Pen Tablet: The Excellent Product For You Is Now Available Today

pen tablet

If you enjoy drawing or painting, or just like the feel of putting pen to paper for everyday tasks, you might benefit from a pen tablet. Until recently, a pen tablet was exclusively used by digital artists and graphic designers who utilize a blank pad that linked with the computer and allowed them to interact with projects on the computer screen. However, they needed to be able to interact with a blank black surface and look up at a computer monitor to make their digital creations come to life. There was no such thing as a monitor that could be drawn on.

Fast forward a few years to the age of iPads, tablets and touchscreen everything. These days, pen tablets are used by people in all careers and all walks of life for a variety of functions and purposes. For example, teachers have found it beneficial for kids to practice lettering skills on a tablet that will allow them to follow letter outlines in one minute, and with the click of the pen, the guidance tool is removed, and they are free-writing. The program can then immediately correct any issues the student is having and craft lessons that will help the child with specific letters that are needed.

person with tablet

There are independent tablets that have their own operating systems and WiFi capabilities, and there are others that still need to be used in conjunction with a computer; however, the tablet now acts as a second monitor where the project being worked on is viewed and manipulated directly on the tablet. This puts an end to blind drawing and allows greater creative freedom and options.

What are the top pen tablets available and what are some of their top features? Check out our list below to find at least a few of the top options out there today.

How We Came Up With This List

In today's busy and demanding world, you may not have the opportunity to do much research on things that aren't necessarily deemed critical. With the number of choices of pen tablets, along with all the features they offer, it can become overwhelming trying to find the perfect product for your needs. We know how valuable your time is, and that's why we've done the heavy lifting for you. We've scoured the specs and stats to bring you the best of the best in the world of pen tablets. While this list can't possibly give you every single choice out there, it does give you a snapshot of the top sellers and most popular products on the market today. In putting this list together, we hope that you will be able to make a more informed decision without having to spend hours and hours poring over research and reviews. We are proud of the lists we provide, and with every one of them, we aim to give you 100 percent non-biased reviews. We are never compensated by the manufacturers of the products we include in our lists, and this one is no exception. Hopefully, we are able to provide you with the assistance you need to make a well-informed decision on a product.

The 6 Best Pen Tablets of 2018

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 512GB MPKY2LL/A (2nd Generation, Wi-Fi Only, Space Gray) Mid 2017 (Refurbished)
  • Renewed products look and work like new. These pre-owned products have been inspected and tested by Amazon-qualified suppliers, which typically perform a full diagnostic test, replacement of any defective parts, and a thorough cleaning process. Packaging and accessories may be generic. All products on Amazon Renewed come with a minimum 90-day supplier-backed warranty.
  • 12.9-Inch Retina Display, 2732 x 2048 Resolution (264 ppi), 120Hz Refresh Rate, True Tone Display
  • 512GB Flash Storage, 4GB RAM, Wi-Fi Only, 2.39GHz A10X Processor + M10 Coprocessor
  • Rear 12MP iSight Camera; Front 7MP FaceTime HD Camera
  • Up to 10 Hours of Battery Life, Apple iOS 10, USB-C fast-charge Support (optional; not included in box)

Display:

12.9 inches

Weight:

1.5 pounds

Operating system:

iOS

Storage:

256 GB

Battery life:

4.5 hours


Pros

  • Great interface for those who are strict iOS fans and users
  • Most of the functionality of the Cintiq, but without the need to be plugged in to a Mac
  • Stylus pen allows full interface with all digital arts programs available for iOS
  • All but eliminates a laptop due to full functionality and increased processing speed
  • Keyboard can be attached
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Pen costs extra
  • Can't have multiple windows open at once
  • Short battery life and long charge time
  • Large screen eats up battery power

Customer reviews: The customers have spoken, and they love the Apple iPad Pro 12.9. Its multi-functional use may eliminate the need for a separate laptop with the addition of the on-screen editing using the separate pen. The price point is high for a tablet, and some people who needed more advanced features for laptop use didn't find this as powerful. However, for the overwhelming majority of existing customers, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 was the perfect fit.

Overall Rating:

Sale
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7-Inch, 32GB Tablet (Silver, SM-T820NZSAXAR)
  • Includes the Samsung S Pen Stylus; Expandable memory up to 400GB
  • Featuring High Dynamic Range on a Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy Tab S3 delivers cinematic vividness, detail and deep contrast to a screen that fits in your hands
  • Our revolutionary S Pen is more precise and pressure-responsive than ever, and never needs to be charged, liberating you to create, translate, and navigate without limits
  • Powerful Quad speakers, tuned by AKG, calibrate with your movements as you rotate the Galaxy Tab S3, and intuitively reflect what's playing on-screen
  • Easily switch from touch to type with a feather-light keyboard that auto-pairs, attaches on contact and never needs charging (keyboard sold separately)

Display:

9.7-inch Super AMOLED – Multi-touch 2048 x 1536

Weight:

15.13 ounces

Operating system:

Android 7.0

Storage:

32 GB

Battery life:

3 hours


Pros

  • Latest generation of S Pen with increased sensitivity and more precision
  • Detachable keyboard
  • High dynamic range (HDR)
  • 13 megapixels rear camera
  • Easy to use
  • SD card slot for expanding memory

Cons

  • Has a tendency to slow down drastically
  • No pen slot
  • Magnetic pen won't always hold to the tablet, especially if you have a cover on it
  • Lack of sufficient note-taking app
  • May be some security issues

Customer reviews: The Galaxy proved to be a hit among a majority of the people who purchased and reviewed it. The price point, the easy Android interface and the large collection of apps available all made it a top-rated tablet among current customers. The battery life added to the list of things people enjoyed most about the tablet.

Overall Rating:

Sale
Microsoft Surface Book (512 GB, 16 GB RAM, Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce graphics)
  • 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display (3000 x 2000) resolution
  • Windows 10 Pro operating system
  • Incredibly mobile at 3.48 pounds (1576 grams)
  • Surface Pen included
  • Ships in Consumer packaging.

Display:

13.5 inches or 15 inches

Weight:

3.62 pounds

Operating system:

Windows

Storage:

512  GB

Battery life:

17 hours


Pros

  • Enhanced graphics card and memory enables the best renderings on the market today
  • PixelSense Display is always vibrant and bright
  • Fastest Surface Book available to date
  • Runs Windows 10 Professional
  • Detachable keyboard
  • 3-D capabilities in both what you watch and what you create
  • Pen is pressure sensitive and easy to navigate
  • Four modes of use including studio mode to create

Cons

  • High Price
  • Pen is sold separately or as part of a bundle
  • Lack of sufficient internal hard drive space
  • Issues recognizing the graphics card
  • Battery life doesn't always last as long as indicated
  • No HDMI port
  • Insufficient USB ports

Customer reviews: Overall, customers liked the Surface 2 for many of its features, including the drawing feature which is expanded with the purchase of the pen. These same customers disliked that the pen was an extra cost, especially at this already high price point. While people complained that the laptop lost battery power quickly or the graphics card disappeared, most were highly satisfied with the investment and liked the multi-functionality of the product.

Overall Rating:

Sale
Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display, DTK1300 (OLD VERSION)
  • Enjoy the natural creative experience of working directly on screen;Aspect Ratio :16 : 9
  • Pressure (2048 levels) and tilt sensitive Wacom Pro Pen performs like traditional brushes, pencils and markers
  • Premium, 13.3", HD Display (1920 X 1080) with wide viewing angle,get a HDMI to Mini Display Port adapter to connect the DTK1300 to a Macbook Pro
  • 3-Position display stand (included)
  • Comfortable, compact, lightweight design

Display:

13.3 inches

Weight:

2.64

Operating system:

Mac or PC (whatever you connect it to)

Storage:

2  GB

Battery life:

Depends on use and size, but it can be anywhere from 4 hours to 8 hours


Pros

  • Ability to plug in to a PC or Mac and fully interface with any creative programs
  • Photoshop editing is done with ease
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Wide viewing angle
  • HDMI port
  • Replacement pen tops (nibs) included
  • Pen comes with a case, so you always know where it is

Cons

  • Lithium battery will die in two to three years
  • Limited battery life
  • Needs to interface with programs on a PC or Mac in order to work
  • Bulky cord that must remain plugged in
  • Cord breaks easily
  • Screen can scratch easily
  • Computer needs both an open USB port and HDMI port in order for the Cintiq to work

Customer reviews: People who purchased the Cintiq did so because they needed to be able to interact with a monitor to edit, draw and the like. Customers knew this was not an independent product, and instead needs to be hooked up to a computer in order to use. Overall, the reviews are positive, and the Cintiq works for those who need to interact with and manipulate digital items with a pen.

Overall Rating:

Huion KAMVAS PRO 22 HD Pen Display Drawing Monitor Tilt Function Battery-Free 8192 Pen Pressure and 10 Shortcut Keys 1 Touch Bar on Each Side of The Monitor-21.5 inch
  • NOTICE:Please contact customer service to get the upgrade firmware for FREE to upgrade the tilt function for PRO 22. 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 pen pressure ,266PPS report rate and 5080LPI resolution , providing more accurate and responsive performance in drawing lines. Suitable for both left-handed and right-handed users. An artist glove included in the package.
  • Battery-free Pen : the PW500 battery-free pen with a donut shaped pen holder, allowing continuous use in game play and drawing. 2 buttons on the pen can be customizable.
  • 21.5 inch HD Drawing Monitor with 10 customizable shortcut keys and 1 touch bar on both side of the monitor: Color gamut : 100% sRGB;Thickness:21mm.The touch bar can be used to zoom in/out the image
  • Anti-glare etched glass: this device can effectively reduce dazzle feeling and protect your eyes in a more meticulous way. Multi-angle adjustable stand within the range of 20°~ 80 easily to make your drawing much more comfortable.
  • Wide Viewing Angle 178° x 178°. 72% NTSC wide color gamut and 16.7 million color present natural and vivid color. HDMI, DVI, VGA ,USB ports are all in placed on right side of the monitor which will be more convenient to insert. OS support: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and MAC OS 10.12 or later.

Display:

19 inches

Weight:

11 pounds

Operating system:

Compatible with PC (Windows 8 or higher) and Mac (version 10.8.0 or higher)

Storage:

None

Battery life:

Varies


Pros

  • Pen sensitivity is level 2048
  • Supports left and right-hand use
  • Compatible with Photoshop, Krita, Autodesk Sketchbook Illustrator, Manga Studio, Clip Studio, Zbrush, Corel Painter, Gimp
  • Adjustable stand makes utilization at any angle possible
  • Drawing glove helps keep hand smooth and the pen steady
  • Rechargeable pen with extra tips or nibs

Cons

  • Common cable error that prevents the tablet from interfacing with the computer
  • Point of the pen doesn't stay on the screen
  • Company doesn't honor warranty
  • Poor customer service
  • Loose connections, and easily broken components render the tablet unusable

Customer reviews: Customers had an overall positive experience, and the product worked as they expected. The resolution on the screen is high, and the pen strokes are defined and even. The writing glove is a nice bonus that customers seemed to enjoy as it helps keep the strokes even and reduce the wobble that often occurs with tablet drawing. The customers who had issues complained of a variety of problems, but the thing they all agreed on was the lack of customer support and the refusal of Huion to honor the warranty.

Overall Rating:

XP-PEN Artist15.6 15.6 Inch IPS Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphics Digital Monitor with Battery-Free Passive Stylus (8192 Levels Pressure)
  • [Warm Reminder: Artist15.6 drawing pen display must be used with a computer] Functions allow users to sketch, paint, design and edit directly from the tablet screen. Your work function will flow naturally and intuitively. Enjoy the high quality glass design which gives you high precision and prevents dust build up
  • The latest Passive Pen design! Our Passive stylus technology provides 8192 levels of instant pen pressure sensitivity_Providing you with groundbreaking control and fluidity to expand your creative output. No charging required
  • 15.6" 1920x1080 IPS 16:9 Display with 178° degree of visual angle delivers life-like colors, greater contrast, sharper, and vivid images..The Artist 15.6 driver can support 4k displays. Now you can enjoy every sharp detail
  • Features USB Type-C input design, easy to plug in and out. Features come with a 11mm thin design, 3 in 1 cable, and a new brightness adjustment button. 6 fully customizable express keys create a highly ergonomic and convenient work platform. The one-click toggle allows you to switch between Pen and Eraser instantly
  • We've adopted the newest F900 High Tech IC, to make lines flow smoother and perform better. Compatible with Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS version 10.8 or later, and major graphics software such as Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator, Clip Studio, and more. XP-Pen provides one-year warranty and lifetime technical support for all our pen tablets/displays. [Special offer for XP-Pen customers: Come to contact us with your order ID to apply for the latest openCanvas 7 drawing software for free]

Display:

15.6 inches

Weight:

3.2 pounds

Operating system:

Compatible with Windows 7 and higher and iOS 10.8.0 and higher

Storage:

None

Battery life:

N/A


Pros

  • Passive stylus pen design gives the user 8192 levels of pressure
  • High-quality glass screen repels dust and is an easy and smooth surface for the pen to glide over
  • Full interface with popular creation programs including Illustrator, Photoshop, Clip Studio, Painter and others
  • Supports 4k
  • Works for both left and right-handed individuals
  • Drawing glove helps maintain steady pressure and flow

Cons

  • Pen is thin and thus feels inadequate
  • Stand is not included
  • Stylus can malfunction if it is dropped or comes in contact with a hard surface
  • Lines weren't as smooth as with other similar products
  • Screen protector impedes drawing
  • Updating the drivers constantly can be time consuming and render the tablet useless during the updates

Customer reviews: A vast majority of users enjoyed this tablet for a few reasons, one of which was the quality of the product for the price point. The people who tend to purchase this product are artists or creative professionals looking to improve their work by digitizing it. Many had experience with other similar products and were able to compare the two. The biggest negative that was repeated, even among those customers who were highly satisfied, was the construction of the pen. Many said it was too thin and felt quite flimsy. Those who continued using the product wound up purchasing different pens and this seemed to help fix their issues.

Overall Rating:

Comparison Table

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Display:

12.9 inches

Weight:

1.5 pounds

Operating system:

iOS

Storage:

256 GB

Battery life:

4.5 hours

Price Range:

$800 to $900

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Display:

9.7-inch Super AMOLED – Multi-touch 2048 x 1536

Weight:

15.13 ounces

Operating system:

Android 7.0

Storage:

32 GB

Battery life:

3 hours

Price Range:

$400 to $500

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Display:

13.5 inches or 15 inches

Weight:

3.62 pounds

Operating system:

Windows

Storage:

512  GB

Battery life:

17 hours

Price Range:

$1,500 to $2,000

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Display:

13.3 inches

Weight:

2.64

Operating system:

Mac or PC (whatever you connect it to)

Storage:

2  GB

Battery life:

Depends on use and size, but it can be anywhere from 4 hours to 8 hours

Price Range:

$50 to $75

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Display:

19 inches

Weight:

11 pounds

Operating system:

Compatible with PC (Windows 8 or higher) and Mac (version 10.8.0 or higher)

Storage:

None

Battery life:

Varies

Price Range:

$350 to $450

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Display:

15.6 inches

Weight:

3.2 pounds

Operating system:

Compatible with Windows 7 and higher and iOS 10.8.0 and higher

Storage:

None

Battery life:

N/A

Price Range:

$300 to $400

The Verdict

The pen tablet has become an essential tool for creative professionals. The tools available make it easy to create and edit all with a digital pen and a tablet. This technology renders the old-fashioned pencil and sketchpad obsolete for many professionals. This type of tool, however, isn't just being used by professionals. Many people are using this technology to improve work and school presentations, manipulate photos and create art for greeting cards and notes. The possibilities with a digital drawing tool are virtually endless and only limited by the imagination. These six choices all had more positive features than negative ones. A couple could replace many gadgets in a single product while others were exclusively for use as a creative tablet in conjunction with a computer. When it came down to it, we are here to give you our professional advice, and as such, we have a definite standout.

When it comes to overall use, function, longevity and uses, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 stands head and shoulders above the rest. We give this product 5 stars out of 5.

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