One of the important tools for a digital artist is a graphics tablet. However, there are different models and you do not need to be a super-rich person to get one. New manufacturers hit the market and they offer reasonably priced models that have all functions an artist may need. It is highly recommended to check drawing tablets reviews before buying a device since some models of new manufacturers may have all functions you need and it may be not as expensive as models from popular brands (like Wacom, which is a world-leading manufacturer of tablets).
We may take such tablets as a special kind of device that generates an input signal that is processed by a computer. A device gets pressure information, which is used to drive different parameters. For example, Adobe Photoshop can use pressure to modify the opacity of a stroke. However, drawing tablets are used with 3D software packages, like ZBrush, which is used to create complex, high-polygonal models for games, movies or commercials.
Parameters to pay attention to
Checking reviews of tablets, you should pay attention to certain parameters. If you are a person who looks for their first tablet, then you should focus on the active area and read speed. Of course, it is more comfortable to use a device with good performance, but such devices may be too expensive for you.
Here is a quick explanation of the most important parameters:
- It helps the device to catch the pressure you generate
- Active area. The area where the device registers movement of a stylus
- The higher this value the more precise the device registers the position of the stylus, so it registers even the slightest movement
- Read speed. It shows how “frequent” the device, “asks” where the stylus is. If it is high enough you can move the stylus quick without any lags
Other parameters are not that important, but they include OS compatibility and extra keys that can have all the necessary functions.
The best drawing tablets for your budget
If you look for a simple, but the good solution and you do not want to spend too much, then you should consider checking XP-Pen G430S. It is a small, slim device with great design. It is battery free, so you do not need to worry about charging it.
- The active area is 4×3 in. It is not that large, but it is a great place to start and get used to drawing with a tablet.
- The 8192 levels of pressure. Even the slightest change of pressure is registered.
- The 266 RPS read speed. It assures lag-free drawing.
- The 2 mm thick only. It is very slim.
- The device is highly-mobile, you can easily take it with you wherever you go.
The best combination of good performance and price
If you want something bigger and you need more functions, then you should consider a solution from Huion – 1060 PLUS. It is a great solution with a slim design and man wonderful features.
- 8192 levels of pressure.
- The resolution is 5080 LPI. Even the slightest movement is registered. It is perfect for images with many small details.
- Read speed is 233. You will experience no lagging at all.
- It has many functions and expresses keys that can be used to bind the functions you need. It can greatly speed up the process of drawing.
- 10 x 6.25 in.
- Good compatibility. It works with popular software for drawing (SAI, Corel Painter, SketchBook Pro, etc.)
The best drawing tablets for skilled artists
If you are a person with great drawing skills, then Wacom Intuos5 is for you.
- 2048 pressure levels are enough to catch changing of pressure you generate
- Express keys can greatly speed-up the whole process of drawing or photo editing
- The multi-touch surface lets you edit the image using your fingers
- A special display provides you with on-screen reference for functions of keys, which lets you stay focused on your drawing
- Menus are customizable you can change everything to match your needs
The best solution for professionals
When it comes to professional-grade tablets, Wacom Cintiq 22HD with an interactive display kicks in.
- A built-in 16:9 21.5 in. display with the resolution of 1920×1080, so you can draw directly on a screen
- Great pressure and tilt sensors. It feels like drawing with traditional means
- An ergonomic stand
- You can use your fingers to modify an image – rotate, scale, zoom, etc.
- Express keys are programmable, so you can assign all functions you need
Choose the perfect solution for you
There are many wonderful tablets available, from simple to complex ones. However, you need to understand what you want to get. If you look for your first tablet and you are not a skilled artist, then something simple will do for you. However, if you have some good skills and you want to become a professional artist in future, then focus on a mid-range tablet and it means that you should be ready to spend some money on it.