Best Drawing Tablets in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 17, 2018
Are you fond of drawing but doing it on your PC puts you to inconvenience? Or maybe you're a professional designer and need a reliable device to create high-quality images? Check on drawing tablets review and choose the one to meet all your requirements. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE/ INPUT
PEN
DISPLAY
ACTIVE AREA
NIBS
POWER SOURCE
INTERFACES
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
USABILITY
WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS
You'll be pleased with numerous useful functions such as Time Savers, easy PC connection with 3-in-1 cable, and almost 60 levels of pen tilt recognition.
CONS
Power button doesn't have an on/off toggle.
OUR VERDICT
This graphic tablet is a perfect choice for professional users as it includes numerous outstanding features from ergonomic design to the high-quality display.
detailed parameters
TYPE/ INPUT
Display / Pen
PEN

2048 pressure levels

40° tilt range

Battery-free

DISPLAY

13.3" TFT LCD (IPS)

1920 х 1080

16:9, 5080 LPI

ACTIVE AREA

29.9 x 26.7 cm

NIBS
9
POWER SOURCE

Output: 19 VDC, 1.58 A,
Input: 100–240 VAC

INTERFACES
HDMI, USB 2.0, Mini Display Port
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows 8, 7 SP1 and newer

Mac OS X 10.8 and newer

USABILITY

Express keys, Rocker ring, Adjustable stand, Carrying case, Pen stand

WEIGHT

1.2 kg

WARRANTY
2 years in the USA, Canada, and Latin America
PROS

It is a fast-responding device that allows for lag-free drawing. The pen with 8192 levels sensitivity and 8 reinforces nibs is exceptionally precise.

CONS

Big and heavy, not too portable.

OUR VERDICT

A big drawing tablet to complement your workplace at home or in the office. High-quality display with great contrast and colour reproduction is a perfect stationary option for an artist or a designer.

detailed parameters
TYPE/ INPUT

Display / Pen

PEN

8192 pressure levels

233 PPS

Rechargeable battery

DISPLAY

19.5", TFT LCD (IPS)

1920 x 1080

16:9, 5081 LPI

ACTIVE AREA

43.5 x 23.9 cm

NIBS

8

POWER SOURCE

Output: 12V, 3A
Input: 100–240 VAC

INTERFACES

VGA, HDMI, DVI, DCIN, USB

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows 7 and newer

Mac OS 10.11 and newer

USABILITY

Adjustable Stand, Pen Holder, 178° Viewing Angle, Anti-gloss display

WEIGHT

3.3 kg

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The tablet has 6 customizable express keys easy to set and switch. The screen offers good colours and the pen does not need charging. Compatible with most drawing apps.

CONS

No stand despite the tablet size.

OUR VERDICT

A very thin body and overall moderate size/weight despite a nice big screen make this graphics tablet a perfect choice to carry around. A pen stand and a glove are included.

detailed parameters
TYPE/ INPUT

Display / Pen

PEN

8192 pressure levels

Battery-free

DISPLAY

15.6" TFT LCD (IPS)

1920 x 1080

16:9, 5080 LPI

ACTIVE AREA

34.4 x 19.4 cm

NIBS

8

POWER SOURCE

Output: 5 VDC, 3.5A
Input: 100–240 VAC, 50/60Hz

INTERFACES

USB

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows 7, 8, 10

Mac OC 10.8 and newer

USABILITY

6 fully customizable express keys, Left- and right-hand use, Anti-fouling glove and pen holder, Supports 4K displays

WEIGHT

2.86 kg

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

With the battery-free pen and a Bluetooth connection enabled, you can comfortably work without tangling cables around. There is a built-in pen stand.

CONS

Only 3 nibs in the box.

OUR VERDICT

Small and lightweight, this tablet has 75% of its surface as a working space. Also, it can work for up to 15 hours via the Bluetooth connection after only 3.5 hours of charging.

detailed parameters
TYPE/ INPUT

No display / Pen

PEN

4096 pressure levels

Battery-free

Wacom Pen 4k (LP-1100K)

DISPLAY

7" (10" available)

2540 LPI

ACTIVE AREA

15.2 x 9.5 cm

NIBS

3

POWER SOURCE

Built-in, non-replaceable Li-ion battery on Bluetooth models only (CTL-4100WL, CTL-6100WL)

INTERFACES

Bluetooth (optional), USB

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows 7 and newer (excl. 10 S)

Mac OS X 10.11 and newer

USABILITY

4 Express keys

WEIGHT

0.23 kg

WARRANTY

2 years in Europe (including Africa and the Middle East)

PROS

8 express keys and 16 sensor function keys provide fast access to the most frequently used functions. Massive rubber feet add to the tablet's stability.

CONS

Drivers installation might be tricky.

OUR VERDICT

The well-thought-out software enables you to adjust settings according to your preferences. And the ability to use sensor keys instead of the mechanic ones makes the operation on the Huion H610 very handy.

detailed parameters
TYPE/ INPUT

No display / Pen

PEN

8192 pressure levels

233 RPS report rate

AAA battery required

DISPLAY

11"

5080 LPI

ACTIVE AREA

25.4 x 15.9 cm

NIBS

4

POWER SOURCE

5V DC Removable battery

INTERFACES

USB 1.1

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows 10, 8, 7

Mac OS 10.8.0 and newer

USABILITY

8 customizable and 16 soft express keys

WEIGHT

0.635 kg

WARRANTY

1 year

Wacom 13HD DTK1300

Optimize Your Work

You will hardly disagree that professional characteristics of drawing tablets are a guarantee of quality sketches. Look through the specifications of Wacom Cintiq 13HD DTK1300 Interactive Pen Display and you'll see that this gadget has everything you need for successful work.

  • Adjustable stand allows you to set the display in a convenient position.  
  • 4 Express Keys are intended to save your time - you can assign them to most frequently used programs and quickly access them when need be.
  • The 2.65-pound weight is pretty small so you can easily take it to college, university, or office. Furthermore, there is a special case for the pen and nibs to make the process of transportation much simpler.
  • There are several interfaces such as HDMI, USB, and Mini Display Port to connect your digitizing tablet to the PC.
  • 9 additional stylus nibs included. No need to buy new for a long time. 

Review of Wacom 13HD DTK1300 Interactive Pen Display

New Level of Realism

Have you always been dreaming of creating pictures as true-to-life as you see them in the movies? Wacom Cintiq Interactive Pen Display is your chance to make your dream come true. Besides basic drawing, you'd also be able to design 3D models and bring your painted heroes to life. It's become possible thanks to the high-quality display and pen pressure sensitivity of 2048 levels. Combined together, these characteristics allow you to create as lifelike details as possible – starting with tiny wrinkles and ending with scarry scars. Moreover, tilt range of 40° provides the ability to draw for a long time without fatigue as you can position your hand in a comfortable way. After your picture is ready, you can make it alive using Autodesk's Maya which gives you an option to put your animated characters in any environment and perfect them using numerous tools available in the program.

Wacom 13HD DTK1300 Interactive Pen Display in the use

More Products to Consider

Protective Travel Bag will come in handy if you’re going to take your drawing tablet to work or any other place. It will not only make transportation easier but also exclude possible damage on the road.

Detailed review of Wacom 13HD DTK1300 Interactive Pen Display

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Wacom Cintiq 13HD Review
 

Huion GT-191-UK

Large and Clear

The Huion GT-191 is a big-screen drawing tablet, it has a display of 19.5" and it is heavier than even some laptops. Size and weight like these make it somewhat challenging to carry the device around so its portability is questionable. As a desktop graphics screen, though, it shines.

As we've already mentioned the 19.5" display, let us speak a bit more about it. Besides being really large, with 43.5 x 23.9 cm active area, it is also top-shelf when it comes to the visual output. The model has a 1920x1080 Full HD IPS panel often found today in monitors and TV screens, as well as tablets (drawing or others) thanks to its wide viewing angles and accurate colour rendering: the screen is able to display 16 million colours from whatever side you look at it. Both parameters are extremely important to artists and designers.

This model also features an unusual for an IPS panel contrast ratio of 3000:1. High contrast means you will be able to easily distinguish shades of the image. The brightness of 250 cd/m² is more on the average side, though.

The resolution of the display is 5081 LPI. Coupled with the 233PPS report rate, it makes for a fast response and stress-free work. Well, at least when the stress is caused by the slow equipment and not artist's block.

Review of Huion GT-191-UK Graphics Drawing Tablet Monitor with 8192 Levels Pen Pressure 19.5 Inch HD 1920 x1080 Pen Display

Top Choice for a Stationary Drawing Tablet

The Huion Kamvas GT-191 is a large and heavy device, as was already mentioned. It is nice to know that its creator acknowledges this fact: the model comes with a stand which you can tilt between 20° and 80° for the most comfortable position depending on where you work. The stand can be removed when you draw on a flat surface or hold the graphics tablet on your lap.

Another point of interest in this model, and a pretty unusual one at that, is the abundance of connection options. When most digital drawing boards come equipped with only a USB port and sometimes an HDMI (the top models), this one has an HDMI, a USB, yes, but also a VGA port and a DVI one. That's quite a selection, it widens the range of supported devices quite a bit.

Finally, the pen. A good stylus is as important for an artist as the tablet itself, after all. The pen designed for this model has 8192 pressure levels, which is the highest sensitivity available today. It means you will be able to control the thickness of the line you draw to the utmost precision and when you need a line to become thinner or thicker, the transition will be smooth and beautiful. The pen is rechargeable battery-powered and after charging it for approximately 1.5 hours, you will have it working for 350 hours. The 15-minute auto sleep feature saves the energy when you stop to make a phone call or prepare a dinner.

The GT-191 makes the best drawing tablet if you are looking for a desktop model to comfortably complete large art pieces and works like posters. While it is less convenient for constant travelling, as a stationary option, it is nearly perfect.

Huion GT-191-UK Graphics Drawing Tablet Monitor with 8192 Levels Pen Pressure 19.5 Inch HD 1920 x1080 Pen Display in the use

 

XP-PEN Artist15.6 (FRAT156)

Not Too Big, Not Too Small. Just Perfect

This drawing tablet is the size of an average laptop and approximately the same weight, though thinner at just 11mm, and you can bring it to work and back home without much trouble. The 15.6" TFT LCD display is large enough to comfortably draw, edit photos, or make designs yet it is not overly big and won't take up your whole desk. The panel here is IPS, it provides good viewing angles, which can be a major issue when it comes to a graphics tablet with a screen, especially one larger than 7" and working area as big as it is here (34.4 x 19.4 cm). Another benefit of IPS panes is that they provide the most vivid colours and your images look sharper and clearer. These panes are virtually perfect for artistry.

The resolution of the screen is 1920 x 1080 and 5080 LPI, quite a usual one for a modern model. Since it's very thin, there is only one port in this graphics tablet, a USB Type-C. However, with the help of an adapter, you can connect the device to a large monitor, even a 4K one. For the added convenience of the artist, there is a button at the side of the body, next to the Power button, to easily adjust the screen brightness without having to open settings or tweaking the tablet some other way. The body itself has rounded corners that make this digital drawing board look smaller than it actually is.

Review of XP-PEN Artist15.6 (FRAT156) 15.6" IPS 1920x1080 Graphics Drawing Tablet Monitor Pen Display with 8192 levels (Battery-free Stylus)

Full Package and a Bargain

The XP-Pen Artist drawing tablet comes with a battery-free pen, meaning it won't suddenly stop working in the middle of your inspiration spree, making you wait as it gets charged. It has 8192 pressure levels, ensuring that the transition between the line thickness is always smooth and just like you would want it to be. The shape lies comfortably in your hand and the toggle at the side allows you to switch between pen and eraser with a single click.

The tablet has 6 customizable express keys and can be used by both right- and left-handed artists. To enhance the experience, there are small trinkets added to the delivery box. One of the most valuable items, in our opinion, will be a pen stand. This device is designed to not only hold the stylus but to help you easily change the nibs—there is a special tool inside created to perform this very task. Speaking about the nibs, there are 8 of them included in the purchase. Besides the stand, you also get an anti-fouling glove.

XP-PEN Artist15.6 (FRAT156) 15.6" IPS 1920x1080 Graphics Drawing Tablet Monitor Pen Display with 8192 levels (Battery-free Stylus) in the use

 

Wacom CTL-4100WLK-N

Most Popular Beginner Model

The Wacom Intuos family of drawing tablets is one of the first options that come to mind (and web search results) when you start looking for a digital drawing board for beginners. These are relatively cheap models, perfect to try your hand. They are not equipped with a screen so you will have to draw while looking at the PC or laptop display. It is a good option for a transition from drawing with a mouse and, at the same time, comfortable enough for traditional pen-and-pencil artists who aspire to go digital. A win-win.

This particular model is really small, only 7" in diagonal, however, it has 75% of its surface sensitive to the stylus and, therefore, available for you to draw on. There is also a 10" model of the same modification offered if 7" is too small for you.

A particularly interesting feature of this graphics tablet is that you can choose to work wirelessly with it if you want—it is Bluetooth-enabled and has a built-in Li-ion battery powerful enough to hold for up to 15 hours; you will need 3.5 hours to recharge it fully. However, the battery is non-replaceable so when its time comes you'll have to either settle for the wired connection or replace the tablet altogether. Good news is that this time won't come too soon.

Review of Wacom CTL-4100WLK-N Intuos Pen Tablet incl Intuos Stylus & Bluetooth connectivity

Brand and Reliability at a Cheap Price

The drawing tablet has 2540 LPI resolution and 4 express keys that double as the pen's holder when the device is not in use—the buttons are slightly caved in and can hold the pen so that it does not roll away. The Wacom Intuos Pen has 4096 pressure levels and is battery-free, it needs no charging. There are only 3 nibs included initially but you can always purchase more from Wacom after you run out of them, they are fairly cheap. The nib replacement tool is placed at the end of the pen.

Having bought this graphics tablet, you get the chance to download two out of three offered creative software of your choosing for free: Corel Painter Essentials 6, Corel Aftershot 3, and Clip Studio Paint Pro. These have different purposes to them so you will have to choose depending on what you do as an artist, be it photo editing and collaging, drawing comics and manga, or sketching and drawing something more traditional.

As a conclusion, Wacom Intuos is a drawing tablet for beginners and hobbyists who would prefer to save funds and yet get a solid reliable device. The free software is a great bonus.

Wacom CTL-4100WLK-N Intuos Pen Tablet incl Intuos Stylus & Bluetooth connectivity in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Huion H610 Pro 8192

The Efficiency of Your Dream

If you’re looking for a drawing tablet with a reasonable quality-to-price ratio, the Huion GT-190S Pen Display is what you really need. The specifications of this device may be referred to as professional ones. 19” display with a 1440x900 resolution, 250 cd/m2 brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 16.7M colour recognition determine a high quality of the image. We would also like to point out that the tablet’s display is designed using the TFT technology which provides good viewing angles – 170° horizontally and 150° vertically. This peculiarity will allow you to turn the display the way you like and keep the quality of the picture unchanged. In addition, changing the display position is an easy thing to do since the manufacturer has designed a special button for this purpose. For a better understanding of this tablet’s characteristics, one should pay attention to the pen. It is battery-operated and battery life is enough for 800 hours of continuous use. We would also like to point out such feature as 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, approximately 50° tilt range and 220 RPS report rate. All these specifications are a guarantee of detailed and realistic images you’ll be able to create on your Huion Pen Display.

Review of Huion H610 Pro 8192 Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet

Back to History

You will probably be surprised to find out that the first prototypes of modern graphic tablets appeared in 1957. These were the devices to help the computer recognise handwritten texts. Some time later, in 1964, the first drawing tablet was designed by RAND company. The gadget worked based on electromagnetic field – the wires located under the display responded to stylus touch and transmitted the information to the computer. As this tablet wasn’t very expensive, a lot of universities, scientific laboratories, and other computerised institutions started to buy it for working purposes. Common users were able to purchase their first drawing tablets only in 1984. It was a KoalaPad which was supposed to be the prototype of touch pad as the function of finger recognition was already provided in this device. Speaking about modern times, drawing tablets, as well as other technological devices, have become an integral part of our life.

Huion H610 Pro 8192 Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet in the use

VIDEO
Huion H610 Pro Review
 

What Is a Drawing Tablet?

Nowadays, it's hard to imagine a person who has never used a tablet, this small gadget, already available with a variety of operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows). Tablets help us a lot in our work, studying, and they also offer entertainment. But what about drawing tablets? Well, these are not the same, you won't be able to perform usual actions like surfing the Internet, reading a book or typing a document. Instead, you'll gain something much more interesting. Drawing tablets, also known as graphic, digitising, sketch, art, or pen tablets, are devices created specifically for artists who draw, hence the name, though photo editing is also made easy with them.

While you can make digital art on a computer with the help of a mouse, or on some regular tablet with a stylus, a drawing tablet is much more convenient since it is a device created with a narrow scope of application in mind. Drawing tablets offer the comfort of drawing with a pen-like tool and they have much higher sensitivity and precision than conventional tablets. You can also simply erase the faulty part without throwing away the canvas and starting anew like you sometimes do with traditional art. These tablets simplify the work big time for artists who create visual content for digital showcasing, like web designs, banners, posters, and even just digital art. Most of the commercial art today is digital, including even book covers.

What Features to Compare

Type and Display

There are two types of graphics tablets—with and without a display. Tablets with display depict your images on the very device, thus, they are more functional, and, probably, convenient. Another type of graphic tablets transfers the pictures you draw on a computer monitor. This modification will better suit those who have just started working with digitizing tablets. Besides, these devices are much cheaper.

Now, let’s have a look at display characteristics. First of all, tablet displays differ in size. If you need to carry the device with you all the time, 13" will probably be more convenient. However, if you are going to set a tablet on your desk at home or in the office, you might want to consider bigger sizes - 19" or even 21.5". If you want to buy a tablet with a display, pay attention to its features too. Display resolution, viewing angles, tilt recognition, contrast ratio, brightness, colour recognition, and report rate are crucial aspects which affect the quality of your images. The higher they are the better image quality you get in the end.

Pen

Since a pen is the main tool used in drawing, its peculiarities are of vital importance.

  • Pay attention to pressure sensitivity. A higher pressure sensitivity provides you with thicker lines and more intense colours. As a rule, professional tablets have it at 2048 or more while cheaper amateur models offer 1024 pressure levels. This very aspect adds realism to your pictures.
  • Tilt recognition provides you with the ability to change the position of a pen in such a way that the device will still recognize it as a drawing tool. On average, tilt recognition is approximately 40-50 degrees.
  • The report rate, also called the pen reading speed, is an indicator of how many dots per second the tablet can display (measured in RPS or PPS depending on the manufacturer). Professional graphics tablets usually have 220 RPS while the gadgets for beginners have this measurement at 100-150 RPS. This characteristic also provides drawing smoothness - a high report rate ensures that there’s no visible time lapse in between the time when the pen touched and the dot (line, object) emerged on the screen.
  • The number of additional nibs is worth considering too. They tend to wear out during the drawing process pretty quick, so having some spare at hand would be handy for any designer. Pay attention to the power source of the pen, for if it runs on a battery, its weight will grow bigger and consequently, cause discomfort during drawing.

Interfaces and Compatibility

As a rule, the majority of digitizing tablets are connected to computers via a USB cable. However, most modern, expensive and professional models have additional VGA, DVI, Mini Display and HDMI ports for user's convenience. Some even support a wireless connection. Make sure to consider what OS your chosen tablet is compatible with. Some models may have their own software with its own adjustable settings. We'd also recommend you to get a glimpse of the package. If you don't want to look for other accessories anywhere else, make sure it's got all you need for comfortable work - a special stand, protective case and a pen.

Sources:

1. Rob Taylor The New Buyers' Guide To Graphics Tablets, envatotuts+.  March 24, 2014.

2. Sue Chastain  Before You Buy a Graphics Tablet, about tech.  August 10, 2016.

3. How to Choose a Graphics Tablet, eBay.  July 21, 2014.

4. Conrad Chavez  Which Size Graphics Tablet Should You Buy? inDesign.  February 16, 2015.

5. Ashley Balin  How to Choose the Right Digital Art Drawing TabletDesignrfix.  April 28, 2016.

6. Deepa Karandikar Tips for Beginners to Choose a Graphics or Drawing Tablet, BUZZLE.  July 7, 2016.

7. Graphics Tablet, Teach-ICT.

8. Sergio Ordonez  How to Choose a Graphics Tablet that Fits Your Needs, envatotuts+.  September 25, 2009.

9. The Creative Pro's Guide to Choosing & Using Graphics Tablets, CREATIVEBLOQ.  January 24, 2012.

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