Best Drawing Tablets
What Is It
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 graphic, 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 graphic designer or photographer). Graphic 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 graphic tablets? Read this review and see what these models are.
However, if you need a more familiar device, please turn your attention to Android Tablets, Windows Tablets, and Best Tablets reviews, and choose the best gadget for your daily and working routine.
What Features to Compare
Type and Display
There are two types of graphic 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 graphic 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. A 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 graphic 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 13HD DTK1300
Wacom 13HD DTK1300
Optimize Your Work
You will hardly disagree that professional characteristics of drawing tablets are a guarantee of quality sketches. Look through the specifications of Wacom Cintiq 13HD DTK1300 Interactive Pen Display and you'll see that this gadget has everything you need for successful work.
- Adjustable stand allows you to set the display in a convenient position.
- 4 Express Keys are intended to save your time - you can assign them to most frequently used programs and quickly access them when need be.
- The 2.65-pound weight is pretty small so you can easily take it to college, university, or office. Furthermore, there is a special case for the pen and nibs to make the process of transportation much simpler.
- There are several interfaces such as HDMI, USB, and Mini Display Port to connect your digitizing tablet to the PC.
- 9 additional stylus nibs included. No need to buy new for a long time.
New Level of Realism
Have you always been dreaming of creating pictures as true-to-life as you see them in the movies? Wacom Cintiq Interactive Pen Display is your chance to make your dream come true. Besides basic drawing, you'd also be able to design 3D models and bring your painted heroes to life. It's become possible thanks to the high-quality display and pen pressure sensitivity of 2048 levels. Combined together, these characteristics allow you to create as lifelike details as possible – starting with tiny wrinkles and ending with scarry scars. Moreover, tilt range of 40° provides the ability to draw for a long time without fatigue as you can position your hand in a comfortable way. After your picture is ready, you can make it alive using Autodesk's Maya which gives you an option to put your animated characters in any environment and perfect them using numerous tools available in the program.
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Protective Travel Bag will come in handy if you’re going to take your drawing tablet to work or any other place. It will not only make transportation easier but also exclude possible damage on the road.
Reach a Compromise
If you are a beginner in the field of graphic design but you already possess some basic knowledge and want to improve your level, we would recommend you to consider this Ugee UG-2150 drawing tablet. Its 21.5” display is one of the biggest among the offered models and grants you a chance to work on the smallest details with high accuracy. Full HD 1920x1080 resolution provides your images with realism and vividness. Other significant characteristics such as IPS technology with its great viewing angles, 16.7 million color recognition, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 250 cd/m2 brightness, and 5080 LPI resolution improve the quality of your pictures. Ugee digitizing tablet’s 16:9 aspect ratio is standard, however, one should make sure that it coincides with the aspect ratio of your PC. It is an important condition which determines image transmission to the computer without distortion. Finally, thinking about the model of drawing tablet to buy, pay attention to the fact that the price of Ugee UG-2150 is lower than that of its closest rival Wacom Cintiq.
Did You Know That?
Modern technology develops every day allowing us to observe new models of smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets every half a year. Here is the evidence – a group of students from London College of Art had invented a Gravity Tablet! The device is a breakthrough in the technology world. It consists of a transparent pad and a stylus to create sketches. However, you won’t be able to see what you’ve drawn unit you wear special VR glasses. The thing is that Gravity Tablet uses spatial intelligence technology and, thus, works in a bit unusual way.
If you want to find out more about such technologies or have always dreamt of VR glasses, check out our Virtual Reality Headsets review.
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If you are fond of comic art and want to create your own cartoons, Manga Studio EX 5 will become a perfect addition to your new drawing tablet. It is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X operating systems.
The Efficiency of Your Dream
If you’re looking for a drawing tablet with a reasonable quality-to-price ratio, Huion GT-190S Pen Display is what you really need. The specifications of this device may be referred to as professional ones. 19” display with a 1440x900 resolution, 250 cd/m2 brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 16.7M color recognition determine a high quality of the image. We would also like to point out that the tablet’s display is designed using the TFT technology which provides good viewing angles – 170° horizontally and 150° vertically. This peculiarity will allow you to turn the display the way you like and keep the quality of the picture unchanged. In addition, changing the display position is an easy thing to do since the manufacturer has designed a special button for this purpose. For a better understanding of this tablet’s characteristics, one should pay attention to the pen. It is battery-operated and battery life is enough for 800 hours of continuous use. We should also point out such feature as 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, approximately 50° tilt range and 220 RPS report rate. All these specifications are a guarantee of detailed and realistic images you’ll be able to create on your Huion Pen Display.
Back to History
You will probably be surprised to find out that the first prototypes of modern graphic tablets appeared in 1957. These were the devices to help the computer recognize handwritten texts. Some time later, in 1964, the first drawing tablet was designed by RAND company. The gadget worked based on electromagnetic field – the wires located under the display responded to stylus touch and transmitted the information to the computer. As this tablet wasn’t very expensive, a lot of universities, scientific laboratories, and other computerized institutions started to buy it for working purposes. Common users were able to purchase their first drawing tablets only in 1984. It was a KoalaPad which was supposed to be the prototype of touch pad as the function of finger recognition was already provided in this device. Speaking about modern times, drawing tablets, as well as other technological devices, have become an integral part of our life.
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Huion Artist Glove (suitable for both left-handed and right-handed people) will be a great accessory to protect your drawing tablet display from undesirable spots and will lessen the friction between the tablet surface and your hand.
How Does Multi-Touch Work?
In comparison to the already described drawing tablets, Wacom Intuos Art model differs a lot, at least, in its appearance. There is no display and everything you draw is shown on a PC monitor. However, this digitizing tablet possesses other useful characteristics. To make drawing process faster and easier, the manufacturer has provided 4 Express Keys which you can adjust in the most convenient way. Also, in addition to a usual pen which any drawing tablet has, this model possesses the Multi-Touch technology. Thanks to this feature, you’ll be able to work using two hands – draw with a pen in one hand and zoom with your free hand's fingers. Many cutting-edge applications by Autodesk, Corel, TOON BOOM and Adobe support Wacom's pen recognition and pressure sensitivity.
It's up to You
As you can understand, the active area where you create your sketches is of the utmost importance. That’s why, to meet all your requirements and satisfy all customers, Wacom company provides you with the ability to choose Intuos Art model in one of two possible sizes - small and medium. Although the small model has a limited active area, its ergonomic qualities make it easier to carry around if the need arises. On the other hand, using medium-sized model, you’ll be able to pay more attention to details. One more pleasant feature is that you can connect your tablet to the computer either via USB 2.0 port or via a wireless connection. However, the second option requires buying Wacom Wireless Adapter which isn’t in the set. Wacom Intuos Art tablet has got Corel Painter Essentials software and some tutorials to provide you with the basic knowledge necessary to work with this drawing tablet.
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If you accidentally lose your pen, don’t worry – the manufacturer has foreseen this possibility and provided Wacom Intuos Pen separately. This pen is compatible with the other Wacom tablet models such as CTH490AB, CTH490AK, CTH490CB, CTH490CK, CTH490PK, CTH690AB, CTH690AK, CTL490DB, and CTL490DW.
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.
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To protect your drawing tablet from possible spots, scratches and other unpleasant occurrences, you can buy Protective Case. Neoprene material will protect it regardless of the weather, and external pocket will allow you to carry accessories if it is necessary.
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