Types of drawing tablets: How to choose the best in 2022

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What are the different types of drawing tablets in the market today? Whether you are a beginner or a professional digital artist, drawing tablets play a very important role in enhancing effectiveness and productivity.

That being said, choosing Drawing tablets come in three different categories based on having a screen and an internal computer system.
You can either choose a drawing tablet with an inbuilt screen or without one. If you go for one with a screen your options are either a standalone drawing tablet with both an inbuilt screen and computer, or a pen display tablet with a screen but no computer.

If you choose one without a screen also referred to as a pen tablet, you will have a very wide option of cheap drawing tablets. Both a pen tablet and a pen display tablet need to be connected to a computer to use, while a standalone drawing tablet can work without your computer.

Pen Tablet

Pen Tablets can also be referred to as digitizer tablets and are the most basic type of drawing tablets you can buy. As time has gone by, the other two types have followed this Drawing tablet’s blueprint to come up with a tablet with a screen and an independent Standalone tablet respectively.
The pen tablet basically has a rough sensitive surface that makes it an electronic drawing tablet and a stylus. This means that when drawing, you’ll have to install the drawing program/software on your laptop or Pc and use your monitor for display and visuals.

How to choose the best Pen tablet

Stylus pen

The quality of the stylus is measured by pen pressure sensitivity levels, and pen resolution levels. Additional features to consider include comfort features such as the material used for the build, shortcut buttons on the pen, and nib position. Battery-free stylus option is also a plus that can help you save time for charging is not required.
Sensitive Surface
A drawing tablet’s surface is as important as the stylus. The surface’s sensitivity detects the pen and when the accuracy is high, you are guaranteed quality impressive work rate, and productivity. This is brought about by the tablet’s response rate which offers you the pen-canvas feeling.

Drawing Tablet with a Screen (Pen display Tablet)

When it comes to a drawing tablet with a screen, the experience is preferably better. In this category, you get an electronic drawing tablet with a screen and stylus. Although it’s also compulsory to connect to a computer, you are offered a screen on your tablet that helps you enhance the details of your designs.
Ideally, you partially use the computer as you focus on the screen on the tablet as the computer hosts the software\programs you use. This is the sole reason the tablet is also referred to as a monitor tablet.

Drawing tablet with a screen
Huion Kamvas 13 review

Huion Kamvas 13 is one of the best examples in this category. We have done an in-depth Huion Kamvas 13 review in our previous articles.

How to choose the best Drawing Tablet with a Screen

Stylus Pen

A quality stylus is one of the most considered features of a drawing tablet. High levels of pen pressure sensitivity ensure you are exposed to quality and well-detailed experience. Additionally, the pen resolution enhances the pen detection on the screen surface of the drawing tablet.
A comfortable pen then further enables you to have long working hours without fatigue for more productivity. The comfort is brought about mostly by a non-slippery rubber on the stylus.
Last but not least, the pen being battery-free is quite advantageous and this saves you a lot of time you’d need when plugged into the charger.

Screen display

This is the main upgrade from the regular drawing tablet. The screen offers you a visual on the tablet therefore not needing the computer’s monitor. What you should understand is that the drawing tablet does need a computer connection for use, what you don’t need from a computer is just the visuals.
A screen is made better by a list of features. Screen resolution is one of many and it provides you with a quality display with images and texts well displayed. Sticking to the display, a high-quality color gamut ensures the production of rich detailed colors.
Various Screen technologies like anti-glare technology and fully laminated screen then come into the equation to make your experience better and lovely.

Standalone Drawing tablets

Standalone tablets are the creme de la creme of drawing tablets as they are independent of computers. They are simply drawing tablets with a screen and most importantly, an inbuilt computer system.
This means you can work with them away from your desk. For those digital artists who love the outdoors for inspiration, this tablet offers just that.
The tablet is packed with various features that ensure you are served with a compact gadget for your day-to-day use.

How to choose the best Standalone Drawing tablet

Stylus pen

Enjoy a smooth workflow courtesy of a quality stylus with highly powered features. Starting off with a high pen pressure sensitivity level, the experience will be heightened with your work being accurate and precise. Additionally, a high-level pen resolution will ensure fast pen detection, thus eliminating lagging and delay in line representation on the screen.
You will then need a comfortable pen for long comfortable working hours.


Since standalone tablets have inbuilt computer systems, fast processors are needed for better tablet operations. Ideally, what processors do is interpret and carry out commands you submit to the tablets. This in turn ensures more productivity and a smooth workflow. Different generations have come up with time, and the best can be quite difficult to figure out.

Screen display

The screen allows the tablet to offer you a visual. High levels of screen resolution are an important part of ensuring a high-definition display. This is further made better by the high color gamut producing well-detailed rich colors. Another important feature is the high color detection level that helps differentiate even the closest colors for a better visual.
Screen technologies then enhance the experience. Technologies like anti-glare technology enhance transparency for work done even in the brightest environments. The fully laminated technology then eliminates parallax for a lovely pen-screen interaction.

RAM and Internal Storage

Other features brought about by the computer system enhancement are the RAM and Internal storage. High RAM levels are responsible for speeding up your tablet’s performance. RAM is also responsible for enabling the standalone tablet to run different software/programs at the same time.
Internal storage on the other hand offers you storage for files and documents.

Large internal storage allows you a large storage area for large files and also the chance to maintain files without the need to delete older files to accommodate new ones. The standalone tablets are quite expensive and hence are best preferred to professional digital artists.


Basically, all drawing tablets can be used by a digital artist of any level. If you are a beginner, it is best to first go for the basic drawing tablet since the budget is quite friendly. Professional digital artists prefer standalone tablets since you can work on your designs on the go. It all depends on what budget you fall under, then your preference for the type of drawing tablet under that category.

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