Drawing is an artistic discipline that allows the development of imagination and creativity. And although when you talk about it you think of pencil and paper, there are alternatives such as graphic tablets (also called digitizers) that allow you to practice it with the same precision but using a computer.
Although there is a wide variety of models, the ones chosen in this comparison are suitable for people who are going to buy their first graphics tablet and are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use model. All of them connect to the computer via cable (with the exception of one that can also do so via Wi-Fi) and their configuration stands out for its simplicity: to use them you need to download some drivers from the manufacturer’s website. It is the essential step to manage them with the chosen program: Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint Pro, Painter, GIMP, Krita, SAI, Adobe Illustrator…
What digital tablets have we chosen?
The selected models are Huion WH1409 (9), One by Wacom Medium (8.25), Ugee M708 (8) and X-Pen Deco 01 V2 (8.5). When evaluating them, the aspects that have been taken into account are the following:
- Design: how are the quality of its materials, its construction to ensure the best durability and the surface where it is drawn.
- Digital pen: all of them come with a stylus that does not require any battery or battery as a power source. How is the interaction? And the precision in writing or strokes?
- Configuration: from the point of view of the installation of the drivers or controllers, and the proposed configuration options. In general, it is a simple process but in some more than in others.
- Experience: if the graphics tablet fulfills its purpose, if this experience when using it with the drawing programs is good and one feels comfortable, etc.
Comparison of the best digitizing tablets: this is how we have tested them
Throughout the last month, the four models participating in the comparison have been used with some of the most popular drawing programs among users: Adobe Illustrator, Clip Studio Paint Pro, Krita and GIMP. This has made it easier for us to see what the tablet installation and configuration process is like, the options it suggests, what the experience of using the digital pen that accompanies each one is like…
The graphic tablet that has obtained the best evaluation is the Huion WH1409 model. It stands out from the rest not only for the quality of its manufacture and design, but also for incorporating the largest active drawing area, the possibility of connecting to the computer via Wi-Fi and offering the most complete experience thanks to its twelve customizable buttons.
Huion WH1409 graphics tablet: our pick
With a thickness of 16 mm and a weight of 1.1 kg, it has the largest active area in the comparison, with dimensions of 35 x 21.8 cm. It also shows off one of the best finishes and designs. Meanwhile, on the left side there are two blocks located one above the other: the one at the top allows you to know some aspects related to the use of the digitizing tablet (for example, if the digital pen is recognized) and the one at the bottom brings together twelve customizable buttons.
In addition to being used with a Windows or Mac computer through a wired connection, the Huion WH1409 graphics tablet is the only one that allows you to connect through your home Wi-Fi network, although only from the 2.4 GHz band; in this way, the work table remains completely clear.
- Work area: 350 x 218 mm.
- Compatibility: Windows and macOS.
- PE150 digital pen: active electromagnetic resonance technology, 5,080 LPI resolution, 8,192 pressure levels, 233 PPS response rate, 12mm detection height.
- Dimensions and weight: 456 x 266 x 16 mm. // 1.1kg.
- Others: 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, microUSB interface, 12 programmable hotkeys, 2000 mAh battery capacity, eight replacement nibs, pencil holder with integrated removal ring.
In the case of choosing this option, it must not be forgotten that the device has a switch that must be activated beforehand and that it is essential to previously charge its 2000 mAh battery.
The full charging time is just over six hours (it gets tedious) but, in exchange, you get a range of 45 hours according to its manufacturer. The stylus is very responsive and the included holder integrates a tip extractor inside in the shape of a ring.
The best, the worst and conclusions
- The best: its design and the option to connect it via Wi-Fi.
- The worst: its digital pen, despite offering a good experience and response, does not have tilt support.
- Conclusions: it stands out from the rest for its attractive and original design, large work surface and for offering stable Wi-Fi connectivity (2.4 GHz networks).
Graphics tablet X-Pen Deco 01 V2: the alternative and the best value for money
Like the rest of the digitizing tablets that participate, its dimensions and weight allow it to be moved comfortably from one place to another; meanwhile, the quality of the plastic chosen for its manufacture is perceived to be durable. In this case, in addition, the active area of the tablet (254 x 158 mm) has been delimited with light indicators with adjustable brightness to adapt to the lighting of the place where it is used.
Although during the tests it has been used with a Windows computer, it is also possible to use it with macOS, some versions of Linux, Chrome OS and Android 6.0 devices: in the latter case, it should be noted that the chosen model must incorporate an OTG function, that is, , that supports the connection of other external devices, and that the screen needs to be placed in a vertical position.
Once the drivers are installed, it is possible to configure the button panel located on its left side (the design of its buttons is a bit small) and the two stylus buttons. This stylus provides a quite comfortable user experience, responds perfectly to different levels of pressure exerted on the active surface and offers a 60-degree tilt.
A noteworthy detail of the X-Pen Deco 01 V2 graphics tablet that it shares with the Ugee M708 model is its mode for left-handed people.
One by Wacom Medium graphics tablet
It is a particularly light device thanks to its 432 grams. With a size of 277 x 189 x 8.7 mm, its build quality ensures its durability. Along with Windows and macOS operating systems, it is compatible with Chromebook laptops. The installation process of its drivers is perhaps the simplest, because it visually explains the steps that must be followed to complete it successfully.
Your stylus incorporates two buttons whose functions are customizable and has a completely wireless design; It does not require batteries either; and although its pressure sensitivity (2,048 levels) is lower than other models in its category, in practice this does not influence or is noticeable in the experience when interacting with the active area of the tablet, which has dimensions of 216 x 135mm. When not in use, and to avoid losing it, it is recommended to store it in the fabric compartment located on the right side.
By the way: the manufacturer has added three replacement tips and a small removal tool to change the tip when necessary. For the purchase of the One by Wacom Medium graphics tablet, the firm offers three free months to use, among others, the Explain Everything programs (for example, to create presentations) and Kami with access to annotation tools.
Ugee M708 graphics tablet
The Ugee M708 graphics tablet comes with the following accessories: a battery-free stylus pen with eight spare nibs, a storage stand, a black glove, and a USB cable to connect it to your computer. In addition to being compatible with Windows and macOS, it can be used with computers running Linux and Chrome OS.
At an aesthetic and manufacturing level, the difference in quality with other models is noticeable. What we did like is that on the left side, next to the drawing surface (by the way, quite wide, since it measures 254 x 152.4 millimeters) the manufacturer has included eight fully customizable direct access buttons : They are very useful because, for example, they can be programmed for a specific function such as zooming, undoing or scrolling through the drawing on which you are working…
On the other hand, and as one would expect, the two buttons that make up the stylus (they are located at the top) are also customizable. Even the pressure sensitivity is adjustable; in total it supports up to 8,192 levels.
In practice, when using this stylus one finds that on certain occasions it does not respond as expected and hangs until you can continue. Its inclination of up to 60 degrees increases the freedom of movement, strokes and the possibility of applying different shades.