Drawing is a great outlet for creativity, whether casually or professionally. But most artists are looking towards the future of digital art and graphic design for hobbies and work. If you love traditional art and want to get into the digital drawing space, or are just looking to upgrade your old graphics tablet, we’ve got you covered with the best drawing and graphics tablets for every budget.
There are a variety of brands available that create both drawing tablets and the accessories you’ll need to get started, so if an iPad isn’t in your price range, don’t stress.
Table of contents
Best drawing tablets under $150
Wacom One by Wacom
The Wacom One comes in two sizes — small (15.2 x 9.5cm) which is ideal for laptop screens, and medium (21.6 x 13.5cm) which is ideal for larger monitors. This graphics tablet is perfect for beginners and younger artists as it’s small, lightweight and made from a sturdy, scratch-free plastic. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive battery-free ergonomic pen that features a replaceable nib.
However, the Wacom One requires a PC and drawing software to use for digital art. But if you have all of this, once you’ve downloaded the Wacom software, you can customise the tablet and pen to your liking.
The Huion INSPIROY comes in three different sizes, all under $100. The active area is 12.1 x 7.6cm, 16 x 9.9cm and 25.4 x 15.8cm for the small, medium and large sizes, respectively. Each of the drawing pads comes with a battery-free pen that features two customisable buttons to increase workflow while you’re drawing or editing.
Like the Wacom One, the Huion INSPIROY also needs to be connected to an operating system and drawing software, but it’s compatible with Windows 7 or later, and macOS 10.11 or later.
Best drawing tablets under $500
Wacom Intuos Medium
The active area on the medium Wacom Intuos definitely outclasses the Wacom One. At 21.6 x 13.5cm, this tablet is ideal for hooking up to a desktop PC with a large monitor to give yourself more room to see what you’re drawing. There are also Bluetooth and wired options, depending on your usage preference.
The drawing pad features four customisable ExpressKeys and comes with free downloadable software so you can start creating straight away. As far as drawing tablets without screens go, the medium Wacom Intuos is worth every penny.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is versatile enough to act as a drawing tablet. It even comes with a pen, along with its own drawing and note-taking app, PENUP. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite has a 26cm display and is thin enough to fit in a tote bag, meaning you can draw while you’re out.
Of course, this Galaxy Tab is a tablet before anything else. It can connect to Wi-Fi, so you can browse the internet and play games if you don’t feel like drawing or studying.
Huion Kamvas Pro 16
The Huion Kamvas Pro 16 features a fully-laminated, anti-glare 39.6cm display screen and six programmable keys on the side. The graphics tablet also comes with a battery-free pen, spare nibs, a pen holder, a drawing glove and a cleaning cloth, so you won’t need to buy any extra accessories.
You will need to connect the Huion Kamvas Pro to a computer with a digital drawing program installed, but it essentially works as a second screen to keep your drawing tab on.
XP-Pen Artist 13.3 Pro
Similar to the Huion Kamvas Pro 16, the XP-Pen Artist 13.3 Pro features a fully laminated screen with anti-glare technology to increase workflow and visibility while you’re drawing or using the graphics display.
The screen is 39 x 24.9cm, which is a little too big to carry around with you everywhere, but it’s good for a stationary desk graphics tablet. It also comes with a pen and eight programmable buttons.
Best drawing tablets under $1,000
Wacom One 13.3″ Creative Pen Display
The Wacom One Creative Pen Display is another graphics tablet that allows you to draw directly onto the screen. It has a full HD 1920 x 1080 display, a battery-free pen and a paper-like drawing surface to mimic a real canvas.
It’s compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android, so users can work from anywhere as long as they have a separate computer, tablet or phone. It also comes with built-in programs and, most importantly, it has legs so you can work on a raised surface. The digital artist’s dream.
Apple iPad 10.9-inch 10th Generation
While iPads are a little more on the expensive side, if you can get one, they’re a great device for creating digital art and animations. The large screens are comfortable to work on and their portability matches that of a laptop. In saying that, you’ll need to buy your own digital art program and digital pen.
The Apple Pencil is a fantastic accessory that features touch buttons instead of physical buttons, which adds to the chic aesthetic of the Apple lineup. As for programs, you can get apps like Adobe Illustrator and Clip Studio Paint, but Apple’s own Procreate is a fantastic app that has a clean UI and feels natural to use.
Best drawing tablets over $1,000
Wacom Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display
The Cintiq Creative Pen Display differs from the Wacom One version with its sheer size. It features a 37.4 x 24.5cm, full HD display that allows you to draw on the screen and comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2.
It has fold-out legs, includes a variety of creative programs and is compatible with Mac and Windows. This drawing pad is ideal for professional or seasoned artists thanks to the screen size and the pen upgrade in comparison with other Wacom tablets.
Wacom Cintiq Creative Pen Display
With a budget over $1,000, you can buy a few variations of the Wacom Cintiq drawing pads, with the biggest differences being the screen sizes.
They all feature HD displays for drawing on the screen and are compatible with both Mac and Windows OS.
The main differences include:
- The Cintiq Pro 22 and 24 come with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, while the 27 includes the Wacom Pro Pen 3, which features customisable weight, grip thickness, pen buttons and centre of balance for the ultimate creative experience.
- The Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Non-Touch comes with an ExpressKey remote that has 17 customisable buttons and a touch ring, while the ExpressKeys on the 27 are found on the back of the device.
Here’s the price breakdown:
Wacom Cintiq 22 Creative Pen Display
Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Non Touch with Creative Pen
Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 Creative Pen Display
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 6th Generation
The iPad Pro boasts better computing performance compared to the iPad, meaning that it can handle bigger programs and projects – including multiples of them at once. For professionals who use a variety of programs and have a preference for Apple products and operating systems, this sixth-generation iPad is a powerhouse that can handle almost any task you throw at it.
While it isn’t necessarily just a drawing pad, the iPad Pro is great for digital art. But you will need to make sure you have the drawing app of your choice installed and an Apple Pencil. You can technically draw with your finger, but it isn’t ideal.