What Size Drawing Tablet Should You Buy? Complete Buying Guide

If you’re looking to buy your first drawing tablet, or want to upgrade to a different size you might be wondering: what size should my drawing tablet be?

It depends on a lot of factors, but the best size for a drawing tablet is the one that feels the most comfortable to you!

I’ve gathered some information to make this whole process easier for you, so keep reading to see which drawing tablet size suits you better.

Small Drawing Tablets Are For You If:

Above is the Huion H420X on Amazon

  • You tend to draw with small files
  • You have a smaller computer screen
  • You’re on a budget
  • You want to draw on a phone
  • You don’t have a lot of desk space
  • You need it to be more portable
  • You prefer to draw on smaller canvas
  • You’re a beginner artist

By small drawing tablets, I consider them under 10 inches wide. For this kind of drawing tablet size I  recommend the:

These are great for a number of reasons like we talked about, above.

Smaller tablets are always more on the inexpensive type, meaning you can get a great beginner drawing tablet for less than 50$.

If you can’t spend much money, or, you’re still unsure if digital art is for you, then these are an excellent option!

Not too expensive, comfortable and won’t take much space.

If you’re someone who prefers to draw on the phone, then these sizes are also perfect for it.

I don’t often draw on my phone, but I’ve realized that it’s much more comfortable to do it with a smaller tablet than with something bigger.

The space you have to work on the phone isn’t great, so using a big tablet feels very weird and uncomfortable.

It also takes way too much space, when you’re working on such a small device.

This way you can set up your phone, or pc, and tablet on a small desk or even just sit on the sofa and start drawing!

Generally speaking, you want your screen and your tablet to be roughly the same size. If you don’t have a big workplace, you also want something that won’t take much more space.

Both of the tablets I mentioned won’t go above 6.5’’. This also makes them perfect to bring with you!

Whether you’re studying or, your work asks you to move around a lot and you need to bring a drawing tablet with you, these are the ideal size.

They won’t take too much space in a bag or backpack, but also won’t weigh much, so you won’t even notice them!

Medium Drawing Tablets Are For You If:

The iPad Air (while technically not a drawing tablet) works REALLY well as a medium drawing tablet alternative if you have the budget!

  • You’re used to drawing on A4 paper (297 x 420 mm or 11.7 x 16.5 inches)
  • You have a medium budget
  • You have a decent desk space
  • You want more shortcuts on your tablet
  • You’re ready for something more professional, but still on a budget
  • You want a screened tablet

By medium drawing tablets I consider everything between 11 and 16 inches wide. For this medium drawing tablet size I recommend the:

Personally, this is the perfect tablet size for me. I prefer to work on medium canvas and always felt uncomfortable at having a big canvas, even on paper!

So, even though at first I needed a smaller tablet for the space I had, I also learned that it’s what I like to work on, even if I have more space available on my desk.

Big enough for the kind of work I do, but also easy to put away if I don’t need it anymore or need the space for something else.

Recently XP-PEN was kind enough to send me the Deco Pro MW and that’s what I’ve been using for all my work recently.

I highly recommend this tablet since I’ve been really enjoying working with it. It has everything you need in a tablet. But, for more information, you can check the review right here.

Medium-sized drawing tablets are also great if you do medium to large strokes when drawing and have a bit of budget to spend.

These aren’t overly expensive but are a great next step to upgrade from the basic and smaller drawing tablets.

A medium tablet can go from 70$-200$, depending on its simplicity and even size.

It’s important to know what you’re looking for in a tablet and what kind of features you want/need.

For example, are shortcut buttons important for you?

Then you might want a tablet that offers a good range of those.

If you’re like me, and shortcuts are something useful, but you don’t use a whole lot of them, then a tablet with less buttons will be more than enough!

Even though a medium tablet has a bigger size, I feel it’s something that can still be portable.

A lot of them can still fit a backpack or one of those laptop sleeves.

So if you need to bring it with you, it’s still possible!

On another note, if you want a medium canvas to work in, want a portable and screened tablet, I highly recommend the iPad Air 10.9 ‘’ along with the Apple Pencil.

You don’t need another device to connect it to.

Simply open a drawing software of your choice on the iPad and start drawing.

(side note: the iPad Air can be quite a bit more expensive than the other drawing tablets I’ve mentioned, but it includes a LOT more than a simple drawing tablet)

Even though I use my computer to record all my classes, I use the iPad for all my artwork.

It’s very easy, intuitive and practical to use. I can sit down anywhere and start drawing!

Again, it has the perfect canvas size, making it a very portable device.

You can draw both at home or on the go, you choose!

Large Drawing Tablets Are For You If:

The XP PEN Artist 22 Pro on Amazon

  • You have a lot of desk space
  • You want a screen on your tablet
  • You have a high budget
  • You have a large computer screen (optional)
  • You know that digital art is for you and want a more professional tablet
  • You work mainly in an office or at home

By large drawing tablets I consider everything above 16 inches wide. For this large drawing tablet size I recommend the:

Large drawing tablets are great if you have a high budget, and these tend to be used by art professionals.

You can get smaller tablets with a screen, but, if you’re looking for something to stay at your desk and tend to work with very big files, these are the best!

They take a bit getting used to if you’re currently using a non-screen drawing tablet, but they’re a great purchase nonetheless.

Also, advice from someone who went through the same…once you use a display tablet, you won’t want anything else!

True, I work with both kinds of tablets. However, I feel much more comfortable drawing directly on a screen than on a tablet without a screen.

You feel like you have more control.

It’s also a bit more intuitive since it’s very similar to drawing on paper.

You can also see your drawings directly where you’re drawing in real-time, so they’re quite useful.

One con with this large size of drawing tablets is that they tend to take up a lot of desk space.

That’s why I mostly recommend display tablets in bigger sizes.

Even a medium-sized screened tablet will take up a whole lot of space on your desk.

With a lot of them, you still need to connect them to your computer.

So you need both your computer/monitor on your desk, along with the tablet.

That’s why I also feel these tablets work better if you’re someone who almost always works on a desk both in an office or at home.

However, you have the iPad option. The iPad Pro 12.9’’ is quite big, while still maintaining its portability.

Again, you don’t need any other device at all.

With an iPad you can draw, write, use any apps you want and browse the internet.

In short…you can work and procrastinate with it! Perfect, right?

Jokes aside, this is perfect for someone who still wants some flexibility in both space and place of work.

You can draw on your desk, on your bed or your sofa. You can draw indoors or outdoors. The choice is yours!

Again, for this option, you need to get both the iPad and the Apple Pencil.

These bigger tablets tend to be much more expensive, however if drawing is your trade, they’ll definitely be worth the price!

What’s The Best Drawing Tablet Size?

Choosing the best size depends on your own needs, preferences, and budget. There’s a tablet for everybody!

But, summing it all up, if you’re a beginner artist that wants to experiment with digital art, go with a smaller drawing tablet like the HUION H420X.

If you have a medium budget and some desk space, I would instead go for a medium-sized drawing tablet like the XP-Pen Deco Pro MW or the iPad Air 4th Generation, 10.9’’.

And if you have a lot of desk space and would like a screen on your tablet, go with a large drawing table like the HUION Kamvas 22 Plus or the iPad Pro 12.9’’. (depending on your budget!)

Once you’re ready to start drawing, (even if you don’t have a drawing tablet yet) grab the complete figure drawing course to guide you on your art journey! 

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