Best Tablet for Animation in 2022: 11 Top Drawing Tablet Options

Considering most of our lives are moving online, it was only a matter of time until art took the same turn. Digital art and animation have been around for many years, but they used to require large, expensive machines to handle the drawing and animation process. Now animators need to look into finding the best tablet for animation.

Those days have long since gone, and now we have many small, personal drawing tablets that allow every individual to take advantage of the technology, and express their skills. You don’t even need an office, just your tablet, desk, and imagination.

Below are our favorite drawing tablets that beginners can use to start with digital art and design, or professionals can use to continue projects or start new ones, from the comfort of their couch. For some of these modern tablets, you might need to invest in a monitor for graphic design.

TLDR

TLDR: The Huion Kamvas is our top pick for the best drawing tablet for animation. With 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and an impressive HD screen, it was evident we had a powerful and highly detailed tablet in our hands.

Best Animation Tablet for Beginners

Wacom Intuous Pro

The best tablet for beginner animators is the Wacom Intuos Pro. We found this graphics tablet to be simple, yet powerful and reasonably priced, making it a perfect entry-level 2D animation tablet.

Boasting 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, we were presented with a wide range of drawing and design opportunities. We also loved how customizable it was, allowing us to adjust almost all of the settings and buttons to suit our needs.

Other drawing tablets for animation we tested and found suitable for beginners include:

Best Tablet for Artists

Huion Inspiroy H610X

Our favorite tablet for artists is the Huion H610X Tablet. It is ideal for artists on the go, and even though the tablet is incredibly compact and portable, it still has a large drawing surface.

There are multiple customizable buttons to adjust the Huion tablet to your needs. Plus, the dedicated drawing tablet is designed to be used by left and right-handed users. We found that this ensured a seamless drawing experience even with any slight dragging of hands. It is without a doubt one of the best tablets for animation.

Also in the running for best drawing tablets for artists are the following:

Best Drawing Tablet for Animation

Huion Kamvas 12

The Huion Kamvas is our top pick for the best tablet for animation. With 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and an impressive HD screen, it was evident we had a powerful and highly detailed tablet in our hands.

As an animation tablet with a screen, this Huion drawing tablet allowed us to work without having to keep our eyes glued to our computer monitor. And if you have trouble with efficiency, this will come in handy.

These are other tablets we liked during our reviews:

Best iPad for Animation

Apple iPad Pro 12.9

The best iPad for drawing and animation is the iPad Pro 12.9”. Compared to its similarly impressive predecessor the iPad Pro 11,  it has a relatively large screen size and improved performance.

We found the 12.9 to be more than a drawing tablet for animation though, as you can easily convert it into a laptop with the Magic Keyboard. The pen makes for a smooth and impressive drawing, especially when combined with the Procreate app and some amazing Procreate brushes.

Another iPad we found to be in contention for the title of the best drawing tablet is the following:

Best Drawing Tablets For Animation Comparison Table

Wondering what the best tablets for animation are? Here is a table that shows some of the very best options we reviewed.

Tablet Best For Image Budget Overall Check Price
Wacom Intuos Pro Beginners $$ 9.5/10 Click to Buy
Huion H420X USB Tablet Beginners $ 9/10 Click to Buy
Huion H610X Pro Tablet Beginners $ 9/10 Click to Buy
Wacom One All-Round $$$ 9/10 Click to Buy
Huion Kamvas 12 Animation Tablet All-Round $$$ 9/10 Click to Buy
UGEE M708 Pen Tablet Beginners $ 9/10 Click to Buy
HUION H420X OSU Tablet Beginners $ 9/10 Click to Buy
Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Tablet All-Round $$$ 9/10 Click to Buy
Apple iPad Pro 12.9" All-Round $$$ 9.5/10 Click to Buy
Apple iPad Pro 11" All-Round $$$ 9.5/10 Click to Buy
Simbans PicassoTab Tablet All-Round $$ 9/10 Click to Buy

Best Animation Tablets Reviews

Animation on drawing tablet

Whether you’re looking for the best animation tablet for beginners or a great display tablet for animation, the tablets listed below are the best in the business.

Wacom Intuos Pro Review

Wacom Intuous Pro

Pros
  • 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Compact and lightweight
Cons
  • No Major Cons
  • Pen pressure: 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Active area: 82 x 5.83″
  • Stylus battery life: Battery-free stylus
  • Number of shortcut buttons: 8

The Wacom Intuos Pro is a medium-sized, yet powerful tablet that is ideally suited for graphic artists of all kinds. We appreciated its compactness as it allowed for a seamless introduction without sacrificing any workspace.

The animation pad itself has multiple gesture capabilities that allowed us to speed up our workflow. The battery-free stylus pen has natural tilt recognition and easily followed our hand movements.

The graphics tablet also has customizable Express Keys, Radial Menus, and pen side switches (this is handy if you’re ambidextrous and want to rest one hand). You don’t have to stick to the medium size either as this drawing tablet for animation also comes in small and large.

Being part of a long list of reliable Wacom tablets, we had high expectations for the Wacom Intuos Pro. Fortunately, we weren’t disappointed with what we consider to be the best Wacom tablet for animation.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Huion H420X USB Tablet Review

Huion Inspiroy H420X

Pros
  • Compatible with all major graphics applications
  • Full kit
Cons
  • Slight sensor issues
  • Pen pressure: 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity
  • Active area: 4 x 2.23″
  • Stylus battery life: 3 weeks
  • Number of shortcut buttons: 3

The Huion H420 Tablet is a relatively cheap, budget tablet for animating with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. While testing it, we found it to be one of the best animation tablets for beginners. However, we’re sure experienced animators would struggle with the lack of functionality found in devices like the Huion H610X.

The Huion H420 is a portable tablet that weighs just 105g and is 7mm thick. While the drawing surface is limited, the compact size meant it fit easily into our workspace. It also comes with three express keys on the tablet and two more on the pen. If you buy the tablet you get the pen, 4 replacement nibs, a USB cable, and a removal tool.

Compared to other devices, this smaller display tablet relies on a AAA battery to power its pen. This lasted us about three weeks, even though we forgot to turn it off at times. The only complaint we had with the battery is that we didn’t have an indicator when the battery was about to die. The solution is to keep a pack of AAA batteries close.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Huion H610X Pro Tablet Review

Huion Inspiroy H610X

Pros
  • Compact
  • Large drawing area
Cons
  • Pen latency
  • Pen pressure: 8192
  • Active area: 10 x 6.25”
  • Stylus battery life: Battery-free
  • Number of shortcut buttons: 8

The Huion H610X Tablet is a lightweight, but large drawing pad for animation that is a great mix of size and functionality. The tablet itself has a matte surface, which gave us the feeling we were drawing on paper and prevented any pen slippages that can affect efficiency.

Compared to the Huion H420’s three express keys, the 610X has 8 customizable buttons along the side. It also features a battery-free pen that boasts 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, which allows for the production of clearly-defined lines.

Unfortunately, we noticed that the pen had some lag to it when we drew really fast or erased large portions at once. But, these weren’t speeds we expect any artist to draw at so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Equipped with a battery-free stylus pen, we didn’t have to worry about whether this device had a good battery life or not. If you, unfortunately, break one of your nibs, worry not as there are eight replacement nibs that come with this drawing tablet for animation.

We also like that we had two more customizable buttons on the pen itself in addition to the eight on the tablet.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Wacom One Review

Wacom One

Pros
  • Full HD
  • Battery-free
  • Very well priced
  • Perfect for beginners
Cons
  • Limited license on the free software
  • No touch function
  • Pen pressure: 4096
  • Active area: 6 x 6.5”
  • Stylus battery life: Battery-free stylus
  • Number of shortcut buttons: None

The Wacom One is one of the best beginner animation tablets on the market. Wacom is known as the leader of graphics tablets, and this one is no exception. If you are just starting in digital art, you won’t go wrong with this 13.3” animation drawing pad.

One of our favorite touches with this drawing tablet is that it comes with complimentary creative software which saved us money. This includes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Bamboo Paper Pro, Clip Studio Paint Pro, and Adobe Fresco. Just keep in mind that these licenses are valid for six months at most.

As a display tablet, there are no hotkeys and you can simply control your drawing experience on-screen. This is also advantageous for left-handers as these can be placed on the right-hand side too. We would have, however, appreciated some touchscreen functionality as numerous drawing tablets with screens have this.

Given its impressive 11.6 x 6.5” drawing surface area, screen display, and relatively affordable price, we recommend this device to beginner animators. Seasoned pros will also benefit from a purchase if they’re transitioning from a non-display tablet.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Huion Kamvas 12 Animation Tablet Review

Huion Kamvas 12

Pros
  • Anti-glare glass
  • Works for both left and right-handers
  • 20 programmable keys
Cons
  • No Major Cons

The Huion Kamvas is a powerful and effective device that can easily stake its claim as the best graphic tablet for animation. Boasting 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, we were afforded enough range to perfect even the finest of details.

The tablet has a 1920×1080 full HD screen resolution with a digital pen that works as well as a real one. While all the features are impressive, perhaps our favorite thing about this drawing tablet was how well it fit into laptop bags or carry-ons when on the move.

Even as a display tablet, we appreciated the fact that it came with customizable shortcut keys for us to use. A neat option we loved was the ability to choose either left or right-handed settings in the Huion drivers.

A lack of touchscreen features is normally a con more than it is a pro, especially when many display tablets have these. However, this is definitely a pro if you have cursed fat fingers.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

UGEE M708 Pen Tablet Review

UGEE M708

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a handy pen holder
  • Minimal jitter
  • Long USB cable
Cons
  • The light indicator can be distracting
  • Conflicts with drivers of other graphics tablets on Windows
  • Pen pressure: 8192
  • Active area: 10 x 6″
  • Stylus battery life: Battery-free
  • Number of shortcut buttons: 8

The UGEE M708 Pen Tablet is a budget digital animation tablet perfect for beginners or individuals who animate as a hobby. Despite its affordable price point, it has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. For context, we could draw defined lines that rivaled devices like the Huion Kamvas 12 and XP Pen Artist 15.6 affordably, with minimal jitter at that.

Compatible with both Mac and Windows, we found the setup to be super easy. However, we had to uninstall other drivers from other graphics tablets on Windows before we could install the UGEE drivers. This was a little annoying when we wanted to switch to a drawing tablet with a screen for animation.

The M708 comes with eight programmable express keys that can be configured to many shortcuts. However, the light indicator tucked between the keys served as an unwelcome distraction as it flashed anytime we drew. To deal with this, we simply covered it up with black tape.

The large working area, lengthy USB cable, and pen holder were also added features that we really appreciated.

Click to Check Price on UGEE

Huion 420X OSU Tablet Review

Huion 420X OSU

Pros
  • Well-priced
  • Compact and portable
Cons
  • No hotkeys
  • The pen is very delicate, breaks easily if dropped
  • Pen pressure: 8192
  • Active area: 17 x 2.6”
  • Stylus battery life: Battery-free
  • Number of shortcut buttons: None

The Huion 420 OSU Tablet is a simple, yet effective graphic art tablet that can easily be used by beginners and experts. The battery-free pen comes in handy as we never worried about our pen randomly dying and having to take breaks between charges.

The tablet has a 4.17×2.6-inch drawing surface area, which we found to be relatively small but helped with portability. Not only is this affordable, great tablet compatible with both Mac and PC but it also works with popular applications like Adobe Animate, Toon Boom, and the like.

One disappointing aspect of this device was that the pen was jittery and we had to press the undo button several times. Even with the jitter, we were impressed at how detailed some of the lines were thanks to 8192 levels of sensitivity, which is often found in more expensive tablets.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Tablet Review

Wacom Cintiq 24

Pros
  • Trusted brand and great quality
  • Highly customizable
  • Easily adjustable for left / right handers
Cons
  • Price point is quite steep
  • Pen pressure: 8192
  • Active area: 24”
  • Stylus battery life: Battery-free
  • Number of shortcut buttons: 17

The Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 is made for professionals and is one of the best graphics tablets on the market. It does come in at a slightly higher price point than its larger alternative, but it’s got just as many features. It comes with a 4K screen resolution (3840 x 2160) over a 24” screen.

The included Pro Pen has 8192 levels of sensitivity, which allowed us to draw super accurate lines as necessary. The display tablet has an incredible 17 programmable buttons that helped us speed up our workflow. Compared to other devices, it offered even an on-screen keypad and radial menus to further improve efficiency.

Overall this is a top-quality, pen tablet for animation that we could use flat on a desk, at an angle, or even on our laps. Like other top-tier drawing tablets, the shortcut keys had a great response time with no lag—which can be an annoyance at times as your hand may move faster than your PC.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ Review

Apple iPad Pro 12.9

Pros
  • Powered by the Apple M1 chip
  • Up to 2TB of storage
  • Large yet portable
Cons
  • Price
  • Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard sold separately
  • Pen pressure: Not provided
  • Active area: 9”
  • Stylus battery life: 12 hours
  • Number of shortcut buttons: None

Like most Apple products, the iPad Pro is the next generation Apple iPad that is changing the way digital artists design. Not only does it have all the capabilities of an iPad, but the massive storage space allowed us to download and use a variety of applications.

The latest iPad Pro 12.9” comes in many options for storage size, going all the way from 128GB to a whopping two terabytes. It has a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color, all-day battery life, and a USB-C connector for charging and accessories. Like the iPad Pro 11, it uses an M1 processor which provided us with incredible performance.

It works with a 2nd-generation Apple Pencil and is ideal for a home-computer workstation which affords a great amount of versatility. The combination of high functionality and great performance makes it a great tool all around, which ensures we’ll be able to use it for years to come.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Apple iPad Pro 11″ Review

Apple iPad 11

Pros
  • Fast processor
  • All-day battery life
  • 4K Video Recording
Cons
  • Pen pressure: Not provided
  • Active area: 11”
  • Stylus battery life: 12 hours
  • Number of shortcut buttons: None

The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch is the little brother to the 12.9-inch model. It’s got the same M1 chip, a 12MP camera, 4K video recording, and 2nd-generation Apple Pencil that the 12.9” is fitted with. The screen size does come in a little smaller though.

The iPad has a 12-hour battery life we found to be most useful for working on the go. However, it’s sizable enough to also be used at home. Also, the Wi-Fi and LTE capabilities helped in out-of-home or office work.

The storage size options range from 128GB to 2TB which is quite a feat for a tablet, and the Wi-Fi / LTE options make it great for on-the-go use as well. We had an immense appreciation for the storage options (ranging from 128GB to 2TB), which meant we could work on various projects at once without losing progress due to insufficient space.

It’s a great secondary option if the 12.9” iPad Pro isn’t for you. It’s more portable and will do all the same with just about as good performance. Click to Check Price on Amazon

Simbans PicassoTab Tablet Review

Simbans Picasso

Pros
  • 2GB Ram, 32GB Disk space
  • Incredibly versatile
Cons
  • Quality control inconsistent
  • Pen pressure: 1024
  • Active area: 10”
  • Stylus battery life: 3 weeks
  • Number of shortcut buttons: None

The Simbans PicassoTab Tablet is a very versatile, all-in-one tablet with possibly the best versatility of all drawing tablets. This product allowed us to work on photo editing, designing, watching movies, and also use it as a regular tablet. If you are looking for something that’s more than just the best device for drawing and animation, this is your best friend.

The 32GB storage capacity allowed the storage of large amounts of projects, images, and videos. As one of many Android tablets, we could use this storage to download a ton of applications from the Google Play Store.

We were left a little disappointed though with this graphics tablet only having a 1024 level of pressure sensitivity. As such, we were limited from drawing with the finest of details.

This large drawing tablet is powered by AAA batteries, which meant we didn’t have to worry about the pen dying at a bad time. If it dies, just replace the battery and you’ll be good to go again.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Best Adjustable Tablet Stands Reviews

Although we have reviewed the best tablets for drawing and animation, it is essential to also consider ergonomics and that’s why we have included a tablet stand review.

Lamicall iPad Stand Review

The Lamicall iPad Stand is a very sturdy, and fully adjustable stand. We found it best utilized with the iPad Pro 11” or 12.9”, although it can be used with other similarly-sized drawing tablets. It’s ideal for drawing at an angle rather than flat on a desk, but you can also use it to watch videos, images, and movies on devices that have that ability.

While the stand is adjustable and can be used horizontally or vertically, we found that it wasn’t as balanced vertically when holding drawing tablets larger than 12 inches.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

AmazonBasics Adjustable Tablet Stand Review

The AmazonBasics Tablet Stand is a simple, yet effective tablet stand that can fold up and fit into any bag, and then unfold to hold your iPad, tablet, or Kindle. Its simple design and sturdy materials ensure it’s long-lasting and it was a favorite travel buddy of ours.

The stand can easily and effectively hold any tablet, with or without a sleeve or case, in a vertical or horizontal position. Compared to the Lamicall iPad stand, it was balanced horizontally or vertically thanks to the non-skid base.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

UGEE Portable Stand  Review

The UGEE Portable Stand is the perfect purchase if you’re purely after a horizontal stand that will hold a drawing tablet as sturdy as possible. While we loved the anti-slip base, we also appreciated the anti-slip support found on the stand itself.

This allowed us to place the graphics tablet on the stand without any worries that it may fall off or disrupt the drawing experience. It comes in medium for a smaller device and large for a larger tablet.

Click to Check Price on Amazon

Best Animation Tablet Buyers Guide

Astronaut on a drawing tablet

When purchasing a drawing tablet, there are a number of aspects to take into consideration. Namely, its functionality, and like always, its price. There are a number of other considerations, but the price-to-functionality ratio is usually the most important.

Size

First off, the size. The size of the animating tablet actually refers more to its functionality, and not so much how easy it is to carry, store, or the weight of it. The size of the tablet will determine its input capabilities, and whether or not it has a built-in screen.

Most smaller tablets require you to plug them into a screen, whether it be a budget monitor, TV, or laptop screen. The tablet itself acts more like a writing pad, with your work being displayed on the screen.

The bigger tablets most often come with a built-in screen, allowing you to use it as the input surface, as well as the display. These tablets are almost always more expensive, but they do have a lot more functionality.

Pressure Sensitivity

Pressure sensitivity refers to how much information is exchanged between the pressure of your pen or input, and the tablet itself. In simple terms, a tablet with pressure levels of 1024, will have less variation of input compared to a tablet with pressure levels of 8192.

For example, a tablet with pressure levels of 1024 will only produce a few line thicknesses, whereas a tablet with pressure levels of 8192 will give you many more line thickness options. It really just depends on how detailed you need your work to be.

Controls

The control capabilities of a tablet are mainly for personal preference and work speed. Some tablets have buttons on them that you can customize to improve your workflow and shortcuts. Some tablet pens also have buttons, once again, to improve your workflow.

These buttons are almost always customizable, allowing you to add any shortcuts you may need. The higher-end tablets will also have these buttons on their pens, which adds another, more in-depth level of customization.

Budget

What you have, and are willing to spend will obviously make a difference in which tablet you are able to purchase. The budget does play a huge part in buying a tablet that has all the functionality you need.

The cheaper models often don’t come with a screen, and they also usually come with less functionality with regards to how customizable they are and how in-depth you can get with your art or animation.

The more expensive models will often come with their own built-in screen, are bigger, have a higher sensitivity level, and almost always will have more powerful functionality. These tablets are more for experts, as a beginner wouldn’t use all the tablet’s capabilities.

Capabilities

The capabilities and functionality of the tablet are completely up to you. It depends on what you are going to be using the animation tablet for and how often, or in-depth, you will want to get with your animation or art.

Once again, the more expensive animating tablets will clearly have more functionality and capabilities, but if you are a beginner in graphic art, then you will not need every function a tablet can offer, you just need enough to start your journey.

Conclusion on the Best Tablet for Drawing and Animation

Animation tablets have very quickly come to the forefront for digital artists, animators, and designers alike. They are able to capture every detail you need them to, and are powerful art tools, but still affordable enough to be accessible to everyone.

Whether you are a beginner or expert graphic artist, illustrator, or animator, these tablets will definitely take your art to the next level, even expose you to new methods and new ways of expressing your creativity.

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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.

  1. Hi

    My son is 11 years old and into art and animation. He draws characters on paper and recently on computer (but using the mouse to form his artwork on the standard PAINTBRUSH app). I want to chat to some one that can give advice on the best APPLICATIONS and TABLET OR Laptop to use for art in terms of
    • General drawings
    • Animation (e.g. adobe photoshop or animation packages)
    • Motion videos / cartons
    • Using pens or similar.

    Any advice on what tablet/laptop AND application for him to get started. Any advice if there are such beginner classes in Durban

    Looking forward to your guidance.

    Regards
    Suvir

  2. thank you for your article , it’s useful .

    I had a XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro display drawing tablet forever and was great but these days there are so many. A4 size and it has pressure sensitivity and tilt function .

    As for software. Free is cheap. I like Krita 2d animation tools and blender3d which is getting more serious with 2d. Then you have “pencil” and others that are super simple.

  3. This article is EXACTLY what I was looking for! It tipped me over in purchasing the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro , JUST NOW. I think this is going to be a great investment towards my artistic projects! Thanks.
    And this was a fun & easy going read, too. Good job!

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