Best cheap drawing tablet

Best Budget Drawing Tablet: 10 Affordable Options For Artists

Best Budget Drawing Tablet: 10 Affordable Options For Artists

Digital drawing has opened up countless possibilities for artists, provided you have the right tablet. With the landscape set for the innovation and improvement of what you can expect from the best budget drawing tablet in 2024, here is our roundup of the top options.

Whether you’re a part-time creative or a full-time illustrator, with the correct drawing tablet, you’ll be well on your way to creating a digital masterpiece. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best cheap tablet for drawing.

Making a decision doesn’t need to take up your sketching time. We’ve reviewed the best of the best cheap tablets for drawing to compile the perfect guide so we can get you drawing in no time.

TLDR

TLDR: The best cheap drawing tablet is the Huion Inspiroy H640P. We found it easy to use, providing a paper-like drawing experience. It’s comfortable either held in the arm or on the lap. Beyond these highlights, it also comes at a budget-friendly price. Its small size makes it ultra-portable, allowing you to draw wherever you like. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, we think this cheap graphic tablet will be worthwhile.

Best Budget Tablet for Drawing Beginners

When you’re first starting, the variety of drawing tablets available can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are several excellent 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:

Best Budget Graphics Tablet | Computer Drawing Pad

Most of the best cheap drawing tablets require a computer connection. The best computer drawing pad is the UGEE M708 V3, which is user-friendly, has impressive features, and won’t break the bank.

Other great options include:

Best Budget Drawing Tablet With a Screen

Drawing tablets with a screen are more expensive than standard graphics tablets, but they improve usability, and for some, it’s worth the extra money. The best drawing tablet with a screen is the Huion KAMVAS Pro 13 GT-133, which works without a computer and offers endless possibilities. But there are also some more budget-friendly alternatives.

Other outstanding alternatives for the best budget art tablet with a screen are:

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 Huion Inspiroy Q11K, which charges quickly and has excellent pressure sensitivity.

Other fantastic wireless tablets:

Best Cheap Drawing Tablets Comparison Table

This table provides a brief overview of the most affordable drawing tablets. But if you want more in-depth reviews to help you make an informed decision, you can find them later in the article.

Best Budget Drawing Tablet Reviews

best-cheap-drawing-pad

The correct drawing or digital writing tablet will allow you to create incredible artwork worth sharing. Gone are the days when buying a drawing tablet meant breaking the bank. Now, you can get several affordable drawing tablets that’ll plug right into your laptop or connect wirelessly.

Huion Inspiroy H640P Graphics Drawing Pad for PC Review

huion-h640p

Pros

  • 233 PPS report rate
  • 8192 Levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Slim design & lightweight (497g)
  • Battery-free stylus
  • Design features for Online Learning/ Remote Work

Cons

  • Pressure sensitivity differs when used with some programs
  • The stylus cord is a bit short
  • The H640P lacks a touch interface

 

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 12.6”x 7.4”
  • Drawing Area: 8.7”x 5.4”
  • Battery: Plugged into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free 

This Huion Inspiroy H640P, a top-tier budget drawing tablet, creates a bit of a learning curve for new users, but once we got used to it, it was easy to use. The size of the tablet allows for work on the desk or even on your lap.

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

We were concerned when minor scratches appeared on the surface while working, but these were easily wiped away. Drawing on the surface is smooth and offers great sensitivity at a low price. This drawing tablet provides functionality that allows constant lines without lagging, allowing for a vivid rendering with each stroke input.

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

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Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet Review

huion-inspiroy-H610X

Pros
 

  • Software compatibility with Mac OS, Windows, Android
  • 8192 Levels of pressure sensitivity
  • 8 Customizable press keys + 16 customizable soft keys
  • Battery-free stylus PW100
  • Large work area for Android

Cons

  • Driver functionality tends to break down
  • Pressure sensitivity is inconsistent with certain software programs
  • The express keys on the stylus are oddly placed

  • 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

The Huion H610 Pro V2 comes as one of the most recent additions to the already large drawing tablet catalog sported by the company. We were excited to get our hands on this as its many high-end features at a reasonably low cost showed much promise.

This is one of those drawing tablets which supports an impressive amount of pressure levels and is supported on Mac and Windows. It’s also one of the best Android tablets for drawing, 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 tablet is accompanied by the new PW100 battery-free stylus, which includes two express keys on the pen itself and a third that doubles as an eraser.

Although we found the keys to feel slightly out of place at times, this didn’t hinder the tablet’s performance.

The size of the tablet 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.

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XP-PEN Deco Pro M Computer Drawing Pad Review

xp-pen-deco

Pros

  • Award-winning design
  • Innovative double-wheel interface
  • Battery-free stylus
  • Easy connect OTG adapter
  • Wide variety of software compatibility

Cons

  • Stylus nibs tend to wear down easily and quickly
  • Has some freezing and lagging issues on occasion
  • Not wireless

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 15”x 8”
  • Drawing Area: 11”x 6”
  • Battery: Plug into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free

Like most graphics tablets, the XP-PEN Deco Pro Drawing Tablet needs to be plugged into a computer to work. The tablet also supports connections with Android devices.

We found the eight programmable short keys on the drawing tablet and two keys on the pen very practical and made using this drawing tablet super easy. 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.

One of the most exciting aspects of the tablet is the double-wheel design. Paired with the trackpad functionality, it allows an improved creation experience with added functions like zooming and scrolling your projects.

Like other drawing tablets with a resilient surface texture, we found this pleasant to work on. The rubber feet on the back ensure stability so the tablet doesn’t move when drawing. Unfortunately, we found that the nibs wear down quickly, especially after considerable use. These are pretty cheap to replace, though.

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

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Huion KAMVAS Pro 13 GT-133 Drawing Tablet Review

huion-canvas-pro-13

Pros

  • Full HD resolution
  • 4 Customizable express keys & touch bar
  • Sleek design
  • Ultra tilt function battery-free stylus
  • Compatible with Linux/Mac OS/Windows

Cons
 

  • The calibration settings tend to be slightly off
  • Software functionality outside of Adobe Photoshop struggles
  • Heats up quite a bit with prolonged use

  • Display: Full HD On-screen display
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 15.2”x 8.6”
  • Drawing Area: 11”x 6”
  • Battery: Permanent plug connection required
  • Stylus: Battery-free

The KAMVAS Pro 13 sits well within the higher cost bracket for entry to mid-level drawing tablets but has features for any artist. The tablet pen sports 8192 pressure levels that work with automatic line correction and intelligent anti-shake functionality for a great drawing experience.

We found that the tablet struggled to function correctly on apps other than Adobe Photoshop, but if you are only using Photoshop, we highly recommend this drawing tablet. The slim design means it’s comfortable to hold and doesn’t take up too much room on your desk.

We were impressed by the crisp and clear screen of the KAMVAS Pro 13, and while using it, we found it to have just the right amount of drawing area.

The pressure sensitivity for this drawing tablet is a double-edged sword. It’s incredibly sensitive, which is great for precision, but it does make for frustrating stroke mistakes at times.

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UGEE M708 V3 Graphics Tablet Review

ugee-m708

Pros

  • Large draw area (10×6 inches)
  • 8192 Levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Compatible with Mac OS and Windows
  • 8 Ergonomically designed customizable express keys
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Driver security for the M708 V3 is lacking
  • Stylus software is inconsistent when used with a range of programs
  • Prone to freezing with intensive use

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 14”x 8”
  • Drawing Area: 10”x 6”
  • Battery: Plug into a computer
  • Stylus: Battery-free 

The UGEE M708 V3 is one of the most affordable graphics tablets on the market today for beginners.

Like all the best inexpensive drawing tablets, it requires a computer and works well with major design software. However, we did notice that the pen sometimes disconnects from the tablet, meaning we had to unplug and replug the device for it to work again.

With a 266 PPS report rate, this is one of the most responsive refresh rates for products in the same price range as the UGEE. What makes this one stand out is the multi-scene functionality, which makes it great for use in sketching, editing, and design.

The active surface area is comfortable, with enough space to achieve great results. Although it might seem like a small feature, the option of both right and left-handed drawing modes impressed us.

All in all, it’s one of the best drawing tablets for Mac and PC that is very budget-friendly and easy to use.

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VEIKK S640 2024 Ultra-Thin Digital Drawing Tablet Review

osu-tablet-veikkS640

Pros

  • Compatible with Mac OS, Windows, Android, and Linux
  • OSU Design
  • Ultra Light Stylus
  • Thin & Lightweight
  • 5080 LPI Resolution

Cons

  • Uncomfortable pen grip
  • The relatively small drawing area
  • Does not feature any express keys

  • 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

The Veikk S640 is designed for OSU gaming and, in this aspect, delivers well. Although the actual work area is small, it did well enough. Multi-functionality made gameplay, drawing, painting, and sketching super easy. We also found it to work well with both Windows and Mac.

The battery-free pen offers sensibility and fluidity. It creates fine, delicate, and natural lines with no delay. We loved how lightweight the pen is but noticed it doesn’t have a lot of grip, which meant that it slipped easily — which we found frustrating.

This cheap drawing tablet uses its lightweight design and builds to its advantage. The ultra-thin tablet fits easily into a laptop or briefcase, making it super portable.

Whether left-handed or right-handed, this drawing tablet is an affordable, reliable choice and stands out as one of the best affordable digital art tablets in 2024.

Bonus: it’s also one of the best gaming tablets of 2024.

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Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Tablet Small Review

wacom-ctl4100-intuos

Pros

  • Chromebook Compatible
  • 4 Customizable Express Keys
  • Pressure Sensitive Battery-Free Stylus
  • Lightweight (229g)
  • Easy to Use

Cons

  • Nibs wear down quickly and easily
  • The tablet size is quite small
  • The surface texture is on the rough side
  • Scratches appear easily over time

  • 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: Electromagnetic Resonance

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

The rough texture of the drawing tablet is the biggest flaw with this model. During our time using it, we found the nibs to wear down quickly, but it does retain a great paper-like feel.

After continuous use, scratches did appear on the tablet, and the surface was prone to finger smudges.

The tablet is compact, which might be too small for more advanced users. All in all, this is a good entry-level tablet and one of the best pen displays and digital drawing pads.

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Huion Inspiroy Q11K

huion-q11k

Pros
 

  • Ultimate accuracy stylus
  • Wireless 2.4G connectivity
  • Large 11-inch work area
  • Comfort curve design
  • 40 hours of battery life

Cons

  • Long charging time — around 7 hours
  • Customizable buttons are difficult to find in the dark due to no backlight
  • Some cursor lag does occur

 

  • Display: Graphics
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Tablet Size: 15.8” x 8.7”
  • Drawing Area: 11” x 6”
  • Battery: 40 Hours
  • Stylus: Battery-free

The Inspiroy Q11K is an easy-to-use and affordable wireless drawing tablet, perfect for any skill level. The stylus delivered on the promise of super accuracy, and during our review, the pressure sensitivity held up very well.

While the battery life of the drawing tablet lasts for 40 hours, the charging time sits pretty high, which some consider a drawback. Although the express keys on the tablet offer superb functionality, they are hard to find in low light.

Compared to previous entries into the range of other cheap drawing tablets with screens from Huion, the Q11K has some of the best standout features. The one we appreciated the most was, of course, the wireless functionality for both the tablet and stylus.

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Huion KAMVAS Pro 12 Drawing Tablet With Screen Review

huion-kamvas-pro-12

Pros

  • Fully laminated anti-glare screen
  • Battery-free stylus
  • 4 Customizable express keys & touch bar
  • Expert software integration (Linux/Windows/Mac OS)
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Tablet requires a permanent plugged connection
  • Does not support multi-touch functionality

  • 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

The Kamvas Pro 12 is a reasonably cheap drawing tablet with a screen. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows and performs well with most graphic design software. The drawing tablet screen is developed with full laminated technology that supports anti-glare, which makes it easy on our eyes.

The pen is battery-free and has a 60-degree tilt function, allowing accurate and natural shading. The drawing tablet is ultra-thin and fits perfectly into our lap, making it sleek and portable.

This drawing tablet comes with a stand that’s easy to use, and its anti-slip design pleasantly surprised us with its stability while working.

Even though the tablet is wired, Huion has combined the HDMI, USB, and power cable into one mini HDMI cable, which removes tangled wires.

This is one of the best budget drawing tablets from Kamvas, and we found it suitable for both new and seasoned digital artists with a screen that supports over 16 million colors.

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Apple iPad Pro (12”, WiFi, 128GB) Review

apple-iPad11

Pros

  • Stand-alone product
  • Software compatibility is excellent
  • Easy setup
  • Battery-free stylus
  • Supports multi-touch and tilt Function

Cons

  • High price tag
  • The surface is very different compared to a paper-like texture
  • Stylus and other accessories are sold separately

  • Display: Screen display
  • Pressure Sensitivity: Unknown
  • Tablet Size: 11.04 x 8.46”
  • Drawing Area: 12.9”
  • Battery: 10 hours, 6 hours charging time
  • Stylus: Rechargeable

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.

This alternative to the best cheap drawing tablets 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 drawing tablet supports, but it creates incredibly detailed lines. The Apple Pencil supports multi-touch and tilt sensitivity, and there’s absolutely no lag.

The 2nd Generation Apple Pencil is sold separately, but it’s worth the extra cost. It charges wirelessly, which we appreciate from this drawing tablet. 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 Procreate brushes created by others.

And if you’re after a drawing tablet that also sits on the list of the best photo editing tablets around, you can’t go wrong with the iPad Pro.

The initial investment in the iPad Pro is high but is worth it in terms of quality. We tested it thoroughly and found that it can do everything any other of the best budget tablets for drawing can do and more. And with its powerful M2 chip, this tablet can be used for work or creative play.

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The Ultimate Affordable Drawing Tablet Buyers Guide

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There are a couple of factors that we feel 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.


 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 tablets are the most well-known drawing tablet manufacturer, but the other brands, such as Huion, offer the same features for a fraction of the cost.

Usually, drawing tablets 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 graphic design 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 (or graphics tablets) connect to the computer, the lines you draw on the tablet appear on the computer screen.

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

Choosing the best tablets for drawing can hinge on this feature. While we tested both types, it became apparent that both have positives and negatives.

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. This is especially important to consider when it comes to the stylus.

It’s especially beneficial when shading and using pencil brushes. With the constant improvement of budget drawing tablets, pressure levels now reach a high of nearly 9500.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll only need around 1000 pressure levels, while more advanced illustrators may prefer over 2000.

Size

Drawing tablets come in various 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 plan on making large-scale art, we suggest you purchase a tablet with a decent drawing area.

The actual size of the tablet affects its portability and determines how comfortable the drawing is. If you’re planning on taking your tablet around with you, we recommend 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 dies. So, 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 extended periods.

Most graphics tablets available will only work if they are plugged into your computer, although newer models do feature wireless functionality, which we consider a massive leap forward. 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 variations — battery-powered pen, electromagnetic resonance (EMR), or rechargeable.

  • Battery-powered styluses are usually 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 of The Best Affordable Drawing Tablets

cheap-graphics-tablet

A good drawing tablet will allow you to create incredible artwork that looks great on-screen and in print. When choosing the ideal drawing tablet, we took into account its comfortability, efficiency, and response rate.

All-round we found that the current affordable options on the market each score high in all these factors. We also found many best drawing tablets that are great for those on a budget.

The Huion 640P is the best, most affordable drawing tablet. But other brands like XP-PEN and Veikkaus offer similar alternatives that are still budget-friendly.

It’s a good idea to know what features you need in a drawing tablet, so make sure you buy the right one. A drawing tablet with a pen is an investment that should last you a couple of years.

And, if you’re looking for the best South African digital creatives, be sure to check out our members.

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.

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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.