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The Ultimate Guide to the 5 Best Tablets for Drawing

The Ultimate Guide to the 5 Best Tablets for Drawing

Finding the right drawing tablet as a digital artist can seem impossible, given the sheer number of options. With so many models and features, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when determining which device best suits your unique creative needs and budget. But having the proper sketching and illustration tablet is vital for digital creators to unlock their artistic potential fully.

The first thing to think about is what size suits you best. Smaller tablets around 6 inches are highly portable for sketching on the go but lack workspace. Larger displays, like 15 inches, offer expansive canvases but are less convenient for travel. You'll also consider whether you want a screenless graphics tablet that connects to your computer or a display tablet with a built-in monitor. Screen tablets allow you to draw directly on the surface and tend to feel more natural but are pricier.

When it comes to features, pressure sensitivity should be a top priority. The more pressure levels a stylus supports, the more accurately it will reflect the nuances of your strokes as you vary pencil pressure. Tilt support is another critical factor, enabling you to control stroke width by angling the stylus like a pencil. Keypad shortcuts, multi-touch gestures, customisable buttons and ergonomic styluses are other bonuses for efficient workflow.

Remember to evaluate software bundles too. Many tablets have creative programs like Corel Painter Essentials and Clip Studio Paint to get you started. You'll also want to ensure the tablet is compatible with your go-to digital art programs and operating system. With the right drawing tablet, the creative possibilities are endless. Do your research to find the perfect fit!

Fear not! This comprehensive guide will delve into the top 5 best tablets for drawing, exploring their features, performance, and value for money.

The 5 Best Tablets for Drawing

1 – Apple iPad Pro (2023 Edition)

Best Ipad Pro For A Marketing Manager 2022 2023

The Apple iPad Pro has cemented itself as the premier tablet for digital artists and creative professionals. With each new iteration, Apple pushes the boundaries of what is possible on a mobile device. The newly announced 2023 iPad Pro represents another leap forward, setting a new high watermark for performance, display quality, and overall user experience.

At the heart of the 2023 iPad Pro is Apple's latest M1 chip, which delivers industry-leading power efficiency and speed. The 8-core CPU design, paired with the enhanced neural engine, enables the new iPad Pro to breeze through demanding tasks like editing complex 3D scenes and working with large layered Photoshop files. This level of power positions the iPad Pro as a viable portable alternative to laptops for creative workflows.

But the new Liquid Retina XDR display makes the 2023 iPad Pro shine. With advanced mini-LED backlighting featuring over 10,000 LEDs, this 12.9-inch screen showcases extraordinary dynamic range, incredible contrast, and searing brightness up to 1600 nits. The result is stunning HDR visuals allowing digital artists to see their creations in vibrant, true-to-life colour and detail.

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And for pen input, Apple has further tuned the ProMotion display technology to deliver an impeccably responsive and natural drawing experience. With an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, every stroke feels instantaneous and lag-free. Illustrators and designers will appreciate how closely inking on the new iPad Pro mimics putting pen to paper.

Between the powerhouse performance, gorgeous XDR display, and flawless stylus input, the 2023 iPad Pro represents a monumental upgrade for digital creatives. No other tablet comes close to offering the combination of cutting-edge hardware and refined software, making the iPad Pro an indispensable mobile studio for illustration, graphic design, 3D modelling, and more. For professionals seeking the ultimate slate to unleash their creativity, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is on another level entirely.

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  • WHY IPAD PRO — iPad Pro is the ultimate iPad experience in an impossibly thin and light design. Featuring the breakthrough Ultra Retina XDR display, outrageous performance from the M4 chip, superfast wireless connectivity,* and compatibility with Apple Pencil Pro.* Plus powerful productivity features in iPadOS.
  • 13-INCH ULTRA RETINA XDR DISPLAY — Ultra Retina XDR delivers extreme brightness and contrast and exceptional color accuracy and features advanced technologies like ProMotion, P3 wide color, and True Tone.* Plus a nano-texture display glass option is available in 1TB and 2TB configurations.
  • PERFORMANCE AND STORAGE — Up to 10-core CPU in the M4 chip delivers powerful performance, while the 10‑core GPU provides blazing-fast graphics. And with all-day battery life, you can do anything you imagine on iPad Pro.* Up to 2TB of storage means you can store everything from apps to large files like 4K video.*
  • IPADOS + APPS — iPadOS makes iPad more productive, intuitive, and versatile. With iPadOS, run multiple apps at once, use Apple Pencil to write in any text field with Scribble, and edit and share photos.* Stage Manager makes multitasking easy with resizable, overlapping apps and external display support. iPad Pro comes with essential apps like Safari, Messages, and Keynote, with over a million more apps available on the App Store.
  • APPLE PENCIL AND MAGIC KEYBOARD FOR IPAD PRO — Apple Pencil Pro transforms iPad Pro into an immersive drawing canvas and the world’s best note‑taking device. Apple Pencil (USB-C) is also compatible with iPad Pro. Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro features a thin and light design, a great typing experience, and a built‑in glass trackpad with haptic feedback, while doubling as a protective cover for iPad.*

Key Features:

  • M1 chip for blazing-fast performance
  • Liquid Retina XDR display with HDR support
  • ProMotion technology for smooth pen response
  • Apple Pencil 3rd Generation compatibility
  • USB-C connectivity for versatility

Pros:

  • Incredible performance in handling demanding art applications
  • Stunning display with accurate colours and HDR support
  • Apple Pencil provides precise and pressure-sensitive drawing capabilities
  • Sleek and lightweight design for easy portability
  • Extensive app ecosystem with plenty of drawing and design tools
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Cons:

  • Expensive, especially with accessories like the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard
  • Limited customisation options compared to some other tablets

2 – Wacom Cintiq Pro 24

Wacom Cintiq Tablet Review

For over 30 years, Wacom has established itself as the premier brand for digital artists and creative professionals. This reputation stems from Wacom's relentless pursuit of innovation and quality regarding pen tablets and interactive pen displays. The recently released Cintiq Pro 24 continues this legacy by providing best-in-class features tailored specifically for artists.

At the heart of this new Cintiq is the remarkable 24-inch 4K display, which provides an expansive canvas with astonishing colour accuracy. With a more comprehensive than 99% Adobe RGB colour gamut and factory colour calibration, artists can see their work in incredible detail that matches the printed output. The vibrant OLED panel also produces deep blacks and minimises parallax, creating a more accurate connection between the pen tip and the cursor.

Wacom outfitted the Cintiq Pro 24 to complement this display with their most advanced stylus yet, the Pro Pen 2. With 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition, this pen produces lines of varying weight and thickness based on subtle changes in pressure. The Pro Pen 2 gives artists immense control and reinforces the natural feel of sketching or painting on a smooth surface. The pen is also battery-free and provides a comfortable grip for long work sessions.

For artists and other creatives who seek the most immersive creative experience, the Cintiq Pro 24 represents the cutting edge of Wacom's innovative pen display line. The combination of a stunning 4K display, pressure-sensitive Pro Pen 2, and Wacom's decades of expertise in pen input make the Cintiq Pro 24 a worthy investment for taking digital artistry to the next level.

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Wacom DTK2420K0 Cintiq Pro 24 Creative Pen Display – 4K Graphic Drawing Monitor with 8192 Pen Pressure and 99% Adobe RGB , Black
  • Wacom's most natural and advanced pen performance with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, eraser and virtually lag free tracking
  • 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) is packed into a 24 LCD display with superb color accuracy (99 percentage of Adobe RGB)
  • The Express Key Remote puts 17 programmable buttons within easy reach; The on screen keypad and the radial menus offer further 1 touch shortcuts
  • The etched glass screen reduces glare and reflections while providing a distinct, tactile experience as you draw, mimicking the feel of a pen on paper
  • Register your Cintiq Pro & receive 3-month trials of Capture One, Toon Boom Harmony & Storyboard Pro, Shapr3D, MASV, and a 6-month trial to Clip Studio Paint EX; offer available for customers located in the Americas

Key Features:

  • Large 24-inch 4K display with excellent colour accuracy
  • Pro Pen 2 with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition
  • ExpressKeys and on-screen controls for quick shortcuts
  • Adjustable stand for comfortable drawing angles

Pros:

  • Exceptional drawing experience with precise and natural pen strokes
  • The large display provides an immersive workspace for artists
  • ExpressKeys offer quick access to frequently used functions
  • Sturdy and well-built design for professional use
  • Compatible with Windows and macOS
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Cons:

  • Hefty price tag, making it suitable mainly for professional artists
  • Heavy and less portable compared to smaller tablets

3 – Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Released in late 2021, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is one of the most capable 2-in-1 tablet devices for digital artists and creative professionals. At its core is an 11th-generation Intel Core processor, which provides substantial performance gains over previous Surface Pro generations. Even intensive creative applications like Photoshop run smoothly thanks to the improved CPU and graphics capabilities.

But the stunning 13-inch PixelSense display makes the Surface Pro 8 shine. With a resolution of up to 2880 x 1920 and a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, this touchscreen provides pin-sharp detail and excellent responsiveness for drawing and artwork. The display also boasts strong colour accuracy, making it suitable for visual design work.

The flexible built-in kickstand and detachable Signature Keyboard simplify the transition between laptop and tablet modes. As a tablet, the Surface Pro 8 feels natural for drawing with the included Surface Pen. The pen magnetically attaches to the side of the tablet when not in use. It provides 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and excellent tilt support for natural-feeling control. Palm rejection also works well, allowing you to rest your hand on the screen while sketching without unwanted marks.

At just 1.96 pounds for the tablet, the Surface Pro 8 maintains a highly portable form factor that digital artists will appreciate. Paired with the kickstand and keyboard, it becomes an efficient laptop replacement for tasks like photo editing. Overall, the combination of performance, display quality, and versatility cement the Surface Pro 8 as one of the top Windows tablets for creative work as of 2023. Its refined design shows Microsoft's commitment to creators needing serious portable hardware that doesn't compromise power or pen experience.

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  • The best pen experience on Pro with rechargeable Surface Slim Pen 2 and Surface Pro 8, for the natural feeling of pen on paper,(4) securely stored in Surface Pro Signature Keyboard.
  • Type in comfort. Sleek and compact, Surface Signature Keyboard performs like a traditional laptop keyboard complete with a full function row and backlit keys.

Key Features:

  • Versatile 2-in-1 design for productivity and creativity
  • High-resolution PixelSense display with touch and pen support
  • Surface Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition
  • Full Windows 11 operating system for desktop applications
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Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable, ideal for on-the-go artists
  • Impressive performance for handling art software and multitasking
  • Surface Pen offers a natural and responsive drawing experience
  • Supports a wide range of Windows software for drawing and design
  • Backward compatibility with previous Surface Pen generations

Cons:

  • Type Cover and Surface Pen are sold separately, adding to the overall cost
  • Limited capability compared to traditional laptops

4 – Huion Kamvas Pro 24

Huion Kamvas Pro 24 Best Tablets For Drawing

With the rise in digital art, more artists are looking for affordable yet high-quality drawing tablets to unleash their creativity. One excellent option that delivers impressive features without breaking the bank is the Huion Kamvas Pro 24.

This 24-inch pen display released in 2022 stands out for its spacious 2K resolution screen. The 2560 x 1440 pixel display provides ample workspace for illustrating detailed digital paintings and animations. Artists can see their brushstrokes and adjust their work thanks to the vibrant 16.7 million colour gamut.

Despite costing significantly less than competing brands, the Kamvas Pro 24 does not compromise on pressure sensitivity. The battery-free Huion PW517 stylus bundled with the tablet leverages Huion's latest PenTech 3.0 technology to detect 8192 pressure levels. This allows for nuanced control over line weight and opacity, mimicking the feel of traditional media. Tilt support further enhances the natural drawing experience.

With its responsive pen performance, generous screen real estate, and QHD clarity, the Kamvas Pro 24 offers exceptional value for money. For artists seeking a high-quality pen display that won't break the bank, it's an excellent choice to elevate creative projects without extravagant spending. The combination of features and affordability make this Huion tablet a compelling option for emerging digital creators.

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HUION Kamvas Pro 24 4K UHD Graphics Drawing Tablet with Full-Laminated Screen Anti-Glare Glass 140% sRGB – Battery-Free Stylus 8192 Pen Pressure and Wireless Express Key, 23.8 Inch Black
  • Pro-level Picture Quality: Enjoy the 4K UHD (3840×2160) resolution in a large 23.8 inch screen, which can effectively reduce the frequency of zoom in and out of the canvas and switch windows to highly increase the efficiency. Combined with full-laminated screen and 178° viewing angle, HUION Kamvas Pro 24 4K monitor can present you with clearer images and more details.
  • Precise Color Expression: Featured with industry-leading Quantum Dot technology, Kamvas Pro 24 4K can provide you more natural-looking green, vivider red and deeper black with a stunning 140% sRGB color gamut volume and 1200:1 contrast ratio. Combined with 1.07 billion colors(8bit+Hi-FRC color depth) and HDR technology, it can show you amazing, more life-like color reproduction and ensure professional artists immerse in the creation.
  • Upgraded Accessories: Kamvas Pro 24 4K pen display is equipped with a 20° metal integrated stand for drawing assistance. Meanwhile, it has vesa hole on the back for monitor arm(not included). New felt nibs have more stable pen stroke and stronger friction to make the pen more like a real pen. With the included mini keydial you can program your most used shortcuts to make operation more efficient.
  • Multiple Interfaces: Kamvas Pro 24 4K graphics monitor supports both HDMI & DP signals, you can easily connect it to your desktop, PC, or mac. Besides, you can also use the USB-C to USB-C cable to connect your laptop or Android devices, please make sure the USB-C port of your devices must support USB 3.1 Gen1, DP 1.2 and above standards.
  • Stable Compatibility: Kamvas Pro 24 4K drawing screen supports Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.12 or later and Android devices that support USB3.1 GEN1 and DP1.2. It is also compatible with most digital art software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Clip Studio Paint, SAI, Krita, GIMP, etc.

Key Features:

  • Affordable price with professional-grade features
  • 24-inch 2K display for comfortable drawing space
  • Huion PW517 pen with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition
  • Adjustable stand for ergonomic drawing angles
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Pros:

  • Great value for money, suitable for budget-conscious artists
  • The large display offers ample space for detailed artwork
  • Huion pen provides a precise and natural drawing experience
  • Compatible with Windows and macOS
  • ExpressKeys for easy access to shortcuts

Cons:

  • Build quality may not be as robust as premium tablets
  • Software compatibility and customer support may vary

5 – Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Drawing Tablet Review

Samsung's new Galaxy Tab S8+ stands out as one of the best Android tablets for creativity and productivity. Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, the Tab S8+ delivers blazing-fast performance whether you're multitasking, gaming, or using processor-intensive apps. The 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display is brilliant and vibrant with a silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate, making everything look fluid.

But what makes the Galaxy Tab S8+ ideal for artists and creatives is the included S Pen stylus. With 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and just 2.8ms latency, the S Pen provides a natural pen-on-paper feel for drawing, sketching, note-taking and more. The thin tip and lightweight design make the S Pen comfortable for extended periods. New AI-based handwriting recognition capabilities allow you to handwrite notes and watch the tablet convert them into typed text in real time.

The large Super AMOLED canvas combined with the advanced S Pen allows digital artists to realise their visions on the Galaxy Tab S8+ fully. Popular drawing and illustration apps like Adobe Fresco and Clip Studio Paintwork work seamlessly with pressure and tilt support. The Tab S8+ has the horsepower to handle layers and effects without slowdown. For photo editing, the brilliant display shows off all the details needed for precision retouching and manipulating photos.

With DeX mode support, the Tab S8+ can transform into a makeshift desktop with a monitor, mouse and keyboard connected. This makes it easy to get work done on the go with the convenience of a tablet and the multitasking capabilities of a PC. The large battery can last over 12 hours for all-day productivity. For creators and professionals who want a versatile tablet that excels at both work and play, the Galaxy Tab S8+ is an excellent choice.

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SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S8 11” 128GB WiFi 6E Android Tablet, PC Experience, Large LCD Screen, S Pen Included, Ultra Wide Camera, Expandable Memory, Long Lasting Battery, US Version, 2022, Graphite
  • DeX MULTITASKING: Do more on the go with enhanced productivity capabilities, like Samsung DeX and Microsoft 365 integration, that give you a PC experience, wherever you happen to be
  • PACKED WITH POWER: Galaxy Tab S8 provides powerful performance with an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, super fast WiFi 6E, and all-day battery to get you through your day, whether you’re working, streaming, or gaming
  • S PEN: Inspire your imagination with our fastest S Pen yet, an S Pen that is more responsive than ever, feels even more like a real pen, and it’s included with tablet purchase
  • LONG-LASTING BATTERY plus UNIVERSAL CHARGING: Go for hours on a single charge and back to 100% quickly with the fast charging USB C port
  • SCREEN EXPERIENCE: Get ready for 11 inches of dazzling optical amazement with a dynamic LCD screen that delivers next-level brilliance, crispness and color

Key Features:

  • Powerful Snapdragon processor for smooth performance
  • Super AMOLED display with vibrant colours and high contrast
  • S Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and low latency
  • DeX mode for a desktop-like interface
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Pros:

  • Versatile tablet for both work and creative tasks
  • Gorgeous display with vibrant colours and deep blacks
  • S Pen provides precise and responsive drawing capabilities
  • Supports a wide range of Android drawing apps
  • DeX mode enhances productivity and multitasking

Cons:

  • Android app ecosystem may not be as extensive as iOS or Windows
  • Limited software optimisation for some drawing applications

Conclusion

Choosing the best tablet for drawing primarily depends on your budget, specific requirements, and preferred platform. The Apple iPad Pro (2023 Edition) stands out as a powerhouse with its M1 chip and stunning display, making it ideal for professional artists who demand top-notch performance. Meanwhile, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 impresses with its large 4K display and exceptional drawing experience, perfect for those seeking a dedicated drawing tablet.

If you value versatility and seamless integration with desktop software, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 offers a compelling 2-in-1 option. On a budget, the Huion Kamvas Pro 24 provides fantastic value, offering professional-grade features at an affordable price. Lastly, for Android enthusiasts, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ offers a capable drawing experience with the added benefit of a versatile Android tablet.

No matter which tablet you choose, investing in a reliable drawing tablet will elevate your digital artistry to new heights, enabling you to create stunning masterpieces quickly and precisely. Happy drawing!

Last update on 2024-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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