In this video we’re breaking down the five best drawing tablets in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of consumer. Whether you’re looking for a beginner-friendly option that will perform well enough for you to master the basics or a high-end option with lifelike color reproduction and an exceptionally powerful processing chip, I’ll have the product for you.
If you’re new to the world of digital drawing and want a beginner-friendly option, the Wacom Intuos X is a solid choice that might suit your needs. The Wacom Intuos X is a great introduction to digital drawing that offers everything beginners need to get creative at an affordable eighty-dollar price point.
You get four express keys with programmable functions, a bundle of useful graphic design and image enhancement software and a pressure sensitive pen. It comes in a smooth and relatively sturdy black plastic frame with four rubber pads underneath to keep it in place while you work. Although it’s susceptible to tiny scratch marks and smudges.
It has a compact body and a six by three-point seven-inch active area to draw on, which might be limiting for experienced users, but the benefit is that it can easily fit in your bag and take up less room on your workspace. The four express keys are customizable and can be programmed to control different functions such as copy paste, and they double as a groove to rest the pen while the middle button controls the power. I like that it has versatile compatibility including with MAC, PC, Chromebook and android and it connects via USB.
The tablet surface acts like a track pad that corresponds to your monitor so your eyes can remain on your screen for a comfortable experience. You also get a 2-year license to clip studio paint pro for creating digital art along with a 90-day coral painter essentials 8 trial for authentic painting and a 90-day corel after shot pro 3 trial for photo enhancement.
I believe the ambidextrous pen is a key feature and has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity for increased control and precision as you create or edit. It also has two customizable hotkeys on the side and interchangeable tips inside the body to suit your artistic aesthetic.
The Wacom Intuos X delivers solid performance and I think it’s a great way for beginners to learn the basics. You get a generous amount of creative software for improved quality, a pen designed for both right or left-handed users and customizable keys for added convenience.
Creative people need a high-quality drawing tablet to enhance their artistic output and the medium-sized Wacom Intuos Pro could be right for the job. More serious artists will be well served by the 345-dollar Wacom Intuos Pro which delivers accurate and precise drawing performance to create more nuanced drawings.
You get an advanced pen with an outstanding pressure sensitivity rating wired and wireless connectivity options and some useful professional oriented features. It comes in a plastic build with a matte black finish along with a total footprint of 13.2 by 8.5 inches and an active drawing area of 8.7 by 5.8 inches. While the active area is relatively small it also comes in different sizes depending on your drawing needs.
You get eight function buttons that can easily be assigned programs or shortcuts, a hand recognition switch that responds to gestures and a touch ring control that allows for easy navigation and intuitive zooming on pictures. I think the Wacom desktop center is a handy interface and it provides some customization tweaks such as setting the orientation and touch settings for multi-touch gestures.
I like that it delivers a steady and reliable Bluetooth 4.2 connection to reduce cable clutter and the USB port provides a wired connection if needed. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows so it suits a range of users.
You also get some creative software including a three-month trial to the video and photo editing Boris FX suite and two months of adobe premiere pro and aftereffects. It comes with Wacom’s improved pro pen 2 which delivers an 8 192-pressure sensitivity rating for respectable precision while drawing. While some might feel it doesn’t grip well and can be too sensitive on certain settings it’s exceptionally responsive to pressure and has little noticeable lag. It even has tilt support for sketching more natural fading lines.
The Wacom Intuos Pro comes with many useful features and offers a natural drawing experience. It gives you a high sensitivity pen, a reliable Bluetooth connection with a wired option and a range of programmable buttons. I think this is perfect for on-the-go artists or creative professionals.
For anyone who uses Windows products and wants something that can be easily integrated, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 might be the drawing tablet that’s right for you. The 630 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offers high quality specifications, screen sensitivity and drawing precision that artists and creative professionals need.
You get a sophisticated and unique two-in-one design, a large high-resolution screen that delivers impressive image quality and some versatile functionality. While it comes in a lightweight and compact tablet-like design it performs comparably to computers and supports the surface keyboard for laptop-like functionality which is sold separately.
I think its practicality is a sizable benefit and unlike most drawing tablets it can run full versions of your favorite creative software to allow you to finish various projects. It also provides a sturdy built-in kickstand to hold it upright at any angle that won’t flatten while you illustrate. You get a 12.3-inch screen with a 2736 by 1824p resolution and 98 SRGB color coverage which delivers impressive color fidelity and depth to enhance your artwork although the brightness is lacking.
The battery is solid and provides 10 and a half hours of run time and it can reach 80 in just over an hour for impressively fast charge times. It comes with an intel core i3 processor and four gigabytes of ram that can handle most creative tasks, but higher end configurations have better specifications. You also get 128 gigabytes of internal storage to save your output and it has wi-fi compatibility to enable cloud storage.
It supports the Microsoft Surface pen which has a pressure sensitivity rating of 4096 and tilt detection. Although this is lower than some competitors and the pen must be purchased separately. Overall, the pen performs well, feels comfortable over longer sessions and produces different strokes depending on how much pressure you use.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is an outstanding windows-oriented drawing tablet. It gives you a two-in-one design with versatile functionality, the ability to run full versions of software and solid battery life. I believe it’s a high-end creative tool and it’s suitable for a variety of users and a range of applications.
If you don’t mind spending more and want the absolute best overall drawing tablet the iPad Pro 12.9-inch M1 could be a good fit for you. The 1100 iPad Pro 12.9-inch M1 is the best drawing tablet on the market and delivers class leading performance in a compact build.
You get an exceptionally bright screen with great color reproduction, outstanding computer level processing power and plenty of onboard memory to store your artwork. It comes with a 12.9-inch screen that has a 120 hertz refresh rate, a brilliant 2732 by 2048 resolution with automatic color adjustments and it comes in different sizes including a cheaper 11-inch option.
While some display-based competitors offer a larger active drawing area the liquid retina display supports HDR and delivers phenomenal image quality, shadow detailing for darker images, color reproduction and brightness, so it’s perfect for viewing or editing high contrast content. It even has an ultra-thin design for superior portability.
I think the M1 chip sets it apart which was previously only found in MacBooks and delivers incredible processing power. This chip along with the 8 gigabytes of ram enables apps to run quicker than ever. And it can easily handle heavy workflows or creative projects. Unfortunately, it doesn’t run full versions of art software, but the IOS versions work well and are easy to use.
It also comes with 128 gigabytes of memory to store your artwork and the battery can last up to 10 hours. I like that it’s compatible with the high-end Apple pencil 2 although this is sold separately. The stylus is powerful, reliable and gives you precise control over your strokes with a low response rate of 9 milliseconds. It has an ergonomic design to remain comfortable in hand and it delivers smooth performance with balanced pressure sensitivity and top-notch tilt recognition for precise shading.
The iPad Pro 12.9-inch delivers a class-leading drawing experience and some phenomenal specifications. It provides an innovative chipset, a liquid retina display that produces vivid colors and is compatible with the Apple pencil too. I would recommend this for serious artists or professionals who need a powerful drawing tablet.
If you can afford the splurge, the Wacom Cintiq 22’s 21.5-inch 1920×1080 HD display provides you with clarity to see every detail of your work. It’s worth investing in a high-quality drawing tablet if you’re a professional artist and the 1200 Wacom Cintiq 22 delivers an excellent blend of useful features and affordability.
It comes with a high-end pen with excellent pressure sensitivity, a large active drawing area and a built-in adjustable stand. You get a 21-and-a-half-inch display with an impressive 19 and a half by 11 and a half inch active drawing space that allows for more extensive pen strokes.
Even though the pixel density could be better considering the size and the 72 NTSC coverage is middling for artists it comes with a detailed full HD 1920 by 1080 resolution display and it covers 96% of the SRGB color gamut. I like that it comes with an anti-glare surface to prevent distracting reflections, so you’ll always see your artwork clearly.
It also has a remote-control option that offers 17 customizable buttons and a touch ring for time saving shortcuts and creative applications although it lacks built-in express keys on the tablet itself like some competitors.
It even has a built-in kickstand to let you draw at your preferred angle. You also get Wacom’s Pro pen 2 which delivers an impressive 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity for an excellent drawing experience with exceptionally low latency, and it also features tilt sensitivity so the angle you hold the pen will affect your strokes along with customizable hotkeys.
You’ll appreciate that it doesn’t have a limiting battery life and it conveniently draws power from the electromagnetic properties of the screen to keep you working. It’s also well weighted so it remains comfortable over longer drawing sessions. You even get HDMI and USB A ports for easy connection to your computer.
The Wacom Cintiq 22 is an excellent drawing tablet, and the built-in large display gives you detail, clarity and allows you more freedom to illustrate. This tablet delivers a high quality and sensitive drawing experience, good color reproduction and an integrated adjustable stand making it well worth its high price tag.