Standalone Drawing Tablets vs. Connected Tablets: Pros and Cons -: Complete Guide

Are you torn between standalone drawing tablets and connected tablets? You’ve come to the right place!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of standalone and connected drawing tablets, helping you make a more informed decision. So get ready; our ultimate guide starts now!

Having a complete guide to the pros and cons of both Standalone Drawing Tablets and Connected Tablets is essential for those wanting to choose the best option for their needs. With a range of choices available, it can be difficult to decide which type of tablet will be most suitable. This guide will provide an introduction to the main differences between standalone drawing tablets and connected tablets, as well as advice on making an informed decision.

Before selecting either type of tablet, it is important to first understand what the differences are between them. A Standalone Drawing Tablet is a tablet that runs off its own internal memory and power source without needing any connection to another device. The benefits of this are that it allows users to access their artwork without depending on outside sources or power outlets; however, there can be some issues arising with its limited storage space and more complex software features. On the other hand, Connected Tablets are devices which have been built-in with external connectivity capabilities thus allowing them to be connected with other devices such as computers or phones – enabling users to easily share files across different platforms or access online resources like drawing tutorials or collaboration tools from websites or apps such as Sketchbook Pro or Adobe Illustrator Draws.. Along with these advantages, common drawbacks associated with these types of tablets include overloading on data usage, potential compatibility issues when connecting with other devices and generally more expensive prices due to built-in technologies like GPS modules or biometric sensors.

Explanation of what standalone drawing tablets and connected tablets are

Drawing tablets come in two main types to suit different user needs: standalone and connected. Standalone drawing tablets are pens that are used without a computer or device, while connected drawing tablets (also known as digitizer tablets) require users to be plugged into a computer or device. To understand the differences between these two types of tablet drawing, it’s important to understand how each one works and what its pros and cons are.

Standalone Drawing Tablets: Standalone drawing tablets allow users to draw directly on the tablet’s surface without the need for an external device. This makes them ideal for artists who want a portable solution without having to lug around their laptop or PC. The main advantage of these types of devices is convenience; they provide no lag time and allow users to quickly move from sketching on paper to working digitally on a tablet with ease. The downside is that most standalone drawing tablets have limited software availability, lack of pressure sensitivity, and incomplete compatibility with other software applications such as Adobe Photoshop.

Connected Drawing Tablets: Connected/digitizer tablets require users to plug their device into a PC or other external device in order for it to work properly. These types of tablets offer far more features than standalone models, including higher levels of pressure sensitivities for greater control over brush strokes, tilt recognition for shading effects, customizable hotkeys and buttons, shortcuts across multiple applications, access to professional-grade software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, and more flexibility when it comes to creating complex digital artworks. On the downside, connected drawing tablets tend to be bulky compared with standalone models; they also need USB cables or wireless adapters in order establish connection with external devices and may suffer from connectivity issues when used at farther distances away from the primary computer/device hosting the application being used by the artist.

Brief overview of the pros and cons of each type

Whether you’re an artist just starting out or a professional looking to upgrade your equipment, the debate between standalone and connected drawing tablets can be overwhelming. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to assess which device will serve your needs in the long run. In this guide, we’ll break down each type of tablet and list the main benefits and drawbacks of each.

Standalone Drawing Tablets: Pros : -Portability – Standalone tablets don’t require external connections and are often very lightweight, making them perfect for taking with you wherever you go -Cost – Generally speaking, standalone tablets are designed for those who are just starting out with digital art, meaning that they come in more affordable price points than their connected counterparts -Versatility – Unlike connected drawing tablets that are only compatible with certain programs or platforms, standalone tablets can often be used across any program or platform, making them a great choice for those who want a basic but reliable device.

Standalone Drawing Tablets: Cons : -Pressure Sensitivity – Because they are generally more affordable than their connected counterparts, standalone tablets don’t offer as much pressure sensitivity as other types on the market. This means that artists may struggle to achieve precise lines when using this type of tablet -No extras – Standalone drawing tablets tend to lack features such as removable panels or shortcut buttons which can help make creating artwork much more efficient and enjoyable -Graphics manipulation is limited by hardware – The features available on a standalone devices hardware may limit what kind of graphics manipulations can be achieved (e.g. straight line drawing might not be possible till you own other additional devices)

Connected Drawing Tablets: Pros : -Pressure sensitivity – Connected tablets offer advanced levels of pressure sensitivity which allows artists to create precise lines when creating their artwork with ease. This feature also gives users access to different levels of shading depending on how much pressure is applied onto the surface area when using the pen/stylus -Additional features – Connected drawing tablets come with plenty of extra features such as removable panels and shortcut buttons which allow users to customize their experience depending on what tools they need most frequently whilst creating artworks -Software capabilities – Connected drawing tablets can take advantage advanced graphics manipulations programs that cannot be used on normal viewers/readers due its size output restriction (e.g larger graphics manipulations in 4K resolution)

Connected Drawing Tablets: Cons : -Expense – Connected drawing tablet often cost many times more than standalone devices due to its additional features -Specialized software requirements – Many of these devices will only work with specific programs/software making it difficult for users if they find themselves needing additional programs -Risk factor – The investment factor associated with these devices means that buyers must decide whether or not it is necessary before investing in such an expensive item

Standalone Drawing Tablets

Standalone drawing tablets are special type of graphics tablets which do not include a display or require a connection to a computer. Instead, they come with a pressure-sensitive pen, however, no battery is required for the pen to work. These devices have an inbuilt processor that runs an operating system and the internal memory for storing digital art works.

Advantages of Standalone Drawing Tablets

  • Portable and easy to operate: Standalone drawing tablets are compact and can easily be moved around when needed. They don’t have any cords or external parts, making them very simple and convenient to use.
  • Affordable: Standalone drawing tablets are more affordable than connected tablets since they don’t need any complex components like processors and display screens. Additionally, most standalone tablets can be found at much lower prices than those connected varieties due to their simplified nature of operation.
  • No software installation needed: Since the operating system is already integrated into the tablet, users don’t need to install any special software programs or drivers in order to take advantage of its features.

Disadvantages of Standalone Drawing Tablets

  • Limited features: Although standalone drawing tablets offer all the features necessary for creating digital artworks including pressure sensitive pens and sensitivity adjustment levels, these models often lack more advanced capabilities such as color blending modes or volume levels adjustments that could be achieved with certain connected models.
  • Less accurate results: The results obtained from standalone drawing tablets may not always be as precise as those from higher grade graphics devices due to their lower performance specs (such as internal components). Additionally, some graphic designers have reported that at times their artwork appears pixelated when printed after having been recorded on a standalone tablet compared with other types of graphic devices that offer higher resolution outputs.

Definition and features of standalone drawing tablets

Standalone drawing tablets are standalone devices that are designed for specific types of creative tasks, such as sketching and drawing. These particular tablets can run entirely on their own and don’t require a computer to work.

The main features of standalone drawing tablets are the pressure sensitive pen, built in memory and CPU (which processes the commands from the tablet’s buttons and touch panel), LCD display, USB port for charging and data transfer and other input jacks. The pressure sensitive pen is one of the key features of a graphics tablet that allows more accurate control over what is drawn on the screen by varying its pressure or angle.

Besides having a built-in LCD screen, some manufacturers have created tablets with an integrated projector or monitor system that can test be used simultaneously with an external monitor setup to create digital art directly onto a wall or other surface.

It should be noted that most standalone drawing tablets come with their own unique operating system developed by the manufacturer which provides specific tools for creating digital artwork on their device, as well as support for connecting to external monitors or computers via HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA or Thunderbolt ports for dual-monitor setups and/or larger external screens.

Advantages of standalone drawing tablets

Using a standalone drawing tablet offers several benefits over connected tablets, including improved functionality and versatility.

Standalone tablets have come a long way since their introduction on the market. Many brands offer larger display sizes and a range of customizable buttons and options to provide more convenient access to controls and editing functions while drawing or sketching. Plus, most stand-alone tablets are very slim, lightweight and can be used on any flat surface like a desk or table. This makes them both highly portable for travel purposes as well as practical for long durations at home or in the office without having to wear out your wrists with traditional styluses or pens that can be awkward for extended use.

Connectivity is also an important factor when considering standalone vs connected drawing tablets, as standalone models come equipped with USB-C ports or various other connection types depending on the manufacturer which allow you to effortlessly output your creations from the device directly to other devices like computers, smartphones or TVs with ease. This makes it much easier to share digital artwork online with social media followers or collaborate through video conferencing platforms like Zoom while doing remote design work, all without requiring any additional connections than what comes core packed in the tablet itself.


Portability is an important factor to consider when choosing between standalone and connected tablets. Standalone drawing tablets are often more compact and lightweight than connected tablets, making them easier to take with you wherever you go. They also don’t require a separate computer and are incredibly easy to set up. However, some of the newer models are quite large, making it difficult to travel with them.

Connected tablets tend to be bulkier since they come with a dedicated stand or laptop-like base for connecting to your computer. This can make it more challenging to transport, especially if the base does not have a carrying handle or strap. On the other hand, if portability is not an issue for you, these devices typically come with powerful performance components and sturdy monitors that assure smooth creative experiences regardless of where you choose to create your art.

Better drawing experience

Drawing on a standalone drawing tablet offers an improved drawing experience due to the direct pressure sensitivity and the lack of disconnect between the device and your hand. Drawing on a connected drawing tablet requires the device to be connected to a computer, which while developing artwork can cause lag or latency in the connection, potentially impacting the accuracy and quality of artwork created on it. Quality aside, standalone tablets offer improved portability and flexibility over their connected counterparts as they do not rely on being connected to a computer or laptop for use. This provides users with more portability when travelling and working remotely.

The trade-off for improved portability is that standalone tablets require their own software for operation which limits users’ ability to access many of their favorite art tools from other software packages normally found in art suites such as Photoshop or Paint Tool SAI. Connected tablets benefit from access to any programs available on their connected desktop/laptop without needing additional software installed specifically for use with the device. Furthermore, direct pressure sensitivity is lost on a connected setup because of latency present within such connections, making it a less ideal choice in this regard.

Overall, each type of tablet has its pros and cons that should be considered depending one’s individual needs when choosing one over another. Standalone tablets offer better portability while providing an improved user experience with its direct pressure sensitivity; however lack access to many art suites which are only available within programs designed specifically for them. Conversely, connect graphics tablets benefit from access to all artistic suites available through its PC simultaneously sacrificing quality due to latency involved with this type of setup.

No need for a computer

Tablets that are not connected to a computer and act as standalone devices have many advantages. Although they tend to be more expensive, they also offer more freedom since you don’t need a computer to use them. You can sketch and draw on the tablet with an up-to-date version of software and share your work with one click. Plus, you don’t have to worry about compatibility between your computer hardware and the tablet hardware—as long as it’s up-to-date, it will work.

A standalone device also means you can take it anywhere without having to lug around a laptop or PC. You can get your gear together quickly and start drawing wherever inspiration strikes, which is ideal for many digital artists. Additionally, 2D animation is much smoother when using a standalone tablet and levels of pressure sensitivity are usually higher than with connected tablets that rely on mouse tracking and other features in the operating system.

That said, there are some drawbacks when opting for a standalone tablet rather than one that connects to your existing PC or Mac. For instance, there may be limited software options available depending on the type of tablet chosen, restricting how creative you can be in an art program such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Some devices require data cables if transferring images from other programs on your desktop is necessary for projects; however standalones like some Wacom tablets have wireless connections built into them so this issue is quickly becoming rarer each year as technology improves.

 Connected Tablets

Connected tablets differ from standalone drawing tablets in that they must be connected to a computer or laptop to use, and cannot be used without this connection. As part of the connection process, users will also have to rely on an additional operating system installed on their device, such as Wacom’s Inkling System, Adobe’s Touch-Marker System or FontLab’s Studio Tablets.

Users of connected drawing tablets enjoy the power that comes with using both software and powerful hardware for their work. By having access to both types of resources simultaneously users do not only enjoy more features, but faster performance as well. Another advantage is that most connected tablets come with useful accessories like erasers, pressure-sensitive styluses and other such tools.

In spite of all these advantages, there are still some drawbacks associated with using connected drawing tablets compared to standalone ones. For example: users need to invest in an additional computer or laptop; they often have limited memory compared to standalone models; and connecting it every time you need to use it can also be time consuming. Additionally, depending on the setup you may encounter latency issues during your work since the tablet has to communicate with the CPU through USB cables or Bluetooth connections.

Definition and features of connected tablets

Connected tablets are devices that are designed to connect to computers and other devices for use in digital drawing, painting, or design. They allow the user to digitally draw and paint on a surface that simulates the feel of traditional drawing or painting surfaces.

Connected tablets come with a basic set of features, including pressure sensitivity, which allows you to vary line widths depending on how hard you press; tilt-sensitivity, which enables changing brush size or color depending on how you tilt your hand; online sharing options, allowing work to be viewed remotely; plus more.

That said, they also provide more powerful capabilities such as connectivity to all major operating systems such as macOS, Windows and ChromeOS; access to larger screens if an artist wishes to view their work in a larger size; and compatibility with dozens of professional software packages for artistic purposes.

However, each manufacturer designs their own product differently—where one might include features such as wireless charging capability and interchangeable pens, another may lack convenience features in order to offer a lower cost device.


In conclusion, both standalone drawing tablets and connected drawing tablets have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Standalone drawing tablets offer users the freedom to work without the hassle of dealing with cords. However, their speed may be slower than that of a connected drawing tablet. Connected drawing tablets offer faster speeds, however they require the user to handle cables and extra devices.

Ultimately, it is up to you to consider your needs when deciding which type of tablet is best for you. If you are looking for quick results with no setup time then a connected tablet may be the best choice for you. If you are looking for flexibility and portability, then a standalone tablet may be more suitable for your creative needs.


Is screenless drawing tablet better?

A screenless drawing tablet is better for some artists who prefer a tactile experience and don’t mind looking at a separate screen to see their work.

Is it better to draw on a tablet or drawing tablet?

It depends on personal preference, but a drawing tablet typically offers more precision and control for digital art.

What type of drawing tablet is best?

The best type of drawing tablet depends on an artist’s needs, but options include Wacom, Huion, and XP-Pen tablets.

What are the two types of drawing tablets?

The two types of drawing tablets are screenless tablets, which do not have a display, and pen displays, which have a built-in screen.

What is the difference between a graphic tablet and a drawing tablet?

There is no difference between a graphic tablet and a drawing tablet; they are different terms for the same type of device.

Which drawing tablet is best for beginners?

Some good options for beginner drawing tablets include the Wacom Intuos and the Huion H610 Pro.

Which drawing tablets have the least lag?

Drawing tablets with the least lag include the Wacom Cintiq and the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil.

Which is the best budget drawing tablet?

The Huion H610 Pro and the XP-Pen StarG640 are both affordable options for a drawing tablet.

Is it OK to start drawing on tablet?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to start drawing on a tablet, as it can offer many advantages for digital art creation.

Is it better to draw traditionally or digitally?

It depends on personal preference and the type of art being created. Traditional art offers a tactile experience and can be easier to learn, while digital art offers more precision and control, as well as the ability to undo mistakes and experiment more easily.

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