There are many types of tablets. You have the normal kind of tablet, that connects to your computer, a screened tablet, or a full-on portable Tablet that doesn’t need a computer. With more or fewer function keys, more or fewer options. Different sizes and, lastly, for every budget!
Some people, when wanting to start to learn how to draw, prefer to go straight to digital.
Although I still think it’s important to learn some basics with a pencil and paper, it’s a choice and it isn’t a bad one. It can be less expensive, buying one digital tablet that will last for a long time, than buying materials over and over.
Others, just want to try something new or even upgrade the one drawing tablet they’ve own for years now and are curious to see what’s around there and how much different it is.
For either of these cases, here’s what I HIGHLY recommend you to use:
Huion 1060 Plus (click to check the price on Amazon)
This is a very friendly tablet and the one I own right now. I really like it, especially because it has the left-handed option.
If you’re left-handed and own a tablet with side buttons, you surely know that’s not comfortable at all! You can turn your tablet to the other side and, this way, the function keys won’t be in your way and it easier to reach.
Huion tablets are very affordable.
This one has a very good price for its quality and size, so I definitely recommend it, even for someone who’s just starting to draw digitally!
Why I Chose the Huion 1060 Plus
Here are the reasons why I chose the Huion 1060 Plus.
As I already mentioned, it’s a very good price for its quality! The tablet has 14.2” x 9.4”, so bigger than an A4 paper and it has 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity.
On one side, you have 12 function keys, that you can customize and assign any action to it. This is very useful for when you’re drawing.
Instead of reaching out to your keyboard, every time you need to undo something. You can assign the undo shortcut to one of the keys and press it whenever you need it!
The same goes for changing tools (brush, pencil, eraser, etc), changing your brush/eraser size, save, copy, paste, whatever you want!
Apart from the functions keys, on the top side of your tablet, you have 16 soft keys that you can also customize your will!
A total of 28 buttons that you can assign actions and tools from your drawing software of choice.
Now, I’ve already mentioned that this tablet has a left-handed option that you can use.
All buttons will still be functional, the only thing that changes is your tablet orientation. As for the pen, it’s very comfortable and easy to use. There are two buttons in it as well, that you can also assign whatever you want to it.
I for one, have mine set to undo and save the document. Pretty handy!
Let’s talk about contents!
The package comes with your tablet and the pen. With it, 2 cables: one, so you can connect your tablet to your computer and the other to charge your pen.
Additionally, the box also comes with a pen holder and inside of it, extra nibs.
Whenever your nib starts to waver, you still have some to trade with. If you’re not sure when’s the best time to change your nibs or even how to do it, I wrote an article about it, so check that out!
A pretty standard package, right?
But the greatest thing about this pack is that it comes with 2 handy gifts: a carrying case, where you can keep your tablet, to avoid scratches and other damages; and an artist glove that helps reduce attrition between your hand and the tablet.
Huion 1060 Plus (click to check the price on Amazon)
Alternatively, a Wacom Tablet is a Safe Choice
The Wacom Intuos Small.
Wacom is always a safe road.
They’re very well known and popular, so you’ve certainly heard of them. The Wacom Intuos Small is the most basic you can find by them. Very simple to use and small.
Quite smaller, compared to the Huion, 7.9 x 6.3 in, which makes it perfect to travel around with. It’s definitely an entry-level choice!
So you can have the maximum control of your lines, this drawing tablet has 4096 pressure levels! On the top, 4 function keys that you can customize at will and your pen doesn’t need to charge. So, to start, just connect the USB plug, install the drives and start drawing.
Good news for left-handers!
The Intuos small also has the left-handed option, so you can turn on for a better and more comfortable use.
This tablet also offers you a small gift: when buying it, you have 2 software of choice, after registering the product.
You can either get Corel Painter Essentials 6, which is a drawing and painting software. Or the Corel AfterShot 3 if you’re more interested in photo-editing.
A beginner’s tablet, very small and slim, so you can carry it with you anywhere, anytime. Just plug it and start drawing!
Wacom Intuos Small (check the price on Amazon)
If You Want a Professional High-End Tablet, This Is The One!
If you’re already a veteran or are determined in having a professional drawing tablet, then this is what you’re looking for: the Cintiq 13HD.
This is also a Wacom tablet, but the most exciting thing about it is that it’s a screened tablet!
You can draw and see everything on the tablet itself. Unlike the other, regular tablets, where you need a monitor, so you can see what you’re doing.
The Cintiq is both the surface and monitor.
This not only helps you see better what you’re drawing, but it also gives you more control of your movements and lines. It’s almost like you’re drawing on a piece of paper!
13.3” of screen size, 1920 x 1080 resolution and 16:19 aspect ratio.
This is already a very wide screen for you do work on and, additionally, it comes with a display stand that you can position into 3 different angles.
You can work with your tablet on your desk like you would with paper. Hang it on your lap, so you can sit comfortably while drawing or use the stand.
2048 pressure sensitivity levels and a pen that you can dynamically use to change brush size, exposure and line weight.
Additionally, it comes with a case, where you can keep your pen, with some extra, colored rings to personalize it and 9 extra nibs to change whenever you need.
Once again, it’s very easy to set-up and connect to your computer and you also have 4 function keys, on the side of the tablet, that you can customize with any shortcut you want!
Features to Look for in Drawing Tablets
When looking for a tablet, there are 3 major features you’ll want to check: Pressure sensitivity, size and if it’s wireless or not.
- Pressure Sensitivity: Nowadays, you don’t have such great difference between these levels as before. When looking for a tablet, you probably want something with at least 2048 levels of pressure. It grants you enough control already. If you prefer to control better the weight of your lines, then look for bigger numbers than that.
- Size: You want to decide the size for two reasons: do you plan to travel around with it? What size are you comfortable with? For the first one, you might want something quite small. The size of the Intuos Small and its weight makes it perfect to bring it with you if you need.
As for comfort. It really depends on your taste.
If you’re starting, maybe a smaller size will suit you better, to help you adapt to drawing on a drawing tablet. But as you get used to it, you’ll get to the conclusion that you need more space to draw your lines and make your hand moves more dynamic.
- Wireless or not to wireless? This one really depends on the person and what they prefer. I prefer to have everything wired. But that’s the way I like it. You might prefer to have a cleaner desk, with fewer cables as possible to not interfere with you and your work.
Once again, if you tend to bring your tablet with you, to different offices or classes, a wireless tablet might be the best option.
It’s one less item you need and you’ll avoid the experience of not being able to use your tablet because you forgot the cable somewhere else.
Aside from these points, there are two other things you might want to check.
Function keys is one of them.
These are very useful! Sooner or later, you’ll get too used to shortcuts.
They make your life easier and faster while drawing. Using the function keys, instead of the keyboard, will improve it even more!
You can assign any shortcut you want to them and simply click them whenever you want.
Having these shortcuts on your tablet makes it even more easy to reach to them, than with a keyboard.
Usually, all tablets come with extra nibs that you can change when yours has been too used.
But do check it whenever buying a tablet.
Nibs can be quite expensive and if you can avoid that expense for longer, the best!
Why You Should Use a Drawing Tablet
With a drawing Tablet, you don’t need to worry about any mistakes or ruining your paper.
With the touch of a button, you can erase any line you didn’t like. No smudges nor wrinkled paper.
Drawing tablets are made to feel as natural and close to paper as possible. So going from one to the other is very intuitive and natural.
If you’re too intimidated or you can’t afford to buy materials all the time, this can be a good way to start as well.
You only spend money on the tablet and you’ll be set for quite a few years!
Asides from this, digital painting is a whole new medium that keeps growing every day.
Learning it can open doors to new job venues and experiences. If it’s something you’re considering, take a step forward. If you still have some doubts and questions about tablets, you can take a look at this post about Drawing Tablets.
I do talk about this matter and drawing tablets, over there, in much more detail!