drawing tablets with screen

The Best Drawing Tablet with Screen [2024 Update]

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XPPen 2024-01-22 18:16:01 11 min read

Are you looking to dive into the world of digital art or tired of using drawing tablets with no screen?

Whether you're a beginner exploring the world of digital art or looking to upgrade your current drawing tablet, this blog will guide you through everything you need to know about a drawing tablet with a screen and give you recommendations so you can make an informed decision. We will also provide answers to common questions to help you choose the perfect drawing tablet with a screen that ets your needs.

A drawing tablet with a screen, also known as a display tablet, allows users directly draw on a screen with a stylus. The main difference between a display tablet and a graphic tablet is how you utilize the screen. You don't need to look at your computer screen while drawing on the display tablet. With a display tablet, you can have a smooth and natural drawing experience similar to drawing with pen and paper. That means, you’ll get greater precision with a display drawing tablet, especially when you create highly detailed artwork.

Nevertheless, a drawing tablet with a screen is also beginner-friendly since a display tablet offers a more seamless drawing experience than a graphic tablet. With a display tablet, you can see your artwork being created directly on the screen.

Once you've been drawing or illustrating digitally for a while, you'll start to get a feel for the features that are most important to you. Here are some key features that should be a priority when you're searching for the perfect drawing tablet.

Screen Size

The screen size of your display drawing tablet is a key factor as it determines the size of your working area. With a larger screen size, you have more drawing area so you won’t feel cramped or limited by a small drawing area. And you can see a full interface of your drawing application like Photoshop at once, which means you don’t have to keep scrolling down to access some of the drawing or painting tools you need.

Also, consider the type of work you’ll be doing. If you’re a professional artist who works on complex illustrations or digital paintings that require precise detailing or fine lines, you may want a larger screen to accommodate the size of your canvas.

On the other hand, if you want to travel with your display tablet or you’re a beginner who wants to explore the world of digital art, a medium-size screen would be more practical and more convenient for on-the-go use.

Screen Resolution

Screen resolution is another crucial feature that every user should consider before making a decision. It directly affects image quality, the level of detail of the work displayed, and workflow efficiency.

A higher screen resolution enhances the visual experience and provides better image quality, color representation, finer details, and smoother lines. If you’re an illustrator or animator who requires high levels of precision and detail, a screen with a higher resolution is a must to create professional-looking digital artwork.

What’s more, because of the clarity, sharpness, and high level of detail provided by a high-resolution screen, you can work more comfortably and efficiently without constantly zooming in and out.

Stylus/Pen Technology

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 in nature, 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. These EMR styluses don't require batteries or charging. Instead, they work by interacting with the electromagnetic field created by the tablet itself. They are more accurate and have better pressure sensitivity than other styluses, making them a favorite among artists.

More recently, XPPen also launched the new state-of-the-art X3 Smart Chip stylus which has 10x the IAF sensitivity of a regular stylus allowing for a much more natural feel when drawing. It really is the next level and offers a range of benefits including more stability and accuracy, and greater pressure sensitivity.

The X3 Smart Chip stylus is compatible with the graphic tablets Deco L, Deco LW, Deco M, Deco MW and Artist 10/12/13/16 (2nd Generation) pen display tablets with screens.

Pressure Sensitivity

Pressure sensitivity determines how responsive the drawing tablet is to the amount of pressure applied with the stylus. Higher pressure sensitivity allows more control over line thickness and opacity, providing a more natural drawing experience.

The majority of XPPen's styluses have 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, the highest in the industry. With 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, the stylus naturally presents lines of various widths and enables the more exquisite expression of lines and strokes with ease.

Connectivity and Compatibility

Beginner or not, you want your drawing tablet with screen to work seamlessly with the software you will be using like the Adobe Suite for example. Make sure your drawing display meets your need before making a purchase.

Another compatibility factor to consider is the connectivity options of the display drawing tablet with your computer or even smartphone. Does the display tablet connect with your target device via USB, USB-C, HDMI, or Bluetooth? Take that into account before buying.

Customizable controls

Most drawing tablets with screens feature programmable buttons and keys, to provide quick and convenient access to your commonly used functions and shortcuts. This is a great feature to save time and effort and improve workflow efficiency and productivity. However, not everyone likes the buttons and keys. Some users may prefer a clean and minimalist-style screen. In short, if working fast is a priority for you, choose a drawing tablet with many customizable controls.

Price, Brand, and Quality

Lastly, price and brand are crucial factors to consider when buying a drawing tablet with a screen. The price of a drawing tablet can vary widely, with higher-priced tablets often offering advanced features, better build quality, and improved performance. Make sure how much budget you have and do some research. You can always find a budget-friendly display tablet that fits your needs.

For beginners, it’s better to choose reputable brands like XPPen. A reliable brand often offers better warranty services, software support, and high-quality drawing tablets.

Since 2005, XPPen has been one of the top brands in the global drawing tablet industry, producing top-notch and reliable drawing tablets and offering efficient services.

  • Wide Range of Choices:XPPen offers a wide range of drawing tablets with screens that cater to different preferences and requirements of the artists.

  • Extensive Compatibility:Most of XPPen tablets with screens support a wide range of operating systems, digital art software, as well as mobile learning platforms.

    • Operating Systems: Windows 7 (or later), Mac OS X 10.10 (or later), Chrome OS 88 (or later), and Linux

    • Digital Art Software: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, CDR, GIMP, Krita, MediBang, FireAlpaca and Blender3D

    • Mobile Learning Platforms: Zoom, XSplit, Twitch, WizIQ, Idroo, Scribblar, Udemy, and DingTalk

    • It’s also easy to use XPPen display tablets with Microsoft Onenote, PowerPoint, and interactive whiteboards.

  • Stylus/pen technology: As mentioned before, most XPPen tablets are equipped with the industry-leading EMR or X3-Smart-Chip stylus, both deliver an authentic drawing experience. X3-Chip Technology drastically upgrades the structure and performance of the stylus.

  • Ergonomics and build quality: XPPen drawing tablets come with adjustable stands, comfortable grip, and solid build quality to ensure a pleasant and durable drawing experience.

  • Price and Affordability: Whatever your budget is, you are always able to get a quality drawing tablet with a screen from XPPen without breaking the bank. XPPen is always committed to supplying good value for money, with competitive pricing compared to other brands on the market.

There are a ton of drawing tablets on the market. However, here are some that stand out, especially for beginners.

Basic feature comparison of the 6 best drawing tablets

Product Name Drawing Area Resolution Stylus Type Pressure Sensitivity Tilt Express Keys Compatible Systems Price
Artist 12 (2nd Gen) 11.9" 1920 x 1080 (FHD) X3 Smart Chip Stylus 8,192 levels Up to 60 degrees 8 customizable Windows/Mac, Chrome OS, Android USB3.1 DP1.2, Linux$249.99
Artist 13.3 V2 13.3" 1920x1080 EMR Tech Stylus 8,192 levels Up to 60 degrees 6 customizable Windows/Mac$279.99
Artist 15.6 15.6" 1920x1080 EMR Tech Stylus 8,192 levels Up to 60 degrees 6 customizable Windows/Mac$299.99
Artist 22R Pro 21.5" 1920x1080 EMR Tech Stylus 8,192 levels Up to 60 degrees 20 customizable Windows/Mac$599.99
Artist 24 Pro 23.8" 2560 x 1440 EMR Tech Stylus 8,192 levels Up to 60 degrees 20 customizable Windows/Mac$629.99
Innovator 16 15.6" 1920x1080 EMR Tech Stylus 8,192 levels Up to 60 degrees 8 customizable Windows/Mac OS, Chrome OS, Linux$399.99

* Prices are accurate at the time of writing. Subject to change.

The Artist 12 (2nd Gen)

The Artist 12 is the best entry-level and cheap drawing tablet with screen for beginners. We recommend the 2nd Gen version with an X3-Chip Stylus for you. Here are some key features:

A Large Display: The tablet has an 11.9-inch Full HD display, and it comes with a resolution of 1920x1080 and an anti-glare matte texture. This means it delivers a sensation of drawing on paper and brings out every detail with exceptional clarity.

An X3-Smart-Chip Stylus: A X3-Smart-Chip stylus offers a sharp, stable, and precise drawing experience.

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: You'll get six customizable express keys. This gives you quick access to all the frequently used functions.

Compatibility: The Artist 12 (2nd Gen) is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and you can use it with Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, etc.

Budget-Friendly: This drawing tablet gives great features for an affordable price of about $250.

xppen drawing display scene

The Artist 13.3 V2

The The Artist 13.3 V2 is the best drawing tablet with screen for beginners due to its portable size, and high-resolution display. Here are some key features:

A Large Display: The tablet offers a 21.5-inch HD display and a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It can display up to 16.7 million colors.

EMR Battery-Free Stylus: The battery-free stylus means you don't have to charge the pen.

Pressure Sensitivity: The stylus offers 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, giving you better control over the thickness and opacity of the 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: You'll get eight customizable express keys. This gives you quick access to all the frequently used functions.

Compatibility: The Artist 13.3 V2 is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and you can use it with Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, etc.

Budget-Friendly: This display tablet gives great features for an affordable price of about $280.

The Artist 15.6

The Artist 15.6 drawing tablet with screen stands out because it has a large screen, but it's still small enough for you to carry around.

  • A Large Display: The tablet has a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. You will be sure to enjoy creating directly onto this high-definition display.

  • EMR Battery-Free Stylus: The battery-free stylus means you don't have to charge the pen.

  • 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: You'll get 20 customizable express keys. This gives you quick access to all the frequently used functions.

  • Compatibility: The Artist 15.6 is compatible with Windows and Mac OS operating systems, and you can use it with Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, etc.

The Artist 22R Pro

The Artist 22R Pro is a premium drawing tablet with screen for beginners who want a professional-level drawing experience.

  • A Large Display: The XPPen Artist 22R Pro comes with a strikingly large 21.5-inch display and features 1080p resolution, allowing you to draw, design, model, and create directly onto the 22R Pro’s surface, letting you unleash new creative possibilities.

  • Superb Color Accuracy: The 21.5-inch FHD Display pairs a superb color accuracy of 88% NTSC (Adobe® RGB≧90%,sRGB≧120%), adding brilliance to your creation with more exquisite details and vibrant colors.

  • EMR Battery-Free Stylus: The battery-free stylus means you don't have to charge the pen.

  • 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.

  • Shortcut Keys: You'll get 20 customizable express keys. This gives you quick access to all the frequently used functions.

  • Compatibility: The Artist 22R Pro is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS operating systems. What’s more, it supports a USB-C to USB-C connection, letting you directly connect your iMac/Mac Book Pro and other Windows computers that support USB-C input to the 22R Pro without using a USB-C to HDMI & USB adapter.you can use it with Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, etc.

The Artist 24 Pro

The Artist 24 Pro is the top drawing tablet with screen for those who have a large budget and want a 2K QHD display.

  • A Large Display: The Artist Display 24 Pro is the first 23.8-inch 2K QHD graphics display.

  • Superb Color Gamut: The drawing Display pairs a superb color gamut (Adobe® RGB≧90%), adding brilliance to your creation with more exquisite details and vibrant colors.

  • EMR Battery-Free Stylus: The battery-free stylus means you don't have to charge the pen.

  • 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: You'll get 20 customizable express keys. This gives you quick access to all the frequently used functions.

  • Compatibility: The Artist 24 Pro is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS and Linux operating systems, and you can use it with Photoshop, Illustrator, SAI, etc.

The Innovator 16

The Innovator 16 is the best drawing tablet with screen for beginners who prefer a sleek design. Here are some key features:

  • A Large Display: The tablet has a 15.6-inch HD display, and it comes with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels.

  • The Slick Design: With its industry-leading 9 mm profile and sleek black and silver design, the 15.6" Innovator Display 16 is perfect for drawing on the go.

  • EMR Battery-Free Stylus: The battery-free stylus means you don't have to charge the pen.

  • 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:You'll get eight customizable express keys and a wheel. This gives you quick access to all the frequently used functions.

  • Adjustable Stand:The tablet comes with an adjustable stand that you can adjust to your preferred working position.

The Magic drawing Pad

The Magic Drawing Pad is a perfect drawing tablet with screen. Here are some key features:

XPPen Magic Drawing Pad
  • Super portable: The Magic Drawing Tablet is 6.9mm thick and weighs only 599 grams. You can easily take it anywhere.

  • Powered by Android 12: Featuring the latest operating system, Android 12, users can enjoy an enhanced user experience and improved application compatibility.

  • X3 Pro Pencil and EMR Technology: Unlike most tablets, the Magic Drawing Tablet is equipped with the X3 Pro Pencil, which has 16,384 levels of pressure sensitivity. In addition, with advanced EMR (Electro-magnetic Resonance) technology, X3 Pro Pencil delivers a digital drawing experience that feels as intuitive and natural as pen on paper.

  • X Paper: X-Paper is crafted with AG etched technology to emulate the friction and resistance of premium paper as you move the stylus across the surface of the pad, while reducing unwanted glare and fingerprints.

Can I use a pen display tablet without a computer?

No. All drawing tablets, with or without a screen, require a computer to function. They are not like standalone tablets like the Ipad. They are only hardware with no operating system, hard drives, etc.

Is it easier to draw on a tablet than on paper?

Yes. Here are 2 key reasons:

  • Digital tools: Tablets offer the convenience of digital tools, such as the ability to quickly switch between different brushes or colors, as well as the ability to undo and redo strokes, making it easier to correct mistakes or experiment with different ideas. You don’t have to carry a lot of tools with you as drawing on paper.

  • Easy Workflow: drawing tablets also offer the convenience of digital workflows, such as easy file management and the ability to quickly share artwork online.

Drawing tablet with screen VS. iPad: Which is better?

If you are looking for a tablet that is focused on drawing/sketching itself, a classic graphic display definitely beats a standalone tablet like iPad.

Here are the disadvantages of a standalone tablet like an iPad:

Small display space

When it comes to drawing or illustrating, you need a large screen to see your work in detail. Drawing detailed work on a small screen can be challenging, especially when it comes to fixing details.

Stylus has to be charged

You don’t usually have to charge your stylus that comes with your drawing tablet, thanks to the widely applied EMR Technology on the market. While you usually have to buy a pencil and charge it for a standalone tablet.

Software Options

A drawing tablet works well with the desktop version of drawing software. But a standalone tablet like iPad is a mobile device that only runs software designed for it.

Most high-end software options are available only on computers. Whether it’s drawing software like Krita, Photoshop, or 3D modeling applications like Blender or Zbrush, you can access a full range of options with a drawing tablet.

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Originated from 2005, XPPen is now one of the top brands under HANVON UGEE, integrated with digital drawing products, content and service as a globally notable digital brand of digital art innovation.

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