase from today’s market. You can purchase them in a nearby electronics store, as well as from the internet. However, not all of these products are of the highest quality. Thus, it might be difficult to purchase the best drawing tablets without prior research.
But worry not. If you want the best drawing tablets, you’ve just landed at the right place. That is because, below, we have listed the top five drawing tablets which can be purchased at an affordable price. But first, let us have a look at some of the key features which you should consider when scouting for the best drawing tablets.
How to Choose the Best Drawing Tablets
When choosing the best drawing tablets, it is imperative that a digital artist look into the following:
Drawing tablets are available in a wide range of sizes. You have to pay bigger bucks as the size increases. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that when a tablet has a bigger size, it is better than a smaller one. Basically, it depends on your personal preference and the way in which you are going to use it.
If you are a home user or even a person who is looking to make this purchase for a hobby, you should go for the smaller-sized tablets. Starting at 4” x 5” in size, a tablet designed for home users can go up to 6” x 8” in size.
For professional artists, CAD users and animators, they should always prefer large-sized tablets. Since all such users are accustomed to painting with larger sweeping motions, a small tablet might feel unnatural to them.
One thing which you have to keep in mind is that the actual size of a tablet is always bigger than the given dimensions. It means that if you have purchased an 8” x 10” tablet, it will acquire a little more table space than its actual size. So, make sure that your office space is enough for the tablet that you are eyeing for before purchasing it.
It refers to the way in which you can connect your tablet to your computer or laptop. A majority of the tablets, which you can purchase nowadays, incorporate USB interface. The reason behind it is that if gadgets support USB devices, it makes it easy to connect them to your PC.
Apart from following the motion of your pen, the best drawing tablets are designed in such a way that they will even capture your pressure information. It means the harder you press the pen tip on the tablet surface, the thicker the line will appear on the screen of your computer. In addition, a tablet with a 2048 pressure level will respond much better to your actions as compared to the one with a 1024 pressure level.
Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW
- Draw, paint, and edit with an easy to use pen tablet.
- Replaces your mouse and turns your computer into a digital drawing canvas.
- Connects to Mac (10.8.5 and above) or PC (Windows 7 and above) via USB cable (wireless kit sold separately)
The Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW is designed for all those people who are still relatively new to the trait of drawing tablets. If you haven’t used a pen tablet before, or even if you’re looking to make this purchase for some basic photo-editing stuff, this can be a perfect starting point. You can use it with Adobe Photoshop or any other photo-editing software.
- Connectivity -This tablet can be connected to your computer or laptop in two ways. First of all, you can make use of the USB cable which comes included with this purchase. Second, you can connect it wirelessly to your PC.
- Drivers – On making this purchase, you’ll get a driver’s CD for easy installation. However, if you experience any trouble with this mechanism, you can always install these drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
- Display – The Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW features a small active area which is more than capable of serving the amateur digital artists. However, if you are a professional artist, it might be too small for your needs.
- Pen – The Intuos Pen, which comes included in this purchase, operates without any kind of battery. The pen has a pressure sensitivity level of 1024 which gives you a real-like experience while drawing on this tablet. The manufacturer has designed a couple of buttons on this pen which can be programmed to perform additional functions.
- Express Keys – In order to use this device easily, the Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW incorporates four different express keys. They are placed at both corners of this device, and are basically customizable. Thus, you can program them to perform simple functions, like copy and paste, which might take a lot of time if done manually.
- Ideal for amateur digital artists
- Battery-less and lightweight pen
- Compact design requires little table space
- Does not have a multi-touch feature
Huion H610 Pro Graphic Drawing Tablet
- Large Compact Drawing Surface 10-by-6.25 inches, never feel restricted by space again; Improved papery textured surface, gives you a natural and...
- 8 customizable buttons on the side and 16 hotkeys along the top for erasing, zooming in and out, scrolling, and a lot more for convenience, which...
- The rechargeable pen is light and comfortable to hold, with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and 2 programmable buttons, the pen provides...
- Thin and light weight, easy to carry around; Comes with a black glove which reduces hand-versus-tablet friction, and a carrying bag that guards...
- Compatible with Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and Mac OS X 10.8.0/later versions; One year warranty
The Huion H610 Pro Graphic Drawing Tablet is another high-quality product for the drawing enthusiasts. This device is compatible with all the latest versions of Windows and you can also use it with the Mac Operating System. In addition, it works with almost all the photo-editing software including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, which makes it a decent choice for all types of digital artists.
- Display – The Huion H610 Pro features a 10” x 6.25” active area which is better than the other drawing tablets available in the similar price range. It features a 5048 lines-per-inch resolution. It is also quite responsive which makes drawing easier for the newbies.
- Connectivity – Just like a majority of graphic tablets which is available in today’s market, the Huion H610 Pro connects with your PC or laptop by using a USB. A couple of USB cables are provided in this package. While one of them can be used to connect this device, the other one comes handy for recharging the pen.
- Rechargeable Pen – The Huion H610 Pro features a high-quality pen which needs to be recharged using the provided USB cable. Furthermore, it has a 2048 level of pen sensitivity which is impressive, even for the professional animators. It also has two buttons. However, unlike some high-end models, this device has no eraser.
- Warranty – Despite the fact that this tablet comes at a pretty affordable price, the manufacturer is still providing a one-year warranty.
- Features a 2048 level of pressure sensitivity
- Spacious working area
- Lightweight design makes it easy to carry
- Lacks wireless connectivity
Monoprice 10 x 6.25-inch Graphic Drawing Tablet
- Get unsurpassed accuracy and performance from this 10 x 6.25-inch Graphic Drawing Tablet from Monoprice!
- This tablet features a 4000 lines per inch (LPI) drawing resolution, a 200 RPS report rate, and 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. It has eight...
- The Express Keys and Hot Cells can be assigned to input specific keystroke combinations, launch applications, open web pages, send email, or to...
- The tablet comes with driver/software utilities for use with Windows (XP and later) and Mac OS X (10.4.x and later). It uses a USB interface and...
- Note: Starting with v9.0 of the Windows driver (Jul 16, 2014, linked below) the ability to flip the tablet so that the Express Keys are on the...
Available at an affordable price, the Monoprice 10 x 6.25-inch Graphic Drawing Tablet is an ideal choice for the budget-oriented customers. Featuring a 10” x 6.25” active area, this product makes use of a rechargeable pen. In addition, this device can be used by both left-handed and right-handed customers that make it quite a versatile drawing tablet.
- Connectivity – The Monoprice 10 x 6.25-inch features a USB interface, and you can also connect it physically to the Linux. However, you have to purchase the Linux drivers on your own. As per the drivers which come included with this purchase, they are viable for Windows and Mac.
- Portable – The overall weight of the 10 x 6.25-inch Monoprice is just under 2.5 pounds. Such make it easy to operate, as well as easy to carry from one place to another.
- Pen – As already mentioned, the drawing tablet makes use of a rechargeable pen. However, unlike a majority of other pens, this one requires “AAA” batteries for its operation. Nonetheless, you don’t have to purchase these batteries as they come included in this package. Monoprice is providing four additional pen nibs with this purchase which come handy if the original one gets damaged. You’ll also get a pen holder.
- Performance – To use this device, you just have to connect the pen to your PC via USB 2.0. Once connected, this device will start working as it does not come with an on-and-off function. As per its level of pressure sensitivity, it is no less than 2048. In simple words, the harder you press, the thicker the line which will appear on your PC.
- 2048 level of pressure sensitivity
- Comes with drivers for Windows and Mac OS
- Rechargeable pen produces fine-quality artwork
- Battery compartment isn’t very sturdy
Ugee M708 Art Design Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Large drawing area 10 x 6 inches, with 5080LPI resolution and 230RPS report rate.
- 2048 levels pressure sensitivity rechargeable pen, it is able to draw a line very thin, thick, light, dark. When drawing on screen, the smooth...
- 8 User-Defined shortcuts, can be customized the functions, such as brush enhance/weaken, zoom-in/out, cancel, hand tool, brush tool, erase.
- The compatible computer systems are Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS 10.6.x or above. Easy to use, widely used for not only professional artists...
- The compatible drawing softwares are Adobe Photoshop,Photoshop CC, Illustrator, LightRoom,Corel Painter,Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic ZBrush etc.
If you’re tight on your budget, the Ugee M708 Art Design Graphics Drawing Tablet can provide a good value for your money. Although this is one of the most affordable tablets in this list, it still has a lot to offer. Such include a spacious active, an impressive report rate, and a highly-sensitive pen that gives you a real-like feeling, even on a digital device.
- Express Keys – For the user’s convenience, the Ugee M708 features eight user-defined controls. These buttons are extremely easy to program with the help of the included drivers. All these buttons are carefully placed on the left side of this unit with enough spacing between each one of them.
- Stylus – One thing which is quite impressive about this tablet is that it comes with a slightly longer pen. If you’ve worked with drawing tablets in the past, you might be aware of the fact that larger pens allow you to have greater control over your work. This pen features a 2048 level of pressure sensitivity which is a good thing when it comes to producing different types of line weights. It also comes with a rubberized grip which makes it easy to use for an extended duration of time.
- Tablet – The Ugee M708 comes with a 10” x 6” active area which is more than enough for a wide-range of artists. This tablet is quite responsive, but it does not come with a film cover. So if you want to protect it from scratches, it might be a good idea to purchase a cover for the tablet’s surface.
- Gives a real-like feeling
- User-defined controls work smoothly
- Delivers a decent sensitivity range
- Does not come with a “AAA” battery for the stylus
XP-PEN Star03 12″ Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet
- Advanced Battery-free Stylus, more comfortable; does not require charging and highlights your honorable environmental awareness; 10x6" working...
- 2048-level pen pressure sensitivity allows you to create variations in line width of opacity; suitable for both right-and-left hand usage;...
- 8 customizable shortcuts (functions: brush enhance/weaken, zoom-in/out, cancel, hand tool, brush tool, erase) which could also be used as hot...
- Very affordable, suits for most people; easy to install and compatible with most computer systems and software such as Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP,...
- Also widely used in handwriting, annotation of Microsoft Word, Pen Commander, Auto Pen Signer etc., saving your time in a stylish way.
The XP-PEN Star03 12″ Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet is designed for those of you who are looking to purchase a customizable device without breaking the bank. Featuring a USB interface, this device incorporates a pretty lightweight construction. In fact, the overall weight of this unit is just above two pounds which makes it one of the lightest products in this category.
- Pen – Starting with the standout feature of this purchase, it has got to be its battery-less pen. Yes, it operates without any kind of battery, and you don’t have to recharge it as well. It means that you can use this pen for as long as you want without any restriction.
- Pressure Sensitivity – The XP-PEN Star03 features a 2048 level of pressure sensitivity which has become a standard for drawing tablets. With the help of included drivers, you can also adjust these levels as per your preference.
- Compatibility – The XP-PEN Star03 12″ Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet is compatible with all the modern graphics applications like Photoshop, Adobe and Painter. So whether you’re an experienced graphic designer or even an occasional tablet user, this device can serve your needs in an imperious manner.
- Battery-less pen
- Wide range of compatibility
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Devoid of wireless support
Frequently Asked Questions
What can be done with a Drawing Tablet?
Apart from using it as a replacement for a mouse, you can use a drawing tablet for various other applications. Such include photo editing, freehand drawing, illustration drawing, 3D modeling, and CAD modeling. However, you need to install software for each of the mentioned processes before using them with your tablet.
What is the meaning of active area?
Active area refers to the portion of your tablet that detects the motion of pens, cursors or even mice. For example, if the overall size of your tablet is 8” x 7”, the active area will be lesser than the specified dimensions.
What is the meaning of eraser on a drawing tablet?
Just like daily-life pencils, erasers are normally installed on the back side of the digital pens. With their help, you can erase your work on the drawing tablet. With that being said, different manufacturers use this tool for different functions on their drawing tablets.
Can the orientation of the drawing tablet be changed?
Yes, it can be changed. What you need to do is to go into the tablet properties on your computer or laptop and click on the tools menu. If you’re a left-handed user, select right express keys option. Afterward, rotate your tablet. In this way, the user-defined controls will come at your left side. On the contrary, if you’re a right-handed user, just select the left express keys option in your tablet properties.
Can ordinary tablets be used for drawing?
Yes. If you’re an occasional user, you can use an ordinary tablet. It might come at a bit lesser price, and you can also use it as a computer. But if you’re a professional digital artist, one who likes to make his or her name in this field, it is recommended to invest in the best drawing tablets.
Unlike regular tablets, this device is specifically designed for this purpose. It comes with a number of express keys along with the added availability of stylus. Hence, a drawing tablet will really help you in terms of completing your projects in a limited period of time.
When it comes to drawing tablets, the market is filled with a lot of brands. But for your convenience, we’ve reviewed the top five models based on their accuracy, precision, and ease of usage. All five of them are of the highest quality. It means whether you’re a graphic designer or even a digital artist, you can purchase any one of them with full confidence.
As per the one product which stands out from its competitors, it has got to be the Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW. Since Wacom is one of the top-rated brands in the field of drawing tablets, this tablet is a big proof of the manufacturer’s popularity.
Equipped with a wide range of hi-tech features, the Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW boasts a suitable fusion of performance and affordability. With its spacious active work area, it allows you to express your thoughts more naturally as compared to any other gadget.
Furthermore, it comes with decent levels of pressure sensitivity. And finally, it is one of the very few tablets which offer wireless connectivity. So as far as the owner is concerned, this device allows much more freedom of work on a consistent basis.