Best Cheap Drawing Tablet with Screen for Artists in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 02, 2022 •  Guides

I have been getting a lot of questions from artists, students, and friends about the best cheap drawing tablet alternatives.

The cheap drawing tablets are moderately priced but still excellent and serious art tools. And the great news is that there are a ton of them! So let’s have a look!

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Top 4 Cheap Drawing Tablets with Screen Compared

This is a quick comparison of my favorite cheap pen display tablets. Find more picks in the overview below.

12″ Pick
13″ Pick
16″ Pick
22″ Pick
Description:

11.9-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New X3-Smart-Chip Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 127% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 4 colors :: Early 2022 model :: 3-in-1 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android

Description:

13.3-inch QHD+ (2.5K) Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New PenTech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 7 shortcut keys :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

Description:

15.8-inch QHD 2.5K Pen Graphics Display & Pen Tablet :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New Pen Tech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 2 colors :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

Description:

21.5-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: PA2 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 120% sRGB color gamut :: 2 dial wheels & 20 shortcut keys :: Built-in stand :: Late 2019 model :: 2x USB, HDMI, VGA and USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook

12″ Pick
Description:

11.9-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New X3-Smart-Chip Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 127% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 4 colors :: Early 2022 model :: 3-in-1 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android

13″ Pick
Description:

13.3-inch QHD+ (2.5K) Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New PenTech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 7 shortcut keys :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

16″ Pick
Description:

15.8-inch QHD 2.5K Pen Graphics Display & Pen Tablet :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New Pen Tech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 2 colors :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

22″ Pick
Description:

21.5-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: PA2 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 120% sRGB color gamut :: 2 dial wheels & 20 shortcut keys :: Built-in stand :: Late 2019 model :: 2x USB, HDMI, VGA and USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook

Table of Contents

Overview: Best Cheap Drawing Tablets with Screen for Artists in 2022

XP-Pen Artist 12 2nd Generation

NEW
XP-Pen Artist 12 Pen Display (2nd Gen)

11.9-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New X3-Smart-Chip Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 127% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 4 colors :: Early 2022 model :: 3-in-1 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android

Get it on Amazon

This 12″ XP Pen Artists tablet is about the ideal size for many people – light, compact and won’t take up much desk space, and yet with plenty of room to work and to see what you’re doing.

XP Pen 12 drawing display tablet has a nice screen with plenty of color coverage, a lot of contrast, color accuracy, responsiveness, and control.

The pen-to-screen experience is improved with the introduction of the new X3-Smart-Chip stylus pen with much higher sensitivity and life span. The up to 60 degrees tilt support also allows for a very enjoyable shading experience! What is more, the customizable shortcut keys improve the workflow as well.

This XP-Pen tablet has been designed for artists and their needs – a fine choice for a first artist tablet!

Huion Kamvas 13 and Huion Kamvas Pro 13 Drawing Tablets

Budget Pick
Value Pick
Description:

13.3-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display & Pen Tablet :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New PenTech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 127% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 3 colors :: Early 2020 model :: 3-in-1 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Android

Description:

13.3-inch QHD+ (2.5K) Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New PenTech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 7 shortcut keys :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

Budget Pick
Description:

13.3-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display & Pen Tablet :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New PenTech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 127% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 3 colors :: Early 2020 model :: 3-in-1 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Android

Value Pick
Description:

13.3-inch QHD+ (2.5K) Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New PenTech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 7 shortcut keys :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

Slightly larger tablets than the XP Pen model above, these Huion Kamvas artist display tablets definitely feel bigger and more substantial, and both of these Huion Kamvas 13s are nice to work on.

The improved Huion Kamvas 13 and 13 Pro are some of your best buys.

The only considerable differences between the two are in the display and the color gamut. Kamvas 13 has a fully laminated HD screen with sRGB 120% color gamut, and Kamvas 13 Pro has a fully laminated QHD+ screen with sRGB 145% color gamut.

Regarding the overall performance, the two are identical, and they both have wonderful pen-to-screen drawing experiences.

If you want a nice adjustable stand (and they do make a big difference), you can get either the Huion ST300 Adjustable Drawing Tablet Stand or a very nice Max Smart Adjustable Tablet Stand for the standard Huion Kamvas 13, and still come in substantially below the price of the Pro.

Either you choose, they are great tablets and approach the best on the market in drawing and painting experience, performance, and overall quality – you can’t go wrong with either!

Wacom One 13.3 Inch Graphics Display Tablet

Wacom Pick
Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen

13.3-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Screen with anti-glare protector :: Wacom One Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 4096 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 99% sRGB color gamut :: Built-in stand :: Early 2020 model :: HDMI and USB-A connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Android, Chromebook

Get it on Amazon

Brands like Huion and XP Pen Artist have recently dramatically improved their artist tablets.

The quality of the displays, the pens, the overall performance, the brilliance and accuracy of the HD screen, and the overall fit, finish, and reliability – as well as many other factors – is as good now as any artist could ever want.

Some still insist that Wacom offers the best tablets today, with a better artist experience, performance, quality, and reliability than any other manufacturer.

And for sure, Wacom has been the best and the number one choice of fine and professional artists for decades now.

But I would never include the new Wacom One digital drawing tablet just because of its brand.

I include it because it is a wonderful tablet and easily the simplest and easiest to use I know of – an ideal choice for the beginner or younger artist, yet more than sufficient for nearly any artist or level of work.

No, there is not the sophisticated array of shortcut keys or control wheels offered in the similarly priced XP Pen Artist or Huion Kamvas tablets, and they are less expensive for the same-sized screen, but for my money, the Wacom One just feels better.

The screen texture, the resolution, contrast and color saturation, and the overall look and feel are superior, and the simplicity is not just an advantage for beginners – I found myself getting completely lost in the creative working process and forgetting about the tablet completely, which for me is the biggest compliment I can give!

The Wacom One does have one at least apparent disadvantage in specifications, and that is that it has only half of the usable levels of pressure sensitivity – 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, whereas all the other tablets here have 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

But I have to say that I didn’t notice. Still, it may be important to some and is at least good to mention.

The Wacom One has that amazing drawing experience of a true Wacom drawing tablet – solid, beautifully built, and feeling like a professional digital art tool.

XP Pen Artist Pro 16 and Huion Kamvas Pro 16 Drawing Tablets

NEW
Value Pick
Description:

15.4-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New X3-Smart-Chip Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 133% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 2 colors :: Mid 2021 model :: 3-in-1 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook

Description:

15.8-inch QHD 2.5K Pen Graphics Display & Pen Tablet :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New Pen Tech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 2 colors :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

NEW
Description:

15.4-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New X3-Smart-Chip Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 133% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 2 colors :: Mid 2021 model :: 3-in-1 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook

Value Pick
Description:

15.8-inch QHD 2.5K Pen Graphics Display & Pen Tablet :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: New Pen Tech 3.0 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 145% sRGB color gamut :: 8 shortcut keys :: Available in 2 colors :: Late 2021 model :: 3-in-2 (2x USB + HDMI) or USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android

Here we are comparing the Pro models of the best 16-inch budget display tablets on the market – the Huion Kamvas Pro 16 and the XP Pen Artist Pro 16.

With a large working area, either of these tablets will offer a better experience than the smaller tablets above. They have extremely good screens, fully laminated and textured, bright, contrasty and with excellent color accuracy and saturation.

Either of these tablets would be a brilliant choice for the size, incredible value for the money, and fully serve an artist on any level.

Each of these Pro models represents a substantial increase in performance and value over their standard counterpart, yet they are equally great choices even for beginners – they both are simple to use, will grow with you as you learn and improve, and will offer encouragingly beautiful results every step of the way.

I would give a slight edge to the Huion Kamvas Pro 16 because of its 2.5K QHD resolution screen.

They both have nice battery-free pens, the same pressure sensitivity and tilt control levels, and both include a nice adjustable stand, and they are equal in many ways.

But the Huion Kamvas Pro has a nicer and more controllable pen-to-screen drawing experience, a slightly more bright and vivid display, and also seems to have more substantial construction and overall a better, higher quality look and feel.

XP Pen Artist Pro 22R Drawing Tablet

Value Pick
XP-PEN Artist 22R Pro Drawing Tablet

21.5-inch FHD Pen Graphics Display :: Fully-laminated screen with anti-glare protector :: PA2 Battery-Free Stylus Pen :: 8192 pressure sensitivity levels :: Up to 60 degrees of tilt for easy shading :: 120% sRGB color gamut :: 2 dial wheels & 20 shortcut keys :: Built-in stand :: Late 2019 model :: 2x USB, HDMI, VGA and USB-C connectivity :: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook

Get it on Amazon

I am only making a single recommendation for a 22-inch graphics tablet with a screen – the XP Pen Artist Pro 22 graphics tablet. A stunning product in every way and an almost unbelievable value for the money.

The Huion Kamvas Pro 22 is also an amazing tablet. In some ways better than this XP Pen Artist 22R – slightly nicer feel to the HD screen, quicker response, maybe a wee bit more color accuracy and saturation – but for so much more, it doesn’t compete (and anyway, it’s too expensive for my guide).

With a brilliant Full HD display and incredibly fast and accurate interaction between pen and screen, the XP-Pen Pro 22 offers an absolutely first-rate working experience and allows for the finest levels of detail and precision, the most accurate color work, the most natural interaction and the most overall control of any graphic pen display tablet on this buyer’s guide.

It is a professional-grade product, and its owners are unanimous in their praise and satisfaction.

But the XP Pen Artist Pro 22, for much, much less money, is a true bargain, an awesome graphics pen display tablet, and one that you can grow with for many years.

Main Criteria for Choosing a Cheap Drawing Tablet with Screen

What are Drawing Tablets with Screens called?

I have recently written several guides for the best drawing tablet for artists, focusing mostly on the more expensive premium drawing tablets on the market.

These pricey tablets, like the Apple iPad and the Wacom range of professional products, are wonderful and fully capable for even the most serious artist.

This guide will look at several cheap drawing tablets with screen for artists on a budget, art students, new and aspiring artists, parents looking for a great drawing tablet to buy for their talented child, or anybody else who wants to get into the wonderful world of great tablets for not a lot of money.

There are three basic types of artist tablets available today:

A Drawing Tablet, also known as Pen Tablet

This most simple and cheap drawing tablet connects to your computer and has a large drawing area but no display – simply a blank space on which you can draw.

A Drawing Tablet with Screen, also known as Graphics Tablet or a Pen Display Tablet

This cheap drawing tablet connects to your computer and has a large drawing area.

That drawing area is an active screen – like the one already on your computer – which will display your art program, allowing you to work directly on your art.

A Standalone Drawing Tablet, also known as a Pen Computer

Usually, the most expensive option is a digital drawing tablet with a screen optimized for artwork, which doesn’t need to be connected to another computer.

Again, the second category, drawing tablets with screen, is what we’re looking at here today, and they are also the most popular and widely used type. 

Any drawing tablet is a wonderful tool for an artist, with the convenience, control, and even inspiration they can provide – and that cool combination of old-school process and seemingly unlimited high-tech capabilities. 

The Pen Display Drawing Tablet, in particular, offers an ideal balance of very high performance, a wonderful working process, and affordability, so artists love using them.

Is a Cheap Drawing Tablet with Screen any Good?

Even a few years ago, brands like Huion and XP Pen were clearly lower quality products than the more expensive options – especially Wacom, the serious choice for professional and fine artists.

But now we don’t need to be so serious! The quality of these brands, in particular, has increased so much, especially recently, that you can be absolutely certain that performance, artist experience, material quality, and reliability are top-notch.

In this artists’ guide to the best cheap drawing tablets with screen, I am not going to look at the super-cheap tablets – there are a lot of fairly decent tablets for, say, under $200, but in my honest opinion, if you spend a little more you will get a few things that the cheapest tablets won’t provide:

I have always found it to be true that a poor quality tool – whether a drawing tablet or a simple pencil – will be discouraging to you and your process, and the best tools will make you a better artist, will make your art better, will make you feel more encouraged and have more fun.

As a result, you’ll be much more likely to stay committed and engaged and stick with it.

But the best tools don’t have to be expensive, and here we’ll look at the best cheap drawing tablet with screen for artists for between ±$200 and ±$500 dollars.

What are the Specifications of a Good Cheap Drawing Tablet?

To enjoy the drawing and painting experience, I’d say we artists need at these specifications from even a cheap drawing tablet:

  • Minimum 4096 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, but I recommend 8192 levels
  • As high as possible sRGB color gamut spectrum
  • Minimum Full HD Display resolution, but I recommend QHD (2.5K)
  • Newest technology stylus pen with high precision
  • Up to 60% tilt support for efficient shading
  • If possible, programmable shortcut keys are nice to have

I see over and over how two drawing tablets with exactly the same specs and apparently the same performance look, feel, and act very different, and one clearly just works and feels better.

So this list will consider both – I will only include drawing tablets with good enough performance to satisfy even a serious commercial or fine artist.

More importantly, I will only recommend the best tablets I would be happy to use in my own work.

I think what I just said is important – I will only include here, in this list of best budget display drawing tablets available today, which I could see myself happily using, which would serve me and my own process well.

And, since all these graphic tablets are both inexpensive and very high quality, any one of them would be a great choice for nearly anybody.

Your main considerations might be how large of a screen you want and how much you want to spend.

A bigger screen is generally better, allowing you to see and work in more detail and offering better visibility overall, but there is also the question of portability, and larger tablets are, well, larger.

See, that’s the insight only an experienced professional artist can provide! Larger tablets are larger 😊

Anyway, even the smallest tablets on this list have wonderful displays – high resolution, great contrast, and brightness – so any of them will let you work with great precision.

As such, it might just come down to price. And, dare I say it, the more expensive tablets here are, well, more expensive (pun intended!).

Every recommendation in my artists’ guide to the best display tablets on the market today is a real value, though – an excellent graphic tablet, a reliable and high-quality product, and a useful and valuable artist tool for a great price, and I’m sure you would be happy to have and work on any one of them.

FAQs – Cheap Drawing Tablet with Screen

What is the best cheap drawing tablet with a screen?

I think the best cheap drawing tablet with a screen is Huion Kamvas Pro 13 with a QHD+ display and the newest stylus pen.

What is the cheapest Wacom screen tablet?

The cheapest Wacom screen tablet is Wacom One 13″ digital drawing tablet.

What drawing tablets work without a computer?

Drawing tablets that work without a computer are called standalone drawing tablets, and some of the best ones are iPad Pro 12.9″, Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13, and Mobilestudio Pro 16.

Conclusion: What is the Best Drawing Tablet for You?

It’s funny, but every time I wrote that one particular tablet was better, even slightly better, than another, I kept thinking, yeah, but that other tablet is pretty good too, and maybe even better in other ways.

It was enough to drive me a little crazy, but it also demonstrates an important point – our list of best cheap drawing tablets with screen for artists has some pretty special products on it, and Huion, XP Pen, and Wacom all make great mid-priced tablets, great tools for the artists and often pretty amazing values.

Ok, maybe that’s two or three important points, but I mean that any of these would be a wonderful choice for the money, and I would be glad to have and work on any of them.

If one has the slight edge in some particular category, you can bet that another is still quite good in that way, and all of them will support your creative process – whether you paint, draw, illustrate or animate, retouch photographs, or whatever your thing is.

And they are all really easy to set up and use and come with everything you need, so when it arrives in the mail, you can be up and running with your new toy – sorry, I mean your new serious artist tool – in no time at all.

No, I should not call them toys, and any of the tablets in our buyer’s guide will support the most serious work, but they will also make digital art even more fun than it already is.

I hope my guide helped you to choose your new drawing tablet, and you will have a lot of fun drawing and painting with your favorite drawing software!

Visit my blog – Art Side of Life – for other buyer’s guides, online courses, articles, and other resources.

Other articles in the Drawing Tablets series:

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. 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 and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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