This article is updated on December 7, 2020 | By:
The popularity of drawing tablets, at times referred to as graphics tablets, has been rising steadily. In fact, many hobbyists, artists, educators, graphic designers, and ordinary Joe are turning to these electronic devices instead of the traditional media. However, many are finding it an uphill task to select the best drawing tablets. What’s more saddening is that many discover that they made the wrong choice after spending their hard-earned money. We can’t blame them because there are all kinds of products, each claiming to be the best.
You also need to pay attention to many features, including resolution, size, price, style, pressure sensitivity, size, battery life, technical support, stylus, and much more. Fortunately, for you, you don’t have to go the longer route of examining every piece. We have done the dirty work, and all you need is follow these top-rated drawing tablets in 2021 review and make a choice.
List Of Best Drawing Tablets In 2021
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#9. Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display
Although it’s an old model, I was pretty impressed by this one. One of the best drawing tablet! In fact, if I hadn’t looked closer, I would have sworn that it is among the latest model. It came with high resolution and crystal clear images. The tilt-functional worked exceptionally well. I also loved the good pressure level that meant I didn’t need to apply too much effort. Also, the unit was easy to set up and worked well with Mac or PC. All I needed was use the 3-in-1 cable.
#8. Intuos Art Pen & Touch digital graphics
The first time I came across the Wacom Intuos, I was sure that it was the real deal. I mean, Wacom is a leader when it comes to graphics tablets, right? And this was one of their newer models. Furthermore, my suspicion could have been much further from the truth. Firstly, this unit comes with a supersensitive pen that requires very little pressure.
Secondly, the screen pressure was also amazing. In fact, you could still use your fingers to scroll, navigate, or zoom. Thirdly, the small screen, although occupying a small footprint, is visible and is suitable for both right and left-handed users.
#7. OSU Tablet Ultrathin Graphic Tablet
One thing that made me curious about this black graphics tablet was the fact that it doesn’t need to be charged. This curiosity led me to discover that it has one of the most advanced pressure levels, and this makes it very responsive. Also, the charge-free nature meant that you could work with the pen continuously without disruption because it won’t need a power boost. Moreover, the Ultrathin design also comes handy, especially when you need to move around with it or store it in your bag. I also loved its simple design and excellent resolution.
#6. OSU Tablet Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet – 420
Huion is one of the respective bands when it comes to graphics tablets. It’s therefore not a surprise that there are several versions in this top 10 best drawing tablets in 2021. Also, this black piece can be considered less superior compared to its other stablemates. However, it outclasses the other top brands.
On top of that, the gadget works quite well with OSU, and even beginners will find drawing, sketching, creating graphics easy and straightforward. I love its super lightweight and compactness that makes portability a non-issue. Other reasons it holds the seventh position include long-lasting pen battery, sturdily built, and affordable.
#5. Wireless 2.4G Graphics Drawing Tablet Digital Tablet Painting Board
The XP-Pen Star05 might be the one you should invest your money on if you are looking for a tablet that has smooth operation for both screen and pen. The device can be connected with both wireless or wired USB. On top of that, the stylus comes with what they call battery-free feature which make your mind at peace as you will never think about recharging it.
When talking about battery, the device can be fully charged and used up to 14 hours when it is charge for about 2 and a half hour. Additionally, this XP-Pen Star05 also has reasonable weight, performance, compatibility and user friendliness.
#4. Plus Graphic Drawing Tablet
This is one of the best drawing tablets. It is more advanced than the earlier version, which was well received in the market. It comes with many keys that improve functionality and performance. You also won’t fail to notice the high-quality graphics and images thanks to the improved technology. Unlike the earlier tablet, this one was quieter and more sensitive keys and a larger surface area. Last but not least, customizing the keys is also simple and straightforward.
#3. H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet
The H610 Pro V2 is among the best drawing tablets not only from the brand but in the market as well. It boasts of a large drawing surface measuring 10 x 6.25 inches. Moreover, the gadget feels solid and compact and can tolerate regular use while maintaining its high quality.
Users love the papery textured surface that gives them a feeling almost similar to traditional paper. They also like the grainy paper feel that prevents the pen from slipping. And like other users, I found this tablet to be very lightweight, ergonomic, and also very portable. For improved safety and convenience, this tablet comes with a carry bag.
#2. L4S LED Light Box
This drawing tablet misses the top position by a minimal margin. Nonetheless, it still is one of the best drawing tablets in 2021. I say this because it features an ultra-thin design and can comfortably fit into tiny spaces. And despite its thinness, it has one of the most colorful and responsive screens on the market.
Moreover, the gadget has amazing illumination and is super bright, and this allows a user to come up with bright and crisp images and drawings. The flicker-free display protects the user’s eyesight.
#1. Intuos Draw CTL490DW Digital Drawing & Graphics Tablet
Beginners and seasoned users will find this tablet ideal for their drawing, sketching, painting, editing, and other related activities. Coming from the well-known Wacom brand, this accessory is revered for the excellent construction that makes it fit for indoor and outdoor use.
Also, it’s among the lightest pieces and carrying it or supporting it on your laps shouldn’t be a problem. Other than offering a drawing or sketching media, it can also convert your computer to digital sketching or drawing canvas. Lastly, this white tablet tops this review because of its high resolution, user-friendly design, easy to use, battery-free stylus, and comes with one of the most advanced free draw packs.
What Aspects To Look For In A Good Drawing Tablet?
On the surface of your drawing tablet, your active area is where your stylus pen effectively reacts and draws. There is also a bezel or the plastic edge present between the screen and the cover in this region. Based on your specific interface, there is no requirement for an exceedingly large area to work on. But, it must be sufficiently large to enable you to suit your particular style without suffering from any space issues.
Majority of the drawing tablets possess the active area that is clearly labeled. However, it is always essential to properly check the screen size. So, make sure you always focus on the active region and later on focus on the specifications.
Flat Models Or On-Screen Models
The two fundamental tablet designs are on-screen models and flat models. Though there is a significant difference between these two models, it actually relies on personal preference. Generally, an on-screen tablet will possess a similar LPI as a flat model. But it can actually be a fine-tuning to draw on a tablet when you look at your laptop screen or laptop. For some other people, there is no option to draw and create.
To improve the drawing and sketching skills, people usually insist on buying a drawing tablet. For that, it matters a lot to know how sensitive the tablet is. Based on your specific illustration or drawing style, it is possible that you need an ultra-sensitive and highly responsive drawing surface. It is generally observed that the pressure levels begin at approximately 300 and reach up to around 3,000. The higher your pressure levels are, the higher responsiveness your tablet shows. There are several tablet models that adopt 1024 level range, and the same is the optimal level for accomplishing the design.
Those drawing enthusiasts willing to prepare high-resolution images with extremely sharp graphics, it is necessary to choose a drawing tablet with a higher LPI (line per inch). The same can be used to compare HD to 4K. The higher the LPI is, the clearer the picture you will get. Those people willing to purchase a drawing tablet as a gift, they should assess the drawing preference of the person for whom you are buying.
The presence of scroller on your drawing tablet will allow you to rapidly trick from one point to another point effortlessly and quickly. Alternatively known as a scroll wheel, several tablets have built-in scrollers. This feature is not mandatory, but it is helpful if you consider going to school or working on graphic designing.
Along with the basic features, it is vital to focus on some additional features to make you’re your investment turns valuable. Though such features are not needed, always they are vital to make the full use of your drawing tablet. These features may include multi-touch abilities and hotkeys. They are specially designed to uplift your overall experience and turn your design process more flawless. As tablets persist to evolve, it is not abnormal to have hotkeys or shortcut keys included directly inside the tablet. These keys can be used to save time and they will streamline your work process. This is due to the fact that you need not spend time searching the most-used apps. The program can be customized to your preferred shortcuts or few tablets automatically pull your most utilized shortcuts into the hotkeys.
The use of stylus adds a unique value to your design while drawing. It is possible to make a selection from an electromagnetic resonance (EMR) stylus or a battery-operated stylus. These two types of styluses have some significant differences. However, both of them are uniquely engineered to resemble the feel of drawing using an ordinary pencil or pen. It is found that battery-operated styluses are designed with some significant thickness because they need to hold the batteries to power them. Also, they are equipped with finer point and they can be used for pen-to-tablet drawing. On the other hand, the EMR style styluses depend on low energy levels deriving from the pen’s circuits. The corresponding low energy reacts to the active area of the tablet. These types of tablets are thinner, but they typically possess thicker points.
Many drawing tablet models are equipped with wireless capabilities, and it relies on you to decide whether you need a wired or wireless tablet. Choosing a wired tablet will give you less space to trick around. Therefore, you have to be cautious that you don’t pull at it. On the other hand, a wired tablet facilitates a steady connection to your workspace or monitor. In recent times, the wireless drawing tablets are highly popular because they enable the user to move their tablet freely without concerning about cord pulling issues. It is necessary to be careful about the distance from your drawing tablet to your workspace. This is because, with wireless tablets, there may not be a steady connection every time.
The user experience can be enhanced by choosing a drawing tablet with a robust support system. These support systems can be in terms of the easy-to-reach customer service line, interactive forum, or country-specific support. All these systems are dedicated to enhancing the overall user experience while drawing on the tablet. If you buy a little-know tablet, there persist risk of getting no support whenever any issue arises. The same can be annoying and it can damage your workflow as well.
Drawing sketches, making illustrations, taking notes, or designing graphics doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You shouldn’t rely on graphics tablets that are too old school or too complex. You also shouldn’t waste lots of effort or time reviewing each item on the market. All you need to locate the right drawing tablet is simply following this top 10 best drawing tablets in 2021 review.
By basing our findings on the most critical issues including pressure sensitivity, resolution, stylus, battery life, size, technical support, and consumer opinions, we have been able to identify the best of the best. So, have you made your pick? If not, go through this review again and click on the associated link/tab to make a purchase.