How to Choose the Best Graphics Tablet
Portable electronic devices have undergone a rapid evolution in the last decade that has impacted all aspects of our lives. We have gone from the desktop to sleek laptops and from laptops to smartphones to indispensable tablets in a few short leaps. There electronic devices have permeated every sphere even in the professional world, so much that life without a tablet is unimaginable for most of us.
As a digital artist, I honestly believe that the advent of good drawing tablets has ushered in a revolution in our industry. The creative process has become much faster, much smoother and much more efficient. What would have earlier taken hours to create with paint and paper can now be recreated on the screen in minutes with the intelligent graphic technology that the best digital drawing tablets in the market use today. Even for youngsters enrolled in college, or journalists out there in the field, digital tablets have fundamentally altered the traditional idea of note taking and scribbling. Today, with a digital tablet and a stylus, you can very closely mimic a true handwritten experience on your tablet, digitally index your notes, store them in the cloud and have access to your entire library anywhere at any point of time.
This article explores the different factors that should be considered before making a buy, the different brands and models that are available in the market today and also pieces together the top graphics tablet reviews. We hope to help you choose a tablet best suited to your needs that can help augment your creative personality and professional efficiency alike.
Different types of digital tablets available in the market today
There are a number of models available in the market today that vary widely in terms of features, sizes as well as in terms of price. Naturally, some models are better suitable for certain specific applications. Let us have a look at the different categories of products that you might come across in the search for the perfect digital tablet.
Tablets for Graphic Design
As I have already stated above, drawing tablets have revolutionized the way digital artists and graphics designers work today. With pressure sensitivity, large screens, gesture recognitions and multiple touch sensitivity features, the digital creative method has become a delightful thing today. Since graphics designing needs high pressure sensitivity for well-defined strokes and a high duty processor for running heavy programs like Maya, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw and Indesign, the drawing tablets aimed at graphics designers usually carry a heavy price tag.
Wacom produces some of the best tablets for drawing in the market today and currently owns a staggering 85% of the graphics tablet segment.
Tablets for note-taking
The target demographic for this type of tablets is the college student, the salesperson and the corporate honcho who uses the tablet to take a number of hand-written notes, diagrams, keep together all e-book resources and create dashboards on the go. Since the application does not demand accurate pressure sensitivity or a heavy duty processor to run the Adobe Creative suit, some of the best tablets for note taking are available at very affordable prices today. Moreover, the market is open ended as well, with a number of front-runners that include Microsoft, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung and Apple.
Top 5 best drawing tablet reviews
Ever since I laid my hands on a Wacom drawing tablet for the first time, I was sold. The amazing interface, the beautiful screen, the sleek and smooth pen, the vivid color display and the entire user experience that Wacom provides is something that you will perhaps never find in any of its competitors. I know for a fact that 99% of my colleagues would never exchange their Wacom tablets with that of any competitor and thus it is not surprising to note that in my list of the five best drawing tablets, the top four spots are occupied by Wacom products. Let me take you through a brief review of the products which are probably the best that you can find in the international market today.
Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display (DTK1300)
Wacom’s Cintiq series is designed for professionals. The device manages to effortlessly combine a large display with easy portability to create a product that delights its users. The Wacom Pro Pen works like a magic wand and combines the powers of a traditional paint brush, a sketch pen and a marker all into one.
Wacom’s patented technology with inductive resonant coupling enables direct power supply to the Pro pen from the tablet screen itself. Thus the pen is not riddled by unnecessary bulky batteries or clumsy wires. It is ergonomic to use, can help you differentiate between 2048 different levels of applied pressure and achieve the kind of results you struggle to perfect even with pen and paper.
The Cintiq 13HD is compatible with both Mac and Windows OS and also comes with a stand for comfortable viewing.
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (PTH451)
The Wacom Intuos Pro series is appreciated equally by both the hobbyist and the passionate professional who is looking for the best drawing pad in the market. This particular model manages to pack in all the Wacom goodness into a compact frame that is easily portable and can be carried around in backpacks. This tablet is handy for art college students and artists who like to work in the outdoor environment and on the go.
Moreover, the unit is pretty affordably priced.
Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-Inch Pen Display Tablet, Black (DTK2200)
The Wacom Cintiq 22 HD is a beast. It is a work horse that can create life like images with stunning details, top-notch tendering and very smooth but firm line-work. The only reason that it lost out on the top spot in my list is because buying a Cintiq 22HD will leave a huge burning hole in your pocket. But when it comes to the best tablet for drawing, the Cintiq 22 HD is probably the best there is.
Wacom Bamboo CTL471 Pen Tablet for PC/MAC
A digital sketchpad ideal for someone starting to make forays in the arena of graphics design, the Wacom Bamboo CTL471 is truly a gem of a creation. It comes preloaded with creative software and online tutorials that is very useful for the user. With the customisable express-keys and amazing user interface design, the Bamboo definitely makes you a Wacom convert.
Huion H610PRO Painting Drawing Pen Graphics Tablet
In a sea of Wacom tablets, this lone Huion holds its head high owing to its ergonomic features, beautiful interface design, screen sensitivity and the very affordable price tag. If you do indeed want to stray out of the Wacom tent, a Huion H610PRO would probably be a great bet for the best tablet for graphic design.
Other brands who manufacture graphics tablets
We have probably already made a huge hullaballo over the fact that Wacom produces the top drawing tablets in the world. This does not mean that other brands are not catching up. The note-taking tablet segment has a huge segment of players already with giants like Microsoft and Apple turning out great products. Toshiba has partnered with Wacom to create the Encore Write tablet as well. Let us take a look at two other brands who are in the race for producing the best drawing tablets in the present market.
Huion is a Chinese brand that manages to combine years of manufacturing excellence with top-notch digital drawing technical enterprise. It brings to the table a range of products that have been tested to work under all circumstances, are affordably priced and are slowly making their presence felt in a market looking for the best graphics tablet. The company has its headquarters in China.
Boogieboard is making its presence felt with a range of low-cost LCD e-writers. Although the products cannot really recreate the experience of a good Wacom or the best Huion, there definitely is a market for its affordable products. Additionally, anything from a stiff brush to a cookie cutter can be used to write on an e-writer.
Closing Word: How do you know you have the best Drawing tablet?
A number of factors must be considered before you choose a perfect drawing tablet for yourself. Some of these factors are mentioned below.
Here is a helpful video that can help you get a better insight into the process of selecting the best drawing tablet.
The process of selecting the greatest drawing tab might seriously be intimidating. But knowing that with a great tab on your side, there will be no barrier to your creative abilities is definitely empowering. Best of luck.