In the field of design and illustration, it is customary to use DTP software such as Illustrator or Photoshop. But drawing on a tablet with visual feedback on your screen can be tiring and isn’t for everyone. It’s time to step up a gear and make your life easier by opting for a graphics tablet with a screen . Be careful, you could think of this type of autonomous graphics tablet, and say to yourself that you are finished going back and forth with your computer and finally make way for comfort. But no, there are few models that allow it and generally the price is prohibitive because it is reserved for professionals. Many models are present on the market and their characteristics can sometimes seem technical to you.
Nevertheless, many models are present on the market and perhaps you feel a little lost in your choice. That’s why we’ve published this comparison and buying guide.
GRAPHIC TABLET PROMO [LIVE]
- XP-Pen Artist 12 at €189.99 instead of €249.99 , a saving of €70 @fnac.fr
- XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro at €429.99 instead of €619.99 , a saving of €220 @fnac.fr
*Prices may vary during the day depending on stocks and the duration of promotions.
Comparative table of graphic tablets with screen
|Wacom Cintiq 16||15.6′||5080||42.2x 28.5||Passive||17||Full-HD|
|XP-PEN Artist 12||11.6′||5080||36×21||Passive||6||Full-HD|
|Huion Kamvas Pro 16||15.6′||5080||34.4 x 19.3||Passive||6||Full-HD|
|Gaomon PD1161||11.6′||5080||25.6 x 14.4||Passive||8||Full-HD|
|XP-PEN Artist 22 EPro||21.5′||5080||47.6 x 26.8||Refillable||16||Full-HD|
|Apple iPad Pro||12.9′||Liquid Retina||27.9 x 21.6||Apple Pencil||–||4K|
|Wacom Cintiq Pro 24||22.6′||5080||52.2 x 29.4||Passive||5||4K|
|Wacom Cintiq 22||21.5′||5080||47.9 x 27.1||Passive||6||Full-HD|
|Wacom Cintiq Pro 32||31.5′||5080||69.7×39.2||Passive||17||4K|
Ranking of the best graphics tablets with screen: Top 10
The time has come to unveil our ranking of the best tablets for working directly with an integrated screen, without worrying about the computer.
1. Wacom Cintiq 16: Combining quality and comfort
Features & Reviews
The Cintiq 16 is an excellent model from the reputable manufacturer, Wacom. It sports a 16-inch Full HD resolution panel and comes with a stylus with 8,192 pressure levels. The latter works without battery and causes only a very low latency between the moment you draw a line and the moment the line appears on the screen. We feel that the technology is well established since in reality, this latency is not noticeable.
This tablet for drawing directly on the screen has the advantage of having a display that is neither too big nor too small and easily finds its place on almost any desk.
In addition to the comfort of the Wacom Cintiq 16, make way for performance: the screen automatically detects the angle at which you are drawing. This has the effect of making the drawing less mechanical and much more human.
Wacom has also done careful work on colorimetry and color reproduction in general.
The Cintiq 16 is designed so that the colorimetric rendering is as faithful as possible to reality, regardless of the viewing device (TV screen, smartphone, external PC monitor, etc.)
- Unnoticeable latency
- Very good color rendering
- Ease of use thanks to full HD resolution
- Value for money
2. XP-PEN Artist 12: The cheapest to buy
Features & Reviews
In order to practice a very affordable price, the Japanese manufacturer has chosen to reduce the size of the screen. The latter, displaying a resolution all the same full HD, extends over 11.6 inches.
Certainly, it is not an exceptional comfort of use. But at this price, the value for money remains very correct.
Regarding the features, there is a stylus with a “mine” on one side (to draw) and a virtual eraser at its end (the latter being compatible with most drawing software).
The 6 shortcut buttons (customizable) on the edge of the screen in addition to the button on the body of the stylus will allow you to handle this tablet very easily.
In the end, we are quite impressed with the quality and functions offered by this graphics tablet at a derisory price.
- The price
- The customizable touch bar for more controls
- Full HD resolution
- The screen is a bit small
3. Huion Kamvas Pro 16: unbeatable value for money
Features & Reviews
After Wacom, place the second essential manufacturer of graphics tablets without computer, responding to the brand name of Huion. The Kamvas Pro 16 has an IPS panel in 1920 by 1080p resolution (Full HD) and has an anti-reflection function. The front panel has 6 quick shortcut keys as well as a small touch surface to easily zoom with your fingers, for example.
At the back, there is a welcome non-slip grip for the stability of the tablet. This avoids a probable breakage for the most clumsy of us. Finally, a USB-C port is always well placed at the back and allows the tablet to integrate harmoniously into your workspace.
On the stylus side, we are on a sensitivity of 8,192 pressure levels: a standard that remains effective at all times for a graphics tablet. Working with most graphics software, the Kamvas Pro 16 is compatible with Windows and MacOS.
- Consideration of stylus angle when drawing
- Non-slip grip
- Well-placed USB-C
- Large 15.6 inch screen
4. Gaomon PD1161: Perfect for beginners at the best price
Features & Opinions
At first glance, the consensual design, the 1.3 centimeters thickness and its 11.6 inch format make the Gaomon PD1161 an easy tablet to take everywhere . Having no battery, its “feather” weight of 870 grams comforts us in this perspective of mobility. The IPS screen may only be 11.6 inches, but its FullHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels guarantees a detailed display. In addition, the original color calibration and the settings accessible from the menu, offer very good image quality.
The AP50 stylus, equipped with 8,192 pressure levels, is the lucky winner that will take advantage of a base resolution of up to 5,080 LPI. Autonomous, the latter is extremely light and pleasant to use. Accessories for using the tablet in the best conditions are provided. The glove, the stylus rest with tips, the AC adapter, and above all, a handy “multi-plug” cable , everything is in the box. Available for a very small price, the PD1161 is more suitable for novices , it unfortunately has some shortcomings such as, for example, the position of the stylus: even well calibrated, it betrays a fairly pronounced parallax effect on the edges that we can do disappear by cheating during calibration.
- General performance
- Full-HD resolution
- No support provided
- Offset on the edges of the screen
- No support for pen tilt
5. XP-PEN Artist 22 EPro: low-cost excellence in stationary use
Features & Reviews
This model is suitable for any digital artist who needs a graphics tablet with a screen , for stationary use. Indeed, endowed with a very great comfort of work thanks to its imposing dimensions, this product cannot be moved at will in a bag. And for good reason, the drawing surface reaches 22 inches, all powered by a Full HD 1920 x 1080 panel.
Once the XP-PEN drivers are installed, there are no less than 16 shortcut buttons arranged on the left and right of the screen which can be configured as you wish.
Unlike many of the models featured here, the stylus isn’t battery-less. This stylus has a rechargeable battery, offering up to two months of autonomy. We also note the presence of a stylus holder to protect the touch pen from possible breakage.
Emphasis is placed on respecting colors, so that the colors are faithful to the HD screen of the tablet, after exporting to the format of your choice.
Aiming to be versatile, this tool is aimed at both industrial designers and digital painting artists: the main software from different fields of activity being compatible.
For us, one of the only striking elements that strongly differentiates this entry-level model from a so-called “top-of-the-range” model is the price.
- Very large work surface
- Many shortcut buttons
- Excellent value for money for an entry level
- The pen needs to be recharged
6. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inches: a powerful, versatile and portable tool
Features & Reviews
Although not a graphics tablet in its own right, writing a top 10 of the best graphics tablets of the moment without mentioning the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro would be a shame.
Indeed, since Apple introduced the possibility of using a stylus with the iPad, digital drawing applications have multiplied on the App Store. Among them, we could mention “Procreate”, the reference application for digital painting, sketching, sketching…
The possibilities of an iPad Pro in the context of computer-aided design and even more broadly computer graphics are endless. Unlike a tablet connected to a computer, you can take the iPad Pro with you anywhere and sketch landscapes or portraits on the spot.
This is the great strength of this tool: portability. And it is this criterion that makes the iPad a good standalone graphics tablet .
Let’s add that there is an active community around drawing on the iPad and many tutorials for getting started with applications dedicated to this activity are available for free on the internet.
Being able to represent a significant investment at the start, the iPad Pro remains a practical solution for those who would be ready to adopt the versatility and intuitiveness of this object.
We will add that it is perfectly possible to use it as a remote graphics tablet, provided you have a Mac computer and install a dedicated application. On the other hand, for Windows PC users, it will not be possible so easily.
- Completely nomadic solution (and present autonomy)
- Very large work surface
- Does not require a powerful computer
- Can only be used with apps from the App Store (or have a Mac)
7. Wacom Cintiq Pro 24: For demanding professionals
Features & Reviews
This drawing tablet is positioned on the professional market. It represents an excellent choice for anyone who wants to professionalize in the field of graphic design.
Although its price may seem high, it must be understood that the tool relies on durability, thanks to the 22.6-inch screen with 4K resolution.
More and more, 4K conquered domestic screens. To see the future is to buy equipment that will last. And this is exactly the positioning that Wacom takes with regard to this product.
Equipped with a base on feet to allow you to tilt it as you wish, nothing can stop your thirst for creation. Not even the manipulation of complicated areas since it is possible to zoom in and out as desired, as one would do from a smartphone, thanks to the multi-touch tactile insert.
We really like the generous dimensions of the Cintiq Pro 24 inches. The display quality is excellent and the color reproduction amazed us. However, the price reminds us of reality: this model is not intended for beginners.
- 4K screen
- Accurate colorimetry
- Very large work surface
- Price difficult to envisage for a non-professional
8. Wacom Cintiq 22: Professional hardware at an affordable price
Features & Reviews
It can be called the little sister of the Cintiq Pro 24. Here, the screen is not 4K but is Full HD. On the other hand, the work surface is not the least since the object sports a 21.5-inch screen.
Compatible with MacOS and Windows, including a base for precise tilting, this graphics tablet without a computer will be king on your desk.
However, it will be a little more difficult to transport, due to its size. Nevertheless, the latter gives it a very great comfort of use, which complements its good colorimetry.
We specify that the Cintiq 22 is compatible for right-handed people but also our left-handed friends (thanks to a setting from the software published by Wacom and allowing to manage the tablet).
The stylus, titled “Wacom Pro Pen 2”, has its own base, included with the tablet. We’re not convinced that it was necessary to make such a large base for a full-size stylus. This will at least have the effect of preventing it from being misplaced.
On the other hand, no physical shortcut button on the horizon. Too bad for a tablet of this range.
- Colors very faithful to reality
- Very wide screen in Full HD resolution
- Hardware that feels solid by design
- No assignable physical button as a shortcut
9. Wacom Cintiq Pro 32: Perfection for professionals
Features & Reviews
Cintiq Pro 32 is its code name. Wacom hits hard with this graphics tablet for the Pro market. This is the model with the largest screen in our selection: 31.5 inches, all in 4K resolution.
It can be seen as the big sister of the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24. Using the same configuration, the major difference lies in the size of the screen.
As you can guess, this graphics tablet is exclusively reserved for fixed use. No need to try to move it to a colleague, it is far too big for that.
Delivered with a stylus, the Wacom Pro Pen 2, will react with the screen at quarter turn, the latency being absolutely imperceptible.
If you have the budget, we can only recommend this amazing performance tablet.
- The 31.5 inch work surface
- 4K resolution
- Comfort in use
- The price is intended only for professionals
10. Gaomon PD1561: a large surface for an affordable price
Features & Reviews
To complete our selection, we invite you to discover an inexpensive and high-performance graphics tablet with a screen.
We were surprised by its characteristics since it offers a 15.6-inch screen bordered by 10 shortcut keys to customize. This model is financially affordable and it is rare to find this kind of product at a low price, without sacrificing quality.
Rarer still, the tablet is built on a base to be adjusted as you wish. The supplied stylus, managing 8,192 levels of pressure, even comes with a mechanical pencil and 8 spare leads (in case you misplace one).
This tablet combines ease of use partly due to its large screen and full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, but also graphics performance. The colorimetry is well respected.
This model is perfectly suited for beginners as well as intermediate draftsmen.
- Big screen
- Full-HD resolution
- The price
- The Power key is not well highlighted. It can be confused with a shortcut key, which has the effect of turning off the tablet in use
Our complete buying guide for graphics tablets with a screen, how to choose?
What type of graphics tablet to choose?
We can “roughly” categorize graphics tablets into two distinctions: tablets with an integrated screen and those without screens.
Here, it’s all about taste and colors (and budget). Indeed, models with onboard screens allow you to draw without looking away from the computer. Models without a display will be perceived as less “practical” since you have to draw while looking at the computer.
It should be noted, however, that tablets with a screen are much more expensive to purchase than their little sisters without a screen. This is the reason why we advise beginners to move towards a graphics tablet without a screen at first. Besides, you can find our selection of the best graphics tablets for all budgets on this site.
What criteria should be taken into account?
When starting on a tablet with integrated display, several criteria must be studied:
- The size of the work surface : a tablet that is too small may limit you, but one that is too large may clutter you up. It’s up to you to find the happy medium for the dimensions.
- Color rendering : not all models are created equal and the colorimetric rendering tends to differ from that of your computer screen. This complicates the choice of shades for your color palette.
- Resolution : display quality is important. Assume that you will be using your graphics tablet every day. The financial investment being important, you might as well not have to change it within 6 months.
- Pen pressure levels : These determine the precision of your strokes
- Autonomy : many will want a graphics tablet with an autonomous screen, but all models require a power outlet. Apart from an iPad Pro or the HP Zbook or even a Surface Pro, we do not recommend other 2-in-1 tablet PCs which are not really suitable for precision work.
- Shortcut keys : a guarantee of ergonomics and efficiency, they allow you to configure personalized functions to save time, provided that the software is compatible.
- Multitouch : this is the ability to touch the screen with several fingers simultaneously. This is important because many software programs offer shortcuts using multitouch gestures.
- The viewing angle : a good viewing angle will guarantee comfort in use, not forcing you to constantly remain in the same position to guarantee optimal color rendering.
On this point, everything is a question of need (but also a bit of budget). If you are more oriented towards graphics and digital painting, a 16” panel should be more than enough. If you’re the type to let your inspiration flow on the fly, anywhere, anytime, and you plan to use your graphics tablet more like a sketchbook , it will obviously be better to move towards models from 12” to 13”. On the other hand, if it is for professional use, in particular in the fields of industrial design and architecture , slabs over 20” will be more suitable.
Color fidelity is very important in the creative professions. Many standards exist (also called gamut), and necessarily, each manufacturer is free to specify which colorimetric space suits him the most.
First of all, know that the smallest color range (of which the shades of colors will be the least numerous, the least contrasted) is the sRGB , and the largest, the NTSC . For information, sRGB only covers 72% of the NTSC space. The DCI-P3 is intermediate, with approximately 90% of the NTSC space, or 125% of the sRGB space, and the Adobe RGB, standard in the world of graphics and photography, is very similar to NTSC since it covers 99% of it.
For a nice color gamut, aim for a product that covers about 90% of the Adobe RGB space , which is also 125% of sRGB, or 100% of DCI-P3. The brightness is also important, but the majority of graphics tablets hardly exceed 200cd/m, where an iPad peaks at 500 or 600 cd/m.
For resolution, the vast majority of graphics tablets offer a Full HD panel of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This is enough for a 12” to 16” screen, but beyond that, the pixel density becomes weak. It will therefore be preferable to favor a 4K screen if your budget allows it, in particular for a static graphics tablet or for professional use.
The stylus and pressure levels
The stylus is probably the most important element for a graphics tablet. There are three things to consider: stylus type , pressure levels , and tilt sensitivity . Indeed, there are models of a “passive” stylus, without power supply, or with, or with batteries that will have to be changed or a rechargeable battery.
For pressure levels, the current standard is 8192 intensity levels, which is extremely accurate. Tilt sensitivity is not yet systematic, but it is extremely important to transcribe the most natural user experience possible.
Latency is also a parameter that greatly influences the user experience, but nowadays most styluses on the market display a latency of around ten milliseconds, which is imperceptible in use.
Many Internet users are looking for a graphics tablet with an autonomous screen, ie without the constraint of a mains charger and without being only a computer peripheral. Alas there are few options. We can however find wireless graphic tablets but which do not have a screen and therefore require a computer. However, solutions are beginning to appear, in particular the evolution of touch pads. So we have the latest iPad Pro which have made a significant leap in this area with a battery life close to 10 hours, just like the Surface Pro . The other reference is the HP ZBook x2 G4 workstation which struggles to exceed 5 hours of autonomybut which turns out to be optimal in use as a graphics tablet with its HP Pen stylus.
Many graphic tablets offer shortcut keys allowing the user to configure his favorite functions accessible in one click. But there are several things to know: in addition to their number which can vary from 4 to nearly twenty , you must also ensure their compatibility with the software you intend to use. Another thing, if many manufacturers have them on the sides of the screen, Wacom opts for an alternative solution: a remote control.
Multi-touch allows you to use your touch screen with several fingers simultaneously , allowing you to perform gestures such as “pinch-to-zoom” on your smartphone. This may seem trivial, but yet, rare are the graphics tablets to offer it (or to mention its absence on the technical description). Wacom, for example, only offers it on its newest and most expensive models.
The viewing angle
The viewing angle is important for the fidelity of image reproduction, but also for the comfort of use. A viewing angle of 90° is mediocre, 178° is excellent . The higher the viewing angle, the more freedom you will have to position yourself as you see fit in relation to the screen to work, without causing color reproduction defects or eye fatigue.
What computer graphics software should I use?
There is no shortage of drawing and graphics and graphics software. The reference in this area remains the essential Photoshop , suitable for photo editing as well as digital drawing, but other alternatives exist. On the paid software side, the most popular are Paint Tool SAI, Clip Studio Paint and Corel Painter , which are software dedicated to drawing and digital painting.
On the free software side , there are also excellent products, starting with Krita , for painting and digital art, Gimp , for photo editing and graphic design, as well as Sketchbook from Autodesk , for painting and digital design. Sketchbook is also available on the AppStore for iPad and proves to be the best free option, while Procreate is surely the best app in this area costs ten euros.
Graphic tablet with screen without a computer?
The vast majority of tablets are simple peripherals to be connected to your computer using a cable and a power supply. This is actually the case for all small and medium-sized graphics tablets, with the exception of the iPad , the Surface Pro , the HP ZBook x2 G4 which thus proves to be probably the best tools for mobility . For other nomadic tablets, you will need to bring your laptop to use them.
To find a graphics tablet with integrated Windows, it will be necessary to move towards the Surface models from Microsoft, or the large Cintiq Pro 24 and 32 models from Wacom , which offer to embed an integrated computer Cintiq Pro Engine under Windows, making them thus totally fall in the same way as the iPad Pro or an all-in-one computer.
Our final opinion on graphics tablets with screen
The graphic tablet with screen, an essential tool for progress
Once you have made your mark on a graphics tablet without a screen, it is essential from our point of view to invest in a slightly more upscale model, with a screen. The creative possibilities are then increased tenfold and, there is no denying it, the comfort of drawing is much more present.
It remains to choose the tablet that will suit you and that will meet your needs as closely as possible.