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9 Best Portable Drawing Tablets No computer is needed In 2023

Traditional drawing tablets are great but have one main shortcoming when it comes to portability. A fully portable drawing tablet will allow you to draw in the comfort of your office or outdoors.

It comes with both a screen and a computer and must not be connected to a computer to use. You will install your drawing software directly on it.

I have used both a fully portable tablet and a graphic tablet that has an inbuilt screen but no computer and have found out that of the 2, fully portable tablets will give the best user experience and convenience for artists. 

Of all the standalone tablets available, Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inch stood out as the best one that you can buy. 

Portable Drawing Tablet
image credits Huion Store

What is the best portable drawing tablet?

9 Best Portable Drawing Tablets for Artists

  1. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Best Portable Drawing Tablet Best overall
  2. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Best Portable Windows drawing tablet
  3. GAOMON PD1161 Best Budget Portable Drawing Tablet
  4. XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Best Large Screen Portable Drawing Tablet
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite Best Budget Portable drawing tablet
  6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Best drawing tablet Samsung
  7. Simbans Picasso Tab Best Budget drawing tablet Alternative
  8. Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 Best Wacom standalone drawing tablet
  9. Huawei Mediapad M5 Lite Android Drawing Tablet Alternative

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Best overall portable tablet

Best Portable Drawing Tablet
  • Screen Size: 12.9 inches 
  • Resolution: 2732 x 2048 Pixels
  • Processor: M2 Chip
  • RAM: 8 GB and 16 GB alternatives
  • Storage: 128 GB to 2 TB
  • Pen: Apple Pencil 2 – bought separate

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is the best portable drawing tablet ever made as yet. The screen is large at 12.9 inches and what is unique is its liquid retina display technology only found in iPads.

The view is colorful, crisp, and clear with a high 2732 x 2048 Pixels resolution. Another factor that sets it apart is the powerful M1 chip processor and huge 16 GB RAM that is even faster than most laptops.

Whether you multitask or run powerful processes such as Photoshop, your iPad Pro will easily execute without lagging.

For digital artists, the storage space is important because it is not only where you will save your files, but part of the space will host your software.

Anywhere from 256 GB is enough. The iPad Pro comes with 128 GB up to 2 TB options which are more than enough for digital art and graphic design.

Unfortunately, the iPad is a premium tablet and will be a little pricey if you are on a budget. Additionally, you will have to buy the Apple Pencil separately as it does not come with it.


  • Effective processors
  • High RAM levels
  • Great size to move around with
  • Premium classy design
  • Quality stylus
  • Large storage options
  • Quality Technologies


  • Expensive
  • Pen Bought separate
  • Not compatible with other Operating systems

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Best Windows Tablet

Best Windows Tablet

If you prefer the Windows operating system, then the Surface Pro 8 is the tablet for you. One feature that makes the Surface Pro 8 experience even better is the 2-in-1 feature that enables it to function as a laptop once you attach the Microsoft keyboard.

Apart from running a Windows operating system, the tablet comes with different budget levels and configuration options.

The processing speeds are fast and you can choose from two CPU options, the Intel Core i5 or the Intel Core i7. This is faster than most old laptops.

Similarly, RAM also comes differently in the models, ranging from 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB for a more quality and efficient experience. This is more than you will need.

Lastly, the models are differentiated in terms of internal storage ranging from 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB to 1TB to enable you to save files and documents.

Teaming the touchscreen screen with the Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 brings about a natural and authentic experience when drawing.

Like most premium pens, the stylus has 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity that produce accurate and precise strokes for a quality canvas-like session.

One setback on the Surface Slim Pen 2 is that the pen is not battery-free but once you charge it, you will be able to use the pen for up to 15 hours without a plugin to power it.

Visuals on the other hand are clear and well-detailed with color production vibrant and crisp due to the 2880 by 1920 pixels of screen resolution.

Additionally, the 13-inch PixelSense Flow Display screen boasts 267 PPI with of response rate and is made more detectable by embedding a 10 multi-touch display.


  • Quality model options
  • Powerful processors
  • Quality stylus
  • Beautiful in design
  • Perfectly made for Windows 11
  • Easy access to SSD
  • External device support


  • Does not use a battery-free stylus
  • Low levels of pen pressure sensitivity
  • Short battery life

GAOMON PD1161 – Budget Portable Drawing tablet

  1. Screen Size: 11.6 inches
  2. Resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels
  3. Color Gamut: 72% NTSC (sRGB≥100%)
  4. Pen Technology: Battery-free
  5. Pen Pressure: 8,192 levels
  6. Tilt Support: ±60 degrees
  7. Compatibility: Compatible with Windows 7/8/10, macOS 10.12 and above, Android devices with USB-C connectivity

This is a lovely size to slide into your backup and move around with, especially when you consider it only weighs 866g. When it comes to digitizer tablets, the GAOMON PD1161 is a great option. 

The drawing is supported by the AP50 stylus that comes with the market-best pen pressure sensitivity of 8192.

By this, you achieve authentic, precise, and precise stroke production for a natural experience.

image credits GAOMON

The screen on the hand ensures you a quality display with 1920 by 1080 pixels screen resolution with an additional 72% NTSC color gamut producing quality color production.

Quality is further maintained by the IPS Full HD screen technology which also helps make the screen better and stronger.

A combination of a 266 PPI response rate and a 10mm reading height allows fast pen detection for seamless screen-to-pen interaction.

Another feature worth mentioning is the 8 programmable buttons that help you maintain your shortcut habits. Unfortunately, this tablet is not fully portable and you have to connect to your laptop to use it.

image Credits GAOMON


  • Effective stylus pen
  • Easy portability and mobility
  • Quality screen features
  • Numerous shortcut options
  • Budget-friendly
  • Light and comfortable


  • Not a standalone tablet
  • Quite complicated to set up

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro -Portable Drawing Tablet with a screen

  1. Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  2. Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  3. Color Accuracy: 88% NTSC (Adobe RGB≥88%, sRGB≥122%)
  4. Pen Technology: Battery-free
  5. Pressure Levels: 8192 levels
  6. Tilt Recognition: ±60 degrees tilt
  7. Shortcut Keys: 8 keys
  8. Dial Wheel: Red Dial interface for easy zooming, scrolling, and adjusting brush size
  9. Connection: USB-C connection
  10. Compatibility: Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS X 10.10 and above

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is another digitizer tablet and although the size may sound bigger than the others on the list, it is quite portable.

It weighs 1500 grams with a panel size of 17.5 by 11 by 0.4 inches, and a diagonal screen size of 15.6 inches. It is a great balance between a large working area with a minimal portable expense.

When it comes to the pen, the battery-free PA2 stylus makes drawing natural and just like drawing with a pen on a canvas.

The stylus boasts 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity to make your experience authentic and the stroke production precise and accurate.

Moreover, the pen detection to the screen is made faster by the quality pen resolution levels of 5080 levels thus eliminating lags for a seamless experience.

The screen on the other hand produces quality visuals brought about by quality 1920 by 1080 pixels screen resolution. A full Laminated screen technology then comes in handy to bring about the colors richly and crisply.

Additionally, the screen is covered by an anti-glare coating, reducing reflection for a transparent and clear screen.

Shortcuts are then enhanced by 8 customizable express keys making it easy to navigate and maintain your shortcut habits for an efficient experience.

Portable Drawing Tablet
image credits XP Pen


  • High-quality stylus
  • Quality screen resolution
  • Relatively budget-friendly
  • Big screen yet lightweight for portability
  • Efficient shortcut keys and dial


  • Slow pen response
  • Although lightweight, it is quite bulky
  • Not a standalone tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite Best Budget standalone drawing tablet

portable drawing tablet
  • Display: 10.4 inches
  • Resolution: 2000 x 1200 pixels
  • Processor: Exynos 9611
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage Options: 64 GB, 128 GB
  • Expandable Storage: Yes, up to 1 TB
  • Operating System: Android
  • Battery: 7040 mAh
  • Rear Camera: 8 MP
  • Front Camera: 5 MP
  • Stereo Speakers: Yes
  • Colors: Oxford Gray, Angora Blue, Chiffon Pink
  • S Pen Support: Yes
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Audio Jack: 3.5mm
  • USB Type: USB-C
  • Weight: 465g (Wi-Fi), 467g (LTE)

Samsung is a reputable company when it comes to the production of quality electronics and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite is a great example of this.

The tablet boasts a diagonal screen size of 10.4 inches and a panel size of 0.28 by 6.07 by 9.63 inches. This is a lovely size, as you are offered a large working area and small enough for portability and mobility.

Working on the tablet is seamless and fast due to the powerful Exynos 9611 Octa-Core processor. When it comes to RAM and internal storage, the sizes are a little disappointing since you get 4GB for RAM and 64GB for internal storage.

However, you can get a better internal storage packed model that offers 128GB for more space for your files and documents.

The S pen stylus is the pen of choice for the tablet offering 4096 levels of pen pressure sensitivity.

A classy and ergonomic build brings about that premium feel and is comfortable to allow you to use the pen for a long period with limited fatigue.

The screen on the hand offers quality 2000 by 1200 pixels worth of screen resolution making your visuals and strokes well displayed.

A factor that makes the tablet fit for the best portable tablet is the weight the tablet poses of 400g. You simply pack it in your backup without having a hard time brought about by weight and bulkiness.


  • Fast processors
  • Quality screen resolution
  • Lightweight build
  • Quality screen surface
  • Small-sized for portability


  • Low RAM levels
  • Small-sized internal storage
  • Low levels of pen pressure levels

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – Best Android tablet with a Large Screen

Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra
  • Screen Size: 14.6 inches
  • Resolution: 2960 x 1848 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:10
  • Color Accuracy: 157.8% sRGB
  • Display Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
  • Brightness: 500 nits
  • Stylus: Samsung S Pen (Included)
  • Processor: Snapdragon 8Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12/16 GB
  • Storage Options: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
  • Expandable SD Card: Yes
  • Operating System: Android
  • Security: Fingerprint
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP & 6 MP
  • Front Camera: 12 MP & 12 MP Ultrawide
  • Stereo Speakers: 4 speakers
  • Colors: Graphite
  • Stylus Response Time: 2.8 ms

Of all the tablets in this list, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the only tablet that can challenge the Apple iPad Pro’s efficiency. 

The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes in 3 different versions. You can either go for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 or the S8 Plus, both 12.4 inches in screen size. The third option is in my opinion the best Android tablet you can buy today. 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra comes with a massive landscape 14.1 inches screen size. It has one of the best displays on any Android tablet and will easily rival the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inches.

The Super AMOLED Screen comes in high resolution at 2960 x 1848 pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. It is the largest OLED screen in the industry today.

What is a Super AMOLED Screen?

A Super AMOLED screen is a type of technology from Samsung’s created OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display that is used on tablet and smartphone screens. 

A Super AMOLED screen is thinner and more sensitive compared to an OLED screen. This is achieved by the use of integrated touch eliminating the need for having a separate layer.

This type of screen is more colorful, features more contrast, and has a wider viewing angle compared to old LCD screens. Additionally, Super AMOLED screens allow long battery life on tablets by conserving more energy by only lighting up the pixels in use.

The overall body and build of the tablet are nice and premium featuring slim uniform bezels around the massive screen. The screen is intended to be used in a landscape orientation so you will notice the small indent on the longer side bezel to fit the tablet 2 4K cameras.

Whether you need a tablet for drawing or even gaming, the Galaxy S8 Ultra packs enough power and performance to easily handle any task you throw at it.

Just like many premium Samsung Tablets, it comes with the standard S Pen that sticks on top of the tablet to pause in between workflow. 

The battery life runs up to 8 hours which is ok for whole-day use, but slightly shorter than the iPad Pro at 10 hours. Overall this is a large premium tablet that you can use for many professional and power-intensive functions.

How to Choose the Best Portable Drawing Tablet.

Best Portable Drawing Tablet

Screen Size

The screen is the first important consideration when choosing a portable tablet. There are many different screen sizes. The smaller the screen the more portable it is but tablets under 10 inches in size tend to be uncomfortable to use.

Larger tablets are more comfortable to use but as they get larger, portability is continuously limited. The perfect size for both portability and comfort is anywhere between 11 and 13 inches.

You will be able to use comfortably and carry it around.

Screen Resolution – Do you have to get a 4K Screen?

A screen with 4K resolution is great but not a must-have. The resolution of a tablet screen and how useful it is is directly pegged to its size.

For example, if you have a very small tablet, you may not know the difference between FullHD, QHD, and 4K. This difference is realized as the screen gets bigger.

For a good user experience, we recommend a Full HD resolution for any screen between 10 inches and 13 inches. Any screen larger than this needs a 4K or QHD resolution.

A larger screen with a higher resolution will be more clear and more colorful but will consume your battery faster to sustain the display.

You also need to consider the color gamut also known as color Accuracy of your screen. You need a screen that accurately displays colors.

We recommend tablets with at least 99% sRGB color gamut. All of those on our list score this well.

Operating System

The choice of the operating system on your tablet will determine the kind of software that you will use for your work. For example, if you want to use Procreate, you need to have an Apple OS system.

However, there is some software that has both Windows and iOS versions such as Adobe Illustrator. Overall, however, most of the time the choice of the operating system is based on your preference. Personally, I prefer tablets with an Android system.

Battery Life

Tablets with a low battery Life will be less portable because of their dependency on a power connection. You need a tablet that can be used outdoors or away from a power source for the longest time possible.

8 to 10 hours of battery life is a decent time range because it is almost a full day’s work time.


Most of the latest versions of tablets come with powerful features that can even outdo many laptops. However, they do not come cheap and will require extra spending to get the very best.

You do not have to spend too much to get a good tablet. In our list, we have included some cheap and best-value options if you are on a budget.

Stylus Pen

If you are an artist, the stylus pen is one of your most important tools. A battery-free stylus is a good option because you do not have to always keep charging the pen. It is automatically charged through electromagnetic resonance technology as your tablet.

Pen pressure sensitivity will allow you to draw different kinds of strokes and tilt recognition to shade your work.

Another important factor about a pen you need to consider is the pen latency. When you draw a stroke on a tablet with poor latency, you will notice a slight or long lag before it displays your stroke on the screen.

Portable Tablets Evolution

In this dedicated section, we delve into the evolution of these artistic tools, exploring how they have evolved from their early iterations to the cutting-edge devices we have today.

Manufacturers have consistently strived to address user concerns and incorporate feedback from previous versions, resulting in significant improvements that have enhanced the overall user experience.

From the introduction of higher-resolution displays and improved pen pressure sensitivity to the integration of advanced software features, each generation of portable drawing tablets brings forth a host of enhancements.

By understanding product evolution, readers can gain valuable insights into the progression of these devices and the efforts made by manufacturers to meet the demands of artists and designers worldwide.


Artists have different preferences when it comes to the size of their drawing tablets. While some may go for larger-sized tablets for a larger working area, others go for small-sized tablets for easier portability and mobility.

The best portable drawing tablet or iPad for drawing is the iPad Pro 12.9 2022, however, it is complicated to use and pricey. The best alternative you can opt for is the Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra which runs on Android.

If you however are on a budget the Simbans Picasso or Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite is your best pick.

For Windows users, the  Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the best pick. It can easily be used as both a laptop and a tablet once connected to a keyboard.

Additionally, you can design on the go, in public transport, or in the park for the iPad is Standalone and independent from a computer.

However, the price of the gadget might be a problem for most and if you are in search of a budget-friendly tablet you can go for the GAOMON PD1161 Plus for slightly under 100$.

It is however not a substitute for the iPad Pro 12.9 2022, since it is a monitor tablet, meaning it is fully independent of a computer.

If you are looking for a standalone substitute, the Microsoft Surface 8 is a great option and the budget for the premium model is close if not the same as the iPad Pro 12.9.

You can also go for the lesser-featured Microsoft Surface 8 if you need to save some money for a quality tablet. 

The world of portable drawing tablets has witnessed remarkable advancements and innovations over the years.

9 Best Portable Drawing Tablets for Artists

  1. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Best Portable Drawing Tablet Best overall
  2. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Best Portable Windows drawing tablet
  3. GAOMON PD1161 Best Budget Portable Drawing Tablet
  4. XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Best Large Screen Portable Drawing Tablet
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite Best Budget Portable drawing tablet
  6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Best Large Screen
  7. Simbans Picasso Tab Best Budget drawing tablet Alternative
  8. Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 Best Wacom standalone drawing tablet
  9. Huawei Mediapad M5 Lite Android Drawing Tablet Alternative
  1. What is a standalone drawing tablet?

    A standalone drawing tablet has both an inbuilt screen and a computer. You do not have to connect a computer to use it. A good example is the Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra, Apple iPad Pro, and Wacom Mobile Studio Pro.

  2. Which tablets are best for drawing?

    Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Best Portable Drawing Tablet Best overall
    Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Best Portable Windows drawing tablet
    GAOMON PD1161 Best Budget Portable Drawing Tablet
    XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Best Large Screen Portable Drawing Tablet
    Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite Best Budget Portable drawing tablet
    Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Best Large Screen

  3. Can I use a drawing tablet without a computer?

    Yes, there are some drawing tablets that do not need a computer connection to use. A good example is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite.

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