When it comes to choosing the best drawing tablet with a built-in screen, the options available out there may seem a bit overwhelming.
For all its actuality, you can get away with this task even with a generic $100 tablet available at your local supermarket. But would that suffice your actual needs?
Of course not! A drawing tablet is much more than that, so much more that you might even want to take a crash course on how to select the right one.
I, too, fell into this predicament when I first ventured to buy a new drawing tablet with a display to satiate my growing interest in self-made art.
The process can seem, as mentioned earlier, a bit overwhelming, but there are only so many products that you can try and test before deciding on a winner.
And I've come up with a winner, a few winners actually!
The best drawing tablets with a built-in screen are the Wacom Cintiq 22, Huion Kamvas Pro 16, Gaomon PD1561, XP-Pen Artist Pro 15.6, and the Parblo Coast 10. All of these products have stood their ground under my rigorous testing methods and proved themselves worthy of the title. Make sure to check and try as many products as you can before siding with one.
Here is a quick glance at all these products with a brief introduction.
|Wacom Cintiq 22||21.5" IPS screen, Full HD resolution, Wacom Pro Pen 2||Amazon|
|Huion Kamvas Pro 16(2.5K QHD)||15.8" IPS panel, 2.5K QHD resolution, Huion PW 517 Pen||Amazon|
|Gaomon PD 1561||Amazon 15.6" Full HD IPS screen, ten customizable keys, Gaomon AP 50 pen||Amazon|
|XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro||15.6" Full HD IPS panel, signature Red dial, XP-Pen PA2 Pen||Amazon|
|Parblo Coast 10||TFT LCD panel, 1200*800 resolution, Parblo Coast Battery-free pen||Amazon|
Now, let's get started with the products, shall we?
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Wacom Cintiq 22 - A Worthy Contender
Wacom has been an industry leader in the drawing tablet world ever since drawing tablets became a thing.
Trusted by professionals and Everyman alike, Wacom tablets do a marvelous job of giving your esoteric ideas a life.
I've been a keen admirer of Wacom tablets, first with their display-less line of devices, then the much-loved Wacom One tablet, which has all been a part of my growing repertoire of drawing tablets.
But that's then, and now, I fancy the Cintiq 22 over the others mainly due to its large, boisterous display.
As the name suggests, the Cintiq 22 sports a 21.5" IPS panel with a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels.
You get a 72% rating on the NTSC color gamut, which may seem a bit low. But trust me, the images are well worth it.
The display may seem a bit glossy to most likings. And hence, the screen may reflect a fair bit of light. You can remedy this problem by adjusting the viewing angle on the VESA-mounted stand.
A USB port, an HDMI port, and a power input port make up the port selection on the Cintiq 22. You also get a set of cables in the package for a carefree connection to the host device.
Wacom Cintiq 22 is compatible with both Windows and macOS devices.
And the actual setup process is quite simple with this device. Once you connect the set of supplied cables to the devices, the tablet will get the drivers automatically installed on your host device.
The device is built like a tank, capable of withstanding the test of time.
And that's where the problem lies. The Cintiq 22 is a bit loose on the heft side of things, and it can get a bit heavy for carrying around with you, thanks to the burly build and the mammoth display.
Continuing on the demerits of the device, you also don't get any customizable keys on this device. Apart from a few connection-related hiccups, this tablet is indeed the best of the bunch.
If 22" seems a lot for you, check out the 16" or the 13" version of the Cintiq lineup. These products do provide almost identical specs, save the screen real estate.
Complimentary 6-month membership of Clip Studio Paint and a 3-month membership of Z Brush also come bundled with the device.
Wacom Pro Pen 2
Apart from the sturdy stand and the cables, Wacom also provides a free Stylus with the tablet.
The Pro Pen 2 is one of the best styluses available as of right now, and it is compatible with almost all premium tablets made by Wacom.
With 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity detection, you don't have to worry about the density of the lines and strokes made by the pen.
Sixty degrees of tilt detection ensures the desired girth for your strokes. Active Palm rejection also comes as standard on the Pen.
The Pro Pen 2 is built based on the Wacom proprietary EMR (Electromagnetic Resonance) technology, making it a battery-free stylus. The pen draws its power directly from the screen.
You also get a pair of shortcut keys situated towards the side of the stem, which is customizable.
|Display||Bulky and heavy|
|Pro Pen 2||No Express keys|
Huion Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K QHD) - The Ideal Choice
Huion has made a name for itself, thanks to the well-revered Kamvas lineup that has taken the drawing tablet world by storm.
With its spectacular specs made available for an eye-catching price, it takes real heart to say No to a Huion product.
The Kamvas Pro lineup means business, especially with its uncompromising stand on quality over anything else.
And that's what makes the Kamvas Pro 16 a worthy adversary for any and all drawing tablets out there scouring for the title.
The creme de la creme of the product is obviously the 15.8" IPS panel powered by Quantum Dot Technology with a QHD resolution of 2560*1440 pixels, making it one of the most pixel-rich and sharp displays in this article.
An sRGB rating of 145% also ensures the color accuracy and depth of the reproductions are on point.
It is a fully laminated display, meaning minimal parallax errors. The anti-glare surface ensures minimal to no reflection of light.
The display is of the textured kind, hence, mimicking the effect of writing with a pen on paper.
A contrast ratio of 1200:1 makes sure of a fluid nature and smooth transitions between the images. A report rate of 300 PPS also stands proof of the silky-smooth operation of the display.
Huion Kamvas Pro 16 is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android devices. Setup can be a bit buggy with Huion devices, so keep that in mind.
Connectivity is made possible through two USB-C ports and an HDMI Port. You also get a free 3-in-2 cable to go with the device.
The device also hosts six customizable express keys, along with a provision for a touch bar.
Huion also provides a new and improved ST200 stand with the tablet for a carefree adjustment of the viewing angles and to prevent jerks and motions while using.
The device is of a good build. And you won't find any clumsy parts or ratchety hinges anywhere on the tablet.
The heft is manageable, and the device is portable to quite an extent.
If the 16" model proves to be a little too much for your tastes, opt for the 13" model with similar specs, save the obvious change in display.
On the other hand, if 2.5K resolution seems a tad bit less, opt for the Kamvas Pro 16 Plus model that offers a 4K display but at a considerable price increase.
Huion PW 517 Pen
Huion, apart from providing a free pen, also provides a free PH 05F Pen holder and an assortment of tips for the Pen.
Based on Pen Tech 3.0, the PW 517 is a battery-free stylus, working similarly to the Wacom Pro Pen 2 by drawing its power directly from the screen.
PW 517 supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity coupled with 60 degrees of tilt detection, which ensures the optimal amount of density and thickness of the lines and curves.
Active Palm rejection also comes standard with the Pen.
The pen also hosts a couple of customizable buttons on the stem.
As in the case of most proprietary pens, the PW 517 is compatible exclusively with select Huion tablets. You can't use this pen with any other drawing tablet.
As mentioned earlier, Huion does provide five extra tips with the pen. You can find them within the PH05F pen holder accessory, along with the removing clips for the tips.
But due note that the gritty surface of the display can wear the tips quite quickly.
|2.5K QHD Display||Buggy Drivers|
|PW 517 Pen|
|Express Keys availability|
Gaomon PD 1561 - No Gimmick Drawing Tablet
Gaomon is yet another drawing tablet maker that aims at providing high-quality features at a very affordable price.
In fact, Gaomon dominates the budget market range with its ever-expanding range of bang-for-buck drawing tablets.
The PD 1561 is no exception to Gaomon's unrelenting approach to providing feature-rich products for the masses.
It boasts a 15.6" Full HD IPS screen with a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels, enough for a budding amateur or a full-time professional. And since this is an IPS screen, you get up to 178 degrees of viewing angles.
72% NTSC color gamut rating ensures vibrant yet rich colors for your renderings. The device does fare well in the report rate department, with 233 RPS, ensuring smooth transitions.
The screen does come with a protector film pre-applied. And Gaomon recommends removing this film before using the tablet.
One of the most appreciated features of this device is the amount of express/customizable keys it hosts.
You get a good ten customizable keys for all your shortcuts, along with five menu keys for controlling the device.
The tablet is compatible with Windows and macOS devices. A mini HDMI port and a USB-C port constitute the port selection on the tablet.
In addition to these ports, you also get a power port for connecting the supplied external AC charger.
A 3-in-1 cable comes bundled with the device for easy connectivity to a host device.
You also get a multi-angle adjustable stand that can help hold the tablet firm while using it.
Even if the tablet looks and feels tough, it is bulky. Hence, portability can be a problem for most.
The screen is also not as outstanding as the ones mentioned above.
Gaomon AP50 Pen
Gaomon, too, provides a proprietary stylus with the PD 1561 drawing tablet- the AP 50 Pen.
Featuring a battery-free mode of working (thanks to the EMR technology), the AP 50 draws its charge directly from the screen. And so, you don't have to worry about a drained battery anymore.
You get the usual high-end specs that you would find in a Pen priced much higher than the AP 50, like 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity detection and tilt detection capabilities. Drawing is much smoother and more fun with this pen.
You also get a pen holder and eight additional tips bundled within the package.
The pen also boasts a couple of customizable keys, further increasing the overall appeal of the Pen.
Again, the Pen is strictly compatible with only the PD 1561.
|Affordable||Bulky and heavy|
|Good Build Quality||Screen is not that great|
|A plethora of Customizable buttons|
XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro - Loved by All
If you have been on the lookout for a decent drawing tablet that fits well within the budget, chances are, you might have come across the Artist 15.6 Pro drawing tablet from XP-Pen.
This tablet has been topping the lists of professionals and amateurs alike by being the ideal workstation on a budget.
And there is good reason for such universal acclaim.
The Artist 15.6 Pro sports a 15.6" Full HD screen with a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels, boasting enough depth and clarity for an average joe like me and you.
It is a fully laminated screen, hence, minimal parallax errors while using a stylus. The screen can produce an sRGB color gamut rating of 120%, rendering vibrant imagery with color-accurate reproductions.
The display is of the textured matte kind, so you won't miss the feeling of writing on paper with this device. The screen does come with a pre-applied protection film. Better peel off this film before using the tablet.
The screen does offer 178-degree of viewing-angle freedom, which can tackle most lighting conditions.
You do get a free AC41 stand with the device. With this stand, you can further increase the possibilities of positioning your tablet.
Eight express keys occupy the left bezel of the device. You can map these keys to the various functions, like erase, smudge, crop, etc., that would come in handy while working.
The port selection comprises an HDMI port and two USB ports. Cables do come bundled for free with the device.
The device is compatible with Windows and macOS devices. Connectivity can be a bit of a hassle since XP-Pen drivers are known to be glitchy at times.
Nonetheless, once you get the initial set up done right, you're good to go.
Apart from the usual set of express keys the Artist 15.6 Pro flaunts, you can also find the XP-Pen signature customizable red dial in the middle of the key stack.
This dial stands out among the whole jumble of keys and can be programmed to do just about any function, like zooming or changing the volume.
XP-Pen PA2 Stylus
The PA2 stylus pen does come for free with the tablet.
It is also a battery-free stylus that makes long session works a breeze. Hence, no need to worry about rundown batteries with this Pen.
Following suit with almost all the other stylus Pens in this article, the PA2 also features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity with 60 degrees of title detection.
Even so, you may experience slight lags with the cursor every now and then.
You also get a pen holder/storage capsule for free with the device. This capsule also houses the spare tips for the Pen.
Seamless connection and accurate strokes are a guarantee with this Pen. Albeit the Pen is compatible only with the XP-Pen Artist Pro line of tablets.
|Express keys and the Red dial||Unsavoury Setup procedure|
Parblo Coast 10 - The Budget Alternative
Even though most products mentioned above offer a host of premium features compared to the one at hand, they do carry a very hefty price tag.
The Parblo Coast 10 is a budget-friendly drawing tablet that you can get for about $200 (sometimes even less), and still, it offers quite a host of features only seen in tablets priced at least two times itself.
Let's start the features list with the display. Parblo Coast, unlike the fancy 2.5K panel present in the Kamvas Pro 16, features a plain old TFT LCD screen offering a resolution of 1280*800 pixels.
With this panel, don't expect the vivid and vibrant colors of the LEDs and IPS panels.
Nonetheless, it does get the job done with accurate reproductions and smooth transitions.
This panel is a tempered glass panel, further ensuring longevity and durability.
The display does offer 170 degrees of viewing angle adjustments. You can further increase the viewing angle using the PR100 stand.
The supplied stand is very sturdy and functional, so you won't feel the jerks and vibrations of the environment while working on the tablet.
Parblo Coast 10 is compatible with both Windows and macOS devices. Connection to the host device is made possible through a USB cable, which comes standard with the device.
Sadly, the device doesn't feature any customizable keys.
Parblo Coast Pen
Apart from a plethora of free accessories, Parblo also supplies a free battery-free stylus to go with the tablet.
This Pen is a digitizer pen that doesn't require a battery for its working since it draws its charge directly from the device while being used.
Coming to the features of this Pen, you don't get very much as compared to the premium styluses other OEMs offer. Yet the pen supports up to 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Tilt detection and Active palm rejection is a 'hit or a miss' sort of deal with this device.
The Tablet does have a storage indent cut out on its upper bezel, where the Pen can safely rest.
It also features a pair of customizable buttons, one on the side and one on the top of the Pen.
You also get three replacement tips for the Pen.
You could also pair other third-party styluses for drawing with this tablet.
|Free Accessories||Subpar display|
|Durable||Lacks customizable keys|
Buyers' Guide: A Brief Guide For All Your Drawing Tablet Queries
So, you have had a quick glance at the world of drawing tablets, and you're quite possibly overwhelmed by the number of options available.
Well, that's commonplace for most; since there are quite a few options to consider. And choosing the right drawing tablet with a display can be a bit of a hassle.
And hence, this guide comes into relevance for you, the discerning buyer.
Make sure to check and verify whether your tablet satisfies at least the following criteria before siding with a product.
Display of the Tablet
The most vital component of a drawing tablet is its display. Never let your morals loose while looking at the display specifications of a drawing tablet.
Now then, there are a lot of variations and versions of displays available as of right now, and most of them do a great job of bringing your phantasmagoric ideas to life.
Even so, you can go horribly wrong in choosing the display.
For starters, look for tablets with a good IPS panel, preferably with a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels (Full HD).
As you go up the rungs of the budget, you can find OLED or even AMOLED displays. These panels offer pixel-perfect saturation levels and higher brightness levels.
OLEDs and AMOLEDs may also offer better display resolutions.
LCD and LED panels do make a strong point of their relevance by providing better brightness levels than an AMOLED or an OLED panel.
Other characteristics like the Adobe sRGB level and the NTSC color gamut range determine the color accuracy of the renders. As a rule of thumb, the higher the value, the better.
Refresh rates and report rates determine the smoothness of transitions. A report rate of 200+ RRP can be considered pretty good.
Finally, let's talk about the surface of the display. Tempered glass panels, gritty surfaces, and matte finishes are the specs to take into account.
Although finding a product with all these features is as arduous as it seems, you can find a few good ones that feature at least a few of these specs.
Try to select the display based on at least a few of these display parameters.
Stylus and Other Accessories
Next up on the list of things to look out for, Styluses.
Most drawing tablets do come bundled with a stylus for ease of use. More often than not, these styluses do get the job done quite well.
But still, you might want to take a look at some of the characteristics that constitute a good stylus.
First up is pressure sensitivity. Look for styluses that offer at least 4k levels of pressure sensitivity detection. Any less could mean improper strokes and less depth for your renders.
Tilt detection is yet another feature that can aid you in giving life to your 2D renders. Without tilt detection, you may have a hard time getting the girth and width of your strokes right.
Active palm rejection comes as standard with most drawing tablet styluses. Even if this feature is absent, use a drawing glove instead.
All these features are exclusive to an active pen, unlike a passive pen which differs by a lot.
Programmable buttons are also a well-sought-after feature. Check and verify whether the Pen does sport any buttons or not.
Lastly, keep a keen eye for the tip constitution of the pen.
Plastic is the preferred material of choice for most high-end pens. Plastic tips glide smoothly across the screen, with minimal wear and tear.
Rubber tips are also common in the stylus market, but they tend to wear off quite quickly.
Other accessories that you can expect with the tablet are an adjustable stand, additional pen tips, a pen holder, and in some cases, a free glove or a screen protector.
Compatibility with the Host Device
Most drawing tablets are compatible with Windows and macOS devices, making it an unsung norm nowadays.
Also, some drawing tablets do offer support for Android or even Chromebooks, like the Huion Kamvas Pro 16.
All you have to do is connect the device through the supplied cables. In doing so, the device will trigger the initialization of the setup procedure on your host device.
First, you will have to install the tablet-specific drivers on the host computer.
If you have trouble with installing the drivers, you can download and install them directly from the Manufacturer's website.
Sometimes, improper driver setup may lead to glitchy performance and an unstable connection with the drawing tablet.
Hence, don't bat an eye on the installation process if you value an error-less operation.
Build Quality and Ease of Use
Talking about the build quality of drawing tablets, you can take a breather in this case since most of them are built like a tank and feature premium materials.
Nonetheless, you can and should never leave any stones unturned. Grab a hold of the products if you can and check if there are any janky parts or clumsy switches.
Plastic is the predominant material of choice for drawing tablets. Metals, like aluminum, also make a desirable material of choice but are rare in comparison to plastic ones.
Plastic also tends to be light in weight compared to metal. Plastic may get scratched up easily. Albeit, they're durable and oblivious to cracks and dents, an obvious issue with metal-build tablets.
Coming to the ease-of-use side of things, check for the switches and port selection on the product.
Most drawing tablets feature a set of express keys that can be customizable to your heart's content.
If a drawing tablet doesn't have any customizable keys present, it is not a huge deal-breaker, but it does take a toll on the ease of use.
USB-C ports have become commonplace in the electronics world since they allow faster data transfer rates and support fast charging capabilities.
An HDMI port can also help communicate better with the host device.
And there you have it, a comprehensive list of the best drawing tablets with a display available right now. Five brilliant products to consider, each distinct in its own unique way.
And if that's not enough, included within the article is a brief buyer's guide to help you choose the best drawing tablet all on your own.
Be sure to check and verify all the features of a product before you decide to go with your choice.
Tablets from Wacom, Huion, Gaomon, and XP-Pen can all be trusted to do a great job.
The most crucial aspect while considering a drawing tablet with a screen is that they share only the screen aspects of a standalone drawing tablet, and nothing else.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a regular tablet as a drawing tablet?
Of course, you can. Most tablets nowadays sport a host of drawing applications like Autodesk, Illustrator, etc. With most OEMs providing a stylus to pair with their tablets, drawing has never been easier on a traditional tablet. Apple dominates this category with its iPad lineup. Android tablets also make a formidable share of the industry, especially the Samsung Galaxy Tab series. But Android tablets do exhibit a discreet lack of compatible apps compared to their iOS counterparts.
What drawing tablet with screen should I get?
Drawing tablets from Wacom, Huion, Gaomon, and XP-Pen, can be trusted to do a banger of a job than most other drawing tablet manufacturers. If you want to know more about the critical specs for choosing a drawing tablet with a display, check out the buyers' guide section of this article.
How much does a drawing tablet with a screen cost?
The price of a drawing tablet can vary from a couple of hundred dollars (Parblo Coast 10) all the way up to the hundreds and thousands range (Wacom Cintiq 22). The price is dependent on the features on offer like the display size, the stylus provided, the build quality, etc.