In the digital age, drawing using the mouse and computer keyboard is not easy, even for the most gifted artist. Scanning a sketch made on paper is also not the ideal solution. Photoshop may improve its functionality, but lovers of precision are always looking for more. This is how the graphics tablet found its place in the world of digital creation. Traditional or with screen, the models vary from one brand to another. How to find the right one for your needs? We have separated the most popular of the moment, to help you choose. Wacom Cintiq Drawing Tablet stands out with its 15.6-inch HD screen, equipped with an anti-reflective surface. The precision of each plot is allowed with this model.XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro Drawing Tablet is characterized by its tilt function which allows the sharpness of the creation, without much effort.
Buying Guide – How to Choose a Good Graphics Tablet?
The choice of the graphic tablet that you need cannot be made at random. You will need to acquire the model that meets your expectations and your budget. Several criteria must be taken into account. You’ll find everything you need in this buying guide for the best graphics tablets.
Working on good brand tablets has several advantages, but you have to pay the price, to acquire one. Wacom is considered the leader in the field. It is a brand that does not go unnoticed, even in Canada. To date, no other has succeeded in dethroning her. The quality of its models is indisputable, especially those of the new generation. It will take no less than 900 Canadian dollars to have the best graphics tablet.
Investing a large sum for equipment that will not be used often would be a waste. Before choosing, you should evaluate the use you are going to make of it. If you draw just to pass the time or for fun, a mid-range model would be perfect. With 300 Canadian dollars, you can get what you need.
The grip might put some people off, especially when it comes to an overly complex item. An inexpensive graphics tablet with basic functionality will not disappoint if you are looking for your first model.
The work surface
To know how to choose the best graphics tablets of 2022, it is important to consider the surface on which you will be making your drawings. On this point, there are two kinds of graphics tablets.
The classic model is equipped with an opaque black surface, which transmits the strokes, so that they are visible on the computer screen. A slight delay is to be expected. This requires patience, to have precisely the desired lines. This type of graphics tablet, however, has the advantage of being light in weight, which makes it easier to transport. It costs less in the market.
The model with integrated screen allows you to directly view the traces made. Precision is at the rendezvous, because you have at hand a virtual workspace, of which you are the master. It is always necessary to check the final rendering on the computer screen. Colors may vary slightly. Hence the importance of comparing before choosing.
The resolution is paramount, as well as the size of the screen. This model weighs more. This makes it difficult to move. It will also be necessary to plan a substantial budget to acquire it.
Accessories and compatibility
To work properly, a graphics tablet must be connected to a computer, unless it has its own power supply. Some models have a rechargeable battery, which gives them autonomy. Storage is another factor to check when looking for a best value graphics tablet.
Other models have an internal disk, on which it is possible to save work. Most of these devices accept all operating systems. It is nevertheless necessary to make sure of it to avoid unpleasant surprises. Compatibility with the software you plan to use should not be neglected before choosing. Normally, a graphics tablet is sold with specific programs. Sometimes you just need to download it from the internet.
The connectors are essential, because they guarantee the connection of the graphics tablet to another screen or to its charger, if it is equipped with one. Some models are equipped with USB ports. A few have an HDMI port.
The stylus is an accessory to be checked in a price comparison. It always accompanies the graphics tablet. Pressure levels vary from model to model. It is against this criterion that you will feel comfortable, as if you were using the usual pencil on paper. A pen having 1024 levels of pressure can satisfy an amateur. A professional would require up to 8192. Through these tips, you will be able to choose the graphics tablet that suits you.
The 5 Best Graphics Tablets (Reviews & Tests) of 2022
Before deciding which graphics tablet to choose, it will be necessary to explore all the models offered on the market, at least the most popular with users. The range of choices is wide. The brands compete, through products intended for all budgets. The one who has the last word is you.
1. Wacom Cintiq Drawing Tablet
Wacom is probably the best brand of graphics tablets, and also the one with the most expensive products in the field. Despite its high price, compared to other ranges, the Cintiq 16 model is considered the most accessible of the brand.
It is equipped with a 15.6 inch HD screen. A resolution of 1920 x 1080 produces excellent visibility in his workspace. Moreover, this element is equipped with an anti-reflective system. This allows for greater concentration and precision.
This Wacom graphics tablet is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. A Wacom Pro Pen 2 stylus accompanies it, with 8192 levels of pressure, and without the need for recharging.
This model has a foldable stand to position it as you wish. However, it weighs almost 2 kg, which does not make it easy to move. An HDMI cable is used to connect it to the computer. It is suitable for learners, as well as professionals.
This model benefits from the reputation of the Wacom brand, and also from its resistance. Moreover, it can work with Windows and Mac, as well as with known graphics software.
The high-resolution full HD screen offers an active area of 13.6 x 7.6 inches.
The stylus is one of the most powerful, thanks to its pressure levels. It does not need to be recharged.
This tablet is expensive compared to other brands, but connoisseurs know why.
This model has no shortcut key. This complicates the settings a bit.
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2. XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro Drawing Tablet
This XP-Pen model has everything to compete with a Wacom. It represents a wise choice, if you want to know which is the best graphics tablet on the market. An 11.6-inch, laminated screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 p allows you to draw with comfort.
A PA2 stylus, having 8192 pressure levels, which does not have a battery, accompanies this model. Its fine tip produces precise lines. Equipped with a tilt function, the stylus bends up to 60 degrees, to draw shadows.
This XP-Pen Artist 12 tablet has 8 shortcut keys, which are used to customize your working setting, and a red dial which allows more setting.
The tablet can be placed on a support, to better stabilize it. The latter comes with the package, as well as a pen holder. You will also receive an HDMI adapter for Mac, a drawing glove, and 8 nibs for the stylus.
This drawing tablet facilitates work through its laminated screen and tilting stylus. In addition, it is sold at a reasonable price, considering its performance.
All accessories are delivered with the device, to allow more creativity and productivity.
It is possible to customize the workspace, thanks to the shortcut keys and the dial.
The 11.6-inch screen is a bit limited for some creators.
A Linux user had problems during the installation.
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3. Huion Kamvas Pro 12 Drawing Tablet
Before looking for a place to buy the best graphics tablet, it will be necessary to see the characteristics that interest you, and to evaluate if you have the sufficient budget to have it. This Huion model is sold at an accessible price. However, it is of high quality. It has an 11.6-inch IPS screen, rendering colors faithfully.
The screen, of laminated glass, has been treated against glare. With a thickness of 11 mm and weighing 890 grams, it can be slipped easily into your bag, should the need arise. This drawing tablet has 4 express keys and a touch bar that allow you to customize your workspace.
A pen of 8192 levels of pressure comes with this device. It is equipped with a tilt function up to 60 degrees. Drawing shadows becomes child’s play. This tablet model has 32 GB of RAM. It accepts to be connected to Windows, from version 7, and to Mac OS version 10 and more.
It is a compact graphics tablet with a screen, but less expensive, and its small dimensions make it easy to transport.
It is suitable for computers with Windows or Mac operating system. In addition, it works with most graphics software.
The stylus has a tilt function. The tablet itself is configurable, according to your preferences, in order to personalize the workspace.
Graphics software does not come with the hardware.
This model does not work without being connected to the screen.
The shutdown button is aligned with the shortcut keys. Which can lead to confusion.
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4. Xp-Pen Deco 03 Wireless 2.4G
The most efficient model is not always the most expensive. It is the one that suits you, and that will serve you to carry out the tasks for which it was made. This Deco 3 tablet from the XP-Pen brand is easy to handle, thanks to the 6 shortcut keys, programmable at will as well as a red dial.
It is one of the classic models, equipped with an opaque black screen. The connection to the computer is made using a USB cable and also in wireless mode. For the second option, a USB receiver is provided. It will need to be plugged into the computer port.
The screen offers a surface of 25.5 x 14.5 cm for your creations. A battery-free sensitive pen is attached to this tablet, which has 8192 levels of pressure, and which does not allow any lag.
This model is made for right-handers and left-handers. With a thin thickness of 8 mm, it comes with a pen holder, a drawing glove and 8 extra tips for the stylus.
There are two ways to connect it to the computer: wireless and USB cable.
Installation is easy. The handling is within the reach of beginners and amateurs. Moreover, a manual comes with the device.
The stylus is very sensitive. The lag between the plot and the visibility on the screen is almost nonexistent.
The stylus is not suitable for professionals, who complain that it is too light.
Setting shortcut keys is not easy for everyone. Many have encountered difficulties.
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5. Huion 1060 Plus Drawing Tablet
The Huion brand is an advantageous alternative, if you are looking for where to buy a new graphics tablet. This model stands out with its 8 Gb storage via micro SD card, to save your work directly. This volume is expandable up to 64 Gb, if necessary.
1060 Plus is equipped with a rechargeable stylus, through a micro USB cable, instead of mini USB like the previous version. This facilitates replacement, if necessary. With a full charge that lasts 2 hours, the pen can be used for 350 hours non-stop, keeping its sensitivity with 8192 pressure levels.
A 10-inch screen provides a 25.4 x 15.2 cm workspace. This graphics tablet has 12 shortcut keys, and 16 other keys at the top of the screen. It comes with cables to connect it to the computer and to recharge the stylus, as well as 4 spare nibs for the latter.
It is a graphics tablet of good brand and high quality, but which is offered at the most accessible price in this comparison.
It has storage. This guarantees the backup of your data, even in the event of a connection problem with the computer.
The different keys allow for maximum customization, and also make tasks easier.
Drivers are not provided. You will have to find the good ones, and download them.
A rechargeable stylus limits tip replacements, but can become a handicap if it is not properly charged.
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frequently asked Questions
Q1: How does a graphics tablet work?
A graphics tablet is a tool used to draw accurately on a surface. It is always to be used with a computer, which displays the final result of a work. Normally, before buying it, you have taken care to check the compatibility. This surface can be an LCD screen, on which you can draw live and at the same time visualize lines and colors.
It can also be an opaque surface. The lines are visible only on the screen of the computer connected to the tablet. A more or less slight lag may occur between the plots and their appearance on the screen. The plots are made using a stylus, generally supplied with the tablet.
Q2: How do I use a graphics tablet to draw?
To draw on a graphics tablet, it must first be connected to a computer, depending on the operating system that is compatible. To trace, use the stylus designed for this purpose. If the model is equipped with shortcut keys, customization is required. Each of them must correspond to a given action.
This makes your job easier, and gives you more options for making your designs. A dial is available on some tablets. It allows you to zoom in on a specific point. It is important to take into account the size of the surface and to take into account the intensity of the colors on the final rendering on the computer screen.
Q3: Which graphics tablet for photo editing?
To retouch a photo through a graphics tablet, the use of software is necessary. This must be compatible with your model. Sometimes it comes with.
There are times when the manufacturer mentions which ones are suitable. In some cases, when looking for where to buy the best graphics tablet for you, you will already have to think about this option. It is easier to edit a photo with an LCD screen tablet. You can directly see where to put the pen tip.
Q4: Why doesn’t my Huion pen work?
Manufacturers always provide the best pen with a graphics tablet. However, each has limited manipulation. Some models are rechargeable. The duration of use varies from one model to another, once the pen is fully charged. You must therefore stop your work to perform the recharge. In general, it takes 2 hours for this.
Other pens do not have a rechargeable battery, but the tip will have to be changed when it no longer works. Most graphics tablets that use such pens come with spare nibs.
Q5: How to calibrate the Wacom tablet?
Calibration involves matching the work surface to the computer screen. For the Wacom tablet, there are specific tools for this action. Above all, you must put it in the most comfortable way for you. Then, you will have to choose a stylus, among the formats that exist in the Tools menu.
You get a calibration surface, which is up to you to configure. Using the stylus, point to the four corners of the window and validate the calibration. If you are comfortable in the workspace obtained, it is perfect, otherwise you will have to start the process again.