5 Best Drawing tablets for Mac

If you are an artist or graphic designer, the Best Drawing tablets for Mac are a powerful and welcome addition to your workflow.

After testing and considering all important aspects of a good drawing tablet for any level from beginners to professionals.

Whether you need a tablet for drawing, note-taking, or writing, we have compiled the best ones on the market that work with a MAC system.

  1. iPad Pro 6th Gen – Best Overall
  2. Huion Kamvas Pro 12 – Best Budget
  3. Wacom Intuos Pro – Best for beginners
  4. Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 – Best Wacom Tablet
  5. Xencelabs Pen Tablet – Best Wacom Intuos Alternative

iPad Pro 6th Gen – Best Overall

  • Screen Size: 12.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2732 x 2048 Pixels
  • Processor: M2 chip
  • Storage: 128 GB to 2 TB

The iPad Pro is one of the latest iPads available in the market today. It features a large 13 inch screen size with 2732 x 2048 Pixels resolution. 

This superb screen features a unique liquid retina technology that makes it crisp and clear to use for artists.

To better improve your view for both indoor and outdoor use, you will have 1000 to 1600 nits of screen brightness which is unmatched in the industry.

When working on your tablet, you sometimes need to work on multiple programs at the same time. For example you may want to draw in Procreate and use the design in a design in your Photoshop flier design.

Most tablets would lag when you open both programs at the same time. This tablet however will not. This is thanks to a modern 8 core M2 processor and 8 GB RAM which is fast and reliable.

If you like saving your files in your tablet, you will have a wide range of options from 128 GB to 2 TB. However when you buy a low storage size option, you can not upgrade the storage with a Micro SD card like you would on a Samsung tablet. You will have to buy a new iPad to upgrade storage.

It is compatible with the Apple pencil 2 which is a good drawing stylus pen. Unfortunately, you will have to buy it separately which can be costly.

You can also use it as a laptop with the Magic Keyboard compatibility. Unfortunately you have to buy the keyboard separately too. There are however some Apple Magic Keyboards alternatives available that will do the same job but are significantly cheaper.

Additionally, the iPad Pro is not a budget tablet and will cost significantly more than other tablets.

Pros

  • Large Screen Size and resolution
  • Powerful M2 processor
  • Large storage space
  • 4K Camera video recording

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Storage space is not expandable
  • Accessories are bought separate

Huion Kamvas Pro 12 – Best Budget

  • Screen size; 11.6 inches
  • Resolution; 1920 by 1080
  • Color Gamut; 120% /16.7M
  • Pen; PW507
  • Pen pressure; 8192 levels
  • Shortcuts; 4 express keys + 1 touch bar
  • Connection; 3-in-1 cable, USB-C
  • Compatibility; Windows and macOS

If  you are on a budget but still need a good drawing tablet that is compatible with your MAC system, the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 is our best pick. 

As a graphic tablet, you must connect it to a computer to use. It however has a large fully laminated 11.6 inbuilt screen. The screen features 1920 by 1080 pixels Full HD resolution which is perfect for artists and animators.

Antiglare technology on the screen will help to protect your eyes since as an artist you will have to sit on the screen for long hours. 

You can view the screen from various angles thanks to a + or – 60 degrees tilt recognition.

For drawing, Huion Kamvas 12 Pro comes with PW507 with 8192 pen pressure levels. The pen is battery free meaning you will not have to connect it to cables to charge it. It charges automatically as you use it through electromagnetic resonance.

To speed up your workflow, you will have 4 customizable shortcut keys on your tablet’s body and one long touch bar for your most common go to function when drawing.

You Might also like: Huion Kamvas 12 vs Huion Kamvas Pro 12

Pros

  • Affordable Price
  • Comes with Battery free pen
  • MAC and Windows compatible
  • Comes with an inbuilt screen
  • Many shortcut keys

Cons

  • Must connect to a computer to use

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium – Best for beginners

  • Screen: No screen
  • Active working area: 8.7 x 5.8 in
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Express Keys: 8 
  • Pen: Wacom Pro Pen 2 
  • Pen Pressure: 8192 levels
  • Free Stuff: Pen stand 6.6, 10 Free replacement nibs and USB Cable
  • Compatibility: Windows 7, Mac: OS X 10.10 or later 

If you are a beginner, we recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro medium. This tablet may be confusing to first time tablet buyers because there exists 3 versions. We will do a detailed comparison of the 3 Wacom Intuos Pro tablets in our next article.

For this review, we recommend the medium version. It comes with no screen but a 8.7 x 5.8 inches active working area.  

You will have 8 free express keys on the tablet’s body plus 2 on the Wacom Pro Pen 2. This will help you speed up your workflow by setting them to your favorite go to functions.

Pros

  • Affordable Price Range
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Perfect drawing pen

Cons

  • Must connect to a computer to use
  • Too small for some artists

Xencelabs Pen Tablet: The Best Wacom Intuos Alternative

  • Dimensions: 12.61 x 9.16 x 0.3 inches
  • Active working area: 10.33 x 5.8 inches
  • Compatibility: MacOS 10.12 and above, Windows 10
  • Pressure levels: 8,192 levels.

Xencelabs Pen Tablet is very similar to the Wacom Intuos, only way cheaper. It comes in 3 versions, just like the Intuos: the large, medium, and small options.

In this review, we tested the medium option. It features a decent 10.33 x 5.8-inch active working area, which is decent. Unfortunately, it lacks an inbuilt screen and must be connected to a computer to use.

It is, however, compatible with both MacOS 10.12 and Windows 10 and their newer versions.

On purchase, you will get a free drawing glove, a Quick Shortcut Keys remote, and two battery-free pens.

This new entry in the tablet market has greatly changed the industry with cheap but reliable drawing tablets. They remind me of when Huion came into the market to challenge Wacom for the title, but with affordable prices.

I cannot wait to see Xencelabs bring in their first standalone tablet and how much it will cost.

Pros

  • Affordable Price
  • Small, large, and medium options are available.

Cons

  • No in-built screen
  • Must connect to a computer to use

Wacom Cintiq Pro 24: The Best Wacom Tablet

  • Screen size: 24 inches
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels, 4K
  • Color accuracy: 99% Adobe RGB
  • Shortcut Keys: 17 Express Keys
  • Pen: Wacom Pro Pen 2
  • Pressure: 8192 pressure levels

If you want a Wacom tablet but require more power and performance, maybe for animation needs, we recommend the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24.

This is a large, premium-level tablet that comes with an in-built 4K screen. It is a premium tablet, so it obviously does not come cheap.

If you are on a budget, however, there are some smaller versions with 16, 17, and 22-inch screen sizes. There is also a 27-inch screen for artists who prefer an even larger screen size.

Overall, the 4K display and 99% Adobe RGB color accuracy are standout features, making your view crisp and clear.

For the pen, you will have the Wacom Pro Pen 2, which is the industry standard for art work. As mentioned earlier, the pen features 8192 pen pressure levels, which is perfect for drawing different strokes.

It also has two programmable shortcut keys on the pen to add to the other 17 options on the body of the tablet.

Pros

  • Large 24 inch screen
  • Clear 4K resolution

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Must connect to a computer to use

What To Consider In The Best Drawing Tablets

If you are looking for the best drawing pads in the market, below are some of the most important factors you need to consider.

Screen

Drawing pads are divided in 2 categories, those with a screen and those without a screen. Those without a screen are cheaper and simple in their nature and build. A good example is the Wacom Intuos Medium. They must be connected to a computer or laptop to use.

Those that come with a screen are further categorized into 2. Those that come with a computer and those that do not. The ones that come with an inbuilt screen and computer do not have to connect to a computer to use. Apple iPad Pro is a good example.

The ones that have a screen but no computer must be connected to a computer using a cable or WIFI network. Wacom Cintiq 22 is a good example.

We recommend the graphics tablets that come with a screen for the best user experience. You will get to enjoy the new sidebar feature on MACOS that allows you to choose the display you want to use either monitor or tablet screen.

Wacom or Huion

If you are wondering whether Wacom or Huion work with MAC OS, then you are lucky because the answer is yes. Both Wacom and Huion tablets work perfectly with MACOS.

Wacom Intuos Pro is our top beginner level tablet while Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 is best for Pros. For Huion, Kamvas Pro 12 is our best budget pick. If you are looking for a more powerful Huion tablet, we recommend the Kamvas Studio 16 or 24.

Size

A larger working area is more comfortable than a small one. You will need to however consider portability too because if it is too big then you will be limited in terms of portability.

For tablets without a screen, check the size of the size of the active working area to judge the best one for you.

Connectivity and Keyboard shortcuts

Most tablets connect to MAC using a Bluetooth connection. If you find yours different or not working, try reinstalling the tablet drivers or using USB cable connection instead.

Shortcut keys are important and will greatly reduce the time you take to complete tasks. Choose a tablet with many customizable shortcut keys for the best experience.

Price

If you are a serious artist and intend to do it long term, we recommend choosing a slightly more expensive tablet instead of a cheap one that will require an upgrade later on in future.

Can I use a drawing tablet with a Mac?

Yes, there are a lot of tablets that you can use with a Mac. Wacom Intuos Pro is a good example.