What are the best graphics tablets in 2023?

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The graphics tablet is the best friend of digital creation on the PC. There is a whole range adapted to different budgets: here are our recommendations.

Graphic tablet buying guide for professional and non-professional designers

While traditional graphic arts still have a bright future ahead of them, the democratization of computers has brought with it the popularization of digital drawing. As with any art form, it’s important to choose your tools carefully. He graphic tablet is a good solution to get started without breaking the bank. Working with any Windows PC or Mac, it replaces the mouse with a stylus for more precise drawing, while giving you access to many styles of ” brushes“. The brands Wacom, Huion and XP-Pen dominate the market.

The graphics tablet is a now well-established tool in a market rich in options, but don’t worry! We have been looking for the most interesting models of the moment.

If you need a solid PC to run your favorite creative software, we’ll give it a go in our guide to the best laptops.

Should we prefer a touch tablet for creation?

If you are looking for a more versatile alternative, touch tablets are very interesting. Not only do they have a very good screen, but they are portable, self-contained, and the software ecosystem is now complete, especially on iPadOS. In return, however, they are much more expensive than a basic graphics tablet.

So it’s up to you to see what type of device best suits your use. The best option for creatives is the iPad Pro 12.9 M1, but you can find alternatives in our tablet buying guide.

If your budget is tight, take a look at our guide to cheap tablets. Looking for the right drawing app? Read our selection of the best drawing apps on iOS and Android.

Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth: the compact graphics tablet for a good start

Wacom, a major player in the market, has long proven its know-how in the field of graphics tablets. The Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth is no exception to the rule.

Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth
Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth

This graphics tablet is the perfect introduction to the art of computer drawing. Compact, the Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth offers a 7-inch work surface for a weight of 249 g. As you will have understood, it is far from bulky on a desk and can easily slip into a bag when traveling. Especially since it works directly on Bluetooth, which allows you to skip the wires when connecting to a computer.

Despite its compact dimensions, the Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth is no less precise. Its configurable stylus supports 4,096 different pressure levels for detailed drawing. And with 4 freely programmable buttons, the Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth is very easy to use, whether you’re left- or right-handed. Not to mention that it comes with three free drawing programs: Corel Painter Essentials 6, Corel Aftershot 3, Clip Studio Paint Pro. Finally, its price, which is around one hundred euros, makes it an especially attractive tablet for beginners. Note that it also exists in a Medium format for those who prefer more space.

Huion H610 Pro V2: unbeatable value for money

Ergonomics seems to have been Huion’s guiding idea when designing the Huion H610 Pro V2. Although it is 35 cm long, more than double that of the Wacom Intuos S Bluetooth, by 24.5 cm wide, and weighs close to 635 g, the Huion H610 Pro V2 is still easily transportable thanks to its thickness of just 1 cm . On the other hand, such dimensions allow this graphics tablet to offer a drawing surface of 10 inches.

Huion H610 Pro V2
Huion H610 Pro V2

Left-handed people, too often forgotten, can enjoy an excellent user experience thanks to the Huion H610 Pro V2’s interface, which easily adjusts for left-handed drawing. Not content with understanding 8,192 different pressure levels, it’s especially capable of sensing the angle of your stylus for greater precision when drawing. Different levels of inclination of the tablet are also offered.

If the Huion H610 Pro V2 ignores Bluetooth, thus relying on a conventional USB cable, it is generous in terms of physical buttons. The Huion H610 Pro V2 has 8 of them, which can be programmed to give you access to 16 different shortcuts. For less than 70 euros, this product is especially interesting for those who are new to digital drawing.

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium: hands on

If entry-level models have shown their limits and you’re not interested in a model with a screen, the Intuos Pro is for you. Compared to the classic Intuos, it has a larger work surface and above all offers an L size that exceeds the A4 format. On the other hand, it is bulkier and heavier.

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium
Wacom Intuos Pro Medium

The resolution is doubled, as is the number of pen pressure points. In short, you will have access to much more delicacy in your creations. We also gain several additional buttons, practical to optimize your workflow . On the connection side, you’re complete: you can choose between Bluetooth or USB-C.

Among the new functions, the arrival of multitouch stands out, which allows the tablet to be used asTouch panelgiant. It won’t be unanimous, but a button lets you turn it on or off in an instant.

In short, Wacom offers the best in screenless tablets here. The high price alone may put some people off.

Wacom Cintiq 16: the best graphics tablet with a screen

Let’s get straight to the real (and only) downside of this graphics tablet: its price. The Wacom Cintiq 16 is usually found at a price of around 600 euros. One wonders what justifies such a high price, 2, 3 or even 4 times higher than that of a conventional tablet. Quite simply the fact that the Wacom Cintiq 16 is a graphics tablet with an integrated screen and that it is one of the best value for money on the market today in this category.

Wacom Cintiq 16
Wacom Cintiq 16

The Wacom Cintiq 16’s 16-inch Full HD display offers an excellent viewing surface, while restoring colors quite faithfully thanks to good calibration. Calibration that, by the way, adapts to many types of external displays. The Wacom Cintiq 16’s touch screen can also detect the angle of the pen, for an increasingly organic representation. As for its “passive” stylus, it supports 8,192 levels of pressure and makes the latency time almost imperceptible. Something good that would almost make us forget that we draw on a graphics tablet.

If you want a much larger workspace, we recommend going to Huion for a 21.5-inch tablet. He Huion Kamvas 22 offers excellent value for money. With a large Full HD matte screen that covers 120% sRGB, you’ll have access to good hardware at a fair price.

XP-Pen Artist 13.3 Pro: the mobile screen

Tablets with screens are convenient, but they are cumbersome to transport and often require a dedicated power source, making them impractical to move around. A limitation that this XP-Pen 13.3 Pro does not have since it is powered via USB. However, you’ll need two connectors and an HDMI output to work, a compromise we found quite acceptable. However, we hope to see a pure USB-C version land in the near future.

XP Pen Artist 13.3 Pro
XP Pen Artist 13.3 Pro

It’s nice to use, but it only supports 2048 pressure levels where most competitors are at 8192 levels. The 13.3-inch panel adopts Full HD resolution and offers correct brightness given the limits of the power source. feeding. The stylus on its side is of the passive type.

Last strong point of this tablet: its price, frankly interesting in view of its benefits.

XPen’s Artist Pro range also includes very high-end tablets such as the Artist 24 Proa very large 23.8-inch tablet with an attractive definition of 2560 x 1440 pixels. At this level, we benefit from 8192 pressure levels for the battery-free stylus. But of course, you have to pay the price…

What do you need to know when choosing a touch panel?

What are the different types of graphics tablets?

Exists three types of graphic tablets. The so-called “classic” tablet is the most widespread. This model of opaque drawing surface offers greater fidelity than its counterparts since you have the possibility to modulate your stroke simply with the pressure of your stylus. Then come the tablets with a screen. More expensive and cumbersome, the latter nevertheless allow better monitoring of the project in progress. However, be sure to calibrate the built-in screen. Finally, the “scanner” tablet is rarer. It allows you to digitize and vectorize a drawing on paper.

What are the essential features of a good graphics tablet?

In our opinion, four essential points should be reviewed before buying a graphics tablet, namely:

  • The dimensions. It is important to take into account the relationship between the total size of the tablet and the area allocated for drawing. There is no need to carry a large tablet with you if the working area is only a quarter of the device. Conversely, a small tablet that gives pride of place to its drawing surface will tend to sacrifice physical buttons.
  • Ergonomics. A touch tablet can be complicated to use, it is essential that you have all the keys at hand to learn how to use it quickly and above all without (too many) limitations. A large number of physical buttons will get you lost quickly. For starters, prefer tablets that have no more than 8 buttons. Also, keep in mind that a tablet with a screen is often heavier and bulkier than a traditional tablet.
  • the precision The pen is just as important as the tablet itself. The more levels of pressure a stylus can handle, the more precise your drawing will be. Below 3,000 levels, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Compatibility. It would be a shame to buy a new graphics tablet only to find that it doesn’t work on your computer. Always check that your future graphics tablet is compatible with your version of Windows or macOS. Also, make sure your drawing software is compatible with your graphics tablet.

How good is drawing on a graphics tablet?

Drawing on a graphics tablet doesn’t provide the same experience as traditional drawing, which can be disconcerting for the first few uses. You have to get used to the slight latency between pressing the pen on the drawing area and the result appearing on the screen. That said, a battery-free stylus (also known as a “passive” stylus) helps reduce this latency.

Finally, and this is probably the only important point to remember apart from the technical features: using a graphics tablet will not give you a better drawing technique. In order to draw better, nothing replaces constant and often prolonged training.

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