Best Budget Drawing Tablets 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
Are you a budding artist hoping to create a new digital masterpiece, or just an arty enthusiast hoping to have some fun and feel like a kid again? Have you got the perfect idea but just can’t find the the colors you need? Want to be able to edit your creations with a simple click of the undo button?
Well perhaps a drawing tablet is just what you need! They can can be used for all sorts of artistic ventures, from conceptual pieces to landscape sketches. Just connect one up to your computer or laptop, open your chosen drawing application and let your creativity take over.
When it comes to choosing the best drawing tablet for you there are a multitude of things to take into consideration, such as the tablets size and response time – thankfully, we have you covered! This article will help guide you through some of the best cheap drawing tablets currently on the market.
Best Budget Drawing Tablets 2020
After weighing up both the pros and cons of each drawing tablet, here are our top picks for the best drawing tablet currently available. Be sure to read on if you want more specifics on each chosen entry, so you can make the most informed choice on which is most suitable for you. Who knows, perhaps one will really draw you in!
Best Budget Tablet: Wacom Intuos
Best Performance Tablet: Huion New 1060 Plus
Best For Intermediate Artists: XP-PEN Deco 3
Best Large Tablet: Huion Q11K
Best Tablet For Novices: Huion HS610
1. Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet
Best Features: EMR Pro Pen. Customizable shortcut keys for efficient systems. Slim and lightweight design – perfect for portability.
The first choice we have for you comes from Wacom with the Intuos Drawing Tablet a budget variation of the Wacom Intuos Pro. A perfect choice regardless of skill level, with configurations for both right and left handed artists, it is highly suited for anyone wishing to explore the medium of digital art.
The Wacom Intuos is both slim and sleek meaning as long as you have a portable laptop compatible with a USB drawing tablet, you can take it with you wherever you go.
Measuring 6.9″ x 7.9″ inches and with a 6 x 3.7 inch drawing area, this tablet is perfect for relaxing on a daily commute or those with a limited desk space.
The Wacom Intuos is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X, meaning you aren’t limited based on your operating system.
Both the tablet and the included pen have built in customizable Express Keys; four on the Intuos itself and two on the pen, allowing you to setup specific functions for each shortcut key.
Thanks to the tablet’s 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, you have exceptional control over each pen stroke allowing for a diverse spectrum of opacity effects depending on the pressure applied to the pen.
The pro pen itself is battery free thanks to Wacom’s EMR technology, meaning there is no need to sit and wait for the pen to charge, pick it up and draw away! It’s features like this at such an affordable price that make the Wacom tablets some of the best drawing tablets currently on the market.
The Intuos specifically is one of the highest rated graphics tablets on amazon at this price point and it’s not hard to see why.
Dimension: 7.87 x 6.30 x 0.35 inches | 6.0 inches x 3.7 inches (Active Area): 152 x 95 mm | Item Weight: 0.51 lbs | Screen Size: 7 inches | Connectivity Type: USB Cable | Supported Software: MAC & Android | Stylus: Yes | Pressure Sensitivity: 4096 levels | Express Keys: 4 Keys
2. XP-PEN Deco 03 Graphics Drawing Tablet
Best Features: Can be used either wirelessly or wired via a USB cord/cable. Multi-function rotating dial.
The next product in our list of best cheap drawing tablets is the XP-PEN Deco. The XP-PEN features a 10×5.62 inch drawing area with 8192 levels of pressure allowing for an unprecedented level of control and freedom.
You can choose whether to use the provided ISM 2.4G USB receiver for Bluetooth accessibility or plug it directly into your device using the included USB type c cable. The pen requires no charging, allowing you to create your next masterpiece whenever the mood strikes.
Featuring 6 customizable shortcut keys and a dial, this tablet aims to be extremely accessible for a multitude of users.
This accessibility is only aided by the fact that this XP-PEN is compatible with most modern operating systems, meaning Windows 7 onward and Mac os 10.8+ users don’t need to make any compromises if this is for them.
The XP-PEN is extremely responsive, with a response rate of 266 RPS, pen strokes are picked up instantly allowing you to finely alter each individual aspect in your drawing. Reinforcing the idea of extreme detail is the tablets resolution of 5080 LPI meaning the sharpness of your paintings at this price tag has never been better!
Dimension: 14.6 x 9.9 x 2.2 inches | Drawing Area (Active Area): 10 x 5.62 inch | Item Weight: 2.89 pounds | Response Time (report rate): 266 RPS | Connectivity Type: Type-C USB Cable | Supported Software: Windows & MAC | Stylus: P05 Passive Pen | Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 Levels | Express Keys: 6 Customized Express Keys and a Dial | Resolution: 5080 LPI
3. Huion HS610 Graphics Drawing Tablet
Best Features: Compatible with Android 6.0, Windows and Mac. 28 Customizable Shortcut Keys. Functional Scroll Wheel.
Our third item on the list is the Huion HS610 Graphics tablet. Perhaps one of the most accessible tablets currently available, the HS610 includes 12 customizable function keys, 16 soft keys as well as a highly functional Touch-Ring giving artists the tools required to create their next masterpiece.
The tablet is compatible with Windows, Mac and Android, allowing for unprecedented choice when it comes to which device to use it with.
The Huion HS610 comes with a battery free stylus and a built-in pen holder, meaning you never have to separate the pen and it’s creations.
What a canvas this is, with a surface area of 13.79×8.34 inches and and an active drawing area of 10×6.25 inches, this is one of the largest tablets featured in this guide!
However, the active drawing area can be reduced to 6.25×3.91 inches via the tablets inbuilt phone mode, giving you the choice of your preferred work area.
The Huion HS610 features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity when using the included stylus pen, giving you extreme control control over your drawing experience.
An added bonus to this is the tablets 60 degrees brush tilt invoking the true sense of an artist attempting to find the perfect angle.
The tablets featured resolution of 5080LPI and a report rate of 266 RPS helps create the digital drawing you have envisioned regardless of drawing skills making this an exceptional entry level drawing tablet.
For a slightly cheaper but slightly less functional variant check out the Huion H610 pro.
Dimension: 16.38 x 8.98 x 1.81 inches | Drawing Area (Active Area): 254 x 158.8mm | Item Weight: 1.32 lbs | Response Time (report rate): 266PPS | Connectivity Type: Micro-USB Cable | Supported Software: Android 6.0 | Multi-Touch: X | Stylus: Yes | Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 | Express Keys: Customizable
4. Huion New 1060 Plus Drawing Tablet
Best Features: Free extras such as a Carrying Case to prevent damage and a drawing Glove. Built in 8GB SD Card.
As far as budget drawing tablets come, you would be hard pressed to find one as encompassing as the Huion New 1060 Plus. The Huion 1060 comes with a free carrying case and drawing gloves meaning you don’t have to splash out extra to enhance your drawing experience.
The rechargeable pen can also be kept safe with the provided pen holder meaning you can keep all your drawing tools together. Featuring a 10 x 6.25 inch drawing surface and a resolution of 5080LPI this is an exceptionally affordable tablet for what it provides.
The rechargeable pen also offers 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity allowing you to blend colors and replicate lighting all with a pen stroke.
This particular graphics tablet comes with 4 replacement nibs thus meaning the pen will last for an exceptionally long time. An inbuilt 8GB SD card also means you don’t have to stress about memory storage when it comes to saving your work which is an added bonus when you are on a trying to save!
The Huion New 1060 Plus is compatible with most drawing software from Corel Painter Essentials 6 to Adobe Photoshop allowing user freedom when it comes to what you wish to use.
This tablet features compatibility with most modern operating systems, such as Windows and Mac. This is one of the most robust packages that snuggly fits into the typical budget price range.
Dimension: 14.1 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches | Drawing Area (Active Area): 10 x 6.25 inches | Item Weight: 3.12 pounds | Response Time (report rate): 233 RPS | Connectivity Type: USB Connection | Supported Software: MAC & Windows Stylus: Yes | Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels | Express Keys: 12 Express Keys and 16 Soft Keys | Resolution: 5080 LPI High resolution
5. UGEE M708 Graphics Tablet
Best Features: Paper-Like Surface. Comes with 8 replacement pen nibs. 10 x 6 inch drawing space is a great size.
With a 10 x 6 inch drawing area the M708 Graphics Tablet is the perfect size for putting in your backpack and taking your paintings with you. The M708 is one of the best choices when it comes to branching the gap between experienced artists and fledgling hobbyists.
The included battery free pen provides 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity giving you the control you desire over the line width and line weights that you use depending on the pen pressure. That’s not all however, as the pen comes with 8 spare nibs, meaning you will be hard pressed to find a better deal.
The M708 is compatible with all your favourite software such as Autodesk Maya, it is no surprise that this is one of the highest rated graphic tablets on amazon at such an affordable price.
The surface has been compared to a similar sensation as drawing on paper, which only works to enhance the overall drawing experience of this drawing tab. This tab is second only to a Windows tablet, which is acclaimed for its general usage. Check out our best cheap Windows tablets if you want to know more!
Users can also specify whether they are left or right handed, the M708 graphic drawing tablet is built with comfort in mind, perfect for an entry level drawing tablet it can achieve almost anything.
Dimension: 14.09 x 8.28 x 0.32 inches | Drawing Area (Active Area): 10 x 6 Inches | Item Weight: 2.49 pounds | Response Time (report rate): MAX 266 RPS | Connectivity Type: Micro USB | Supported Software: Windows & MAC | Battery Power: 0.5 W | Stylus: P01 Pen | Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 Levels | Express Keys: 8 Express Keys | Resolution: 5080 LPI
6. Huion Inspiroy Q11K Graphics Drawing Tablet
Best Features: Exceptionally portable thanks to long running time and Blue tooth connectivity. 8192 pen pressure levels.
Our sixth selection when it comes to best graphics tablet on a lower budget is the Huion Inspiroy Q 11K. This tablet comes with the rechargeable PF150 pen featuring 8192 levels of pen pressure which is much better for reproducing those finer aspects commonly found in fine pencil based etchings.
The Q11K’s ergonomic design means you can comfortably rest your arm on the side preventing strain from long drawing sessions enhancing the user experience.
Wireless connectivity also assists this graphic drawing tablet in being suited for those of any experience level, as it is light enough to take with you, while still maintaining a sturdy build quality.
The Q11K models use inbuilt 2500 mAh batteries with a 40 hour long life, which works well with it’s utilisation of a Blue tooth connection creating one of the most portable options on this list.
The Huion Q11K also utilizes a huge drawing surface, measuring in at 11 x 6.8 inches which is the largest featured in this list and making it one of the best cheap options currently available.
Dimension: 15.4 x 8.8 x 0.43 inches | Drawing Area (Active Area): 11 x 6.8 inches | Item Weight: 880grams | Response Time (report rate): 233 PPS | Connectivity Type: Micro USB Cable | Supported Software: MAC & Windows | Battery Power: 2500mAh | Stylus: PF150 Pen| Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels | Express Keys: 8 Customizable Keys
7. Turcom TS-6610-Pro Graphic Tablet Drawing
Best Features: Features 26 programmable shortcut keys. Robust drawing tool.
Featuring a rechargeable pen with 2048 levels of pen pressure the Turcom TS-6610-Pro is the last entry in this guide. The Turcom TS-6610-Pro comes with all you need to become a budding digital artist, with an included pen stand and 4 spare nibs, this is one of the most complete packages on the list.
Using the supplied disc and USB cable, it is as simple as plugging this into your computer or laptop through a USB connection, inserting the disc and letting your imagination go wild.
Thanks to it’s inclusion of 26 shortcut keys, everything you need is right at your fingertips meaning you can load up your graphics software and start drawing instantly. With very few drawbacks this is an exceptional option for students or novices.
Dimension: 15.8 x 1.9 x 12.8 inches | Drawing Area (Active Area): 10 x 6.25 inches | Item Weight: 2.4 pounds | Response Time (report rate): 233 RPS | Connectivity Type: USB Cable | Supported Software: Windows & MAC | Stylus: Yes | Pressure Sensitivity: 2048 levels | Express Keys: 8 Hot Keys | Resolution: 5080 LPI
Guide to Buying the Best Drawing Tablets Under $100
There are two types of drawing tablet, those that include a screen and those that do not. All the tablets in this guide don’t have inbuilt screens as this is one of the biggest distinguishing features between cheaper tablets and higher priced tablets.
A graphics tablet with a screen offers the most benefit as you can see what you are doing without the need of computer screens, however they can be less responsive due and as previously mentioned more expensive.
Therefore, it is important to decide whether you require a built in screen for your drawings or if you are comfortable with looking at a up as you draw.
Graphics tablets are what make up this list, they are a range of electronics that allows artists to connect a tablet to a machine and create masterpieces using them. They are basically electronic drawing pads that work as a connection between an artist and a computer.
Tablet computers are not to be mistaken with drawing tablets although they can work in tandem with each other and tablet computers can even sometimes be used instead. Some popular computers are the Ipad Pro or the Microsoft Surface Pro which can typically be connected to via the use of a USB adapter. These computers whoever tend to be much more expensive than graphic tablet.
How pressure sensitive a pen is can determine how accurate the drawing represents what you are trying to achieve, however it is not the be all end all of the build quality of a drawing pen.
Pressure sensitivity is typically important when a piece involves shading or varying levels of transparency, however most design software has inbuilt features to replicate this. However, it is still expected that the price of a pen will increase if it is pressure sensitive, especially when it gets to around 8192 levels.
Regardless of whether the drawing tablet is wired or wireless you can typically hook them up to a wide range of hardware.
Almost all will connect to a computer or laptop through via USB whether that’s through type c interface or otherwise, however some can also connect to other electronics such as Android phones.
You tend to have to pay more for this increased connectivity however sometimes cheaper tablets will allow this such as the Huion HS610.
Wired and Wireless
Whether or not you require a wired or wireless tablet is something that should be thought about before purchasing any drawing tablet.
Wired can typically provide a more accurate response when used whereas Bluetooth has the convenience of being portable. It is quite common for the cost to increase when it comes to a device using this type of connectivity, and therefore whether this is needed or not should definitely be considered before making a purchase.
One of the key considerations when purchasing a drawing tablet is the size. Most drawing tablets have two size measurements, one for the overall size of the and another for the working area.
Size should be considered in terms of both drawing size and portability as a larger tablet is less portable but can be easier to use and vice versa. Typically, the larger the it is the more expensive it is, however this isn’t a direct correlation as there are other factors that can alter a tablets cost.
Most graphics tablets will require external drivers and software to be able to function effectively, therefore it is important to check how they are installed and what it is compatible with can before purchasing.
This doesn’t typically have much of an impact on the price as most are downloaded from the manufacturers’ site. It is also common for most graphics tablets to be compatible with the most popular pieces of software such as Photoshop and Autodesk Sketchbook.
Every tablet in this list comes with either a stylus or a pen, and this is the case for most cheap drawing tablets on today’s market. Stylus’ are typically thinner and can only draw lines as opposed to the finer parts that an electronic pen can replicate, therefore they are usually cheaper than their electronic counterparts. When it comes to purchasing a new graphics tablet you will find that ones that provide a stylus are typically cheaper than those with a pen, however a stylus might not cover your needs thus it should be something to be looked out for.
A lot of drawing technology now comes with a battery free pen, however it is not uncommon that the pen provided requires battery power. These pen models are typically cheaper as the user will have to supply their own when those included deplete. If you buy a battery powered pen be aware that the this could potentially cost you more in the down the road if you need to top them up.
Rechargeable models require the user to charge the pen up for a certain length of time before use. This can be beneficial as it negates the requirement of purchasing a battery for the pen, however it can mean that the pen is less portable as it will need to be charged before uses.
In your search, you will commonly see the term ‘EMR’, which stands for Electromagnetic Resonance. EMR technology uses a layer of sensors to help reproduce the accuracy of using a real pen, thus allowing artists the ability to enhance the finer details of their work.
It is typically found in more expensive designs due to it’s improvements on regular drawing pens, however it can be found in budget drawing tablets such as the Wacom Intuos featured in this guide.
Accessibility is one of the most common ways in which a graphics tablet will attempt to compete with another. By providing more accessibility they will allow a wider range of potential buyers use their product.
One such way in which they do this is by providing a large number of shortcut keys allowing the user the ability to customize their tablet to suit their goals. It is not surprising to see the price of a drawing tablet increase as the amount of shortcut keys does, but expect most budget priced graphics tablets to have at least 6 shortcut keys. Beginners tend to require less shortcut keys than professionals and the price typically reflects this.
Resolution of a drawing tablet is fairly important when it comes to deciding which drawing tablets you are willing to consider. The resolution of a tablet is measured using LPI or Lines Per Inch, which basically signifies how many digital lines fit into one inch. Meaning, the higher the lines per inch the sharper the image you are drawing. Most are usually around 5080LPI, however the price of a tablet will typically increase as the resolution does so be wary of your requirements before purchasing.
Support & Warranty
When purchasing anything electrical it can be extremely important to consider the support you will receive as a customer and any warranty you are covered by. If there is a fault with the product then it will be extremely useful to receive strong support from the manufacturer or even better be covered by warranty and thus the device can be repaired or replaced entirely free. Most electrical devices now are covered by at least a years warranty but is always better to be sure of this before purchasing a product online as warranty can add to the products overall price.
Battery choice is important when it comes to most electronic goods and drawing tablets are not exempt from this. The higher the battery duration, the longer the device will work without the need to recharge it. This can alter your decision when it comes to whether you require it to be portable or not. It is common for manufacturers to compete for the best run time and thus prices don’t tend to change too much depending on this, however it is definitely worth considering.