Standalone drawing tablets are less common than you might think.
This happens because standalone drawing tablets are much more than simple drawing tablets, they are full-fledged computers and this characteristic surely shows up in the price tag.
Most people think that touch-screen drawing tablets are necessarily standalone devices. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, most of the tablets that have their own screen are not standalone. Meaning they still need a computer in order to work.
I know it may sound a little weird to think that even if your tablet already has its own screen, it would need a computer. But this is precisely how things work.
Although you won’t necessarily need the monitor in order to get the drawing tablet to work, you do need a computer because of the hard disk where all the software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Painter will be installed.
You should be very careful before buying your tablet. It’s extremely common for people to get touch-screen drawing tablets hoping that they will not need the support of a computer in order to use them.
If your goal is to have a device that you can carry anywhere you want without having to worry about taking a computer or a laptop with you, all of the tablets from the following list will be perfect for you.
Best standalone drawing tablets
This list is going to be price based. I’m going to start from the cheapest standalone drawing tablet all the way to the most expensive one.
There is a number of different tablets that fall into the iPad Pro category. The differences between them are related to screen size, hard disk size and battery longevity.
Despite these minor details, all of the iPad Pro devices can be used as drawing tablets.
These tablets are, without a doubt, the cheapest and most reliable way of getting a drawing tablet that works without the need of an extra computer.
Needless to say, the biggest advantage of owning a device like this is the portability. Being able to carry your tablet anywhere you go is an advantage that’s hard to beat.
And remember, the minor details don’t really matter. All of the tablets under this category will be more than enough for you to use just like you would do with a regular drawing tablet.
Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen)
This is another tablet that works just like a computer. Although It’s more on the expensive side. This tablet has been getting great reviews all over the internet.
It has a great screen size and a very powerful processor for this kind of device. It comes with a pen just like you would see in any other drawing tablet on the market.
In case you’re not that much worried about price and you would like to buy a drawing tablet that will last for a long time, this is definitely a great option for you.
Along with the digital pen, you can also get a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard, which will allow you to use this device just like any regular computer. You should know one thing, though, the keyboard and the pen are usually sold separately.
Another great characteristic of this product is that while drawing tablets usually need an arm stand, the Microsoft Surface Pro already comes with a support structure that works just as well.
Wacom DTHW1320H Mobile Studio Pro
As you can tell by the name, this device is a whole mobile studio. It’s perfect for animation and digital art in general, both 2D and 3D.
The thing about this Wacom tablet is that it goes much further than the other devices in this category.
Not only it is a computer, but it’s actually a very good one. Something you can use to create art, to navigate on the Internet, to use different kinds of software and even complete more complex tasks, such as professional video editing with software such as Adobe After Effects.
Nothing compares to the workflow speed you can achieve with this Wacom. This device is extremely fast and you will never have problems with lag, which is a very common occurrence with other drawing tablets in the market.
The mobile studio pro comes with Windows 10 and can be used in 3 different ways:
- Hand, just like other tablets;
- Pen, as all other drawing tablets;
- Mouse and keyboard, like a computer.
It has a dedicated graphics card and can also be used as a monitor for other computers. Another particularly important characteristic of this drawing tablet is that it’s extremely lightweight, bringing the portability aspect to a new level.
This is the dream computer for anyone who wishes to become a professional artist, but, unfortunately, it comes with a very, very expensive price tag.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
This tablet offers a very similar experience to the iPad Pro. In fact, it’s safe to say that they are equivalent. Although there are some minor differences, at the end of the day it all comes down to your brand preference.
I happen to own a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and despite the fact that I am very pleased with my device, I have felt the back of this standalone tablet heating up in certain occasions.
It’s important to note that these heating episodes only happened after I had used the tablet for several hours while it was plugged. And it’s also worth mentioning that using a tablet while it’s plugged into an outlet is never a good idea. The same goes for cell phones, but, as we all know, everybody does it.
Regardless of this minor issue, if your goal is to have a device that will allow you to draw straight on the screen and that will not need the aid of a computer or a laptop, the Samsung Galaxy tab S3 will do exactly that.
With the exception of the iPad Pro, which is clearly cheaper than its counterparts, buying one of these standalone drawing tablets is a decision that requires some thought.
This is much more than a simple purchase. It’s actually an investment. But if you’re serious about becoming a professional artist or if you want to take your work to the next level, it’s completely worth it.
In my experience, nothing comes even close to owning one of these drawing tablets.
They are simple to use, they are easy to carry around and they offer the utmost user experience when it comes to art creation.
In case you have the budget for it, go ahead and get one of these tablet computers. You will not regret it.
If you have any questions, make sure to leave a comment below I will gladly answer it.
Take care and keep creating!