In the past, artists had to draw with a pen and paper. If they wanted to paint, they needed a brush and a canvas. That’s no longer the case. In the modern digital era, a growing number of artists work with graphics tablet to create compelling drawings and dynamic designs.
As you probably know, there are dozens of graphics tablet on the market today. Not all of these devices are a good investment, though. How do you determine the difference? That’s where we come in. We have put together a comprehensive review of graphics tablet. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of each of these devices.
Graphics Tablet FAQ
Before we get to our rankings of the best graphic tablets available for purchase today, we want to be sure you have answers to common questions. Here are five questions we hear most frequently.
1. What Is a Graphics Tablet?
Graphics tablets are hand-held electronic devices that artists use as tools to create and edit drawings. They interface with computer systems through either wireless or wired connectivity. Several electronics manufacturers around the globe make these devices.
2. What Does a Graphics Tablet Do?
Graphics tablets let users create digital drawings. These tablets usually have a screen and an electronics pen. The features of graphics tablets differ from device to device. Therefore, which graphics tablet is right for you likely depends on how you plan to use the tablet. It may also depend on your drawing style.
3. How Much Do A Graphics Tablet Cost?
Because features and options determine the price of graphics tablets, the price range for this device is broad. In fact, you can spend as few as twenty dollars or more than a grand on a drawing tablet. To help you budget effectively, we discuss the pricing of graphics tablets in additional detail later in this article.
4. Where Can You Buy a Graphics Tablet?
Graphics tablets are available for purchase both online and at conventional stores. Those who purchase devices online shop on either the manufacturer’s website or at a third-party seller’s site. If you want to hold a tablet in your hands before you buy it, consider shopping at an electronics store or big-box retail outlet.
How We Reviewed Graphics Tablet
We know navigating the busy world of personal electronics can seem daunting. We want to provide you with enough information to make a smart purchase. When putting together our rankings, we didn’t only evaluate published materials and document specifications about each device. Instead, we read through dozens of reviews from professionals and actual customers.
In our quest to give you an honest, reliable assessment of the best graphics tablet, we evaluated each device according to three important criteria.
Evaluation Criterion 1: Control
To get the most out of any graphics tablet, you have to take control. Many devices come with customizable hotkeys that make drawing easier and more precise. To earn a spot on our list, we expect a tablet to offer you exceptional control. While hotkeys and softkeys are the easiest way to do this, we considered intuitiveness and user-friendliness in developing our rankings.
Evaluation Criterion 2: Sensitivity
No artist wants to produce sloppy drawings. If you want a dynamic rendering, you need a tablet with good pressure sensitivity. Generally, the measurement for this is in pressure levels. While tablets exist with a variety of pressure ratings, we expect the devices on our list to deliver exceptional sensitivity.
Evaluation Criterion 3: Size
Trying to draw on a tiny screen can be frustrating. On the other hand, lugging around a huge device can be tedious. When putting together our rankings, we considered screen size. Specifically, we expected each device to have a decent work area.
To help you better understand how each graphics tablet measures up to others on our list, we don’t only rank tablets. Instead, we assign each device a rating on a five-point scale. We hope you use both our rankings and ratings to see how good we think each device is. Also, we hope you carefully consider our review commentary. Since the graphics tablet on our list all feature some special attributes, we want you to know precisely where each device shines.
Overall Price Range of Graphics Tablet
The cost of graphics tablet varies widely. While you may pick one up for as few as twenty dollars, you can spend more than a grand on a graphics tablet. Generally, the more expensive a device is, the more features it has. High-end devices usually have the following options:
- Large screen size
- Broad work area
- Wireless connectivity
- Customizable hotkeys
- Comfortable electronic pen
- Pen docking station or base
While you can spend a small fortune on your new graphics tablet, you don’t have to bust your budget. In fact, many of the tablets on our ranking of the best graphics tablet sell for under a hundred. In the list below, we give you a general idea of how much each graphics tablet costs. Remember, though, that prices change frequently. As such, only use the estimate in our article to get a general idea of how much you need to spend. For actual pricing information, check with a brick-and-mortar electronics seller or conduct an online search.
The Best Graphics Tablet: Rankings, Ratings and Reviews
The Wacom Intuous Pro is the standout graphics tablet. Available in three screen sizes, this device has an impressive 8,192-level sensitivity. That’s about as good as it gets. If you want to create dynamic drawings with depth and vibrancy, you will likely appreciate a tablet with this much sensitivity. The Wacom Intuous Pro also has customizable hotkeys, allowing you to access the drawing features you use most frequently easily. We love this tablet for its real-life drawing experience. The intuitive electronic pen and surface are more like traditional pen and paper than many other devices on the market today.
The second-best graphics tablet is the Huion INSPIROY Q11K. You don’t have to take our word for it, though, as this graphics tablet is one of the most popular on Amazon. This device offers a large 11-inch display that provides 8,192-level sensitivity. It is also a versatile tablet, being compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. Our favorite part of the Huion INSPIROY Q11K is its 2.4GHz wireless network support.
Not every graphic artist wants a large workspace. Those looking for a small, transportable device will likely find the Wacom Intuous CTL 4100 impressive. This tablet has a 6-inch by 3.7-inch screen. While that is tiny by most tablet standards, it does allow this device to weigh in at just over half a pound. For long hand-held projects, the device keeps your hands comfortable and agile.
The Ugee M708 V2 is a powerful alternative to the more expensive graphics tablet that sit at the top of our list. This tablet has a 10-inch working area, which gives you ample space for a variety of renderings. Moreover, while less sensitive than its more expensive counterparts, the Ugee M708 V2 offers 2,048 levels of sensitivity. That should be enough for beginning artists to develop compelling drawings. This device is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.
With a 10-inch by 6.25-inch screen, the Turcom TS-6610 has an impressive work area. The 2,048-level sensitivity rating is adequate but less than top-end devices. We like this device for its build quality. Simply put, the TS-6610 feels durable and strong. It is, however, a bit heavier than some of the other tablets on our survey. Still, for a good all-around tablet at an affordable price, the Turcom TS-6610 is an excellent option.
The XP-Pen Deco 01 drawing tablet has an unequaled 8,192-levels of sensitivity. That’s better than any other tablet on our list. Unfortunately, though, the tablet’s interface isn’t as user-friendly as its more expensive cousins. This device does have a decent pen and fast load times. We like it for its versatility. Whether you are right-handed or left-handed, you should have no trouble using this beginner-level graphics tablet.
If you are a budget-conscious shopper, you will love the price tag of the Huion 420 Drawing Tablet. This device doesn’t only shine with its low price, however. While small, the 4-inch by 2.23-inch drawing area is bright and consistent. The 2,048-level sensitivity is as good as tablets that cost two or three times as much. This tablet is compatible with either Windows or Mac.
Huion has a few tablets on our list of the best graphics tablet for a good reason. The company knows how to make a good product. The Huion H610PRO is no exception. This device features a 10-inch by 6.25-inch work surface. The included pen is comfortable to grip and easy to use. We appreciate this graphics tablet for its compatibility with virtually all editing software. Nonetheless, the 5,080-line resolution leaves us wanting more.
The 8-inch by 6-inch screen on the Huion 680S is a convenient, moderate size. Additionally, the 2,048-levels of sensitivity make precision drawing possible. That said, this device doesn’t offer the same pressure sensitivity as many other graphics tablet on the market today. Also, the Huion 680S falls short with connectivity, as you can only connect the tablet with a USB cable. Nonetheless, for a decent price on an adequate graphics tablet, the Huion 680S is appealing.
The last tablet in our rankings is the Wacom Bamboo CTL471. Essentially, this tablet is a lighter, more affordable version of the one that sits on the top of our list. This tablet offers a 5.8-inch by 3.6-inch work area. Its screen gives you a sub stellar 1,024 pressure levels, though. Perhaps the best feature of the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 is its versatility. Whether you are right-handed or a southpaw, this device should work equally well.
8.7” x 5.8”
Amazon best seller
11” x 6.875”
4” x 2.23”
The Verdict: Wacom Intuous Pro Is the Best Graphics Tablet
Whether you are looking for your first graphics tablet or have been drawing digitally for years, you want to use your money wisely. While we think all 10 graphics tablet on our list are a worthwhile purchase, they aren’t all right for every artist. The best all-around graphics tablet in our opinion is the Wacom Intuous Pro.
The Wacom Intuous Pro has a sizeable active area. It really shines, however, with its pressure sensitivity. If you want precise drawings that have depth and dimension, you will no doubt fall in love with the Wacom Intuous Pro. The device’s three hundred dollar price tag may cause you to flinch, however.
If you don’t want to break the bank to buy your new tablet, you have options. Most buyers on Amazon choose the Huion INSPIROY Q11K. This tablet has a larger work area than the Wacom Intuous Pro, but is less than half the price.
While we created a comprehensive list of the best graphics tablet on the market today, our list is not exhaustive. That is, you may find a tablet you love that didn’t make our survey. That’s okay. Our goal was to provide you with honest, reliable and valuable information. Whether you choose to purchase a tablet that made our survey or another graphics device, we hope you use the information in this article to make a confident purchase.