Best Drawing Tablet for Photoshop and Illustrator

Graphics tablets are the ideal tools for the computer graphics sector. These so-called pointing devices are often referred to as digitizers or pen tablets. They can be used in conjunction with a photo editing program to easily edit photos . But artists can also create impressive works of art with the help of such a tablet and suitable graphics software . We have compared the most important models for you below.

Graphics tablet comparison 2021


Which graphics tablet is right for me?

In our guide , we first looked at the different types of graphics tablets. For a comparison , trays with battery-operated, active pens and those with passive, induction-based pens were available. In addition, resistive touchscreen models are also offered, which can be operated not only with a pen, but also with a finger.

Inexpensive graphics tablets are usually supplied with an active pen , as confirmed by most of the tests. This battery-operated pen generates an electromagnetic field via an integrated coil . In this way, the respective pointer position of the pen can be determined on the actual tablet. Other functions, such as the contact pressure or pressing the button on the pen, are digitally forwarded to the computer via the tablet. These tablets are already quite cheap , was also confirmed in other drawing tablet tests.

High-quality graphics tablets have a passive pen . We also took into account the test winners who work on an induction basis. These pen tablets do not have a battery-operated pen, but one that transmits its information via an induction field . They are very reliable and offer more functionality than the cheap models. One of the leading providers with the name Wacom also uses this functionality.

In touchscreen models , a touch-sensitive display, similar to a smartphone, is usually integrated in the work surface . These graphics tablets can also be operated with a pen or by touching them directly with the finger . The work surface is usually much larger than with the other graphics tablets and usually starts with a size from DIN A4.
In general, the following differences are important:
• Graphics tablets with an active pen , where the battery has to be replaced regularly,
• Tablets with a passive pen , which works precisely and maintenance-free,
• Touchscreen tabletsthat can be used with both a pen and just touch.


How do I choose the right graphics tablet?

With our guide we would like to explain to you what to look out for if you want to buy a graphics tablet . The following questions should help:
1. For what purpose would you like to use such a tray?
2. How much can a graphics tablet cost approximately?
3. How big does the work surface have to be?
4. Should it be possible to observe the work on the work surface at the same time via an integrated display?

Note the correct size of the graphics tablet

Our comparison reports also refer to the size of the respective work surface. There are models from well-known brand manufacturers that have relatively small work surfaces of 102 x 58 mm or 157 x 98 mm. These trays are primarily suitable for handwriting recognition or where space is limited. The models from 150 x 100 mm in size can also be useful for photo editing. In general, the larger the work surface, the more freehand you can work on graphic tasks. In other words, the sizes of a graphics tablet are also corresponding to the DIN paper sizesmeasured. Usually sizes are now A6 and A3, which is also shown by the best graphics tablet test and comparison portals such as Stiftung Warentest.

The resolution plays an important role for the image display

The best graphics tablets are characterized by a particularly high resolution . This is measured in dots per inch, or dpi for short. The higher the tablet resolution, the clearer a pen drawing will be. Devices can be found on the market that guarantee a resolution of over 5,000 dpi.

Test winners have more than 1,000 pressure levels

Another criterion for buying a graphics tablet is the number of pressure levels. This is the pressure sensitivity of the stylus used. If you want to draw as precisely as possible and, as with a conventional pen, want to individually determine the strength by pressure, you should opt for a high-quality graphics tablet that has well over 1,000 pressure levels . The best graphics tablets have at least 2,048 sensitivity levels here, which is also shown by leading tests.

The connection options for a graphics tablet

Most graphics tablets are connected directly to the computer via the USB interface . Only the pen is usually kept cordless. However, tablets are also available on the market that have a Bluetooth connection and thus work entirely cordless. For safe operation, however, the respective battery life is important.

Additional functions make the graphics tablet more flexible

Since a graphics tablet is a special input device, it can also replace the PC mouse. In many cases, however , the graphics tablet and mouse are used in parallel . Most trays have additional function keys on the edge of the housing. They react in a similar way to the mouse buttons and can also be assigned certain functions. Manufacturer-specific software is included with every tablet for this purpose.

Well-known and cheap manufacturers


The well-known manufacturer Wacom certainly belongs to the absolute test winner. The brand is known worldwide for its innovative graphics tablets. The so-called Bamboo series , which is aimed primarily at private users, is very popular . Bamboo tablets can not only be connected to conventional desktop PCs and notebooks, but can also be operated via a smartphone. A special highlight is the Bamboo Pen & Touch series , which can be operated with either a pen or your finger. These Wacom graphics tablets are aimed at beginners as well as advanced users.

The Wacom Intuos series also belongs to the leaderboard . This graphics tablet is available in several sizes and designs. In addition to a conventional USB connection, these devices can also be operated wirelessly. With their high accuracy and precision , these graphics tablets are primarily aimed at advanced users and professionals.

The best devices from Wacom are in the Cintiq series .

Wacom Intuos


These are the touchscreen graphics tablets already mentioned above, which have an integrated display on which you can work directly. These trays are primarily aimed at designers who are professionally involved. Overall, test reports and comparisons show that Wacom devices are often only given top marks.


The graphics tablets from Aiptek are offered at particularly good prices and are nevertheless characterized by good performance. The new Slim series is particularly impressive here with its minimal device dimensions. In contrast to Wacom, however, this device requires an active, battery-operated pen . Aiptek offers its tried and tested U series for professional use . A mini tablet is also available for mobile use.


The Trust brand can also come up with elegant graphics tablets. These devices are available at an attractive price-performance ratio . Although they offer fewer pressure levels and also an active pen, they are characterized by a wide range of functions. Suitable graphics programs are also included, especially for beginners. This provider offers trays in the common formats DIN A5 and DIN A4. The so-called SlimLine series is in the lead here . On the other hand, the new eBrush series , which, like Wacom, has a battery-free pen, is interesting . In contrast, the new Flex series is completely new . This is a paper-thin design with a non-slip underside.


Aldi’s well-known brand, Medion, should not go unmentioned when it comes to graphics tablets. These devices are characterized by a high number of pressure levels and good precision. In terms of performance, these devices are definitely sufficient for hobby artists . Like most Medion devices, these graphics tablets are labeled MD. Overall, they convince with a good workmanship and are delivered with an additional software package.


The manufacturer Andoer is located in the medium-priced segment with its graphics tablets . Nevertheless, these devices are characterized by a wide range of functions. In addition to a cordless pen, which is battery-operated, these tablets have numerous function buttons on the edge of the housing . Special distinguishing features are the large work surface, a high resolution and more than 2,000 pressure levels . The devices are easily connected via the USB port. These graphics tablets represent an interesting alternative to the other providers.

Advantages and disadvantages

• ergonomic handling,
• realistic drawing
feel , • high precision and good positioning,
• many pressure levels ,
• easy editing of photos and graphics,
• absolutely paperless work

• good graphics tablets are relatively expensive,
• small work area,
• difficult to use keyboard, mouse and tablet at the same time,
• inaccuracy in very cheap models

Where can I best buy my graphics tablet cheaply?

You can find graphics tablets in relevant electronics stores and department stores . Unfortunately, the offer is only limited there. Not all well-known brands are offered there. In some shops, the staff cannot explain all the benefits of these devices in detail. If you visit several specialist stores, you can often find enormous price differences for the same modern ones. If it goes under, you should also make sure that you do not fall back on a discontinued model that the specialist dealer offers you. In addition, you usually have to pay the non-binding recommended manufacturer price.

You can buy your graphics tablet much cheaper from an online retailer . Enormous price differences can be found on the respective comparison portals. Quite often, price savings of up to 50% are possible. The biggest advantage of ordering a graphics tablet online, however, is that you can access all of the products you want with just a few clicks of the mouse. Tip: A graphics tablet test winner from Stiftung Warentest, for example, will help you with the purchase decision.

It is not only the price that makes buying online interesting, but also the time it saves. Avoid costly and time-consuming journeys into the city center, save yourself the search for a parking space and overcrowded specialist stores and buy your graphics tablet from your PC at home. With many suppliers you don’t have to wait long for your goods. Corresponding premium services are offered here so that you can receive your graphics tablet the very next day.


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