There is no shortage of tech gadgets on the market, including tablets for artists. When you want to choose the perfect tablet for making art, there are factors to consider before your purchase. In a sea of information, this article is here to help you with your decision.
Digital art is popular and growing in popularity as time goes on, which makes it hard to stand out as an artist. But the right tool can really take your art to the next level. Maybe you need a tablet for professional reasons, or perhaps you’re completely new to being creative. Whatever the case, accuracy, size, and pressure sensitivity are just a few of the qualities you must think about before you choose your product.
The 4 Best Drawing Tablets for Artists
Each of the products on our list was selected for quality, value for the price, and reliability based on user reviews. You will learn which best suits your needs as we go through each on the list below.
- The Wacom Cintiq 13
- The Huion GT-185
- Ugee UG-1910B 19 Inches
- XP-Pen Artist22E 22-Inch
The Wacom Cintiq 13
Are you more of a traditional artist who prefers natural methods for creative expression? Perhaps you have always preferred a canvas and brush over something digital. If that’s true, the Wacom Cintiq 13 is the tablet that will change your mind. It allows you to work right there on its screen with a tilt sensitive pen that performs just like real markers, pencils, and brushes.
“If you’re looking for a digital display that includes Wacom’s world-class input,” said Nerd Techy, “look no further. The Cintiq Pro 13 is one of the most accurate pen-input devices we’ve ever used, and the display is simply stunning.”
The Pro Pen 2 comes with pressure sensitivity and accuracy up to four times higher than that of previous models, promising the best accuracy available for designers and artists. It allows for a wide variety of lines, and more pressure means greater thickness. In addition, the device offers programmable, on-screen radial menus and multi-touch gestures, allowing you to navigate, pan, and zoom.
The Cintiq Pro comes with a stunning metallic design, along with an adjustable integrated stand to offer you drawing comfort. Weighing just under 2.5 pounds, this is among the thinner and lighter artist tablets on the market and easily fits into your bag or backpack for simple portability.
You don’t have to think about cables as you carry your Cintiq Pro since it uses a USB C cable to connect to your computer. The cord comes with your order when you buy the tablet, or you also have the option of using the Wacom link that’s included. This is compatible with every version of Mac OS and Windows, making it highly versatile.
This tablet is a great combination of lightweight, compact, and comfortable with its 13-inch, HD display. Since this is what is known as a tablet monitor, it won’t act on its own but instead, must be hooked up to your laptop or PC to work. Since it doesn’t have any software associated, you will be drawing using your usual programs, such as Manga Studio or Photoshop. You will load the programs onto your PC or laptop, not the tablet.
Some artists will like the fact that the drawing surface of the Cintiq is larger and thus feels similar to using a real paper sketchpad to draw. It’s nice to hold your drawing device in your lap instead of having to drape your arm over a screen. You will find that it feels very natural and that your hand is free to sketch as you usually would on paper.
Since you are working with a full-HD display (at 1920×1080), it offers you beautiful, crisp details. Keep in mind that this also means your computer icons may appear very small on the tablet’s monitor. You can, however, adjust the resolution and make them bigger if you want to.
The Huion GT-185
If you are looking for a tablet that is compatible with many 3D and illustration programs, such as Sketchbook Pro, Manga Studio, Corel Painter, Illustrator, and Photoshop, look no further. The Huion GT-185 brings this to the table and more.
“The packaging is very professionally made and there’s no hint whatsoever of the cheap, brown cardboard that you’d expect when you consider the price point,” said Parka Blogs. “Nice, full color graphics envelope the packaging edge to edge and the box itself even has a sturdy carrying handle.”
You will find eight hotkeys that are customizable on the tablet, along with easy to setup shortcuts to make your workflow speedier and more efficient all around. The screen resolution is 1366×768, with an aspect ratio of 16 to 9 and a 5ms response time. The GT-185 is ergonomically designed with solid, smooth edges for comfortably resting your hand or arm on and the monitor stand is adjustable for getting different angles.
This tablet gives smoother, more precise sensitivity in pen pressure, maximizing your artistic potential with greater flexibility and freedom. Included with your purchase, you will receive a cleaning cloth, Huion Cura glove, and an attached screen protector. The tablet is made with high-quality materials and doesn’t feel or look cheap. The pen is lighter than other styluses but performs amazingly.
You will find that driver installation is very easy on this and drivers can be downloaded online. You can adjust your display color in settings with your tablet monitor until it’s suited to your personal preferences. Moving to this from a more traditional artist’s tablet might take a little getting used to but is well worth the transition.
If you feel uncomfortable, at first, with your hand resting on the screen, use the packaged glove for an easier drawing experience. You can use this tablet for hours during the day and it won’t heat up like other electronic devices tend to do.
This is a highly versatile tool for multi-talented people. Using Photoshop is effortless in this program and is completely lag-free, offering super smooth brush strokes, photo editing, and great line art. You can also use it for browsing the web and editing videos.
The Ugee UG-1910B is compatible with Mac OS and Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista, and XP. It works with Painter, Corel, Autodesk Sketchbook, 3D Max, Illustrator, Photoshop, and more. It has a 19-inch screen that offers great contrast, good brightness, and accuracy in color. The 1440×900 resolution is suitable for most artists.
“This is a good device if you tried a traditional graphics tablet but didn’t like it,” said Sweet Monia, “and it is a huge upgrade if you already use one.“
The adjustable stand of the UG-1910B was ergonomically designed and has an anti-slip cover. You can freely set your preferred angle of operation and the stand keeps your monitor stable and shake-free.
When your hand is comfortable, it’s easier to stay inspired and motivated to draw. The rechargeable stylus has a streamlined, ergonomic design and comes with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. This makes it more comfortable to hold for hours at a time, so you can get lost in your creations. In addition, it has shortcut keys for switching to the eraser from the pen.
When you order this tablet, you will receive two rechargeable pens, a user manual, extra pen nibs, a CD driver, drawing glove, power adapter, USB cable, VGA cable, power cable, and more. This option is more affordable than other tablets and offers a natural and direct drawing experience.
Given the size of the screen and display sensitivity, compatibility with different operating systems, and screen viewing angles, the tablet is an amazing value for the cost. The tablet stand is reliable and sturdy and the ports and connections at the back are very solid. The display is crisp and beautiful and the large screen makes creating easier than ever before.
Even for those who aren’t very technologically inclined, this is simple to set up with your PC and can be up and running in no time at all. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced, professional artist, using this device will be an intuitive experience. Some artists will find that they prefer this over other tablet types as it allows you to directly draw on the device screen instead of blindly feeling around with the pen.
Please note that the tablet must be kept on a stable surface since it’s heavier than others. The USB cables can come out if you move it around too fast. If your pen isn’t connecting, make sure you check this.
XP-Pen Artist22E 22-Inch
For a tablet that is compatible with all the popular digital software for art, this product is a good choice. The XP-Pen Artist22E lets you design, edit, paint, and draw right on its tempered glass screen, making the most of its efficiency and intuitiveness. The display on the Arist22E is suitable and versatile for artists of all levels.
“The XP-Pen is an excellent and economical choice as a Cintiq alternative,” said Tablets for Artists. “It offers almost all the Cintiq 22HD’s features, with only some bells and whistles missing–chief among them are tilt/rotation sensitivity, the XP-Pen tablet’s lack of programmable express keys, the coating over the screen, and a touch option (the Cintiq 22HD comes in two models, the 22HD and the 22HD Touch).”
You will find eight express keys on each side of the tablet display, making it optimal for both left and right-handed users. The viewing angle of this tablet is extra wide at 178 degrees and the 1080p resolution display offers amazing color accuracy. The stand is ergonomically designed, slide-proof, and sturdy, staying in place even when you use it for long periods of time.
This tablet is crafted from textured plastic and has rubber on its bracket and base. You can adjust the stand to whichever angle you prefer, but note that you can’t rotate it as you can with other tablets. Since the monitor hovers over the table, the buttons are easily accessible.
This tablet works with Mac OS, Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, and Vista, along with all of the most popular art software like Manga Studio, Corel painter, Photoshop, and more. The resolution, color quality, and display are equal to much more expensive graphics tablets. Choose between a 4 and 9-point calibration for the display.
The accuracy of the pen is great and many will find that it’s already calibrated the way they like it immediately out of the packaging. The pen is comfortable for your hand and weighs 17 grams. It takes between an hour and 2 hours to fully charge and lasts for about two weeks, depending on how frequently you use it.
Since the device comes with two pens, you will always have one to use when you need a charge. A light-up indicator will tell you when your pen’s battery is getting low. Although the stylus is rechargeable, please note that the included battery isn’t replaceable.
Although it doesn’t come with a grip or indentations, the pen balances well and slides over the glass quickly. Although the screen is very smooth and slick, it isn’t overly slippery. The viewing angle on this device offers a clear picture, even if you are standing over to the side. Keep in mind that using the protector for the screen will slow it down a bit.
Tips for Keeping your Device in Great Condition
Once you invest in a graphics drawing tablet, you will want it to stay in tip-top shape for as long as possible. Many users just read up on how to start and setup the device but don’t give much thought to caring for the product. Here are some useful tips for keeping your tablet working well for longer:
- Keep it Away from Water: This might seem obvious, but it’s still good to keep in mind. Although technology advances continuously at staggering rates, artist tablets aren’t waterproof yet.
- Keep it out of the Sun: On a similar note, keeping your tablet out of direct sunlight will prolong its life. Store it at room temperature and away from the windows and make sure you don’t leave it sitting in your car on hot days, just to be safe.
- Only use the Correct Stylus: Make sure that you are only using the approved pen stylus with your tablet. If you use another pen on the screen, it could lead to both damage and a voided warranty.
- Be Careful when Transporting it: To help your device last as long as possible, always exercise caution when you travel with it, and keep it away from table edges.
Your tablet is fragile and not the cheapest item you own, so it requires extra thought and care. By following the advice above, you’ll be able to keep it for longer and create unlimited projects.