Drawing tablets with screens enhance creativity and the art of illustration while providing a more natural and intuitive design experience for artists who can draw directly on the screen with a digital pen.
Also known as “(Interactive) Pen Displays,” these tablets feature larger screens and high-resolution displays that support digital pens with varying degrees of pressure sensitivity.
With these interactive pens, which allow a wider range of controls, you can sketch very freely and no longer need to digitize drawings.
Modern tablets offer other advanced features such as 4k displays, integrated touchscreens, compatibility with designing software, and other ergonomic features such as adjustable stands and 360-degree rotating screens.
With a high-quality tablet in hand, you’ll never feel the need for pen and paper again.
What should you look for in a good drawing tablet (with a screen)?
Before you choose a tablet, you should consider these factors
The pressure sensitivity of the pen is the most important feature you should look for. Higher sensitivity allows for sharper strokes. Do not settle for less than 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Also, the stylus should not lag. It should respond quickly for a smoother flow.
Consider a larger screen that allows multi-touch gestures. We recommend at least a 12-inch display.
The screen should be big enough to accommodate all the tools and also provide a sufficient area for sketching and designing.
Choose a model that has at least 500 GB of storage and allows for fast transfer of large files, such as Wacom’s MASV (more on that later) and Apple’s Airdrop.
Also pay attention to the display’s resolution, the tablets’ compatibility with Microsoft and Apple, and connectivity options like USB and Thunderbolt ports.
Finally, do not ignore the ergonomics. As an artist, you’ll spend hours working on your tablet to perfect your masterpiece. And features like adjustable stands and rotating screens will ensure maximum comfort.
Below are some of the best options you can choose from.
The 5 best Drawing Tablets with Screens
Wacom is an established brand in the tablet industry and offers many big hits, including its highly-rated model, the Cintiq 22.
The Wacom Cintiq 22 is designed for professionals and full-time designers.
It features one of the most popular interactive pens, the “Pro Pen 2”, which has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt detection and is very responsive.
The tablet features a 21.5-inch display (LCD) with a high resolution of 1920 x 1080 for enhanced color quality. The screen is also equipped with an anti-glare coating.
Of all the other features, which include multiple connectivity options, an adjustable stand, and the tablet’s compatibility with OS and Widows, we were excited about MASV – a Wacom exclusive service for instant transfer of time-sensitive and 100+ GB files.
Although the tablet is considered relatively expensive compared to other (branded) tablets reviewed below, it offers good value for money.
Check out the tablet’s final price here.
XP is a “renowned digital handwriting brand” that has supported millions of artists around the world for 17 years. And Artist 15.6 Pro is one of their best models for professional artists.
The tablet comes with a battery-free “PA2 pen” that supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, resulting in precise and balanced strokes.
It has a 15.6-inch, fully laminated HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that offers excellent color quality and a viewing angle of 170+ degrees.
The tablet comes with an “AC 41 stand” that gives you better stability when positioning the tablet and is also easy on the eyes.
It is also compatible with Windows and Mac OS.
However, the XP Pen series is sought after for its innovative (and patented) “Red Dial interface,” which “fits comfortably in your hand and can be programmed to zoom in and out of your canvas and scroll up and down with greater ease and precision.” (source)
Click here to learn more about this interface and other specifications.
Apple makes some of the fastest tablets that have the best displays. The Ipad Pro is a great design device for professional, intermediate, and beginner artists.
The Ipad comes in 2 screen sizes – 11 inches and 12.9 inches. For you as an artist, we recommend the larger size as the tools do not adequately accommodate – in the smaller version.
The 2nd generation Apple Pencil is known for its high precision and low latency, offering the smoothest strokes and a sharp finish.
Apple’s patented, edge-to-edge Liquid Retina XDR display gives you “lifelike detail with a 10,00,000:1 contrast ratio,” up to 6k resolution, and a P3 wide color gamut.
Apple Ipads are equipped with the latest M2 chip silicon chip with an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU for high-speed graphics performance.
In addition, the Ipad is equipped with a number of exceptional features and enhancements that you will only find in an Apple device.
It comes with ProMotion technology and a Magic Keyboard, which make your work much easier and improve the quality of your art.
Check out all the details here.
Huion is another smart notebook manufacturer that specializes in pen tablets. It’s Kamwas Pro 16 is an affordable graphics tablet for animators and creatives at all levels.
It features the battery-free “PW507” digital pen, which supports 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity for well-defined strokes.
The tablet is appreciated for its uniquely designed 15.6 HD screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
This screen is laminated with ultra-thin glass, ensuring better stylus contact and reducing parallax.
The laminated glass is also covered with anti-glare film technology that provides a clear image and protects the eyes, especially when working for hours.
Another special feature of the Tab is its support for “16.7 million colors at 120% sRGB”.
All Hious Kamwac models are compatible with Linux OS in addition to Windows and OS.
For more features and specifications, click here.
Samsung is expanding its reach to make designer tablets as well. The Galaxy Tab S7+ is an attempt to enter the fast-growing digital art tool market.
The S7+ is a good tablet for beginner artists looking for a hybrid workspace for regular laptop functions and basic design tasks.
The tablet features Galaxy’s redesigned S Pen, which offers a pen latency of 9 ms and basic levels of pressure sensitivity.
It features a TFT LCD edge-to-edge display with 2800 x 1752 pixels and a refresh rate of 120 Hz for faster performance and clearer picture quality. However, Samsung promotes the screen more for its built-in Dolby Atmos surround sound speakers.
The lightweight tablet also offers two great cameras, 1 TB of storage, ultra-fast charging, auto hotspot, Quick Share, and other features that make it a wonderful alternative to laptops.
You can learn more about the tablet here.
The animation and design industry is booming. And as an artist, you have a long future and a wide scope of work.
A tablet is always preferred over a laptop or a fixed computer because it’s a super portable, versatile device – that can be used for a variety of tasks.
You can use it for creative projects, business presentations, animation, sketching, and just about anything.
There are several electronic writing tablets on the market that cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
However, we recommend you to choose a good branded tablet that will last long, even if it costs you a few dollars more.
The above models are tested products from reputable artists and, most importantly, they are covered by a warranty. You’ll get at least 5 years of life if you choose the latest device.
If you want to look for some more options, check out other tablets with screens reviewed in one of our articles here.