Are you an artist or illustrator who want to look for a device that is easier to maneuver than the mouse to create art or draw images or comics? Or an architect or engineer looking for a more portable device that you can easily show your ideas to your client? Are you used to making illustrations using a pen without the need to throw away a lot of paper or wasting ink or pencil? Then it’s probably time to think about getting a graphic tablet.
What is a Graphic Tablet?
A graphic tablet is a device which allows you to draw graphics, images or animations with the use of a pen-like stylus. It somehow imitates the process of drawing with a pencil and paper. It is also known as drawing tablet, pen tablet, digitizer or a digital art board.
A graphic tablet can also be used to trace a picture from a piece of paper taped to the tablet. This process is called digitizing.
This device has a flat surface where you draw or trace an image with the use of a stylus. The image will then appear on the monitor when you incorporate it to an LCD screen. Other graphic tablets are also utilized as mouse replacements to navigate easier on the computer.
Graphic Tablets sizes range from 4” x 5” to 18” x 20” so you might want to opt for the size which best fits your needs. To help you out, small tablets are perfect for home or personal use while artists usually choose mid-size or larger tablets for more movement and a bigger space for illustrating or drawing. Professionals or non-artists however prefer smaller tablets to bring along wherever they go.
Graphic Tablet Features
While features actually vary from tablet to tablet, there are some features that are often found in most graphic tablets.
- Express Keys – frequently used keystrokes and functions
- Stylus Switches – double-click and right-click side switches
- Touch Ring – controls layers, auto scroll/zoon, brush size, canvas rotation
- Eraser Tip on Stylus – usually pressure-sensitive eraser which works like a pencil eraser
Graphic Tablet Advantages
- Allows natural drawing motions – can make complex shapes more easily compared to using a mouse
- Pressure detection – the graphic tablet pen with pressure detection can trace printed images, perfect for copying older work or retouching
- Can take over the mouse in drawing and illustrating
- More convenient for technical drawings and CAD
Below is a tablet of the Best Graphic Tablets for Beginners together with their ranking, pricing and features:
We've rounded up the 3 best graphic tablets for beginners - updated for 2017.
Here is the Top 4 Best Graphic Tablets for Beginners:
Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW Digital Drawing and Graphics Tablet
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
Dimensions: 8.25 x 0.4 x 6.7 inches
Wacom is a popular company that aims to deliver quality digital pen and tablet technology so it is no wonder that their graphic tablet, the Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW makes it on top of our list for best graphic tablets for beginners.
Intuos Draw is suitable for both beginners and pros as they can easily sketch, paint, draw and illustrate on the computer with the use of the pen. With just one pen, every artist or even a creative kid can indulge in a plethora of art supplies – marker, brush, sketch pen, glue, paper, and a whole lot more. And there’s even more a full range of colors. So imagine the many possibilities you or your kid or your friends can do with Wacom Intuos Draw Graphic Tablet.
If you’re left-handed, do not worry, this tablet is designed for both right and left hand use and can even work with any software application. It also comes with ArtRAge Lite an easy-to-use sketching and drawing software and some online tutorials to help get acquainted with your new creative tool, just perfect for beginners of all ages. Wacom Intuos Draw Graphic Tablet’s Draw Pack also comes with a free 8×10 metal photo print so there will be plenty of creations for you to try.
This best graphic tablet for beginners also features a pressure sensitive pen so depending on how hard you push, you are able to make variations in brush effects or width of your drawing. With this feature, building art, creating customized invitations or cards, making posters and more are made even more possible.
This Wacom graphics tablet has a battery-free pen so you don’t have to worry about charging it every time. It also has ExpressKeys so you can customize your favorite shortcuts such as copy or paste.
Worried that you’re not tech savvy enough to operate this graphic tablet? Thankfully, Intuos Draw setup is pretty simple! Just connect a USB into your PC or Mac and then install the driver. Then you can go ahead and register then download the software. Easy as apple pie!
Wacom Intuos Draw graphic tablet package comes with a pressure sensitive pen, responsive tablet, downloadable creative software and online tutorials.
- Perfect for beginning digital artists – draw, paint, and edit with an easy to use pen tablet.
- Replaces your mouse and turns your computer into a digital drawing canvas.
- Battery-free, pressure sensitive pen helps you to draw thicker and thinner lines depending on how hard you push on the pen
- Comes with a free Draw Pack including: Art Rage Lite sketching and drawing software, online tutorials, and a free 8×10 metal photo print
- Four customizable Express Keys that put your favorite shortcuts like undo or copy/paste at your fingertips
- Connects to Mac (10.8.5 and above) or PC (Windows 7 and above) via USB cable or wireless
- Small Compact size, 8.25-by-6.7 inches, is perfect for limited desktop areas and can be setup for both left and right handed use
- Website freezes; bundled software cannot be accessed all the time
- Registration issues
- Issues working on Mac
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Turcom TS-6610 Graphic Tablet
Shipping Weight: 2.2 lbs
Dimensions: 2 x 16 x 12.5 inches
While the Turcom brand is mainly known as a Pro graphics design art pad, this graphic tablet is actually great even for beginners and students. You can use the Turcom TS-6610 graphic digital pen for illustrating anime or manga, editing with Photoshop, drawing images, coloring, sketching, writing, signing documents, industrial design and more. You can use the pen as a replacement for your typical mouse and in turn, turn your computer into a digital canvas with the same feel as using pencil on paper.
Turcom TS-6610 graphic tablet has a screen size of 10 inches which gives you ample space to create your masterpiece. Its digital stylus features 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity which can simulate a pen or brush. With different pressure applied on the pen to the tablet, it gives out different width and opacity. It also has 8 express keys and 16 functional keys which are customizable so it allows you to use the most used functions and commands. Working faster with grace is definitely possible!
Each Turcom TS-6610 package includes TS-6610H Drawing Tablet, Wireless Pen (1 AAA battery needed), Pen Stand (4 Nips + 1 Remover included), and a User Manual.
- Compatible with Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Macromedia Flash, ComicStudio, SAI, Infinite Stratos, 3D MAX, Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic ZBrushand, sketchbook.
- The pen is pressure sensitive. 2,048 levels of pressure lets you create precise variations in line width and opacity or unique brush effects in your favorite creative software. Comes with wireless digital pen and pen holder. The pen uses 1 AAA battery.
- Large Active Are of 10 inches by 6.25 inches provides you a sensitive platform to show your talent and creativity. Resolution: 4000 Lines Per Inch (LPI), Report Rate Speed (RPS): 220.
- Compatible with Windows and Mac, Macbook Pro computers. Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 8.1/Windows 10/ Mac OS 10.8.0/10.10.0 or higher.
- 8 Express Keys, 16 Functional Keys
- 4000 LPI resolution
- Unresponsive buttons
- Pen registering problems
- Stopped working after a few months
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Ugee M1000L Digital Graphics Drawing Tablet
Shipping Weight: 1.2 lbs
Dimensions: 14.25 x 10.23 x 0.31 inches
Next best graphics tablet for beginners is the Ugee M1000L Digital Graphics Tablet which is compatible for both Windows and Mac OS. It is not only great for artists, hobbyists and professional illustrators and photo editors, it also is great drawing tablet for beginners and students who enjoy making masterpieces with a pen and paper. With Ugee M1000L Graphic Tablet, you can draw, paint, color and illustrate with the same feeling as drawing on traditional pencil and paper.
It has a large drawing area of 10 x 6 inches with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity to adjust width, lines, colors and even brushes. For left-handed artists, worry no more, Ugee Graphics Tablet is made for both right-handed and left-handed.
The stylus features 8 user-defined Express Key which you can customized according to your usage such as zoom in and out, brush enhance or weaken, brush tool and erase.
Ugee Graphics Tablet can work with Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Sketchbook,Corel Painter, Pixologic ZBrush, Autodesk MAYA, etc.
Package includes M1000L graphics tablet, P51 Pen (AAA battery needed), Installation CD, Pen holder (with 8 pen nibs and 1 pen clipper), and a user manual.
- Large drawing area 10 x 6 Inches, 2048 levels pressure sensitivity, 4000LPI resolution, 200RPS reading rate.
- Suitable for right-handed and left-handed, can meet different drawing habit.
- 8 User-Defined express keys, can be customized the function in the driver, such as brush enhance/weaken, zoom-in/out, cancel, hand tool, brush tool, erase.
- P51 pen with 2048 levels pressure sensitivity, when sketching on the screen like a real pencil drawing on paper, need AAA battery, one click the button of the pen can convert two function between pen and eraser.
- Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Mac OS. Work with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Autodesk Sketchbook,Corel Painter,Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic ZBrush etc.
- Pen not so sensitive
- Difficult to use; not user-friendly
- Cannot download drivers
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XP-Pen G430 OSU Tablet Ultrathin Graphic Tablet
Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
Dimensions: 4.85 x 8.67 x 1.4 inches
One of the best graphic tablets for beginners is the XP-Pen G430 OSU Graphic Tablet. What makes it awesome compared to other graphic tablets is that you don’t have to install any driver to use the tablet! No more headaches in waiting! It’s suitable for drawing, sketching, painting, gameplay and more.
Its advanced stylus is battery-free so you don’t have to worry about charging it and get interrupted once it stops working. Finally, you can have an uninterrupted art session.
XP-PEN G430 Graphic Tablet is compatible with both Mac and Windows and can work well with Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
Graphic Tablet package includes a tablet, a stylus, Quick Guide, 10 replacement nibs and a pen clipper.
- Designed for Gameplay, Drawing, Painting, Sketching, etc.. You do not need to install any driver to use the tablet for OSU!
- The XP-Pen advanced Battery-free stylus does not require charging, allowing for constant uninterrupted Draw & PLAY. It is also designed to have a big impact on the user’s creativity and not on our environment. It is the perfect replacement for the traditional mouse.
- Active Area: 4 Inch x 3 Inch utilizing our 2048-level pen pressure sensitivity.
- Ultrathin 2mm design of all XP-Pen Tablets that is portable and convenient to carry.
- Compatible with Mac & Windows, including all major graphics applications such as Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
- Not so good controls
We've rounded up the 3 best graphic tablets for beginners - updated for 2017.
All of the products included in our list are definitely of high quality, and each one received 4-5 star ratings and reviews.
However, out of the 5 best graphic tablets for beginners, we would recommend Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW. While it may have some registering issues or with the website freezing a couple of times, its main goal of being able to sketch, draw, paint and illustrate on the tablet with a pen is still highly regarded. The battery-free stylus with pressure sensitivity feature is on point and has not disappointed any users which is definitely the most important aspect in creating art. You will never have to worry about constantly pausing your momentum due to low battery issues or that it’s not sensitive enough that it lags.
It is also perfect for beginners and art students who wish to enhance their creativity by making the graphic tablet light and portable. Its free Draw Pack with online tutorials and Art Rage drawing software helps enhance the user’s artistic skills which is another big plus especially if you’re looking for a graphic tablet for beginners. All in all, Wacom is a widely popular brand in delivering digital graphic technology.
The most important aspect in choosing the best graphic tablet out there is that it is user-friendly so you can focus on making art.
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