Are Drawing Tablets Worth it? Pros and Cons Guide

Home » Art Supplies and Advice » Are Drawing Tablets Worth it? Pros and Cons Guide

Kevin Hayler: Professional Wildlife artist, author, and traveler.

Just as digital art has become mainstream and gaining acceptance as a serious art form along comes AI and parasites on all that talent. Now anyone can ‘create’ art with a single prompt. Is there a place for genuine digital artists anymore? Only time will tell. So, given the uncertain future are drawing tablets worth it? 

Drawing tablets are worth it for artists who need ultimate control and avoid the limitations of traditional art forms. Tablets enable endless scope for corrections and modifications, allow artists to switch between styles, simulate any drawing or painting medium, and accelerate their workflow.

So, are drawing tablets really worth the investment? Let’s dive in and find out.

This is a looong article so you might wish to skip to the section that matters most:

The case for drawing tablets in the commercial world is easy to argue. Amateurs, without deadlines to stress them out, will have different priorities. For hobbyists, drawing tablets offer a fun and convenient way to express themselves creatively without breaking the bank. 

The problem is, it’s all so bloody confusing. Drawing tablets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different features and capabilities.

Whether you’re a professional artist or just starting out, there’s a drawing tablet out there that’s perfect for your needs and budget. 

Disclaimer: When you buy something via my affiliate links I earn from qualifying purchases and sometimes earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. I am an Amazon Associate among others. I only recommend trusted sites.

What Are Drawing Tablets?

If you’re a traditional artist, like me, or a designer, you’ve doubtless heard of drawing tablets but maybe you are resistant to starting something new.

I’m old school and I’ve just dipped my toe into the water in this world, so I know that some of the terms used are confusing.

In simple terms, a drawing tablet is a device that allows you to draw or sketch on a digital surface using a stylus pen. It’s like a digital canvas that you can use to create digital art.

The confusion lies in the different types of drawing tablets available in the market, and the words used to describe them, they are called drawing tablets, pen tablets, and graphic tablets. Some have screens, some do not, but they all have a few things in common.

They all have an active drawing area, which is the area on the tablet where you can draw or sketch. The size of the active drawing area varies depending on the tablet’s model and brand.

Some drawing tablets come with a built-in screen, while others require you to connect them to a computer or laptop to use them.

One of the advantages of using a drawing tablet is that it allows you to work more efficiently. With a drawing tablet, you can create digital art more quickly and accurately than you would with a mouse or a trackpad. Plus, your stylus pen creates more natural-looking brush strokes and lines.

They come in different sizes and price ranges, so you can choose one that fits your needs and budget.

Learn How to Use Procreate with this Course by Scott Harris on

Rather watch a tech guy explain? Watch this video it’s just 11 mins long

What Are The Main Types of Drawing Tablets?

I’ve broken this list into 4 sections:

  1. Graphics Tablets (No screen)
  2. Pen Display Tablets (PC required)
  3. Touchpad Tablets (Android, Apple, and Windows tablets with apps)
  4. Standalone Drawing Tablets (No PC required)

1. Graphics Tablets (Pen Tablets With No Screen)

Graphic tablets, are screenless drawing tablets that allow you to draw or write with a digital pen directly onto a drawing pad. This pad is connected to your computer, and as you draw on it, your work appears on the computer screen.

It’s a bit like having a digital sketchpad that communicates with your computer.

How to Use a Graphic Tablet

After you’ve connected the drawing tablet to your computer there’s typically some software to download before you get started. Tablets are compatible with most computers and many work with Chromebooks, so compatibility is seldom a barrier.

The tablet comes with a stylus pen, which you’ll hold just like any regular pen. 

As you move this pen over the surface of the tablet without pressing down, you’ll notice how the cursor on your computer screen mirrors your movements.

When you’re ready to make a mark, press the pen down onto the tablet, much like you would when drawing on paper, the line thickness is determined by the pressure you exert. It’s the same as drawing with a major caveat, there is a disconnect between your hand and eye.

While you’re drawing on the tablet you must keep your eyes on the computer screen, and coordinate your brushstrokes. It might feel a tad unusual at the beginning, but with a bit of practice, it becomes a more intuitive and enjoyable experience.

It’s not natural at first but it’s far more intuitive and controlled than a mouse, and I suppose that’s the point.

Lastly, both the pen and your tablet might come equipped with additional buttons or features. For instance, the pen might have buttons that can erase or mimic a mouse’s right-click. Similarly, the tablet might have touch features or function buttons. 

The Pros of Using a Graphic Tablet:

  • Precision: Offers more accurate and detailed drawing compared to using a mouse.
  • Natural Feel: Mimics the traditional drawing experience, making it intuitive for artists.
  • ​Portability: With their lightweight and compact size, graphic tablets are easy to carry and safe to store
  • Pressure Sensitivity: Many tablets can detect how hard or softly you press with the pen, allowing for varied line thickness and opacity.
  • Efficiency: Shortcut buttons on the tablet and pen can speed up the drawing or editing process.
  • Affordability: Good quality graphic tablets are relatively cheap
  • Versatility: Suitable for a range of digital tasks, from graphic design and animation to photo editing.

The Cons of Using a Graphic Tablet:

  • Learning Curve: It can take time to get used to drawing on the tablet while looking at the computer screen.
  • Maintenance: The tablet surface and pen nibs can wear out and might need replacement.
  • Dependency on Drivers: Tablets often require specific drivers to function, which can sometimes lead to compatibility issues with updates or different systems.

Who Uses a Graphic Tablet? 

  • Budget-Concious Students/ Artists: Graphic tablets without a screen are generally more affordable than their screen-equipped counterparts. This makes them a popular choice for beginners, hobbyists, or professionals on a tight budget.
  • Artists and Illustrators: Many artists prefer the feel of a pen tablet over a mouse for sketching, drawing, and painting in digital software. 
  • Graphic Designers: These professionals often use graphic tablets for tasks like photo retouching, creating vector illustrations, and other design work. The pressure sensitivity of the pen allows for more nuanced edits.
  • Photo Editors: Those involved in photo retouching and editing find the precision of a graphic tablet beneficial, especially for detailed work like masking, dodging, and burning.

Graphic tablets are compatible with most computers and it makes sense to attach a drawing tablet to your existing monitor, why pay extra? Graphic pads are lightweight and portable and can be stored away when not in use. They are good value for money.

Some popular graphics tablets include the Wacom One Drawing Tablet and the Huion Inspiroy H420X

One by Wacom Graphic Drawing Tablet

The Wacom One is one of the most popular graphic drawing tablets on the market. This tablet appears on so many review sites that it must be a wise choice. This tablet is designed for beginners and students, offering a high-quality drawing experience at an affordable price point.

Wacom One Graphic Drawing Tablet

Wacom One Graphic Drawing Tablet

If you’re looking for a versatile and portable drawing tablet, the One by Wacom Graphic Drawing Tablet is a great choice.

HUION H420X Drawing Tablet

Another tablet that appears regularly on review sites. If you’re looking for a compact and versatile drawing tablet, the HUION H420X might be a great option for you.

HUION H420X Drawing Tablet

HUION H420X Drawing Tablet

The HUION H420X drawing tablet is a great choice for artists who value portability and versatility. Its slim and lightweight design makes it ideal for traveling.

One of the tablet’s standout features is its battery-free stylus, which provides 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

If you’re looking for an affordable drawing tablet the HUION H420X is value for money.

2. Pen Display Tablets (With a Screen and Requiring a PC)

A pen display tablet has a drawing screen and attaches to a separate PC. 

How to use a Pen Display Drawing Tablet

Imagine a computer monitor that you can draw directly onto the screen with a stylus pen. It is more intuitive and natural than looking up at a separate screen and drawing with your hand out of sight. With pen displays, you draw right where you see your artwork. It’s like having a combination of a tablet computer and a sketchbook in one. 

When you move the pen on the screen, it’s just like drawing or painting on paper, but your work is digital and appears instantly on the display.

The Pros of Using a Pen Display Tablet:

  • Direct Drawing Experience: Drawing directly on the screen mirrors the satisfying experience of traditional drawing or painting.
  • High Precision: The direct drawing is more accurate for intricate designs or illustrations.
  • Pressure and Tilt Sensitivity: These tablets often come with advanced pen technology that detects varying pressure levels and pen tilt, 
  • Customizable Shortcut Buttons: Many pen displays have buttons on the tablet or the pen itself that can be customized for specific functions, speeding up the workflow.
  • High-Quality Displays: These tablets often have high-resolution screens with accurate color representation, essential for professional artists
  • Multi-Touch Capabilities: Some models offer touch gestures, allowing users to zoom, rotate, or navigate their artwork with their fingers.

The Cons of Using a Pen Display Tablet:

  • Cost: Pen display tablets are generally more expensive than graphic tablets without a screen..
  • Dependency on External Devices: While you draw directly on the screen, these tablets still need to be connected to a computer to function.
  • Not Portable: Larger and heavier than graphic pads, they also require a power source.
  • Potential Parallax: Some models might have a slight gap between the pen tip and the on-screen cursor which can be disorienting.
  • Screen Glare: The glossy screens of some models can reflect ambient light, which might be distracting.
  • Editing Software: You will need to invest in a photo editor such as Photoshop
  • Maintenance: The screen can get smudged or scratched with regular use, requiring frequent cleaning.  You’ll need a screen protector

Who Uses a Drawing Tablet With a Screen? 

With the added costs of buying a pen tablet with a screen, these drawing tablets are used by professional artists and illustrators, and serious amateurs.

  • Professional Digital Artists: They appreciate the direct drawing experience, which feels more intuitive and mirrors traditional art methods.
  • Graphic Designers: The direct interaction with their designs, especially for intricate details, makes their workflow smoother and more precise.
  • Animators: Drawing directly on the screen allows for more fluid frame-by-frame animation and character design.
  • Photo Editors: The precision of pen displays aids in detailed tasks like retouching, masking, and color grading.
  • Illustrators: Creating detailed illustrations feels more natural when drawing directly on the image.
  • Digital Art Students: Many art and design schools recommend or require pen displays for their courses because they offer a more hands-on digital art experience.

Pen displays tend to be more expensive than graphics tablets and more affordable than standalone tablets.

Two popular pen display tablets include the Wacom One Pen Display Drawing Tablet and the Huion Kamvas 12 Pen Display Drawing Tablet

Wacom One HD Pen Display Drawing Tablet

Staying with the original giant of the drawing tablet industry, Wacom has a budget pen display model, the Wacom One, not to be confused with the One by Wacom. What marketing genius came up with that one?

Wacom One HD Pen Display Drawing Tablet

Wacom One HD Pen Display Drawing Tablet

If you’re looking for a high-quality drawing tablet that offers a range of features for an affordable entry-level price, the Wacom One HD Creative Pen Display is an excellent choice.

Great tablet for beginners and hobbyists. One caveat, there is a slight lag between command and action. The lag takes time to adjust to. Good all-rounder

Huion Kamvas 12 Pen Display Drawing Tablet

This might be a better choice. Huion claims that this model has next to no pen lag, which because it is very similar in price to the Wacom One, gives it an advantage.

Huion Kamvas 12 Pen Display Drawing Tablet

Other selling points include a very high color gamut (color range) and a non-glare laminated screen. If you’re an artist looking for an affordable drawing monitor, the HUION Kamvas 12 Pen Display Drawing Tablet is worth considering

3. Touchpad Tablets (With a Drawing App and Stylus)

Touchpad tablets are general tablets that turn into drawing devices when used with various drawing apps. 

How to Use a Touchpad Tablet to Draw

Touchpad drawing tablets are portable mini-computers. You know the type, Apple iPad, and all those Android devices. You can use your fingers to swipe, tap, or type on them, just like on a smartphone. But what’s special about them is that they can also work with a digital pen or stylus, allowing you to draw or write directly on the screen. 

Popular examples of top tablets include Apple iPads and Microsoft Surface Pros. Personally, I have an iPad Mini 5 and Surface Go 2, both models are ideal for traveling but too small to create sophisticated work. With the right drawing apps installed, these tablets transform into digital sketchbooks, letting you create art, take notes, or design things.

The Pros of Using a Touchpad Tablet for Drawing:

  • Versatility: They can function as both a regular computer and a drawing tablet. You can browse the web, watch videos, and also draw or design.
  • Portability: Compact and lightweight. They are easy to carry around.
  • All-in-One: No need to connect to another computer; the drawing app and the display are on the same device.
  • Touchscreen Features: Multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom or rotate can enhance the drawing experience.
  • Cost: The Apps are very cheap. Refurbished tablets are affordable
  • Battery Life: Many tablet computers offer long battery life, allowing for extended use.
  • Integration with Other Apps: Easy to switch between drawing, note-taking, and other productivity apps.

The Pros of Using a Touchpad Tablet for Drawing:

  • Price: High-quality tablet computers can be very expensive, especially when adding the cost of the stylus and keyboard
  • Limited Professional Software: While there are many great drawing apps, some professional-grade software isn’t available for all tablets.
  • Size: Limited range of screen sizes
  • App Compatibility: Not all apps are available for every brand. For instance, Procreate is a popular drawing app exclusive to iPads, and it’s not available for other tablet brands.
  • Stylus Dependency: Some tablet computers require a specific stylus for drawing. You’ve guessed it, Apple ties you into their products and charges you more.
  • Updates: Some old drawing apps become obsolete after a few years.
  • Durability Concerns: Multi-functional devices with glass screens are easily damaged
  • Performance Limitations: For high-end graphic tasks, they might not be powerful enough. Plus, printing directly is not straightforward

Who Uses Touchpad Tablets With a Drawing App? 

Tablet computers with drawing apps cater to a diverse audience, ranging from hobbyists to professionals. Here’s a breakdown of who typically uses them:

  • Professional Digital Artists: Many artists have transitioned to digital apps due to the versatility and convenience offered by touchpad tablets. They can sketch, paint, and illustrate directly on these devices, and produce stunning digital artwork. 
  • Graphic Designers: These professionals use touchpad tablets for tasks like logo design, typography, and vector illustration. Procreate is a favorite app.
  • Illustrators: With the ability to draw directly on the image, illustrators find touchpad tablets especially useful for creating detailed artwork, storyboards, and book illustrations.
  • Hobbyists and Enthusiasts: Many individuals enjoy using touchpad tablets for personal art projects, relaxation, or practicing their drawing skills. 
  • Procreate App Users: The Procreate app, in particular, holds a significant position in the digital art world. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, it has a devoted fan base. Notably, Procreate isn’t just for amateurs; many professional artists and designers swear by it, integrating it into their daily work routines.

Notable Touchpad tablets include the Apple iPad range and the Windows Surface range. 

Apple iPad (9th Generation)

At the budget end, the cheapest device for a beginner will be a Regular Apple 10.2-inch iPad. If your budget is tight consider buying a refurbished iPad with a higher spec. Ive bought two refurbished tablets from and I have been very happy with them.

Apple iPad 9th Generation

Apple iPad (9th Generation): with A13 Bionic chip, 10.2-inch, 64GB,

The advantage of using an Apple device is to access the Procreate App which is tied to Apple devices. We all know how Apple ties users to the company and it comes as no surprise that only the over-priced Apple Pencil is fully compliant with an iPad.

The Procreate App Costs $12.99

These models are compatible with Procreate:

I really enjoyed this course on Domestika. It’s super easy to follow. I know that’s true, because I bought it.

These posts will help you further:

The Microsoft Surface Pro is a versatile device that can be used as a tablet or a laptop. It comes with a Surface Pen that has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support, making it easy to create natural-looking drawings. The tablet also has a high-resolution display that provides accurate colors and details.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Looking for a versatile and powerful laptop that can easily transition to a tablet? The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 might be just what you need. The Surface Pro runs on Windows 11.

You can download Photoshop, Illustrator, or Gimp editors. Alternatively, you use a drawing app as Krita, Inkscape, or Autodesk Sketchbook are popular drawing apps.

With its Intel processor, lightweight design, and stunning display, it’s perfect for professionals on the go.

Amazon Renewed

Both the Surface Pros and Apple iPads are expensive so it’s good to look around for ways to save some money. Try Amazon Renewed for a pre-owned or refurbished product.

These products are sold by Amazon-qualified suppliers and are eligible for replacement or refund under the Amazon Renewed Guarantee.

Advance beyond the basics and give your illustrations some life. Another Procreate course by Brad Woodward

4. Standalone Drawing Tablets (No PC Required)

How to Use Standalone Drawing Tablets

A standalone drawing tablet is a self-contained digital drawing tablet. Imagine a device that looks a lot like a slim computer tablet but is designed solely for drawing and painting.

A standalone drawing tablet has a high-definition screen and a stylus pen to do the drawing, but the best part? You don’t need to connect it to a computer. Everything you need is built-in. You can start drawing, save your work, and share it, all from the same device. It’s like having a digital art studio that fits in your bag.

The Pros of Using a Standalone Drawing Tablet:

  • Complete Independence: No need for a separate computer, allowing for a clutter-free workspace.
  • Portability: Designed for on-the-go use, making it easy to draw anywhere, anytime.
  • Integrated Software: Comes with built-in drawing apps or software tailored for the device.
  • High-Resolution Screens: The more expensive models have super high-definition
  • Ram: Top brands have plenty of RAM and fast processors
  • Instant Access: Quick start-up and access to your projects without waiting for a computer to boot up.
  • Optimized Performance: Hardware and software are often optimized for each other, ensuring smooth performance.
  • All-in-One Storage: Store sketches, artwork, and projects directly on the device.

The Cons of Using a Standalone Drawing Tablet:

  • Price: The top standalone tablets can be very expensive due to their all-in-one nature.
  • Limited Software Choices: While they come with integrated software, options might be limited compared to PC-based software. 
  • Battery Life: Being independent devices, they rely on their own battery, which might need frequent charging depending on usage.
  • Upgrade Limitations: Unlike PCs where components (like RAM or storage) can be upgraded, standalone tablets have fixed specifications.
  • Potential Learning Curve: New users might need time to familiarize themselves with the device’s operating system and software.
  • Storage Constraints: Depending on the model, storage might be a limitation, and not all devices allow for expansion.

Who Uses a Standalone Drawing Tablet?

With prices for the best standalone drawing tablets comparable to buying a premium touchscreen PC only the most dedicated artists and illustrators can justify paying the premium. With that said there are plenty of mid-range models available and a few cheapies.

  • Professional Artists and Designers: Professionals will appreciate the high resolution, color accuracy, screen sensitivity, and ability to run intensive graphics programs. Standalone tablets allow digital artists to create detailed and high-quality artwork. and enjoy the drawing process. It’s a tax-deductible expense.
  • Students in Art and Design: The portability and multifunctional nature of a standalone tablet make it suitable for art students who need to work on assignments in various locations, such as classrooms, libraries, or cafes.
  • Animators: For those involved in digital animation, standalone tablets offer a direct way to sketch frames, design characters, and visualize scenes.
  • Digital Nomads and Freelancers: The lightweight, portable nature, and long battery life make it ideal for those who work on-the-go or from different locations. 

High-end Standalone tablets include Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16. For a mid-market tablet look at the Huion Kanvas 22 and for a budget option consider the Simbans PicassoTab

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16

This drawing tablet is one to dream about. If you have the cash, it doesn’t get much better, although some rival tablets are bigger.

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16

Let’s cut to the chase, this standalone tablet costs thousands of dollars not hundreds. It has an i7 Intel processor for goodness sake, I’ve never had a laptop that good.

The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro is for professional artists, designers, and creative individuals.

The tablet comes with a Wacom Pro Pen 2, which supports 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, has tilt recognition, features an ultra high-resolution display with excellent color accuracy and detail.

The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro runs on the Windows operating system and offers ample 512GB storage space and 16GB memory, allowing users to store and work on large files without any limitations.

Virtually no stylus lag

If you want to have the best, this drawing tablet will not disappoint you. Claim it on expenses.

Huion Kamvas 22 Drawing Tablet

Try this mid-range alternative. The Huion Kamvas 22 and the Huion Kamvas 22 Plus have good reviews

HUION Kamvas 22 Plus Drawing Tablet

Huion Kamvas 22 Drawing Tablet

If you’re an artist or designer looking for a high-quality drawing tablet without costing a fortune, the HUION Kamvas 22 Plus is a great choice.

The Huion Kamvas 22 has an HD screen, a wide color gamut (Kamvas 22 Plus has more), and wide viewing angles. The tablet supports 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and a battery-free pen.,

It supports various drawing software applications, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and CorelDRAW.

Virtually no stylus lag and anti-glare.

The alternative options are so extensive that if you want to know more –

Read this post to help with selling your art: How to Make Money With Digital Art: 10 Ways to Profit

Key Points to Consider Before Buying a Drawing Tablet

When choosing a drawing tablet, there are a few key points that you should consider to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

Pressure Sensitivity

One of the most important features of a drawing tablet is its pressure sensitivity. This refers to the tablet’s ability to detect how hard you are pressing down with your stylus, allowing you to create lines of varying thickness and opacity. The higher the number of pressure levels, the more sensitive the tablet is to your touch, allowing for greater precision and control over your art.

Active Area

The active area of a tablet refers to the physical size of the drawing surface. This is important to consider because it determines how much space you have to work with when creating your art. A larger active area can be beneficial for those who prefer to work with broad, sweeping strokes, while a smaller active area may be more suitable for those who prefer to work with fine, intricate details.

Screen Size

If you opt for a tablet with a screen, the size of the screen is also an important consideration. A larger screen can provide a more immersive drawing experience, allowing you to see your art in greater detail. However, larger screens may also be heavier and less portable, so it’s important to find a balance that works for your needs.


The resolution of a tablet determines how accurate your lines will be. A higher resolution will give you more detail and precision in your artwork. Look for a tablet with a high resolution to ensure that your artwork looks its best.

Battery Life

Finally, battery life is an important consideration for those who plan to use their tablet on the go. Look for tablets with longer battery life to ensure that you can work for extended periods of time without needing to recharge.


Consider how you will connect the tablet to your computer. Some tablets connect via USB, while others may use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Choose a tablet with a connection method that works best for your needs.


If you’re just starting out with digital art, you may not want to invest a lot of money in a high-end tablet. There are plenty of affordable options on the market that will allow you to get started without breaking the bank.

Cheaper tablets may not have all the features of more expensive models, but they can still provide a good value for the price.

On the other hand, if you’re a professional artist or designer, you may want to invest in a more expensive tablet that has all the bells and whistles, especially if you write it off against your tax bill.

These high-end tablets often have larger screens, more pressure sensitivity levels, and other advanced features that can make a big difference in your work.

Popular Drawing Tablet Brands in the Market

If you’re looking for a drawing tablet, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options available in the market. To help you make a more informed decision, I’ve compiled a list of some of the popular drawing tablets available and reviewed elsewhere online.

I am not recommending one model or Brand over another, I have not reviewed these models personally, but they do feature on the best review sites. 

A word of warning when it comes to recommendations. You must bear in mind that models are often promoted on the basis of the commission rates offered by different companies.

You must not take a review as Gospel. Even honest reviews offer subjective opinions. Use your common sense and read between the lines. 

I prefer to point you to recognized brands.. It’s up to you to follow things up. 

Popular Drawing Tablet Brands include:

  1. Wacom: One of the most renowned brands, known for its Cintiq, Intuos, and MobileStudio Pro lines.
  2. Huion: Offers a range of affordable yet high-quality tablets, both with and without screens. The range on offer is overwhelming
  3. XP-Pen: Another brand that provides a variety of tablets, including the popular Artist Pro series.
  4. Gaomon: Known for its budget-friendly tablets with good performance.
  5. Apple: While not exclusively a drawing tablet brand, the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil is widely used by artists for digital drawing.

These brands offer a range of products catering to both beginners and professionals, with varying features and price points.

Drawing Tablets for Different Users

When it comes to drawing tablets, different users have different needs. In this section, I’ll point out the different types of users and the drawing tablets that might suit them best.

Graphic Designers

As a graphic designer, you need a drawing tablet that can handle complex tasks and has a large working area. The Wacom Cintiq Pro is a great choice for graphic designers as it has a large active area, high resolution, and excellent color accuracy. It also has a high level of pressure sensitivity, making it easy to create precise designs.

The Apple iPad Pro is a popular choice among graphic designers as it is portable and has a high-quality display. It also has a range of apps available that are specifically designed for artists, such as Procreate and Adobe Fresco.

For a list of compatible iPads for Procreate see above.

Graphic Designers can do well selling digital files. Read these:

Professional Artists

The best professional tablet is probably the Wacom MobileStudio Pro as detailed above but there are other choices.

The Huion Kamvas Pro is another great choice. It has a large active area, high resolution, and a high level of pressure sensitivity. It also comes with a pen that has a tilt function, allowing you to create more natural and expressive designs.

If you need a big screen, this is a beast.! The Xencelabs Pen Display 24 tablet, a 4K resolution high-resolution drawing tablet with a 24-inch screen and vibrant visuals. It has all the bells and whistles digital artists need to create professional results.

There are some good deals to be had on Proko for brush sets

Casual Users

If you are a casual user or hobbyist, you may not need a high-end drawing tablet. The XP-Pen StarG640 is a great option for casual users as it is affordable and easy to use. It has a small active area, making it easy to use on a desk or table. It also has a high level of pressure sensitivity, allowing you to create detailed designs.

Another great option for amateur artists is the Wacom Intuos Pro. It has a high level of pressure sensitivity, making it easy to create precise designs. It also has customizable buttons and a touch ring, allowing you to quickly access your favorite tools.

Alternatively, the Huion H610 Pro. It has a larger active area than the XP-Pen StarG640, making it more comfortable to use for longer periods. It also has customizable buttons and a touch ring, allowing you to quickly access your favorite tools.

The Benefits of Using a Drawing Tablet

He has even more brush sets for Photoshop. Follow this link if you are interested

If you’re an artist or someone who enjoys drawing, investing in a drawing tablet can be a great decision.

Here are 3 benefits of using a drawing tablet:

1. Ease of Use

Drawing tablets are incredibly easy to use. They are designed to mimic the experience of drawing on paper, but with the added benefit of being able to easily erase mistakes and make non-destructive changes to your work.

The tablet is usually connected directly to your computer, and you use a stylus to draw directly onto the tablet’s surface. It is relatively to create digital art that has the appearance of traditional art.

2. Freedom to Experiment

Drawing tablets can enhance your creative process by allowing you to experiment with different techniques and styles.

You can easily switch between different brushes and colors, and you can adjust the pressure sensitivity of the stylus to create different effects. This makes it easy to create unique and interesting pieces of art that you might not have been able to create otherwise.

3. Easily Customizable

Many drawing tablets come with customizable shortcut keys and programmable buttons. This means that you can set up the tablet to work exactly how you want it to.

You can assign different functions to different buttons, which saves time and makes your workflow more efficient. This is especially useful if you’re a professional working on a project with a deadline, and that requires speed.

Drawing tablets are definitely worth it if you’re an artist who enjoys experimenting. They offer benefits that traditional drawing and painting can’t match.

  • No more expensive drawing supplies,
  • No more clutter and mess,
  • No storage hassles

For productivity and output, tablets have the edge over conventional media. Few commercial artists will rely solely on old-school techniques these days. For hobbyists, they provide a way of producing a higher standard of work.

Getting started with digital art? This course by Jon Neimeister on Proko is worth checking out

The Drawbacks of Using a Drawing Tablet

There is always a flipside to every argument and these are the obvious drawbacks of using a drawing tablet.

1. You Can’t Easily Learn to Draw and Paint With a Tablet

A tablet does produce results, that’s why commercial illustrators and graphic designers use them. They can bypass their lack of traditional drawing skills and produce artwork that would be impossible otherwise.

In other words, drawing tablets do much of the work for you. I can see the point for illustrators and graphic designers, but what benefit does a hobbyist or learner gain?

Assuming that cracking the creative puzzle by honing your skills is part of the pleasure of making art, where is the sense of achievement by taking a shortcut? Relying on a key function or preset to bypass your lack of knowledge, defeats the purpose.

Traditional drawing and painting is a craft. There is a long learning curve, often starting at an early age. It takes years of practice to learn your trade

2. Sensory Experience

Forget NFTs and all that speculative hype, there are no originals with digital art, just as there are no original photographs. There are only reproductions, no matter how you present the work.

Digital art lacks one of the great pleasures of making art in a traditional way, it’s not tactile.

When comparing digital drawing tablets to traditional art methods, a significant difference lies in the sensory experience each offers.

Digital Drawing Tablets: The digital realm primarily engages the sense of sight. Artists work on a smooth tablet surface, looking at pixels that simulate colors and textures. While screen protectors try to mimic the feel of paper, the tactile feedback is still very different from traditional mediums.

Digital prints, being reproductions, lack a tactile depth, presenting a flat, uniform surface.

Traditional Drawing and Painting: Original artworks, especially those in mediums like oil or acrylic paint, often have a tactile depth. The brushstrokes, layering of paint, and even the canvas’s texture contribute to a three-dimensional quality that can be felt and seen.

Traditional art is a multi-sensory experience.

Artists can feel the weight of a pencil, the drag of charcoal, or the resistance of a bristle brush loaded with thick paint.

And then, there’s the smell. The distinct smell of oil paints and solvents, or that curious smell of old pencil shavings. These sensory experiences often become deeply entwined with the act of creating, making the art-making process totally immersive.

While digital drawing tablets offer precision, versatility, and convenience, traditional art provides a holistic, sensory-rich experience that many artists find irreplaceable.

3. Lack of Authenticity

The rise of digital art has sparked debates about authenticity. For some, digital art is seen as “cheating”, a mere simulation of traditional art forms without the craftsmanship that comes with hands-on techniques

Perceptions of Fakery: Features like the undo button, preset brushes, and cloning tools can make certain tasks easier. Traditional artists, who don’t have the luxury of easily correcting mistakes or replicating patterns with a single click, often dismiss these shortcuts as a cop-out for those without the skills to do any better.

Simulation vs. Originality: Digital art often employs tools that mimic traditional mediums – digital brushes that replicate watercolors, pastels, or oils. Detractors argue that this is merely a pastiche, a superficial imitation of traditional art.

They contend that while digital art can imitate the look of a watercolor wash or the texture of oil paint, it lacks the organic quality, and serendipity of using real-world mediums.

Craftsmanship: The experience of mixing color is seen by some as an integral part of the artistic process. They believe that the essence of art lies not just in the final product but in the process itself.

Color Authenticity: Original artworks often possess a vibrancy and color depth that’s hard to replicate fully in prints. The nuances of color mixing, the play of light on textured surfaces, and the artist’s specific choice of color can be challenging to capture in a reproduction.

Emotional Connection: Standing in front of an original artwork can evoke a profound emotional connection with the viewer. Knowing you’re seeing something the artist physically touched and created can create a sense of intimacy. Prints, on the other hand, while still beautiful and evocative, don’t offer the same direct connection to the artist’s hand.

While both original artworks and prints offer visual pleasure and can evoke emotions, the experience of viewing an original has a depth and richness that’s hard to replicate in reproduction.

Are Drawing Tablets Worth it? Final Thoughts

Drawing tablets have become an essential tool for artists and designers alike. They offer a range of advantages over traditional drawing methods, including precision, versatility, and speed. They allow you to work more efficiently, create more complex designs, and collaborate with others more easily.

If you’re an artist or designer, a drawing tablet is definitely worth considering. They can be expensive, but the benefits they offer are well worth the investment.

Here are some key takeaways to consider:

  • Drawing tablets offer a more natural drawing experience than a mouse or trackpad.
  • They allow you to work more quickly and efficiently than traditional drawing methods.
  • Drawing tablets with screens offer a more immersive drawing experience, but they can be more expensive than non-screen tablets.
  • iPads can be a great option for artists who want a highly portable drawing solution, but they may not offer the same level of precision as a dedicated drawing tablet.

Ultimately, whether or not a drawing tablet is worth it for you will depend on your individual needs and budget.

If you’re a professional artist or designer, a high-end drawing tablet is likely to be a wise investment. If you’re a hobbyist or just starting out, a more affordable option may be a better choice.

In any case, a drawing tablet is a powerful tool that can help you take your art and design to the next level.

This is how I made a living for over 20 years. You can too, simply copy what I did – No hidden secrets

Selling art made simple digital guide for starting a small art business

If You Want to Sell Your Art

Check this out!

Psst…it’s only $12.99!

These posts will also interest you:

It’s time to license Your Digital Art. Find out what it’s all about in this popular course by Alison Cole on Domestika

Pin it and Save it

Are Drawing Tablets Worth it? Pros and Cons Guide
The artist and Author Kevin Hayler

Hi, I’m Kevin Hayler
I’ve been selling my wildlife art and traveling the world for over 20 years, and if that sounds too good to be true, I’ve done it all without social media, art school, or galleries!
I can show you how to do it. You’ll find a wealth of info on my site, about selling art, drawing tips, lifestyle, reviews, travel, my portfolio, and more. Enjoy

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.