© Provided by Popular ScienceThe digital artist's best friend.
Like ebook readers or digital magazines, the trick for any device or new piece of technology aiming to replace or enhance a more traditional mode of consumption and production is overcoming the skepticism of those who can't let go of the old ways. Drawing tablets have to offer a lot-flexibility, intuitive interface, and customization-in order to win over the pencil and paper crowd. © Provided by Popular SciencePopular Science
There are a few key factors to keep in mind when selecting the right drawing tablet, including size (both of the overall device and the active drawing area), pressure sensitivity, responsiveness, and even stylus type. Much of the criteria is subjective-some people are more comfortable with one type of stylus over another-but there are some key performance metrics that can set some devices apart from others. Here are a few of the top offerings available now.
Top pick: Gaomon PD1560 © Provided by Popular ScienceFocuses less on bells and whistles and more on its elegant design.
The highest-end in terms of price, the Gaomon model comes with an ergonomically designed adjustable stand, five "hard" menu keys plus 10 additional customizable "soft" keys, and a 13.5 x 7.6 inches of workspace. The PD1560 actually has separate modes depending on if you're right or left-handed, and a 1920 x 1080 display in 16:9 viewing ratio. It has the ability to handle everything from delicate sketching to intensive photo manipulation.
Screen on the tablet: XP-PEN Artist12 © Provided by Popular ScienceThis device is ideal for activities like drawing, photography, animation.
A 1920 x 1080 HD display with a 178-degree viewing angle in an 11.6-inch work area is just the start of the pricey but loaded XP-PEN Artist12. Its rechargeable stylus pen also comes equipped with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, with a hexagonal design meant to mimic the feel of a pencil. Compatible with Windows and Mac, as well as a variety of illustration and image manipulation software like Photoshop, SAI, Painter, Clip Studio, and more, it's a complete package that offers style and functionality.
Budget pick: Huion H610 Pro Graphic Drawing Tablet © Provided by Popular ScienceCompatible with Windows 7 or later, and Mac OS 10.11 or later.
The Huion H610 checks off a lot of important boxes right off the bat. Starting off with a generous 10 x 6.25-inch working area that is texturized to feel more like real paper, it allows for ample customization and shortcut key creation with eight hard "press" keys and sixteen "soft" virtual keys. The stylus, which is fully rechargeable in about two hours, boasts a pressure sensitivity of 8,192. This allows you to create thinner or thicker pen strokes based on how hard you press down, just like an actual pencil or marker. The package includes an artists glove (to help avoid ruining a drawing with the heel of your hand).
Compatible with Windows 7 or later, and Mac OS 10.11 or later. © Amazon