10 Best Drawing Tablets for Beginners 2020 – Ultimate Guide

best drawing tablet

The best drawing tablets are no longer out of reach of the average consumer. Prices have come down significantly. You can find high-end drawing tablets for a few hundred dollars, and we even feature some in this guide selling for under $100.

Drawing tablets allow you to draw right on your computer with pinpoint accuracy and speed.

Anyone who is a graphics designer, artist or hobbyist will be able to use a drawing tablet to create digital art.

We’ve done the hard part for you and chosen ten of the best drawing tablets available this year. There’s also a concise guide at the end of the article which covers some of the basic features you’ll want to look for in your tablet.

Top 10 Best Drawing Tablets for Beginners

1. Wacom Intuos Pro

 

Wacom Intuos Pro

This model works on PC and Mac, and there’s the regular or paper edition style. Three key size options are available:

  1. Small
  2. Medium
  3. Large

I’m reviewing the medium option today, but all sizes will have the same basic features minus the larger size options. This model includes new pen technology that has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity at your fingertips.

Speed and workflow are part of the tablet’s design, allowing for fully customizable Express Keys and Radial Menus. There’s also a pen size which adds to your fast workflow environment.

Sizing is: 13.2” x 8.5”.

You will need a USB port and Windows 7 or Mac OS 10 or later. Bluetooth also allows you to connect the tablet to your computer.

Compact in size, the tablet and pen allow for the utmost in customization. The multi-touch design allows you to zoom, pan or navigate. There are two interchangeable pen tips, and there’s a stand included, too.

Multiple accessories are available, too.

Palm rejection is superb, and the back is made entirely of metal to keep the unit cool.

Pros

  • Three size options
  • 8192 level of pressure sensitivity
  • Native wireless support and Bluetooth options
  • Wacom drivers available on the manufacturer’s website

Cons

  • Tablet surface is rough

The tablet surface itself is a bit rough, but you can purchase new surface sheets if you like. You’ll also find that several nibs have been included with your purchase. The texture of the surface sheet will wear nibs down quickly, so it’s important to reduce your pressure to keep nibs from prematurely wearing.

Check out our full Wacom Intuos Pro Review.

2. GAOMON PD1560

GAOMON PD1560 best graphics tablet

This is an Amazon Choice graphics tablet, and it features an ergonomic design with an adjustable stand for a more professional feel. Resolution is 1920 x 1080, and overall resolution of 5080 LPI. Viewing angle is 178°.

Sizing is: 13.5” x 7.6”.

Customization is also available, with ten shortcut keys and five menu keys. As you learn your creative habits, you can customize the keys to make your entire workflow more efficient. There are also a menu, power, auto and +/- buttons on the side of the tablet.

The pen is fully rechargeable, and there are also 8192 touch points to make smooth, accurate lines every time.

Nibs can be found in the pen holder, and the pen will charge to full in just 2 – 2.5 hours.

The tablet does support:

  • Windows 7+
  • Mac OS 10.11+

HDMI ports are required for attaching the tablet to a Mac. If there are no HDMI ports available, you’ll want to use an HDMI adapter.

Dual and tri-monitor support is also available. A full one-year guarantee is offered, and there’s also left hand support.

Pros

  • 10 customizable keys and 5 customizable menu keys
  • Fully recharges in less than 2.5 hours
  • High resolution and 178-degree viewing

Cons

  • No wireless option

The biggest issue is that the tablet isn’t wireless. Otherwise, this is the best drawing tablet on the market – or it competes very closely for the title. Fast, efficient and customizable, you’ll be able to create art that is better and more refined with this tablet.

Check out our full Gaomon PD1560 review

3. Huion Giano WH1409

Huion WH1409 best graphics tablet

Huion has several drawing tablets on our list, and the one nice thing about this brand is that they have a lot of budget models. This one is a wireless graphics tablet with the supreme 8192 pressure sensitivity that all of the higher-level models offer.

The upgraded version comes with 12 express keys that are fully customizable to streamline your drawing process.

Sizing is: 13.8” x 8.6”.

Wireless and wired options are available, and there are options for left- and right-hand users. When opting for wireless operation, you’ll need to use the built-in 2.4 GHz USB receiver. Wireless connectivity works up to 10 meters.

The PE150 pen is provided, and there are eight additional pen nibs provided.

Working status is displayed using a 4 LED light display,

Micro USB support is provided, and the unit will work with:

  • Windows 7+
  • Mac OS 10.11+

Report rate is 233PPS and the tablet’s resolution is 5080LPI. Another important feature of this tablet is that the drawing surface is smooth, so you don’t have to deal with nibs prematurely wearing out, nor do you have to deal with drag while drawing.

Pros

  • 12 express keys for advanced customization
  • Wireless and wired options
  • Supports dual monitor setups

Cons

  • Wireless option does produce lag

One major issue is that while wireless, there’s often severe lag between stokes. It’s often best to use drawing tablets when they’re plugged in for this very reason. Otherwise, the tablet is well worth the price and comes with advanced features that many lower-priced tablets lack.

For a beginner, this is a great tablet that provides a plethora of customizations and a sensitive, responsive pen.

Check out our full Huion WH1409 review.

4. XP-Pen Deco 01

XP-Pen Deco 01

The XP-Pen Deco is one of the best drawing tablets for beginners because it’s feature-rich, yet it’s one of the most affordable drawing tablets on the market. The pen is battery-free and also features 8192 levels of sensitivity.

The pen provides the sensitivity that you need to enhance your drawings. And the tablet is a sleek 8mm thick, so it’s a thin, portable tablet that you can easily bring with you on-the-go.

Sizing is: 10” x 6.25”.

Customization is offered with the eight customizable keys, and there’s a one-click option to go from pen to easier. Compatibility is provided for:

  • Windows 7+
  • Mac OS 10.10+

Suitable or left- and right-handed users, the Deco 01 comes with a USB-C cable for easy attachment. The active area is illuminated with LED lights to show that the area is active. The pad is also smooth, and while it does scratch easily, it doesn’t impact the function of the tablet.

Pros

  • Affordable tablet with high-end features
  • Small in size and easy to transport
  • Pen is as sensitive and versatile as high-end tablets
  • LED lights show the active drawing area clearly

Cons

  • Stylus buttons cannot be programmed

The Deco 01 has almost everything you could want in a tablet: it’s affordable, feature-rich and offers some level of customization. With the only real drawback being that the Stylus buttons cannot be programmed, there’s little to complain about for a drawing tablet that is this affordable.

If you’re looking for one of the best drawing tablets that is actually affordable, this is it.

Check out our full XP-Pen Deco 01 Review.

5. Huion Inspiroy Q11K

Huion Inspiroy Q11K - Top Drawing Tablet

The Q11K is a wireless drawing tablet, and it also features the same great 8192 levels of sensitivity that the other tablets on our list features. Accurate with advanced performance, this tablet allows for thick strokes to wispy hairlines to allow you to get truly creative with your drawings.

The PF150 pen is provided, and it is fully rechargeable.

Sizing is: 11” x 6.87”.

There are eight customization keys, and there’s about 40 hours of battery life for the stylus. Ergonomic in design, this tablet remains comfortable in your hands and will reduce fatigue when working on a project for several hours.

There’s a pen stand included as well as a nib extractor to make replacing nibs easier.

Huion has also provided a wireless receiver, pen charging cable and a micro USB cable, too. Report rate is 233.

Pros

  • Large active area
  • Nibs last a long time
  • Battery life is exceptional
  • Multiple customization keys

Cons

  • Some programs require reconfiguring when working with this tablet

The Q11K is one of the most affordable tablets on our list, and when considering the large work area, it’s a major upgrade over some of the other models available. The stylus is fast and accurate, and the unit is also wireless.

You also have the option of adjusting to lower pressure levels to allow you to reduce sensitivity as needed. There’s also a nice, smooth surface that has no drag and doesn’t cause your nibs to wear prematurely.

Check out our full Huion Inspiroy Q11K review.

6. Wacom Intuos CTL4100 Drawing Tablet

Wacom Intuos CTL4100 - best drawing tablets

Wacom is an industry leader, and unlike many of the other tablets on our list, this model comes with three bonus software programs. But you’ll notice that while this is one of the most affordable Wacom tablets, it does only come with 4096 levels of sensitivity.

PC and Mac support is available, and you’ll need to connect the tablet directly to the rig for it to work.

While the size of the tablet is listed below, the drawing area itself is 6.0” x 3.7”.

Sizing is: 7.9” x 6.3”.

The pen does not need charging, so you can use it night and day with no issues. A total of four express keys are available, and you can customize these keys to your liking. The tablet works on:

  • Windows 7+
  • Mac OS 10.11+

Compact, you’ll be able to install Painter Essentials 6, Clip Studio Paint Pro and Corel Aftershot 3.

Pros

  • Three software packages included
  • High-end support
  • Works well on PC and Mac

Cons

  • Dated features

Wacom is known for its high-end products, and the company has one of the best reputations for tablets in the industry. And while this tablet is still a professional, affordable model, the features that are available are somewhat dated.

You’ll find that there are only 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, while all of the others on our list features double the sensitivity.

The quality of the tablet is exceptional, but again, the pressure levels are lacking.

Check out our full Wacom Intuos review.

7. Huion New 1060 – Best Budget Drawing Tablet

HUION New 1060 Plus - best budget drawing tablet

The New 1060 is our top pick for the best budget drawing tablet. Huion has incorporated the leading 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity to allow you to accurately create any form of digital art.

Performance gets even better with 233 PPS and 5080LPI.

Smooth precise lines are easy on the large surface tablet.

Sizing is: 10” x 6.25”.

Customization on the New 1060 is superb, with 12 express keys and 16 function keys which can all be customized to provide the industry’s most streamlined function. The new design looks bigger, and it has support for the left- or right-handed user.

The right side of the tablet features a pen carry, and there’s also a built-in SD card port which allows you to maximize your storage up to 64GB. The tablet will work on:

  • Windows 7+
  • Mac OS 10.11+

The pen is rechargeable, and you’ll find ten additional pen tips and one clip inside of the pen holder.

Pros

  • Over two dozen customizable options
  • Built-in 8GB SD card with the option to upgrade to 64GB
  • Pen is rechargeable so that you don’t have to worry about batteries

Cons

  • Driver support is lacking on the macOS

One issue, and it is one that seems to be a lot better today than in the past, is that the driver support for MacOS was lacking. The drivers could be fickle with some versions of Mac, so you’ll want to make sure that you have Mac OS 10.11+.

But for a budget drawing tablet, this is one of the best drawing tablets on the market. You have more customizable options than many of the tablets that cost three times this price, and you also have all of the advanced features.

For a budget tablet, you will not find a better model available today.

8. UGEE M708 Graphics Tablet

UGEE M708 - best graphics tablet

The UGEE M708 graphics tablet offers a generous drawing area with a papery texture for a more realistic drawing experience. Designed to minimize lag, this tablet makes digital drawing feel just as natural as using a pencil and paper.

Sizing is: 10” x 6”.

The pen stylus, which is battery-free, offers 8192 pressure sensitivity for more accurate lines of any weight or opacity. The more pressure you apply, the thicker the line.

This model offers a resolution of 5080 lines per inch and a report rate of 266 RPS (revolutions per second). It also comes with extra pen nibs as well as a pen holder and pen clipper. There are eight customizable express keys on the side of the tablet for zoom, eraser, scrolling and undo functions.

It’s compatible with Windows 10/8/7 as well as Mac OS 10.8.0 or above. The driver program is compatible with the most popular creative software titles, including Adobe Photoshop, Comic Studio, Macromedia Flash, SAI, Adobe Illustrator, Pixologic, ZBrush, Maya and 3d MAX.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with the most popular operating systems and creative software programs
  • Designed to minimize lag with a higher RPS
  • Multiple express keys for added convenience
  • Comes with extra pen nibs and accessories

Cons

  • Driver setup can be complicated if you already have tablet drivers on your system

Easy to set up with a user-friendly design, this graphics tablet is a great option for beginners who want convenient functionality and a lag-free performance.

9. Huion H610 Pro V2

Huion H610 Pro V2 - best graphic drawing tablets

The Huion H610 Pro V2 packs a lot of great features into a budget-friendly price. Along with Windows and Mac OS, this tablet also offers support for Android devices (Android 6.0 and higher) after you update the firmware.

One great thing about this tablet is that you can set it up for left-handed use.

Sizing is: 10” x 6.25”. There’s a phone mode for this tablet, too, which offers a smaller working area.

The battery-free stylus gives you more freedom and flexibility as well as 10mm reading heights. This model has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, 5080 LPI resolution and an RPS of 233. Together, these elements allow for a more natural drawing experience. With innovative tilt control, it’s easy to create the fine lines and details that make your drawings come to life.

This tablet offers 8 customized press keys and 16 customized soft key, so you can create the setup that’s most convenient for you.

Pros

  • Offers Android compatibility
  • Tilt control for better details
  • High pressure, LPI and RPS for natural drawing
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Keys are sometimes hard to read

It does a great job of minimizing lag, and offers a tilt control system that isn’t often found on budget drawing tablets.

Check out our full Huion H610 review

10. Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board Kit

Huion H420 - best drawing tablets

The Huion H420 tablet is one of the best drawing tablets for people on tight budgets. It comes with quite a few helpful accessories, and it’s compatible with virtually every creative graphics application, including CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, 3D Max, Maya, Comic Studio, ZBrush and more.

The included digital pen allows you to scroll through web pages and documents simply by pressing the middle button while over the tablet’s working area. This functionality makes it easy to multi-task and work with references while drawing and without having to change your gear.

Sizing is: 10” x 7.5”. The active area of the tablet is 4” x 2.23”.

If you have an older operating system, you’ll be happy to hear that you can use this tablet. This model is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 as well as Mac OS 10.8.0 and above.

There are three express keys for convenience. This model offers 4000 LPI, 2048 pressure levels, and 200 RPS.

Huion also includes helpful accessories, including two fingers glove, cleaning kit, remove tool, a wool case and four spare tips.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Includes lots of helpful accessories
  • Compatible with older operating systems
  • Works with all creative graphics applications

Cons

  • LPI, pressure levels and RPS aren’t as high as other models on the list

Plug-and-play functionality and the range of included accessories make this great value for the money.


What to Look for When Choosing a Graphics Tablet

Reviews are a great place to start when choosing a graphics tablet, but simply choosing the best-rated or most expensive tablet may not be the best option. It’s important to choose a model that offers all of the functions and features you want at a price that you can afford.

There are several things to consider when choosing a drawing tablet, including:

Pressure Sensitivity

Pressure sensitivity, or levels, is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a drawing tablet.

Pressure levels refers to the number of distinct points the tip of the digital pen can detect. The more levels of pressure, the greater your ability to control the width of the lines you draw. It allows for a more true-to-life drawing experience.

Response Time

The response time, also known as rate or reports per second (RPS), can affect the quality of the drawing experience. When the tablet communicates with the computer or laptop, it sends a “report” of the pen’s position.

A higher RPS will allow for more precise following of the pen’s movement, but it will also result in more lag time. The higher the RPS, the longer it will take for your laptop or computer to register the movement. Make sure that the tablet’s RPS is compatible with your system’s hardware and the software you’ll use.

Tablet Resolution

One extremely important feature to consider is the tablet’s resolution, which is measured in lines per inch (LPI). LPI refers to the number of pen positions the tablet’s working area can sense within one inch in either direction.

A higher LPI and a higher RPS will allow for more precise pen movement, which allows for greater line control and smoother curves.

Size and Weight

Naturally, the size and the weight of the tablet is important. The larger and heavier the device, the less portable it will be. Find a good balance between the two that works for your needs.

A larger tablet will have a larger working surface, which will give you more space to draw.

Bluetooth and Wireless Capabilities

Drawing tablets with wireless and Bluetooth capabilities can make a big difference in the quality of your drawing experience. Both of these features allow you to do away with cables, so you have greater flexibility in where and how you draw.

You don’t have to deal with wires when you’re drawing on paper. Your drawing tablet should offer a similar experience.

System Compatibility, Accessories and Software

All tablets list their system requirements, so it’s important to make sure that your system is compatible with any tablet you’re considering buying.