Best tablet for illustrator: Top 5 Picks

If you are looking for the Best tablet for illustrators, then this is the article for you. Creating designs and art with time has been made easier and more efficient with the inclusion of Drawing tablets. However, choosing a good tablet can be a hassle considering the flood of tablets in the market today.

We have tested and done many tablet reviews before but in this article, we review the top gadgets you can get whether on a budget or as a beginner. We also consider high-end devices for professional-level artists and graphic designers.

It is important to note that it is not a given fact that a tablet will transform you into a perfect artist instantly, but it can be the difference between ok and fantastic work.

A quality drawing tablet can mostly be defined by the Stylus capabilities and the sensitive surface feature interaction for an authentic and natural experience. That might be what you’re looking for, but am sure you cannot mind having extra features that rank your tablet among the best.

In this article, we shall choose the best tablets under the three categories of drawing tablets, in order to guide you to the best for you.

Which is the Best tablet for Illustrator

  1. Xencelabs Pen Tablet Best Overall Graphic Tablet for Illustrator
  2. Wacom Cintiq 22 Best Wacom Tablet for an Illustrator – Editors Pick
  3. Apple 12.9 inch iPad Pro Best iPad for Illustrator
  4. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Best Windows Tablet for Illustrator
  5. Huion Kamvas 22 Plus Best Huion Tablet for illustrator

Xencelabs Pen Tablet: Best Overall Graphic Tablet for Illustrator

  • Drawing area; 10.3 by 5.8 inch
  • Stylus Pen; 2-battery free Digital pens
  • Pen Pressure sensitivity; 8192
  • Tilt support; yes
  • Connection; USB-C to USB-A
  • Category; Pen Tablet

The Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle is a 10.3 by 5.8-inch tablet, a site that offers you a large working area for a pen tablet. Contrary to this, the tablet is small and when you combine this with an 8mm thin panel, the tablet is easier to slide into a backpack and carry around.

When it comes to the stylus, the tablet offers you 2 battery-free digital pens, with different diameters and buttons.

Both the pens harbor quality 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, providing control for an authentic and natural experience.

They additionally support the tilt function, allowing you to tilt your pen for brushing and painting just like you do on a canvas.

Just above the drawing surface is 3 customizable buttons that maintain your shortcut habits for an effective work rate. If you prefer more shortcut options, a remote with over 40 programmable buttons are at your disposal, making it even better and more efficient.

The Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle is fully dependent on a computer connection since it lacks both a screen and an inbuilt computer system. Connection is therefore made using the USB-C to USB-A cable for a cleaner and less wired working desk.


  • Quality pen features
  • Enhanced shortcut options
  • Budget-friendly
  • Large enough working area


  • Not a standalone
  • Lacks a screen

Wacom Cintiq 22: Best Wacom Tablet for Illustrator – Editors Pick

  • Screen size; 21.5 inches
  • Stylus Pen; Wacom Pro Pen 2
  • Pen Pressure sensitivity; 8192
  • Tilt support; yes
  • Screen resolution; 1920 by 1080 pixels
  • Screen technologies; anti-glare
  • Connection; USB
  • Category; Monitor Tablet

Large-sized monitor tablets are great to work with. Although they are still dependent on a computer for lack of an inbuilt computer system, why go small when you are quite limited when it comes to working on the go?

The Wacom Cintiq provides you with a diagonal screen size of 21.5 inches and drawing on the large working area is a thrill.

Wacom is rated top when it comes to Stylus production, and the Wacom Pen 2 is a great example of their expertise. The pen holds the market’s best 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, unleashing natural and authentic stroke and designing conditions.

Moreover, the pen supports a tilt function, increasing that natural experience, for you, can brush through your design with just a tilt of the pen.

As for the display, the Wacom Cintiq 22 harbors a screen resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. When you combine it with a 72% NTSC color Gamut, you are offered quality visuals with rich and crisp colors.

This is also enhanced by the tablet’s ability to detect 16.7 million colors. Sticking to the screen, an anti-glare coating on the screen minimizes reflection, for a transparent display even in bright conditions.

The Wacom Cintiq 22 is a monitor tablet and this means it does not need an external screen for it has its own. However, it lacks an internal computer system meaning a computer connection is still required.

Connecting to a computer is easy since you only need to set up a USB connection and you are ready to go.


  • Quality stylus
  • Lovely display features
  • Large working area
  • Tilt function support


  • Large size may limit portability

Apple 12.9 inch iPad Pro: Best iPad for Illustrator

  • Stylus- Apple Pencil 2
  • CPU; Apple M1 chip
  • Storage; 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
  • RAM; 16GB
  • Screen size; 12.9 inches
  • Screen resolution; 2048 by 2732 pixels
  • OS; Ipad
  • Category; Standalone Tablet

One of the best independent drawing tablets in the market right now is the Ipad Pro 12.9 inch (M1 2021). Although Apple refrains from using the word tablet for their products, we shall categorize the Ipad under Standalone tablets.

Working on the go is fully enhanced since the iPad is a Standalone, lightweight, and small in size. Being standalone means you can use the Ipad without the need to connect it to a computer or laptop.

Since it is standalone, it is important to note the additional computer features including processors, RAM, and even internal storage.

Processing is made possible by the new M1 chip, delivering fast and efficient processing, and when you combine this with 16GB RAM, it can only get better.

Additionally, internal storage varying from 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB to 2TB, provides you with model options you can choose from to suit you best.

The Apple Pencil 2 is a slim, classy, and comfortable stylus used with the Ipad Pro 12.9 inch (M1 2021) for drawing. Although we are not revealed to the exact pen pressure sensitivity levels, the Pencil is accurate, and precise, and offers a natural drawing experience.

Display on the other hand is well taken care of, with a screen resolution of 2048 by 2732 pixels combined with the Liquid Retina display ensuring a clear display with rich crisp colors.


  • Fast and powerful processors
  • Large and varying internal storage
  • Quality display features
  • Perfect to work on the go


  • Quite expensive

Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Best Windows Tablet for Illustrator

  • Screen size; 13 inches
  • Screen resolution; 3000 by 2000 pixels
  • Stylus- Surface Slim Pen 2
  • Pen pressure sensitivity; 4096
  • CPU; Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • Storage; 128GB
  • RAM; 8GB
  • OS; Windows 10 Pro
  • Category; Pen Computer Tablet

Prior versions of the Surface Pro series have always come short in challenging the Apple iPads. However, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 has risen to the challenge, both in design and efficiency.

Another Standalone tablet that offers you an option on the operating system, with the tablet being delivered with Windows 10 Pro.

The 13-inch tablet is perfectly sized for an on-the-go tablet, and since it is a standalone tablet, it allows you to continue using the tablet away from your computer.

Powerful Intel Core i5-1135G7 processors work hand in hand with 8GB RAM to deliver fast and efficient processing.

This further ensures seamless functionality when running multiple programs simultaneously and rendering files.

Additionally, the tablet provides 128GB internal storage, and if you are not satisfied with the size and RAM, you can upgrade but be sure to add some cash to your budget.

When it comes to drawing, the tablet uses the rechargeable Surface Slim Pen 2. Although the Pen harbors 4096 levels of pen pressure sensitivity instead of the common 8192, the stroke production is not that different and the experience is natural and canvas-like.

Visuals on the other hand are impressive, courtesy of 3000 by 2000 pixels of screen resolution making the colors richer and more vibrant.


  • Perfect to work on the go
  • Powerful processors
  • Quality visual features
  • Lovely sleek design


  • Low pen pressure sensitivity levels

Huion Kamvas 22 Plus: Best Huion Tablet for Illustrator

  • Screen size; 21.5 inches
  • Stylus Pen; PW517
  • Pen Pressure sensitivity; 8192
  • Tilt support; yes
  • Screen resolution; 1920 by 1080 pixels
  • Screen technologies; Full-Laminated
  • Connection; USB-A/ USB-C
  • Category; Monitor Tablet

If you are in search of a budget-friendly monitor tablet with a load of features, then the Huion Kamvas 22 Plus is your best option.

The 21.5-inch screen display is one of the best features of the tablet that overpowers its competitors. A quality screen resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels may sound similar to most but the colors come to life courtesy of a 140% sRGB color Gamut with a contrast of 1:1200.

This quality display is provided by Quantum-dot technology that transforms your colors’ depth for better visuals.

It only gets better as the screen is made from the Full-Laminated display for a richer and quality production of colors and images.

Drawing on the Kamvas 22 Plus is made possible by the PW517 stylus, and with the pen’s 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, you are offered full control of the pen for a natural experience. Additionally, the PW517 supports a tilt function, allowing a normal pen-like brush option when you tilt the stylus.

Since the tablet is not a standalone tablet, it is fully dependent on a computer connection, but you can use the tablet’s screen instead of the computer’s display. Connection to a computer can be made by either using the USB C or USB A connection.


  • Quality screen features
  • Large working area
  • Quality stylus
  • Tilt function support
  • Budget-friendly


  • Large size limits portability
  • Not a standalone tablet


All the above tablets are top in their category in one way or another. If you are a professional and are looking for a top-of-the-chain drawing tablet to enhance your work, the iPad 12.9-inch Pro (M1, 2021) is the one for you.

It is further Standalone, meaning you can use it on the go, without a computer connection. However, the price may be quite high for most, and if so, you can go for the Windows-supporting Microsoft Surface Pro 8.

It is both standalone and portable for a lovely working on-the-go experience. You might however need to cash up if you want the highly featured models.

As for the monitor tablets, the Huion Kamvas 22 Plus is our best option compared to the Wacom Cintiq 22, since the budget is far friendlier and the features are not that far off.

With all that said and done, the best drawing tablet finally depends on the user, since you best understand what you need, your budget, and what company, be it of the tablet or operating system, serves you best.

How to choose the Best tablet for Illustrator

A drawing tablet is a tool for drawing and when some can buy them for entertainment purposes, most are purchased by artists willing to enhance their careers and/or artistry. Since artists’ needs do not translate similarly when it comes to the tablet’s specs, we shall highlight the main factors to consider.

Drawing Surface

When it comes to the drawing surface, you may go for the Studio tablets if you prefer a large working area. However, if you need a lightweight tablet to work on the go, a smaller tablet with a smaller drawing surface is the one for you.

Stylus and Pen

A stylus plays a very important role when it comes to drawing tablets. A quality Pen is determined by its ability to produce authentic strokes with a natural feel to it.

This is brought about by a number of pen features, with the main one being quality pen pressure sensitivity levels. The best level in the market as it stands is 8192 pen pressure sensitivity level, and by this, you are offered full control of your designs.

At a cheaper budget, you can get a quality tablet that harbors 4096 levels, and the experience is not that far from the previous levels. Additionally, the pen is better when the grip is comfortable to the hand, and when combined with a lightweight build, you can enjoy longer fatigue-free sessions.


The budget may be the reason for getting a great drawing tablet or just a regular tablet. Ideally, Standalone tablets are expensive ones, with Monitor tablets coming second and lastly the Pen tablets. However, buying a tablet with a category matching your budget can help you get a better tablet, although of a lower category.

Best Tablet for Adobe Illustrator

Xencelabs Pen Tablet: Best Overall Tablet for Illustrator

denis maina kamau

Written by: Denis Maina

I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.

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