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Last Updated on February 9, 2021
For the modern artist, technology has become an essential tool that only serves to make their lives easier. Not only will you be able to sketch and draw while on the move, but you won’t have to worry about lugging around large canvases and a treasure trove of paint brushes and other art necessities.
One such way artists can leverage technology is by using a tablet. These powerful devices offer everything you might need for sketching – from providing an even surface, to allowing you to color sections while allowing fantastic pression and even allowing you to zoom in at times to work on those minute details.
And the best part? They can often come close to feeling almost like the real thing.
So if you’re an artist in need of a nifty tablet to allow you to sketch anywhere and at any time, read on below to check out our list of the best tablets for sketching that’ll let you actualize your grand ideas in no-time at all.
Best Tablet for Sketching of 2020
Apple iPad Pro 2018 (11-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular 64GB) – Space Gray (Renewed)
Apple’s iPad Pro is truly a tablet that packs some of the best technology out there and will be more than adequate for any sketching task.
Designed with a slick metal build, this 11-inch tablet comes with fantastic internals. This includes an A12X graphics coprocessor with Neural Engine so you can be assured that even when running the most demanding of applications such as Photoshop, the iPad will deliver without breaking a sweat.
Of course, its screen may be the most crucial thing to look for as a sketcher. Thankfully, there isn’t any room for disappointment here. With its 11-inch screen, it manages to pack a powerful retina display along with a maximum resolution of 2388 x 1668 pixels.
This means that the iPad will absolutely bring out all the vividness of color and even the finest details of any intricate image. Storage is also not an issue as it comes with a range of options to select from depending on your needs.
This includes 64GB, 256GB, and even 512GB – more than enough for sketching. iCloud is always an option as well if you find yourself needing for some additional storage.
Battery is also amazing here, with reports indicating that it can last for up to 10-hours on average though we’d expect this to be a little less when using drawing applications.
Speaking of applications, ProCreate works fantastically here and is definitely without a doubt, one of the best all-encompassing drawing apps you can ever use with the iPad (or any other tablet for that matter). It manages to cram any tool you might need with its extensive library of brushes that also includes pencils and inks while providing sketchers countless choices in terms of color.
That being said, don’t forget that for the iPad you’ll have to separately purchase the Apple Pencil, which we think is just a good a tool as the iPad!
Parblo Coast10 10.1″ Digital Pen Tablet Display Drawing Monitor 10.1 Inch
The iPad is a fantastic tablet for any sort of sketching but at the end of the day, it’s designed to do so much more such as gaming and taking pictures and even making video calls with friends and family.
If you’re content with purchasing a tablet that’s dedicated only for drawing, the Parblo Coast10 should be high on your list. With some of the highest sensitivity and recognition rates among all graphics monitors in the market, any sketch you make with the Parblo will feel almost like working on actual paper.
Its dimensions of 11.4 x 9.3 x 0.73-inches across its tempered glass surface will definitely provide enough surface area for most sketching projects and upon drawing your first line, its 16ms response time will make sketching feel seamless and instantaneous.
Now its maximum screen resolution checks in at just 1280 x 800 which may not seem like much compared to say, the iPad but for just sketching, this should be more than enough. More would always be nice but in our opinion, is unnecessary for sketching.
Under your hands, this light tablet will feel remarkably comfortable thanks to its ergonomic design. So regardless of whether you’re working on a table, or even on your lap, comfort will be a given.
And best of all, unlike the iPad, it comes equipped with its own drawing stylus and two-finger glove. The pen with its 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and highly comfortable design will make precise and accurate drawing feel almost natural and better yet, you never have to worry about battery as its totally battery-free.
And finally, on the glove, with its high elastic fiber material that’ll allow your hand to breathe even during the longest of sessions, this glove will minimize soreness caused by friction between your hand and the tablet. Trust us, your hands will be thanking you in the months to come.
HUION New 1060 Plus Graphic Drawing Tablet with 8192 Pen Pressure 12 Express Keys
With one of the most generous price points among drawing tablets in the market, the HUION still manages to provide a top-of-the-line product. Across its active area of 10 x 6.25-inches, its smooth and even surface will provide any user with an efficient working area for sketching.
It even comes fitted with 12 physical keys on its left side that’re fully customizable according to your preferences. Most importantly though, its rechargeable pen will impress just about any artist.
Light in weight and comfortable to use even for hours on end, it comes with a whopping 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity that’ll offer some of the most precise and accurate digital sketchings you might ever do. It also has a 5080 LPI and 233 RPS rate which only makes sketching feel even more real.
It is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS so whether you own an Apple product or something else, all can be used here. Probably not Linux just yet though!
Compatibility is also a big thing in terms of software so any popular program like CDR, PS, SAI, and such will work perfectly with this particular device. Whether you work at home or outdoors, its 4 in-built mats on its bottom will ensure your tablet is kept secure and shake-free – nobody likes a shaky surface when sketching!
And lastly, it comes with a bunch of freebies including a durable carrying case that’ll ward off the occasional nock and scratch and a comfortable glove designed to keep friction between your hand and the tablet a non-issue.
Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC
When it comes to the world of drawing tablets, the name Wacom is often associated with high-quality products that promise to provide you an experience like no other.
The Intuos Pro is no exception to this general rule of thumb. Spanning a size of 13.2 x 8.5 x 0.3-inches and with an active area of 8.7 x 5.8-inches, the tablet brings the best of what the industry can deliver. With its multi-touch surface that comes fitted with keys that can be programmed to your preferences along with radial menus, this tablet can be customized easily based on your requirements.
It also is compatible with either Windows or Mac and comes with a Bluetooth option that takes away all the hassle of dealing with messy wires.
Now in terms of its surface, while we think the regular option feels great, it also comes with a paper edition variant or a variant with an additional texture sheet.
On the Pro Pen 2 itself (which is included free of charge), any sketcher will have a seamless, almost lag-free response that provides huge accuracy to whatever you may be sketching.
This is thanks to its 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. It doesn’t just stop there though. If you buy this product, you’ll get 2 months of free access to Adobe Creative Cloud’s Photography Plan upon registering your tablet!
You truly do get your full money’s worth with the Intuos that with proper care, can easily last for the long years to come.
reMarkable – The Paper Tablet – 10.3″ Digital Notepad
By far the most unique product on our list that totally lives up to its name is the reMarkable. This device is designed first and foremost to feel as close to paper itself.
Nothing else in the market will give you the sketching experience that the reMarkable will provide. Across its 12.1 x 8.2 x 1.4-inch dimensions, sketching on this tablet with its super responsible Marker (and assortment of tips) will provide you a smooth and responsive experience. This coupled with its 226 DPI CANVAS display that promises the lowest latency rates possible only adds to the sketching experience.
Of course, because it is digital and much unlike real paper, you’ll be able to store countless sketches within its in-built memory storage.
Even beyond just sketching, taking notes with this will be a blessing to just about anyone. Not only is it easy to do but once done, it automatically converts your written notes into actualized, typed texts. Just one caveat to note: it doesn’t come with any backlight display.
This means that there’s no glare which may seem good, but this means that when sketching, you’ll need to ensure that you have a brightly lit work environment at the ready.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I get a dedicated sketching tablet?
Absolutely. At least, if you’re set on getting a tablet only and only for sketching. If you plan on using your tablet for more than just sketching (e.g. watching movies and messaging friends), we suggest you look at the iPad due to its vast multifunctionalities.
However, if you think that this does not apply to you then any other tablet on our list should be adequate. Just assess your needs before making a plunge!
What size is the best for a sketching tablet?
The size of your sketching tablet depends both on your hand size and what projects you intend on pursuing. Tablets come in a wide range of shapes and sizes so there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this common question.
The best thing to do is to pick something that fits comfortably under your hands and matches your sketching style and hand movements. Just note that tablets with smaller active areas means you’ll be able to draw more with smaller strokes and minimal hand movements while larger tablets will require the exact opposite.
Do I need a computer or external display to use a sketching tablet?
Depending on the tablet you choose, it may or may not come with a graphical display of its own. For instance, tablets like the iPad and reMarkable don’t really need any external displays or computers to see what is being outputted as it is already built into the device.
However, other options like the Wacom Intuos Pro are designed specifically for an external monitor and computer in mind.
Should I get a wired or wireless tablet?
We think that at the end of the day, a wireless tablet is fantastic for those of you constantly on the move and those who seek to avoid dealing with messy wires. It does tend to keep your desk tidy after all.
But we concede that this really depends on every artist’s personal preferences. Wired tablets do have benefits of their own which should be known. They don’t require charging up and won’t ever face any pesky BlueTooth connectivity issues when used right.