Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The best drawing tablets for beginners and professionals

Drawing with the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro (2022).
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Whether you’re just starting out as a digital artist or you’re a full-fledged creative professional, a drawing tablet is one of the most important tools you could have in your arsenal. They come in different shapes and sizes, and made by various brands, but their primary purpose are all the same — provide a better alternative to using your mouse in drawing art. If you’re thinking about getting one but you don’t know where to start in making your decision, you’ve come to the right place because we’ve rounded up the best drawing tablets for beginner and professional digital artists below.

The best drawing tablets

  • Best drawing tablet overall:
  • Best drawing tablet with pen:
  • Best drawing tablet with display:
  • Best drawing tablet on Android:
  • Best drawing tablet on a budget:

How to choose a drawing tablet

There’s an overwhelming number of options in the market for drawing tablets, so you should start by going for trusted brands such as Apple, Samsung, Wacom, and XP-Pen. You should also know that there are two major types of drawing tablets — those that come with a pen that you use on a blank surface to control your computer’s cursor, and those that come with a display where you draw directly on their screen. You need to figure out where you’re more comfortable as an artist before making the decision on what kind of drawing tablet to buy.

Other important features to consider when buying a drawing tablet include the size of their display or active surface area, their weight in case you’re thinking about carrying them with you at all times, and their connectivity options with other devices. Last but not least, you better think about how much you’re willing to spend on a drawing tablet, and you shouldn’t go over it to avoid the stress of overspending.

How we chose these drawing tablets

We want you to get the best bang for your buck, so we’ve chosen the drawing tablets that offer amazing value for money with features and specifications that are worth their respective prices. A drawing tablet needs to be reliable and durable as you may use them for long hours when working on a project, and we’re sure that any of our recommendations won’t let you down. You have to hurry with your purchase once you’ve decided what to get though, as there’s no assurance that stocks of these drawing tablets will always be available.

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2022)

M2 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil.
Apple / Apple
Pros Cons
Large 12.9-inch screen Not for Android lovers
Powerful performance
Access to iPadOS 17 features
More than just a drawing tablet

The 2022 Apple iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen, which is compatible with the the second-generation Apple Pencil, is our top pick among the best drawing tablets. That’s partly because its Liquid Retina XDR display featuring ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color is downright gorgeous, which will give justice to your works of art. The tablet is powered by Apple’s M2 chip, which promises powerful performance, while iPadOS 17 enables the latest features beyond using the 2022 Apple iPad Pro as a drawing tablet and makes it a great addition for artists who have invested in the Apple ecosystem.

Specifications
Display/surface area 12.9 inches
Weight 1.5 pounds
Connectivity Wi-Fi, USB-C

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium

The Wacom Intuos Pro Medium drawing tablet with its pen.
Wacom
Pros Cons
Three sizes to choose from No display
Comes with Wacom Pro Pen 2
Touch gestures and programmable buttons
Works with Windows and MacOS

The Wacom Intuos Pro comes in three sizes — Small, Medium, and Large — with the Wacom Intuos Pro Medium offering an active surface area of 8.7 inches by 5.8 inches. The drawing tablet comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, an ultra-responsive and battery-free pen that will let you draw with exceptional sensitivity. You can personalize the drawing tablet with touch gestures and programmable buttons, and it’s compatible with both Windows and MacOS computers.

Specifications
Display/surface area 8.7 inches by 5.8 inches
Weight 1.5 pounds
Connectivity Bluetooth

XP-Pen Artist 12

The XP-Pen Artist 12 drawing tablet with its pen.
XP-Pen
Pros Cons
11.6-inch HD screen Weighs more than others
Customizable touch bar, keys
Battery-free stylus
Works with Windows, MacOS

For a drawing tablet with a display, you can’t go wrong with the XP-Pen Artist 12. It’s equipped with an 11.6-inch HD screen that shows sharp details and vivid colors, and there’s a slim touch bar that you can program to zoom in and out, or scroll up and down. There are also six shortcut keys that are customizable, and it comes with a battery-free stylus with a digital eraser at the other end. The XP-Pen Artist 12 also works with both Windows and MacOS, as well as most graphics software.

Specifications
Display/surface area 11.6 inches
Weight 2 pounds
Connectivity HDMI, USB

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

Someone coloring with the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Comes with S-Pen stylus Possibly too large and heavy to hold
Massive 14.6-inch screen
Smooth performance
Durable design

Android fans who want a device with functions beyond a drawing tablet can invest in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, which comes with the S-Pen stylus that you can use for your drawing projects. The device features a 14.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen, and it’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip for smooth performance. It’s also a great choice if you want a drawing tablet with durability, as it’s protected by an Armor Aluminum frame and an IP68 rating for resistance against water and dust.

Specifications
Display/surface area 14.6 inches
Weight 1.6 pounds
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB

Wacom Intuos Small

The Wacom Intuos Small drawing tablet with its pen.
Wacom
Pros Cons
Low price Small active surface area
Works with all software
Ergonomic pen
Customizable ExpressKeys

The Wacom Intuos may be affordable, but it’s going to give you all the benefits of a drawing tablet at a low price, which makes it a perfect choice for beginners. The Wacom Intuos Small Wired, which is the cheapest option, offers an active surface area of 6 inches by 4 inches, on which you can draw with all of the popular graphics software. The ergonomic and lightweight pen grants precision and control, and you can customize its buttons as well as the ExpressKeys on the drawing tablet.

Specifications
Display/surface area 6 inches by 4 inches
Weight 0.5 pounds
Connectivity USB

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

Editors' Recommendations

Jackie Dove
Contributor

Jackie is an obsessive, insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app fanatic, her specialties include cross-platform hardware and software, art, design, photography, video, and a wide range of creative and productivity apps and systems. Formerly senior editor at Macworld and creativity editor at The Next Web, Jackie now writes for a variety of consumer tech publications.

Best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 deals: Grab the foldable phone for $700
A person holding a partially open Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Samsung regularly churns out some of the best phone deals you can shop, and with the more recent releases of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, the previous generation Galaxy Z Fold 4 is open for business when it comes to some impressive deals. Several different retailers are offering ways to save on the popular foldable phone, which has spent a good chunk of time among the best folding phones. Below you’ll find all of the details you need in order to save on a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. And if you aren’t finding the savings you want here, you can also check out Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 deals, or even Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 deals for another foldable option. iPhone deals, Google Pixel 8 deals, and Samsung Galaxy S24 deals are also available to shop if you prefer a more traditional smartphone design.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 deals at Best Buy
The Unlocked 512GB model of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is on clearance at Best Buy. The popular retailer is really showing up with this deal, which sees the Z Fold 4 marked down to $700 and makes for nearly $1,300 in savings. Even more savings are available if you have an eligible device trade-in.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 deals at Amazon
Amazon may currently have the widest variety of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 deals. You’ll find both the 256GB and 512GB models discounted there, although much of what's available are renewed models. Don't hold back because it's renewed, though, as Amazon has a great return policy should you receive something that doesn't live up to its condition. You can save even more when purchasing a Galaxy Z Fold 4 at Amazon if you have an eligible device to trade-in.

Read more
Best Samsung tablet deals: Discounted tablets as low as $190
Recent apps view on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.

If you like Samsung’s software ecosystem and are looking to add a tablet to your tool kit, some of the best Samsung Galaxy deals you can shop are on tablets. Several of the best tablet deals, in fact, have the Galaxy name on them. With so many Samsung tablet deals out there to shop, we’ve organized them all in one place for your convenience. Reading onward you’ll find the best Samsung Galaxy tablet deals we could find, and they include both budget options and some more professionally-spec’d models. There are also lots of deals taking place right now on tablets in general, so you can check out what kinds of savings the current iPad deals, Kindle deals, and Amazon Fire tablet deals hold as well.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite -- $190, was $200

If you're looking for a budget tablet, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a solid option, especially if you're already in the Samsung ecosystem. You get an 8.7-inch screen running a 1340 x 800 resolution, which is great for watching content or surfing the web. The MediaTek MT8768T is an entry-level processor, but it should handle most day-to-day tasks just fine, and while the 64GB of storage is on the lower end, it's perfectly fine, especially if you stream most of your content. Probably the most surprising thing here is the 4GB of RAM, which is a good amount for this price bracket and will give you a pretty smooth experience overall.

Read more
Best Samsung Galaxy S22 deals: Save big on unlocked models
The back of the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus.

While the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S24 are Samsung’s more recently released smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S22 is still a worthy consideration. The S22 has made for some of the best phone deals available over the years, and now that it’s a couple of generations old you can find some pretty impressive Samsung Galaxy S22 deals out there. We’ve rounded up all of the best Samsung Galaxy S22 deals below, and they offer several ways to save from several different outlets. If you’re in search of the latest and greatest you can also check out the current Samsung Galaxy S23 deals, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra deals, Samsung Galaxy S24 deals, and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra deals. And if you’d like to check out phones by Apple that are comparable to the S22 you can check out iPhone 14 deals and even refurbished iPhone deals.
Samsung Galaxy S22 deals at Samsung

Samsung isn’t currently carrying very many older models of the Samsung Galaxy S phone. You’ll find some newer models like the recently released Samsung Galaxy S24 there, but if you’re looking for something from the S22 model lineup there are a few options at Samsung. New models of the S22+ and S22 Ultra are available, thought you'll need to buy Samsung Certified Renewed if you're looking for a Galaxy S22. Pricing for these starts at $679 with up to $300 in savings available via instant trade-in credit.

Read more