Shopping for the best drawing tablet for beginners can be a daunting task especially if a beginner. There are loads of viable options that will fit your specific needs and budget out there.
Graphics tablets are nifty gadgets that come in handy to artists of all stripes. They open up an endless world of possibilities to both creative professionals looking to upgrade their work output or total newbies who want to step into the world of digital art.
Digital art is a friendly relation to the tangible joys of drawing and painting of traditional media. Digital art is highly unlikely ever going to supplant the real-life painting and drawing experience.
Still, even then, drawing tablets are not only for architects, graphic designers, or animators working on client-based work. Digital work is slowly becoming a valuable part of the creative repertoire for people pursuing drawing and painting either as a casual hobby or even as freelance artists.
Whether you're looking for a dedicated drawing surface or an all-rounded display tablet that you can use to binge-watch Netflix after clocking out for the day, there's a drawing tablet for everyone at different price points, different manufacturers, and different skill levels. So, how to choose?
The Best Drawing Tablets for Beginners in the Market
Wacom, are the market leaders here, but other manufacturers such as XP-Pen and Huion also produce fantastic tablets at favourable prices that undercut Wacom.
1. Wacom Intuos Pro Graphic Tablet
- Wacom’s trusted professional Pro Pen 2 technology in a precision graphics tablet, optimized for hours of image editing, illustration or design work
- Slim tablet design in our most popular size (13.2” x 8.5”) with an active area of (8.7” x 5.8”) for anyone with a serious creative passion.No parallax
- The Pro Pen 2 features 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt-response and virtually lag-free tracking for ultimate precision and control – and because it’s battery free it never needs charging
- Speed your workflow with the multi-touch surface, programmable express keys, radial menus and pen side-switches; Customize your experience with pro pen slim or pro pen 3D (sold separately)
- System requirements: USB port, Windows 7 or later (64bit), Mac OS 10.12 or later, Bluetooth Classic for included wireless connection to PC or Mac
The Intuos Pro Graphic tablet is intuitively the gold standard of graphics drawing tablets. Its display is larger and much more accurate than many beginner picks and a little pricier. It's also a great pick if you’re a professional graphics designer or artist who's ready to upgrade; the Wacom Intuos Pro is definitely the way to go.
The Wacom Intuos Pro tablet has a superior build quality with superb precision and accuracy, and it conveniently comes in medium and large sizes. Like all gadgets, a little extra cost converts to a significant leap in specs. The specifications and features include:
- It has a handful of useful customisation tweaks such as on-screen controls; impressive orientation settings that are conveniently ergonomically designed for both right and left-handed artists, settings for multi-touch gestures to help you navigate around the project; 8 tablet keys, a nifty little touch wheel. touch ring functions and express keys to provide useful shortcut keys that can easily become your preferred way of working as opposed to keyboard hotkeys both for convenience and speed
- It also has tilt sensitive recognition
- The Wacom Intuos is wireless and works via a Bluetooth 4.2 version to help declutter your desk area
- The medium version sports a relatively large active area
- The Wacom Pro Pen 2 is incredibly comfortable, sensitive, and pressure-responsive even at default settings, giving a very natural innate control and precision for detailing. This is especially useful as you're working on concept designs, sculpting, and texture painting
- It performs well with graphic design apps such as Photoshop CC, ZBrush, Maya, Mari, and Painter, etc.
- The tilt recognition and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity are a noticeable plus compared to the low-quality experience you get in cheaper tablets n the market right now
- Being so light, it's ideal for artists to carry around
- It has a reasonable battery life that suitably allows a full day’s work
2. Wacom Cintiq 22 Creative Pen Display Tablet
- Unlimited creativity: The new Wacom Cintiq 22 is the creative standard for digital artists. The Wacom Cintiq 22 is paired with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, allowing total synchronicity between pen and screen
- Total precision: capture every stroke with the Wacom Pro Pen 2. The Wacom Cintiq screen has 8, 192 pressure levels for exact detail. A reduced parallax means exact cursor placement at any angle
- A 21.5" Hd view: with a bigger 21.5 inch screen size let your creativity flow unrestricted by space. Watch the colour and vibrancy come alive on the Full high definition (1920 x 1080) Display
- Flexible display stand: let the Wacom Cintiq revolve around you. Tilt the robust stand to suit your position and preferred drawing angle
- Box contents: Wacom Cintiq creative pen display with 21.5 inches for right-and left-handed use. Wacom Pro Pen 2. Replacement nibs. 3-In-1 connector (HDMI 1.4, USB 2.0 and AC Adaptor). adjustable stand
Wacom has struck an optimal balance between functionality and affordability with the Cintiq 22 display drawing tablet. The specs and features include:
- It provides a premier experience with a 4K display normally found in larger models that are pricier. The Cintiq 22 display tablet joins the Cintiq 16 as a more affordable option
- It offers a full HD screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution. However, note that this is the same screen resolution as the Cintiq 16, which is smaller. This, therefore, means that the Cintiq 22 will physically give you a larger active drawing area for a comfortable, more expressive arm movement as you draw, but the screen image will be relatively less sharp than the Cintiq 16
- The Cintiq 22 has the quoted gamut as 72% NTSC
- The Pro Pen 2 stylus it comes with easily captures the creative gestures since it has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- It also has tilt sensitivity, which means that the angle at which you hold your pen affects the strokes
- The stylus pen also doesn’t need a battery: it draws the power it needs from the electromagnetic wave properties of the screen
- The Cintiq 22 in-built stand lets you tilt the display to the drawing angle that you prefer
- It uses a USB-A port for the drawing tablet connection, so you might need an adaptor if the computer you're using only has USB-C ports and an HDMI for the display connection
The Cintiq 22 tablet is one of the most affordable latest drawing displays by Wacom, considering its size of drawing display and set of features to enhance your drawing comfort. You can get products with similar features for less, but Wacom has a great track record on quality, making it a compelling option.
The Wacom Cintiq 22 is a display of the company's drive to make its quality art brand more affordable. The Cintiq is a flat-screen tablet display for your computer that you can draw on using the provided stylus.
3. Huion Inspiroy H1060P Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Graphic drawing tablet with 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity - makes every stroke more fluent, the pressure sensitivity is four times higher than most of the homogeneous products recently in the market.
- 16 Programmable Soft Keys - With 12 Programmable press Keys, producing a variety of different combinations of shortcuts,You can set any function for them according to your operating habit and preference.
- Professional Working Area Configuration - HUION art tablet equips with a 10 x 6.25 inches working area, provides the user with the most comfortable size to work and no delay; Create lines and projects as big as you can imagine.
- Tilt Function Battery-free Stylus - Provide you ±60 degree tilt recognition for accurate cursor positioning with different angles; Outfitted with pen PW100 battery-free stylus of 233PPS report rate, 10mm sensitive height; Lightweight design and eco-friendly, no need to charge. and including 8 PCS replacement pen nibs inside the pen holder.
- Compatibility:HUION drawing tablet supports Android smartphones/tablets(OS version 6.0 or later),PC (Windows 7 and above), Mac(OS 10.12 and above). You can easily connect your phone to the tablet with the OTG connector after firmware UPDATED; while iPhone and iPad are NOT at the moment. NOTE: The cursor will not show up in SAMSUNG Galaxy S series at present. If you are not sure whether the product is compatible with your Phone or any helps, please contact us.
If you prefer making large strokes or if you are an artist who works with the full-screen on a monitor(s) and needs more drawing space, then the Huion 1060Plus is a great entry-level tablet that is both large enough and that still maintains its affordability.
The features and specs include:
- It has a 158mm by 99mm (6.25 x 10 inches) active drawing area
- It has a comfortable stylus pen with an impressive 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity which is comparably a little larger than that of Wacom One
- The pen also has a 60° tilt function. This means that, just like real life, the mark you make will change depending on the angle at which you hold the pen,
- It has 12 tablet shortcut keys to customise your drawing experience
- It has an H160P with an LPI of 5080
- The Huion H1060P drawing tablet also has two buttons on the top and on the left edge that you can use to customise settings to tailor your needs and help you get more of your digital work done
To connect to your device, you will need a Micro-USB cable, but it comes with a USB-C adaptor. This connection is becoming increasingly common with many laptops and smartphones nowadays, so it's a handy feature to have.
4. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020) Graphics Tablet
- 12.9-inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
- A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine
- 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, and LiDAR Scanner
- 7MP TrueDepth front camera
- Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
The Apple iPad Pro12.9 tablet is considered the best drawing graphics tablet for Mac OS. Apple has impressively refreshed its iPad Pro 12.9 for 2020. The Apple Pencil comes separately, giving the digital artist such a sublime experience with an intuitive multi-touch to make digital drawing very fulfilling.
Its features and specifications include:
- The iPad 12.9 drawing tablet performs better than ever thanks to Apple's new A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine (an 8-core graphics engine)
- The Apple battery-free stylus pen automatically charges from the electromagnetic waves of the tablet since it has a magnetic storing strip attached to it. The Apple drawing tablet pencil is also very accurate and feels comfortable on the grip
- It has a pitch-perfect battery-free pen pressure sensitivity curve
- It has a 10.32 x 7.74 inches Liquid Retina drawing surface with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide colour
- It has a 2,732 x 2,048 resolution
- This drawing tablet works with Lightning, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connections
5. XP-Pen Artist Pro 24 Graphics Tablet
- The Artist Display 24 Pro is the very first 23.8-inch, 2K QHD graphics display. With double the resolution of FHD displays and unprecedented vibrancy, the product offers a creative experience that exceeds all limits
- 90% Adobe RGB! Fuel your creativity with brilliant color and blazing graphics as you draw, design and create on this strikingly large, immersive display
- The PA2 Battery-Free Stylus supports up to 60 degrees of tilt function and delivers superior line performance, creating the finest of sketches and lines
- The XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro features two easy-to-control red dial wheels and 20 customizable shortcut keys. These are placed on both sides of the product, making them easily accessible for both left and right-handed users
- The XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro supports Windows 10/8/7 and Mac OS X 10.10 (and higher). The product is also compatible with popular digital art software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, CDR, GIMP, Krita, Medibang, Fire Alpaca and Blender 3D
There are plenty of high-quality professional drawing tablets at the 24-inch mark and XP-Pen’s version; the Artist Pro 24 also makes it to the list of the best drawing tablets for both beginners and professional artists.
The XP-Pen also has an impressive list of features and specs, which include:
- It has a high QHD resolution at 2.5K 2560 x 1440 QHD which is similar to the Huion Kamvas Pro 24
- This graphics tablet has an XP pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels
- As one of the best graphic tablet for drawing, the XP-Pen gives you an active area of 20.74 x 11.67 inches drawing surface
- It uses HDMI/USB-C /USB cable connections
- The display surface gives up to 90% AdobeRGB
- It’s a sizeable graphics tablet that has a rear stand that lets you adjust its height
Factors to Consider to Get the Best Graphics Tablet for Beginners
A. Pen Pressure Sensitivity
We can all agree, while looking to purchase a graphic tablet, even as a beginner, the most important feature is how the pen is pressure sensitive. Higher pressure sensitivity means better control on the line weight, i.e., how thick and opaque lines are. Beginners should note that this will depend on how hard they press the pen on the tablet.
B. Driver Stability, Input Lag, and Program Compatibility
The driver stability will affect how well your drawing tablet works with the computer, which graphics software the tablet will work well with, and the presence and severity of input lag. Lines of the drawing should appear instantly.
The resolution of graphics tablets determines how many digital artists can draw per inch (LPI). This translates to how much of the details you can draw on the tablet’s active area. Most of the graphics tablets reviewed on the list have a consistent 2,540 LPI for small graphics tablets and 5,080 LPI for medium and large ones.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Drawing Tablets for Beginners
1. What are the different types of drawing tablets?
Generally speaking, there are 3 main categories of drawing tablets. These include:
- Graphics tablets- They have the traditional drawing tablet that features a featureless, flat surface that you draw on using a stylus. The image will be displayed on the computer monitor. Graphics tablets remain the most affordable drawing tablets
- Pen displays tablet- These consist of a flat screen with a pressure levels-sensitive surface that you can draw on with its stylus. But you do get a lot of cables connecting the display and computer. They are more portable and thus cost more
- Tablet computers - These are Android and iOS devices that take on the other drawing tablets. The artist doesn't need another computer; you only need to download an art app and draw using your fingertips or stylus
2. Is Wacom better than Huion?
Huion provides excellent value for your money and, in many ways, performs just as impressively as Wacom products. However, Wacom outperforms when it comes to its gadgets' build quality, its stylus and even the manufacture support. If you can afford it, Wacom wins.