Three top-notch tablets for artists and graphic designers

Drawing tablets to supplement your favorite sketchpad.

drawing tablet hand pen
The digital artist's best friend.Howard Lawrence via Unsplash

Like ebook readers or digital magazines, the trick for any device or new piece of technology aiming to replace or enhance a more traditional mode of consumption and production is overcoming the skepticism of those who can’t let go of the old ways. Drawing tablets have to offer a lot—flexibility, intuitive interface, and customization—in order to win over the pencil and paper crowd.

There are a few key factors to keep in mind when selecting the right drawing tablet, including size (both of the overall device and the active drawing area), pressure sensitivity, responsiveness, and even stylus type. Much of the criteria is subjective—some people are more comfortable with one type of stylus over another—but there are some key performance metrics that can set some devices apart from others. Here are a few of the top offerings available now.

Gaomon PD1560

Find A Perfect And Comfortable Position

Focuses less on bells and whistles and more on its elegant design.Amazon

The highest-end in terms of price, the Gaomon model comes with an ergonomically designed adjustable stand, five “hard” menu keys plus 10 additional customizable “soft” keys, and a 13.5 x 7.6 inches of workspace. The PD1560 actually has separate modes depending on if you’re right or left-handed, and a 1920 x 1080 display in 16:9 viewing ratio. It has the ability to handle everything from delicate sketching to intensive photo manipulation.

XP-PEN Artist12

Channel Your Inner Artists

This device is ideal for activities like drawing, photography, animation.Amazon

A 1920 x 1080 HD display with a 178-degree viewing angle in an 11.6-inch work area is just the start of the pricey but loaded XP-PEN Artist12. Its rechargeable stylus pen also comes equipped with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, with a hexagonal design meant to mimic the feel of a pencil. Compatible with Windows and Mac, as well as a variety of illustration and image manipulation software like Photoshop, SAI, Painter, Clip Studio, and more, it’s a complete package that offers style and functionality.

Huion H610 Pro Graphic Drawing Tablet

Most Affordable

Compatible with Windows 7 or later, and Mac OS 10.11 or later.Amazon

The Huion H610 checks off a lot of important boxes right off the bat. Starting off with a generous 10 x 6.25-inch working area that is texturized to feel more like real paper, it allows for ample customization and shortcut key creation with eight hard “press” keys and sixteen “soft” virtual keys. The stylus, which is fully rechargeable in about two hours, boasts a pressure sensitivity of 8,192. This allows you to create thinner or thicker pen strokes based on how hard you press down, just like an actual pencil or marker. The package includes an artists glove (to help avoid ruining a drawing with the heel of your hand).

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