Best Tablet Computers for Drawing
Tablet computers are all about consumption. They let you play games, watch movies and surf the Web from almost anywhere. But some are great at creating content, especially art. Users can hand-draw images onto these tablets and then use various graphics programs, such as Adobe Photoshop to Corel Draw, to edit and create images. From drawing tablets – also known as graphics tablets – to multi-purpose devices such as the iPad, here’s a look at the best tablets that can help you create a masterpiece.
Wacom’s Cintiq 24HD
Wacom has a strong hold on the drawing tablet market, boasting various models for beginners and advanced artists. The Cintiq 24HD tablet is not yet on shelves – it will hit stores in October and is expensively priced at $2,500 – but it’s expected to be a first-class drawing device that doubles as an artist’s drawing board. Intended for photographers, video game designers, animators and other design professionals, the 24-inch display is a big jump from its previous 21-inch previous model.
The 24HD features a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is similar to the 16:9 ratio found in today’s high-definition TVs to accommodate HD movies. The larger display boasts higher, full- HD resolution at 1900 x 1200 pixels.
Artists can use Wacom’s pressure- and tilt-sensitive pens to replicate the experience of working with traditional brushes and markers. Its super-sensitive stylus pen can detect 2,048 pressure levels and tilts of up to 40 degrees and is compatible with most design software.
The company also offers a line of smaller drawing tablets starting at $229 that can be used with a standard monitor. It’s also gearing up to launch a new pen device called “Inkling” that draws on real paper and then digitizes the created images so it can later be dumped onto your computer.
Although some artists rave about the iPad 2 for creating art, others say the iPad is a pain to draw on without the right stylus pen. However, if you pair a good art app with a strong stylus such as the “Dagi,” artistic magic can be made. Styluses for tablets aren’t pointed down at the device like a pen. Instead, they have a wide rubber tip like a fingertip, which makes it possible to draw, but the process isn’t optimized. The Dagi has a round, clear plastic disc at the end so users can better see what they’re doing.
As for apps, the Brushes program for the iPad is especially intuitive and easy to use for drawers. Meanwhile, ArtRage app an excellent choice for those that want to experiment with painting, as some of the digital brushes authentically replicate the look of oil painting.
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Lenovo’s first tablet in the ThinkPad line has been piquing the interest of some artists looking for a multi-purpose tablet. The 10-inch Android device has a 1280 x 800 multitouch display, 1GB of memory and front- and rear-facing cameras, and comes in various models: 16GB version, $499; 32GB version, $569; and 64GB version, $669.
For $30 extra, the tablet can come with an accessory pen – an option that seems necessary since it’s one of the main differentiating factors of the device and a key reason why artists may be interested. Although drawing-specific tablets are better equipped to handle art and pen fluidity, the higher-end devices tend to be more expensive, and Lenovo’s pen has solid traction on the screen. With the right drawing apps, this notebook can be useful for both work and art play.
Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet
The Bamboo Pen Tablet is an excellent graphic tablet that won’t hurt your budget. For less than $100, this device – featuring a textured surface and a battery-free pen with an easy-grip design – recreates the feeling that you’re drawing on paper, whether you’re making fine dashes or wide brush strokes. Measuring 9.8 by 6.9 inches, the Bamboo Pen is compact enough to store comfortably in a laptop case.
Artists can use the pressure-sensitive control to vary line thickness, add shading and control boldness. It also comes with Corel Painter Essentials 4.0, a $40 value.
The HTC Flyer tablet is a decent tablet device, but its pressure-sensitive stylus and sleek interface are the two main enticing incentives for artists. The 7-inch device runs on Android’s 2.2 and comes with a 1.5-Ghz processor, 1 GB of internal RAM and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. The stylus is indeed sensitive and accurate, but some say the pen-on-glass feel is distracting.
Adding a matte screen protector may dull down the display a bit, but it’s worth looking into if you are seeking a device that feels more like drawing on paper.