11 Best Standalone Drawing Tablets (reviewed in 2021)

Standalone drawing tablets are capable of much more than regular drawing tablets. They’re truly wonderful devices that allow artists to push their creativity to another level by reducing the gap between imagination and reality through technology.

I have carefully crafted this list to ensure that you get the best possible standalone drawing tablet that fits your budget.

What would you like to do first?

  1. Go Straight To The Top 10 List
  2. Learn Everything About Standalone Drawing Tablets

What is a Standalone Drawing Tablet?

A standalone drawing tablet is a completely independent device, it can be utilized to its fullest without the aid of any other equipment.

It contains everything it needs within itself, there’s absolutely no need to connect it to a computer, hence the definition stand-alone.

Another main characteristic of these devices is their high portability. They can be easily carried anywhere, which is why they’re so popular among people that also enjoy drawing when not at home.

There’s a simple analogy that can help you understand this.

Think of a cell phone, it’s both hardware (the device itself) and software (the apps) merged together. This characteristic puts it in the stand-alone category.

What is the Difference Between Standalone Drawing Tablets and Regular Drawing Tablets?

Standalone drawing tablet comparison table

Sometimes, simply looking at pictures of standalone drawing tablets and regular drawing tablets is not enough to tell them apart.

For this reason, many consumers end up purchasing the wrong device and only realize it later, after the delivery.

Look at the two pictures below.

The first one shows a standalone drawing tablet.

Standalone drawing tablet
Standalone Drawing Tablet

The second one shows me using a regular drawing tablet that only looks like it’s a standalone device.

Artist 12 Pro Drawing Tablet
Regular Drawing Tablet ( NOT standalone)

They look quite similar, don’t they?

If you were to buy the tablet from the first picture, everything would be fine, and you would get exactly what you expected.

But if you decided to buy the device on the second picture, you would probably be surprised by the fact that it must be connected to a computer in order to work.

I know it may sound a little weird to think that even if a tablet already has its own screen, it would still need a computer, but this is precisely how things work.

Here’s the full picture of the second device (regular drawing tablet) being used.

Artist 12 Pro Setup
Artist 12 Pro Setup

How to Find Out If a Drawing Tablet is Standalone?

As you must have noticed, simply looking at pictures is not enough.

There are a few ways to find out if a drawing tablet is truly standalone or if it just looks like it is.

1st Method

I have created a list with the best standalone drawing tablets on the market today.

As long as you pick a device from this list, you can rest assured that you will get exactly what you are looking for. Click here to see the list.

2nd Method

Carefully read the products’ specifications.

If you find words such as

  • Drawing monitor
  • Graphic monitor
  • Display drawing monitor
  • Pen display

This means that the product needs to be connected to a computer and therefore is not standalone.

3rd Method

When making a purchase on Amazon, scroll down and look for the Important Notice disclaimer in the product’s description.

This is where the manufacturer clarifies if the drawing tablet is standalone.

Look the examples below.

Warning about the drawing tablet not being standalone
Second warning about the drawing tablet not being standalone

4th Method

Check if the tablet comes with multiple cords.

Usually, standalone drawing tablets come with a single cord, which is used both for charging the device and for data transfer.

Although this is not a rule, it’s a particularly common trait.

Are All Standalone Tablets the Same?

Absolutely not.

There are substantial differences even among standalone devices.

Don’t worry, making this distinction is easy.

Standalone tablets can be divided into two different categories. Both can be used for drawing. There are:

  1. App-based standalone tablets
  2. Full-software standalone tablets
Standalone drawing tablet comparison table

App-based Standalone Tablets

These devices are mostly entertainment units.

People use them to watch videos, listen to music, read, play games, visit websites, draw and so on.

They can do almost everything a regular computer does, but at a shallower level.

For example, regular computers can run incredibly complex games that require a fast processor and a powerful graphics card.

While app-based standalone tablets can also run games, these games are much simpler and less resource intensive.

Standalone tablet graphics comparison
Standalone tablet graphics comparison

The same goes for drawing apps.

Though they’re useful and can be good enough for the production of amazing artwork, they still have a few limitations that full-software tablets do not.

For example, a full-software tablet can run the full versions of software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, while app-based tablets can only run light-versions of these programs.

The most important tools are all there, but some resources that are not considered essential are simply cut out.

This does not mean that these tablets are bad, they are still amazing and can satisfy the vast majority of users.

In fact, the most popular standalone tablet in the world is an app-based one. It’s called iPad (I’m sure you’re familiar with it).

Full-software Standalone Tablets

These tablets have the best of both worlds.

Not only are they full-fledged computers, just like the one you have at home, but they also come with a stylus (digital pen) that allows the user to create artwork with the full versions of the best art and design software available.

These tablets run on Windows and can be used with literally any software that works on a regular computer, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Painter, ZBrush, Maya and so on.

If given the chance, everyone would go for this type of standalone drawing tablet.

What keeps most people away from picking this option is the fact that they are substantially more expensive than app-based tablets.

11 Best Standalone Drawing Tablets in 2021

I have carefully picked the best standalone drawing tablets currently available on the market. The list is updated and ordered based both on quality and price.

Each device is carefully described in simple terms so that you know exactly what you are getting.

1. Apple iPad Pro 2021

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

iPad Pro 2021
iPad Pro 2021


App-based tablet with enough resources for both entertainment and professional tasks.

The recent hardware and software advances have definitely elevated drawing apps for the iPad to new heights.

It is now possible to use the iPad to create artwork that is good enough for production.

The only downside of working on this type of device is the screen size. Although some iPads have relatively large screens, they still can’t be compared to the humongous screens seen in drawing tablets used by large movie studios.

To be fair, the tablets used by Marvel Studios and Disney are extremely expensive and would be a reasonable purchase for those who work in the industry.

Apple iPad Pro 2021 Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 11-inch Liquid Retina Display with ProMotion
  • Storage: 1T | 2T | 512 GB | 256 GB | 128 GB
  • Back Cameras: 12 MP Wide and 11 MP Ultra Wide
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Wireless Technology: 5G
  • Stylus: Compatible with Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)
  • Keyboard: Compatible with Smart Keyboard Folio

Why is the iPad Pro 2021 a Good Option?

This iPad has the best colors I’ve ever seen in a tablet screen. On top of that, although this device is more efficient than its predecessors, its price is not substantially higher.

I would say that this tablet has some of my favorite characteristics any great drawing tablet should have:

  1. Vivid colors and sharp images
  2. Fast processing
  3. Highly responsive stylus, the Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)

Make sure to read more about the differences between Apple Pencils.

Even though Apple tends to enhance its products in small increments, it is undeniable that these upgrades add up over a period of a couple of years.

What I’m trying to say is this: if you bought an iPad last year, the enhancements in this new device may not make much of a difference to you, but if your last purchase happened a few years ago, you will see a noticeable evolution when it comes to processing speed and screen color.

2. New Apple iPad

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

New Apple iPad
New Apple iPad


This is an app-based drawing tablet; therefore, it utilizes less complex drawing applications.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 10.2-inch Retina Display
  • Back Camera: 8MP
  • Front Camera: 1.2MP
  • Battery Life: up to 10 hours
  • Stylus: comes with the Apple Pencil (wirelessly rechargeable)

What is the New Apple iPad good for?

  • Digital art (both raster and vector)
  • Recording and editing videos (only on apps compatible with iOS)
  • Taking and editing pictures (high-resolution photos)
  • Entertainment (streaming videos, playing games, listening to music)

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

It’s an example of the rare occasions when price meets affordability.

The New Apple iPad is a result of the rigorous quality control which all Apple products need to pass through, but it’s also particularly affordable because the company already sells other high-end tablets for more advanced users.

When it comes to the hardware, this tablet has the same aesthetics and sturdiness that iPads are known for. The fact that this device is cheaper than its counterparts does not negatively impact its quality in any way, shape or form.

The operating system follows the same structure that Apple customers are familiar with. It’s simple, fast and easy to use.

Who is it for?

Since this tablet is cheaper and has less resources than other Apple standalone tablets, it’s ideal for those who are just getting started and like to draw for fun.

The New Apple iPad is most popular among children, teenagers and older people who don’t need a device for professional reasons.

3. New iPad Pro

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

New iPad Pro tablet
New iPad Pro


App-based standalone drawing tablet. As other Apple devices, this one also works with apps downloaded from the App Store.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen size: 11 inch or 12.9 inch (depends on the model)
  • Wide Camera: 12MP
  • Ultra Wide Camera: 10MP
  • Front Camera: 12MP
  • Battery Life: up to 10 hours
  • Stylus: comes with the Apple Pencil (wirelessly rechargeable)

What is the New iPad Pro good for?

  • Digital art
  • Recording and editing videos
  • Taking and editing pictures
  • Entertainment

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

The fact that this tablet is manufactured by Apple is a testament to its quality.

Hardware wise, the New iPad Pro is an example to be followed. The device is sturdy, compact, thin and takes the user experience to another level.

In terms of software, Apple’s operating system is known for its simplicity and intuitive interface.

Even those who have never used an Apple product are capable of learning how to use it simply by playing with it.

What makes the it unique?

The New iPad Pro comes with a keyboard that can be attached and detached almost instantaneously, hence the name Magic Keyboard.

It comes with a stylus called Apple Pencil, literally the most responsive digital pen I have ever seen. It has virtually no lag, and its technology is far ahead of what other companies are currently offering.

Who is it for?

The New iPad Pro is perfect for people who are looking for an entertainment device that also performs well as a digital art tool.

I have written another article that may interest you: Is the iPad Pro Good for Illustrators?

4. Microsoft Surface Book 2

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

Microsoft Surface Book 2
Microsoft Surface Book 2


This is a full-software drawing tablet.

To be exact, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is an incredibly fast computer that runs on Windows and can do absolutely everything that a regular desktop computer does.

On top of this, it also acts as a standalone drawing tablet of arguably unmatched quality.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 15-inch touch-screen display
  • Processor: Intel Quad Core i7 (faster than most computers)
  • Storage: 512 GB
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Battery Life: up to 18 hours
  • Stylus: Surface Pen (has only half the pressure sensitivity of the Wacom Cintiq)

What is the Microsoft Surface Book 2 good for?

  • Handles full versions of digital art software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Painter and all the others.
  • Great for video editing, especially with software that requires particularly powerful programs, such as Adobe Premiere.

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

It’s everything one could expect from a drawing tablet and it also carries the advantage of having Windows 10 (which most people are already used to) as its operating system.

It’s fast, reliable and can be attached to its keyboard to automatically become an outstanding laptop.

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 performs exceedingly well both as an entertainment device as a professional tool for the work environment.

Besides all the advantages of a regular computer, this drawing tablet comes with the Surface Dial. A device that enhances the user experience by making it much easier for artists and designers to zoom in and out of their working canvas, thus substantially increasing productivity.

Who is it for?

This is not a cheap standalone drawing tablet / laptop.

Its price tag means that most people who acquire the Microsoft Surface Book 2 are either professionals or students who plan on joining the workforce in the near future.

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6


Another app-based standalone drawing tablet.

The difference between this Samsung tablet and the ones sold by Apple is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 uses the Android operating system and therefore cannot run apps that were specifically developed for the Apple (iOS) environment.

While Android tablets such as this one can host amazing digital art apps, it still can’t be used with some of the most popular applications out there, like Procreate (which only works on Apple devices).

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 10.5-inch
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Processor: Octa-Core
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB depending on the model
  • External Memory: up to 512GB
  • Battery Life: 15 hours on a single charge
  • Stylus: S Pen

What is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 good for?

  • It’s capable of running any Android apps and is powerful enough to handle art apps such as Illustrator Draw with ease.
  • The Galaxy Tab (Android operating system) has many hardware similarities to the iPad (iOS operating system), but the two tablets have completely different software environments.

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

It’s the best Android-based alternative to the iPad.

You should remember that even though Android and iOS devices have some apps in common, many others are exclusive to each operating system.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 enables users who prefer Android apps to have the same level of freedom and comfort that Apple customers have been enjoying for years.

Who is it for?

Given that this kind of standalone tablet is more frequently used for leisure purposes, it can perfectly be used for simple work tasks as well.

The target audience is almost all-encompassing because the tablet caters to anyone from young students to older professionals.

6. Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13


This is a full-software standalone drawing tablet manufactured by the most important company in this industry, Wacom.

The tablet runs on Windows 10 and has all the capabilities that a desktop computer has.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 13-inch touch-screen display
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Camera: Real Sense (capture objects and turns them into 3D models).
  • Stylus: Wacom Pro Pen 2

What is the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 good for?

  • All computer-based tasks.
  • Art-related activities, both in 2D and 3D.

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

Even though Wacom has ruled the drawing tablet market for decades, more recently new companies have joined the competition and have put Wacom devices to the test.

Although this device is not as powerful as some others from the list, it’s the only one that comes with a built-in camera to capture objects and generate 3D models from them.

Who is it for?

This standalone drawing tablet is recommended exclusively for professional artists or art students who plan to join the creative industry.

Its price can only be justified by intensive use in a production environment.

7. Apple iPad Air

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

Apple iPad Air
Apple iPad Air


The Apple iPad Air is an app-based standalone drawing tablet.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 10-inch retina display
  • Chip: A2 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Camera: 8MP for pictures
  • Video: 1080p video recording
  • Storage: 64GB or 256GB depending on the model
  • Stylus: Apple Pencil

What is the Apple iPad Air good for?

  • Digital art (Drawing and painting)
  • Taking and editing pictures
  • Recording and editing videos

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

This tablet sits right between the regular New Apple iPad and the outstanding New iPad Pro.

Due to its design, this device is easy to carry around while it still maintains a considerable processing power.

Who is it for?

This drawing tablet can be used both by beginners and professionals. Besides, it’s the best option from this list if you’re looking to buy someone a gift.

Its well-balanced characteristics make it a great choice because it merges usefulness with affordability.

8. HP Zbook X2-G4 Laptop

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

HP Zbook X2-G4 Laptop
HP Zbook X2-G4 Laptop


Full-software standalone drawing tablet / laptop.

It runs on Windows 10 and can handle any software that is made for this operating system.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 14-inch
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Graphics Processor: NVIDIA Quadro M620 w/ 2GB
  • Stylus: Zbook X2 Pen (sometimes sold separately)

What is the HP Zbook X2-G4 good for?

  • Digital art (Drawing and painting)
  • Computer tasks

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

Even though this device was not created with artists in mind, it can also be used as a standalone drawing tablet.

That said, the HP Zbook X4-G4 is much bulkier than any other device from this list, and this is a factor you should certainly take into consideration because it heavily impacts its portability.

If you are looking for a drawing tablet you can take anywhere, this one may not be the best option.

Who is it for?

It’s mostly recommended for people who primarily need a laptop, but who would also like to draw sometimes.

There is nothing wrong with this laptop / tablet, but it would not be wise to purchase it solely for drawing purposes.

9. Microsoft Surface Pro

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 photographer tablet
Microsoft Surface Pro


One more full-software standalone drawing tablet from Microsoft.

This is an earlier version of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 that also has Windows 10 as its operating system.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 12.3-inch
  • Resolution: 2736 x 1824
  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • Battery Life: 13.5 hours
  • Stylus: Microsoft Surface Pen (sold separately)
  • Keyboard: Surface Pro Signature Type (sold separately)

What is the Microsoft Surface Pro good for?

  • Digital art (both 2D and 3D)
  • Video editing
  • Computer tasks

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

This is one of the best drawing tablets from the list.

Microsoft has managed to create a tablet that works particularly well as a drawing device while retaining all the quality customers would expect from a full-fledged computer.

The fact that new drawing tablets were released after this one has caused its price to become significantly lower than just a few months ago.

In terms of ROI (return on investment), the Microsoft Surface Pro offers the highest value for your money.

Who is it for?

No other tablet in the world has as many customization options as this one.

This means that users can pick and choose characteristics they value the most and only select those they are willing to pay for, like storage, processing power and add-ons.

People who are willing to invest a lot can get a super fast drawing tablet, while occasional users can simply go for the basic setup and pay substantially less.

10. CHUWI UBook Pro Tablet

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

CHUMWI Ubook Pro


Budget full-software standalone drawing tablet.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 12.3-inch
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1280
  • Processor: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Flash Memory Size: 256 GB
  • Stylus: HiPen H3 (sold separately)
  • Keyboard: Attachable (Sold separately)

What is the CHUWI UBook Pro Tablet good for?

  • Digital art (raster and vector art)
  • Video editing

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

This is literally the cheapest standalone full-software drawing tablet that exists.

Since CHUWI, the manufacturer, is still not a well-known company, there’s not a lot of feedback regarding this product’s quality.

Due to the lack of information, it’s important to look at this tablet with a grain of salt, and it’s always good to remember that consumers usually get what they pay for.

This may be a good option for you in case price ranks high in your priorities list, but it’s vital that you understand that purchasing an item like this involves more risk than getting a tablet from a company like Apple.

Who is it for?

This is a good option for those who want to be able to use the full versions of the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere…), but can’t currently afford drawing tablets from Microsoft, Apple, Samsung or Wacom.

11. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (10th Gen)

(Click here to check price on Amazon)

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7


Versatile full-software standalone drawing tablet.

This Surface Pro has multiple desirable traits packed into the same device: it’s great for drawing, writing and gaming.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 12.3-inch touchscreen
  • Resolution: 2736 x 1824
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD (faster file retrieval than most computers)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • Webcam resolution: 8 MP
  • Battery Life: 10.5 hours
  • Stylus: Sold separately

What is the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (10th Gen) good for?

  • Digital art (raster, vector, 2D and 3D)
  • Everything else a computer does
  • Video editing

What makes it a good standalone drawing tablet?

It’s a highly customizable drawing tablet / computer that even when stripped away from its add-ons like extra memory and storage performs at a higher level than most drawing tablets.

Besides having state-of-the-art components, the tablet remains ultra-thin and easy to carry. It fits inside any backpack and can be easily placed in a suitcase without taking much space.

Who is it for?

It’s suitable to anyone who wishes to have a great computer, but who also draws professionally.

One of the biggest advantages presented by Microsoft in their Surface series is the ability to upgrade the devices later on, an approach completely different from Apple (that requires its customers to buy brand-new devices each time their current one becomes obsolete).

Professional Insight on Standalone Drawing Tablets

This list is the most reliable way to find an actual standalone drawing tablet.

The internet is littered with articles full of misleading information and recommendations about tablets that aren’t even standalone.

I have personally gone through each one of the items on the list and can assure you that no matter which drawing tablet you pick; it will work exactly as described.

Purchasing a tablet is an investment and I want you to get the very best one your budget allows. I highly value my readers and therefore was extremely careful when creating this selection.

In case you have any questions, simply leave a comment below. I will be more than happy to help you out.

Have a wonderful day and remember to 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 46 Comments

  1. Amy

    Hi Bruno- thanks for the very clear overview. I’ve been trying to navigate the world of graphics tablets and this is extremely helpful. My question is whether all graphics apps will work on all the tablets? Also, which graphics app do you recommend? I really like the look of Affinity designer- price-wise and for functionality- and would like to hear your thoughts.

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, Amy!

      Some apps only work on Android devices while some others only on iPads. That said, both operating systems
      have great options for regular illustration and for vector art.

      No matter which tablet you choose, apps will never be an issue.

      I absolutely love working with Affinity Designer, it’s easy intuitive, fast and a lot of fun; however, it only work on
      Apple products, such as the iPad and the iPad Pro.

      I have written a whole article on apps similar to Affinity Designer, make sure to check it out: Photoshop Alternatives.

      Have a great day and good luck 😀

  2. Jordan A

    I’m looking to spend around 300 on a graphic tablet for my daughter but need it to work by itself as she does not have a computer. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. drawingtabletworld

      Hi, Jordan!

      look, the best thing you could do is getting her this new version of the iPad. Not only it’s within the budget you mentioned, but it now supports the Apple Pencil, which is crucial since she wants to draw. On top of that she can still use it for entertainment: watching videos, listening to music and so on.

      If you have any other questions, I’m here to help.

      Take care,


      1. An

        I hope this isn’t a silly question, with the tablets mentioned, would I need to buy software to use it as a graphic tablet? Or is there a feature already available for them to draw on it? Is the suggestion you gave to Jordan an Ipad 6th Gen and can the new pencil be used with it? I was going to get my son the Wacom Cintiq 16 or Art Display 12, however reviews are somewhat steering me and I would also like to get him a tablet he can carry with him as well. I don’t want to overdue it on price just yet, though he loves to draw and does it daily and never skips a beat. Hope I didn’t ask to much. Thank you very much in advance

        1. drawingtabletworld


          there are no silly questions, I’m here to help =)

          If your son is a beginner and he would like to practice and draw for fun, you should just pick an iPad Pro.

          The iPad has a whole lot of great drawing apps entirely for free. All you need to do is go to the App Store (there’s a link on the iPad as soon as you turn on the device) and download them. It’s easy, it’s fast and it works.

          Now, if your son is already a professional, he will need to use software like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop (both are paid by the way), and in this case the iPad will not be enough for him.You would have to get him something more powerful.

          The advantages of the iPad is that it’s affordable, it works extremely well, the apps are mostly free and your son will also be able to use it as an entertainment device to watch movies, listen to music and play games.

          If your son is still learning or if this is his first tablet, I would surely go for the iPad.

          Have a great day and, in case you have any further questions, make sure to leave another comment =)


          1. An

            This would be his first tablet utilized for these purposes. His drawings are fantastic and he could probably draw you, however he’s never used a graphic tablet. The only reason I looked to the Wacom is that the description describes it as being similar to writing on paper and I thought that would be perfect other than the fact it’s not portable. At either rate, thank you very much for the advice, I think I will go with the Ipad Pro. I do have one more question, how would you compare this with the Galaxy Tab S6? Thanks again

          2. drawingtabletworld


            I think your son would be very pleased with the iPad Pro. Once you get the tablet, tell him to download an app called Procreate. This is currently the most popular drawing software for the iPad and artists all over the world are creating amazing things with it.

            The Galaxy Tab S6 is a great tablet as well, very similar to the iPad. However, it can start heating after a while and the back of the device feels a little cheap because of the plastic it’s made of.

            If I were to buy someone a gift, I would definitely go with the iPad Pro.

            Take care and good luck,


  3. An

    Thanks, I’ll be getting the Ipad 11inch from BestBuy, since it’s the smallest they have and I want to get it insured. Thanks for all your help again.

    1. drawingtabletworld


      that’s great news! I’m sure your son will be thrilled. Make sure to research the prices before purchasing on BestBuy.

      Have a great day,


      1. kat

        I love your suggestions . This will work perfectly for my daughter as well. thank you so much for your information. You have already answered all my questions!

    2. Bruno Santos

      Hi, An!

      Sounds like a plan! Let me know how it turned out for you.

      Thanks for reading the article 🙂

  4. Chloe


    So I’ve never used a graphics tablet before but I would like one that won’t need replacing etc.
    Basically I want to cut out the middleman and get myself a tablet that has everything I may need both now and in the future when I gain proficiency. I don’t have a PC/laptop presently so I need one that requires no ‘hookup’ so to speak.
    Sorry if it’s a silly question but please could you point me in the right direction as I’m completely lost.

    Kind Regards,

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, Chloe!

      In you situation, I would definitely get a Microsoft Surface Pro. It’s not a cheap device,
      but it has everything you could ever ask for in a tablet. On top of that, it’s fully functional computer. You can use it to do anything a regular
      computer does and you will get all the benefits a drawing tablet has.

      Good luck on your purchase 🙂

  5. c

    Thank you for this wonderful review. Direct and to the point, this is exactly what I was looking for

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, C!

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a positive comment.

      If you need something else, just let me know 🙂

      Have great day!


    My daughter create gotcha life videos and mini movies with gotcha life. What tablet will allow her to continue to create stories like this? She talks about it can take up to 1000 frames to create a video. Do you know anything about that? What tablet would be best for this? She does all this on her cell phone currently.

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, Yalonda!

      The app your daughter uses to create these videos exist both in the Google Play Store and in the App Store (Apple). This means that
      both a Samsung Tablet (which runs on Google Android) or an iPad (Apple) will be good enough to fulfill your daughter’s requirements.

      They’re both great devices, though I’m personally more inclined to use Android-based tablets like the Samsung mentioned in this article because I’m more used to it.

      Take care and good luck 🙂

  7. Myth

    Hay, I’m looking for a standalone tablet, 300 is bout my max, 350 at most. is there anything besides an iPad that I could shop for? Are there any alternates for the Wacom Cintiq Companion? thx

    1. Bruno Santos


      There are plenty of Samsung tablets for much less than 300 dollars. As long as you don’t need to draw at a
      professional level, any of these tablets will suit your needs.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  8. Lynn


    My daughter is going to be taking A Level Fine Art, and her main interest is digital art. I’m looking for a standalone option that will support Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, as this is the software the school uses. Wacom Studio is a bit pricey for school! Which of the models listed above would you suggest?


    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, Lynn!

      All of the listed tablets can be used with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop; however, some of them
      (like the iPad Pro) can only manage a “light version” of both Illustrator and Photoshop.

      Since your daughter is going to take Fine Art, I would definitely recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro because it’s a much more powerful
      device and can handle the full versions of whichever software your she may need.

      Have a wonderful day and good luck 🙂

  9. April

    Thank you for writing this! I have been searching and reviewing drawing tablets for weeks. My 12 year old really wants one but it needs to be stand alone and computer. Does the latest version of the ipad capable? (we are not looking to spend the amount for the ipad pro).

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, April!

      All of the iPads are great for drawing, getting an iPad Pro is great, but it’s definitely not necessary for a child.

      The advantage of having an iPad is that your 12 year old will be able to use for other activities, like listening to music, watching YouTube,
      studying and so on.

      Good luck with your purchase 🙂

  10. Dawn

    My son 9yrs old makes simple animations all day. Also draws daily on paper. He requested Adobe illustrator, I know it required monthly or yearly subscription. Which stand alone tablet sounds right for him?

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, Dawn!

      For a child around your son’s age, I would recommend a more durable tablet like the Inspiroy Ink. I have dropped mine
      more than a couple of times and it still works just like the day I purchased it. This drawing tablet needs to be connected to a computer in order to work.

      If you want an option that can be used without a computer, check out this article: Stand-Alone Drawing Tablet.

      Thanks for leaving a comment and good luck! 🙂

  11. BookGraphics

    Hi, I am interested in illustrating a book with a character I’ve been drawing for a few years now. I need to be able to draw the character and then digitize and color him. I already have Adobe Creative Suite. What tablet would you recommend?

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi there!

      Here’s a list with very affordable options (all of them can be used with the Adobe Creative Suite) :

      1) Budget tablet that is affordable, but still good enough for art creation: Deco Pro Small (not standalone)

      2) Affordable tablet that has a screen: Huion Kamvas 13 (not standalone)

      3) Professional drawing tablet for established artists: Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 (Standalone Drawing Tablet)

      Good luck and let me see your illustrations once they’re ready! 🙂

  12. Lola

    Hi! It’s me again.
    After reading this article, I had a few questions.
    I was wondering what app-based tablet in your opinion be the best for not too complex but simple drawings at a good price?

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi, Lola!

      without a doubt, the first item from this list (New Apple iPad), offers the highest value. This tablet has received nearly 17 thousand reviews on Amazon and its score is 4.8 out of 5. If I were to buy a standalone drawing tablet to draw on my spare time, that’s the one I would choose.

      I must point out that you need to buy the stylus (digital pen) separately, though.

      When choosing the stylus you have a couple of options:

      1) Super affordable: Stylus Pen for iPad (Brand: JAMJAKE).

      2) Expensive: iPencil (Brand Apple)

      The stylus sold by the generic brand, JAMJAKE, has over 1300 reviews on Amazon and it has also received 4.8 out of 5.

      If you get the tablet and the stylus you will have a great combination.

      Have a great day and let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  13. Mark

    Hello. Getting into the all in one computer – graphics tabs. I notice you make not mention of Corel Draw. What is your take on this product?

    1. Bruno Brasil

      Hi Mark,

      Corel Draw is absolutely fine, but it has lost the competition to Adobe Illustrator long ago.
      I’ve never really been a Corel Draw fan.

      Corel Painter is the only software released by Corel that is superior (in some areas) to Adobe’s counterpart, Photoshop. The advantage of Corel Painter is that it emulates real life material, like oil paint, more realistically than Photoshop does.

  14. Psyche Atinen

    Awesome guide, thanks for the tips and the reviews! it always good to have the right tool for the different aims we need to achieve and getting a good design and graphics will need us getting a good device or tablet.I will gladly go for XP-PEN Artist 12 Pro Screen Drawing Tablet + Laptop .The features are quite valuable.

  15. Tim Donovan

    great article
    my son is using a Simbans PicassoTab but he is getting ready to attend college for illustration I would like to give him a better stand alone for a gift what do you recommend? I was reviewing the Wacom but read a few negative reviews?

    Appreciate the suggestions

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi Tim,

      Every single company has negative reviews. They sell these drawing tablets by the thousands, so it’s only natural for bad reviews to eventually emerge.

      The thing about Wacom’s standalone tablets is that they are incredibly expensive. If you would like to have a better idea about how much different standalone tablet from different brands cost, make sure to read the following article: Best Standalone Drawing Tablets.

      Thank you for reading =)

  16. Katarina

    Hi Bruno, I’m going crazy from all the information about ipads and tablets. I’ve spent weeks doing research and all I have is tons of notes and headache. I hope you can help me. My daugther (12y/o) very talented is doing digital art using just finger and zoom in atm and 2D animation on my laptop. I use to do classic handrawn animation 20 years ago and I’m fine artist. I would like to buy non screen tablet with good pen for me up to 120 and standalone screen tablet with good pen for her. The pen should be good sensitive. The screen should be reasonably big, good resolution and big memory. I know, I want a lot, but I can spend on her about 350 – 400 most, possibly could stretch it a bit, if it would make a big different in the quality I could get for it :). I think I would rather go for android as I heard there are some advantages over ipads, but I’m open to your suggestions anyway. The idea is that even if each of us will have their own gadget, I’d like to use her tablet as well. So I would like it to best possible for the price… we both want to do digital art and animation… Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi Katarina!

      My tablet of choice that does not have its own screen is the Huion Inspiroy Ink, it’s super sturdy, easy to carry around and it can be used with computers, laptops and even cellphones. Check out this article about the Huion Inspiroy Ink and you will find all the information you need.

      Unfortunately there are no good options of standalone drawing tablets in the price range you mention. These devices tend to be way more expensive. You may want to check out the following article “Best Standalone Drawing Tablets” to get a better idea about how much they really cost.

      Take care =)

  17. Alfonso

    You need extremely deep pockets to buy any of these.

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi Alfonso,

      Yes. Standalone drawing tablets are the most expensive type of drawing device out there. The thing is, some of them are full-blown computers, you have to take that into consideration.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

  18. Maria

    Hi Bruno,

    Thanks for the excellent article, very clearly explained 🙂 My one question is, can a device such as Microsoft Surface Pro 7, considered both a laptop and detachable standalone tablet, be used with download able apps rather than subscription based software for a tween that also needs a laptop for school work? Seeing as the Microsoft product is upgradable as I believe you mentioned, then could it be used as both, starting with the affordable or free drawing apps on the tablet then as she progresses, possibly consider the actual software purchases?

    1. Bruno Brasil

      Hi Maria,

      Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a full-blown computer. It has absolutely everything a regular computer does. It works incredibly well with heavy software and simple apps. If you have the means to get one, I’d say GO FOR IT!

  19. Luna Estelle

    I’d go with a XP-Pen Artist 15.6 as they’re pretty cheap for what they are .
    It’ll link to your laptop so it’s not like you’re going to the expense of a new iPad and you know your laptop is up to the job.

  20. Lauren

    Hi- when you say that the non standalones need to be hooked to a computer, what does the computer need to do? I have a 9 year old who is starting to dabble in the comic book world, but I know nothing of anything here. Looking for something she’d be able to use in the car or on the go. Thank you- blessings.

    1. Bruno Brasil

      Hi Lauren,

      You should definitely go for a standalone drawing tablet. All the other drawing tablets need to be connected to a computer otherwise they’re literally useless.

      Since we’re talking about a 9 year-old, perhaps you should consider getting one of the affordable iPads: Click here to see the best one I could find.

      This tablet is guaranteed to last long and can be also be used for school activities.

      If you have any other questions, just leave another comment.

      Have a great week! =)

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