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What is the best drawing tablet to buy?

There are lots of different drawing tablets to choose from ranging from the very cheap intuos tablets costing only £50 to the very expensive cintiq 27qhd tablets that can cost anywhere upto £2000! But which one should you buy if you want to step into the world of digital art? In this list we will be looking at the very best tablets that you can buy that offer the best drawing experience.

1.Cintiq pro 13 & 16


First on the list are the cintiq pro 13 & 16 inch tablets. These tablets are the latest pen display from waccom. These are the first wacom tablets to have no parallax effect which means that the drawing experience on these tablets is significantly better than other wacom tablets. Both of these tablets come with wacoms new and improved Pro pen 2 which has 4x more pressure sensitivity than its predecessor used on the cintiq 27qhd. The resolution on both of these tablets has also been bumped up significantly from older models. On the 13 inch you get 1920 x 1080px resolution and with the 16 inch you get even more at 3840×2160 resolution! Waccom has also added touch to this tablet free of charge which was nice of them seeing as with their other models you were expected to pay extra for. Touch now alows you to pan and zoom quickly and easy whilst you draw using your fingers.
The biggest drawback to the cintiq pro tablets is its size. You may find that the drawing space is just too small even on the 16inch model. The small drawing area might make you feel cramped and restricted when you draw, as you will be limited to drawing from your wrist (which may over time cause your wrist to hurt) rather than drawing from your shoulder.Also you will have to keep on zooming in and out to see your painting properly. Costing $999.95 for the 13 inch and and $1,499.95 for the 16 inch these tablet don’t come cheap either!

2.Cintiq 27qhd


Next on the list is the cintiq 27qhd. This tablets is SIGNICANTLY bigger than the cintiq pro models and this lets you draw using the full motion of your arm. This tablets is also great because you are able to see your entire painting and all of its glorious detail without having to zoom in and out all the time! One of the biggest drawbacks of this tablets is that it has a very annoying parallax effect when drawing which you have no choice to get used to.
Another thing that is annoying about the cintiq 27qhd is that it doe not come with a proper stand, the standard position that the cintiq 27qhd sits is very awkward and can actually damage your back if you are sat drawing on it for long periods, so it is is recommended to buy a proper stand for it but unfortunately stands can be quit expensive! The cintiq 27qhd uses the pro pen 1 which is not as good as the pen used with the cintiq pro tablets also this tablet only has 2k resolution as well…. but it is bigger and that does make a big difference! Expect to pay around £1500-£2000 for one of these tablets.

3.Ipad pro and apple pencil

The iPad pro is a stand-alone tablet meaning no computer required.. but if you are going to be drawing with the ipad pro you will require a apple pencil which is sold separately and costs £100. The Ipad pro does not have a parallax effect and feel a lot more natural than drawing on the cintiq 27qhd but having said that the ipad pro is quite small in size after all it is a mobile tablet! The ipad pro is limited to only ipad apps.. so you will not be able to use powerful desktop apps such as photoshop. But you are able to use powerful apps such as procreate that you cannot use on the desktop! However there is a work around to this as you can if you have a mac that is, hook it up to your computer using an app called astropad. Astropad will allow you to use your ipad pro like a cintiq on your desktop computer allowing you to draw on programs like photoshop and illustrator if you want to! Another bad thing about the ipad pro is that the screen is a little bit slippery to draw on because it is just glass and has not had any paper texture added to it like the cintiq models. This can mean that you pen does at feel as though it is skating a long an ice sometimes. The iPad pro costs around £700 plus you need to buy the apple pencil to draw on the tablet which costs £100 which makes the ipad pro around the same price as the 13 inch cintiq pro, but it has to be said that you do use it for a whole number of other things other than just drawing.

4. Wacom mobile studio pro

The mobile studio pro range from wacom is wacom’s version of a mobile tablet like the iPad pro. The mobile studio pro range is a lot more money than an ipad pro..ranging from $1,999.95 – $2,499.95 for the 13 inch model and $2,399.95 – $2,999.95 for the 16 inch model. This is because wacom has packed the tablets full of the latest cpus, graphics cards and use windows 10 operating system so that you are able to use the latest graphics software without lag. These tablets have no parallax and have really high resolution. The only bad thing about these tablets apart from their huge price tag is that you cannot upgrade them later on when new cpus and graphics cards are created.. so unlike normal cintiqs these aren’t tablets that you can carry on using for ever and ever after you have bought one.

5. intuos tablets


If all of the tablets mentioned above are out of your price range yo may want to consider getting an intuos tablet from Wacom instead. These tablets are not pen displays but are similar to how the mouse works. You draw on the tablet to the side of your keyboard and the cursor on the screen will mimic what you are drawing on the tablet. These tablets are really good for beginners because they are extremely affordable costing only £100-£200!.. but they can take a lot of time to get used to.

Jargon buster

Pen display tablets such as the cintiqs. Pen displays are tablets which need to be plugged into a computer (preferable with good cpu and lots of RAM) to work.

Mobile Stand-alone tablets include the Ipad pro and cintiq mobile studio pro do not need a computer to work because they have their own operating system.

Parallax effect. The gap between the pen and cursor which can occur if the tablet has thick glass protecting the monitor.

Pen stylus. The pen styuls is the thing that you use to draw with.

What do you think?

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  1. Yeah I think I agree with these rankings. I love my ipad pro but the screen is a little bit slippery and needs a matt screen protector on it for better drawing experience in my opinion. It is a real shame that astropad and duet display do not support windows because then that really force wacom to go bigger and better with their tablets as everything you could do on wacom could be then be done on the ipad.

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