Standalone Drawing Tablets: What You Need to Know -: Complete Guide

Do you have aspirations of becoming an artist? If so, a standalone drawing tablet may be the best choice for you.

With this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to choose the perfect drawing tablet to help create your masterpieces. You’ll be sketching with confidence in no time!

Drawing tablets have come a long way since the early years of technology. Now, an artist doesn’t need to be chained to their desktop to achieve professional results. Standalone drawing tablets provide the freedom to create anywhere at any time in a variety of convenient formats. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about standalone drawing tablets and how they can help you express your creativity.

We will start by exploring the different types of standalone drawing tablets and then look at why you might choose one over other technologies, such as touchscreens or laptop computers. We will also investigate how to pick the right tablet for your needs and consider issues like portability, battery life, storage capacity, ergonomics, compatibility and more. Finally, we will consider different software packages that can be used with these devices and explore ways that these tools can optimize your digital artwork.

Explanation of what standalone drawing tablets are

Standalone drawing tablets stand out from other digital art media in that they are usually self-contained and tethered to a user’s PC or laptop via a cable connection (USB or otherwise). These devices have their own, dedicated display screen, providing artists with the ultimate freedom and convenience when creating their artwork.

Standalone drawing tablets offer more than just convenience. They provide an experience that is similar to traditional sketching or inking on paper, but with the added benefit of being able to manipulate and save artwork digitally. This means that you can add color, erase specific lines, select objects for copying and pasting in different parts of your artwork, etcetera – all without having to make physical changes on paper. Additionally, these devices come pre-loaded with their own custom software offering different toolsets for illustration, sketching and animation workflows.

Importance of standalone drawing tablets for digital artists

While desktop computers remain the traditional tool for digital art, standalone drawing tablets are quickly becoming a more popular option. Standalone tablets allow artists to draw directly onto the tablet surface, freeing them from the need for a laptop or computer at all times. This means that digital drawing can be done literally anywhere, with no need for an Internet connection or a plug socket. This convenience is critical for professional artists who must move around frequently in order to fulfill assignments and attend conventions.

Standalone tablets also provide smoother animation action when compared to regular drawing pads on a computer or laptop. Their larger screen size makes it easy to visualize details, and they contain specific professional grade features such as pressure sensitivity that enable artists to create an even higher level of realistic rendered artwork. Furthermore, these standalone devices feature convenient shortcuts and tools within easy reach and have great battery life so that you don’t have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of doing important work.

A standalone drawing tablet makes the transition between paper sketching and digital art easier by mimicking most traditional pencil-to-paper movements. It also saves time spent setting up with cables etc., making it particularly suited to those who travel frequently, who may run out of available ports on their device or simply want mobility over flexibility in their setup. Independent work on a device encourages better posture since there is less chance for physical discomfort from bent over arms when scribbling away.

Overall, standalone drawing tablets contribute significantly towards improving digital artwork both as an ergonomic response as well as providing professional grade features not found on regular tablet/desktop setups – creating wealth of opportunities for arts such as concept art, storyboarding, illustration etc.. They offer convenience without sacrificing any quality of result while introducing speed amidst mobility into your artistic process – allowing anyone looking to discover their hidden talent in art to do so unhindered by external limitations from technology or accessibility .

Purpose of the guide

This guide aims to help potential buyers understand the functions and features of standalone drawing tablets available today. It provides an overview of the different types of tablets, their uses, price range, and comparison between them. We will also discuss how to choose the perfect tablet for your specific needs, as well as tips on how to maximize your investment in this device.

Drawing tablets can be a powerful tool in a digital artist’s arsenal and this guide should provide readers with the knowledge they need to make informed buying decisions.

Features of standalone drawing tablets

In addition to understanding its design and technical specifications, it’s important to know how well a standalone drawing tablet functions. All standalone tablets should feature an HD display, pressure-sensitive pen input, tilt recognition and multi-touch capability.

Display – A good sized display makes it easy to view your editing application and your cursor movements with no need to switch applications.

Pressure-sensitivity – Pressure sensitivity allows you to adjust line thickness, brush size or shapes depending on how hard you press. For the best results, look for tablets that use Wacom’s optional ExpressKeys™ technology or even better: Apple Pencil’s pressure sensitive tip along with Procreate’s Touch Control function for optimal response time.

Tilt recognition – Tilt recognition lets you use a natural gesture of tilting your pen up or down when working in order to quickly switch from one tool to another. This is extremely useful for shading when working with brushes and layers in software such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter.

Multi-touch capability – Many standalone drawing tablets have multi-touch capabilities that let you pinch, zoom and rotate objects on the canvas with two fingers at once for more efficient painting workflows.

Compatible software – The last thing you need to look for is if the device you’re interested in is compatible with popular software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro (or other digital painting applications).

Screen size

When selecting a drawing tablet, it’s important to consider the size of the screen and feature set you’re looking for. Most tablets come with a larger screen that ranges in size from 4 inches on the small side to 22 inches or bigger on the large end.

The total height of your tablet may also depend on an additional viewing monitor that you purchase as an optional add-on. The height will also depend on your seating position and whether or not you plan to attach a secondary monitor or base stand.

When selecting a screen size, look at it from your perspective as an artist. Wider screens are great for those who prefer working with large canvas sizes, while smaller screens can be easier to manage in tight work areas.

Screen resolution

Screen resolution is an important factor when choosing a standalone tablet. High-definition displays with panels that measure 1920×1080 or higher are the best option if you want to ensure crisp graphics with great color accuracy. Some tablets are also available with 2K resolutions (2560 X 1440).

Higher resolution screens can be especially useful for art tasks that require more detail, such as photo retouching and intricate design work. On the other hand, lower quality displays can have problems displaying small text and fine details, which could be frustrating for artists who rely on precision.

Pressure sensitivity

The ability of a stylus to detect pressure is an important aspect to take into consideration when purchasing a standalone drawing tablet. Pressure sensitivity allows you to vary the thickness and color of your strokes according to how hard you press the stylus. This is particularly useful for digital painting, sketching, and drawing because it allows you to create more realistic works of art.

Most standalone drawing tablets will feature some level of pressure sensitivity with pressure ranges measured in numbers like 2048 or 4096, with higher numbers indicating more levels of pressure. Additionally, most tablets will come with styluses that are compatible with their device’s specific pressure sensitivity level, so you don’t have to worry about finding compatible accessories.

Pen technology

Before purchasing a drawing tablet with a pen, it is important to understand the various technologies that are available. This guide will explain the differences between these technologies and their respective performance considerations.

Pen technology helps determine the accuracy, responsiveness, and comfort of using drawing tablets. Wacom is the leader in pen technology, offering two distinct options: Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR) and Battery-Free Electromagnetic.

The EMR pens use electromagnetic resonance to detect movements without requiring an extra power source while pressure-sensitive pen tips provide high levels of accuracy and heat detection which simulates various line weights in real time just like traditional drawing tools.

Battery-free Electro Magnetic pens on the other hand run on AAAA batteries instead of recharging through your device’s USB port, making them lightweight and quicker to set up for longer sessions because you don’t have to pull out impossible tiny battery covers from time to time like with rechargeable pens. The tip pressure is more consistent than EMR pens since you don’t have to worry about batteries fading quickly or wearing down over time.

Drawing styles vary from user to user; as such, each type of technology has its pros and cons in terms of performance, tailored toward different preferences. Make sure to consider your needs when selecting a tablet suitable for your needs!

Battery life

When looking for a standalone drawing tablet, battery life is an important factor to consider. You want to make sure your device has enough power to last through a day’s worth of drawing and sketching. Many tablets will have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery but can vary in the amount of time it lasts before needing recharged.

Look for tablets with long-lasting and efficient internal batteries. Battery life can range from 3 hours all the way up to 12 hours, depending on the manufacturer and model. Most batteries should last up to 10 hours depending on how often you are using them and what type of activity you are doing such as drawing, sketching or painting. Look at customer reviews closely when considering battery life and make sure you get one that meets your needs and requirements.

Factors to consider when choosing a standalone drawing tablet

When it comes to making the best purchase decision, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a standalone drawing tablet. These include features such as the pressure sensitivity and size of the tablet, the compatibility with your existing device and tools, and any relevant accessories (e.g., stylus, additional cords or stands).

Pressure Sensitivity This feature determines how soft or hard you push down affects what you draw onscreen. Most modern tablets from reputable brands offer ample levels of pressure sensitivity; more is usually better because it gives you more versatility in terms of what you can create with your tablet.

Size The size will have a direct impact on how comfortable you are while working with your device. Larger tablets typically cost more but provide more space for detailed works. Smaller tablets still provide great precision and accuracy while being more affordable and lighter in weight.

Compatibility Check to see if the drawing tablet is compatible both with your current setup (computer / laptop) as well as any external programs or devices that you may need before making a purchase decision. Most tablets come with their own software but be sure to double-check that third-party ones will work too before buying one. This can save headaches down the line!

Accessories And Extra Features For many users, ancillary features such as stands may be necessary if their chosen tablets don’t come with one; these extras can make life easier as they serve two purposes: firstly, they prop up the tablet to an ergonomic angle for comfortable long use; secondly, they also take some strain off wired connections when connecting peripherals such as a stylus pen. Other features to look out for include USB ports for connecting flash drives directly; buttons or hotkeys which allow quick access to certain functions without fiddling around menus; and touch capacitive screen which gives added control over certain tasks (such as brush size).


When shopping for a drawing tablet, it is important to examine your budget and decide which features are most important to you. There are great options available both above and below $100, depending on the size of your workspace, your budget, and the specific features that you need. Here we discuss a few of the key specifications that can help you make an informed choice when weighing your options.

The three main elements to consider when choosing a drawing tablet are display size and resolution, pressure sensitivity, and technical support.

Display size: Generally speaking, the bigger and higher-resolution the screen is on your drawing tablet, the better. Because this device will serve as an extension of your computer screen itself, it matters that it be properly proportioned in order to maximize comfort for all users. If possible, try to measure out space for a table or countertop before purchasing so that you know exactly how much room is available for a tablet; this will also ensure that there’s still room left over for documents or other accessories like phone stands or lampshades. Keep in mind that some tablets may come with included accessories like books stands or desks; these additional items will inflate costs but are worth considering due to their convenience in saving you money on buying separate pieces of furniture just for them.

Setup: This is also very much dependent on personal preferences as well as how often they plan on using their tablets; do they need any added features like stands/mounts in order to get comfy? Also think about connectivity requirements: if connecting wirelessly might be difficult due to range issues then opt for something wired instead if possible– USB connection being ideal since most operating systems take advantage of its support already nowadays

Connection types available: For certain users USB cable connections may not be ideal because they tend not to provide any extra latency benefits over Wi-Fi solutions (you should check device specs prior). But ultimately it’s always best practice shop around between multiple brands/models compare their respective connection types as well as overall build quality/rating when looking into what suits one’s needs best.

Intended use

When looking for a drawing tablet, it’s important to know what your intended use is so you can make the right purchase. There are three key factors that will help determine the best drawing tablet for you: hardware and software requirements, size, and power source. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Hardware and Software Requirements: Standalone drawing tablets come with pre-installed software and hardware so you can start creating artwork right away. Some of the popular pieces of pre-installed software include Zidoo, iClone, Manga Studio, Corel Painter Essentials 5 or 6 Pro, Clip Studio Paint Pro, Adobe Photoshop Elements Plus Sketchbook Pro 2018 Professional Edition—just to name a few. Make sure to research what the tablets are capable of before you buy one—each has different features and capabilities that may be suited for different intentions.

Size: The size of the drawing area for a standalone tablet usually varies by model but ranges anywhere from 10 inches (diagonal) to 32 inches (diagonal). Depending on what type of artwork you plan on creating—small illustrations or full masterpieces—should determine which size works best for your needs.

Power Source: It’s important when purchasing a standalone series tablet to consider if it requires battery power or electrical outlet power source usage. Battery powered devices are portable because they don’t have cords which can be tricky when you travel while devices with an electrical outlet draw their energy from an AC adapter in order work correctly; these types often provide more power than battery powered tablets would give you.


In conclusion, when considering the purchase of a standalone drawing tablet, it is important to consider the features and quality of materials available in order to make an informed decision as to which one is best suited for your desired purposes. Different tablets will have features and levels of responsive accuracy that will enable you to progress your drawing efforts at a faster rate.

It is important to weigh your options carefully so as not to overspend on features or materials that can become obsolete quickly due to changing technology and preferences. Lastly, be sure that the drawing tablet you choose offers all the features you need with enough room for future upgrades or editing capabilities should your needs change with additional learning, practice or experience.


What do I need to know before buying a drawing tablet?

Before buying a drawing tablet, it is important to consider factors such as the tablet size, pressure sensitivity, resolution, compatibility with your device and preferred software, and budget.

How do standalone drawing tablets work?

Standalone drawing tablets work by having their own built-in screen, which allows the artist to draw directly on the tablet’s display using a stylus. They do not require a computer or external display to function.

Do standalone drawing tablets exist?

Yes, standalone drawing tablets do exist, and they are becoming increasingly popular among artists and designers.

What do you need to draw on a drawing tablet?

To draw on a drawing tablet, you will need a stylus or digital pen that is compatible with the tablet, as well as software that allows you to create and manipulate digital art.

Can a beginner use a drawing tablet?

Yes, a beginner can use a drawing tablet. However, it may take some time to adjust to using a stylus instead of a traditional pen or pencil.

What’s the best drawing tablet for beginners?

There are many drawing tablets that are great for beginners, including the Wacom Intuos, Huion H610 Pro, and XP-Pen Deco Pro.

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

A graphic tablet is a type of drawing tablet that does not have a built-in display, whereas a drawing tablet has a screen that allows the artist to draw directly on it. Graphic tablets require a separate display, such as a computer monitor, for the artist to see what they are drawing.

Is Wacom or Huion better?

Both Wacom and Huion make high-quality drawing tablets, so the choice ultimately depends on personal preference and specific needs. Wacom is generally considered more expensive but has a reputation for reliability and quality, while Huion offers more affordable options and has been making strides in terms of product innovation.

Are screenless drawing tablets good?

Screenless drawing tablets can be a good option for those on a budget or who prefer to work with a separate display. However, they can be more difficult to use than tablets with built-in displays, as the artist must look at a separate screen while drawing.

Why is it so hard to draw on a screenless tablet?

Drawing on a screenless tablet can be challenging because the artist must look at a separate display while drawing. This can make it difficult to accurately gauge the position of the stylus on the tablet and can lead to errors in the artwork. Additionally, the lack of a built-in display can make it more difficult to see fine details in the artwork.

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