5 Best Drawing Tablets in 2018 (with Best Overall, Budget, and Under $100 Picks)

With access to the internet and remote work opportunities, graphic designers are able to take their work to another level with the help of software such as Photoshop. But with the help of the best drawing tablet, you can really take the graphic design to another level.

Drawing directly on the computer can be extremely hard, and we completely understand that. However, there’s a solution that will make graphic designers never draw on a piece of paper again! It’s a drawing tablet.

Since you’re here, you’re really lucky because, in this post, you’ll find top drawing tablets on the market, but also learn what makes a good drawing tablet and what you should look out for.

NBN’s  cheat sheet

Top pick

Huion Kamvas GT-191

The best of the best when it comes to the drawing tablets is definitely the Huion Kamvas GT-191 drawing tablet. It features everything a graphic designer could wish for.

With the help of IPS HD screen, pressure sensitivity, and a decent-size display along with two specialized pens, you’re on a journey to express your drawing digitally with ease. With a drawing tablet such as this one, you’re not going to face any type of problems.

Picking The Best Drawing Tablet

Wacom Intuos Pro Small – Best Drawing Tablet For Beginner

  • Very compact
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Convenient customizable keys
  • 2048 levels of pen pressure
  • Guaranteed precision
  • Easy installation
  • Affordable price
  • Minimalistic and lightweight design
  • Doesn’t automatically connect by wireless connection

Should this be your choice?

If you’re a graphic designer who’s simply looking to try out digital artwork, or you love working on a go and find it hard to do it on a paper – Wacom Intuos Pro is a perfect small drawing tablet. We loved the fully customizable keys which made drawing so simple and quick.

If you’re new to creating digital artwork, starting out with a drawing tablet that is suitable for beginners is a great idea. You are still going to get a decent drawing tablet, yet a tablet that is easy to learn and use.

Wacom Intuos Pro is a small and affordable drawing tablet which is a perfect choice for any skilled artist who’s looking to get into digital artwork. It’s a drawing tablet that will allow anyone to quickly and professionally edit photos.

Using a digital artwork pen that comes included with Wacom Intuos Pro is going to let users take control over the digital artwork with the natural feeling.

On the left side of a drawing tablet, there’s a multi-functional touch ring located which features 4 customizable functions. They’ll make a multi-tasking, switching between tools, and working on digital artwork simple, quick, and efficient.

Next, to the central ring, there are 6 different buttons which are fully customizable to help you have everything you need right next to you. Multi-tasking has never been easier than this.

The pen that comes included with Wacom Intuos Pro offers 2048 levels of pressure which applies for both pen tip and eraser. This will make the drawing on a tablet as natural as it is on the paper.

Design-wise, Wacom Intuos Pro is a very compact and a lightweight tablet which is very thin as well. It’s a real pleasure to draw on it, but also carrying it around.

Hardware Specifications of Wacom Intuos Pro Small
Pressure Sensitivity2048 levels
No. of USB Ports1 USB port
Keys Onboard7 multifunctional keys
Size12.5” x 8.1”
Multi-Touch TechnologyYes
Wireless CapabilityWireless accessory kit included
Battery LifeA few hours on wireless connection
Weight1.40 lbs

Huion Inspiroy H950P – Best Budget Drawing Tablet

  • Tilt control system
  • Battery-free
  • 8 customizable keys
  • Very light and portable
  • Feels premium and is very stylish
  • Very responsive
  • Compatible with almost any well-known OS and software
  • Great budget price
  • The pen doesn’t support common double-left-click feature

Should this be your choice?

Being on a budget isn’t fun, but Huion Inspiroy H950P is definitely going to cheer you up. It’s a very decent drawing tablet that offers a lot of value for the price it costs. It even features an impressive tilt control system which says a lot about the tablet itself.

When you’re looking for the best of the best, but you’re unfortunately limited by a budget, there’s nothing to worry. Since Huion Inspiroy H950P is available for such affordable price.

It’s a drawing tablet that offers a lot of value for the price it costs, and if you happen to grab it at a discount – you’ll really get an amazing deal.

It’s a very neat and compact drawing tablet that is packed with many useful features. Huion Inspiroy H950P comes with a tilt control system that makes drawing and pressure point detection much smoother and easier.

You can now draw using different angles, just like you can do with a paper and pen. It simply restores the true feeling of drawing.

But here is something even better.

This drawing tablet has no battery at all, and it doesn’t require any charging at all! It’s a battery-free tablet that simply gets the power through the USB cable. Connect it to your laptop and forget about battery life and charging.

The drawing surface is really smooth and is very responsive. On the left side, you can find not 1 or 2 but 8 multifunctional buttons that are fully customizable. They’ll keep all your necessary tools and shortcuts at the distance of a fingertip.

We should also say how impressed we were with the thin and weight. Huion Inspiroy H950P is only 8mm thick and weighs incredible 1 pound.

Hardware Specifications of Huion Inspiroy H950P
Pressure Sensitivity8192 levels
No. of USB PortsNo USB ports
Keys Onboard8 multifunctional keys
Size8.7” x 5.4”
Multi-Touch TechnologyYes
Wireless CapabilityBluetooth wireless connection
Battery LifeBattery-free
Weight2.40 lbs

Parblo A610 – Best Drawing Tablet Under $100

  • Decent active area
  • 2040 levels of pressure in the pen
  • Smooth and responsive
  • Stylish yet durable
  • Lightweight and thin
  • Very similar feeling to drawing on a paper
  • Really great price
  • Driver update has to be downloaded from the official website instead of CD

Should this be your choice?

When you aren’t willing to spend too much money on a drawing tablet, Parblo A610 isn’t that bad choice for the price. It’s equipped with the most common features which are very well implemented into the tablet which leads to great responsiveness.

Parblo A610 is one of the best drawing tablets you can find under $100 on the market right now, along with a few other options.

It’s 11.5″ inches big tablet with an active surface of 10″ x 6″ which is plenty of space for drawing without having any limitations.

On the left side, there are 8 buttons which are programmable and customizable for individuals.

But here’s what’s even better.

On a pen that comes included, there are 3 buttons which act as mouse commands and additionally improve the ease of use. The pen that is included features 2040 levels of pressure which allow supersensitivity and precision no matter if you want to draw thick or thin lines.

Parblo A610 itself is very smooth, responsive, and in our opinion, it’s very similar to the paper which is a great thing considering the price.

On the outside, this drawing tablet is very stylish in a minimalistic way, thin & lightweight, but also durable for better portability.

We have tried using Parblo A610 drawing tablet to draw paintings, handwrite, mark, do signatures, and everything was a positive experience.

Hardware Specifications of Parblo A610
Pressure Sensitivity2040 levels
No. of USB Ports1 USB port
Keys Onboard8 multifunctional keys
Size10” x 6”
Multi-Touch TechnologyYes
Wireless CapabilityNo wireless
Battery LifeA few hours
Weight2.95 lbs

Huion Kamvas GT-191 – Best Drawing Tablet For Photoshop

  • Amazing IPS display
  • Widescreen screen with great resolution
  • Better display effect feature
  • Very responsive and smooth operation
  • Ease of use
  • Two pens with high-pressure levels
  • Pen stand is included
  • Screen contrast is a bit too low

Should this be your choice?

For the price this drawing tablet sells for, you’ll get yourself a great deal, especially if you work in many software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and others. It has one of the best displays on the market which is really impressive.

When your main software is Photoshop, Huion Kamvas GT-191 is the drawing tablet you should have. It’s one of the most optimized tablets for Photoshop, along with a number of other artwork software.

It features an IPS screen which is 19.5″ big, and since it’s a widescreen, it offers a perfect 16:9 ratio with a 1920×1080 pixels HD resolution.

Colors are really surprising and that’s actually something that amazed us. It has 3000:1 contrast with 72% NTSC color gamut. The tablet itself can present 16.7 million colors.

It has a feature that offers a better display effect. Such feature gives better responsiveness for the given resolution along with faster pen recognition for the smoothest performance.

You won’t get only one pen, but two pens which have a high pressure of 8192 levels. It’s very sensitive, but also very comfortable thanks to its ergonomic design.

Along with these pens, users will get the newest pen stand from Huion. The newest pen stand comes with built-in nib extractor and 8 spare nibs inside as well.

Overall, it’s a really great tablet at a reasonable price. One other thing we really liked was the adjustable stand that is sturdy and reliable, yet offers a choice between 20 and 80 degrees.

Hardware Specifications of Huion Kamvas GT-191
Pressure Sensitivity8192 levels
No. of USB Ports1 USB port
Keys OnboardNo multifunctional keys
Size19.5”
Multi-Touch TechnologyYes
Wireless CapabilityNo wireless
Battery LifeA few hours (up to a week for pen)
Weight13.05 lbs

Wacom Cintiq 13HD – Best Overall Drawing Tablet

  • Natural creative experience
  • Premium quality display
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Very responsive and has a great precision
  • Can be connected with MacBook Pro
  • Pressure sensitive pen is included
  • The cable attachment is a bit weak

Should this be your choice?

Cintiq drawing tablets can be very expensive as they’re one of the best ones on the market. However, the 13HD model is a really perfect model that will fit on any table yet will offer a quality screen and resolution for any type of graphic design work.

Wacom Cintiq 13HD is a drawing tablet that allows users to enjoy the digital drawing experience by working directly on the screen.

It can tilt between various degrees, and the aspect ratio it offers is 16:9 which is suitable for the most graphic designers.

The pen that comes with Wacom Cintiq 13HD offers 2048 levels of pressure that give a real pen feeling through its performance. Graphic designers can do various things with the pen such as using traditional brushes, pencils, markers, and more.

The display is 13.3 which might be too small for some people, but it is an HD IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s never going to disappoint an avid graphic designer, and it didn’t disappoint us for sure.

But here’s what we found very useful.

If you get additional HDMI to mini display port cable, you will be able to connect Wacom Cintiq 13HD drawing tablet directly with a MacBook Pro laptop.

The stand offers 3 stand adjustments which offer comfortable, precise, and effortless hours of drawing. The set-up is very simple and it took us only about 5 to 10 minutes to get it to work.

Also, on the left side of the drawing tablet, there are 4 customizable buttons along with rocker ring that makes multitasking and shortcuts accessible with a touch of a finger.

Hardware Specifications of Wacom Cintiq 13HD
Pressure Sensitivity2048 levels
No. of USB Ports1 USB port
Keys Onboard5 multifunctional keys
Size13.3”
Multi-Touch TechnologyYes
Wireless CapabilityBluetooth
Battery LifeA few hours
Weight2.64 lbs

Does Pen Pressure Levels Matter?

Pen pressure levels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, however, they’re extremely important and they matter a lot.

Basically, pen pressure levels tell you how sensitive the pen is and what can you expect to do with the pen with such pressure levels.

For example, pen with higher pressure levels will be able to do a bit finer thin and thick lines, while a pen with fewer pressure levels might be limited in some ways.

The standard pen pressure levels are about 2080, however, sometimes the levels can go as high as 8000.

The long answer short, pen pressure levels matter, but you shouldn’t worry yourself too much about it. If you choose any of the drawing tablets from the list above, you won’t have any problem with the pen pressure levels.

They all come with at least a standard levels that will satisfy even professional graphic designers who are switching from pen and paper to digital pen and drawing tablet.

Do I Need A Drawing Tablet With A Stand Or Not?

Many drawing tablets nowadays come with a stand. While some graphic designers say it’s totally useless and that such stands aren’t even quality, there are many graphic designers whose work is improved with the help of a stand.

Therefore, whether you want a drawing tablet with a stand is mostly up to your personal preferences. If you have never tried drawing on a drawing tablet with a stand, feel free to give it a try.

It’s a pretty great feature even if you don’t use it often, but you have it ready for that moment when you might need it.

What’s popular on the market and among graphic designers is the boom arm that can hold the drawing tablet. That way, graphic designers can have the drawing tablet in many different positions and aren’t restricted on the table.

In case you don’t find drawing tablet with a stand your cup of tea, feel free to give boom arms a try. They’re an ultimate version of standard stands that come with most of the drawing tablets.

How Many Shortcut Buttons Do I Need On The Side?

Usually, people think the more buttons and shortcut keys they have available, the better. However, some of the best drawing tablets still feature only about 4 shortcut keys with a multifunctional rotation button.

Mostly, the number of buttons will depend on the size of a drawing tablet. But sometimes less is more, so you have to keep that in mind.

It can get pretty hard to remember all the shortcuts you’ve placed if you have about 8 buttons. If you have around 4, which is 2 on each side, you’ll have an easier time remembering and actually using the buttons.

So this is again a situation that depends on personal preferences. But it’s not something you should worry yourself about.

No matter how many buttons you have, you’ll get used to them over time and get the most of them. But if you think that you won’t be efficient with 4 shortcut buttons, make sure to go for more than 4.

It’s better to have more shortcut buttons available and even empty than lacking some of them.

If you’ve been working as a digital graphic designer for a while now, you won’t have a hard time figuring out how many shortcut buttons you would prefer.

Conclusion

Most of the time, choosing a decent drawing tablet can be an overwhelming experience, especially with the number of tablets and features they come with.

But if you choose any of the categorized drawing tablets above in this post, you won’t go wrong, yet instead, you’ll get a great deal for the price you pay.

Cintiq drawing tablets can be pretty expensive, but this 13HD model we featured in our post is one of the best deals you can get if you’re all about going professional in the digital artwork and design industry.

On the other hand, Wacom Intuos Pro is also a great choice that offers a lot of value.

Andrew knows how hard it is to find the right laptop, that’s why he aims to deliver best know-hows to people in needs.

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