Owning a personal drawing tablet is one of the biggest dreams for most aspiring digital artists. But finding the right drawing tablet for you and your style can be quite perplexing. The market for drawing tablets is predicted to be valued at $640 million by the end of 2027. And with hundreds of models available, it’s important to take your time to analyze all the key features and specs of your prospects.
First of all, you’ll have to pick between the two main types of tablets in the market: non-display and display tablets. Non-display tablets typically hook up to a computer screen via a USB cable. And while a bit challenging to get used to, these are more suited to those who aren’t ready to commit to purchasing a more high-end model. Display tablets, on the other hand, allow you to draw in the same way you would with pen and paper. These are significantly more expensive than non-displays but are a great investment if you’re looking to use your tablet for the long term.
Tablets often range between 300-3000 pressure-sensitivity levels. These devices have touch sensors that react differently to both touch and the pen, a configuration that allows them to determine the location of the stylus strokes and the pressure delivered. Models with a higher number of pressure levels enable them to make more accurate distinctions regarding the thickness of the lines you draw. But for beginners, 1,024 pressure levels would be enough.
Resolution and Responsiveness
The resolution refers to the lines per inch that show up on the tablet’s display, while the responsiveness refers to the speed at which the tablet registers your movements. For both aspects, the higher the number, the more instantaneous and accurate your drawing will show up on the screen. Keep in mind that tablet responsiveness may be affected by your computer specs as well, namely the CPU, GPU, and RAM. Thus, it’s best to research the compatibility of the tablet and your device.
Size and Portability
This is also one of the main considerations of a lot of artists. In drawing tablets, the screen where you draw is called the active area. Some artists require larger drawing areas to be able to see more of their work, while others are more concerned about the tablet’s bulkiness, portability, and battery life, especially for those who love to travel and draw on the go. In the end, it may boil down to personal preference. So, consider your priorities as well as your lifestyle because these dictate where or how often you’ll be drawing.
There are three common types of styluses: battery-powered, rechargeable, and electromagnetic resonance (EMR), all classified under active styluses, meaning they all house a number of electronic components in them. The first two types of pens are relatively straightforward in their power usage. But as for EMR styluses, they’re the newest type. And, unlike the first two, they employ a frequency that transfers power from the tablet to the pen wirelessly. Regardless of the power type, make sure to choose a comfortable stylus that you can grip well.
Controls and Unique Features
Most tablets come with hotkeys on the side or on top, allowing you to link them to common controls such as zoom, layer tools, pen and eraser tools, or undo and redo buttons. More expensive models will, of course, come with more customizable buttons. Others have unique features such as a multi-touch display, tilt sensitivity, or a more advanced stylus-and-tablet responsiveness. Again, choosing among such a wide range of options will likely boil down to your personal preference, so be sure to consider all the available features.
A drawing tablet will let you create and control your digital art with more fluidity and precision, and can really up the quality of your work. Hopefully, our guide has made your tablet shopping a bit easier. Check out our guide for gaming laptops, or visit our website for more tech articles.
Also read: Top 10 Best Drawing Tablets For Beginners