portablet drawing tablet

Top 6 Best Portable Drawing Tablets for Any Budget

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XPPen 2024-02-20 10:10:41 5 min read

Drawing tablets have been a major asset in the art world.  With a drawing tablet, artists have more flexibility and freedom to create as they see fit.  As technology evolves and drawing tablets become increasingly advanced, factors like screen resolution and color accuracy become more fine-tuned than ever.  Many of them don't even require a physical connection to a computer and monitor, as we've written about before in our list of the best standalone drawing tablets.

Standalone drawing tablets make it easier to draw on the go.  But not all drawing tablets are as portable as others. When space is limited, you'll need a portable drawing tablet small enough to carry with you.

Benefits of a portable drawing tablet

The top benefit is definitely the ability to draw from any location.  A portable drawing tablet needs no computer and is tiny enough to use on a plane, train, or even sitting at a bus stop.

Portable tablets for drawing are usually cheaper thanks to the smaller surface area.  While some artists prefer a large drawing area, others prefer portability and a smaller price tag.

What to look for when buying a portable drawing tablet

Display Size

Your drawing tablet needs to be small enough to carry with you but large enough to get the work done.  Anything around 10 inches should be easy enough to carry.  If that's not enough drawing space for you, then you can stretch as high as 11 or 12 inches without sacrificing portability.

Display Quality

Display quality is another important factor that will likely play the biggest role in how much it costs.  The screen typically comes in either LCD or AMOLED.  While LCD is usually used in cheaper tablets, AMOLED screens have better color quality and consume less battery.

Stylus Type

Styluses are either active or passive, with an active stylus needing batteries while a passive stylus does not.  But while both types draw the same, the most important factor is how the stylus feels in your hand.  Choose something comfortable and ergonomic, especially if you draw for long periods of time.

Screen Sensitivity

High screen sensitivity is an important factor to make sure you can sketch and shade with greater accuracy.  You might even find tablets with advanced features such as 60-degree tilt, which allows you to press down on the pen tip from different angles, much like a real pen would.  If you're looking for a good guideline in screen sensitivity, then try to find a portable drawing tablet with 8192 pressure levels over something with 4096 pressure levels.

Affordability

Pricing is another important factor.  The cheapest tablet isn't always the best choice, as you may end up paying more in the long run to replace it when it breaks down.  Choose one that has the quality you need but feel free to avoid ones with costly extra features you won't use.

What are the best portable tablets for drawing?

1. Apple iPad Pro

The iPad Pro (6th generation) is one of the best portable drawing tablets you can get, but it's also one of the more expensive options.  It comes in either an 11-inch and 12.9-inch display screen, offering a range of portability options.  The screen resolution is 2732 x 2048 pixels, giving you incredible color accuracy.

The iPad Pro includes the upgraded M2 chip and high storage options, delivering better performance and battery with a brighter display.  It is compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, which features tilt sensitivity and an incredibly fast response time of 7ms.

2. Apple iPad Air 5

The iPad Air 5 offers a lot of the same benefits of the iPad Pro with a smaller screen and smaller price tag.  It uses an M1 chip and 2360 x 1640 IPS LCD panel to deliver brilliant screen quality and color accuracy.  The 10.9-inch screen makes it slightly more portable than the iPad Pro, and it is equally compatible with the Apple Pencil 2. 

The biggest difference between the two is that the iPad Air 5 has only 60Hz refresh rates, which is half that of the iPad Pro.  While this may result in lower sensitivity, it is still quite superior in quality to most other models.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Another affordable and portable drawing tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.  This tablet has a display size of 10.4" TFT LCD and a resolution of 1200 x 2000, giving you decent quality in a perfectly portable size.  It comes with an S Pen included, which further cuts down on the cost. 

Its battery life is admirable, and the processor is quite good for the price, though it does pale in comparison to more expensive models.  All around, this portable drawing tablet is one of the best options for beginners or amateurs looking for good quality at a low price.

4. Huawei MatePad Pro 10

The Huawei MatePad Pro 10 is the most portable drawing tablet in the Huawei MatePad Pro series, with a 10.8" LCD screen that can travel pretty much anywhere.  It has a 2560 x 1600 resolution and 128-512GB storage, giving you superior screen quality combined with more than enough storage.

Even without being an OLED display, the MatePad Pro 10 has impressive color quality and up to 540 nit brightness.  It comes with the M-Pencil 2nd generation, which includes 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.  If you're willing to pay a bit more for better quality, then the MatePad Pro 10 is a good step up from the Samsung Galaxy.

5. Apple iPad Mini

The iPad Mini is perhaps the most portable drawing tablet on the list, with an 8.3" screen that is small enough to fit in a pocket.  The Mini has a high screen resolution of 2266 x 1488, although its storage is somewhat limited at 25GB.  If portability is your top concern, then the Mini will serve you well, though the screen may be too small for some artists.

The Mini is also compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, giving you all the benefits of high pressure sensitivity and advanced features.  Its price is somewhat in the middle of the other models, so it truly is the best choice for those who value portability above all else.

6. Magic Drawing Pad

best portable drawing tablet

XPPen's Magic Drawing Pad is the best portable drawing tablet when it comes to combining affordability and quality.  The Magic Drawing Pad is incredibly portable with a 12.2-inch display, 6.9mm slim size, and light weight of only 599g.  The X-Paper display ensures that every stroke perfectly captures your ideas on a digital screen, offering you full color with zero glare and zero blue light.

One of the most impressive features of the tablet is the X3 Pro Pencil, which introduces an unprecedented 16k pressure level and sophisticated EMR technology.  The X3 Pro Pencil is powered by a drawing-dedicated smart chip that uses advanced algorithms to deliver the smoothest and most precise lines ever.  It's the closest you'll get to the actual feel of pen on paper no charging or pairing required!

The Magic Drawing Pad comes with ibis Paint X built in, offering a free 3-month membership of the versatile drawing app.  With 13 hours of battery life and 256GB ROM, you'll have more than enough time and space to draw as much as your heart desires.

Conclusion

It shouldn't be difficult to find a good portable drawing tablet.  Whether you're a novice or a seasoned professional, you'll be able to find the perfect fit.  These tablets are a good combination of power and portability at any budget.  Take a look at them to see which one stands out to you, then take the plunge and get started on your drawing journey!

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  • Magic Drawing Pad

        It features:

        • X3 Pro Pencil with 16,384 levels of pressure sensitivity

        • Super portable: 6.9mm slim, 599 g light

        • With advanced EMR technology, it delivers a paper-like drawing experience.


        Powered by Android 12, no need to connect to a computer to use.

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