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Digital drawing has opened up countless possibilities for artists, provided you have the right tablet. Drawing tablets come in an array of different sizes, each with different functionalities, features, and accessories that will bring your art to life.

Whether you’re a part-time creative or a full-time designer, with the right drawing tablet you’ll be well on your way to creating a digital masterpiece. There are so many factors to consider when choosing the best cheap drawing tablet. So making a decision can take up time better spent sketching. With the help of this article, you’ll be drawing in no time.

TLDR

TLDR: The best cheap drawing tablet is the Huion Inspiroy H640P. It’s easy to use, fits comfortably in your lap, and provides a paper-like drawing experience at a budget-friendly price. It’s a perfect size and features programmable shortcut keys to streamline your drawing process. The stylus is light, responsive, and allows you to take advantage of the 8192 levels of pressure. It works on PC, Mac, and Android. Its small size makes it ultra-portable, allowing you to draw from wherever you like. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, this cheap graphic tablet is worthwhile.

Best Affordable Drawing Tablet Comparison Table

This table provides a brief overview of the most affordable drawing tablets, but there are more in-depth reviews later on in the article.

Best Drawing Tablet For Beginners

When you’re first starting out, the variety of drawing tablets available can be overwhelming. Luckily there are several great options for beginners. The best drawing tablet for beginners is the Huion Inspiroy H640P which has a smooth surface and minimal lag.

Other great tablets for beginners are:

Cheap Graphics Tablets | Computer Drawing Pad

Most drawing tablets require a computer connection. The best computer drawing pad is the Huion Inspiroy H640P which is user-friendly, has amazing features and won’t break the bank.

Other great options include:

Best Drawing Tablet With a Screen

Drawing tablets with a screen are more expensive than standard graphics tablets but it improves usability and for some, it’s definitely worth the extra money. The best drawing tablet with a screen is the New Apple iPad Pro which works without a computer and offers endless possibilities. But there are also some more budget-friendly alternatives.

If you’re not an Apple fan, check out:

Best Affordable Drawing Tablet | Wireless

One of the most frustrating things about drawing tablets is the necessary wires. There are a few tablets that allow wireless drawing. The best affordable wireless drawing tablet is the XP-PEN Star06 which charges quickly and has great pressure sensitivity. 

Other fantastic wireless tablets: 

Best Budget Drawing Tablet Reviews

best cheap drawing tablet

The right drawing tablet will allow you to create incredible artworks worth sharing. Gone are the days when buying a drawing tablet means breaking the bank. Now you can get a number of affordable drawing tablets that’ll plug right into your laptop.

Huion Inspiroy H640P Graphics Drawing Pad for PC Review

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Smooth surface
  • Minimal lag

Cons

  • Some programmes don’t work well with pressure sensitivity
  • Cord is a bit short
  • Tablet doesn’t support touch

This tablet creates a bit of a learning curve for new users, but once you get used to it, it’s easy to use. The size of the tablet allows for work on the desk or even on your lap.

The graphics tablet is portable, sturdy, and durable. It’s as slim as a smartphone and supports Mac, Windows, and Android (allowing you to draw on your smartphone). 

Small scratches might appear on the surface while working but these can be wiped away easily. Drawing on the surface is smooth and offers great sensitivity at a low price. This tablet offers functionality that allows constant lines without lagging allowing for a vivid rendering of each stroke input.

All in all this tablet is perfect for every skill level.

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 10.2”x 5.8”
  • Drawing Area: 6.3”x 3.9”
  • Battery: Plugged into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Huion Inspiroy H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Review

Pros
  • Supports Windows, Mac and Android
  • Programmable shortcut keys on tablet and pen
  • Easy installation
  • Portable
  • Tilt control
Cons
  • Some programmes don’t register the pressure sensitivity
  • Can’t use your fingers on the tablet
  • Quite small

The Huion Inspiroy H610 has eight fully customizable express keys and 16 soft keys, allowing you to work efficiently. The battery-free pen has two keys that can be used to turn the pen into an eraser.

The tablet supports an impressive amount of pressure levels and is supported on Mac, Windows, and Android, meaning you can use the tablet from your smartphone. The software is simple to set up and works well with most graphic design programs.

The Huion Inspiroy H610’s tilt function allows for lifelike rendering of shading to be added to your artworks without compromising the delicacy of each line input.

The size of the tablet is a bit small but works well for beginners and professionals. The surface protector allows for smooth drawing and minimizes the damage that often occurs after heavy use.

Overall, this tablet is efficient as well as affordable.

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 13.9”x 9.6”
  • Drawing Area: 10”x 6.2”
  • Battery: Plugged into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free
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XP-PEN Deco Pro Small Computer Drawing Pad Review

Pros
  • Supports tilt function
  • Convenient trackpad and dial
  • Minimal lag
  • Portable
Cons
  • Nibs wear down quickly
  • Pen sometimes freezes
  • Not wireless

Like most graphics tablets, the XP-PEN Deco Pro needs to be plugged into a computer to work. The tablet also supports connections with Android devices. It has 8 programmable short keys on the tablet and 2 on the pen.

One of the most exciting aspects of the pen is the double wheel design which is paired with trackpad functionality, allowing for an improved creation experience.

The pen also has virtually no lag and features a sensitive 60-degree tilt function that responds to your hand movement and allows for shading.

The tablet has a resilient surface texture that is really nice to work on and the rubber feet on the back ensure that the tablet doesn’t move when drawing. Unfortunately, the nibs wear down really quickly, especially after considerable use. These are pretty cheap to replace though.

This tablet is a good option whether you’re an experienced artist or just starting out.

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 13.8”x 7.8”
  • Drawing Area: 9”x 5”
  • Battery: Plug into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

XP-PEN Star06 Wireless 2.4G Graphics Drawing Tablet Review

Pros
  • Wireless
  • Minimal lag
  • Pressure sensitivity
  • Battery life
Cons
  • Sensitive side buttons
  • Lightweight, plastic-like pen
  • Pressure sensitivity doesn’t work in some programmes.

The Star 06 is perfect for artists and is compatible with major graphic design programs but the pressure sensitivity doesn’t work as well as it could in programs like Corel Paint.

The tablet has 8192 pressure levels that work with automatic line correction and intelligent anti-shake functionality that allows for a great drawing experience.

The tablet is wireless which means you can draw from practically anywhere. The slim design means it’s comfortable to hold and doesn’t take up too much room on your desk. The only issue is that the six touch screen side buttons are very sensitive so it’s easy to push them accidentally.

The pen is battery-free and doesn’t require any charging, allowing you to draw without any interruptions. However, it might be a bit light and plastic-like for those used to other tablets.

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 13.8”x 8.5”
  • Drawing Area: 10”x 6”
  • Battery: 16 hours, 2 hours charging time
  • Stylus: Battery-free
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Veikk A30 Cheap Graphics Tablet Review

Pros
  • Surface area
  • Customer service
  • Pressure compatible with many art programs
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Computer dependent
  • Drawing makes a squeaking sound
  • No pen stand

Veikk’s A30 tablet is a budget-friendly option for beginners. Like all the best graphics tablets, it requires a computer to use and works well with major design software.

It has a paper-like matte surface that is easy to draw on but not for everyone. It sometimes makes a squeaking sound when you draw which can be pretty annoying.

The active surface area is comfortable, with enough space to achieve great results. Their customer service is great if you do happen to have any problems.

All in all, it’s one of the best drawing tablets for Mac and PC.

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 13.8”x 9”
  • Drawing Area: 10”x 6”
  • Battery: Plug into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

OSU Tablet VEIKK S640 Ultra-Thin Digital Drawing Tablet Review

Pros
  • Ultra-thin tablet
  • Portable
  • Minimal lag
Cons
  • Pen grip
  • No pen stand
  • No hotkeys
  • Small surface

The Veikk S640 is designed for OSU! Gameplay, drawing, painting, and sketching. It works well with both Windows and Mac.

The battery-free pen offers sensibility and fluidity. It creates fine, delicate, and natural lines with no delay. The pen is lightweight but it doesn’t have a lot of grip which means it slips easily.

The ultra-thin tablet fits easily into a laptop or briefcase, making it super portable. Whether you’re left-handed or right-handed, this tablet is an affordable, reliable choice.

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 9.2”x 6.8”
  • Drawing Area: 6”x 4”
  • Battery: Plug into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Tablet Small Review

Pros
  • Internal battery lasts long
  • Wireless
  • Light and durable
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Goes through nibs quickly
  • Small
  • Rough surface texture
  • Can show some scratches over time

The CTL4100 Intuos is great for beginners who want a taste of digital drawing. The tablet itself is as slim as a smartphone, wireless and doesn’t take up too much space on your desk

The rough texture of the tablet is the biggest flaw with this model, it wears down the nibs quickly and doesn’t give a paper-like feel. After continuous use, some scratches do appear on the tablet and the surface is prone to finger smudges.

The tablet is compact but it might be too small for more advanced users. All in all, this is a good entry-level tablet.

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 4096 levels
  • Tablet Size: 7.9”x 6.3”
  • Drawing Area: 6”x 3.7”
  • Battery: Full day, 4 hours charging time
  • Stylus: EMR
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XP-PEN Artist 12 Review

Pros
  • On-screen, anti-glare display
  • Non-slip pen
  • Minimal lag
  • Eraser
Cons
  • Computer dependent
  • Price
  • Cords get in the way

Even though this tablet offers on-screen display, you’ll still need to plug it into the computer for it to work. It has a large display area with an anti-glare screen which is great for designers and artists.

The pen is one of the few styluses that has an eraser as well as a customizable button. The tablet has 6 handy shortcut keys as well as a slim touch bar that can be used to zoom in and out of your canvas.

Overall, this tablet costs considerably more than a graphic tablet but it is one of the cheapest drawing tablets with a screen. If you’re serious about your art the XP-PEN Artist 12 is a worthwhile investment.

The biggest downfall of this tablet is that it can’t be used independently from a computer and the cords get in the way. It might be worth spending a little more to get a wireless option.

  • Display: Screen display
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 17.4”x 11”
  • Drawing Area: 11.6”
  • Battery: Plug into computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Huion KAMVAS Pro 12 Drawing Tablet With Screen Review

Pros
  • Battery-free stylus with tilt function
  • Ultra thin and portable
  • Adjustable stand
  • 3-in-1 cable
  • Smooth, enjoyable drawing experience
Cons
  • Must be plugged into a computer
  • Doesn’t support multi-touch

The Kamvas Pro 12 is a reasonably cheap drawing tablet with a screen. It’s compatible with both Mac and PC and works well in most graphic design software. The tablet screen is developed with full laminated technology that supports anti-glare making it easy on the eyes.

The pen is battery-free and has a 60-degree tilt function which allows for accurate and natural shading. The tablet is ultra-thin and fits perfectly into your lap, making it both sleek and portable.

The tablet comes with a stand that’s easy to use and its anti-slip design allows for stability while working. Even though the tablet is wired, Huion has combined the HDMI, USB, and power cable into 1 mini HDMI cable which gets rid of messy wires.

The tablet is suitable for both new and season digital artists with a screen that supports over 16 million colors.

  • Display: Screen display
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 13.8”x 7.8”
  • Drawing Area: 11.6”
  • Battery: Plug into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Apple iPad Pro (11”, WiFi, 128GB) Review

Pros
  • Independent
  • Supports multi-touch and tilt functions
  • A mini computer
Cons
  • Price
  • Surface is very different to paper
  • Accessories sold separately

The iPad Pro offers an amazing on-screen drawing experience without the need for a computer. The battery lasts around 10 hours and it supports most design apps.

The tablet is portable and easy to use. It fits comfortably on your lap and after a while, you forget that you’re not drawing on paper. Apple hasn’t revealed how many levels of pressure sensitivity the tablet supports but it creates incredibly detailed lines. It supports multi-touch as well as tilt sensitivity and there’s absolutely no lag.

The Apple Pencil is sold separately but it’s worth the extra cost. It charges wirelessly and the battery lasts a while.

The iPad Pro is basically a mini-computer which increases the price quite a lot. It works amazingly with the affordable Procreate app which allows you to customize brushes and download brushes created by others.

The initial investment in the iPad Pro is high but you won’t be disappointed. It can do everything any other drawing tablet can do and more.

  • Display: Screen display
  • Pressure Sensitivity: Unknown
  • Tablet Size: 10.2”x 7.4”
  • Drawing Area: 11”
  • Battery: 10 hours, 2.5 hours charging time
  • Stylus: Rechargeable
Click to Check Lowest Price

 

Drawing Tablet Buyers Guide

There are a couple of factors that need to be considered when buying a drawing tablet. The type of device you’ll need will vary based on your skill level and what you’re looking to get out of the drawing tablet.

cheap drawing pad buyers guide

Top Drawing Tablet Brands

The top drawing tablet brands are Wacom, Apple, Huion, XP-Pen, and Veikk. They all offer similar functionality at different prices. Wacom is the most well-known drawing tablet manufacturer but the other brands offer the same features for a fraction of the cost.

Usually drawing tablets will need to be plugged into a computer which means you’ll need to have a good graphic design laptop or a computer with a good monitor.

Display vs Non-Display

Drawing tablets fall under two main categories, display and non-display. Display tablets show your drawing on the screen. While non-display tablets (better known as graphics tablets) connect to the computer and the lines you draw on the tablet appear on the computer screen.

Graphics tablets are generally cheaper and some people love them. Tablets with on-screen display make the drawing experience similar to that of drawing on paper, which most people prefer. But these do come with a higher price tag.

Pressure Sensitivity

The pressure sensitivity of your tablet determines how realistic the responsiveness of the tablet is. The higher the pressure sensitivity, the more control you have over the thickness and finer details of the lines. It’s especially useful when it comes to shading and using pencil brushes.

Beginners will only need around 1000 pressure levels while more advanced illustrators will need over 2000.

Size

Drawing tablets come in all different sizes. What you really need to pay attention to is the size of the drawing area. This makes larger-scale drawings easier to work with. So if you’re planning on making large-scale art you’ll need to purchase a tablet with a decent drawing area.

The actual size of the tablet affects its portability and determines how comfortable drawing is. If you’re planning on taking your tablet around with you, it might be worth choosing a smaller, more compact drawing tablet.

Battery

Unlike traditional drawing mediums, your tablet needs power. One of the most frustrating things is when inspiration hits and your tablet is dead. It’s a good idea to choose a fast-charging tablet so you don’t lose inspiration. A tablet with a longer battery life also allows you to draw anywhere you want for a longer period of time.

Most graphics tablets will only work if they are plugged into your computer. When purchasing, check if the tablet needs to be plugged in.

Stylus

A great tablet is useless without the proper stylus. Drawing tablets come in three different variations- battery-powered, electromagnetic resonance (EMR), or rechargeable.

  • Battery-powered styluses are normally slightly thicker and will require batteries.
  • Rechargeable styluses are more similar to an actual pencil and charge pretty quickly. You also won’t have to worry about carrying batteries around.
  • Electromagnetic resonance styluses are the best of the lot and don’t require any charging, they draw power wirelessly from the tablet.

Summary

cheap drawing tablet reviews

A good drawing tablet will allow you to create incredible artwork that looks great on-screen and in print. The ideal drawing tablet should be comfortable, efficient, and responsive.

There are some really affordable options available worldwide. It’s a good idea to know what features you need in a drawing tablet so you make sure you buy the right one.

A drawing tablet is an investment that should last you a couple of years. The Huion 640P is the best, most affordable drawing tablet but other brands like XP-PEN and Veikk offer similar alternatives that are still budget-friendly.

Matthew Davison

Written by Matthew


Matt is about 80% nerd, 10% writer, 10% animal lover. His love for PC's started at the tender age of 4 and his love for animation and motion graphics fairly soon after. You can normally find him behind a computer screen or playing with his dog Rusty.