Drawing tablets- Past and Present

                           Drawing tablets- Past and Present
Creating art is universal as it acts as a medium to communicate and express ideas and beliefs with one another. However, we can undoubtedly say that art or the medium of art has changed over the years. If you notice the timeline, it is quite conspicuous that the transition from the traditional art to digital art witnesses the impact of technology. The technology has in turn provided the freedom to contemporary artists to execute their art work in a very less time and thus to focus more on, creativity and developing groundbreaking ideas.
                “Transition from traditional to digital art”
Although it may seem like the graphic tablet is a topical invention, it is not. The first device that resembled modern drawing tablets were known as the telautograph, and it was invented in the year 1888.This device is also the precursor to the fax machine.The next gen graphic conversion tablets came in late 50s and early 60s, and in such tabs it was the stylus which transmitted information to the computer to be digitized. Later in the 70s and 80s, computer-aided design first began to take hold in the field of graphic tablets. Wacom was the only drawing tablets available In the 90’s.  Even though nobody shows interests in the gadget at first, later it became a rage among the artists and visualizers.
Today, we can state that the drawing tablets have truly changed the game when it comes to how art is created. And it became a necessity to know the basics of these tabs, if you want to stay competitive and relevant in the field.  Interestingly, the accessibility of a graphic tablet is not at all confined to particular group- Infact it is accessible to everyone from a doodler to a professional illustrator.  All that they have to do is make a little research about the gadget and find the best drawing tablet according to their budget and requirement.
   If you make a small investigation, you quickly realize that, there are graphic tablets for everyone. If you are a planning to step your toe on digital world and if you can’t robe your wallet, that’s fine, you will also get a best drawing tablet from a lot. By choosing the right model, you can quickly strike the deal. And if you are a professional, you have also had a lot of variety brands with high end version tabs. All that you have to do is quickly choose the right one and exploring your creative talent.
Best Drawing Tablets for Artists in 2017
Nothing can escape the era of digitalization, not even your wildest imagination.  It is quite evident that more and more artists around the globe are swiftly catching up with the trend of digital art. What makes this peripheral device more endearing is, that even a non- artist can use the device like a pro to satiate his or her artistic aspirations.  However, according to the experts, the most challenging task is neither the budget nor the applications, but choosing the right model of a graphic tab, as it comes in different size, shape and features. Below is our quick view top five best drawing tablets which help you to choose the best one from a lot.
Wacom Cintiq 13HD
 Wacom Intous Draw
Apple iPad Pro
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
Yiynova MVP22U
        Name
      Size of screen
      Rating
  Wacom Cintiq 13HD
13.3 inches
4.2out of 5
 Wacom Intous Draw
         8.25 x 6.7 inches
4.2 out of 5
  Apple iPad Pro
         12.3 inches
4.6 out of 5
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
         13.5 inches
4.5 out of 5
Yiynova MVP22U
476.64 x 268.11 mm
4.3 out of 5
Wacom Cintiq 13HD 
Wacom is a household name in the tablet industry owing to its quality and innovativeness of their digital drawing tablets and interactive pen displays. Among the products, the smallest one Cintiq 13HD, is reviewed as one among the best drawing tablet which particularly aims at professional artists and designers who demand an intuitive, pen-on-screen connection to their work. When compared to other tabs, they provide the best interactive display which parallel functions as a second monitor by allowing the user to draw directly into platform.
Cintiq 13HD is ergonomically designed that it utilizes only a little desktop space. The screen size measures 13.3 inch, ie 33.8 cm with a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080 LED displays, which provides the illustrators, intensity, and clarity to their artwork.  Also with a 178 degree wide viewing angle, the panel offers 16.7 million colors and offers 250 cd/m2 of brightness. Apart from this, the prime highlight of the gadget is its stylus which offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity for precise control and tilt recognition.  It comes in a case with 9 replacement nibs, 3 color customization rings and a clip tool to replace the nibs.  The technology used in Cintiq is a-Si Active Matrix TFT LCD(IPS). The gadget can be used flat on the desktop or held at three different angles with the included stand and it offers a new, simpler setup. A convenient three in one connection slays down the clutter and is compatible with Windows 8 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 7, Vista SP1, and XP SP3 as well as Mac OSX 10.6.8 or later.
 Key Features
  • Four customizable ExpressKeys, Rocker Ring and Home Button for easy shortcut access
  • New Pro Pen with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity for precise control
  • Either Left-handers or right handers can use it freely because of its reversible design
  • Multi touch allows you to zoom with one hand and retouch with other.
  • Detachable stand adjusts to three different working angles
Pros and cons at a glance
Pros                                                                                            
  • The precision of the stylus is incredible.
  • Light and sturdy
  • Good display quality
  • Xpress keys and custom keys for each program
Cons
  • HDMI adapters not included
  • Stand has restrictive angles
  • Lack of touch gestures
Overall, if you are planning for a long term investment then Wacom Cintiq 13 is a best deal as it will take your digital art experience to the next level of precision. And it is no exaggeration that why Cintiq 13 always tops the best drawing tablets review list.
 
Wacom Intous Draw  
If you are a beginner who is under a tight budget constraint, then Wacom Intous Draw is one of the best drawing tablets you can go by.  This great entry level label helps the artist to sketch, draw and paint on their computer screen quite similar to the way the traditional pen works. Like Wacom’s other graphic tab, the Intuous drawn also lines up a string of interesting features which helps the artists to replaces the mouse and turns his/her computer into a digital drawing canvas
Interestingly, the gadget comes with online tutorials and a free copy of ArtRage Lite, an introductory painting program with essential digital editing tools. The technology used behind this best drawing tablet is patented electromagnetic resonance method. It has a battery-free, pressure sensitive stylus which helps to thicker and thinner lines depending on how hard the user push on the pen.  However the Intuos Draw pen is shorter than the Pro pens and does not include the eraser tip. Whats more, considered as the best drawing table, it comes in two colors- White and mint blue.
Unlike the other graphic tabs which mostly provide 2048 level of pressure, Intous draw supports only 1024 level of pressure sensitivity. Since, the model is sleek and compact which features an active area of 6.0 x 3.7 inches, which is perfect for limited desktop areas and makes it very portable to carry around. Similar to many Wacom drawing tablets, the new Intuos allows the user to use their tablet without the need of cable which is a great advantage for people who use their tabs away from their computer. However, you have to buy wireless support separately which adds to the performance of the device.
Key Features
  • Very simple setup just has to plug single USB to Mac or PC
  • Four customizable Expression key with application specific settings
  • The Software is very easy to install and there is an online facility too
  • The ArtRage Lite software provides everything an artist needs
  • The pressure-sensitive pen creates the feel of natural drawing in paper
 
Pros and cons at a glance
Pros
  • Compact and Portable
  • Battery-free stylus pen
  • Wireless potential
  • Pocket friendly
Cons
  • Small size
  • Have to purchase a wireless kit separately
  • Stylus lacks eraser
To conclude, Wacom Intuos Draw is the best graphic tablet for someone who is planning to start their career as an artist without shelling huge amount of money.
 
Apple iPad Pro
What makes apple products so desirable in market? Undoubtedly, we can say the brand value and the uncluttered user interface, offered by the company. For instance, their revolutionary product, Apple iPad Pro also doesn’t fail to impress the artists and gained the title of best drawing tab for artists of every kind.  Similar to Wacom Cintiq 13HD, the iPad Pro is also aimed at professional illustrators and designers.
The deadly combination of Ipad Pro and Apple Pencil offers the users a variety of creative effects which is virtually limitless. The stylus which charges via Lightning connector works in tandem with Apple’s display to create low-latency brush strokes. Owing to the accurate pressure sensors and slender case, the stylus is capable to create a range of strokes, from thicker lines to wispy hairlines. Infact, its not just the tip of stylus, but the whole nib is responsive and this helps the user to create shading effect on the artwork. The tilt sensors present at the tip of the stylus accurately detect the angle of the hand. Besides, the display subsystem scans for a signal 240 times per second hence there is no lagging for the whole process and in a bat of eye lid, the device provides the user a new level of artistry. What’s more, the Apple pencil gives you the freedom of sketching and drawing for a long 12 hours. And if the battery happens to run out while using the Pencil, the user can just charge it from your iPad Pro for 15 seconds and get 30 minutes of use.2
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has the highest resolution of 2732×2048 and  9.7 inch has 2048×1536respectievely.
Key Features
  • Designed with palm rejection technology, which allows the artist to rest his hand on the tablet
  • 15 seconds of charging will provide you with 30 minutes of battery life. A fully charged battery will long for 12 hours
  • Shading effects can be given easily by tilting the stylus like a normal pencil
  • It weighs 1.6lbs and is a very thin massive tablet.
Pros and Cons                        
Pros
  • 2048 Pressure Levels
  • Full HD 1080p
  • Pen Tilt
  • No graphic card
Cons
  • Price on higher side
  • Stylus is slippery and is only compatible with the iPad.
 
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
If you are under a budget constrain, but want a best graphics tablet from the pack, then it is better to opt for Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen model. The device which is having an android operating system comes with a S-pen which is faster and more accurate than conventional stylus pens. The input tool that provides a similar feel to an actual pen by detecting the pressure applied on the screen with great accuracy.
The display technology used in this eye- catching device is PLS TFT with a a screen resolution of 1024 * 768, which is actually sufficient for such a small screen. Equipped with a 1.2GHz Quad Core processor, 2GB RAM and Lollipop, the Galaxy Tab A delivers powerful performance with a simplified user interface. Compared to other drawing tabs, the pressure sensitivity on this graphic tab is surprisingly best and it also features a Micro SD slot to upgrade the memory (From 16 GB and it can be extended upto 128 GB)of the tablet significantly. Other than that it is a tablet with features like Geo-Tagging, Auto Focus, Online Image uploading, Photo Editing and is even having a 720p HD video recording. To bring all these together it uses a Li-Ion 6000 mAh battery.
Besides, the 4:3 aspect ratio screen is ideal for reading books, newspapers, as well as browsing the internet. Only 7.5 mm thick and just 487 g, the Galaxy Tab A provides you with unbeatable portability, as well as a firm, secure grip. What’s more, you won’t have to charge this stylus ever. And there is no doubt that the perfect all-rounder will help you to etch out your imagination to screen without fail.
Moreover, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S Pen is a single SIM (GSM) tablet that accepts a Nano-SIM.Th Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, 4G and 3 G. The Sensors on the phone include Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope.
Key Features
  • The S-pen allows you to write down notes, cut, paste and drag .It does everything like a mouse
  • All the Samsung devices can be synced with this easily
  • The multi-tasking features allows you to flip from one task to another
  • The drawing features are kid friendly
  • It provides personalized login for the users
  • Ultra power saving mode come to action automatically in a needy situation
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Has a sleek design
  • Expandable memory from 16GB to an additional 256GB
  • Zero lag
Cons
  • Small size of pen
Yiynova MVP22U
Yiynova MVP22U is one among the best graphic tablet available in the market. It is more like a Cintiq-like gadget which comes with a reasonable price tag.   It has an IPS screen which will makes the viewing angles and color reproduction even better. Even though it doesn’t possess tilt sensitivity like Cintiq has, it still offers you with a great way to draw directly on screen.
The display panel comes in 21.5 inch IPS and it offers a screen resolution of 1920*1080 with a led backlight. The height and width of the screen is 10.55 inches and 18.77 inches respectively. Yiynova MVP22U features an adjustable stand to support the monitor in a variety of angles from nearly upright (78 degrees) to about 12 degrees.  It can also be used in portrait mode but only in a vertical position. VI-I is the display connection. Here electro magnetic resonance method is being used with a tracking speed of 200 points per second. Data connection is via USB interface and operating system is windows. The tablet’s display cable is DVI and can’t be unplugged from the monitor.
Apart from this, the prime highlight of the gadget is its stylus, which runs in a AAA battery and offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity for precise control.  It comes with four spare nibs, two clip tools to replace the nibs and a clip-on pen holder in the back that’s handy for storing the stylus.
Key Features
  • The unit is equipped with a scratch free gorilla glass.
  • There are 8 user assignable express keys
  • The pen can detect a tilt of 45 degree and height of 10mm between tip and glass surface
  • 8 languages are supported by the product
  • Pen power consumption is maximum of 950uA
  • Aspect ratio of the device is 16:9
Pros
  • Good quality screen with good viewing angles and colors
  • Inexpensive alternative to Wacom Cintique.
  • Offers two styluses with a different feel & pressure curve.
  • Fully customisable hotkeys.
Cons
  • Pressure sensitivity doesn’t seem customizable in the drivers.
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Should I get a graphic tab?
Yes, you should! The graphic tablets are not meant for people from any genre. It can be used by anyone doing any work. From office work to educational purposes to art related hobbies, we can utilize the service of a drawing tablet. Let’s discuss the possibilities of drawing tab.
 
1. If you need for Office Work
If you are not an artist and you need a tablet to do your office works, then it is better to go by Medium tabs or the regular ones.  And for that purpose, you should check inexpensive tablets with very few hot keys. As you are not using it for the purpose of art you can choose the tablet with less active area or else your hand movements over the tablet will create difficulty. And hence go for tablets having sensitivity of 1024 levels, unless you are drawing in the tablet this level is more than enough
  1. If you are a beginner
If you are planning to start a career in arts through graphic tablet, the recommendation for you is a cheap tablet in which you can fine-tune your artistic skills. For that purpose you must pick a tablet with minimum pressure sensitivity of 2048 and it will give you good control over what you are drawing. You should keep in mind that it will be difficult to draw in a tablet with low levels of pressure sensitivity. Pick a medium size screen say 15″-17″. If you want to gift this to someone who has creative talent, then check the pressure sensitivity and screen size of the preferred model. These medium based tablets will come under 100 dollars. So if you think you are not comfortable with digital drawing, you can pass this to someone other without much loss
  1. If you are a Professional illustrator or designer
If you are an established artist and are thinking to switch to digital arena, then you are in the right place. Major requirement here is to get realistic output. Pressure sensitivity of 2048 is enough to get such sort of an output. Detailing can be shown with better perfection. Go for a bigger screen size. Price range will be higher when compared to the above buyers. But investing on a good tablet which is perfect for drawing won’t be a loss. You must also make sure that the stylus or pen is of good quality and has better features. Make sure that there are enough customizable hot keys in the tablet.
  1. If you are an art student
It these cases you have pick the best drawing tablet regardless of the cost. You should have exact knowledge of all the features present in a drawing tablet and you should pick a tablet with most of these features. The best choice comes in a price range of 500 – 3000 dollars. Every tablets coming in this range is having a pressure sensitivity of 2048 and are large sized. The resolution range comes in between 1366 x 786 to 2560 x 1440. These expensive types of tablets could produce the best drawing experiences. High PPI count of 90-180 adds to the performance of this kind. These are best choice of drawing tablets for commercial purposes. This will be having very less lagging time and hence will increase the speed of work flow. You should also check for the performance of the stylus along with the tablet. For certain brands like apple, styluses have to be purchased separately.
Don’t Hesitate! Clear it Out! ( Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the purpose of a drawing tablet?
Drawing tablets or graphic tablets enable the user to draw pictures, editing images, creating animations, and much more. Today many artists and even non artists make transition into the world of digital art through these graphic tablets owing to its convenience and ease.  For instance drawing with a computer mouse is possible but hard and it creates strain to your hand; however, the stylus of a tab is a perfect ergonomic alternative to the mouse which helps you to control the computer. Overall, the product is a great investment if you want to take your creativity to the next level.
Where do I shop for drawing tablet?
Owing to its popularity and demand, it is not a difficult thing to purchase a graphic tab. Infact the shops is also stacking their racks with graphic tablet of all brands. However, shopping online is really the best way to go as there are lots of websites sell drawing tablets, including Amazon. Infact, if you spend a good amount of time on internet browsing the brands and its offers, you can strike a good deal.  Also, if you are under budget constraint you can opt for month end sale or annual sale, you will get the product at a very reasonable price and can save a lot of money.
Which is the best drawing tablet for beginners?
Wacom Intous Draw is one of the best drawing tablets for beginners who want to make an entry into the world of digital art.  This entry level tablet helps the artist to sketch, draw, and paint on their computer screen quite similar to the way the traditional pen works.  The gadget comes with online tutorials and a free copy of ArtRage Lite, an introductory painting program with essential digital editing tools. It has a battery-free, pressure sensitive stylus which helps to thicker and thinner lines depending on how hard the user push on the pen. Unlike the other graphic tabs which mostly provide 2048 level of pressure, Intuous draw supports only 1024 level of pressure sensitivity which is more than enough for a beginner. It allows the user to use their tablet without the need of cable which is a great advantage for people who use their tabs away from their computer.
Is a drawing tablet worth the money?
Ofcourse, drawing tablet will definitely help you to take your artistic aspirations to a next level.  If you are working with a computer mouse, it can create trouble to your wrist and it also disrupts the workflow. However, a drawing tablet usually comes with a stylus, which is quite similar to a traditional pen and it allows more precision to your work.  The pressure sensitivity of stylus also helps to attain to blend colors, add effects, and apply retouching technique. Interestingly, there are a number of brands of drawing tablets are available in market and all that you have to do is choose the right product according to your aptitude and requirement.
How does a Graphic tablet work?
A graphics tablet is a flat rectangular surface on which the user can draw with a stylus or a pen-like device. The drawing tablet is attached to the computer and the stylus to the tablet. The tablet then captures the image as data which is stored as a document. Normally the tablet works by plugging into a computer via a USB port.
How to choose the right drawing tablet?
When it comes to drawing tablet, the most challenging task is neither the budget nor the applications, but choosing the right model of a graphic tab, as it comes in different size, shape and features. The primary features of a graphics tablet before making a purchase include its size, stylus, pressure sensitivity and of course the budget. The price of drawing tablet escalates with its size. However, it doesn’t mean that the bigger tabs are better. If you are a beginner or an amateur artist, you can go for medium tabs and if you are a professional then opt for bigger ones. Besides, the pressure sensitivity of a tablet is also a prime factor which impacts the precision of an art work by controlling the thickness, transparency, and color and blending.  Last but not the least, Stylus is the ultimate tool which helps you to digitally draw, sketch and draw graphics and hence when you choose the pen you should check the aspects such as pressure sensitivity and tablet tilt-recognition. The above written factors will play a key factor in choosing the right drawing tablet.
How can we increase the efficiency of wacom tablet?
When you take the instance of Wacom Cintiq and Intuos, these tablets features Express keys and touch rings which help you to reduce the keyboard usage and in turn increases the efficiency of graphic gadget. The company itself preset the most important menu commands on express keys; however it allows the user to customize the keys according to one’s preference. Likewise, the touch strip or touch keys are perfect to scroll and zoom in the documents.
What are the different types of tablets available in the market?
There are mainly five type of drawing tablets are available and they are classified as Passive, Active, optic, acoustic and capacitive tablets respectively. Passive Tablets use electromagnetic induction technology, where the horizontal and vertical wires of the tablet operate as both transmitting and receiving coils. These are mainly manufactured by Wacom and Huion. The electromagnetic signal is later received by the LC circuit in the stylus.
Active tablets are quite different from the tabs as stylus used contains self-powered electronics that generate and transmit a signal to the tablet. These styluses are normally bulkier in shape as they rely on an internal battery rather than the tablet itself for power. Optical Tablet operates by a very small digital camera in the stylus, by doing pattern matching on the image of the paper.  However acoustic tablets were described as spark tablets, wherein a small sound generator was mounted in the stylus and the acoustic signal picked up by two microphones placed near the writing surface.  Capacitive Tablets have been designed to use an electrostatic or capacitive signal.
Let’s Conclude
So, hope you get an idea on how to purchase a graphic tab? Yes, it is not at all a big deal. All that you read is a fact, however, when your choice of selection should depend on your aptitude, attitude and last but not the least budget. If you are new, go for entry level tabs like Wacom Intuos Draw, as it help you to fine-tune your drawing skills without lighten your wallet. And later when you attained professionalism in your work you can shift your focus to some high end models. For the time being, it will not be a good idea to waste your time, waiting for the better tool to come.
In General, we should understand that, despite all features, even the best drawing tablet has its own strength and weakness. There we should use our intelligence to refer each and every aspect of the gadget before finalizing the gadget for us! But remember, Practice makes a man perfect!