How Long Does a Drawing Tablet Last?

Drawing tablets that do not have a screen can withstand up to 5 years of daily use. Moderate use can increase this time-frame to 10 years. The same tablets can last indefinitely if seldom used.

As a real-life example, I have purchased three UGEE tablets in 2005 and all of them still work the same way nearly two decades later. Those tablets were frequently used for a single year and then kept inside their original boxes until now.

The only items related to those tablets that deteriorated were the digital pens that had a battery inside. Each UGEE tablet had a single stylus (digital pen) and since I did not remove the batteries from two of those pens, over the years the batteries leaked and chemically damaged the pens from the inside, rending them completely useless.

The pen that did not have a battery inside still works perfectly.

Examples of Drawing Tablets Without a Screen

Deco Pro Small

Deco Pro Drawing Tablet Box

One of the most affordable options of durable drawing tablets that do not have a screen. Although its title says “small”, the Deco Pro Small can easily be considered middle-sized as it has an active drawing area that is comfortable enough for any professional artist.

Inspiroy Ink

Inspiroy Ink packaging
Inspiroy Ink packaging

Probably the most durable drawing tablet without a screen. The Inspiroy Ink is extremely slim and does not have any moving parts, which contributes to its resilience, particularly while being transported. What makes this drawing tablet different from other is its double-surface work area. It’s possible to draw on both sides of the board.

How Long Do Drawing Tablets with a Screen Last?

Drawing tablets that have their own screen last for about 3 years if used daily. Using them sporadically may increase durability to 7 years. If seldom used, these drawing tablets also last indefinitely.

Even though these tablets can be considered durable, screens are very fragile and tend to shatter early on due to mishandling and especially transportation.

Ideally, drawing tablets that have a screen should only be moved occasionally. Developing the habit of carrying these drawing tablets everywhere almost guarantees a much shorter lifespan.

Examples of Drawing Tablets with a Screen

Artist 12 Pro

Medium-sized drawing tablet that has a screen. This one should be used at a fixed location since it’s quite heavy and has a number of cables. The best characteristic about this device is the resolution of the display and the vivid colors. You may read everything about the Artist 12 Pro by clicking here.

Huion Kamvas 13

Huion Kamvas 13
Huion Kamvas 13

This drawing tablet also has a medium screen, but it’s slightly larger than average. The Huion Kamvas 13 is a great alternative for artists who want to go professional and are looking for their first tablet that has a screen.

How Long Do Standalone Drawing Tablets Last?

Standalone drawing tablets are the ones who last the least because they are used more often than their counterparts. While regular drawing tablets are only used while the artist is actually drawing, standalone tablets are multi-functional, they are used for watching movies, browsing the web, playing games and also drawing.

The extended use coupled with the fact that these tablets were made to be carried around everywhere mean that they have more opportunities to get damaged during transportation and handling.

Standalone drawing tablets may last as long as regular tablets with a screen, for about 3 years of daily use, but they wear out more easily and tend to display unexpected behaviour earlier on.

Regardless of these negative traits regarding durability, standalone drawing tablets are the most useful type of drawing tablet because of their multi-task nature.

Examples of Drawing Tablets with a Screen

iPad Pro

New iPad Pro tablet
New iPad Pro

The most popular tablet in the world. The iPad Pro is significantly better than all other iPads and has such a powerful processor that it’s even capable of competing against certain consoles when it comes to gaming. This is an amazing tablet for drawing because of its performance and, most importantly, because of the Apple Pencil (Second Generation), the best digital pen ever made.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft’s take on the tablet market. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is actually a fully functioning computer that can also be used as a drawing tablet. If price is taken into consideration, this is probably the best investment an artist or a designer can make in a tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

A very well-balanced alternative to Apple and Microsoft. Although the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is not the best at any specific task, it’s above average at everything. For those who are already used to Samsung products and prefer Android to Apple’s operating system, this tablet is a great option.


Drawing tablets without a screen are the ones that last the longest, followed by regular drawing tablets that have their own screen. The least durable drawing tablets are the standalone devices.

Despite the differences in durability among different kinds of tablets, at the end of the day what matters the most is how well the user takes care of the device.

Any tablet can last for years, until it eventually becomes technologically obsolete. However, most people tend to grow less careful about their devices as time goes on, and it is this behaviour that leads to broken drawing tablets.

Have a question? Leave a comment below!

Keep on creating,

Bruno Santos

Bruno Brasil

Hi! My name is Bruno. I'm a web developer/designer based in Toronto, Canada. I've been working with drawing tablets for over 20 years and I'm among the Top 10 Most Viewed Writers on Quora in the Graphics Tablets category. Do you have any questions? Just leave a comment =)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kathy Troiano

    My son has always wanted to be a graphic artist and has asked for a drawing tablet for his 16th birthday. We are considering Intuos as a beginning tablet for him. Does that sound like a good choice to you? Thanks!

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