Wacom MobileStudio Pro Alternative

wacom mobilestudio pro alternativet horizontal

The best Wacom MobileStudio Pro alternative is the Microsoft Surface Pro. Although this tablet is even better than the Wacom on a series of key features, the device can be up to 4 times cheaper depending on where you buy it (check the price on Amazon).

As a creator, I’m sure that you’re more than familiar with the Wacom brand. Due to the fact that they’re the pioneers in the graphics tablet market, most people immediately think about them when they consider buying a device for work or even leisure.

These days it’s safe to say that only looking for drawing tablets from Wacom is a huge mistake.

The industry has been improving incredibly fast and there’s a lot of different companies creating tablets that are arguably even better than the ones sold by Wacom. And the best part of this is that usually these devices are substantially cheaper.

Since you’re looking for an alternative to the famous Wacom MobileStudio Pro, you need a device that is more than a simple drawing tablet, you want a full-blown computer that also behaves as a drawing tablet.


What should you be careful with when buying a Microsoft Surface Pro?

Unlike the drawing tablets sold by companies that focus on artists, such as: Wacom, Huion and Gaomon, Microsoft offers some serious customization of their devices before purchase.

What I mean is: when you buy a Wacom, Huion or Gaomon tablet, you don’t have to worry so much about the kind of processor and the amount of memory that comes with the drawing tablet. In most cases, these characteristic are predetermined and you only need to think about more superficial traits, such as the size of the drawing area.

When buying a Microsoft Surface Pro, however, there’s a lot of upgrade possibilities which, of course, have an impact on the final price.

It’s utterly important that you do pay close attention to all the details before buying this tablet. Make sure that the processor and memory are sufficient to cover your future needs.


The most useful advice when buying a Microsoft Surface Pro

You don’t really buy computers or drawing tablets all the time, right?

Then why settling for a basic one without any of the extra upgrades?

Be smart! Microsoft has created an amazing tablet at an extremely reasonable price. As I’ve mentioned before, it can be up to 4 times cheaper than a Wacom with similar properties.

If you decide to go for the Microsoft Surface Pro, make sure to get one with the best possible processor and the largest RAM. Although it will be a bit more expensive, at the end of the day it’s totally worth it because you will have a device capable of supporting heavier projects.

Working with images is one of the tasks that demand the most from computers. Whether you’re planning on using Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Maya, ZBrush or any other software from the creative industry, you will definitely need as much computing power as you can get.

Max out the upgrades on your Microsoft Surface Pro and you will be able to use it for years to come.


Is the Microsoft Surface Pro the right choice for artists?

Yes, it is.

The fact that Microsoft doesn’t advertise this tablet as tool specific for artists doesn’t mean that the device isn’t just as good as the ones sold by Wacom.

Although there are minor differences when it comes to pen sensitivity levels (Wacom tablets come with more sensitive pens) this detail, in my opinion, is negligible.

Year after year I see companies claiming that their pens are even more sensitive than earlier versions, however, the reality is that after a certain point the end-user can’t even notice the difference.

What you need to understand is that when Microsoft sells tablets such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, they’re trying to reach a broader audience and this is exactly why they avoid linking the image of their product with art-related subjects. This has nothing to do with quality. This tablet gets the job done just like any other would.


Characteristics of the Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro

First and foremost, it’s important to mention that there are a lot of different versions of this tablet. Microsoft is always improving their product and with each consecutive release they update the title of the device, for example: Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen, Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and so on…

When I write about the Microsoft Surface Pro I’m focusing on the product as whole, not on a specific version of it. This is why the characteristics discussed in this article are somewhat superficial.

In case you would like to read detailed information about specific Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, make sure to check out some reviews on Amazon because nobody can discuss a product’s features and flaws better than someone who has actually used it:


Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen

Microsoft Surface Pro 6


Screen Size

At 12.3 inches (31,2 centimeters) and a maximum screen resolution of 2736×1824 pixels, the size of the tablet is nearly perfect because while it’s not too small to be considered a great drawing board, it’s also not too large to the point that it’s hard to carry it around.

The drawing surface is perfectly smooth and the dimensions of the whole device couldn’t be better if you’re someone, like me, who likes to take their drawing tablet everywhere.


Battery life

Without a doubt, one of the strongest aspects of the Microsoft Surface Pro is its battery life. Microsoft did a fantastic job when developing this tablet because the battery lasts more than 13 hours on a single charge.

Did you read that?

More than 13 hours on a single charge! This is insane.

This basically means that you can work for a whole day on your tablet without having to worry about where to plug it when it starts dying.

All you have to do it recharging it at night and you’re good to for the following day.

I’m pretty sure you own a cellphone and I’m also sure that you know how frustrating it is when you have to make a call or check an e-mail, but your battery dies all of a sudden. Now imagine if this kind of thing happen while you’re working on an important project and, more important than that, under a very tight deadline. That’s not good, right?

Because of this characteristic alone I can easily place the Microsoft Surface Pro above most of the other tablets being sold out there.


Operating system

Most people use Windows at home and, for this reason, know how to handle the operating system particularly well.

It’s obvious that a product sold by Microsoft would run on its staple Windows. In this case, the Microsoft Surface Pro runs on Windows 10 Home.

In my opinion, this is a huge advantage because, if you do come across any difficulties with your device, there are literally millions of pages online addressing common issues.

On top of that, Microsoft’s customer service is outstanding and is a guaranteed way to get all your problems solved as quickly as possible.


Built-in kickstand

I always mention the importance of sitting straight while working. Most people won’t worry about this until they reach their thirties and realize that their back is already damaged.

This is why it’s so important to use an “adjustable stand” with your drawing tablet. While most companies sell this separately, Microsoft has decided to design their device with the health of their clients in mind.

The Microsoft Surface Pro comes with a built-in kickstand that allows the user to find better angles.

I must warn you about something, though. This built-in kickstand has its limitations. This is not one of those incredibly customizable stands that allow you to set the height in which you prefer to work on, it’s just a simple stand so that you don’t have to use your tablet on a perfectly flat surface (which is really uncomfortable).


Signature type cover (optional)

microsoft surface pro keyboard

This is a detached keyboard that must be purchased as an add-on for the Microsoft Surface Pro.

I believe this is worth mentioning because some people buy the tablet without the keyboard and I think this is an unforgivable mistake.

This keyboard simply changes the dynamic the user has with the tablet. Being able to type on a physical device (instead of a digital keyboard on the screen) makes all the difference because it’s faster, more comfortable and doesn’t affect all that extremely valuable screen space.

If you decide to buy on of Microsoft’s tablets, do it right and get the keyboard as well.


Disadvantages of the Microsoft Surface Pro

To be honest, there are very few disadvantages. Microsoft has a reputation to keep and they take their product development very seriously.

As someone who has used countless drawing tablets, I could only point minor issues with this one.


Pen sensitivity

The pen is slightly less sensitive than the ones sold with Wacom tablets. To me this doesn’t make much of a difference because the level of sensitivity offered by the Microsoft Surface Pro is more than enough to provide a fluid drawing experience.

Had I not read that the pen is not as sensitive as the others, it would have been hard to notice it.


 The good stuff is sold separately

Most people would say that this is an advantage because you get to choose those features you want and those you can dismiss.

However, the price can change substantially once you start adding the best options to the tablet before the purchase.

It’s fundamental that you pay very close attention before buying otherwise you won’t get exactly what you’re looking for. As I’ve mentioned before, if your budget allows, try to max out the add-ons, get the best possible processor and RAM, get the detached keyboard, get the whole thing!



The Microsoft Surface Pro is an amazing drawing tablet. If you take into consideration what Microsoft is currently charging, I believe that this device is a much better investment than most of the other tablets in the market.

In case you would like to know more about other alternatives to tablets such as the Wacom MobileStudio Pro and the Microsoft Surface Pro, make sure to read this article about standalone tablets.

Now let’s stop reading and let’s start 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. Lucas

    How does it compare in terms of parallax? That’s an important factor for me. At wacom they state the mobilestudio is like working on paper with parallax close to zero. I have not tried it yet but that is what made me ponder buying it (mobilestudio). Also, does it have side buttons to which you can attach shortcuts? I think I would prefer to work with that than with a keyboard. Thanks.

    1. Bruno Santos

      Hi Lucas,

      Nowadays nearly every single drawing tablet in the market has nearly zero parallax and this is the case with the Microsoft Surface Pro.

      You should keep one thing in mind, though. Wacom tablets are specifically designed for artists, so they tend to be have additional small features like shortcut buttons and zoom dials that you will not find in other tablets.

      Although Wacom’s devices certainly have small advantages, I don’t think they justify the humongous difference in price.

      Good luck =)

Leave a Reply