Illustrators and designers know that a mouse or trackpad will only take you so far. For accurate, compelling designs and drawings, sometimes only freehand will do. That’s where drawing tablets come in – combining the fluidity and versatility of freehand drawing with the precision of digital graphics. Here you’ll find the most popular and well-reviewed models.
Best for pros
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet
Not for the faint of pen, this is the all-star of drawing tablets. It’s big, it’s precise, and it’s pricey. The top-of-the-line Wacom Cintiq is a 22″ powerhouse of HD graphic creation. The big monitor offers gorgeous graphics alongside 8192 pen pressure levels for the most intuitive, responsive digital drawing experience on the market.
For Apple geeks
Apple iPad Pro
Of course, Apple lovers will want to stick with their tried-and-true iPad. The iPad Pro paired with an Apple Pencil 2 makes for a pretty nifty drawing tablet. For design and illustration purposes, we suggest the 12.9″ edition.
Laptop + tablet combo
Microsoft Surface Book
Microsoft is not to be outdoodled. Their Surface Book is much more than a drawing tablet, however. The vibrant 13.5″ monitor can be used with a Surface Pen and any graphics program to create beautiful illustrations, and it can also be attached to a laptop keyboard to be used as a fully functional Windows PC computer.
Huion Inspiroy H430P
Aching to start drawing but low on budget? You’ll want to consider downsizing to a Huion. These drawing tablets are more basic, but they fulfill most drawing needs of a designer or illustrator. This works with Android devices as well as computers.
Huion Inspiroy H640P
If the Huion H430P is a bit too simple for you, try a step up and go with the H640P. This one is a bit larger with more pen sensitivity, as well as a range of shortcut buttons that are not featured on other models.
Wacom Intuos Pro
If you love the quality of a Wacom but don’t want to break the bank with a drawing monitor, the Wacom Intuos Pro is a nice in-between. The classic drawing tablet provides excellent precision and sensitivity and can be used with any computer to create instant graphics.
Best for beginners
Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen
Here’s the perfect solution for budding artists. Although it’s not quite as large and impressive as the Wacom Cintiq, the One model is a simplified version of the drawing monitor that lets you draw directly on the screen. This is a great starter tablet for beginners.
Best midline drawing monitor
XP-PEN IPS Drawing Monitor
If you’d like a larger drawing monitor at a more affordable price point, the XP-PEN is an excellent alternative to the Wacom Cintiq. The 15.6″ monitor is large enough to display impressive HD graphics, and with 8192 levels of pen sensitivity, it is precise enough to produce outstanding illustrations.
Ready to get doodling? You’re only a few clicks away! The best overall choice would have to be Wacom’s state-of-the-art Cintiq 22, which is perfect for seasoned professionals. The 22″ screen and intuitive pen sensitivity make it an excellent choice for creating eye-candy of all kinds.
Beginners will probably prefer the simpler, yet effective, Wacom One with a smaller display and more portable design. Buyers on a budget, on the other hand, may need to look into a Huion Inspiroy, which offers basic drawing tablet functionality at a surprisingly low price. Either way, you can use any of these drawing tablets to produce incredible artwork. All your talent needs is a bit of quality hardware. Good luck narrowing down those amazing options!
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