Are you looking to buy a new graphic tablet? Or are you thinking of how to go about choosing the best one for your needs? For starters, a graphic tablet is an invaluable tool for both graphic designers and digital professionals alike. It combines the super comfortable feel of a pen with the unmatched ease of a mouse; that’s why most designers are always eager to get a hold of the best one money can buy. So, if you are in the market to get the best drawing tablet but don’t have an idea of what to look for before taking the plunge, be sure to join me as I cover just about everything you need to know!
For Starters, What Is A Graphics Tablet?
A graphics tablet is a device which gives you the ability to draw, paint, illustrate, airbrush, sketch, sculpt, etc. The great thing is that you get to do all these from your tablet to the computer without being obstructed by a mouse. A graphics tablet is more like a touchpad, and it’s controlled by a stylus. The bottom line is that the best drawing tablet gives you the opportunity to create great looking pictures and images with ease.
So How Can You Choose A Graphics Tablet?
In this section, I’m going to highlight the major things to look for in a drawing tablet so you can conveniently make a choice and get the best value for money. Sounds good? Let’s dive in!
- Size and Weight of The Tablet
For starters, you would surely want to buy that fits your drawing needs. In the world of graphic tablets, you can go for small, medium or large and yes, size does matter when it comes to buying graphic tablets. Small drawing tablets are ideal for artists and illustrators who place portability above everything. Moreover, people who are planning to kick-start their artistic journey would prefer working with small graphics tablets thanks to their lightweight design.
Next in line are medium graphics tablets. These are a bit heavier than small tablets, but some models can still be carried from place to place. For the most part, medium tablets are ideal for light to medium drawing jobs and can be placed on in your lap or on the desk.
Finally, large graphics tablets are a lot heavier than small and medium tablets, and as such, they’re a bit harder to carry around. This version work best on the desk and they can also be placed on the stand; you only have to stick with what you’re comfortable with. Large tablets are sure to be perfect for professional artists who have large jobs to complete; in other words, they’re not recommended for amateurs.
The bottom line: Just be sure to stick with the size that fits your needs and skill level.
- Check The Pressure Sensitivity
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best graphics tablet is the pressure sensitivity. It’s always an excellent idea to buy a drawing tablet that has a lot of pressure sensitivity levels. So what’s the pressure level of a graphics tablet? Well, it’s just the sensitivity of the pad to pressure of the stylus. The pressure level gives the tablet the ability to differentiate between hard and light strokes. Moreover, line thickness can also be adjusted using pressure sensitivity; doing this allows for a more natural feel when drawing.
Amateur graphic artists who are into light drawing exercises may not fancy the pressure sensitivity of a graphics tablet. However, professionals will be concerned about this feature since they’ll need a tablet that has advanced pressure options to handle their large jobs and also help them create a wider scheme of variations to their artwork. For the most part, some of the best drawing tablets come with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity while other modern ones feature up to 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. It’s all about choosing the one that fits your skill level. However, it’s still great to go for a graphics tablet with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity regardless of whether you’re a professional or amateur.
- Battery-Less Stylus
For starters, the stylus is the digital pen used to draw on the tablet. Now let’s go straight to the point! It’s way better to use a battery-less pen than one that’s powered by batteries. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple; you won’t have to worry about running out of juice especially when you’re in the most critical or difficult section of your drawing. Moreover, battery-free styluses are usually lighter and more comfortable to use. I also recommend choosing a wireless pen and not one that’s wired to the tablet mainly because wireless pens are more fun and super easy to use.
- Color Support
Do you want your images to have deep and spacial effects? If yes, I recommend choosing a drawing tablet with very high color support. You should go for a graphics tablets whose color support specs is 16.7 million colors. This will produce the most stunning graphics you could ever imagine.
- Screen Size
The screen size of your graphics tablet is also an important feature to consider. The size you decide to get actually depends on your personal preference and at the same time, depends on the size of the tablet you buy at the end of the day. You should also choose a graphics tablet that has a high number of LPI (lines per inch). Just be sure to go for one that has 5080 LPI; this will add more life and vibrancy to your artwork
- Check Shortcut Options
Some of the best graphics tablets also come with shortcut features which can be found at the top side of the tablet as well as on the graphics pen. Some of these features are known as Toggle Buttons or Express Keys. The thing is that these keys make your drawing and painting easier by giving you the chance to access keyboard shortcuts with your fingers. In other words, you’ll get to round up your work with ease and exceptional speed.
- Compatibility With Your Operating System
It’s also important to check if your choice graphics tablet is compatible with the operating system of your computer. When you go searching for a graphics tablet, you’ll likely find those that are compatible with Windows and Macintosh systems. Just be sure to choose the right one, or it will not work with your computer.
- Are You Right or Left-Handed?
Another nice feature to look for is graphics tablets that support both right and left-handed use. I believe most of us have the ability to draw or write with our other hand especially when the one we typically use gets tired. Most modern graphics tablets are designed this way, so it’s up to you to get the one that tickles your fancy.
Lastly, you should check your budget. So the question is “can you afford a pricey graphics tablet or one that is cheaper?” One thing to note is that the prices of these devices increase from the smallest to the largest, so it’s left to you to go for the one that fits your budget.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it! These are the most important things or features to consider when choosing the best drawing tablet for your needs, and the good news is that the process is not tedious or difficult as you thought. The best brands available on the market have all the essential features mentioned in this article, so be sure to shop around until you find the one that fits your needs. Just be sure to choose one that fits your budget and skill level. Happy shopping!