There’s no doubt that the digital age has changed life for the better and by that, we don’t just mean smartphones. Want to know the temperature outside? Just ask your digital home assistant. Need to finish a report on the go? The tablet will come to your rescue. Want to take a hundred books on your trip because you can’t decide which one to read? Well, what’s your eBook for?
There’s literally a device for all kinds of people and every kind of requirement. And while the list of these devices that can simplify (and might we say elevate) your lifestyle goes on and on, we’d like to emphasize on the ten best drawing tablets with screen (pen display) that artists and graphic designers might want to consider upgrading to in 2021.
If you’re a budding artist in today’s day and age, you’d know there are limitless digital drawing tablets out there that can increase both your creativity as well as productivity by letting you explore features that you otherwise can’t on paper.
Best Drawing Tablets With Screen 2021 (Top 10 Picks)
A number of electronics companies manufacture a permutation and combination of these varied tablets and before you fixate on one, we suggest you go through your list of requirements, features and categories that will bring out the best of your creativity.
Now that you have an idea about the various kinds of drawing tablets with screen, we’ve rounded up the ten best ones to help you make an informed purchase. Whether you need a wired or non-wired pen display, a pressure sensitive stylus or an anti-glare glass on top priority, this list will have you covered.
1. Wacom One
13.3″ 1920×1080 Display | 72% NTSC | 4096 Levels Pen Pressure | 26ms Response Time | 2540 LPI Pen Resolution
Wacom One is one of the most popular choices for everything to do with digital creation and visual thinking.
If you want to improve your digital expression, this device has all the essential features required to sharpen your skills and also gives you the freedom to explore.
Working on the 13.3” screen will give you a paper-like texture and it also includes creative software compatible with certain Android devices as well as leading pen brands.
The tablet comes with a screen resolution of 1920×1080 for max clarity. It also comes with a pressure sensitive (with pressure levels going up to 4096), cordless and battery-free pen to save you the trouble of charging it.
There’s an in-built tilt recognition technology in the device that gives it natural tilt support. And since the device only weighs about 1 kg (approx. 2.2 lbs), it becomes easily portable and lets you work comfortably on the go.
The device is compatible with a number of operating systems including Mac (OS 10.13 and later), Windows 7 and later and certain Android tablets or smartphones.
2. Wacom Cintiq
15.6″ and 21.5″ 1920×1080 FHD Display | 72% NTSC | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | 25ms(Cintiq 16) and 22ms(Cintiq 22) Response Time | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
This new class of Wacom tablets, Cintiq, comes with a creative pen display with elevated features that’s great for beginners.
Some of them include vibrant color, FHD clarity and ergonomic design with an ultra-responsive Pro Pen 2 that are bound to boost your creative ideas and illustrations.
It also comes with an exclusive software (for a limited period) called Clip Studio Paint which allows seamless transition from paper to tablet. The device is available in two screen sizes – 15.6-inch and 21.5-inch and has an anti-glare glass to avoid disturbances to the eye.
The reduced parallax also gives you full control on your cursor. With its electromagnetic resonance (EMR) technology, the Wacom Pro Pen 2 will run for as long as you wish, since it used the Wacom Cintiq to draw power.
3. Huion Kamvas 16 (2021)
15.6″ 1920×1080 Display | 120% sRGB | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | 25ms Response Time | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
Huion’s recently launched Kamvas 16 (2021) is yet another worthy pen display that can surely be counted in the list of best drawing tablets with screen. It carries huge potential within its compact and handy packing that is both impressive and elegant.
It is available in two elite colors –Twilight Blue and Cosmos Black. This drawing tablet from Huion has it all that an artist needs to pour out all the piled up ideas and concepts and turn them into a great piece of creation.
The 15.6-inch stunning screen space supports 1920 x 1080 resolutions and projects every creation with the highest details. Further, a 178° wide viewing angle makes viewing comfortable, natural, and smooth. 120% sRGB color gamut and 16.7 million display colors give the tablet the power to make every display look gorgeous and vivid across the screen.
The ultimate potential of any drawing tablet is hidden in its digital pen and the same applies here. Huion Kamvas 16 (2021) is compatible with the Pen Tech 3.0 enabled PW517. The digital pen makes the entire drawing experience more real and natural and the operation is also very simple and easy.
Whether you are an expert or a novice, using the pen will come in easy and handy. 8192 levels of sensitivity and ±60° tilt recognition helps to add a finish to the creations. 10 programmable press keys on the body of the tablet make drawing and sketching more convenient and manageable. You can get this amazing drawing tablet at $399.
4. XP-Pen Artist 22 (2nd Generation)
21.5″ 1920×1080 Display | sRGB≥122% | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | 8ms Response Time | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
XP-Pen Artist 22 (2nd Generation) finds a special place in the list of best drawing tablets with screen owing to the better and improved drawing experience that it promises.
This amazing drawing tablet comes with a large 21.5-inch display that makes it better and gives more freedom to create the best without any limitation. The XP-Pen Artist 22 (2nd Generation) features a 1080p resolution, and every color gets an accurate representation on the screen with the color accuracy of 86% NTSC. The display rich and vibrant and retains the real feel of pictures and images.
High-level pressure sensitivity and 60-degree tilt function of the battery free stylus makes every creation accurate with distinct strokes and shading. The useful adjustable stand allows the user the freedom to adjust the device in varying degrees ranging from 16 to 90 degrees to suit their comfort and convenience. It supports a USB-C to USB-C connection type to enable better and easy connectivity with other devices like MacBook, iMac, and Windows.
To serve its purpose to the core, The XP-Pen Artist 22 (2nd Generation) supports compatibility with almost all latest and promising digital software. It is also compatible with Windows 10/8/7 and Mac OS X 10.10 and higher.
5. XP-Pen Innovator 16
15.6″ 1920×1080 Display | 88% NTSC | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | Max ≥ 220RPS Report Rate | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
Introducing the new Innovator Series, the XP-Pen Innovator 16 is a 15.6-inch graphic display with a sleek 9mm profile. This device features full laminated technology for amalgamation between glass and screen to minimize parallax and screen color gamut of 92% Adobe RGB with 88% NTSC and 125% sRGB.
The stylus of Innovator 16 is battery-free with a pressure sensitivity level of 8192 and 60-degrees tilt action for fluidity. Embedded with two customizable side buttons the stylus design is tapered at the end for a stronger grip. Moreover, a pen holder is provided to secure the stylus and extra nibs.
For quick access, the tablet has 8 customizable physical keys, one mechanical wheel, and a virtual wheel. The device also comes with a sturdy and portable display stand to reduce hand stiffness but it can be positioned to one angle only. For left-hand use, the tablet can be rotated to 180-degrees.
6. Huion Kamvas 12
11.6″ 1920×1080 Display | 120% sRGB | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | 25ms Response Time | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
As has been correctly described as “Ace in Approachable”, Huion Kamvas 12 allows the users to enjoy its rich features at an affordable price. This amazing drawing tablet is available in two impressive hues – Starfish Orange and Cosmos Black.
The styling of the device is very smart and elegant that surely adds to the personality of the user. Its compactness and lightweight is an added advantage and helps users make the most of it.
The 11.6-inch HD IPS screen is capable to capture every detail and assures the best display for a drawing tablet. With 920 × 1080 resolution and 16.7 million display colors, the screen can come to life to present the best viewing experience. 120%sRGB of color gamut makes color transition most accurate and natural.
Huion Kamvas 12 is compatible with PW517, which works on PenTech3.0 technology. The pen is fast and responsive and creates the most accurate and natural strokes and lines to give shape to ideas and imaginations.
The pen comes with customizable press keys to switch between brush and deleting options and for adjustment of color and size of the brush. Kamvas 12 can change the mode between the pen tablet and pen display. The price starts at $219.
7. Huion Kamvas 22 Plus
21.5″ 1920×1080 FHD Display | 140% sRGB | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | ＞220PPS Report Rate | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
The Kamvas 22 Plus is a sleek device with a 21.5-inch display. The distinct feature of this device is the anti-glare matte film and etched glass technology for parallax reduction. With a color gamut of 140% sRGB and 1200:1 contrast ratio it also has QD LCD for blocking blue light using quantum-dot technology.
The battery-free stylus of Kamvas 22 Plus is developed using the Pen Tech 3.0 technology offering a low magnetic core for a more stable nib. With 60-degree tilt support, 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and 5080 LPI pen resolution the PW517 digital stylus enables seamless strokes.
- Check out: HUION Kamvas 22 Review
Although the Kamvas 22 Plus does not offer any physical customizable keys, it does come with a grey metallic stand that is ergonomically designed with comfortable adjusting angles of 20 to 80 degrees. Further, it has two USB-3 ports and a 3-in-1 cable to connect with a computer or android phone.
8. Gaomon PD1161
11.6″ 1920×1080 FHD Display | 72%NTSC | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | 266PPS Report Rate | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
This is yet another worthy tablet that comes under the impressive list of best drawing tablets with screen 2021.
This “handy-tool” comes with an impressive 11.6-inch screen, that offers a sufficient area of 256.32×144.18mm to give that extra navigation freedom to every creation.
With 1920×1080 resolution and 72%NTSC gamut, every minute representation on the gorgeous IPS screen gets enhancement and clarity. Gaomon PD1161 aims at bringing out the best in every masterpiece creation by offering a seamless partnership of the stylus with the screen.
The battery-free Pen AP50 helps artists with its comfortable grip and sensitive operation. 8192 level of pressure sensitivity combines with 266PPS report rate ensures minimal lag and thus increases efficiency and productivity.
You can create exact images as per your ideas and concepts with the help of 5080LPI pixel-level pen resolution. The comfortably designed pen is also environmentally friendly. A look at the tablet will show 8 numbers of programmable express keys that help the users with easy, convenient operation.
For the connection part, Mini-HDMI and Type-C port option are provided to ensure hassle-free connectivity with other devices when need arise. Gaomon PD1161 is equally compatible with macOS and Windows. It also supports the latest design and creative software.
9. Huion Kamvas 13
13.3″ 1920×1080 Display | 120% sRGB | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | 25ms Response Time | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
This eye-catching Huion Kamvas 13 ergonomically designed to be user-friendly and is available in three amazing colors which are Violet Purple, Cosmo Black and Midnight Green. It can be efficiently used as both a Pen Tablet and a Pen Display.
Prices beginning at $239, it is built with the aim of enabling easier and better connection and higher efficiency and convenience. Weighing just 980g, this pen display from Huion is an ideal on-the-go companion and helps in carrying ones potential everywhere.
In addition to Type-C to HDMI connection, this device also supports another connection types which is Type C to Type C. Another amazing feature that is very beneficial for the users is that is can be directly powered from a laptop.
Coming to the screen aspects of Kamvas 13, it comes with a full HD IPS screen and also supports features like 178° viewing angle and extra wide color gamut 120% sRGB that ensure stunning image quality and great clarity.
1920 × 1080 resolution represents every details with vivid clarity. The anti-glare screen support of the screen is for better visual effect by keeping screen visibility undisturbed even under strong bright light. The glass seamlessly incorporates with the screen and minimum parallax.
10. XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro
11.6″ 1920×1080 Display | 72% NTSC | 8192 Levels Pen Pressure | 14ms Response Time | 5080 LPI Pen Resolution
As more and more drawing tablets are leaning towards customization, the XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro steps up.
While the Artist 12 doesn’t offer this feature, the Pro comes with eight completely customizable shortcut express keys for efficient output.
The 11.6-inch screen is super portable and has a three-in-one cable design for convenient charging. This way, you don’t even have to use an adapter and it quickly connects to your computer.
Furthermore, its sleek red dial interface makes your workflow smoother, is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand and can be easily programmed for more customization. The Artist 12 Pro also has a dial wheel that lets you capture and execute your sketches faster.
It also offers a natural tilt support up to 60 degrees to avoid adjusting the direction of the brush each time. You can simply tilt the screen to add shading or color to your creation and witness natural transitions between lines and strokes in your artwork.
Understanding Drawing Tablets
There are several kinds of drawing tablets that cater to different art styles depending on the mediums you use. Once you’re familiar with the key features and specs of a basic drawing tablet, you can pick a model to suit your preferred art style. There are multiple factors impacting a drawing tablet’s quality and functionality.
- 10 Best Standalone Drawing Tablets For Use Without Computer
- The 10 Best Pen Tablets For Drawing 2021
So, before you purchase one, here are a few key points to remember – the pressure sensitivity of the stylus/digital pen is extremely important since it can make or break your artwork, the screen size especially if you’re used to working with a particular canvas size, the resolution, responsiveness, stylus type and advanced features among others. Here are a few more categories within drawing tablets to look into.
1. Laminated vs Non-Laminated Display
You might have heard of a laminated screen for your smartphone. But if you’re wondering what that is and how it helps, here’s everything you need to know about laminated screens and non-laminated screens. Before we delve into details, here’s what you need to know about screens in general.
The top panel of any regular device screen comprises three basic layers – display panel which is the bottom layer, touch layer which is right above the display panel that makes the device touch sensitive and top glass which is the top most layer and has scratch resistant properties.
In traditional non-laminated screens, all these three layers are stuck together using glue, which sometimes causes air gaps to form between any two layers. This, in turn, leads to disturbances in light coming in and out of the screen and thus affects the image quality.
On the other hand, laminated screens basically have the three layers laminated together as a single piece of glass display. Since the glue is not visible between the panels, the screen looks seamless. This is one of the main reasons why modern devices have adapted laminated screens on their displays.
Apart from reduced thickness and increased image quality, some other advantages of a laminated screen are that is avoids accumulation of dust, reduces hollow sound, increases image clarity as well as outdoor performance. On the flip side, its disadvantages are that it’s expensive to repair/replace and complicated to manufacture.
2. Wired vs Wireless Drawing Tablets
Whether you opt for a wired pen drawing tablet or a wireless one, their features are essentially the same except that you can move a wireless pen more freely. A wireless control gives users the liberty to work at their convenience without being restricted by wire bundles. Additionally, the wireless version is more convenient to carry and keeps your work space tidy.
But the wired pen tablet has its own advantages in terms of performance stability, better signal transmission etc. which are important factors to consider while using a drawing tablet. You wouldn’t want any interference with your work as far as these factors are concerned, even though the wireless device offers free flow of movement.
The manufacturing cost of a wired tablet is also considerably lower than that of a wireless one since it is designed without a module for receiving wireless signal. You could pick the best version of the pen drawing tablet based on the criteria that’s most suited to your skill set.
3. About Anti-Glare Glass
In order to be able to present your artwork or creation in the best possible manner, you need to ensure that your drawing tablet has a screen with an anti-glare glass. Otherwise, the glare reflected on your screen not only affects your presentation but will also cause disturbance to your eyes.
In an anti-glare glass, the luminance gets milder to reduce the fatigue caused to your eyes, owing to constant screen interaction. Here’s what an anti-glare glass essentially does – it alters the way light passes through your screen with a technique called diffusion and the frosted surface of the glass offers paper-like texture.
It also influences your viewing angle, presentation of images, color and brightness in such a way that there is hardly any glare reflected on the screen. On the other hand, a display with ordinary glass will present your work in poor light and fails to avoid harsh glares with changing surrounding light.
It is also easily blurred with fingerprints while you work on the display, whereas an anti-glare glass can prevent the occurrence of this owing to its anti-friction display. If you have an anti-glare glass, this can easily be controlled by adjusting the screen brightness as well as the contrast.
4. Pressure Sensitivity of a Stylus
A stylus comes with several pressure sensitivities and if you’re looking for something to suit your style, here’s everything you need to consider before making the right choice.
Some pen tablets and displays are developed using electromagnetic resonance technology but are restricted to specific fields, owing to their specialty. Graphic designers can visualize how their work will appear on computer software such as Photoshop and CorelDRAW, using a drawing tablet to make initial sketches.
Using a pressure sensitive pen, you can ideate better and render the images on a pen tablet or display, especially if your design is complicated.
The difference between a regular digital pen and the nib of a pressure sensitive pen is that the latter has a pressure sensor which can be used for writing, drawing, rendering lines of varying thickness by applying pressure on the nib wherever required.
So, essentially it gives you the same experience as drawing on paper. Remember this: The higher the pressure sensitivity, the faster the pen responds to changes.
There are broadly three types of pressure sensitive pens that are available for purchase – wired and charge required, wireless and charge required and wireless and battery-free.
A digital drawing tablet will easily last you years and hence is a huge investment. Especially display-style tablets that come with screens for you to draw, sketch, doodle, paint, edit images etc.
While they may lean towards the expensive side, they’re extremely useful for artists who are heavily involved with digital work. So, purchasing a tablet suited to your design and creative preference is equally important.
Before you purchase one, ensure you measure your work area and estimate the display size you’d like to go for. Some models come in varying sizes but others have a single display with no other alternatives.
Apart from this, a few other aspects to take into consideration are the weight of the tablet, cable management, drawing surface, OS support or drivers and all the accessories it comes with such as stylus or digital pen.