best drawing tablets for adobe illustrator

Best 7 Drawing Tablets for Adobe Illustrator in 2024

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XPPen 2024-01-03 10:12:00 10 min read

Adobe Illustrator is one of the most popular graphic design software programs used by both professionals and beginners for their daily work and life.

If you're an artist or graphic designer looking to invest in the best drawing tablet for use with Adobe Illustrator in 2023, you've come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the top 7 drawing tablets for Adobe Illustrator in 2023.

We have everything covered, from detailed information about the tablets to essential factors to consider before making a purchase. We'll also discuss the issues with using iPads or Android tablets and answer frequently asked questions.

There are various models of pen tablets and display tablets on the market. Below are our picks of the best graphic tablets or drawing tablets for Adobe Illustrator in 2023. Whether you’re a graphic designer, sketcher, cartoonist, or illustrator, we’ve got you covered.

Product Name Drawing Area Resolution Stylus Pressure Sensitivity Tilt Express Keys Compatibility Price
Artist 24 Pro 526.85 x 296.35 mm 2560 X 1440 (QHD)XP-Pen PA2 Stylus 8192 levels Up to 60° 20 x Shortcut Keys + 5 Touch Keys Windows / Mac / Chrome$674.99
Artist Pro 14 (Gen 2) 298.94 x 186.84 mm 1920 X 1200XP-Pen X3 Pro Stylus 16384 Levels Up to 60°ACK05 Wireless Shortcut Remote Windows / Mac / Chrome$377.99
Artist Pro 16TP 345.6 x 194.4 mm 3840 x 2160 (UHD)XP-Pen PH2 Stylus 8192 Levels Up to 60° 5 x Function Keys Windows / Mac / Chrome / Android$674.99
Artist 10 (Gen 2) 224.49 x 126.7 mm 1920 x 1080XP-Pen X3 Elite Stylus 8192 Levels Up to 60° 6x Shortcut Key + 3 x Function Key Windows / Mac / Chrome / Android$152.99
Deco Pro MW (Gen2) 9" x 6" /XP-Pen X3 Pro Stylus 16384 Levels Up to 60°ACK05 Wireless Shortcut Remote Windows / Mac / Chrome / Android$125.99
Deco LW 10" x 6" /XP-Pen X3 Elite Stylus 8192 Levels Up to 60° 8 x Shortcut Keys Windows / Mac / Android / Chrome OS / Linux$89.99
Star G640 6" x 4" /XP-Pen P01 Stylus 8192 Levels / / Windows / Mac / Chrome$29.9

Artist 24 Pro - The Best Professional Pen Display With a Large Screen

If you are a professional artist or graphic designer looking for the ultimate drawing tablet with a large screen and high resolution, then the Artist 24 Pro should be your best choice.

Its primary features are:

  • A Large Display: The tablet has a 23.8-inch display, and it comes with a resolution of 2560 X 1440 pixels, ensuring sharp and vibrant visuals.

  • A Battery-Free Stylus: The XP-Pen PA2 stylus does not require batteries or charging and supports long hours of uninterrupted drawing.

  • Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus provides 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, giving you full control over the thickness and opacity of your lines.

  • Tilt: You'll get a tilt sensitivity of up to 60 degrees, which is helpful when you're shading or creating textures.

  • Express Keys: The tablet also includes shortcut keys on the side for easy access to frequently used commands, and it supports multi-touch gestures for zooming and rotating the canvas.

  • Connectivity and Compatibility: The Artist 24 Pro supports a USB-C to USB-C connection. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and you can use it with most drawing Apps on the market, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Corel Painter…

  • Adjustable Stand: An adjustable stand allows you to find the most comfortable working angle for your drawing sessions.

Artist Pro 14 (Gen 2) - The best Portable Drawing Tablet With a Screen for Professionals

The Artist Pro 14 (Gen 2) is the perfect portable drawing tablet for professionals who need to take their work on the go. It has a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 X 1200, providing clear and sharp visuals.

Its primary features include:

  • Battery-Free Stylus: The XPPen X3 Pro stylus is battery-free and lightweight, making it comfortable to use for long periods.

  • The World’s Leading Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus provides 16,384 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for the precisest- and smoothest-ever strokes in mind-blowing accuracy.

  • Tilt: The tablet supports tilt functionality of up to 60 degrees, providing greater control and flexibility.

  • Wireless Shortcut Remote: The ACK05 Bluetooth shortcut remote means that you can enjoy the minimalist design of your tablet while programming express keys when you need them.

  • Compatibility: The Artist Pro 14 (Gen 2) is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android, and Chrome OS operating systems, and supports most popular software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and SAI.

Artist Pro 16TP - The Best Pen Display for Versatility and Performance

The Artist Pro 16TP is a versatile, high-performance drawing tablet with a large 15.6-inch screen. It comes with a 3840 x 2160 UHD display resolution that provides vibrant and sharp visuals.

Its primary features include:

  • Battery-Free Stylus: The XPPen PH2 stylus is battery-free and lightweight, providing a comfortable drawing experience for long periods.

  • Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus provides 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for precise and detailed strokes.

  • Tilt: The tablet supports tilt functionality of up to 60 degrees, providing greater control and flexibility.

  • Multi-touch Control: This means you can interact with the device in multiple ways for a more intuitive and seamless creation experience.

  • Compatibility: The Artist Pro 16TP is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS, and Android operating systems. It can be used with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and SAI, among other popular software.

  • The Most Natural Colors: With 92% Adobe RGB, 124% sRGB in color gamut, and a 1000:1 contrast ratio, the XPPen Artist Pro 16TP delivers natural color transition, super color accuracy, and saturation.

Artist 10 (Gen 2) - The Perfect Balance of Portability and Functionality

The Artist 10 (Gen 2) is a portable and functional drawing tablet with a 10-inch screen and a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It's perfect for artists on the go who need a lightweight and powerful tablet.

Its primary features include:

  • Battery-Free Stylus: The XPPen X3 Elite stylus is battery-free, which allows you to create without interruption.

  • Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus features X3-smart-chip-algorithm, which makes the retraction distance shortened and there is no more annoying bounce remaining when you draw every stroke.

  • Tilt: The tablet supports tilt functionality of up to 60 degrees, providing greater control and flexibility.

  • Express Keys: The tablet includes six shortcut keys and three function keys for easy access to frequently used commands.

  • Compatibility: The Artist 10 (Gen 2) is compatible with Windows, Mac, Chrome, and Android operating systems. It can be used with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Corel Painter, among other popular software.

Deco Pro MW (Gen2) - The Best All-Around Pen Tablet for Professionals

The Deco Pro MW (Gen2) is an all-around pen tablet that brings versatility and power to your creative endeavors. The equipped world’s first X3-Pro-Smart-Chip-Stylus makes it an ideal choice for professional artists and graphic designers to unleash creativity.

The primary features of the Deco Pro MW (Gen2) include:

  • Battery-Free Stylus: The X3 Pro Smart Chip Stylus is battery-free and lightweight, providing a comfortable drawing experience for long periods.

  • The World’s Leading Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus provides 16K levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for smoothest-ever strokes.

  • Tilt: The tablet supports tilt functionality of up to 60 degrees, providing greater control and flexibility.

  • Express Keys: The tablet includes eight shortcut keys and a touch ring for easy access to frequently used commands.

  • Compatibility: The Deco Pro MW (Gen2) is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and it supports popular software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Corel Painter.

Deco LW - The Best Lightweight Pen Tablet for Artists on the Move

The Deco LW features a 10" x 6" drawing area, making it perfect for creating detailed designs on the go. Equipped with an X3-Smart-Chip-Pen and a superpower capacity, the Deco LW is perfect for artists who need a versatile and functional pen tablet.

The primary features of the Deco LW include:

  • Battery-Free Stylus: The XPPen Smart Chip Stylus is battery-free and lightweight, providing a comfortable drawing experience for long periods.

  • Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus provides 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for precise and detailed strokes.

  • Express Keys: The tablet includes eight shortcut keys for easy access to frequently used commands.

  • Compatibility: The Deco LW is compatible with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, and Linux operating systems, and it supports popular software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Corel Painter.

  • Super Power Capacity: It comes with a large-capacity lithium battery (1000mAh/3.7V) for more than 10 hours that keeps the power going throughout all your day.

Star G640 - The Best Entry-Level Pen Tablet for Aspiring Artists

Star G640 is the best drawing tablet for beginners and hobbyists. With its high-cost performance, it's a great option for those who are just starting. Its compact active area of 6 x 4 inches makes it easy to carry around. In addition to drawing, it can also be used for signing and playing OSU!

The primary features of the Star G640 include:

  • Battery-Free Stylus: The XP-Pen P01 stylus is battery-free and lightweight, providing a comfortable drawing experience for long periods.

  • Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus provides 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for precise and detailed strokes.

  • Compatibility: The Star G640 is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and it supports popular software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Clip Studio.

Next, we will provide you with a detailed guide on how to choose a drawing tablet that suits you best. We recommend considering the following six main factors. If you are struggling with the decision on how to make a purchase, please continue reading.

Pen Display or Pen Tablet

Pen displays have a built-in screen that allows you to see what you are drawing directly from your tablet, providing a more natural and intuitive drawing experience. A pen display may be the better option if you prefer drawing directly on the screen. However, pen tablets are generally more portable and lightweight compared to pen displays. If you need to work on the go or travel frequently, a pen tablet is more convenient to carry around.

Additionally, pen tablets tend to be more affordable compared to pen displays. If budget is a significant consideration, a pen tablet might be a more cost-effective choice.

Size of the Tablet

The size of the drawing tablet is an important factor to consider when choosing a tablet for use with Adobe Illustrator. The size of the tablet determines the size of the workspace that you have when creating your designs. A larger tablet will provide a larger workspace, which can be beneficial if you need to work on larger canvases or if you want to have more room to work on your designs. However, a smaller tablet may be more portable and easier to carry around. Ultimately, the size of the tablet that is best for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences as an artist or designer.

Stylus and Pressure Sensitivity

Another important factor to consider is pressure sensitivity. The higher the pressure levels, the more sensitive the stylus will be to changes in pressure. This is especially important if you need to create detailed work.

There are two main types of EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) stylus pens that you can choose from, passive EMR stylus and digital chip EMR stylus. The important difference between the two is in how they process signals.

  • Passive Electro-magnetic Resonance (EMR) Stylus: The analog signals generated by the stylus are continuous, representing various pressure levels, tilt angles, and other parameters using a range of voltage levels. The tablet then converts these continuous signals into digital values to be processed by the computer.

  • Digital Chip EMR Stylus: The signals generated by the stylus are already in a digital format, representing the parameters using binary values (0s and 1s). There's no need for additional conversion before being processed by the computer.

XPPen offers both types. Our passive EMR styluses use analog circuits offering excellent pressure sensitivity at very reasonable prices.

More recently XPPen also launched the world’s first X3 Pro smart chip stylus, compatible with Artist Pro 14 Drawing Display (Gen 2) and Deco Pro Drawing Tablet (Gen 2) Series. It is an all-around upgraded version based on the X3 Elite stylus. One of the most amazing points is that the X3 Pro smart chip stylus is powered by the world‘s first applied 16K pressure levels. You’ll have a life-like drawing experience.

You can find more information about styluses in this article: Choosing a Stylus for Your Tablet: Universal or Specific?

Connectivity

The connectivity of the tablet is also an important factor to consider. Most tablets can be connected to a computer via USB, but some tablets also support wireless connectivity via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

If you want to connect your drawing tablet to your Android devices, make sure the tablet supports a USB-C to USB-C connection.

Compatibility

It is important to ensure that the tablet you choose is compatible with Adobe Illustrator. Not all tablets are compatible with Adobe Illustrator, so it is important to check before making a purchase.

Price: Brand and Quality

Research the brand and the quality you'll be getting for your budget. A drawing tablet with a ton of features may be out of your price range, but it doesn't mean you have to settle. You can do loads of research and find a budget-friendly drawing tablet that still fits your needs.

Why choose XPPen?

XPPen is a leading provider of digital art tablets and pen displays. Founded in 2005, XPPen has established itself as a reliable and innovative brand in the industry.

With over 15 years of experience in developing graphic tablets, XPPen is committed to providing artists with the best tools to unleash their creativity. Our product line includes a variety of pen tablets and pen displays that cater to different needs and budgets. We are known for their high quality and affordability.

In addition to its commitment to quality, XPPen also provides excellent customer support. Our website features a comprehensive FAQ section, user manuals, and a driver download section to help artists get the most out of their devices.

Best Drawing Tablets for Adobe Photoshop and Graphic Design

Benefits of using a drawing tablet with Adobe Illustrator include:

Precision

Drawing tablets offer a level of precision that is difficult to achieve with a mouse or touchpad. You can draw with far greater accuracy and control, allowing you to create more detailed designs.

Pressure Sensitivity

Drawing tablets are pressure-sensitive, which means that the lines you draw will vary in thickness and opacity depending on the pressure you apply with the stylus. This makes it easier to create more natural-looking lines and brushstrokes.

Comfort

Drawing with a pen tablet is more natural and comfortable than drawing with a mouse or touchpad. You can hold the stylus like a pen, which reduces strain on your hand and wrist.

Efficiency

Using a drawing tablet can be more efficient than using a mouse or touchpad. With a stylus, you can quickly switch between drawing and selecting tools, making it easier to work quickly and efficiently.

Not enough RAM

There are several issues with using a standalone tablet like an iPad or an Android pad for Adobe Illustrator. One of the main problems is that these devices do not meet Adobe Illustrator's system requirements. Adobe Illustrator requires a minimum of 8 GB of RAM, and it is recommended to have at least 16 GB of RAM for optimal performance. Most standalone tablets do not meet this requirement, which can result in slow performance and crashes.

Not the full version of Illustrator

Finally, standalone tablets may not be compatible with Adobe Illustrator. While it is possible to use third-party apps to connect an iPad or Android tablet to a computer running Adobe Illustrator, these solutions may not be reliable or stable.

In contrast, drawing tablets are designed specifically for digital art and graphic design. They offer a high level of precision and control, as well as advanced features like pressure sensitivity. Drawing tablets are also compatible with Adobe Illustrator and meet the program's system requirements, ensuring optimal performance and stability.

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions related to the topic of "the best tablets for Adobe Illustrator":

Should I choose a pen tablet or a display tablet?

It depends on your personal preference and budget. Pen tablets are usually affordable and portable, while display tablets have a screen where you can draw directly on the surface. Display tablets offer more precision and accuracy.

Are all drawing tablets compatible with Adobe Illustrator?

No, not all drawing tablets are compatible with Adobe Illustrator, so it is important to check before making a purchase.

Can I use a drawing tablet for other creative software besides Adobe Illustrator?

Yes, most drawing tablets can be used with other creative software such as Photoshop, Corel Painter, and SketchBook.

How do I set up my drawing tablet for use with Adobe Illustrator?

You can set up your drawing tablet by installing the necessary drivers and software and configuring the settings to your preferences.

Can left-handed people use a drawing tablet?

Yes, most XPPen drawing tablets are designed to be used by both right-handed and left-handed users.

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