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5 Best Professional and Most Expensive Drawing Tablets for Artists

XPPen 2024-02-28 16:50:07 11 min read

This digital age has artists moving away from traditional materials and jumping into drawing tablets. Designers can draw, write and retouch more naturally with tablets than with a mouse or a touchpad. A drawing tablet is an artist's companion in the creative field. It is the perfect gadget for an artist's ideation and doodling in a digitalized manner. Spending time bridling the creativity on a digitalized platform gives wings to imagination and ideas.

Are you planning to become a professional artist or graphics designer? Then you will need to use a drawing tablet with professional drawing capability.

Buying a professional drawing tablet can be confusing & difficult for first-time buyers. The pricing is confusing, and important features like pressure sensitivity and resolution aren't always easy to understand. This guide is useful for just about anyone in need of advice on what drawing tablet to buy or what tablet to replace their current device with.

So, read on to find out which drawing tablet best suits your needs!

Tablet Features & Considerations

When choosing to buy a drawing tablet for yourself it's helpful to check what the features to consider. This can give you a good idea which drawing tablets are worth buying.

Active work area

The working area is the section of drawing tablets that is responsive to pen input and this area's size is important for comfort and detail.

Drawing tablets without screen come in varying sizes. The smallest have an active area of about 4 x 3 inches, while the largest ones have an active area of more than 13 inches wide and a height of over 8 inches.

With no display, you will want your drawing tablet size to be closer to the size of your monitor and if possible the same size. This is because the way drawing tablets without screens work is by mirroring your monitor.

But if the tablet is much smaller this mirroring is scaled down to be able to match your bigger monitor's size.

The smaller-sized tablets are more convenient for beginners and hobbyists, while larger active areas (that's the portion of the screen you can draw on) better suit the needs of professionals.

Pressure Sensitivity

The pressure sensitivity of a drawing tablet is the most important characteristics to consider before making a purchase.

The greater the sensitivity, the more control you have over your strokes.

Pressure sensitivity is important because it allows you to create lines of varying thickness and opaqueness to add dimension, shadows, and highlights to your work. And you can manipulate the lines' weight with a single pen!

A drawing tablet with at least 2,048 levels of sensitivity is a must if you wish to have better control over your strokes.

Tilt Recognition

This feature, e.g. of the Airbrush tip and eraser, senses the amount of tilt between the tool and tablet. The standard values in which this function operates are ± 60 levels.

This is used to create natural-looking pen, brush, and eraser strokes in applications that support tilt-sensitivity.


A tablet's resolution impacts the quality of the art you create.

The higher the resolution, the more lines per inch (LPI) you can draw, i.e., the more details you can add to your drawing.

Most smaller-screen tablets have 2,540 LPI, while medium and large have 5,080 LPI.

Although the difference between devices of the same size is often insignificant, you should factor in the resolution when buying a tablet.


Responsiveness impacts the speed at which the lines you're drawing appear on the screen.

It depends on a laptop or tablet's operating system, its CPU, GPU, and RAM, which is why it's important to check the tablet's specs to avoid having issues with lag.

If your PC has limited processing power and RAM, then you're destined to run into input lag.

Pen Type

Stylus (pen) comes in two varieties: lithium battery-powered and electromagnetic resonance, but all are intended to simulate the feel of a pen on paper.

Rechargeable: Rechargeable pens have lithium batteries inside. They need to be charged like your phone or a laptop, typically every eight to ten hours. like apple pencil or surface pen.

Electromagnetic resonance (EMR): This type of pen is the most convenient because it doesn't require recharging or fresh batteries. Instead, EMR styluses rely on the electromagnetic frequency, which wirelessly infuses them with the tablet's power. like the stylus of wacom and xppen.

Shortcut buttons

Most higher-end drawing tablets offer buttons somewhere along the body of the pad. These can serve as a custom function.

These extra keys, which are normally located on the left, are intended to save you time and streamline your work routine. Instead of flipping between menus, apps, or just clicking brushes in Photoshop, hotkeys will save you a significant amount of time.

Outside of the screenless tablet, there are some special terms used for pen display options. These are fairly important to consider when purchasing a drawing tablet and its accompanying pen.

5 Best Drawing Tablets for Professional Artists

The market today offers various kinds of drawing tablets each suited for different users with different configurations.

Below is a short list of some professional drawing tablets for artists. Obviously, you need to make sure that these drawing tablets will be a good match for your needs, so do your research!

1. iPad Pro

ipad pro tablet for drawing

The iPad Pro is a great option for those who are looking for a powerful and portable standalone drawing tablet with a screen. There are many apps for sketching and drawing which is created for iPad Pro specifically like Procreate, Adobe Fresco...

iPad Pro has a gigantic 12.9-inch mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display with a resolution of 2,732 x 2,048 pixels and up to a 120Hz refresh rate. The colour accuracy is near perfect, with vibrant tones and deep dark shades.

It's powered by Apple's M2 chip, which gives it impressive performance, with 16GB of RAM, all your most demanding apps will run smoothly. Plus, with up to 512GB, 1TB or 2TB storage.

Draw on the iPad using the Apple Pencil (2nd Generation), which has lag free tracking and tilt sensitivity that is designed to work like a regular pencil. So if you're working in Procreate app and decide to shade at an angle, the Apple Pencil will simulate the effect of shading with the side of your pencil with a thicker line.

The other great things about the Apple Pencil, is that it has palm rejection when working with the stylus, low latency, pressure sensitivity and incredible precision. The only downside is that the Apple Pencil will have to be bought separately from the iPad.

The iPad Pro 12.9" boasts an excellent battery life with a large 40.88 Wh battery (10758 mAh). The device was able to last through a full ten-hour day, but it really depends on how you use the iPad.

This is the best standalone drawing tablet on the market for those who want a versatile device, that they can use for drawing, photography, videography, listening to music and more.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 ultra

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 ultra tablet for drawing and painting

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 ultra is one of the best Android tablets on the market.

The 14.6″ Super AMOLED display is bright and clear. It's large enough that you won't have to zoom in and out too much when working on art projects.

The screen offers the resolution of 2960 x 1848, and a dynamic refresh rate that gets up to 120Hz ensures super smooth animations.

The screen can cover 99.87% of sRGB and 99.4% of DCI-P3 color gamuts while maintaining a very low Delta E number – and that means this screen is very color accurate and doesn't deviate off from the true color much.

It's fast, It has Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Octa-core chip paired with 8GB, 12GB or 16GB RAM. Storage tops out at 512GB but a microSD card slot lets you get an additional 1TB space if you want it.

The tablet comes with the S Pen, so you can use it to draw, write or take notes. It's great that the stylus ships with the tablet and we're not forced to buy it separately.

The S Pen feels nice and sturdy in the hand, shorter than the Apple Pencil, and it feels more natural on first use given the softer, more pen-like tip. It also uses Wacom tech and supports up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with tilt recognition.

One of the best features of this tablet is DeX mode. This allows you to use the tablet as a PC. You can connect a keyboard and mouse and use all your favourite Android apps on a larger screen. This is great for when you need to be productive and get work done.

With a 11,200mAh power pack, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra’s battery is meaty enough to provide that gigantic screen with loads of juice. it only has a battery life of 6.5 hours with High refresh rate enabled, and a more acceptable 8 hours with the Standard refresh rate!

If you need a fast, large screen Android tablet that can also double as a PC, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a great option.

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 for drawing and photo editing in photoshop

The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is a high end standalone drawing tablet with some great features.

The tablet has a 13″ PixelSense display with a 2,880 X 1,920 resolution, which outputs at a smooth 120Hz and supports Dolby Vision HDR.

The screen achieves 106.1% of the sRGB color gamut, 82% AdobeRGB, and 75.1% DCI-P3, all excellent results. It also has 10 point multi-touch support, so you can use your fingers to draw directly on the screen.

The Surface Pro 9 is powered by an Intel i5 or i7 12th Gen Core processor and has a snappier LPDDR5 RAM of 8GB or 16GB RAM. It can also be kitted out with either 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of M.2 SSD storage.

This is a great tablet, that bridges the gap between drawing tablet and laptop. It's the 2-in-1 tablet design we've all grown to enjoy, including the built-in kickstand and removable keyboard.

This keyboard includes the built-in storage (and charging) solution for the Surface Slim Pen 2 – which will also cost you an extra $130.

Microsoft's Surface Slim Pen 2 resembles a carpenter's pencil and it works even better when paired to Surface Pro 9. it offers a smooth drawing and note-taking experience. The pen itself is very nice and has no noticeable lag.

Having Windows 11 is also a major boon for this tablet, as it means you can use the full desktop version of programs like Adobe Photoshop CC and illustrator CC.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 battery capacity is 5900mAh, it ran the PCMark battery life test for just over eight and a half hours, don't expect that 16 or 19-hour result.

The Surface Pro line has always looked sharp and performed well. It remains the best overall example of a Windows-based tablet/laptop hybrid.

Use this device for any of your art business needs. For running your favourite drawing software, editing images for print or doing the admin for your art shop.

4. XPPen Magic Drawing Pad

XPPen Magic Drawing Pad for drawing

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. This year, XPPen released its first standalone drawing tablet, Magic Drawing Pad.

The XPPen Magic Drawing Pad is powered by Android System, which means you can draw without connecting it to a computer. Compared with other traditional stand-alone tablets, its advantage lies in its higher pressure sensitivity level. It reached 16,384, which is twice that of other brands. In addition, the stylus comes with the machine and does not need to be purchased separately. The price is also very cost-effective, only $499.

The XPPen Magic Drawing Pad also has an ibis Paint membership, activate your ibis Paint X account and purchase the Magic Drawing Pad to enjoy a 3-month free license.

Designed for professional artists, this drawing tablet is only 6.9mm thick. Lightweight at 599g, you can use it to draw anywhere, whether at home, in a cafe or outdoors.

5. XPPen Artist 24 Pro

XPPen Artist 24 Pro large graphic tablet monitor for drawing

The XPPen Artist 24 Pro is a professional drawing tablet with a large 24" IPS screen that offers excellent performance, and stunning visuals.

The 24″ tablet is the largest canvas ever made by XPPen, it reduces the need for panning and zooming in and out on the artwork.

It also reduces the need for extra screens to display reference photos and composition sketches, as there is more than enough screen space to have it all right in front of you in one place.

The display has stunning 2k QHD (2560x1440) resolution, and 90% Adobe RGB color coverage, which makes it the perfect tablet for colour sensitive work, like designing prints.

The PA2 stylus is battery free, has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt-response and lag-free tracking. There are two buttons on the pen for access to customizable shortcuts.

The tablet itself also feels well-constructed, with robust, high-quality materials and an impressive stand, which offers shallow angles from 16 degrees all the way up to 90 degrees.

The tablet also comes with 2 Red Dial Wheel and 20 Shortcut keys that you can customise to create shortcuts for your favourite software functions. This is a handy feature that can help speed up your workflow.

This is a great tablet for professionals who have the budget to spend on a high spec piece of kit. It is more appropriate for office and studio use.


Buying a high-quality drawing tablet can be a major investment so we hope this article has helped you narrow down your choices.

The best choices make a balance between price, screens, size, and other drawing features. And we think XPPen Magic Drawing Pad is the best choice for artists and graphic designers.

About Us

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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Products Recommended
  • 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.

  • Artist 24 Pro

      It features:

      • Great 23.8-inch 2K QHD graphics display

      • Color Gamut 90% Adobe®RGB

      • 20 customizable and touch-sensitive shortcut keys

      Supports USB-C to USB-C connection


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