If you ever tried to achieve drawing art with a mouse on your PC, you’ll agree it is hellish. I would say totally frustrating – obviously, you won’t get anything decent except for scribbles. This leads us to a logical conclusion; no matter how adept you are with a mouse you just can’t compare it to a graphics tablet. With a drawing tablet, you have more options, more freedom, and more precision. This article details the best rated graphics digital drawing tablets for 2021, with full buying guide and recommendations.
Finding the right graphics tablet for your needs can get complicated, that’s why we’ve taken the time to compile this review of the best digital graphics drawing tablets to save you the headache. Here we go!
Comparison table of the Best Rated Digital Graphics Drawing Tablets for 2021
Last update on 2021-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Last update on 2021-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- Comparison table of the Best Rated Digital Graphics Drawing Tablets for 2021
- Gaomon PD1560 15.6 Inch Drawing Tablet
- Wacom Intuos Pro Medium
- Huion Inspiroy H640P
- Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13
- XP-Pen Artist 12 Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5″
- Wacom Cintiq 22 HD
- Apple iPad Pro Tablet
- Wacom Intuos Pro Small
- UGEE M708 Graphics Tablet
- Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet
- Huion Kamvas Pro 13
- Buying Guide for best digital graphics drawing tablets in 2021
- Concluding thoughts
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Gaomon PD1560 15.6 Inch Drawing Tablet
This drawing tablet combines value with functionality to deliver a great product. The Gaomon PD1560 is well-priced with some good features that will make your life as a digital artist much easier and productive.
It has some pretty impressive features like its large screen, 10 buttons for customization, and its clear 1920×1080 IPS screen which offers 178° of view from any position. Then there’s the impressive 8192 pen pressure levels which offer more accurate and precise movement of the pen, producing lines which are smooth, natural, and paper-like feel when drawing.
It also includes left-hand support for folks that are left-handed, and the handy 5 buttons by the side to easily control the device. For weight, we would say it’s quite heavy, clocking in at 4.6kg or 3.52lbs. Also, it doesn’t have wireless capabilities, so you are constrained to your table during work hours.
These together with other features combined together enable the Gaomon PD1560 to produce super-fine, high-definition, and accurate images and lines through the skilled brushstrokes of an artist. The PD1560 works with most major vector drawing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI 2, Clip Studio Paint, Adobe Illustrator, SketchBook Pro,MediBang Paint Pro, Corel Painter, CorelDraw, etc. It’s a high-quality product not only for beginners, but also for professionals in photo editing, sketching, digital drawing, manga, animation, and illustration.
What about battery life? You don’t have to worry about this because the unit derives power from the PC it is connected to, but the pen has to be charged, and its charge lasts for over 300 hours of use. This is a good option for those who always work in the office and don’t draw on the move.
FEATURES OF THE GAOMON PD1560 15.6 INCH
- 15.6 inches IPS FHD Screen size
- 10 customizable Shortcut keys
- 5 menu buttons
- 8192 Levels Rechargeable Pen
- Left-hand mode
- Adjustable stand
- 8 replacement nibs
- Windows 7/8/10, Mac OS 10.11 or later
- Extended monitor capability
- Great Price
- Great for beginners
- Great display
- Somewhat bulky
- Lacks wireless functionality
- Color reproduction average
- Reports of poor customer service
Wacom Intuos Pro Medium
Here comes this budget to mid-range graphics tablet from the industry leader, Wacom. With over 35 years of experience in digital pen tablet technology, you can’t go wrong with Wacom.
The Intuos Pro Medium has two other siblings, the Intuos Pro Small and Large, both covered in this review. To a large extent, the Intuos Pro Medium is a great graphics tablet for beginners or even professional artists, though we wouldn’t say the same for experienced users wanting to upgrade.
It is made from premium-grade black anodized aluminum and fiberglass composite resin, which gives it a smooth feel. The unit is quite lightweight, with the back entirely metal. You just have to be extra careful with handling, because it can easily slip and fall.
It also features ExpressKeys™ & Touch Ring which provide quick and easy shortcuts for everyday tasks while drawing. The eight application-specific ExpressKeys™ are programmable for your favorite keyboard shortcuts. The Touch Ring provides control of canvas rotation, brush size, scrolling, & other functions.
There’s also the drawing area measuring 8.7” x 5.8” is equipped with multi-touch capability, which allows you to use this as you would a smartphone screen. Swipe, pinch, zoom, you name it. That’s cool. You’ll find it quite handy when carrying out image editing, illustration or design work.
This product also has wireless Bluetooth capability, which allows you to work off your desk. This can enhance productivity to a large extent, especially if you need to move off your desk, while still sketching or drawing. You also have the option to connect with the supplied USB cord.
What about the pen? The Pro Pen gives you accurate pen performance without the need to recharge it – its battery-free. With 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support and lag-free tracking, the Pro Pen 2 gives you absolute ability to do more. In addition, with your purchase comes 2 months of Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
Finally, you can use this tablet with or without Paper mode. To transform to Paper Mode, you would just need to buy the Paper Clip and Finetip Pen to use the tablet in Paper mode.
A very annoying downside of this product is the fact that the pen wears out quickly, and this is largely due to the textured sheet that is supplied with the tab. It is way too rough, though you can get “texture sheets” separately which will alter the surface of the pad. We are still wondering why Wacom didn’t keep the default tablet surface as smooth as the previous Intuos 3?
KEY FEATURES OF THE WACOM INTUOS PRO MEDIUM
- Dimensions Length 13.2 x Width 8.5 x Height 0.3 inches
- An active area of 8.7 x 5.8 inches
- 8 ExpressKeys™ for customization
- Pro Pen 2 with 8192 pressure levels
- Bluetooth wireless capability
- Multi-touch gestures
- Work off-the-desk capability
- Sleek design and feel
- Pen nib wears down quickly
- Useless textured sheet which quickly wears out nibs
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Huion Inspiroy H640P
The Huion H640P is an entry-level graphics drawing tablet from Huion. This is a bold-faced attempt at making graphics tablets affordable for the masses, with a mouth-watering price point. If you are a beginner, and want to try your hands on a graphics tab, the H640P is for you.
This low-budget graphics drawing tablet is well-built, well-designed and has a load of functions you will find in other higher-priced brands. The chassis has a sleek build, with a thickness of just 0.3 inches/8mm and a weight of 0.6lbs. You can actually use this tablet on a PC and with an Android phone to create drawings. The drawing area measure 6.3×3.9 inches, or 100 x 62.5mm on a phone. Just know that you need the OTG Adapter in order to connect it to a phone.
It also has 6 customizable keys with which you can assign handy shortcuts to make your drawing life easier, and not forgetting the 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. This is quite impressive for a budget graphics drawing tablet. The included battery-free pen provides more accurate and natural drawing experience, and also comes with 8 extra nibs for replacement purposes.
The only issue we don’t like is the fact that it’s pressure sensitivity didn’t work in Gimp, though it works well in other apps, and it has a rather short cord and no wireless connectivity. The product comes with a 1-year warranty, though you’re pretty much on your own if you have issues because Huion support is quite disappointing. There are many reports of no responses to support requests to them.
Overall, the H640P is a great choice for beginners on a tight budget. You might want to consider it if you want an inexpensive drawing tablet to get you started in digital art.
KEY FEATURES OF THE HUION H640P AT A GLANCE
- 6 Programmable keys on tab
- Dimensions: Length 10.23 x Width 5.81 x Thickness 0.30 inches
- 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Works on PC and Android
- Great price
- Battery-free pen
- Sleek design & Lightweight
- High pressure levels
- No wireless connectivity
- Has issues in Gimp
- Lacks touch capabilities
- Bad support
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13
Wacom claims their MobileStudio Pro 13 graphics drawing tablet is their most powerful graphics tablet do date. Well, with all due respect, that claim is plausible, going by the specifications of this creative workhorse of a tablet.
The MobileStudio Pro 13 is built for drawing, detailed concept art, 3D sculpting and painting, motion graphics, and advanced image editing and retouching. More than just being a drawing tablet – it’s also a mobile PC equipped with hardware like Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, blistering fast SSD storage, and upgradeable RAM. The flagship MobileStudio Pro 16 even has a Quadro GPU. Impressive. Obviously, this is one of the best graphics tablets with screen available right now, that is, if money isn’t a problem.
This model features an Intel i7-8559U processor, 16GB system memory, 512GB SSD & Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The graphics is powered by Intel Iris Plus 655 graphics chip. With these specs, you have a device that lets you do more, with the included touch-friendly Windows 10 Professional.
For a start, this tablet is average in size, measuring just 14.4 inches in length, 9 inches in width and 0.6 inches in thickness. For the weight, it just weighs a little over 3lbs. While this is not too heavy, it doesn’t compare to a contemporary like the iPad Pro tablet which weighs far less.
The screen is an impressive 13.3 inches WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution, with a working area of 11.6 x 6.5 inches. Another cool feature is the touch ability of the screen, allowing you to do those things you normally do on a smartphone – pinch, swipe, zoom, pan. You also get to extend your desktop screen to this screen as a secondary display, allowing you to work natively in your app of choice.
You also get 6 customizable, application-specific ExpressKeys™ which allows you to assign specific shortcuts inside your drawing apps. There is also the 4-axis controlled Touch Ring, with a knob in the center. All these are highly customizable within your apps, and the Wacom software helps make this possible. Not forgetting the 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity the device provides, giving you complete control and precision in your projects.
On the sides, there are power buttons, volume buttons, an SD Card slot, and a 3.5mm audio port. You’ll also find 3 USB-C ports for peripherals and charging, a Kensington Security slot for securing the device. The unit is also equipped with a 5 Megapixel front-facing HD camera for taking pictures on the go.
The unit also comes with a stand, though the stand isn’t that good and lots of people complained about it. However, the stand has 3 angles of elevation to hold the tablet while you work, if you don’t want to place it flat on a desk.
The included Wacom Pro Pen 2 is a delight to work with. The Pen comes with color rings, spare nibs and a nib removal hole with which you can easily remove a nib for replacement. The function buttons on the Pen is also great for precise control.
In terms of battery life, this is another area this device falls short. At most, you will get up to 4 hours with light usage. If you are going to be actively drawing with the device, you will get at most 2-3 hours, and that’s if you turn down the screen brightness. If you’re going to be using this away from your desk a lot, then it would be wise to take your charger along.
Another thing worth noting is that for you to connect this unit to a PC and use it productively, you must separately purchase the Wacom Link accessory for around $70. We don’t find this palatable, coupled with the high-ticket cost of this device. But then, the choice is yours.
Overall, the MobileStudio Pro 13 is a great device with lots of customization options and features, including the fact that it is a dual-purpose device, a graphics tab, and a PC at the same time. But then, the issues we observed, together with the high cost, doesn’t convince us. There are better alternatives, at a lower cost. But if you are a Wacom fan, and don’t really care about the money, then this is probably for you.
KEY FEATURES OF THE WACOM MOBILESTUDIO PRO 13
- Dimensions Length 14.4”, Width 9” Height 0.6”
- A working area of 11.6 x 6.5 inches
- Hardware: Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
- Windows 10 Pro
- 6 programmable ExpressKeys™ and 4-axis Touch Ring
- Connectivity: SD Card slot, 3.5mm audio port, 3 USB-C ports, Kensington Security slot
- HD Camera
- Pro Pen included with extra nibs
- Weight: 3.13 lbs
- Dual function as graphics tablet/full Windows PC
- Upgradable hardware
- Large touch-enabled screen size of 13 inches
- Plenty of customizable buttons
- Issues with the stand
- Separate purchase of Wacom Link
- Unsatisfactory battery life
XP-Pen Artist 12 Graphics Drawing Tablet
XP-Pen Artist 12 is a mid-range graphics drawing tablet with screen with a pocket friendly price. This tablet doesn’t disappoint for the price, and you’ll find out in a bit.
This tablet is well designed and has some good features, like its IPS display and HD resolution, its sleek design and light weight. When it comes to doing what it is designed to do, it lives up to expectations.
It has a big 11.6-inch work area, providing you with precise accuracy to draw and paint naturally with your preferred art software. The tablet measures 13.84” in length x 8.87” in width x 0.35” in height, and weighs just 2 lbs. It also has up to 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity for enhanced drawing experience.
The included pen is battery-less – which means you can use it without ever worrying about it needing to be recharged, Also, this device has 6 Shortcuts Keys and 1-Touch Bar, all fully customizable. However, please note that the computer on which the device is to be used must have at least an HDMI port or a mini display port, which if it doesn’t have, you must use the supplied adapter to sort things out.
Another issue we found out is the fact that this is not a standalone tablet; it must be hooked up to the PC in order to use it. Well, we don’t really expect it to do much at this price. Another weakness is that the contrast ratio isn’t great. If you are using a Mac Book Pro, then you are better off switching off the tablet screen and using your PC screen.
Aside from these, and the bad location of the power button under the power plug, which is a bad location, this is not a bad tablet for the price.
KEY FEATURES OF THE XP-PEN ARTIST 12 AT A GLANCE
- Dimensions 13.84” (length) x 8.87” (width) x 0.35” (height)
- Weighs 2 lbs
- 11.6” work area
- 6 Shortcut keys and 1-Touch Bar
- 1920×1080 HD IPS display
- 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Battery-free stylus with digital eraser
- Bright and vibrant screen colors
- Plenty of accessories included
- Good for the price
- Limitations when used as duplicate display
- Not a standalone tab. Can only work when connected to a PC
- The contrast ratio could be better
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Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5″
If you are an artist, and need something that can crank out high quality drawing performance with a stylus, while at the same time serving as a laptop, and a traditional tablet, and most of all, you love Microsoft products, then the Surface Book 2 is your man.
The Surface Book 2 is an improvement over the original Surface tablet, and it packs quite a punch in terms of hardware. What you are getting is a complete PC armed with an Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 card with 2GB VRAM, 8GB of fast RAM, and a blazing fast SSD plus all the other bells and whistles you should expect in a modern PC.
The chassis is made of magnesium alloy, which gives it the distinctive feel and look. It does a good job of not retaining fingerprints, but we were wondering why magnesium, when aluminum is quite common and will probably do the job better. But then, that’s for the Microsoft R&D guys to figure out.
The screen is a 13.5-inch PixelSense Display with display resolution of 3000×2000 pixels, which produces crisp, vibrant and bright images. The screen also features a 10-Point multi-touch capability, which allows you to use it just like a smartphone – pinch, swipe, zoom, and pan.
Other features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity. In a nutshell, you can use this device in four modes – laptop, tablet, studio, and view modes. To complement this device, you need to get the Surface Precision Mouse, the Surface Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and the Surface Dial.
Drawing with the Pen is quite intuitive and effortless. It integrates nicely with the installed Windows 10 Pro, which also gives you the means to install your preferred art software and draw on the go. For a tablet this powerful, we would expect the battery life to be minimal. But no. this device has a fantastically impressive battery life, clocking up to 17 hours of continuous use watching videos. We expect much lower battery life if you are drawing or doing some power-intensive operation like gaming.
The Surface Book 2 is a powerful tablet laptop for those who really need it and can afford it. However, we didn’t like the fact that you have to purchase the Surface Pen separately. This is not nice, considering the cost of this device. However, the Surface Book 2 is one of our best rated digital graphics drawing tablets for 2021.
KEY FEATURES OF THE SURFACE BOOK 2
- Dimensions 12.30 x 9.14 x 0.90 inches
- Weight of 3.62 lbs
- Hardware: Intel Core i7-8650U, 8GB RAM, 512 SSD, GTX 1050 GPU,
- 13.5” Display at 3000×2000 pixels
- 4 modes – tablet, laptop, view, and studio modes
- Windows 10 Pro
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- Sleek and lightweight
- Great battery life
- Fast and Responsive
- Versatile use options
- Lack of included Pen
Wacom Cintiq 22 HD
The Wacom Cintiq 22 HD is another bold attempt by the major and oldest player in the graphics tablet business, aimed at the high budget segment of design professionals.
This device lets you create with freedom and precision, and at the same time does the job exceptionally well. The Wacom Cintiq 22 features a 1920 x 1080 full HD pen display / graphic monitor with vibrant color for detailed rendering of your art on screen.
The included Adjustable Stand lets you adjust how you want to work for maximum comfort and efficiency. With a large active area of 18.7 x 10.5 inches, your creative freedom knows no bounds. And with the scratch-resistant Anti-Glare surface, you don’t have to worry about distracting reflections as you work.
Now this device is not a standalone drawing tab, but needs to be connected to a host PC or Mac to function. Its well-designed chassis is built from durable, scratch resistant materials. The included super-responsive Wacom Pro Pen 2 is typical of what we’ve come to expect from Wacom – a delight to draw with. With 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and low activation force, it recognizes even the lightest pen strokes, and with reduced parallax, your cursor appears exactly where you would expect.
At just a little over 3 lbs, this device is not that lightweight though. However, since it’s going to be tethered permanently to your desk, it’s not really an issue. One of the things we didn’t like was the fact that the color gamut wasn’t that rich, compared to the Cintiq 27. Despite calibrating the screen, it still comes off a bit on the dark side with less saturation.
Other things worth noting is the lack of USB C ports, which are found on less expensive brands. Another thing is the lack of customizable ExpressKeys™. You just have to get used to missing them on this model.
KEY FEATURES OF THE WACOM CINTIQ 22 HD
- Dimensions: 16.20 x 10.40 x 0.70 inches
- Weight: 3.31 lbs
- Windows/Mac compatible
- 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Pro Pen included
- 18.7 x 10.5-inch Active area
- Scratch-resistant/Anti-Glare full HD display
- Adjustable Stand included
- Solid build quality
- Stays cool during extended work periods
- Anti-glare surface minimizes reflections
- Fantastic pen performance
- Big display
- No ExpressKeys™
- No touch capabilities
- No USB ports
- Below par color gamut
- Not wireless
Apple iPad Pro Tablet
When it comes to tablets, Apple lives up to its reputation for pioneering many innovations and technologies. Well, its iPad Pro doesn’t disappoint at all. This powerhouse of a device is a designed to do most things, including using it as a graphics tablet to draw just about anything imaginable.
This tablet is made from premium materials, in keeping with the Apple tradition of outstanding product quality. The iPad Pro is a traditional tablet, a PC, a graphics drawing tablet, and a presentation tool.
Now in terms of hardware, this device is equipped with top-notch components, from the processor to the graphics processor, camera, you name it. It handles your workflow fluidly without breaking sweat. It comes in two sizes, the 11-inch and 12-inch variants. Storage options range from 128GB up to 1TB, and also comes in two colors, space gray and silver. Memory capacities range from 4GB to 6GB in the 1TB models.
The display on the iPad Pro is touted to be the world’s most advanced mobile display, with the edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display which not only looks gorgeous and immersive, but also features incredibly advanced technologies including True Tone and ProMotion. Everything just looks stunning and drop-dead gorgeous.
According to Apple, the Apple Pencil “sets the standard for how drawing, note‑taking, and marking up documents should feel – intuitive, precise, and magical. All with imperceptible lag, pixel‑perfect precision, tilt and pressure sensitivity, and support for palm rejection. Incredibly easy to use and ready when inspiration strikes”. We couldn’t agree more.
Drawing with this Pencil is every artist’s dream come true. The drawing is quite smooth and responsive, with no lag. The Apple Pencil supports pressure and tilt sensitivity really well, and is very accurate. The glass is laminated, but if you want some texture, you can get a different screen protector. When not drawing with it, you simply place it close to the side of the tab, and it attaches magnetically to the side of your iPad Pro and automatically pairs and charges on the go. Sweet.
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The screen colors are vivid, crisp and sharp, thanks to technologies such as the ProMotion technology, Wide color display (P3), and True Tone display, with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels. The screen brightness is quite impressive, with 600 nits of brightness, working in daylight is quite possible without the sunlight blocking out your screen brightness.
Battery life is also impressive, clocking up to 10 hours of continuous use. However, we expected a higher output for a device of this caliber. Playing music on this device produces great sound, with well-balanced highs and lows. The audio is crisp and sounds great. Also, the included stand is a great accessory that makes this device even more useable, especially when drawing or making presentations.
One thing we noticed lacking on the device is the absence of a standard headphone plug, which means you can’t use a headphone with this. The integrated Face ID doesn’t quite work great if the range is longer. It must be quite close before it can recognize the facial features.
Overall, the iPad Pro is an outstanding device, with plenty of horsepower to play around with. Whether for work or play, it lives up to its billing as one the best portable devices out there.
KEY FEATURES OF THE IPAD PRO
- A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine
- Storage size: 128GB-1TB
- RAM: 4GB/6GB
- Display: 11/12.9 inch Liquid Retina display, 2732 x 2048 pixel resolution at 264 ppi, Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology, 600 nits brightness
- Camera: 12MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture
- Apple Pencil
- 4K Video recording
- Huge display
- Excellent color reproduction
- Powerful hardware
- Fluid and responsive drawing performance
- Excellent audio output
- Not too impressive battery life
- Face ID has short range
- No standard 3.5mm audio jack
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Wacom Intuos Pro Small
Wacom’s entry-level Pro graphics drawing tablet is well built and designed for users on a low budget, or entry-level artists. It’s metal housing feels sturdy, it is lightweight and doesn’t take up much real estate on your desk. Besides, it has features you will find in the higher priced models.
This is an upgrade from Wacom’s graphics earlier generation tablets without screen. It does the job fairly well, and you can even use it without the connecting cables, thanks to Bluetooth. This frees you up to move around while you sketch.
The smooth surface has multi-touch capabilities, which means you can actually use it to navigate your drawing canvas just like a smartphone screen. In addition, it has 6 programmable ExpressKeys™ with which you can assign different shortcuts for easier drawing, and the Touch Ring provides control of canvas rotation, brush size, scrolling, & other function.
You also get the Wacom Pro Pen 2 which gives you Wacom’s most accurate pen performance. With 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support and lag-free tracking, the Pro Pen 2 makes your drawing experience seamless and effortless. In addition, the Pen is battery-free, meaning you don’t have to recharge it from time to time.
Finally, you get 2 months of Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan when you purchase and register your tablet online. However, one of the things you should take note of with this device is that you can’t replace your mouse with this for the obvious reason – the mouse mode is not effective. It is designed to work as a large trackpad, however, it does not.
Whenever the stylus is contacting the pad, it triggers as a “click”. So if you drag the stylus across the pad, as you would a trackpad – the Wacom treats this event as a “click and drag”. This is a completely different functionality than a trackpad, and unfortunately, this functionality cannot be disabled. So you just have to forget about using it as a trackpad or mouse replacement.
KEY FEATURES OF THE WACOM INTUOS PRO SMALL
- Dimensions: 10.59 x 0.31 x 6.69 inches
- Weight: 0.9lbs
- Pro Pen included/ 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- 6 ExpressKeys™
- Bluetooth functionality
- Multi-touch functionality
- Active area of 6.3 x 3.9 inches
- Windows/Mac compatible
- Great for beginners
- Wireless functionality
- Flawed trackpad functionality
UGEE M708 Graphics Tablet
This is another budget graphics drawing tablet that is well worth the price. Don’t be fooled by the low cost, but this graphics tablet performs incredibly well. The chassis is made from solid and durable metallic material, with a generous 10×6 inch work area, giving you more space to create with.
It also comes with a battery-free precise pen stylus with 8192 pressure sensitivity for drawing accurate lines of any weight and opacity. There are also 8 customizable keys for assigning your shortcuts to enable efficient workflow. The tablet also comes with extra pen nibs and pen holder, and is suitable for right and left-handed individuals.
The active drawing area is smooth and has a papery texture surface, providing fluid and smooth drawing for your digital artwork creation. Painting or drawing on the Ugee M708 is lag-free, enjoyable and fun. Finally, it is compatible with Windows and Mac OS.
It is also lightweight and portable, though it doesn’t have Bluetooth wireless functionality. One of the downsides is the quirky driver issues it has. In the course of using it, you may have to reinstall the driver several times because it just stops functioning. Otherwise, it’s a good tab for the price. The Ugee M708 is great for beginners, though if you’re really experienced with graphics tablets, you might want to get something better. After all, you get what you pay for.
KEY FEATURES OF THE UGEE M708
- Dimensions: 4” x 8.5” x 0.4”
- Weight: 1.45 lbs
- Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 Levels
- 8 Express keys
- Battery-Free Drawing Pen + Pen Holder and 8 Pen nibs, 1 Pen clipper
- 10 x 6-inch active area
- Compatible with Windows 10 / 8 / 7 and Mac OS 10.8.0 or above
- Durable construction
- Battery-free pen
- Left/right hand use
- Included glove
- Great for beginners
- Driver issues
- No Bluetooth
- Cable could be longer
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Wacom One Digital Drawing Tablet
The Wacom One is another one of Wacom’s new gen graphics tablets with screens, aimed at professional artists and designers. With it, you can sketch, paint or edit photos, sign documents digitally, or take notes. Besides, the screen can function as an extended display, a duplicate or the main display.
The Wacom One is well-built and sturdy. The pen quality is nice and it feels fluid on the screen. Setup is fairly simple with the included setup manual. The Wacom One graphics tablet is very lightweight, probably one of the lightest we’ve seen, weighing just 4 ounces.
With the big 13.3” HD screen, you can sketch with ease. With surface friction on the HD screen, it feels like you’re drawing or writing on real paper… so real, you’ll forget you’re doing it digitally, thanks to the battery-free Pen with which you can create your digital art effortlessly.
The Wacom One can be used on the Mac, Windows PC and Android smartphones for drawing, gaming, or office productivity applications. Simply connect using the supplied cable and you’re good to go. The pen is cordless and battery-free with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. The supplied stand also comes in handy for holding the tab when sketching or drawing.
In this model, Wacom simply stripped off the ExpressKeys™ and the pen eraser. This can be quite frustrating since you have to click on the eraser icon anytime you want to erase something. Also, you lose the ability to map shortcuts to the ExpressKeys™ you find in other models. But never mind, the shortcuts can be accessed from the Pen via a programmable side-switch to put shortcuts at your fingertips.
Finally, on purchase and registration online, you receive bonus access to select graphics software that should get you started. Another thing to note is that if you have an Apple computer, you will need to purchase the USB-C multi-port adapter from Apple. This is because Apple PCs don’t have HDMI ports, so you should take note of that.
KEY FEATURES OF THE WACOM ONE
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.3 inches
- Active area: 6.0 x 3.7 inches
- Resolution: Full HD
- 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Battery-free pen
- 13.3” screen diagonal
- Windows/Mac/Android compatible
- Included stand
- Big screen
- Super Lightweight
- Nice bundled apps
- No eraser functionality
- No ExpressKeys™
- Not wireless
Huion Kamvas Pro 13
The Kamvas Pro 13 is also a good entry-level to mid-range graphics drawing tablet for professional artists, and it does the job quite well. It is one of Huion’s graphics tablets with screen. The 13.3inch Full Laminated HD IPS Screen has a paper-like quality to it which makes drawing on it feel good.
In addition, the display screen is made of anti-glare glass, effectively minimizing the harsh glare to offer a fairly clear picture even under bright light. The chassis is well designed, made from aluminum alloy construction which doesn’t weigh so much, just a little over 2lbs. The bright and colorful screen boasts of 120% sRGB wide gamut coverage. The resulting picture gives better color effect to make images much more vivid and vibrant.
There are 4 express keys and a Touch Bar to map your shortcuts to for better and efficient drawing experience. The included battery-free stylus featuring 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity combined with 5080lpi resolution, allows you to draw naturally and precisely. The pen also supports tilt function, allowing you to generate differing brush stroke sizes on the go. If your nibs wear out, there’s a ton of replacement nibs to use.
This unit depends on just a single cable for connecting to the host PC, since this is not a standalone graphics drawing tablet, but depends on a PC to work. The unit also has a handy stand for holding the tab when not resting on the desk. One annoying issue worth noting is the troublesome driver issue. This happens occasionally when the isn’t recognized. You have to restart the driver to get it working again.
KEY FEATURES OF THE KAMVAS PRO 13
- Dimensions: 15.35 x 8.66 x 0.47 inches
- Weight: 2lbs
- Active area: 293.76 × 165.24 mm
- 13.3inch Full Laminated HD IPS Screen
- 120% sRGB Wide Gamut
- 8192 pressure sensitivity
- Battery-free stylus with tilt
- 4 shortcut keys and 1 Touch Bar
- 3-in-1 cable with HDMI connection included
- Good color reproduction
- Added accessories
- Minimal parallax
- No touch functionality
- Not wireless
- Driver issues
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Buying Guide for best digital graphics drawing tablets in 2021
Now let’s lay down some general guidelines you should keep in mind when choosing a suitable graphics drawing tablet, whether you are a beginner or experienced artist. If you are a designer or artist, you may have used a graphics tablet at one point or the other, so whether you are familiar with a tab or not, you should bear these in mind…
Graphics Tablet types
There are generally three types available –
- Screen-less tablet type
- Screen tablet type
- Hybrid tablet type
Screen-less graphics tablets
These type of graphics tablets are the least expensive and also quite lightweight. They connect to the host PC as a peripheral, and cannot function as a standalone graphics drawing tablet. When you connect the tablet to your PC and launch your drawing app, what you draw on the tab is reflected in real time on the computer display. You just have to keep your eye on the computer monitor at all times as you draw.
These type of graphics tablets are the most expensive and have more features than the table tablet type. They also need a host PC to operate. The most striking difference is the fact that they allow you to see what you are drawing on the tablet screen while you work. They may also come with wireless connectivity which allows you to move away from your desk while drawing.
Hybrid tablet type
These set of devices have multi-purpose functions, and one of them is the ability to draw and sketch with the device. They have an operating system like Windows, Mac OS, or Android. Their greatest strength lies in their portability; you can take it on the move and draw your art, away from the office or work table.
Here’s a table summarizing the differences between both graphics tablet types.
|Screen-less Graphics Tablets||Screen Graphics Tablets|
|No Parallax||Has Parallax|
|Has shortcut keys||Most do not have shortcut keys|
|More durable||Prone to break|
|Active stylus||Passive stylus|
|No screen||Has screen|
|Fast to draw on||Faster to draw on|
|Needs a host PC to work||May not need a host PC|
Common Features of Graphics Tablets
The hot keys or shortcut keys (ExpressKeys™ in the Wacom brand) allow you to map shortcuts such as undo, redo, eraser, etc to the programmable buttons you find on the tablet. These keys give you more flexibility and increase your overall efficiency while working.
This is the digital pen with which the artist draws on the tablet. It may be battery-powered or battery-less. Most models are battery-free, which means you don’t have to worry about recharging the batteries. Most pens also come with replaceable nibs which is indispensable because the nibs can wear out quickly due to constant use.
This is the distance between the pen tip and the digitizer on the screen. Laminated screens suffer less from parallax than non-laminated screens. Parallax isn’t such a big issue; at worst you get used to it with time, and won’t notice it at all.
This determines the thickness of the lines the artist draws with the pen on the graphics tablet. When you increase the pressure on the screen, the lines get thicker, and otherwise when the pressure is reduced.
The industry-standard for pressure sensitivity is 8192 levels, though some models have roughly half of this. The higher the sensitivity level, the more control of the stroke thickness you have.
This has a dual meaning in this context. One is the resolution of the tablet screen, for screen tablets, while the other meaning is the lpi density, or lines per inch capacity of the tablet.
For screen resolution, most models, especially the screen graphics tablets, feature a full HD resolution. Some models like the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16, Cintiq Pro 24, and Cintiq Pro 32 all feature up to 4K resolution (Ultra HD:3840 x 2160).
This ensures that you can use these tablets with high-resolution PC monitors because the PC monitor resolution must match the resolution of the graphics tablet.
For lines per inch resolution, this is the number of lines in a square inch which the tablet can output. The higher the lpi, the sharper and precise your strokes come off. Ideally, you only need about 1000 LPI to see high-quality results, so most current tablets already surpass this criterion. For instance, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 32 has 5080lpi resolution.
This is the designated drawing area, which can also be likened to your drawing canvas. This is not really a big issue because the tablet maps your screen size to your tablet active area size. However, the active area must be equal to 12×12 size or more.
The anti-glare feature ensures your tablet doesn’t pick up unneeded reflections from the environment. What makes this possible is a special coating on the screen of the tablet which reduces the glare and makes is easier to work outdoors. The anti-glare feature is quite useful and you should look out for it.
These make it possible to navigate around your working canvas without using the fingers and stylus. The screen tablets have the added advantage of utilizing the touch capabilities for navigation, so it’s quite useful to buy a tablet with touch capabilities.
Wireless or Corded
The difference is quite obvious – it could be corded or wireless. The advantage of the corded devices is that they have better responsiveness while drawing, whereas the wireless devices have a slight delay due to the wireless signal delay. All the same, there isn’t much difference in these two, except that the wireless tablets give you more freedom, such that you can navigate around the workspace while drawing.
The hybrid tablet types are even more portable. You can take them along while traveling or leaving the office to create on the go.
If you follow these guidelines listed above, then getting the best rated digital graphics drawing tablets for 2021 shouldn’t be such a complicated endeavor. What are your thoughts on this article? Please drop a comment letting us know. You should check out other reviews or our PC build configurations, and the ultimate guide on how to build your PC step by step.
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