How to choose a graphics tablet for drawing

When choosing a graphics tablet, pay attention to the type devices and some of its technical specifications.

choose a graphics tablet

How to choose a graphics tablet for drawing: key parameters

The most important criteria for choosing a graphics tablet are:

  1. A type;

  2. Format;

  3. Screen resolution (for interactive monitors);

  4. Pen specifications;

  5. Additional features.

  6. The device manufacturer is also important.

Types of graphic tablets

Graphic tablets in design and functionality are divided into three groups: digital notebooks, semi-professional solutions and interactive monitors.

Digital notepads


Digital notepad – the easiest and most affordable option graphic tablet. Moreover, it has a very limited functionality, so that only they can draw with it very undemanding users. Essentially Digital Notebooks designed to add notes and translate handwritten text into electronic form.

However, most often digital notebooks are used in business environment where handwritten signatures on electronic documents.

Of course, such graphics tablets can be used to drawing. However, the lack of recognition of degrees of depression in stylus and low resolution touch surface as well lack of protection against unintentional pressing in most models make them at least uncomfortable. On such tablets you can Unless to make out simple sketches.

Semi-professional graphic tablets

Semi-professional graphic tablets

It is these devices that should be purchased if you plan to draw on the computer. Semi-Professional Graphic Tablets types have a fairly high sensitivity and good performance. This allows you to use them for input. graphics, text, as well as other operations.

Distinction between fully professional and semi-professional graphics tablets most often lies in size. Devices of the first type have a format similar to A4 or even A3, and the second is usually several times smaller – A5 or A6. Besides Moreover, professional graphic tablets are usually equipped multifunctional stylus.

However, for most home graphics operations (drawing, web design, small print design format, logo design, etc.) will be enough conventional semi-professional tablet.

Interactive monitors


Interactive monitors are most often used by professional by designers. In fact, such devices are not graphic. tablets in the classic sense of the term. Rather they represent remote touch displays which are supplemented sensitive stylus pen for drawing and choosing what you need tool.

In recent years, there has been a tendency to replace such graphic tablets by specialized mobile computers. Among these devices – Microsoft Surface third and fourth generations, the Apple iPad Pro and versions of 2017, as well as Google Pixelbook and many similar solutions. The above devices Hybrid ultrabooks are constructively, but thanks to support for touch input using a stylus (may not go included) can be used by professional designers, artists, pickers and other digital industry professionals graphs.

Main selection criteria

The main criteria for choosing a graphics tablet are:

  1. Format (A5, A4, A3), resolution of the working surface;

  2. Characteristics of the stylus and tips for it;

  3. Control keys (availability and quantity);

  4. Additional functions (immersion mode, the ability to work without PC connection);

  5. Features of interactive screens.


Format is the size of the active area of ​​a graphics tablet. More often In total, it complies with generally applicable paper size standards – i.e. A5, A4, A3, etc.

  1. A5 and less – suitable for simple sketches. the main thing the advantage of such tablets is the ability to simply put them on knees;

  2. A4 – the standard for graphic design and simple artwork (web art, illustrations for articles);

  3. A3 and higher – a solution for complex graphic work, such as professional design, artwork in high resolution, bulky printed materials, architecture and etc.

However, the specific format should be selected based on your requirements and preferences, as well as the intended use. Than the larger it is, the more expensive the graphics tablet.

The higher the resolution of the work surface – the more accurate the stylus-controlled cursor is positioned on the monitor. Special the value of this parameter is important when using 4K screens. For resolution of at least 4000 dpi is desirable for such monitors.

Stylus specifications

Characteristics of the stylus

Characteristics of the stylus largely determine the practicality of everything graphic tablet (and regardless of type, whether semi-professional solution or interactive monitor). Among the most important parameters are to highlight the type of pen, sensitivity to tilt angle and pressure, as well as material and tip design.

There are several types of stylus pens:

  1. Usual. Designed to draw a straight line (or other element depending on the selected graphic tool). Often, these styluses can recognize the intensity of pressing and the angle tilt for the most accurate transmission of the artist’s movements;

  2. Realistic airbrushes. Unlike virtual instruments graphic editors, they use not specified patterns, but accurately reproduce hand movements and the artist’s design;

  3. Sensitive to rotation. Another tool designed for realistic reproduction of the artist’s design.

There are other types of styluses that designed for various purposes. However, in most cases they are purchased separately.

For high-quality reproduction of the artist’s intention, styluses also sensitive to the degree of depression. They make the line thicker or thinner depending on how intense the designer is presses the pen to the active panel of the tablet. Distinguish the following sensitivity levels:

  1. 1024 degrees. Suitable for beginner designers as well as artists who work on images for the web;

  2. 2048 degrees. Suitable for professional designers, working with images for various materials, both web and printed;

  3. 4086 and higher degrees. Suitable for digital artists who the accuracy of the transfer of brush movements is very important.

The tips are also important. In most cases they are made of plastic, which tends to wear with over time. As a result, it is worth buying a tablet with stylus supporting tip change.

The tips themselves are as follows:

  1. Ordinary. Made of softened plastic and suitable for the vast majority of goals, including web art, digital painting or just the design of printing or web pages;

  2. Tough. They have a high density, poorly abrasion. Suitable for artists who require maximum fidelity movements. However, such styluses cause slight discomfort. when using, due to unusual sensations during drawing;

  3. Spring loaded. The design of such tips includes special spring softening pressure. Wear out more slowly. May decrease stylus sensitivity to pressure or cause unusual sensations when using;

  4. Elastic. Make drawing more enjoyable than ordinary. However wear out much faster than the first type of stylus.

As you know, for the vast majority of users are suitable ordinary soft plastic styluses. Hard will be required digital artists, but the rest – depending on their own preferences.

It is recommended that the stylus work on technology electromagnetic resonance. Then he will not demand recharging. And the pen’s activation speed is affected by the parameter called Initial activation force. The lower it is, the better. Then the stylus will be activated immediately after touching sensitive surface of the tablet.

Control keys

The control keys – the so-called Express Key – are designed for quick switching between used tools. By essentially these buttons are used to activate various functions graphic editors. The more keys, the more tools can be hung on “shortcuts”.

However, a large number of control keys are simply not need to. If there are more than 10 pieces, you can easily get confused in various shortcuts. Wacom graphics tablets typically use 4-8 control keys, and this number is more than enough for most graphic and web designers.

On ultra-budget graphic tablets, control keys simply no. As a result, the designer needs to switch between various controls (mouse, tablet itself, keyboard, etc.). It’s much better to use devices with control keys.

Additional functions

Among the additional features of graphic tablets, you can highlight:

  1. Dive mode. When this function is activated, the device stops responding to accidental finger touches or palm. In modern models, you can simply lean with a brush on touch surface – and the device does not recognize this contact;

  2. Support wireless connection. Such tablets bind with computer via bluetooth. Make using the device more pleasant and free – you can just lie back on the couch and draw there;

  3. Work without connecting to a PC. Implemented only in interactive screens. Provides high mobility – you can take a graphic tablet with you and go, for example, for a walk;

  4. The presence of a 3D camera for scanning objects around the world. Also found in interactive screens. Device practically Ideal for 3D designers who work with interiors or similar areas.

Additional features are most often needed only specialist designers. In addition to the dive mode, which is useful even novice artists.

Features of interactive screens

Features of interactive screens

Interactive screens – the perfect solution for professional designers. Structurally, such tablets are complete tablet computers running (most often) the operating Windows systems.

Therefore, the technical specifications of this device are very important. Among those that are worth paying attention to:

  1. Screen resolution. More precisely, an important parameter called “density pixels. “The higher it is, the better. High pixel density provides maximum detail. So, for professional Designers and web artists will use tablets with at least 2K screen;

  2. CPU. Because graphic editors require high power streaming processor costs pay attention to models with Intel Core i5 and i7;

  3. RAM. Similarly, if you plan to process complex images in professional graphic editors, it is worth choosing tablet models with at least 8 GB of operational memory.

  4. In addition, professional designers and artists will need tablets with a discrete graphics card. Enough for beginners integrated.

Top manufacturers

Of course, the leader in the market for graphic tablets is Wacom company. Of course, the devices developed by her are different some high cost, but the cost is fully justified top quality. It is the Wacom tablet that uses the vast most professional designers. Precisely with Wacom styluses such ultrabooks as Apple iPad Pro, Microsoft are completed Surface and Google Pixelbook.

Wacom launches as a budget line (for example, oriented “for children” series Bamboo), and professional mobile interactive screens (Mobile Studio Pro line), and everything in between.

Other manufacturers include:

  1. Genius Launch budget tablets for beginners designers

  2. Huion. Wacom’s main competitor launches mid-range devices price range;

  3. Ugee (Parblo). Also produces mid-range tablets segment.

  4. You can also highlight Google, Apple and Windows, because their current ultrabooks and tablets can also be used graphic designers for drawing.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a memory card for a tablet, the secrets of choosing an inexpensive tablet and A complete guide to choosing a gaming tablet.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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