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14 Best Drawing Tablets For Animations & Illustrations Today

The digital art space has mushroomed over the past decade or so, and it’s never been a better time to be working as an artist who can use technology-based tools for their art – effects and designs like none other have created an entirely new definition of what “art” is.

Hence, if you’re someone who’s looking to transition from being an artist who uses traditional media towards digital media, it’s never been a better time. The tablets on offer today allow precise control over each and every pixel, so you can produce exactly what you had in mind beforehand.

Today, we review a number of Drawing tablets, where the intention is to cover the length and breadth of tablet sizes, styles, operating systems, portability and much more. Let’s get on with it!

Best Drawing Tablets For Animation

Huion KAMVAS GT-156HD

This is by far one of the most recommended and used tablets on the market today, particularly for digital animation. The Screen size is large but by no means “gigantic”, and the design is thin and portable enough to be used pretty much anywhere you may wish to use it. The tablet comes in at around 3” of thickness, 1’ in width and 2’ in length.

Huion Kamvas GT-156HD V2 Drawing Tablet Monitor 15.6 inches...
Huion Kamvas GT-156HD V2 Drawing Tablet Monitor 15.6 inches...
  • [Warm Reminder: Huion Kamvas GT-156HD V2 must be worked with...
  • 14 User-defined Express Keys and 1 Touch Bar: the express...
  • Convenience and Portability: only 15 mm in thickness and...
  • Full HD(1920x1080)Screen with Anti-glare Glass, 178°wide...

Experience 

The tablet does make every effort to make sure you have wonderful design experiences every time you use it. The buttons on the left are aplenty – there are around six configurable express keys, two direction pads with center select buttons, and a separate touchpad to boot. Hence, you’re by no means in lack of control!

The stylus is a bit heavier than the competition as it has a battery (much more so than the Apple Pencil, for example) – however, the pen lasts for more than a month on a single charge. Further, it comes with a stand which is a nice touch as most brands sell the stand as an extra. It tilts up to 50 degrees!

This tablet comes with bells and whistles which more than justify the price tag, and make it a strong contender in the mid-size drawing tablet market.

Pros
  • Comes with a number of configurable buttons, can be easily mapped to commonly used functions
  • Pressure sensitivity is top-notch because of the high-quality pen
  • Three-in-one cable for USB, HDMI and AC adapter makes life simpler
Cons
  • The pen is a bit heavy because of the battery, and the bezels are larger than the competition

Artisul D13 13.3”

If you want a tablet which is mobile and yet packs a punch when it comes to drawing abilities, the Artisul D13 makes an enviable case for itself. It’s only half an inch wide on all sides. It also weighs around 10 pounds which slots in somewhere in between all sizes of tablets. There are seven configurable buttons, and the pen itself has programmable buttons as well.

Artisul D13S 13.3' inch Graphics Drawing Tablet with Screen...
Artisul D13S 13.3" inch Graphics Drawing Tablet with Screen...
  • With patented electromagnetic resonance technology,Artisul...
  • Easy operation : equipped with 6 shortcut keys and a quick...
  • Anti-glare Film: the anti-glare film can avoid reflective...
  • Compact and light, easy to carry:The drawing monitor is 13.3...

Experience 

A few tablets hit the sweet spot when it comes to doing the job of a design tablet right – and the Artisul D13 just happens to be the perfect blend of a mobile and a static design tablet. It does at all times need a USB charger to power it up, so a power bank can take you places (though we recommend using a wall charger just the same).

The bundle includes a stand as well, which lets you tilt the tablet upwards of 50 degrees. Hence, you can have maximum comfort while drawing. Also, there is a left-hand mode which is optional, thus making it a joy to use for everyone. The 1080p display is crystal-clear and lets you see the details with utmost precision.

With the number of features it offers at its price point, there are barely any direct competitors to the Artisul D13 – which makes it the tablet to have if you’re on a budget.

Pros
  • Crisp display with best-in-class brightness levels
  • Comes with a number of buttons which you can configure
  • The screen is large enough for working on a single scene at once
Cons
  • Requires a wall charger or a computer to work at all times

Parblo Coast10 Drawing Tablet

This is one of the smaller tablets which are being reviewed. This, however, means that it’s more portable than the competition – very convenient for those always in motion. This tablet is around 3” thick, too. The tablet feels sturdy to hold, the pen feels solid as well, and you can use it pretty much anywhere you want to – and the screen brightness makes it useful in daylight, too!

Parblo 10.1' Coast10 Graphics Drawing Tablet LCD Monitor...
Parblo 10.1" Coast10 Graphics Drawing Tablet LCD Monitor...
  • 1. Battery-Free pen,you don't need to worry about the power...
  • 2. High Viewing Angle, Horizontal 170°and Vertical 170°...
  • 3. Ergonomic Design, you can put the digital screen in your...
  • 4. Compatible with all major graphics Applications: Corel...

Experience 

This tablet is something of an antithesis to the iPad – while being much thicker and heavier, it has roughly the same screen size as the 10.5” iPad Air, but the resolution is definitely not Retina. However, there are fundamental differences in play – the pen is much more useful and adjustable compared to the Apple Pencil, and it costs a great deal less.

The pen comes with a right-click button, yet is battery-free. The pen neatly fits into the designated storage space when not in use, and the screen itself is wonderful in its responsivity and accuracy. This tablet connects via USB to any computer/laptop so you can easily sync your creations.

All in all, it makes for a wonderful product, read our in-depth review here for additional information!

Pros
  • Decent size, portable enough for most use cases
  • The pen is a joy to use
  • The screen is fairly responsive
Cons
  • Screen resolution is worse than the competition

Wacom Cintiq 13HD

This comes straight from the lion’s mouth – the original design tablet company. Wacom is well known for its digitizers used in almost every design tablet, which makes us even more excited to see what they bring to this saturated section of the market. No surprises, we’re glad to report – this is one of the best animation design tablets you can buy. No questions asked.

Wacom Cintiq 13HD (DTK1300) 11.75in x 6.75in Active Area USB...
Wacom Cintiq 13HD (DTK1300) 11.75in x 6.75in Active Area USB...
  • Includes all original accessories plus a 90 day warranty
  • Widescreen 13.3-Inch HD Display
  • Pressure-Sensitive Pen for Creative Control; ExpressKeys and...
  • Adjustable Stand Offers Ergonomic Comfort; Easy to Set Up...

Experience 

A 3-in-1 display cable, a special stand designed by Wacom themselves, and a gorgeous 13.3” full HD screen are just a few of the reasons why this tablet is so desirable to the digital animator community. It weighs a quarter of the Artisul D13, and yet packs all of the features – and a better-designed screen. Portability is someplace this tablet scores highly in.

It comes with five programmable buttons to the Artisul’s seven – however, it doesn’t make too drastic a difference when you consider daily operations. Besides this, it comes with decades of experience, with Wacom being a leader in the digital design tablet realm. Designing has never been faster and more convenient! The USB has to be plugged in at all times, however.

Pros
  • Comes with a stand which can allow tilt up to 70 degrees
  • Wacom’s name is strong in the industry for producing quality products
  • Incredibly light compared to competing tablets
Cons
  • Mighty expensive for a beginner or even a hobbyist

Wacom Intuos Pro

Taking the “drawing tablet” definition to the extreme, these are non-display tablets which hook up to your computer or laptop and function as a “drawing” device which uploads designs in real-time to the computer. Hence, we only recommend this to people who are strictly on a budget or would like to experience a different kind of drawing experience.

Sale
Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or...
Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or...
  • The Intuos Pro creative pen tablet delivers 2048 levels of...
  • Slim tablet design with a compact footprint (12.5" x 8.1")...
  • Pan, zoom, and navigate naturally with gestures on the...
  • Speed your workflow with the multi-touch surface,...

Experience 

It’s one of the most polarising things we’ve reviewed today, no doubt about it. Either you fall in love with the idea of a “drawing tablet” as being a purely tactile experience, or you instinctively look for the screen. Animators would generally be better served with screens, but for beginners who just want to get the lay of the land – this is actually a wonderful tool.

Hence, go for either the medium or the large based on your preference. The feel of the digitizer remains the same as on other Wacom tablets, yet the lightness is undeniably felt wherever you take the tablet with you. It’s definitely much cheaper than getting a display, and hence is a fair bit sturdier as well.

The pen itself is a signature Wacom pen which works over Bluetooth and gives results instantaneously – a perfect product for someone who is happy using their primary display.

Pros
  • Digitizer quality is much higher than what you’d expect out of a similarly-priced display tablet
  • Much lighter than the usual display tablets, makes it much more portable
  • Doesn’t have a display, but that’s a design decision more than a problem
Cons
  • Only one year of extended warranty 

XP-Pen Artist22

Now that we’ve covered a range of small-to-midsize of display and design tablets, we bring you one which is strictly described as a “large” tablet. This one is by veteran tablet manufacturer XP-Pen, and it’s 21.5” in diagonal with a FullHD display. The LED screen comes fortified by an extra layer of glass which prevents the sensitive display from damages.

XP-PEN Artist22 Pro Drawing Pen Display 21.5 Inch Graphics...
XP-PEN Artist22 Pro Drawing Pen Display 21.5 Inch Graphics...
  • XP-PEN Artist22 Pro meets the needs of all types of digital...
  • Artist22 Pro Pen Display features 1080p resolution with...
  • The latest stylus design! Our P02S stylus technology...
  • XP-PEN Artist 22 Pro driver can support 4k displays. Now you...

Experience 

You’re in the right place if you came looking for a truly professional experience. The build quality, the glass panel on top and the feel while designing are all best-in-class. While there are no extra buttons on the sides, the display itself is huge – it’s not designed to be portable in any case, so the buttons would really have been an afterthought.

Furthermore, it offers all that you want from a design tablet – a wonderful display, a sturdy glass top, and a stand so you can work at any angle which you wish to. Though the battery of the pen isn’t great, they try to make up for it by giving you two pens so you can use one while the other charges.

All in all, it makes for a very convincing product.

Pros
  • Wonderful screen size and quality on offer
  • Glass topped screen makes for a unique drawing experience, feels very premium
  • The stand helps you draw at whichever angle you wish for
Cons
  • Might be a bit too large, particularly for those who intend to draw on the move

Ugee 19″ Display Tablet

Ugee has been known to produce high-quality tablets consistently in the past. This one is right up there with some of the best large design tablets – and larger tablets are generally better when it comes to animation. This one happens to be high quality without the premium price tag, and we sometimes wonder how they manage to pack in those many features.

Ugee Charging Stylus Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet...
Ugee Charging Stylus Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet...
  • Electromagnetic Digitizer Technology
  • Switch Functional Buttons on the Pen Body
  • Ergonomic Design comfortably use
  • Use Fluently as a mouse

Experience 

The screen is a bit different in resolution from the rest – it’s a somewhat non-standard 1440×900 on a 19” diagonal. This tablet is meant to be a desk tablet, which means AC power and a stand are mandatory with this particular model. The stylus-pen that comes with this tablet lasts for a week or two easily but is somewhat heavy to hold.

This tablet does not skimp on valuable accessories, such as a number of replacement nibs, a free artist’s glove so your display lasts longer, a stylus holder and a screen protector as well. It’s sometimes hard to believe it costs as little as it does and offers so much in return. The display gives you a fair bit of room to draw.

Furthermore, the large screen helps you with detailing complete scenes at once and not just parts. This tablet gets a lot of things right at a wonderful price point.

Pros
  • Screen size and quality definitely add value to the tablet
  • Comes packed to the brim with accessories
  • Stylus lasts two weeks without a recharge
Cons
  • The stylus may be a little hefty for those used to lighter tablet pens

Huion Giano WH1409

If you want a non-display tablet which does the job well, a competitor to the Wacom Intuos we reviewed above is the Huion Giano WH1409. This tablet also does a brilliant job of delivering flagship-level display quality for a fraction of flagship tablet cost, and the feel which you get while drawing something on this surface is simply otherworldly.

Huion WH1409 Wireless Graphics Pen Drawing Tablet with 12...
Huion WH1409 Wireless Graphics Pen Drawing Tablet with 12...
  • Upgraded version with 8192 levels pen pressure, 5080LPI,...
  • 13.8x8.6 inch large working area and 12 customizable express...
  • Support Wired and Wireless Working Modes: Built-in 2.4GHz...
  • New Pen & Pen Holder: New-designed PE150 and pen holder PH03...

Experience 

This non-display tablet is as close to perfection as it gets within certain budget constraints. Hence, you should expect nothing but supreme clarity and accuracy in the scenes you draw. It easily connects to a laptop or a PC, depending on your use. The USP of this tablet is that it can function completely wirelessly for 5-7 hours without a problem.

The tablet comes with a number of customizable buttons and a D-pad as well, which is rare in the non-display segment. You can also fit a microSD card into the slot, and save all your drawings on the go! The pen is brilliant to use – lightweight yet sturdy, and also lasts a couple of months on a single charge (the rest function for a few weeks without giving out).

In comparison to a lot of other tablets, this solution makes much more sense for those who already have a decent display at hand and do not want to use another display.

Pros
  • Highly sensitive, the pen is wonderful and your strokes and fills are registered perfectly
  • Large area, similarly sized tablets with displays cost substantially more
  • Works wirelessly and comes with its own SD card slot, so your computer and tablet can store work separately
Cons
  • There is a learning curve involved for those not used to non-display tablets

XP-Pen Artist 10S

Another addition from XP-Pen’s vast range of design-oriented tablets to our list today is the Artist 10S. This relatively small tablet punches above its weight, and justifiably goes head-to-head with the iPad in terms of portability. It gives you six programmable buttons, a glove, a cloth, a pouch and a number of cables.

XP-PEN Artist12 11.6 Inch FHD Drawing Monitor Pen Display...
XP-PEN Artist12 11.6 Inch FHD Drawing Monitor Pen Display...
  • [Warm Reminder: Artist12 drawing pen display must be used...
  • Artist12 pen tablet come with 11.6 Inch display area,...
  • XP-PEN advanced P06 passive pen was made for a traditional...
  • Artist12 Pen display is HD IPS display. It's ideal for...

Experience 

The solid design quality and the sheer amount of buttons which you get are what attracts one on first sight. Upon use, however, you will notice that it’s really one of the best budget design tablets you can buy today – whether it’s the quality of pen or the brightness of the screen. That the tablet gives you so much for a very small amount of money comes as a huge surprise.

However, there are a few budget cuts – the cables are clunky, the screen gives a lot of glare when not on full brightness, and so on. However, many of these are relatively easy to live with and are in no sense deal-breakers, considering how high-quality the display is. This tablet makes its compromises but makes them in places where it’s still quite easy to use every day.

It weighs around 4.5 lbs, so make sure you consider the weight while buying it as well.

Pros
  • Comes with a whole host of accessories for very little cost
  • Easily fits into a bag, great for using portable
  • The pen is quite responsive and accurate
Cons
  • A few compromises have been made because it’s a budget device

Monoprice 15.6″ 1080p Display

For those of you who want to upgrade to a truly impressive design tablet, this one will do wonderfully. The tablet combines high-quality fit and finish with a large Full HD display, all of which combined yields a truly faultless experience. It succeeds the old 22” display, but seeing how the world is moving towards portability, this tablet makes much more sense.

Monoprice MP USB Powered 15.6' IPS FHD Graphic Pen Display...
Monoprice MP USB Powered 15.6" IPS FHD Graphic Pen Display...
  • DNXTECH
  • Personal Computers

Experience 

This tablet delivers on Monoprice’s long-standing promise of delivering all the features you want but at a seriously low price. Consider the display – it supports Adobe RGB and has a 99% sRGB color gamut coverage. The viewing angle is a sweet 178 degrees, and the contrast levels are brilliant too. It’s compatible with most, if not all, software and operating systems as well.

It ships with basically everything you need – a stylus, the required cables, and a calibration software disc. This one hurts a bit because no one really uses a CD anymore. Otherwise, the display itself gives no problems, it has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and gives a wonderful user experience overall. This one is a no-nonsense pick.

The stand which comes with the device lets you tilt the device to about 80 degrees, making it very convenient for tabletops.

Pros
  • Monoprice delivers on the promise of a premium, high-end specification and not much cost
  • Brilliant display, high color gamut, and contrast
  • Comes with a full set of accessories
Cons
  • Bezels are on the larger side for a 15.6” tablet

Simbans PicassoTab

The Simbans PicassoTab is not simply a graphics design tablet – it’s also a general purpose tablet which you can use daily. While you may miss using applications like the Photoshop on Windows on the tablet, if you’re just starting out, this one makes sense for beginners and intermediate artists since the Play Store now has a plethora of professional apps as well.

Sale
[3 Bonus Items] Simbans PicassoTab 10 Inch Drawing Tablet...
[3 Bonus Items] Simbans PicassoTab 10 Inch Drawing Tablet...
  • DRAW or TAKE NOTES: The most affordable tablet that comes...
  • 3 FREE BONUS ITEMS inside the box: a high-quality tablet...
  • CLEAR SCREEN, LARGE DISK and a SUPERIOR CPU: The High power...
  • CONNECTIVITY: Connect your tablet to your home WIFI network...

Experience 

This tablet comes in at very cheap price point and delivers a mostly reliable experience. In the absence of proper Photoshop, you may feel this is an inferior tablet to the ones reviewed above, but the apps on the Google Play Store are equivalently useful these days and are only getting better. Hence, if you just want to get started with animating digitally, this might be a better investment.

However, do be wary that it’s not the most high-quality tablet out there. There are some obvious quality niggles like the plastic buttons and build, the screen isn’t the best out there. However, looking at the price tag and the overall function



This post first appeared on Homesthetics Magazine - Architecture Art Design, please read the originial post: here

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14 Best Drawing Tablets For Animations & Illustrations Today

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