If you work as a graphic designer, a pen tablet – also known as a graphics tablet – is an indispensable tool to have at your disposal. With it, you can draw directly onto your tablet and have the images you create appear on your computer screen, no scanning required.
As is the case with any electronic item, there are many brands and models of pen tablets available. It can be a challenge to sort through them and pick out the best one for your needs, and that’s why we’ve done the legwork for you. Let’s start by talking about some of the features you may want to consider before making a purchase.
What to Look for in a Pen Tablet
There are only a few real competitors in the market for pen tablets, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have choices. Here are the main components to review.
- Pressure Sensitivity: The first and most important element to consider is the pressure sensitivity of the tablet in question. When you draw with a pen or pencil, you’re limited to three or four points of sensitivity. Not so with a pen tablet. In fact, the tablets available can provide anywhere between 512 and 2048 points of sensitivity. The more sensitivity a tablet has, the better you will be able to control the intensity and flow of your strokes. What you’re looking for is a tablet that gives you the maximum amount of control.
- Hot Keys: Some pen tablets offer designers a series of hotkeys that they can program to eliminate the need to use keyboard shortcuts. This option can save a lot of time, particularly if you use the same shortcuts frequently. After all, the goal is to make your designs better and make your job easier to do.
- Size: The size of the tablet matters too. You might prefer a small tablet that you can easily take with you on the go, or if you’re using it for CAD, a large tablet might be the best option for you. Tablets come in a wide range of sizes so there is an option for everybody.
- Price: It would be great if we never had to worry about the price, but for most of us, it’s a consideration. Some tablets are more affordable than others. You’ll have to think about what you need and what you can afford to spend and then set an appropriate budget for your new tablet.
Best Pen Tablets for Graphic Designers in 2023
Now that you know what some of the key options to consider are, it’s time for us to reveal our picks for the top 10 best pen tablets for designers.
Table of Contents
10. Artist 12 Graphic Drawing Tablet
- 11.6 Inch Vibrant Display.
- 1920×1080 Resolution.
- Intelligent Pen Tablet Stylist.
At its core, the Artist 12 Graphic Tablet has everything an artist needs. With an 11.6-inch display, artists are given more than enough room to create anything they want. In addition to that, it offers more than needed pixel display with a 1920×1080 resolution. One more key feature it has is an intelligent stylist. The stylist serves more fast-paced artist that want to multitask while they work. Although it has simple features, it more than delivers as far as expectations are concerned.
Final Product Verdict:
Overall, this tablet is for anyone with the patients to create. Even with experienced digital artists, This tablet takes some getting used to. The downloadable software also limits even the most creative artists to the max capabilities of the downloads. However, it more than makes up for its simplicity once the user interface is learned. The main reason to but this tablet is because of its offers extras such as a smartpen for fast access to features, a set of fixed keys with a touch bar, and other beginner-friendly accessories.
9. VEIKK A15 Drawing Tablet
- Type-C Input Design.
- Ultra Large 10×6 Drawing Area.
- Digital Pen Tablet Stylist With Computer Integration.
Above everything else, what the VEIKK A15 Drawing Tablet prioritizes is the size. It makes sure to give artists plenty of room with its ultra-large 10×6 area. This is in combination with a type-c design and a digital stylist that offer a convenient user-interface. There are smaller perks that add to its effectiveness such as computer-integration technology, indicator lights, and special artists gloves as well. These key features make up for the fact that it does have a subpar customer service experience.
In terms of value for the price, this tablet should be a tool priority for creators. It has all the small features that make a tablet easy to use. However, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Given its price, it can’t utilize professional-grade artist technology like other tablets. Another reason to get this tablet is how fast and easy it is to learn the features and downloadable software.
8. VEIKK A30 Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Light For Its Size.
- Responsive Batter-Free Pen.
- Compatible With Different Devices.
The main benefit that the VEIKK A30 Graphics Tablet offers is the fact that it is well-rounded. It covers a wide area of features that can help both professional and amateur artists. To name a few of its main features, this tablet has a responsive battery-free pen, compatibility with different platforms, and is very lightweight for its size. By all accounts, this is another tablet that offers more value than what its price suggests it has.
As a well-rounded tablet, this tablet can be used by virtually anyone. However, practical or amateur artists tend to gravitate towards this tablet more because of the tablet’s complementing and convenient abilities. On the other hand, this might not be the most challenging tablet to learn for professional artists. In this case, professional artists will mostly be met with basic drawing features. That said, artists should consider buying this tablet because of the ability to freely create with little restrictions.
7. HUION KAMVAS Pro 12 Drawing Tablet
- 120% sRGB Wide Gamut.
- 8192 Pressure Sensitivity Points.
- Durable Construction With Adjusting Stand.
The HUION KAMVAS Pro 12 Tablet is known for being durable in all areas. For starters, its 120% sRGB wide gamut allows for the display of amazing colors and effects that are unique to this tablet. Also, with more than 8000 pressure points, it offers artists with responsive sensitivity making it a very accurate tablet. The build itself is also quite sturdy with its additional thick adjustable stand and aluminum structure.
- With the many features already mentioned, perhaps the best reason to get the HUION KAMVAS Pro 12 Tablet is style. This tablet beautifully integrates features such as a touch bar, large canvas, and position adjustability controls in a way that is not noticeable. This leaves artists with a work station tablet that can be customized at every turn. These small personal touches are by far the reason it is gaining traction as one of the best bang-for-your-buck tablets around.
6. GAOMON IPS Screen Drawing Tablet
- Full HD 5080LPI Resolution.
- 10+ Shortcut Keys.
- Adjustable Stand.
The main features of the GAOMON IPS Screen Tablet include full HD resolution, more than 10 shortcut keys and adjustability in many areas. With the HD vision, the resolution provides amazing views at ver 5090LPI. When mixed in with the other main features, this tablet delivers creative touches to crisp definition for the efficient operation of drawing features. These features also allow for accurate movement for a smooth drawing experience.
Despite all the amazing drawing features this tablet has, perhaps the main reason artists choose this tablet is because of its fast charging time. In most cases, an artist spends hours in a day working on one project. With charging capabilities to charge fully in under 2.5 hours, this tablet turns out to be an essential tool for many professional artists. For that matter, amateur artists can benefit from fast charging as well.
5. Huion H610 Pro Graphic Drawing Tablet
- Fast & Responsive Pen Pressure Sensitivity.
- 10×6.25 Working Area.
- 8 Customizable Shortcuts.
Overall, the main qualities that artists get from the Huion H610 Pro Graphic Tablet are precision, customizability, and an ample working area. The qualities come from its three main features which are a fast and responsive pen, eight customizable shortcuts, and a 10×6.25 drawing area. Altogether, these features give artists the benefits of drawing smooth at every stroke at a fast and efficient pace.
If there is one feature that stands out above the rest with the Huion H610 Pro, that would be its ultra-smooth surface. This tablet self-describes its surface as paper-like. As far as what this allows for, it allows the artist to make easy transitions and movements during the drawing process. In other words, it cuts down on mistakes. That said, it’s quick access to customizable keys make it easy to fix those mistakes if they still happen.
4. Huion GT-191 KAMVAS Drawing Tablet
- 19.5 Inch Interactive Display.
- 72% NTSC Color Gamut
- Two Digital Pens.
The Huion GT-191 KAMVAS Tablet is proof that less is more. Instead of going overboard with extravagant features, this tablet keeps it simple with a large 19.5-inch display and 72% color gamut. It also gives the artists not one, but two creative digital pens to use. This gives the artist quick access to other features that the tablet has to offer.
Other than its main features, the Huion GT-191’s main attraction is its wide range of platform compatibility. While other tablets also have the feature, they are not nearly as versatile as this tablet. The Huion can work with Windows seven, eight, and ten to name a few of the platforms. Additionally, it is compatible with Mac OS X10.12.0 or above.
3. XP-PEN Artist12 FHD Drawing Monitor
- Optimal Touch Bar For Zoom Control.
- 8192-Levels Of Pressure Sensitivity.
- 11.6 Inch display area
Perhaps the most professional-grade tablet around is the XP-PEN Artist12 FHD Drawing Monitor. This tablet comes ready to go with an optimal touch bar, lots of pressure sensitivity levels, and an amazing 11.6-inch display area. These features give the artist firm control of tablet abilities in an accurate and efficient display. It’s an ideal monitor for any project an artist might want to do.
The stand out feature that brings many artists towards the XP-PEN Artist12 has to be its wide range of software compatibility. Apart from the Huion GT-191 that has a wide range of platform compatibility, the fact that this tablet can work with different software arguably makes it a more versatile tablet. Of the many different software, it can hold, some of the main ones include Photoshop, SketchBook Pro, And MediBang.
2. Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet
- 4096 Levels Of Pressure Sensitivity.
- USB Connectivity To Any Mac Or PC.
- Extremely Easy Setup & Installation.
The main features that the Wacom Intuos Graphics Tablet has are many pressure sensitivity levels, USB connectivity to both Mac 7 Windows and easy installation. these features might not seem like much. However, they add up to create an accurate and easy-to-learn tablet for both professional and beginner artists. In other words, it undervalues and over-delivers and most of its features.
Perhaps the most unique feature that the Wacom Intuos Graphics Tablet has is the additional editing and animation software that it comes loaded with. Apart from the three bonus software that could also be added, the animation software comes prepared for any project that may include image editing, 3D-sculpting, and anything else in between. By all accounts, these features make up for the system requirements it has.
1. Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Compatible With All Major Graphics Software.
- Pen Scrolling Capabilities.
- Three Additional Express Keys.
Last but not least, the Huion H420 USB Graphics Tablet is another well-rounded tablet but, with more to add than your normal tablet. Its main features include compatibility with all major graphics software, pen scrolling capabilities, and three additional express keys. Altogether, they make up a do-it-all professional-grade tablet at a reasonable price.
The only slight disadvantage that users have with this tablet is a rather confusing configuring setup. After that, it is a popular tablet because of its unique plug & play driver. No need to do any configuring after the initial setup to get the best out of this tablet. Not to mention, it also has a USB interface if needed. All in all, it is the smallest details that make the biggest difference with this tablet. Small features such as pen scrolling add to an already packed design.
Whether you’re a professional graphic designer or an aspiring artist, having the right pen tablet can help you express yourself through your work. The 10 tablets on this list have some amazing features, and they are our favorites for 2018.