Best Tablet for Drawing and Artists in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: May 24, 2022 •  Guides

In this article, I am sharing my recommendations for the best art tablets for drawing, clarifying the different types of tablets for drawing and what you should think about when selecting one. So let’s have a look!

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If you want a quick recommendation, here are my top picks:

  1. NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9", WiFi, 512GB)
  2. NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9", WiFi, 512GB)

    The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

    Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 with Wacom Pro Pen 2
  4. Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 with Wacom Pro Pen 2

    Best Professional Standalone Drawing Tablet

    13.3 Inch WQHD Touchscreen Display :: :: Intel Core i7 :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: The Professional Artist Choice :: Top-Tier Performance and Quality


    Buy Now on Amazon
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+
  6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+

    Best Android Standalone Drawing Tablet

    12.4 Inch AMOLED WQXGA+ Touchscreen :: 8GB RAM :: 256GB SSD Drive :: Super Fast Qualcomm SM8450 Processor :: Includes Incredible Samsung S Pen


    Buy Now on Amazon
  7. Acer Spin 713 2-in-1 Chromebook with 13.5 Inch 2K VertiView Touchscren
  8. Acer Spin 713 2-in-1 Chromebook with 13.5 Inch 2K VertiView Touchscren

    My Personal Pick for Chromebook

    13.5 Inch VertiView UHD Touchscreen :: Intel i5-10210U Processor :: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory :: 128GB SSD :: Aluminum Frame :: Backlit Keyboard


    Buy Now on Amazon

But if you want to go deeper, well let’s get into it, with my comprehensive artist’s guide for the best digital art tablets for drawing on the market today!

Table of Contents

Digital art tablets these days seem to just keep getting better and better, and they can offer a really amazing drawing experience. The best digital drawing tablets have such a natural feeling that if you have ever used traditional media, like a pencil or pen on paper, you’ll take right to them – but you can also erase and redraw, easily change or rework details, add colors, shading and special effects and so much more.

And when you’re done you can instantly share, publish or print your work, or simply display it with pride on the tablet’s beautiful touchscreen display.

What Are the Different Kinds of Drawing Tablets?

There are quite a few different types and varieties of drawing tablets designed for artists, and it can definitely be confusing trying to figure out the differences, let alone to know which one you need or want. So let’s simplify it a bit!

You will find three basic types of art tablets with pens on the market today, and they all work great for artists.

They differ in whether they have their own screen or not, and they also differ in whether they need a computer, or are standalone products, but they are all the same in how they use a special pen – also called a pencil or digital stylus – to draw on their surface, and how they try to make that pen-to-surface experience natural and optimal for drawing and other types of artistic creation.

These three basic types are:

Pen Tablet, or Graphics Tablet

This is the least expensive drawing tablet you can get. A pen tablet does not have a screen, and needs to be plugged into a computer to work.

When you are drawing, you have to get used to working on basically a blank black or dark gray surface, and seeing your work on your computer’s screen, but once you do, the best graphics tablet can be a wonderful and powerful tool for any artist.

Pen Display Tablet

Just as the name suggests, this is a tablet with a display screen. A pen display tablet still needs to be connected to a computer, but instead of a blank surface it has a beautiful touchscreen display which you work on with your digital pen.

The high resolution screen displays your art software and your artwork, and you can see what you are doing as you are doing it, directly where you are working, making the pen display tablet easier and more intuitive for most artists to use.

But of course they are also more expensive – although even some of the best pen display tablets are quite affordable.

Standalone Tablet, or Pen Computer Tablet

Also called a pen computer tablet, this is actually a computer unto itself and does not need to be plugged into another computer to work. Since they are stand-alone tablet computers, this means that they are available in different operating systems, like Apple iOS, Windows or Android.

A stand alone tablet offers real advantages in terms of convenience and portability, and they are often used not just as drawing tablets but as full-function personal computers as well.

As you might expect, a standalone pen computer tablet is the most expensive of the three types.

It’s easy to generalize, and to say that as you move up in price and in functionality drawing tablets become more useful and more desirable, and yes, to a big extent that is true.

But almost all of us will decide which drawing tablet is best for us largely based on not just functionality, or even coolness, but on budget – and I have to say that while a super-slick Apple iPad or Microsoft Surface standalone drawing tablet is an incredible thing to have, even the most basic graphics tablets are also pretty wonderful, and highly useful tools for any artist on any level.

Do You Need to Worry About Operating Systems?

Well, I hope you don’t have to worry too much about anything! But in answer to this question, yes and no…

Plug-in tablets, like our first two varieties, will work on any platform – Apple, Windows, Android and even Chromebook – or at least they should. 

But a stand-alone drawing tablet is a computer in itself, and so you might want to figure out which operating system – again, Apple, Windows, Android or Chromebook – you want or need.

You may already have products on one of these operating system platforms, and want to stay with it, or you may need to choose Apple, for example, or Windows, because you need to be compatible with colleagues, clients, your industry or your workplace.

I could also boldly make general claims like that Windows and Apple have higher level software overall than Android or Chromebook, better, more capable and more professional-level drawing and art programs. 

At the same time, Android and Chromebook standalone tablets can really be great machines, and are often quite affordable – and the software for artists is far more than adequate, and getting better and better – and, more often than not, it’s free!

What Should You Look For in the Best Drawing Tablets?

I myself, when I’m assessing how good a tablet is, seem to work in two general areas – I check out the important specifications, features and qualities – like screen size and resolution, battery life, the sensitivity of the digital pen and the build quality and durability of the tablet itself.

But I also just draw! I sit down with a tablet, open a drawing program and put pen to surface, and just see how it goes. I often know pretty quickly if a tablet is a really good choice, and a really good tool for an artist, but I always let myself spend as much time as possible – after all, some tablets take a little time to grow on you and to reveal their charm.

If I were to list the most important things to consider in selecting the best digital art tablet for drawing with pen or pencil, they would be the following:

Please note, the first three of these factors don’t apply to the basic pen tablet, which doesn’t have a screen, and any of these may be more or less important to this or that artist for various reasons.

Screen Resolution

A sharper screen not only looks better, and is easier to see and use, but allows for more accurate, precise, detailed and confident work.

Color Range and Accuracy

With millions of colors to choose from, and essentially infinite gradations available, you want a screen that shows the most colors possible, including subtle shifts and relationships, and also shows colors accurately.

Screen Size

A high resolution screen of any size will make detailed and precise work easier and more effective, but having a bigger screen can make such work even better, and can be easier on the eyes. That said, budget, portability, work space and other factors often point to a smaller screen.

Pen to Surface Feeling

This is a biggie for me! A pen should move across the tablet’s surface with a nice and natural flow, like working with high quality pens or pencils on good paper. There should be not just nice flow, though, but also the perfect amount of resistance, which can give you more control and precision.

Pen Sensitivity

It is kind of assumed that most art tablets and their styluses have pressure sensitivity, so when you press harder you get darker and more saturated lines, and many have tilt sensitivity as well, so that you will get thicker or thinner lines depending on the angle of your pen. This makes drawing more natural and expressive, and allows you to better fall into the creative zone.

Battery Life

Not a factor for tablets that plug into a computer, as they will draw their power from the computer’s USB port, but for a standalone tablet you want to make sure you have enough battery for a full, extended creative session or a full day of work, and that you can count on having power whenever the inspiration strikes.

Material and Build Quality

Another big factor for me! I find that a solid, stable and substantial (though hopefully still nicely light and holdable) tablet makes work easier and more successful. And a well built tablet will, as a rule, hold up better and last longer, and you needn’t worry about throwing it in your pack (though please don’t actually “throw” your new tablet!).

How Can You Find the Best Drawing Tablet with Pen for You?

But again, I personally would select a tablet using not just all the printed specifications and hard facts, but also – in fact, even more so – how they feel, and how I feel working with them.

Of course, you can’t really do that when shopping online, and so this may not seem like the most helpful suggestion, especially when you consider that there are a lot – really a lot! – of different drawing tablets out there, and many of them are actually quite good – while others are maybe best avoided.

So with all of my experience, using so many different tablets from so many different manufacturers, I realized that I could put together a great buyer’s guide, and really help you find not just the best drawing tablets on the market, but the best drawing tablet for you and your art.

I will not only consider the specs, features and manufacturers’ claims, but heavily factor in my own personal experience, and how this or that drawing tablet works when you’re, you know, drawing.

In this way, I’m so confident that you can find the best tablet for drawing and artwork for yourself – your work, your needs and your budget. Not just one that looks good on paper, but one that is truly useful, not to mention a joy to use.

How is This Artist’s Guide for Art Tablets Organized?

I will organize my recommendations as simply as possible, with my top picks for the three basic types of art tablets at different price levels, and when appropriate different picks for the different operating systems.

I’m going to put standalone or portable tablets first – despite the fact that they are usually the most expensive – since they seem to be the kind of tablet most people look for and want, and the ones I most often get asked about. Then I’ll move down the scale, with plug-in display tablets next and then screen-less graphics tablets.

Wow, now that I wrote that it doesn’t actually sound that simple! So let’s block it out here with a quick table of contents:

Best Standalone Tablet for Drawing – With Screen, Works on its Own

Best Pen Display Tablet for Drawing – With Screen, Plugs into Computer

Best Pen Tablet for Drawing – No Screen 

Ok, now that we have a better idea of what exactly we’re looking for, let’s jump right in!

Best Art Tablets for Drawing in 2022

  1. NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9", WiFi, 512GB)
  2. NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9", WiFi, 512GB)

    The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

    Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 with Wacom Pro Pen 2
  4. Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 with Wacom Pro Pen 2

    Best Professional Standalone Drawing Tablet

    13.3 Inch WQHD Touchscreen Display :: :: Intel Core i7 :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: The Professional Artist Choice :: Top-Tier Performance and Quality


    Buy Now on Amazon
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+
  6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+

    Best Android Standalone Drawing Tablet

    12.4 Inch AMOLED WQXGA+ Touchscreen :: 8GB RAM :: 256GB SSD Drive :: Super Fast Qualcomm SM8450 Processor :: Includes Incredible Samsung S Pen


    Buy Now on Amazon
  7. Acer Spin 713 2-in-1 Chromebook with 13.5 Inch 2K VertiView Touchscren
  8. Acer Spin 713 2-in-1 Chromebook with 13.5 Inch 2K VertiView Touchscren

    My Personal Pick for Chromebook

    13.5 Inch VertiView UHD Touchscreen :: Intel i5-10210U Processor :: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory :: 128GB SSD :: Aluminum Frame :: Backlit Keyboard


    Buy Now on Amazon
  9. Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with Full HD Screen
  10. Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with Full HD Screen

    Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels


    Buy Now on Amazon
  11. Wacom Intuos Pro
  12. Wacom Intuos Pro

    Screen size: Medium

    Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model

    Buy Now on Amazon

Best Standalone Tablets for Drawing

Best Apple Drawing Tablet – Premium

My Pick
NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9", WiFi, 512GB)

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


Buy Now on Amazon
My Pick
Apple Pencil (2nd)

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with Latest iPad Pro, Air and Mini


Buy Now on Amazon

The best of the best, in my humble opinion – ok, in the opinion of countless other artists as well, all over the world – the Apple iPad Pro is the perfect tool for any artist, and quite possibly the finest personal tablet on the market today for all kinds of other computing as well.

But it is as a drawing tablet that the Pro really shines, and its quality and usability on all levels is why this tablet is the standard choice for so many commercial and fine artists.

Unparalleled detail, depth and sharpness, extreme color range and color accuracy at the highest level, a truly ideal interaction between the Liquid Retina touchscreen and the Apple Pencil, and a state of the art processor that can handle any task, any size or complexity of file, any work you can possibly throw at it, with speed and unerring reliability.

My favorite tablet and personal choice, the Apple iPad Pro gets my highest recommendation, and not just as the best Apple tablet for drawing – it may be the finest stand-alone tablet of any kind made today.

You’ll need to purchase the digital stylus separately, and I would really recommend you stay with the Apple Pencil in this case – it is a really brilliant stylus, and works perfectly with the Pro. I also encourage you to get the Apple Magic Keyboard, which not only protects your new drawing tablet, but turns it into essentially a complete and full function personal computer – and the slickest one on the block!

Best Apple Drawing Tablet – Mid-Priced

Affordable
NEW Apple iPad Air (10.9", WiFi, 256GB)

Best iPad for drawing and Procreate if you are on a budget or you are a student / beginner

Latest M1 Processor :: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light & Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit & Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


Buy Now on Amazon
My Pick
Apple Pencil (2nd)

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with Latest iPad Pro, Air and Mini


Buy Now on Amazon

A work of art unto itself, the iPad Air is a perfect alternative to the admittedly pricey Pro – though, to be fair, the Pro itself is an amazing value, considering what you get.

The Air, though, still offers the stunning Liquid Retina display – with somewhat reduced specs, but still with amazingly sharp and deep resolution and phenomenally accurate, saturated and impactful colors – and the same top-notch level of screen to pen interaction.

In fact, the control and flow, with the Apple Pencil (optional, but really a must-have), combined with the clarity and accuracy of the screen, makes you feel like anything is possible, while at the same time encouraging you to try.

The iPad Air even has the same fast and powerful M1 processor as the Pro, as well as plenty of high-speed RAM and on board storage – it all adds up to a truly top level and premium tablet, perfect for drawing and any other digital art, for a pretty amazing price. 

Keep in mind that the iPad Air does not come with the superb Apple Pencil, so you’ll need to purchase it too. I also recommend the beautiful Apple Smart Keyboard, which really brings your Air to the next level of usability as a personal computer, and protects that lovely and precious Liquid Retina screen.

Best Apple Drawing Tablet – Budget

Portable
NEW Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 256GB)

Best cheapest and smallest iPad I recommend for drawing and Procreate

Apple A15 Processor for Best-in-Class Performance :: 8.3 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life


Buy Now on Amazon
My Pick
Apple Pencil (2nd)

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with Latest iPad Pro, Air and Mini


Buy Now on Amazon

I know a lot of people would opt for a standard Apple iPad as the best budget choice – and it is a great choice for sure, with its bigger screen and its very low price.

But the iPad Air is still nicely affordable, and is a faster, more usable tablet for drawing – and for all the other stuff too – and has a more beautiful fit and finish.

Plus, it has the absolutely gorgeous 8.3 inch Liquid Retina screen, and while it’s smaller than the standard iPad, it is much easier to work with than any other screen of its size, with its incredible sharpness, detail, life and depth, its deeply saturated and highly accurate colors, and its intense brightness and contrast.

A great tablet for drawing, and a beautiful product, the Air is a wonderful choice for any artist, and a creative tool you can count on for many years to come.

As with the other iPads, you will need to get the wonderful Apple Pencil separately, and you should also strongly consider getting the slick, inexpensive GreenLaw Mini Keyboard Case.

Best Windows Drawing Tablet – Premium

Professional Pick
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 with Wacom Pro Pen 2

Best Professional Standalone Drawing Tablet

13.3 Inch WQHD Touchscreen Display :: :: Intel Core i7 :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: The Professional Artist Choice :: Top-Tier Performance and Quality


Buy Now on Amazon

I can call the iPad Pro “the standard choice for so many commercial and fine artists,” but in truth probably more commercial artists, animators, illustrators, video and film artists, photographers, technical artists and others on the very, very top levels of their professions use Wacom than any other tablet.

And yeah, Apple fan that I am, I have to admit that the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro has a screen that is almost too good to be true, with uncannily realistic graphics and a sense of life that must be seen to be truly appreciated.

Resolution, color accuracy, range and saturation, brightness and contrast are all as good as it gets – Wacom is known to be very conservative with their published specifications, and the MobileStudio Pro’s numbers may seem not that much different than lesser tablets, but in actual practice the Wacom blows them away, and is the most precise, accurate, usable Windows tablet for drawing, and for any creative work, on the market today.

It is also the tablet with the best artistic flow, with a full 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and full tilt sensitivity, the best pen-to-screen feeling, and what even a beginner can achieve on such a brilliant machine is incredible.

Strong, durable and designed for long working hours with a minimum of eye or muscle strain, and including the brilliant Wacom Pro Pen 2, this is the perfect working art tool, and the best Windows tablet for drawing you can get.

Best Windows Drawing Tablet – Mid-Priced

Best for Windows
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 13" Tablet

Best Windows Standalone Drawing Tablet

13 Inch PixelSense Flow Touchscreen with 2880x1920 Resolution :: Intel Core I9 Processor :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD Storage :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Great Work Surface for Drawing


Buy Now on Amazon
For Surface Tablets
Microsoft Surface Pen

For Surface Pro 8, 7, 6 Surface Laptop 3 Surface Book 2 Laptop 2 Surface Go Studio 2 Pro 5 Pro 4 | 4096 Pressure Points | Different colors


Buy Now on Amazon

While the Wacom is a better tablet for art and creativity at the highest levels, the phenomenal Microsoft Surface Pro 8 isn’t far behind, and with the same size computer screen and the same amount of storage it is about half the price – though the Pro 8 does have only half the RAM and a slightly less powerful processor.

The pen to drawing surface interaction on the Surface Pro 8, with the excellent Surface Pen, is perhaps not quite as precise as the Wacom’s, but it is still superb, and has a better feel, better movement and better tactile feedback than any other Windows tablet or touchscreen I’ve used. And the colors, resolution, brightness and contrast, depth and life are all absolutely stunning.

On the other hand, compared to the Wacom, the Surface Pro 8 is clearly a better tablet for all other kinds of computing tasks, and with the optional Surface Pro Keyboard is one of the finest, fastest and most powerful Windows computers available.

Built like a tank, but much, much prettier, this Pro 8 is a highly desirable product, and my choice for the best affordable Windows tablet for drawing.

Remember that you must purchase the Microsoft Surface Pen or the newer Surface Slim Pen 2 separately, and the Microsoft Surface Pro Signature Keyboard is also highly recommended – a very well made and well designed keyboard and protective cover that takes your new drawing tablet to the next level!

Best Windows Drawing Tablet – Budget

Standalone: Windows
Microsoft Surface Go 3

10.5" Touchscreen - Intel® Core™ i3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Device Only - Platinum (Latest Model)

For the best experience, I also recommend the Surface Keyboard and Surface Pen


Buy Now on Amazon
For Surface Tablets
Microsoft Surface Pen

For Surface Pro 8, 7, 6 Surface Laptop 3 Surface Book 2 Laptop 2 Surface Go Studio 2 Pro 5 Pro 4 | 4096 Pressure Points | Different colors


Buy Now on Amazon

Ok, so let’s run the numbers here – the Wacom is a pricey tablet, for sure, but is the best professional drawing and art tablet currently made for Windows. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is still pricey, but at half the price of the Wacom is nearly as wonderful and nearly as capable for drawing and creativity, and possibly the best Windows tablet overall.

But yeah, for so many of us, half of pricey is still pricey! So for our budget choice for best Windows tablet for drawing, let’s cut the price in half once again.

The Surface Go 3 is simply the best low priced Windows tablet on the market today, and while there are cheaper options, to be honest I would never recommend any of the super-cheap windows tablets I’ve seen or tried – especially when, for very little more, you can get the Go.

Because in its basic configuration, which is only around four hundred dollars, you get so much with a Surface Go 3, with its beautiful and powerful screen – superb color accuracy and saturation, great brightness and range of light values, perfect geometry and very high resolution edge to edge – not to mention a pretty much ideal feeling with the Microsoft Pencil moving across that screen, with really great tactile feedback and a sumptuous flow.

A premium product with a powerful Intel Pentium Gold processor, incredible battery life and even a built in kickstand, not to mention that incredible fit, finish, build quality and long term durability that the whole line of Surface tablets and laptops is famous for – easily the best inexpensive Windows tablet for drawing with a pen you can get.

And, speaking of pens, remember that you will need to purchase the Microsoft Surface Pen or the newer Surface Slim Pen 2 separately, and for the full personal computer experience – and a seriously powerful PC for the money – you might also want the Surface Go Signature Type Cover.

Best Android Drawing Tablet – Premium

Best for Android
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+

Best Android Standalone Drawing Tablet

12.4 Inch AMOLED WQXGA+ Touchscreen :: 8GB RAM :: 256GB SSD Drive :: Super Fast Qualcomm SM8450 Processor :: Includes Incredible Samsung S Pen


Buy Now on Amazon

I have been recommending Samsung Galaxy Tabs for so long now, and indeed they have been so dominant for so long, that I kind of forgot that there are other manufacturers. So with the recent release of the fantastic Galaxy Tab S8+ I thought I would take the opportunity to check out the competition as well.

Turns out, however, that there still isn’t any – at least until Google really figures out what they are doing with Android tablets, nothing even comes close to the S8+.

A couple of months ago, the long established S7+ was clearly the best android drawing tablet you could get, but with improved cameras, upgraded Bluetooth, a stronger, more stable and more durable frame and – especially – faster central processor and graphics processor chipsets, the newer iteration – the Tab S8+ – seems poised for dominance for a long time to come.

But even with the great processing speed and power, the beautiful graphics and the premium fit and finish, what stands out for so many people who have a Samsung tablet, or even who have just tried them, is the extraordinary S-Pen.

Included with the S8+ tablet, the S-Pen is one of the finest digital styluses available on any level, with full tilt and pen pressure sensitivity and a wonderful feeling in the hand and on the Galaxy Tab S8+’s Gorilla Glass surface. Drawing, or any kind of art, is elevated to a whole new level with this combination, and the whole process is a real joy.

The even bigger S8 Ultra is not yet available at the time of this writing, but it will be equally fabulous, and with an enormous screen for a tablet, and well worth considering. But to me the S8+ is the perfect size – a big, big screen and a wonderfully sharp, bright and accurate workspace, but still the right size for holding when you work and throwing into your art bag or pack.

For my money, the best Android tablet on the market today for drawing or any art work.

Best Android Drawing Tablet – Mid-Priced

Affordable model
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Touchscreen Display: 11.0 Inch Super AMOLED

Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels for approximately 274 ppi density

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 | GPU: Adreno 730 | RAM: 8-12 GB | Internal Storage: 128GB-256 GB

S Pen included - fast and responsive


Buy Now on Amazon

You’ll forgive me if the Galaxy Tab S8 is not exactly what most people have in mind when they hear the words “mid-priced.” It is, after all, nearly seven hundred dollars – but it is by any measure an extraordinary value.

I mean yeah, you can get less expensive Android tablets, and while they might not quite match the S8 in terms of overall performance or specifications, they will sometimes cost substantially less. 

But this is a buyer’s guide for the best digital tablets for drawing, and from that standpoint there is no other affordable tablet – even including ones that are around the same price as the Samsung – that even comes close.

The S8 has essentially the same overall performance as the more expensive S8+, including main and graphics processing, and while the screen is smaller – 11 inches vs 12.4 – it has the same superb resolution, color accuracy, range and saturation, brightness and contrast, and that amazing sense of depth, life and energy, and that same best-of-the-best screen to pen interaction with the included Samsung S-Pen.

So yeah, it’s not the cheapest mid-priced product for sure, but for a couple hundred dollars less expensive, the S8 is an amazing art tool and a great value, and blows all other competitors out of the digital water – and not just for drawing, but as a general-use tablet as well.

If budget is a big concern, you might consider the slightly older, but still available, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite – much, much less expensive, and a wonderful tablet for drawing or any art work. And you can also look at my budget pick, the Simbans Picasso (just below), which is not on the same level as a personal computing tablet for general use, but is quite brilliant for drawing and other creative work.

But the Samsung S8 is on a whole different level – if it is in your budget, don’t hesitate; it’s the kind of tablet that can improve your work and make your whole creative process more fun, more productive and more effective.

Best Android Drawing Tablet – Budget

Best for New or Young Artists
Simbans PicassoTab

10 Inch Drawing Tablet and Stylus Pen

2GB RAM, 32GB, Android 9 Pie

Good battery life


Buy Now on Amazon

I have only spent a short time with the Simbans Picasso, but I have to say I was mightily impressed by the whole experience.

A complete kit at a very low price, with a nice leather case/stand, a drawing glove, a charger and a very high quality active battery-free pen, this is all you need, and within a few moments you can be up and running, and creating surprisingly advanced art.

The screen is bright and crisp, and while it might not have the highest levels of resolution – especially compared to much more expensive tablets – it’s pretty amazing how sharp and detailed the image is, and how easy it is to work in very fine detail, and with very precise control.

A lot of this comes down to the pen and screen working together – it’s nice to work with such a bright and visible screen, and to have your work appear so beautifully, but when you can work on it with such a great stylus, and the stylus-screen interaction is so natural and flowing, it is so easy to just fall into the art itself – and that is the measure of a great tablet, at least IMHO…

With 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage, this is definitely not a super high powered computer, and yeah, for the money you might be able to find a better tablet for general personal use. And if you spend a lot more you can find a tablet with more pressure sensitivity, slightly better resolution and color reproduction, brightness and contrast.

But I’ve got to say that for this low price – well under 300 dollars at the time I write this – this is easily the best budget Android tablet you can get for drawing, and a decent and highly usable tablet for everything else.

Factor in the very high levels of material quality, fit and finish, and the Simbans Picasso Tab is a real winner, highly recommended.

Best Chromebook Drawing Tablet – Premium

My Chromebook Pick
Acer Spin 713 2-in-1 Chromebook with 13.5 Inch 2K VertiView Touchscren

My Personal Pick for Chromebook

13.5 Inch VertiView UHD Touchscreen :: Intel i5-10210U Processor :: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory :: 128GB SSD :: Aluminum Frame :: Backlit Keyboard


Buy Now on Amazon

Everybody makes a Chromebook these days, or at least it seems like it, but one company seems to really dominate in all respects – Acer.

The quality of construction, the look and feel, the speed and reliability of their processors, drives and memory, all make using an Acer Chromebook a wonderful experience, and even the least expensive of their models feels and acts like a premium product.

But when you really get to their premium products, like with the Acer Spin 13, you begin to experience a different level – the screen is so sharp and clear, and has so much life and energy, that your artwork will really come to life.

With a fast, powerful Intel I5 processor, and 8 gigs of ram, all tasks are fast, smooth and trouble-free, and the flow of work even with the largest and most complex artwork is perfect – never a bit of lag or delay, just easy and natural creativity.

The Spin 13 comes with an industry-leading Wacom USI active stylus, which is truly designed for artists and has amazing control, sensitivity and feel.  Full tilt response and pressure sensitivity, coupled with the wonderfully glitch-free operation, allow you to just draw – really, you can fall into the zone and create, and not worry about anything at all!

The Acer Spin 13 is the best Chromebook tablet I’ve ever used for drawing, with a big, bright and accurate screen, perfect screen-pen interaction and tons of power. And it also happens to be a powerful and premium quality full-function Chromebook, with a very nice integrated keyboard that swings out of the way for art, and positions normally for everything else – a brilliant product and, in this price range, in a league of its own!

Best Chromebook Drawing Tablet – Budget

Affordable
Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 2-in-1 Laptop

4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 13MP Camera, Chrome OS, 12.2", 16:10 Aspect Ratio


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You may notice that we’ve skipped right over the best mid-priced option in our Chromebook category.

This is really for a couple of reasons. First, there are just not that many Chromebooks out there – at least at this point – that are really designed for, meant for, or even that great for, drawing and general artwork. This is undoubtedly going to change, and their increasing compatibility with USI (Universal Stylus Interface) active digital pens will help, but for now the choices are pretty limited.

But the second, and maybe more noteworthy, reason is that even the mid-priced Chromebooks which do offer a decent amount of expressive control and usability for digital art aren’t necessarily better than, or even as good as, this amazing little Samsung Chromebook Plus, which for less than 300 dollars offers incredible overall performance, and is a great choice for artists and for general use.

I say “little” Samsung Chromebook Plus, but in fact it has a big 12.2 inch screen, which has tons of space to work with and really lets you draw with incredible detail and precision, as well as allowing for larger expressive gestures and a very natural and unrestricted flow.

The screen is absolutely amazing – at this price, almost unbelievable – for its clarity and detail, and has great brightness, contrast, color fidelity and range. And the included Samsung stylus works so perfectly with and on the screen, you’ll swear that this computer was made just for artists.

But in fact it is also a full-function Chromebook laptop, with a keyboard that folds away to make a flat tablet or folds forward for normal operation. Great cameras, great sound, a solid and sturdy frame, more than adequate memory, storage and processing power all come together to make this not just a full-function computer, but an amazing one for an amazing price.

And for drawing, it is one of the best Chromebooks you can find at any price, and the best value I know.

Best Pen Display Tablets for Drawing

Best Pen Display Tablet for Drawing – Premium

Medium
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with Full HD Screen

Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet with HD Screen, Graphic Monitor, 8192 Pressure-Levels


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When looking for the best pen display tablet, that is, one that has a built-in display screen but needs to be plugged into a computer, it’s hard to say whether our choice is simple or complicated.

Complicated, yes, because there are in fact several companies that make quite excellent pen display tablets – an embarrassment of riches! I have extensively used, and can highly recommend, pen display tablets from XP-Pen, Huion and Gaomon.

But also simple, because as excellent as tablets are from those companies, and at all different price levels, another company really stands apart – Wacom.

Wacom makes a premium pen display tablet which is so much better – in look and feel, in the quality of display, in the pen’s control and expressivity and its interaction with the screen, and in performance on all levels – that it has become the absolute standard by which all others are judged, and the choice of top-tier professional artists and studios everywhere.

The Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 is quite expensive, but its display screen offers absolutely unparalleled resolution, life and energy, color range and accuracy, brightness and contrast. No other tablet shows you so much so perfectly, or makes things look so beautiful and impactful.

The Pro 24 also has unmatched precision and control, with its perfect screen surface and absolutely superb Wacom Pro pen, and no pen-screen combination allows for such flow and such focused, absorbed creative work.

An incredibly overbuilt machine, meant for many years of continuous work, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 is the best graphics display tablet money can buy, and a creative companion and art tool that will stay with you no matter where and how far you go.

If you are looking for a more reasonably priced alternative, there is also the standard Cintiq (non-Pro) Wacom tablet, and the Cintiq 22 is particularly recommendable, and an incredible art tablet in its own right – really without any competition save for the more expensive Wacom pro line.

And again, for even more affordable choices, you would be very well served by any of the artist tablet manufacturers I just mentioned, and I especially recommend all of the Huion Kamvas and Kamvas Pro models – not quite Wacom, but astonishingly close for a tiny fraction of the cost!

Best Pen Display Graphics Tablet – Budget

Best Pen Display Tablet
Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen

13.3 Inch Graphics Display for Art and Animation Students and Beginners


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And guess what? Yes, that’s right – for the best budget pen display tablet for drawing, we go right back to Wacom!

Not that long ago this wouldn’t be possible – as recommendable as each and every Wacom product is, they didn’t have any really reasonably priced models – well, they are all “reasonably priced” given their superior quality and performance, but none were by any stretch of the imagination “budget” choices.

But then along comes the remarkable Wacom One, a bit of a breakthrough product in how it offers almost the same level of essentially commercial grade quality of materials and construction as the more expensive Wacom tablets, a superior touchscreen display and a pen to screen interaction that could only come from one company.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this buyer’s guide to the best tablets for drawing, many thousands of words ago, there may be other pen displays in this price range that have better published specifications, but in actual practice the Wacom is clearly superior – with amazing resolution, color accuracy, brightness and contrast, life and energy.

The processor is strong and fast, and all work is absolutely lagless and trouble-free, and when you factor in everything else – the feeling of the pen on the screen, the intelligent design of the pen and the tablet (including truly useful function keys), the simple and easy user interface, the beauty, accuracy and visibility of the nice-sized screen and the solid, rigid and yet light frame – this is as good as it gets at this budget level.

The Wacom One allows you to fully drop into your creative zone, without thought, without distraction and without interruption. In this respect, the One is pure Wacom, and far superior to anything else I’ve used at this price level.

For beginners, new artists, art students and advanced commercial and fine artists, even at the highest levels, this is the perfect budget graphics display tablet.

Best Pen Tablets for Drawing

Best Pen Tablet – Premium

Wacom Intuos Pro

Screen size: Medium

Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Medium, New Model

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Best Pen Tablet – Budget

Wacom Intuos Pro

Screen size: Small

Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC, Small New Model


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The simplest of all art tablets, the pen tablet is often overlooked, and definitely underappreciated.

But the truth is that, for very little money, you can get an incredibly accurate and expressive art tool that can take your digital art to a whole new level. 

Sure, there is no screen, and this makes the pen tablet a bit harder to use – at least initially – but the best examples let you work with such incredible control and resolution, and have a flow and a tactile feeling that even some premium display tablets or stand alone tablets can’t match.

And for the best of the best – precision, control and unfollow that are simply unmatched by any other company or any other product – we turn once again to the professional-level fine art tablets from Wacom.

In fact, although you can get other budget pen display tablets for around half the price, the Wacom Intuos line of tablets is so well made, and is so amazing to use, that they are all self-recommending – I have selected the small, surprisingly cheap Wacom Intuos wireless 4×6 inch tablet, but the larger 8.5 by 5.5 inch model, the Wacom CTL6100, is an equally excellent art tablet and an equally good value.

And for the premium choice, there is literally no other graphics tablet available today that comes anywhere close to the Wacom Intuos Pro, in terms of build quality, feeling while working, control, flow or precision – really and truly the finest available, offering a different level of creative experience.

Again, I have chosen the smaller model of the remarkable Intuos Pro premium graphics tablets, with an approximately 8.5 by 6 inch working area, but the larger Wacom PTH860 is just as recommendable, and its bigger area is, for some people, a real game-changer.

Whichever level you choose – premium or budget – and whichever size, these brilliant pen tablets come with everything you need, including a superb Wacom active digital pen, and are compatible with Apple, Windows, Android and Chromebook.

As good as it gets, and very highly recommended!

As amazing as they are, though, there are again even lower priced alternatives – some much, much lower priced! And while they may not reach the levels of precision or usability of the Wacom pen tablets, some of them are really quite brilliant.

Again, you can check out products like the XP-Pen Artist, Huion and Gaomon, an I can recommend any of them, but I especially like the Huion H640P and the Huion H610 Pro – incredibly low priced graphics tablets that are expressive, precise and just wonderful to use, and should serve any artist well for many years to come.

Thanks so much for reading my newest article – Best Tablet for Drawing in 2022: A Detailed Guide for Artists – and please check out my website – Art Side of Life – for more buyer’s guides, tutorials, informational articles, interviews with fascinating artists and a lot more!

Other articles in the Drawing Tablets series:

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, teacher, and the founder of Art Side of Life™. I've worked as a commercial artist since 2009. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways so I’ve made it my mission to teach you everything I know, to contribute to waking up your creative genius.

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