Is a Drawing Tablet Better Than a Tablet: Unleashing Your Creativity

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Written By Riley Norris

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In today’s digital age, artistic expression has taken a leap toward innovation and convenience with the advent of tablets and drawing tablets. These devices have transformed the way artists, designers, and enthusiasts create and communicate their visions. If you’re considering delving into the world of digital art, understanding the differences between a tablet and a drawing tablet, and whether a drawing tablet is better than a tablet, is essential.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the distinctions, advantages, and best options available, along with addressing common questions.

Tablet vs. Drawing Tablet – Overview


A tablet, in the context of digital art, refers to a general-purpose device designed for various tasks, including browsing the internet, playing games, and productivity. It comes with a touch screen that allows you to interact using your fingers or a stylus. Tablets often have a wide range of applications, making them versatile tools for both work and leisure. However, when it comes to digital art, the precision and sensitivity required for detailed artwork might be lacking in regular tablets.

Drawing Tablet

A drawing tablet, also known as a graphics tablet or pen tablet, is specifically engineered for artists and designers. It consists of a sensitive drawing surface and a stylus, which simulates the feel of traditional drawing tools like pens or pencils. The key distinction here is the focus on artistic precision. Drawing tablets don’t have standalone operating systems like tablets do; they need to be connected to a computer to function effectively.

Is a Drawing Tablet Better Than a Tablet?

The answer depends on your intended use. If your primary goal is to engage in digital art, a drawing tablet is undoubtedly the superior choice. Here’s why:

Pressure Sensitivity:

Drawing tablets offer varying levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing you to control line thickness and opacity based on how hard you press. This level of control is essential for nuanced artwork.

Accuracy and Precision:

Drawing tablets provide a higher level of accuracy compared to regular tablets, making them suitable for intricate details and professional work.

Customizable Controls:

Many drawing tablets come with programmable buttons and shortcut keys, streamlining your workflow by providing quick access to frequently used functions.

Natural Drawing Experience:

The stylus and drawing surface of a drawing tablet closely mimic traditional drawing, providing artists with a more natural and immersive experience.

Artistic Software Compatibility:

Drawing tablets are designed to work seamlessly with popular design and illustration software, enhancing the overall creative process.

Best Drawing Tablets and Tablets

Note: Prices and models may have changed since the time of writing.

Best Drawing Tablets

Wacom Intuos Pro: Known for its professional-grade quality, this tablet offers exceptional sensitivity and a wide range of customizable features.

Huion Kamvas Pro: A more budget-friendly option without compromising on performance, featuring a high-resolution screen and accurate stylus.

XP-Pen Artist Pro: With a blend of affordability and advanced features, this tablet is favored by both beginners and experienced artists.

Best Tablets for Art

Apple iPad Pro: Renowned for its remarkable Retina display, the iPad Pro combined with the Apple Pencil offers a seamless drawing experience.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+: Featuring a stunning AMOLED screen and compatibility with the S Pen, this tablet is a strong contender.

Microsoft Surface Pro: A versatile option that combines the functionality of a tablet with the precision of a stylus, making it suitable for both art and productivity.

Drawing Tablets vs. Tablets: A Comparison

Feature Drawing Tablet Tablet
Primary Purpose Creative Work Multipurpose Activities
Stylus Sensitivity High-Pressure Sensitivity, Tilt Recognition Varies (Limited in Some Models)
Accuracy High Varies
Shortcut Buttons Customizable Limited or Absent
Portability Moderate (Depends on the Model) High
Stand-Alone Computing No (Requires Computer Connection) Yes (Runs Independent OS)
App Ecosystem Limited to Drawing Software Wide Range of Apps and Services
Price Range Varies (Budget to Premium Options) Varies (Budget to Premium Options)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use a regular tablet for digital art?

Yes, you can use a regular tablet, but it might not provide the same level of precision and sensitivity as a dedicated drawing tablet, affecting the quality of your artwork.

2. Do I need to be an experienced artist to use a drawing tablet?

No, drawing tablets are suitable for artists of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals. They can aid in developing your artistic abilities over time.

3. Are drawing tablets compatible with all drawing software?

Most drawing tablets are compatible with popular software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Corel Painter. It’s essential to check compatibility before purchasing.

4. Can I use a drawing tablet without a computer?

No, drawing tablets require a computer to function. They act as input devices and rely on computer software to display and manipulate your creations.

5. What’s the difference between active and passive styluses?

Active styluses, like those used with drawing tablets, have built-in electronic components that provide pressure sensitivity and other features. Passive styluses lack these features and are typically used on regular touch screens.

6: Which one is more suitable for 3D modeling: a drawing tablet or a tablet?

For intricate 3D modeling, a drawing tablet’s precision can be advantageous. However, some tablets with stylus support can also handle 3D modeling tasks effectively.

7: Do drawing tablets come with pre-installed art software?

Some drawing tablets include limited art software, but professional artists often prefer using industry-standard software like Adobe Creative Suite.


In conclusion, while both tablets and drawing tablets have their merits, the choice ultimately hinges on your artistic pursuits. If you’re serious about digital art and crave precision, control, and a genuine artistic experience, a drawing tablet is the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a more general-purpose device that can also accommodate art, a tablet might be a better fit. Whichever you choose, these innovative tools will undoubtedly fuel your creative journey in the modern age.

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