If you are an illustrator or a graphic designer in 2018, a drawing tablet is not only a good investment but also more of a necessity. Time is money and having a dedicated graphics drawing tablet saves a lot of time and adds authenticity to any art that you create. But which one should you get? There are so many drawing tablets out there in the market with a plethora of different features that it might be a difficult job to choose the one that will be the perfect fit for you.
Now there is something you should know before you dive into the list that we have curated for you and choose the one that satisfies your needs. And that is to decide if you actually need one and what kind. To break it down to the basics, if you are just starting out and you can do you thing using a mouse, then you probably do not need it. But if you have a lot of work and you want to manage your time well, by working on the go, for example, then this will be a good investment.
Some best rated graphics tablets display whatever you are drawing on its screen as you draw while there are others which you have to plug into a PC and then it displays your illustrations on the computer screen. The second is priced better but the first should be your choice if you intend to work on the go. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive right into the list.
Table of Contents
- Best Graphics Tablets Under $1000
- Best Drawing Tablets Under $500
- Best Drawing Tablet Under $150
- Best Wacom Tablets Under $200
- Cheapest Best Graphics Tablets Under $100
Best Graphics Tablets Under $1000
01. Yiynova Full HD Tablet
Yiynova is not a very well known company but this is one of their better products. It might not be very impressive by the looks of it but if you want to cut down on the cost, this might be it. But when it comes to functionalities, the response time is pretty good unless you are doing a lot of heavy work with a lot of colors in which case it might take a second or two.
- Great price for people who wanted to save a few bucks.
- Great response time while doing light stuff.
- Full support for popular software like Adobe Illustrator, Manga Studio etc.
- Cheap looking design.
- Reflective screen which might be a distraction if you are working in an environment with lots of light.
- No gestures.
02. Huion KAMVAS GT-191 Digital Graphics Drawing Monitor
Another pocket friendly option in this list, this one is by Huion and is packed with as many features as you can expect for the price. With an ergonomic design and a 19.5” 1920 by 1080 display, you cannot really complain when it comes to the display and looks of the device.
- Great display and great ergonomic design.
- 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity means that you can add more detail to your artwork.
- A noticeable ghosting issue which is persistent.
- The pen needs calibration more than once, almost every time you use it.
Best Drawing Tablets Under $500
03. GAOMON PD1560 15.6 Inch Display
Another affordable option but this time in a 15.6 inch form factor if 19.5 was a little too big for you. What makes this one special is that the design put in a lot of effort for left handed people as well.
- Special design effort for left handed people.
- Great build quality which means that the product feels more expensive than it actually is.
- A lot of physical buttons which provide an array of customization options including presets and other such stuff.
- Very lightweight which means even though it’s a little large at 15.6”, you can still carry it if you intend to use it somewhere else.
- No pen tilt support.
04. Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet
When you look at this tablet, it does not have a display but still carries a hefty price tag. And that is because it is one of the best graphics tablet in the market at the moment. With support for 8192 levels of pressure, ability to connect wirelessly and a drawing real estate of 13”, it is the ideal choice for most people (if the price is not a hindrance and you do not want a tablet with a display).
- Great build quality and ergonomic beautiful design.
- Wireless connection is possible which will make for a cleaner setup.
- A drawing real estate of 13” in a very compact form factor.
- 8192 levels of pressure sensitive which means that there will be better detail in your art.
- Price might be too much for some people in spite of not having a display.
Best Drawing Tablet Under $150
05. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3
If you want to cut the costs down even more, you can look at a plain Android tablet and it might just be the perfect fit for you. Yes, it will not have all the fancy features that you would get if you invest in a dedicated graphics tablet, but if you mostly use apps that are available on Android to work, you can just get this and work on the go. It is small and light which makes it a good travel companion.
- Great battery life (around 20 hours).
- Multi-purpose. You can not only use it for editing and drawing but also for web surfing, media consumption and casual video game play.
- Comes with a built-in camera so you can take pictures on the go.
- Any conductive object can be used as a pen so you can take notes with any object (but take care to not scratch the screen).
- Really cheap.
- Not pressure sensitive which means that drawing on this screen will be fairly limited.
- Cannot be used with Mac or Windows like you would use a dedicated drawing tablet.
Best Wacom Tablets Under $200
06. Wacom Bamboo One CTL471 Drawing Tablet
If the drawing tablets with displays are a little too expensive for you and you do not really need one with a display, then these cheaper options might be what you are looking for. Wacom has been one of the well known companies when it comes to drawing tablets. This one, in spite of being so cheap, is built very well and feels premium even though it is all plastic.
- Really good price.
- Ergonomic design of both the tablet and the pen.
- Great build quality in spite of being all plastic.
- Not a lot of working real estate which might be a problem for some people.
07. Wacom Intuos Draw (Old Version)
Wacom’s Intuos lineup has probably some of the best in class products that you can get in the market. This is the older version of the Wacom Intuos Draw and what makes it a compelling purchase is that it has most of the features of the better drawing tablets while being pretty cheap.
- Perfect for beginners who are just getting into graphic designing and need a tablet without committing too much of money into it.
- Really small which makes it a good purchase if your setup does not have a large space.
- Four customization keys which can be mapped to any of your Favorited shortcuts.
- Not particularly great response times.
08. Wacom Intuos Small
This is a wireless drawing tablet by Wacom which comes in a very compact size. With 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, it is an entry level choice for beginners who want a drawing tablet but not the worst of the bunch. This is a good tablet while not being particularly expensive.
- Completely wireless which means that you can make a clean setup and use it while being a little away from your system.
- Compact size which means that is can easily fit into the smallest of setups.
- The pen nib suffers wear worse than other Intuos tablets.
Cheapest Best Graphics Tablets Under $100
09. Huion H610PRO Graphics Tablet
This one by Huion is not as good as the Wacom Intuos Pro but it is not as expensive either. Has a 10” drawing real estate which is decent and has 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity which might not be a lot but is enough for people who are just getting started.
- Great price.
- Decent drawing real estate.
- Customizable keys which mean that you can make your workflow faster.
- 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity.
- Only 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity which is less than what is offered by the Wacom Intuos lineup.
10. XP-PEN Star05 Wireless Drawing Tablet
XP-PEN might not be a very well known brand when it comes to drawing tablets (or anything else for that matter) but what sets this tablet apart is how sleek and beautiful it looks. But that is about it. It has wireless capability which is nice and has 6 touch sensitive customisable keys but in spite of being quite large, the working area is only about 8”.
- Beautiful sleek design and great build.
- Great price.
- Built in wireless capability.
- 6 touch sensitive customization keys which help to make your workflow faster.
- In spite of being more than 11” in size, the working real estate is only about 8”.
- Not pressure sensitive.
Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Graphics Tablet
Graphics tablets come in various different sizes. If you are using it just as a hobby then the smaller ones might be good enough, but if you want to get into the pro side of the business then investing into the larger ones might be a good idea.
You have to decide if you need a wireless tablet or one with wires. If you plan on using it just on your desk and do not intend to move it around all that much, then wired ones should be good enough but if you plan on moving it around or using it on your couch, then you should get wireless ones.
When purchasing a drawing tablet, it is essential to consider the accessories available for it. You might look for accessories for your graphics tablets and the lesser known ones might not have those available. You should also see if it comes with a stylus in the box or not.
Pressure sensitivity is necessary for better, close to pen and paper results. The higher the pressure sensitivity the better. All this means is that you can create more deep strokes by applying more pressure, just like you would do in real life.
You should have a fair idea of which tablet to buy after all this information. We did the legwork for you and hopefully, this article is of use to you and you find your ideal graphics tablet soon!