Pro Pen is a stylus that can automatically detect the slightest change in tilt and pressure, making it easy to control the brush thickness and opacity. You also get 10 nibs: 6 standard and 4 felt.
The cable might be a bit wobbly.
The DTH1320K0 drawing tablet by Wacom is a professional-grade device that allows creating images of high resolution on a display with top-notch color rendering. Another reason this model is one of the leaders is that it is highly ergonomic and fine-tuned.
Display / Pen
Aspect Ratio 16:9
11.6" x 6.5"
8192 pressure levels, Tilt range 64 degrees, No batteries or recharging
USB-C (cable included), Mini DisplayPort
Windows 7 or later
Mac OS X 10.10 or later
One-touch shortcuts, Radial menus, Multi-touch support, Integrated stand, Pen holder, Soft case
Input: 100 to 240 VAC, 50/60Hz
Output: 20 VDC, 2.25 A (max)
2-years in the USA, Canada, Latin America
The stylus has a one-click toggle function to switch between the pen and the eraser to make your work faster and more convenient. The pen has a sleep mode it enters if not used for some time, it saves the battery.
There could be issues with installing drivers.
The XP-Pen Artist22 is a great option for graphics design, image editing, modeling, and 3D animation. It has a convenient stand and is VESA-compatible.
Display / Pen
Aspect Ratio 16:9
18.7" х 10.6"
2048 pressure levels, Report rate 220 RPS, Built-in battery
DVI, VGA, HDMI, USB
Windows 7 or later, Windows Vista
Mac OS 10.8.x or later
Multi-angle adjustable stand, 2 rechargeable pens, Black glove, Pen holder, Screen protection foil, Remove ring, Drive CD
Lithium Metal battery
The combination of 8192 pressure levels with high report rate and resolution greatly enhances the precision when you use this drawing tablet. A new technology makes the tablet exit the sleep mode in a blink of an eye.
The tablet is rather bulky and heavy.
16.7 million colors on a large screen make a real treasure for digital artists, 3D animators, designers, and anyone in love with drawing. The highly sensitive rechargeable stylus lays comfortably in your hand and does not slip.
Display / Pen
Aspect Ratio 16:9
18.7" х 10.6"
8192 pressure levels, 233 RPS, Built-in battery
VGA, DVI, HDMI, USB 1.1
Windows 7 or later
Mac OS X 10.11 or later
Pen holder, Screen protection foil
Input: 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
Output: 12VDC, 3A
The device is light and small enough to take it anywhere you need. Thus, you can create your pictures at home, at work, on vacation, etc.
If you're a beginner in drawing or design, start accumulating your experience with this graphics tablet. The manufacturer has provided all necessary functions to make the drawing process as easy as possible.
No display / Pen
1024 pressure levels, 133 RPS reading speed, Battery-free
Windows 7 or later
Mac OS X 10.8.5 or later
Removable 5V/500mA DC battery
There are 24 customizable buttons in total—8 express keys on the left from the drawing space and 16 soft keys at the top. They will help adjust the drawing tablet to your software and increase your working speed.
Only 4 nibs in the set.
One of the top tablets for drawing, this Huion H610 Pro will open for you the doors to unleash your whole potential without restrictions. Equally convenient for right- and left-handed users.
No display / Pen
10" x 6.25"
2048 pressure levels, 233 RPS, Built-in battery
Windows 7 or later
Mac OS 10.8.0 or later
ExpressKeys, Carrying bag, Glove, Pen clip, Pen holder
5V DC battery
What Is a Drawing Tablet?
Nowadays, it's hard to imagine a person who has never used a tablet. Everyone knows that this small gadget helps us a lot in our work, study, and entertainment. And what have you heard about drawing tablets? Well, you won't be able to perform usual actions like surfing the Internet, reading a book or typing a document, but you'll gain something more interesting. Drawing tablets (also known as graphics, digitizing, sketch, art, or pen tablets) are the gadgets that allow you to develop your creativity and simplify working process on the whole (in case you're a graphics designer or photographer). Graphics tablet management is easy, however, it is a bit different from the way we are used to. You work with digitizing tablets using a special stylus, thus, the process of drawing resembles creating sketches with common paper and a pen. Do you want to find out more about the most popular graphics tablets? Read this review and see what these models are.
What Features to Compare
Type and Display
There are two types of graphics tablets - with and without a display. Tablets with display depict your images on the very device, thus, they are more functional, and, probably, convenient. Another type of graphics tablets transfers the pictures you draw on a computer monitor. This modification will better suit those who have just started working with digitizing tablets. Besides, these devices are much cheaper.
Now, let’s have a look at display characteristics. First of all, tablet displays differ in size. If you need to carry the device with you all the time, 13" will probably be more convenient. However, if you are going to set a tablet on your desk at home or in the office, you might want to consider bigger sizes - 19" or even 21.5". If you want to buy a tablet with a display, pay attention to its features too. Display resolution, viewing angles, tilt recognition, contrast ratio, brightness, color recognition, and report rate are crucial aspects which affect the quality of your images. The higher they are, the better image quality you get in the end.
Since a pen is the main tool used in drawing, its peculiarities are of vital importance.
- Pay attention to pressure sensitivity. High pressure sensitivity provides you with thicker lines and more intense colors. As a rule, there are two pressure sensitivity levels - 2048 in professional tablets and 1024 in amateurish ones. This very aspect adds realism to your pictures.
- Tilt recognition provides you with the ability to change the position of a pen in such a way that the device will still recognize it as a drawing tool. On average, tilt recognition is approximately 40-50 degrees.
- The report rate, also called the pen reading speed, is an indicator of how many dots per second the tablet can display (measured in RPS or PPS depending on the manufacturer). Professional graphics tablets usually have 220 RPS while the gadgets for beginners have this measurement at 100-150 RPS. This characteristic also provides drawing smoothness - a high report rate ensures that there’s no visible time lapse in between the time when the pen touched and the dot (line, object) emerged on the screen.
- The number of additional nibs is worth considering too. They tend to wear out during the drawing process pretty quick, so having some spare at hand would be handy for any designer. Pay attention to the power source of the pen, for if it runs on a battery, its weight will grow bigger and consequently, cause discomfort during drawing.
Interfaces and Compatibility
As a rule, the majority of digitizing tablets are connected to computers via a USB cable. However, most modern, expensive and professional models have additional VGA, DVI, Mini Display and HDMI ports for user's convenience. Some even support a wireless connection. Make sure to consider what OS your chosen tablet is compatible with. Some models may have their own software with its own adjustable settings. We'd also recommend you to get a glimpse of the package. If you don't want to look for other accessories anywhere else, make sure it's got all you need for comfortable work - a special stand, protective case and a pen.
Wacom DTH1320K0 Cintiq Pro
They Say Drawing Tablets, They Mean Wacom
Wacom is the first name that comes to mind when the topic turns to drawing tablets. The company has been around for over 30 years and has earned the trust of thousands of artists, professionals and hobbyists alike, with high-quality products and the use of innovative technologies. The Wacom Cintiq Pro is their newest gadget, once again upgraded and filled to boot with everything an artist can think of.
Before diving into technical details, let's take a look at the design of Wacom Cintiq Pro 13. This digital drawing tablet looks stunning, it's slim and smooth-surfaced, easy to hold and compact enough to carry in a bag if you like taking your drawing process somewhere other than home from time to time. In fact, we'd say this model is a perfect choice for on-the-go designers and artists as it also connects to your computer using a USB-C port (cable included) generally available in a majority of modern laptops. If your laptop has no such port or you connect your drawing tablet to a desktop PC, it is still possible to connect Cintiq Pro 13 since the package includes Wacom Link—an adaptor that can connect this tablet to the usual USB and to a mini DisplayPort.
Another convenience of the model would be the two pop-out legs that allow you to set the drawing tablet at 20° to the surface (with legs folded it would be 5°). If it's not enough, Wacom offers a stand to go with the device, you can purchase it separately. Finally, there is no abundance of buttons on the body, instead, the manufacturer offers you a remote with no fewer than 17 customizable express buttons and a touch ring. That would make a rich collection of functions at the tips of your fingers. However, note that it is also optional and need to be bought additionally.
Draw in Full HD
Moving to specs, we'd like to point out the Full HD resolution unusual for a tablet of this size. The Wacom Cintiq Pro, despite having only 13" diagonal for display, will show you a quality 1920x1080 picture, same as much bulkier and heavier models by other manufacturers. The said display is also based on an IPS panel that allows good viewing angles as well as enhanced brightness, contrast, and colors. The latter, by the way, covers 87% of Adobe RGB gamut—again, pretty impressive for the size.
In a set with this tablet comes the Wacom Pro Pen 2, a stylus of top-notch abilities. First of all, it has unbelievable 8192 pressure levels, that's four times the previous models. In plain language, it means that even the slightest difference in pressure on the pen will instantly result in line thickness change. This makes for a wondrous control over what you draw.
The Wacom Pro Pen 2 has other valuable features as well. For example, it has virtually no parallax, no lag, and it supports 64° tilt range with 60 or so tilt levels recognition that allows you to draw like you naturally would with plain pen and paper. And, same as the previous Wacom pen model, this one also needs neither cord no battery.
All in all, Wacom has once again proved with their Cinq Pro 13 that they wear the crown of the best drawing tablet manufacturers rightfully.
Surfing the Internet, we have more than once encountered the statement above—that the XP-Pen Artist 22 drawing tablet is your best option if you can't afford the Cintiq 22HD but want the same functionality. Strictly speaking, there are of course several differences that, aside from a brand name, make Cintiq line so much more expensive yet popular. However, truth be told, we believe those differences do not make much, well, difference to all and every artist so let us tell you about this XP-Pen model and see if the small drawbacks mean a lot to you personally.
The XP-Pen Artist 22 is, as the name suggests, a 22" drawing tablet. It is equipped with an IPS panel, which offers the best viewing angles today—an important parameter for artists. The display has a 1920x1080 resolution, fairly typical for a device of this size. The same goes for a pressure sensitivity, it's 2048 levels. There are tablets today with more pressure sensitivity levels but not many, 2048 levels one is still considered a top-notch parameter. Those who have used this tablet report good colors and brightness/contrast, and we are inclined to agree. The screen does not support multi-touch but we've noticed not all artists use this convenient feature often. The only other more or less significant display issue might be with the glossy surface which reflects quite a bit in a certain light.
Simple but Good Pen
The pen, or rather pens (as there are two of them) that come with the XP-Pen Artist 22 drawing tablet are quite the same as usual. They have no specific grip or shape but it's pretty easy to get used to them, they are ergonomic and comfortable to hold. The pens do need charging but not too often; in fact, depending on the intensity and length of your drawing sessions the pen can live up to a couple weeks on a single charge. And, since there are two of them in the set, you can use the second one while the first one is being charged.
The pens each have two express keys on them, both customizable, so you can set the functions you use the most often, like eraser or brush/color selection, for quick switching. There is just a little bit of parallax to the pen but we didn't find it too big of an issue considering it is not all that noticeable unless you draw at the very edges of the screen. The tracking, at the same time, is pretty good in our opinion.
Finally, we'd like to point out the auto sleep function on the pen that saves the energy and prolongs the operation on a single charge.
More Than You Could Ask for the Price
The XP-Pen Artist22 has no express keys and that, in our opinion, is its biggest drawback (at least, compared to the Cintiq). You will need your keyboard close at hand for any shortcuts.
The menu and power buttons in this digital drawing tablet are located at the bottom which could be an inconvenience on most other models. However, the XP-Pen Artist22 comes with a stand that lifts the tablet quite enough to make reaching the buttons easy and comfortable. Moreover, if you happen to find the stand not to your taste, the tablet is also VESA-mount compatible so you can latch it onto a simple arm and adjust the way you like.
As you can see, this is not Cintiq but it has its pros as well as cons and with a price the manufacturer offers it at, we'd say it's a great bargain.
Huion Kamvas GT-191
The Big Bro
The first thing you will probably notice about the Huion Kamvas GT-191 is that it is definitely not a portable drawing tablet. It is kinda huge and rather heavy so hopping around with it tucked under your arm is more or less out of the question. If you're looking for high portability, we'd recommend checking out the 13" or 16" models, particularly those by Wacom like Cintiq Pro, although the price there might bite. Nevertheless, for those seeking a decent drawing tablet with screen at a good price to use as a monitor for artistry, then we do recommend checking out this Huion model.
The Huion Kamvas GT-191 is a Full HD drawing monitor, which means 1920x1080 resolution. It also features an IPS panel that will grant you the widest viewing angles possible with today's technology as well as fairly good 72% NTSC color gamut coupled with 3000:1 contrast. All in all, it will make 16.7 million colors displayed, a number that the most expensive computer monitors usually offer.
The Huion GT-191 was among the first digital drawing tablets to have a screen with 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, making it much easier to adjust the line thickness when you draw. The screen itself is made of glass, which feels slightly different from the more paper-like screens of Wacom monitors and helps the pen travel smoother. The tablet comes already covered with the anti-glare screen protector too; with it, no smudges or scratches will be left on the monitor.
There are no express keys on this drawing tablet but it appears that it is compatible with the Wacom's remote if you're not comfortable with using a keyboard for shortcuts. The pen has two express keys for you to customize, though.
The PE330 pen is the newest digital pen model, it has somewhat stronger nib compared to before and a battery that will operate longer. When not in use, the pen goes to a special pen stand where you can put your PE330 either vertically or horizontally and it won't roll away. There are 8 nibs in the package.
Comfort for Long Hours
It looks like Huion has handled one particular issue they had with their previous models of drawing monitors. We're talking about the devices warming up after long work. The GT-191 seems to be free of this problem, it stays pleasantly cool to the touch even after some long hours of drawing.
Another good thing in this model is a very sturdy and convenient adjustable stand. You can set the drawing tablet the way you want it and it enhances the comfort, especially if digital art is your main job and you spend your whole day at the monitor.
The one thing to keep in mind, though, is that several customers noted the problem with compatibility between the Huion drivers and the Wacom ones. We hope this issue will be addressed soon but for now, it seems there is a need to choose.
The First Steps
Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW Digital Drawing and Graphics Tablet is supposed to be used by beginners. Thus, this gadget may be used successfully at art schools or colleges to teach drawing. This has become possible due to the access to online tutorials. Besides, Wacom Intuos Draw possesses other advantages which you will definitely appreciate.
- The absence of paper allows you to forget about inconveniences related to canvas size.
- There is no restriction as to the number of pictures – you can draw as much as you wish.
- Drawing with this tablet is natural and resembles familiar feelings of drawing with a pencil or a brush.
- You can create pictures without being afraid to spoil them by drawing the wrong line or choosing the wrong color.
- Digital tablet provides you with numerous effects, imitation of different surfaces and drawing tools so your creation can really become unique.
Buying any product from the Wacom company, you can be sure that your purchase is high-quality because this corporation is acknowledged to be the world leader in computer-aided design, particularly in digital tablet production. The headquarters of the company is located in Japan. It also has its offices in the USA, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, India, South Korea, and Taiwan. Speaking about the corporation’s achievements, one should point out that it owns 85.7% of market shares in Japan and approximately 85% - in the world. Such figures also show the number of customers all over the world. So, if you don’t know what company to trust while choosing a drawing tablet, consider Wacom and you will be definitely satisfied with a purchase.
More Products to Consider
To protect your drawing tablet from possible spots, scratches and other unpleasant occurrences, you can buy a protective case. Neoprene material will protect it regardless of the weather, and external pocket will allow you to carry accessories if it is necessary.
Huion H610 Pro
Everything for Faster Drawing
The Huion company hasn't been well-known all that long but they have already secured the name of the most high-quality among affordable Wacom alternatives. Their Huion H610 Pro is a digital drawing tablet that can compete with Intuos Pro in some parameters but it is closer to Wacom Intuos Draw or Bamboo in price.
The H610 Pro is just a little smaller than the Intuos Pro Medium and a tad lighter, making it a good portable drawing tablet. The drawing surface is not as paper-like as Wacom's tablets but it feels great to draw on nevertheless, just takes a bit of time to get used to if you're switching from a Wacom or from paper. On the left side of the Huion H610 Pro, you'll find 8 express keys. They have pre-assigned functionality but can be easily customized with the driver software. The same software can also customize the 16 soft keys found at the top of the drawing surface. That's quite a lot of shortcuts, right? However, note that as the soft keys only have numbers to them, you'll need to either remember what function you've assigned to each or write it down somewhere. The nice thing about this drawing tablet, by the way, is that it can be used by both right- and left-handed artists since the software has a function to switch between positions. Having checked the "left-handed" box there, you can turn the tablet around and use it with utmost comfort.
Good Quality Pen
Seeing as this digital drawing tablet is priced close to the Wacom Draw, we were a bit surprised, in a good way, that its pen offers 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity (the Draw has half of it, 1024 levels). It is a great number for a graphics tablet in this price range. The pen itself is somewhat thin, thinner than usual battery-powered pens, but quite easy to hold nonetheless. There is no eraser on the other side, instead, there is a port to recharge the battery. The eraser functionality is pre-programmed to one of the express keys on the left, though, so it's not like you lose it. The two buttons on the pen are pre-programmed as well but not customizable—they act as left-click and right-click on your mouse. There is also no tilt/rotation recognition but, honestly, we weren't really expecting that in a cheap drawing tablet pen.
Extras in the Box
In addition to the tablet and the pen, Huion offers some extras. Among those, the pen stand, a simple one where you can place the pen so that it does not roll away while you do something else. The stand is hollow and inside, you'll find 4 extra nibs and a pen clip to replace the nib in the pen. Some users would probably prefer to have a variety of nibs but alas, these ones are all the same. However, they are quite sturdy and long-lasting.
You will also find an artist's glove in the package and a carrying bag for your tablet, both made of fairly nice cloth. There are, naturally, cables: one to connect the tablet to your computer and another to charge the pen. The paper manual and the CD with drivers are included, too, but we recommend to download the newest drivers from the official website. All in all, we believe Huion H610 Pro to be a good option for complete beginners and artists with some experience, though professionals will probably benefit more from the Wacom Intuos or a drawing tablet with a screen.
Q: Do I really need a drawing tablet?
A: That is totally up to you, of course, but if you plan to go into digital art the tablet is a much more convenient tool to use than a mouse since it offers an experience close to that of drawing with a pen on paper, that is, with comfort and speed.
Q: Should I buy a graphics tablet or a monitor?
A: Graphics drawing tablets are mostly cheaper than those with a proper screen and they still offer most of the functionality an artist will generally deem necessary. At the same time, most professionals today find a drawing tablet with screen to be a better option, especially with how today you can find monitor tablets at more or less affordable prices. Working on a drawing tablet with screen is the closest you get to drawing on paper, after all—you watch your hand with a pen and not the cursor on the computer.
Q: What is this LPI number in my drawing tablet's specs?
A: LPI means lines-per-inch, and it's literally a number of lines in a single inch the tablet recognizes when you draw. The more this number is, the more consistent the line you draw will be. However, we'd like to point out that for a human eye at a general resolution there won't be much difference between two pictures when this number exceeds 2000 LPI (for example a picture drawn on a 2540 LPI tablet and on a 5080 LPI one). Larger resolutions do matter for those who draw really large-scale images, though.
Q: How much do the pen pressure levels matter?
A: Pen pressure levels are the sensitivity of the pen on the tablet surface. The more levels your drawing tablet has, the easier it will be to adjust the line thickness by varying the physical pressure you apply to the pen.
Q: What software do I need to work with a digital drawing tablet?
A: Usually, the necessary software comes with the purchase, either on a CD or with directions to the manufacturer's site for download. However, most, if not all, top tablets for drawing can do basic tasks without any additional software—in this case, it will look like working with a mouse.
Q: But I don't want it to replace my mouse, what should I do if I want both to work at the same time?
A: You don't really need to do anything, turning your drawing tablet on does not affect your mouse unless you turn it off specifically. It's just that without a software, you'll need to still use the standard menus in your Photoshop or other drawing apps. You'll be drawing with a pen but not with the same comfort. And, of course, you'll be able to switch between the pen and the mouse with no fuss regardless of software installation.
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