The Best Drawing Tablets for Animation

What are the Best Drawing Tablets for Animation? Whether you are a beginner or a professional, a drawing tablet is an important addition to your workflow and will highly improve your speed and output quality.

Samsung, Wacom, Huion, Xpen, and xencelabs are some of the top players that have joined the market in recent years.

Due to the increase of brands and manufacturers in the tablet niche, the price of good animation tablets has greatly reduced. Even on a budget, you can get a perfect one that suits your needs.

In this review, we have first considered the performance ability of a tablet, the nature and type of tablet and how it fits an animator’s needs, and finally different budget levels. At the end of the article, we have also come up with a guide on how to choose the best one for you.

The Best Drawing Tablets for Animation

  1. Apple iPad Pro Best drawing tablet for animation overall
  2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Best Android tablet for animation
  3. XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro The best budget drawing tablet (with screen)
  4. GAOMON PD1560
  5. XP-PEN Artist 13.3 Pro
  6. XP-PEN Artist 12 Pro
  7. Wacom Cintiq 22
  8. Huion Kamvas Pro 16

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inch is the Best Drawing Tablets for Animation

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The Apple iPad Pro is by far one of the best tablets you can buy. This review takes the spot for the best overall tablet for animation.

We have already seen in previous reviews that the 12.9-inch Apple iPad screen is one of the best in terms of display and quality. Another factor that propels it to the top of the list is the powerful M2 processor which is ideal for heavy tasks and multitasking.

The stylus pen is market standard but unfortunately comes separately adding to the expensive price tag of the tablet. As an animator, you will sometimes have to work long hours. The Apple Pencil 2 has a nice user-friendly ergonomic shape that mimics a real pen. It is comfortable and allows animators to use it for long hours without fatigue.

Portability is made easy by the lack of dependency on a computer connection plus the sleek light weight design of the body of the tablet. To add to this, the tablet has a long 10-hour battery life depending on usage.

Pros

  • Impressive screen
  • Fast Processor
  • Large RAM
  • Large storage
  • Portable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Pen comes separate

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the Best Android Tablet for Animation

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It has a slightly smaller 12.4-inch screen compared to the Apple iPad Pro but is still big enough. The screen is super AMOLED and will display artwork in a crisp and clear display in vivid color.

The screen runs from end to end with small Bezels that give the illusion of a larger screen than it actually is. 

Overall screen brightness is a problem in many tablets because some tablets can not be used outdoors because the maximum light they emit is too low. Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus has an auto-adjusting screen that will change to match your environment so no problem whether indoor or outdoor.

The premium Samsung S Pen is another great addition and comes free with the tablet unlike Apple Pencil 2.  In comparison to previous releases, this S- pen lowers the latency to a minuscule of 9ms. It will easily draw or create artwork seamlessly without lags thanks to the  120HZ refresh rate.  will create with high accuracy and tilt recognition.

Pros

  • Charges fast
  • Comes with an S-pen
  • Excellent back and front cameras
  • Clear crisp display
  • Quad speakers
  • Excellent for multitasking – just drag and drop

Cons

  • Lacks a headphone jack
  • Price

XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro

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XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro is one of the best budget tablets for animation. One thing that stands out is the large fully laminated 15.6-inch screen. The screen is larger than the 2 earlier reviewed tablets that are Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus and Apple iPad Pro.

A fully laminated screen combines the 3 layers of the screen into 1 compact screen without spaces between. The screen is therefore very clear because no air bubbles will form in between screen layers. Additionally, the screen is more durable and gives a natural pen-to-paper feel when using the tablet.

One downside however is that the XPEN is not a stand-alone tablet and needs a computer connected to use it. This limits its portability because you have to carry your computer everywhere you go.

The stylus offers a 60-degree tilt plus 8192 degrees of pressure sensitivity plus virtually no delay. The exceptional red dial interface sets this device apart, enabling easy zooming plus scrolling about the canvas. The tablet is compatible with many Windows and Mac computers; the XP-PEN Artist15.6Pro is adaptable, portable plus super-efficient.

Wacom one

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As professional, graphic designers, we can all agree that the amount of tech required to bring an idea to life is. Depending on the type of project, the wrong choice of tablet might hinder hour outcome.

It is for that reason that the Wacom one drawing tablet makes it to this category. As it is an embodiment of speed, precision, and accuracy.

First, it is a standalone Android tablet with a beautiful screen. With 1080p, screen resolution the brightness is enough for using both low and high light exposures. For this price, it will meet the basic needs you look out for as an artist.

While we focus on the android capabilities in this review, it is prudent to note that this tablet is supported by multiple operating systems.  Making a perfect selection for artists regardless of the choice of operating system.

As a perfect entrant, for artists, it is designed to meet up with their needs. It provides the best natural pen-screen experience for the user.

Pros

  • Premium build
  • Comes with a stylus
  • Diverse compatibility with different OS

Cons

  • Lacks shortcut buttons
  • Stylus requires external software to run

GAOMON PD1560

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Number two on my list is the largest in size in this category. Thus if you are eyeing a larger screen-sized tablet this is for you. The GAOMON PD1560.

First of all, the large-size monitor with a 1920x 1080 screen resolution allows you to view your project in true colors. The monitor that doubles up as a drawing screen boasts a 15.6 matte film cover.

It comes with 10 functional, customizable buttons on the main body. Look out for its 60+- tilt function with excellent levels of pressure sensitivity.

Uniquely this tablet features a rechargeable pen with a shell life of 350 hours of continuous usage. In line with that, you can replace the nibs that are controlled by two customized buttons.

Last but not least, it is usable on Windows >7 and Mac OS <10.11. Please note GAOMON PD 1560 is compatible with most of the software artists use Adobe Photoshop, illustrator among many more.

Pros

  • Long-lasting battery with short charging time.
  • Sturdy stand, with adjustable lever .
  • The wobble-free pen is even under pressure.
  • Excellent size within a budget.

Cons

  • The pen does not come with an eraser.
  • The body exterior feels cheap.

XP-PEN Artist 13.3 Pro

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XP-PEN Artist 13.3Pro: Quality, check, price check, efficiency check. My third choice in this category. Here is why: if you pick it, it comes with a free drawing glove, replaceable pen nibs, a portable stand, and a pen holder.

To start with is the exquisite monitor that doubles up as a drawing screen. The monitor is clear and gives you a true picture of the colors and the details as you draw.

The matte finish on the screen gives the 13.3-inch monitor a beautiful finish.

Noticeable is the 60+- tilt function, which is tagged along functional buttons 8 in number together with a red dial ring.

It also features 8192 pressure levels of sensitivity. This ensures what you instruct the pen produces on the screen without wobbling.

Customize the pen by pressing either of the two visible buttons. Additionally, the pen is rechargeable as it comes battery-free with continuous use of up to 10 hours. In regards to the nibs, this tablet’s pen can be changed with newer nibs for excellent detailing.

Finally, it is designed to be used on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Note you can install most of the software used including Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop among others.

Pros

  • Excellent screen size.
  • Easy to use as it has shortcut buttons and keys.
  • Packaged with great accessories.
  • Steady pen

Cons

  • The support stand only has a single angle
  • Software incompatibility especially on newer versions.
  • Very hard to find a suitable case .

XP-PEN Artist 12 Pro

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Although smaller in size in comparison to the pro 13.3 this XP- PEN Artist 12 Pro is an incredible drawing tablet on this list. Number four on the list.

Its screen size is 11.6 inches with a resolution of 1920×1080. Additionally, the beautiful matte finish gives it a nice finish.

Just like the pro 13.3, it comes with customizable buttons and a red ring dial that is visible right and the buttons area of the tablet.

As a brand, it brings forth nib replacements, drawing gloves, portable stands, and a pen holder.

Also, you will note it has a 60+- tilt function with up to 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The pen is great; it is battery-free and its nibs are replaceable after long use. 

You can use Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop among others on the tablet. As it is compatible with the most popular OS – windows and Mac and higher via HDMI and USB.

Pros

  • It can use both HDMI and USB to connect to other external output
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Minimal pen jitters
  • Functional shortcut keys.

Cons

  • Heavier software cause system lag on the tablet 
  • The pen stops randomly requiring frequent powering off for efficiency.
  • Incompatible with newer software versions

Wacom Cintiq 22

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Wacom Cintiq 22 is the best value large drawing tablet for animation

Due to its wide HD display, the Wacom Cintiq 22 will bring your drawing to life in million vibrant colors. The tablet enables natural accuracy and stunning details because it is designed with 8192 pressure levels, slight activation force, and innovative hand tilts recognition.

Cintiq’s anti-glare, scratch-resistant surfaces minimize interruptions and provide unparalleled precision. The Wacom Pro Pen 2 has the feel plus balance of the common pen, and with its built EMR technology, you will charge directly from the screen while working.

With programmable keys, you will have the ability to set quick access to your best editing tools. Although it is not the most portable and friendly tablet for drawing animation, it is not so big that it can occupy your entire working space.

Pros

  • Large screen with a battery-free stylus
  • Outstanding screen resolution

Cons

  • Difficult carrying around

Huion Kamvas Pro 16

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HUION KAMVAS Pro 16 is the best value all-round tablet for animation. Huion Kamvas Pro 16 animation drawing tablet has very clear graphics. The fully covered display with anti-glare technology minimizes parallax distortion, enhancing stylus accuracy.

The tablet has a 60-degree tilt recognition and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity that offer you optimized receptiveness with virtually no delay.

The charge-free stylus provides the drawing experience closer to being as natural as it can be. The touch bar and six express keys enable the device to rapidly change your canvas. The tablet is manufactured for easy portability with any laptop.

Pros

  • Good Build Quality
  • Laminated screen with parallax

Cons

  • 3-in-1 cable is short

Screen and Display

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ screen is huge, and there is a variety you can select from. You can choose either 11 inches or 12.4 inches type, closer to the Apple iPad screen. Besides, large screen lovers and media watchers can choose the 14.6-inch option.

The large size, deep crisp, and clean view make this a quality-level tablet. The resolution also is great, with a 16:10 aspect ratio to match the large size. As a result, it is possible to use either portrait or landscape.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ color accuracy and contrast on the AMOLED screen are perfect because of the 120GHz refresh rate.

Stylus Pen 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ tablet comes with a free super-fast S pen, and you won’t be required to purchase like the Apple Pencil, which might be expensive. A great stylus similar to the one found on most Samsung tablets is super-fast and at an amazing 2.8ms Latency.

Two great outstanding features of this tablet are super clear loudspeakers which are better than most speakers in premium devices. In addition, it has long battery life and fast charging option, allowing this tablet to be easily portable.

The large processor and storage space balance off the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ tablet to be fast and create a great user experience.

How to choose the Best Drawing Tablets for Animation

Before we dig into the 10 best drawing animation tablets, you should consider a few things before deciding on the best drawing tablet.

Screen Size and Resolution

First of all, the most significant thing that all animators must look at drawing tablet is the screen size or tablet resolution. The larger the tablet screen size and higher resolution than the best tablet. The advantage of using a larger screen size and higher resolution is that you can find out tiny mistakes and amends them easily.

However, when the tablet screen is small, you keep zooming in and out of the drawing. As a result, it becomes time-consuming and tiresome. Good tablet resolution enhances animation quality and ensures that it looks better on a large screen when viewed by clients and customers.

The animation might look good on your screen. However, the animation, when viewed by another person, might not look good. There is a need to spend on tablet sizes that are medium in size and has a high-quality resolution. Notably, small-size screens are good when working on small projects.

Battery Life

The battery life of a drawing tablet for animation is ultimately significant. Since you might be working for hours and there is no need to keep charging as it is time-consuming and affect your moods badly in the long run, it is better to have a good battery.

When working, ensure the tablet battery is fully charged since it might be impossible to keep it on constant charging. Thus, it is best to invest in tablets with good battery life because it is one of the essential aspects when buying the best drawing animation tablets.

Pressure Level Sensitivity

Another crucial aspect when buying the best animation tablet is the pressure sensitivity of the stylus. The higher the pressure levels, the better the stylus response to the drawing tablet. The pressure level sensitivity enhances drawing key highlights.

As a result, it helps keep the focus on the drawing, and there will be no need to keep redoing similar steps repeatedly since the stylus did not draw what you wanted. There is always a need to notice the pressure levels when purchasing tablets and a stylus. Thus, you need to find the best stylus that suits the animation tablet you want.

Display Quality

If you’re an artist, the display quality is vital and must be the first feature you should check before purchasing your drawing tablet. We recommend Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+.

Color Accuracy

You want to generate high-quality pictures. Thus, you require to choose a tablet with high color accuracy. We recommend Apple and Samsung tablets because they have great color accuracy, so you will never go wrong with these two drawing tablets for animations.

We recommend Wacom Cintiq 22 because it has many vibrant colors and high resolution.

Stylus

It is hard to generate precise drawings with a stylus pen. Thus, it is an essential accessory. You will have to pick the right tablet that makes drawing easy. We recommend Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ but if you do not like to lose your fortune you can go for Wacom One.

Additional Features

Choosing a drawing tablet that covers all your needs is very important. As an artist, you must identify what you need your drawing tablet to perform for you. If you’re in a dilemma choosing and do not know the drawing tablet to purchase, choose the tablet with extra features that will be an added advantage to your animation drawing experience.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a professional-level animation drawing tablet to be used for design, drawing and quality display, we recommend Apple iPad Pro.

Unfortunately, Apple iPad is costly compared to similar animation drawing tablets, which are equally professional such as Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+. Apple iPad Pro Is the best overall drawing tablet for animation, although you will be required to have a high budget.

If you’re on a budget, we recommend Wacom Intuos Graphics because it is a cost-effective tablet.

However, I prefer the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ instead of the Apple iPad Pro. This choice is because of Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ features of great screen display and stylus pen.

The Best Drawing Tablets for Animation

  1. Apple iPad Pro Best drawing tablet for animation overall
  2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Best Android tablet for animation
  3. XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro The best budget drawing tablet (with screen)
  4. GAOMON PD1560
  5. XP-PEN Artist 13.3 Pro
  6. XP-PEN Artist 12 Pro
  7. Wacom Cintiq 22
  8. Huion Kamvas Pro 16

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