Top drawing tablets recommended by digital artists and graphic designers

Top drawing tablets recommended by digital artists and graphic designers

Say Goodbye to Pen and Paper: The Best Drawing Tablets of 2023

The evolution of technology has brought us many amazing advancements, but perhaps one of the most fascinating is the ability to draw on a tablet. Drawing tablets have revolutionized the way artists create, allowing them to unleash their creativity in ways they never thought possible. In this article, we will take a closer look at the best drawing tablets of 2023, providing in-depth insights into their features and benefits.

iPad Pro (6th generation): The Best Drawing Tablet Overall

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro (6th generation) takes the crown as the best drawing tablet overall. With its easy user interface, compatibility with the Apple Pencil 2, and premium screen experience, it offers a seamless drawing experience. The iPad Pro features an 11-inch or 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display, with True Tone and ProMotion technology, providing crisp detail and vivid colors.

Apple’s most powerful tablet is not only perfect for digital artists, but it is also a favorite among professional illustrators. The popular Procreate app is exclusively available on iOS, making the iPad Pro the ideal choice for digital illustration. The Apple Pencil 2 compatibility enhances the drawing experience, giving artists a professional feel while still allowing them to draw by hand.

Wacom Intuos Pro: The Best Drawing Tablet for Pros

Wacom Intuos Pro

For professional artists, the Wacom Intuos Pro is the best drawing tablet. With virtually no lag and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, the Wacom Intuos Pro offers an exceptional drawing experience. Its lightweight design and customizable features, such as ExpressKeys and Pro Pen 2 buttons, make it a versatile tool for artists.

According to Neil Chase, a digital artist, the Wacom Intuos Pro allows him to achieve incredible detail and precision in his illustrations. The pressure sensitivity levels enable him to create lifelike drawings and have full control over line thickness and transparency. Available in three sizes, the Wacom Intuos Pro caters to different artwork preferences and editing needs.

Huion Kamvas Pro 12: The Best Budget Drawing Tablet

Huion Kamvas Pro 12

If you’re on a budget, the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 is an excellent choice for a drawing tablet. Priced at just $250, it offers great value for money. The tablet features ±60 pen tilt support, customizable express keys, and a vivid 120% sRGB color gamut volume. Freelance concept artist Chuan Shin praises Huion for its affordability and driver updates, making it his preferred choice.

Although the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 is a pen display tablet, it still needs to be connected to a computer or laptop to function. This budget-friendly option is perfect for beginners or artists looking for an affordable drawing tablet without compromising on quality.

Wacom Cintiq Pro 24: The Best Drawing Tablet Splurge

Wacom Cintiq Pro 24

For those willing to splurge on a high-quality drawing tablet, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 is the ultimate choice. Starting at $1,600, it offers an incredible display, reliable software, and precise pen-to-screen interaction. Available in various sizes, including 16”, 24”, 27”, or 32”, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 guarantees industry-leading color accuracy and 4K resolution.

Storyboard artist Jim Mortensen is a loyal Wacom user, praising the brand for its reliability and excellent software and hardware support. The Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 utilizes the Pro Pen 2, providing a pen-to-paper feel even on a tablet screen.

Xencelabs Pen Tablet Bundle: The Best Drawing Tablet for Accessories

Xencelabs Pen Tablet Bundle

For artists who want the complete package, the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Bundle is the perfect choice. In addition to the tablet itself, this bundle includes combo nibs, a drawing glove, a Quick Keys remote, and two battery-free pens for 2D and 3D design. The Xencelabs Pen Tablet’s 8mm thickness, gently curved armrest, and customizable features offer a comfortable drawing experience.

Graphic designer Nick Saporito highlights the programmable controller as the standout feature of the Xencelabs Pen Tablet. This tablet allows users to create custom key bindings for commonly used features, enhancing productivity. With added accessories like the drawing glove and removable tips for different brush strokes, this tablet bundle is a comprehensive solution for all your creative needs.

Choosing the Right Drawing Tablet for You

Deciding on the best drawing tablet depends on your specific needs and preferences. Factors such as size, express keys, pressure sensitivity, and budget should be considered. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a comparison of the key specifications of the featured drawing tablets:

Drawing Tablet Price Active Area Pen Pressure Levels External Screen Required?
iPad Pro Starting at $799 9.74 x 7.02 inches N/A No
Wacom Intuos Pro $380 8.7 x 5.8 inches 8,192 Yes
Huion Kamvas Pro 12 $250 10.09 x 5.68 inches 8,192 Yes
Wacom Cintiq Pro Starting at $2,200 20.6 x 11.6 inches 8,192 No
Xencelabs Pen Tablet Bundle $360 10.33 x 5.8 inches 8,192 Yes

Consider your drawing preferences and goals when deciding on the right drawing tablet for you. Whether you prioritize power, professional features, budget-friendliness, or accessories, there is a tablet on this list that will meet your needs.

How We Selected the Best Drawing Tablets

Our selection of the best drawing tablets was based on a combination of personal testing, expert opinions, and meticulous research. We analyzed the performance and features of each tablet, taking into account factors such as active area, accessory compatibility, and price. We also sought the input of digital artists who have hands-on experience with these tablets.

Essential Features to Look for in a Drawing Tablet

When considering a drawing tablet, several key features should be taken into account. Size and portability are important factors, as well as compatibility with your preferred software and operating system. Pressure sensitivity and display resolution play a significant role in the quality and precision of your artwork.

Neil Chase emphasizes the importance of high-pressure sensitivity levels and resolution for a natural and precise drawing experience. The smoothness of lines and accuracy of details are greatly influenced by the tablet’s resolution. Furthermore, it is crucial to consider the driver software of the tablet as it greatly impacts the overall digital art process.

Drawing Tablets: Screen or Screen-less?

Whether to choose a drawing tablet with a built-in screen or a screen-less tablet depends on personal preference and specific use cases. Screen tablets, such as the Wacom Cintiq Pro, offer direct drawing capabilities, allowing artists to see their work directly on the tablet. This can enhance the art and thinking process and is particularly preferred by professionals.

On the other hand, screen-less tablets, like the Wacom Intuos Pro, are more affordable and portable. They require a connection to a computer and may take some time to get used to, as artists need to draw on the tablet while looking at their computer screen. Screen-less tablets are a great option for beginners or artists on a budget.

Consider Alternative Drawing Tablets

While we have focused on the top five drawing tablets in this article, it’s worth mentioning that there are alternative options available in the market. Before making your purchase, it is worth exploring the wide variety of drawing tablets to find the perfect fit for your artistic needs.

In conclusion, drawing tablets have revolutionized the art world, allowing artists to unleash their creativity in ways never thought possible. Whether you’re an aspiring digital artist, a professional illustrator, or just someone who loves to draw, there is a drawing tablet that will suit your needs. Choose the perfect tablet and embark on a new phase of your artistic journey.