In the world of graphic design, having the right tools can make all the difference.
Drawing tablets with pen are most commonly used by graphic designers for digital illustration, photo editing, animation and more.
These tablets are used with a pressure-sensitive stylus that provides a much more natural and intuitive drawing experience compared to a mouse, allowing for higher precision and control in creative tasks.
Graphic tablets also offer useful features like customizable shortcut buttons and multi-touch gestures, making them an indispensable tool for many digital artists and designers.
As a graphic designer, a reliable and efficient graphic tablet is essential to bring your creative visions to life.
However, with so many options available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which tablet is best suited for your design needs.
In this article, pc tech test will explore the 12 best drawing tablets for graphic design today, from all major manufacturers, ensuring you can find the perfect tablet to take your design skills to new heights.
What are the 3 types of drawing tablet for Graphic Design?
There’s three types of drawing tables for designers. There’s the ones you connect to the computer and it doesn’t have a screen , ones you connect to the computer and it does have a screen, and then people will use ipads as drawing tablets.
1. Graphics Tablet without screen
A graphics tablet has a flat plastic surface on which you use the stylus to draw, and the image is displayed on your computer monitor.
While these are the best budget-friendly option, their drawback is the Hand-eye separation between the tablet and the monitor, although many will get used to it very easily.
2. Drawing Tablet with screen
The drawing pen display is a flat-screen monitor that has a pressure-sensitive surface that you can draw on using a stylus.
Unlike graphics tablets, users do not experience Hand-eye separation, but similar to how you would use pen and paper, allowing artists to have a more intuitive and natural drawing experience.
However, There will be more cables between the display and the computer than a graphics tablet, and for some, the pen display will be more expensive.
3. Standalone Drawing Tablet
With a Standalone tablet, you do not need to connect to an external monitor or use another computer, giving you more freedom and flexibility as a pen tablet for graphic design.
They are usually the most expensive, but very slim and portable with decent battery life, great for drawing on the go or in different areas of their house without needing to be plugged in.
One disadvantage that a standalone tablet has is that you are more limited on the graphic desig software. Not every desktop program has an iPad OS or Android version, especially the “industry standards”.
Top 12 Pen Tablets for Graphic Design in 2024
Although everyone has different needs, these are the best drawing tablet for graphic design in 2024.
We selected these devices for their accurate styluses, excellent displays, and strong performance.
They give artists and designers the tech they need for their creative work.
1. Wacom Intuos
2. XPPen Deco 01 V2
3. Huion HS64
4. XPPen Artist 12 (2nd Gen)
5. Wacom Cintiq 16
6. Huion Kamvas Pro 16
7. XPPen Artist 24 Pro
8. Huion Kamvas Pro 24
9. Wacom Cintiq Pro 24
10. iPad Pro
11. Surface Pro 9
12. Samsung Galaxy Tab S9
What are the best graphic design applications?
Most professional graphic designers use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign.
Others may also use Corel Draw, Affinity Designer, Inkscape, GIMP, Figma, Sketch, etc.
The best graphic design software depends on what you’re doing/want to do.
For example, UX Designer/Developer, exclusively use Illustrator CC and Figma in tandem when designing.
Is a drawing tablet mandatory for graphic design?
graphic design is a broad niche with a lot of various fields of study including UI/UX design, App Design, Illustration etc.
Not every designer needs a graphics tablet, which is definitely an option, not a necessity.
You can learn graphic design without a tablet. Many people start their journey using just a computer and mouse.
However, a pen tablet offers much more precision and control than a mouse, ideal for intricate designs. Plus, design tablets are enjoyable to use!
How to choose the best drawing tablet for graphic design?
When selecting the best drawing tablet for graphic design, it’s crucial to consider factors such as types, pressure sensitivity, size, resolution, and compatibility with your device and design software.
More pressure levels ensure a more accurate representation of pen strokes, while tablet size can greatly affect the overall drawing experience.
Some prefer a compact tablet for convenience, while others need a larger workspace for intricate projects.
Last but definitely not least, the price or cost of a tablet is the most important factor to consider before you plan on buying a tablet.
Graphic Tablets have revolutionized the design industry by providing a natural and intuitive way for designers to create and refine their work.
Whether it’s sketching out initial ideas or putting the finishing touches on a masterpiece, Graphic Tablets is a versatile and powerful tool for design.
In our list you will find something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a professional graphic designer.
If you want to purchase a workhorse device for your studio, choose the pen display with a larger screen and higher resolution.
Having always been on a business trip, standalone tablet like ipad pro or surface pro is the best travel companion.
If you are inexperienced with digital input devices, grab XPPen Deco 01 V2 or Wacom Intuos to start your inspirational journey!
Embark on your creative journey with confidence, armed with the perfect drawing tablet that suits your artistic needs and preferences.