I have previously written reviews about best iPad for drawing and best Wacom drawing tablets including the alternatives. But what about the Android platform – can Android tablets be used as drawing tablets, for making great artworks?
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Does Anybody Make a Good Drawing Tablet for Android?
I wanted to get all of that out of the way, and establish my fair, open-minded approach before I addressed a much more difficult question – what is the best android tablet for drawing?
There are a few good android tablets for making art. In fact, there are two companies I would strongly consider if you want to find the best Android drawing tablet on the market today: Samsung and Simbans.
But I do have another recommendation as well – a little bit of thinking outside of the box, as it were – a pen display tablet (that is, a tablet that plugs into your Android tablet or phone and has its own display screen and pen).
Admittedly, a bit of extra kit is a solution that can provide a fully first-rate painting and drawing experience on any Android.
So the prognosis is actually quite good – if you do it in the right way, you can have a very powerful, intuitive and productive creative experience on the platform, and one that will serve nearly any artist and their needs quite well – whether a commercial or fine artist, a serious amateur, an art student or somebody just starting out.
But more on that in a bit – in this article we will consider all of the options I have found for the best way to make art on an Android tablet.
Are There Good Digital Drawing Software Programs Available for Android?
Yes, while there may be a bit of a dearth of android tablets that provide a great drawing experience, there are actually some pretty good software programs, such as:
These and other programs offer lots of tools and options, and are especially good at providing a nice, intuitive environment for creating, with an intelligent and thoughtful layout of tools, commands and menus which allow the artist to get lost in the flow without a lot of distractions.
While they may not offer the ultimate level of control or precision that you would get from Apple or Windows programs, the best Android art software can be surprisingly sophisticated, and allow for even fairly advanced work.
And if they aren’t quite advanced enough, most of these programs also offer premium versions which can, in fact, be quite powerful.
How do I Choose the Best Android Tablet for Drawing?
In preparing to write this piece, I looked at a lot of blogs and review articles on the subject of the best android tablet for drawing & making art, and I noticed a couple of things.
First, so many of these articles are from several years ago – which is obvious even when they have updated the article with a 2021 date.
Second, almost none of them sounded like the reviewer had actually used – or at least tried to make art on – any of the tablets they reviewed.
While I certainly don’t want to dis any other sites, reviewers or articles, it became clear to me that we really need an up-to-date and helpful article talking about making art on the Android platform.
We will talk about Samsung, and their three best options for Android art tablets, and then mention the surprisingly good and inexpensive Simbans Picasso Tab, and finally visit the idea of the separate drawing display tablet – especially the amazing new Wacom One, which seems the perfect choice to use with an Android tablet or phone.
I hope that this article – The Best Android Tablet for Drawing in 2021 – A Detailed Buyer’s Guide – offers a fairly complete and helpful overview of how best to make art on an Android device, and that you come to discover just how good Android can be as a creative tool.
Overview: Best Android Tablets for Drawing in 2021
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
- Simbans PicassoTab
Display size: 12.4-Inch
Display resolution: 2800 x 1752 (WQXGA+)
Internal memory: 6/8GB(RAM) + 128/256/512GB
Exceptional battery life
Display size: 11-Inch
Display resolution: 2560 x 1600 (WQXGA) TFT
Internal memory: 6/8GB(RAM) + 128/256/512GB
Exceptional battery life
Samsung S-Pen Included
Display size: 10.4-Inch
Display resolution: 2000 x 1200 (WUXGA+)
Internal memory: 4GB(RAM) + 64/128GB
Exceptional battery life
10 Inch Drawing Tablet and Stylus Pen
2GB RAM, 32GB, Android 9 Pie
Good battery life
What is the Best Samsung Android Tablet for Digital Drawing?
In this section we’re going to talk about three different Samsung tablets, all of which do a very good job in helping an artist create beautiful art, and all of which are great artist tools and great Android tablets:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ 256GB Storage 8GB RAM
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 256GB Storage 8GB RAM
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4 64GB Storage 4 GB RAM
All three of these Samsung Galaxy Tab models are good, basic tablets, and each has excellent performance for its price range. And all three can be used as art tablets, for painting, drawing, editing artwork and retouching photographs.
And all three of these Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets come standard with the newly redesigned S Pen, which feels better and has less lag than previous Samsung pens. In fact, the amount of lag some artists and reviewers experienced with the older Samsung pens was often cited in reviews, but I had no problems, and the new pen seems much improved. Sure, while this pen has tilt control and 4.096 sensitivity levels, it is not as quick or as sensitive as the iPad or Wacom pens, but I have to say that overall the pen-to-screen experience with all 3 Samsung tablets was quite satisfying and useful.
But let’s look at them one at a time, so that you can make the best decision about which is the best android tablet for you and your artwork.
I am configuring the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 with 256 GB internal storage, and 8 GB RAM – really the minimum amounts for a top-level artist tablet – while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes standard with 4 GB RAM – for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite I prefer the less expensive 64 GB internal storage, since you can get a better deal on third-party SD storage cards and have a lot more storage space. For instance, the SanDisk 512GB Extreme microSDXC is fast, rugged and extremely reliable (and, in fact, highly recommended for any tablet in this article).
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ has the biggest screen, at 12.4 inches, and the extra size can make a big difference in detailed work (or any work, really) compared to the smaller Galaxy Tab S7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite screens. The Galaxy Tab S7 plus screen is also noticeably brighter, deeper and higher resolution, and with better blacks, whites and colors – all big factors in creating art on the screen.
The Galaxy Tab S7+ has excellent overall performance as the best Android tablet, and all of the art software works perfectly, with no discernable lags or loading delays. It also has really fine cameras, great wifi and internet performance, runs cool and charges fast. A great Android tablet in pretty much every respect.
If you want the best Android tablet available, and also want the best Android tablet, this is an amazing product, and highly recommended. Not just the best Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet an artist can get, the Galaxy Tab S7+ is clearly the best Android tablet on the market from any company in 2021, and one of the greatest Android tablets overall.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 has a smaller screen than the Galaxy Tab S7+, and noticeably less resolution, brightness and contrast. The colors seem less vivid as well, but that might be because of these other factors. Overall, it is not nearly as satisfying to work on, especially in comparison to its bigger brother.
It has to be said, though, that compared to any other Android tablet the Galaxy Tab S7 is a wonderful tool for the artist, and far superior to any other brand out there for making art. And the Galaxy Tab S7 does seem to have the same overall performance as the Galaxy Tab S7+, and in most other respects they are about the same – so still a very good Android art tablet and a brilliant Android tablet in general.
If you want an excellent Android tablet overall, and a great Android tablet for drawing, painting and editing art, retouching photographs or whatever else, and want to save a bit of money, the Galaxy Tab S7 is a great choice. But if you can afford the extra money, the Galaxy Tab S7+ will be more satisfying for an artist.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
With the smallest screen of the three, lower resolution, slightly less vivid and accurate colors, lower contrast and brightness, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is easy to write off, but when you compare the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite to other brands you may change your mind.
In fact, the screen on Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is quite beautiful for this price category, and is very usable for most artists. The pen-to-screen drawing experience is also far, far superior to other brands, and I never had any issues with performance running any of the available art software. Overall performance as a tablet is also great for its price range, and the camera is better than its numbers might suggest, but you should know that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite does not have a SIM card slot, and cannot be used as a cellphone.
For an artist on a budget, and especially one who doesn’t want to do the most precise, highly detailed or color critical work, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a wonderful choice, and of all the Samsung Galaxy Tab products this is the best value in a tablet for artists.
What is the Best Android Drawing Tablet for New or Younger Artists?
Simbans Picasso Tab 10 Inch Drawing Tablet and Stylus
The lowest priced recommendation in my 2021 review and buyer’s guide of the best Android tablets for artists, the Simbans Picasso Tab is designed with an artist in mind, and for making art it is a good tablet and an even better value.
Designed for young artists and people just starting out, The Simbans Picasso Tab will not offer the best specifications or performance, but its pen-to-screen experience is surprisingly satisfying, and it definitely offers enough sensitivity and precision for an aspiring artist to grow with. The Picasso Tab includes a nice stylus and comes equipped with Autodesk Sketchbook and Artflow Paint Draw Sketchbook, and also has a nice case included.
And this Simbans 10 inch drawing tablet is also a fully functional Android tablet. Again, it isn’t going to have record-setting performance numbers, and for more intensive personal use it would perhaps be a bit frustrating, but for light internet, email and game use it is more than enough.
Realistically this Simbans drawing tablet is not going to satisfy the most demanding commercial or fine artist, and may not even be enough for a demanding amateur – it has only 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and no tilt control, and there is often a noticeable lag between the pen and the drawn image. In addition, the palm rejection is not flawless, and the screen is not as bright or sharp as, for instance, the Samsung tablets above.
All that said, I think this is a marvelous package for the new artist to learn and grow with, and a great gift idea for any child or young adult interested in art. It is also a dandy tablet for a more advanced artist to have on hand to sketch out ideas and notes quickly and without fuss.
So, while not the best drawing tablet on the market, or even the best Android drawing tablet on the market, the Simbans Picasso Tab 10 Inch Drawing Tablet and Stylus is still a better artist tool than the vast majority of Android tablet and pen combinations out there, and its nice material and build quality, simplicity and completeness make it an easy recommendation for the best Android tablet for young artists in 2021, and a great gift idea!
What is the Best Pen Display Tablet to Use with Android?
Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet with 13.3 Inch Screen
As my last recommendation in this 2021 buyer’s guide for the best Android tablets for artists, I am actually not recommending an Android tablet at all, but instead a brilliant new Wacom display tablet which is fully compatible with any Android device (or Windows or Apple), and which at a very low price (especially for the King of High-End Professional Tablets, Wacom) offers a superb experience in artistic creation.
The Wacom One is a display tablet, which has a nice screen and a stylus but does not run its own art software. Instead, it plugs into a separate computer, tablet or phone, and allows you to see that device’s software on its screen, and to work on that screen with a high level of precision and control.
As the Wacom One display tablet is a bit of an outlier, and doesn’t really fit into my list of Android tablets, I am not going to offer an in-depth description or review, but it is safe to say that the Wacom is a better experience in terms of actual drawing, painting or editing art than anything else on this list, and if you already have an Android tablet that you love this may be the ideal solution.
If, on the other hand, you want a first-rate artistic experience on an Android device, or if you simply don’t want to carry around two gadgets, you’ll need to get one of the Samsungs mentioned above – and I think it’s safe to say that you’ll be more than happy and satisfied with the Samsung as a creative tool, and over the moon with the Samsung as a general use Android tablet.
But keep in mind that Wacom products are designed by artists for artists, and Wacom is indeed the long-standing leader in the industry for artist tablets. In terms of pen-to-screen experience, accuracy, precision and control this is the finest tool on our list of best artist tablets, and a strong recommendation for best pen display tablet for Android in 2021.
Final Thoughts: Are Android Tablets Good for Digital Drawing?
Apple and Windows computers and tablets do, without question, offer more, better and more advanced art and imaging software than Android does. And the machines themselves – like the Apple iPad or the Wacom or Microsoft Surface tablets – will give the serious artist more control, better and more accurate displays, and a superior artistic experience overall.
But still an Android tablet can be a fully satisfying creative tool for virtually any artist. The Samsung tablets listed above are superb machines, and with the right Android software can create beautiful artwork and facilitate even the advanced creative process. The Simbans PicassoTab is the perfect tablet for the aspiring artist to learn on and grow with. And the Wacom One, a remarkable tool and a real value, is the perfect choice for the best control, precision and creative power.
And, not for nothing, to some people Android tablets for making art are even easier and more intuitive than Apple or Windows tablets, and thus less distracting when you’re in the creative flow – this last is a matter of opinion and preference, of course, but does help illustrate that many artists create beautiful art, and experience real creative magic, on their Android tablets every day.
I hope this article – The Best Android Tablets for Artists in 2021 – A Detailed Buyer’s Guide – has been helpful to you in finding your new Android tablet, and that you too can experience that indescribable magic of creativity. Please check out my blog – Art Side of Life – for more reviews and buyer’s guides, as well as articles, online art courses and lots of other artist resources.