9 Best Portable Drawing Tablets

If you are looking for the best portable drawing tablets, then this is the article for you. Compared to other tablets, portable tablets are the most popular among creatives.

This is because they make it possible for artists to work easily when traveling or away from their office without having to carry their computers or laptops around.

What are the best drawing tablets?

  1. Apple iPad Pro 12.9Best overall
  2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – Best Portable drawing tablet with a Pen
  3. Simbans Picasso Tab – Best Budget drawing tablet
  4. Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite – Best Budget Alternative
  5. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Portable Windows Drawing Tablet
  6. GAOMON PD1161 – Cheap Portable Drawing Tablet
  7. Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 – Wacom drawing tablet
  8. Huawei Mediapad M5 Lite Android Tablet Alternative

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 – Best overall

  • 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 separately

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is the very best portable drawing tablet. It is loved by many digital artists and graphic designers because of the large display, powerful processing, and most of all, the Apple Pencil.

For most artists, the Apple Pencil 2 and 1 are the best styluses for digital drawing. They are highly responsive and interact with the sensitive screen to create a cool and enjoyable drawing experience.

The screen features a 2732 x 2048 pixel resolution and 1600 nits of brightness and will display your work in rich, vivid colors, whether indoors or outdoors.

It is important to note that the iPad Pro does not come with the stylus pencil, and you will have to buy them separately. Also, the Apple Pencil 1 does not work with the latest iPad Pro, while the new Apple Pencil 2 does not work with older models.

This incompatibility issue calls for artists to be careful when buying a pencil for their iPads to avoid issues.

Another factor that sets the iPad Pro apart is the powerful M2 chip processor and huge 8 GB to 16 GB of RAM, which is even faster than most laptops. You will easily install Procreate and a host of other industry-standard software.

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Best Windows Tablet

  • Screen Size: 13 inches 
  • Resolution: 2880 by 1920 pixels
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 or Core i5
  • RAM: 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB alternatives
  • Storage: 512 GB
  • Pen: Surface Slim Pen 2

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 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB 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 128 GB, 256 GB, 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 of 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 that is 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 a high response rate and is made more detectable by embedding a 10-touch multi-touch display.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Lacks a battery-free stylus
  • Low levels of pen pressure sensitivity
  • Short battery life

GAOMON PD1161 – Cheap Portable Drawing tablet

  • Screen Size: 11.6 inches
  • Resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Color Gamut: 72% NTSC (sRGB≥100%)
  • Pen Technology: Battery-free
  • Pen Pressure: 8,192 levels
  • Tilt Support: ±60 degrees
  • 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, which comes with the market-best pen pressure sensitivity of 8192.

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

The screen, on the other hand, ensures a quality display with a 1920 by 1080 pixels screen resolution and 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 eight programmable buttons that help you maintain your shortcut habits. Unfortunately, this tablet is not fully portable, and you have to connect it to your laptop to use it.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Needs computer to work
  • Quite complicated to set up

Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 Lite – Best Budget

  • 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 that is 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 enough to allow you to use the pen for a long period of time with limited fatigue.

The screen, on the other hand, offers a 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 of 400g. You simply pack it in your backup without having a hard time brought about by weight and bulkiness.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – Best Portable drawing tablet with a Pen

  • 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

Of all the tablets on 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 three different versions. You can either go for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 or the S8 Plus, both 12.4 inches in screen size.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra comes with a massive 14.1-inch screen. It has one of the best displays on any tablet.

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

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 it 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 are directly tied to its size.

For example, if you have a very small tablet, you may not know the difference between Full HD, 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 clearer and more colorful, but it will consume your battery faster to sustain the display.

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

We recommend tablets with at least a 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 operating system is based on your preference.

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.

Price

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.

What are the best portable tablet for drawing?

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is the best portable drawing tablet. As a premium tablet, it is quite expensive. Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra is the best android option.