The Ultimate Guide to the Best Tablets for Graphic Designers
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Do you want to know which tablets are ideal for graphic design? We can help you with that whether it’s for art, drawing, or illustration.
Drawing tablets are used by designers for artistic, digital illustration, or photo editing work since they make the task simpler and more enjoyable than using a mouse or touchpad.
For digital illustration or picture retouching, drawing tablets are primarily used by designers since they make the process simpler and more enjoyable than using a mouse alone.
Your work as a designer will be a lot simpler and more pleasurable if you have access to a drawing tablet.
The use of tablets by many graphic designers, illustrators, and artists has become more and more popular. Even when they are not in the office, an artist may complete work with the help of a decent tablet because it is portable, lightweight, responsive, and electronic.
Thankfully, that’s where we can help.
In this article, we’ve examined a variety of tablets to find the finest drawing tablets for Graphic design on the market right now.
What to look for when Buying a Table for Graphic Designers
Here are things to look for when buying drawing Tablets to achieve a superb drawing Experience.
Pen pressure sensitivity:
In general, 4096 is the typical pressure sensitivity on a tablet, however, there aren’t many people who can tell the difference between tablets with greater or lower values of pressure sensitivity than this.
This isn’t anything that has to be taken into consideration if sketching is a recreational activity for you but if you are looking at a pro-level drawing you need to consider the Pen pressure sensitivity of the Tablet.
Also read: Best Android tablets for Graphic Design
Connection( Cord or Wireless)
Tablets can be connected using either a traditional corder or a wireless Bluetooth connection. Both types are available. Although there won’t be any problems with connectivity when using a wired tablet, and it will be cheaper, it could be annoying to have to constantly connect and disconnect the cables.
On the other hand, if you choose a corded tablet, you won’t have the mobility that comes with using a wireless tablet because of the cord.
However, I have evaluated them all, so regardless of whether you are a novice or an expert, I hope you will discover something that piques your interest.
Active Drawing area
When it comes to drawing tablets, the optimal size is a 13 ” display or a 9 x 13 ” screen.
This is simple to handle for the majority of users and workstations, and it gives them extra space to sketch.
The optimal size for drawing tablets without a screen is one that is closer to the size of your monitor, which is around 21 inches on average.
Stylus The stylus (pen)
The stylus can be either battery-operated (AES) or electromagnetic resonance (EMR), but in either case, it is intended to simulate the experience of writing with a traditional pen on paper.
Because EMR styluses are able to quickly differentiate between pen and touch inputs, the pen experience is significantly improved as a result.
Although they require some getting used to and compensation, AES styluses offer significant performance advantages over EMR styluses. However, these advantages come with certain drawbacks.
Liquid Retina Display
The Liquid Retina display found in the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 boasts a resolution of 1792 x 828p and a pixel density of 328 PPI.
For comparison, the iPhone 11 Pro has a resolution of 2436 x 1125p and a pixel density of 458 ppi.
Is LRD a better option?
Yes, it is…
If you compare the specifications of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021) with the specifications of the 11-inch iPad Pro, which has a normal Liquid Retina display, you’ll be able to clearly notice the difference.
The 2022 iPad Pro has a higher display resolution (2,732 x 2,048p against 2,388 x 1,668p), as well as a greater maximum full-screen brightness (compared to the previous year’s iPad Pro) (up to 1000 units, versus 600 nits).
If you are going for budget tablets it’s a good idea to check the following :
1. Report Rate Speed measured in RPS. Report Rate Speed measures how many times per second the tablet sends information about the stylus position & pressure back to the computer. 200 RPS is standard. Higher is better.
2. Display Screen Durability – For Display tablets, Cheaper tablets may have screen display issues over a period of time and you may find them laggy. if a tiny bit of bagginess could be a big turn-off. So make an informed decision.
3. Also remember since you will be connecting your tablets to the computer in most cases, a big size may cause issues with space since your work table now needs to accommodate a tablet along with a keyboard & mouse. 16 inches are my preferred size. when it comes to tablets.
Tablets that already have the functionality of HotKeys built into them are gaining more and more market share.
These additional keys, which are typically located on the side of the keyboard, are there to help you save time and make your work process more efficient.
You will be able to save a significant amount of time by using hotkeys rather than manually switching between tabs, and apps, or even just selecting brushes in Photoshop.
Using the stylus to navigate the screen on your tablet can be inefficient at times, especially if you are working on a large piece of artwork while using a small tablet.
You will be relieved to know that the majority of tablets come equipped with a scroller that allows you to rapidly zoom in and out of your artwork as well as navigate it.
Budget tablets are good for starters to try, learn to get used to them, and then decide to go for expensive tablets.
Here is a quick table for the top 3 tablets for Graphic Designers [ Budget to Splurge Option]
What are the best Best tablets for Graphic Designers & Creatives in 2023?
When you’re in the market for the best Best tablets for Graphic Designers, only the best will do. To us, while it’s a tough choice, the best Website Builder in 2023 is by far Wacom Cintiq 16 ( Best overall & Editor’s Choice), Wacom Cintiq 22 ( Large Tablet), and XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pen Display ( Budget-friendly)
Interested in some of our other top choices? Check out our comparison table below.
- Wacom Cintiq 16 — Best drawing tablet overall [ with screen] for Graphic Designers
- Apple iPad Pro — Best Apple iOS tablet for Graphic design work [ Buy from Walmart]
- Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 — Best with Windows. & Splurge Option for Graphic Designers
- Wacom Intuos Pro — The best Mid-sized tablet overall [ No screen] for Graphic Designers
- XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pen Display — Best budget tablet [ with screen] For Graphic Designers
- Wacom Cintiq 22 — Best large tablet for Graphic Designers
- XP-Pen Innovator 16 — Best mid-range tablet for Graphic designers
- Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5 inches) — Best Windows tablet
- XENX P3-1060 — Best tablet for art beginners
- Wacom Intuos Pro (Large) — Best tablet for artists and illustrators
- Huion H610 Pro V2 — Best budget tablet with no screen
- One by Wacom Student — Best Wacom tablet for students
- Wacom One — Best value & Beginner Friendly drawing tablet
- Wacom Intuos Pro — A best Small & handy Wacom tablet
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 — Cost-effective Android tablet for Graphic designers on a Tight Budget
- XP-Pen Deco 03 — Best Lean & Light tablet
- Huion Kamvas Pro 24 — Best Huion tablet for Graphic Design work
Once you have a tablet, be sure to also get a tablet keyboard. Additionally, our list of the best stylus for design work may be of interest to you if you’re looking for a stylus pen to support your tablet.
The Cintiq Pro is an astonishingly potent new addition to Wacom's lineup of tablets.
The days of controlling a brush on a computer screen with a stylus attached to a black pad are long gone. Instead, you get a hyper-accurate sketching tablet with a display so crisp and colorful that you won't even need your computer's monitor.
- It has 4K design
- Compact and portable
- Cool ergonomics
- Express key remote and stand are extras
The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (M1, 2021) from Apple is the writing tablet that tops all lists when it comes to size. It is much more than just a writing tablet; rather, it is a tablet for everything, even paying a premium fee for it.
The iPad Pro can handle anything you wish to write, draw, edit, or even record on it thanks to the potent M1 CPU within. The lack of a stylus is the main drawback other than the cost. The experience will be the best if you decide to use Apple's own Pencil.
- Top range & Robust performance
- Pricey and Pens sold separately
The Artist Pro 16 excels in one area: the stylus, even though the drawing tablet's internal workings aren't all that different from those of the other options on our list.
The enhanced technology of the XP-Pen pen, which includes the X3 smart chip, gives users a more precise and responsive experience that is undoubtedly helpful for taking notes and sketching.
The Artist Pro 16 is a top-notch tablet that can handle almost anything, whether you're drawing incessantly throughout your afternoon meeting or meticulously taking notes.
The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is a great alternative
- high-quality design
- Multi-Touch Functionality
- feels sturdy
The touchscreen capability is absent, and the resolution is Full HD rather than 4K, but other than those two differences, the features and functionality are same.
Wacom Intuos Pro Medium
This is the tablet I personally use. Medium is just the right size as I personally find large too big.
They have Bluetooth connectivity so no cords are needed with plenty of programmable keys.
With this option, you can also utilize Wacom’s additional offerings such as the Express Key Remote if you want more buttons. Or the Pro Pen 3d which has a different configuration on the Pen to give you 3 buttons instead of 2 (Love this).
Wacom is the undisputed market leader in graphic design tablets around the world. Users continue to sing the praises of Wacom's Bamboo, Intuos, and Cintiq tablets, which have been popular among professional graphic artists for a long time.
- Processes that Maximize Productivity
- Minimalist in Size -The Intuos Pro's small footprint makes it ideal for use on a desk or as a portable solution when traveling.
- Artistic Computer Programs
Why We Like it:
Freedom to create in whatever manner you see fit. The app in question is called Wacom MobileStudio Pro.
It is the dream device for every creative person thanks to its natural pen technology, brilliant screen, and mobile computing performance.
You have the option of using it as a stand-alone Windows pen computer, or you can attach it to a Mac or even another PC so that it acts as a pen display.
You can see your artwork in amazing detail and clarity with a high-resolution 15.6” 4K/UHD (3840 x 2160) screen with up to 85% Adobe RGB coverage (CIE1931) and included 3-angle adjustable Wacom Stand.
Best On-the-Go Computer Option for Heavy-duty 3D software like Mudbox, ZBrush & Blender.
- Fast-processing and high performance in 2D, 3D, video and CAD applications
- xtraordinary precision with the Wacom Pro Pen 2
- Bonus software pack:
Wacom MobileStudio Pro's i7 Intel® CPU handles 2D and 3D apps, so you don't need to be connected in to work. The 15.6" model has NVIDIA® Quadro® graphics, while the 13.3" has Intel® IrisTM Plus Graphics 655. Sculpting, texturing, or VFX won't slow you down anymore.
This new product is less expensive than the high-end Cintiq Pro line, and there are some significant trade-offs that are worth mentioning;
however, it still provides that distinctive drawing experience that can only be had with a Wacom tablet.
Although it still has a price tag of $1,200, one could argue that the word "budget" is not the appropriate one because it is more affordable.
- Cintiq's 21.5" 1920x1080 HD Display shows every detail of your work. The scratch-resistant Anti-Glare surface reduces reflections.
- The cinq's HD display has 16.7 million colors (72% NTSC/Cue 1931 standard). The battery-free pen charges while you work.
- HDMI and USB cords allow you to connect to your computer, and the adjustable stand helps you work comfortably.
- here is a big drawing area without the Cintiq taking up too much desk space. This means you can keep other equipment on the same desk.
- It comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2 - the best pen/stylus in the business. It's pressure sensitivity etc is incredible and a joy to use.
- Quick setup, nothing to fiddly or frustrating. You can get straight down to creating.
- Connections for both HDMI and USB are included. Having a mess of wires is annoying.
- Quite cumbersome, not ideally suited for travel; if you need something portable, a 15-inch model could be your best bet, but even that won't be as versatile as an iPad.
- When viewed up close, the Full HD resolution of a large screen can seem inadequate.
The display of the Wacom Cintiq 22 measures 21.5 inches. For painters, the anti-glare and decreased parallax makes it feel like writing with a pen and paper. Adjustable stands are included to ensure the user's comfort.
It has a display with a 210 cd/m2 brightness rating and a 1000:1 static contrast ratio, to name just a few of its specs. A 178° viewing angle and 16.7 million color options are included.
Levels of pressure sensitivity: 8,192 | Operating system: Windows, macOS|Usable area: 476 x 268mm (18.7 x 10.5in) | Built-in screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 |
Wacom One is a digital pen display for all creative uses whether at home, work or play. Sketch, paint or edit photos, sign documents digitally, or take notes – the digital pen & 13.3” HD screen are ready to go and come with software to get you started. Get off to a flying start with Wacom One.
Wireless Digital Tablet with 6 Shortcut Keys, Red Dial Knob, Battery-Free Passive Stylus of 8192 Levels Pressure Large Drawing Space Graphic Tablet for Digital
The working area of the drawing tablet is 10 x 5.62 inches, giving you more room to appreciate your creations and execute work chores quickly.
Deco 03 graphics tablets include an 8mm ultra-thin chassis, compact design, and fine craftsmanship, as well as being elegant and lightweight.
This Lovely 4K UHD (3840x2160) resolution on a 23.8-inch screen decreases canvas zooming and window switching, boosting efficiency.
HUION Kamvas Pro 24 4K monitor is a full-laminated, 178° viewing angle screen for sharper images and details.
Color Accuracy Kamvas Pro 24 4K's industry-leading Quantum Dot technology provides more realistic green, red, and black pictures.
It's HDR and 1.07 billion colors (8bit+Hi-FRC) ensure that professional artists are totally immersed in their creations.
Despite our initial excitement, XP-PEN's Innovator 16 has continued to win us over over the course of our brief time together.
Among the plasticky pens on display today, its modern design and impeccable craftsmanship make it stand out.
It's thin like an iPad Pro and small enough to take anywhere, but it still requires a computer to run.
Wrapping Up note
When it comes to tablets, this is a device that you will most likely want to use on a daily basis. This is because having the proper tools is essential for any artist.
It is possible that you will have a difficult time selecting the tablet that is suitable for your requirements due to the wide variety of options currently on the market.
In 2023, which tablet is the most effective for graphic design work?
If you are just starting out or are already an experienced graphic designer, you will find something useful on this list that you can use.
Check out the Wacom DTK16 if, on the other hand, you are looking for the best tablet available overall that is ideally suited for graphic design.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the most compact camera that can still meet your requirements, then the Huion Kamvas Pro 13 is without a doubt the best option for you.
In addition, the One by Wacom Student tablet is an absolute requirement for any student who is looking to purchase a tablet of superior quality for themselves.
After I’ve given you all of my information and details, which tablet do you believe is the most effective when it comes to graphic design?
Don’t forget to leave a comment below.
About the Author:
Manny Acharya is the co-founder of Artmellows. Your Goto place for Design, Digital Art, Digital sculpting, Photography, Design Tools & Gears Info, and Product Reviews. Manny is a Digital Artist, 3D Sculpt Designer, Ardent Photography, Drone flying Enthusiast & Tech Lover. He supercharges Digital Art & Design by crafting memorable 3d Sculpts & 2D Design & Art.
PS: Manny has created a Beginner Friedly ebook to Learn Nomad 3d Sculpt App. Know More about the eBook. Know more about Manny