While searching for the best drawing and graphic tablets, you might come across some with hefty price tags. We did the work so you don’t have to and compiled a list of the best cheap drawing tablets for architects and designers.
1. Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet with Software
- Graphic drawing tablet with 4096 Levels of pressure sensitivity...
- Compatibility: Mac (OS X 10.10 and above), PC (Windows 7 and...
- Small Compact size (7.8” x 6.3”) with large active area...
- Four customizable ExpressKeys that put your favorite shortcuts...
- Creative Software: Register your Intuos on your Mac/PC to receive...
Our best pick is the Wacom Intuos SM (CTL4100). If you are looking for a device that is both affordable and delivers more than expected, this is it. The drawing tablet is slim and sleek with its body design being 8.8mm thin and its body dimension ranging 7.9 x 6.3. inch.
The Wacom Intuos SM (CTL4100) is ergonomically friendly thanks to its right and left -hand side compatibility. It also weighs 8.2 ounces hence making it easy to carry it around.
The active area of the tablet is 6.0 x 3.7 and though this is on the smaller end, it is still very useful. The dotted screen space adds to the aesthetics of the product and it is also designed to perfectly suit your desktop needs. The drawing tablet offers more than 75% available active area. In terms of size, it comes either in medium or small.
The Wacom Intuos SM features four large shortcut keys on top of the active area. These can be used to minimize tasks while working. You can also customize the shortcut keys and assign certain task functions that will streamline your workflow.
This a tablet that just keeps on giving. Another great functionality of it is that gives the edge of dual-platform compatibility as it supports both Windows 7 and higher and Mac OS 10.11 and higher. It also comes inclusive of three free software programs: Corel Painter Essentials 6, Clip Studio Paint Pro with a two- year license and, Corel After Shot 3. The Wacom Intuos SM pressure sensitivity is at 4096 and has a pen resolution of 2540 LPI. This may not be an ultra-smooth experience but it is quite decent for the price.
The pen is battery-free and it has 4K pressure sensitivity hence allowing you to have that pen on paper experience. The pen has a great grip and ergonomic friendly hence it can work for either left and right-handed people.
It also has EMR control which helps with precision and control while drawing. The best part about the pen is the comfort it provides while gripping.
Other Best Cheap Drawing Tablets
2. Huion H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet
- Chromebook Supported - HUION H610 Pro V2 is compatible with Mac...
- Innovative Tilt Control System - Provide you better pressure...
- 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity - Outfitted with Huion's...
- Customizable Shortcut Keys - 8 Customized Press Keys + 16...
- Online Teaching and Working - Meet all your needs for every...
The Huion H610 Pro is a great choice for architects and designers on a budget. The tablet’s pen has pressure sensitivity 8192 levels. The active drawing area gives off the feeling of drawing on paper due to its paper-like surface. It is compatible with Windows 7 or later and Mac 10.11 and higher. The Huion H610 Pro comes with 8 hard keys and 16 soft keys that can be customized.
The Huion H610 Pro V2 offers some impressive features that cannot be found in other budget-friendly tablets. The pen is battery-free hence taking out the challenge of having to replace or recharge the batteries. The pen also comes with two customizable side buttons, one touch-eraser and, a soft rubber pen cover which provides a smooth grip. The drawing tablet also comes with 8 extra pen tips for a replacement if one wears out. The pen also supports ±60 levels tilt recognition, is very light and, has a hollow like feeling. It also doesn’t add any strain when drawing for hours.
It is important to note the Huion H610 Pro drivers must be installed properly for the shortcut keys to work well.
3. Wacom PTH660 Intuos ProDigital Graphic Drawing Tablet for Mac or PC
- Precision Graphics Tablet: Our professional Wacom Intuos utilizes...
- Ultra-Responsive Wacom Pro Pen 2: The included ergonomic 8192...
- Compact Bluetooth Design: The compact design along with touch...
- Productivity Boosters: Speed up and stay in creative flow with...
- Creative Software: Register your Intuos Pro and receive 3-months...
The Wacom Intuos Pro is great for architects and designers who want to upgrade from their first drawing tablet.
The Wacom Intuos Pro has a replaceable Texture sheet drawing surface that mimics the feel of paper.
The Wacom Intuos Pro also comes equipped with 8 customizable Express Keys, four on each side of the tablet. They are also ergonomically friendly and are also suitable for left and right-handed users.
The drawing tablet also offers a multi-touch feature hence allowing you to turn it into a trackpad. If you’re not a fan of trackpads, there is the option of turning it off. The Wacom Intuos Pro also comes equipped with a battery-free stylus pen and replaceable pen nibs.
Wacom Intuos Pro is the most expensive on our list.
4. XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 Digital Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Compatibility: XP-PEN Deco01 V2 graphics drawing tablet supports...
- XP-PEN Deco01 V2 art tablet is perfect for kids and beginners or...
- Battery-free Stylus and support 60 degrees of tilt: P05...
- Slim design art tablet: XP-PEN Deco 01V2 pen tablet is only 8mm,...
- Ideal tool for online teaching and web-conference: Simultaneous...
The XP-Pen Deco delivers in both affordability and features. It comes with a battery-free pen with pressure sensitivity 8192 levels hence giving you precision control. You can also customize both the pressure and sensitivity in the settings. The pen is quite accurate and feels well balanced when in use. It has two shortcut buttons that allow you to right or left-click. You can also customize them. The best part about the pen is that it sketches like a real pen making the drawing experience enjoyable. It is also easy to set up.
The drawing tablet has a larger active drawing area than most of the tablets in this list at 10 X 6.25 inches and 8mm thick. The XP-Pen Deco is designed for both left and right-handed users as you can rotate the express keys to either the right or left side of the tablet. It plugs into your laptop or desktop as it does not offer wireless connection.
The XP-Pen Deco features minimalistic modern design and is ultra-slim profile which makes it portable. The drawing tablet is compatible with most operating systems including Windows 7/8/10 and Mac Version 10.10 and higher. However, there is currently no support for Android or iOs. The XP-Pen Deco also works with major design software like Illustrator and Photoshop.
The XP-Pen Deco comes equipped with a durable pen holder which allows you to store the pen in either a horizontal or upright position. The pen also has a hidden storage compartment that stores up to eight extra pen nibs.
Overall, the XP-Pen Deco is a budget-friendly, easy to use and great model that offers just the right number of features. If you’re looking for a drawing tablet for beginners, this would be a great option worth considering.
5. VEIKK A30 V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet
- VEIKK A30 digital art tablet is designed for drawing, design,...
- VEIKK A30 graphic tablet is designed with unique touch pad. It...
- 8192 professional levels pressure sensitivity provides exquisite...
- A30 pen tablet has 10x6 ultra-large drawing area, which provides...
- VEIKK provides one-year hardware warranty and lifetime free...
The VEIKK A30 V2 comes with a battery-free pen with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity which means that you are guaranteed precision control while drawing. It also comes with four customizable shortcut keys which ease your workflow. The drawing tablet is equipped with an innovative gesture pad that lets you zoom and brush for extra convenience. In terms of weight, it is ultra-lightweight at 570g hence making it easily portable.
The VEIKK A30 V2 offers an active drawing area 10 x 6-inch space for drawing. The pen comes with 2 customizable buttons. It is a great drawing tablet for beginners.
6. Huion Inspiroy H640P Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Support Mac/Windows/Android: Not only compatible with Mac and...
- Ideal for Online Education: With stylus and H640P,teachers and...
- Accurate Pen Performance: Digital pen PW100 features 8192 levels...
- 6 Customized Press Keys: Set up the 6 programmable express keys...
- Compact and Portable: H640P art tablet is designed with slim and...
The Huion Inspiroy H640P is ideal for beginners. It comes with a battery-free stylus pen with pressure levels of 8192. It is also compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Android systems.
The Huion H460P is another great choice when looking for a cheap drawing tablet that offers a great drawing experience. It's small and compact and measures 10.2 x 5.8 hence making it extremely portable. It has a very simple design with a matte plastic covering most of the surface area of the tablet. The left and right edges of the tablet feature a spotted design and are also ergonomically designed with a curve hence your wrists won't feel strained. The drawing area of the tablet has a great texture which prevents your pen from slipping or losing any form of control. At the same time, it is actually quite smooth hence your nibs will be safe.
The Huion H640P comes with 6 customizable express keys. It also comes with a Micro-USB port. However, it's important to note that the cable itself bends upward hence the design is meant for right-handed users. If you’re left-handed, you’ll have to flip the tablet and the cord will point toward you. The Huion H640P also has a lock switch which allows you to lock the express keys. This comes in handy for left-handed users as you can just lock it and you don’t have to keep turning the tablet around.
The Huion H640P stylus pen is Huion’s first battery-free pen. It has a nice bulging shape at the bottom which provides grip while drawing. The pen is light and doesn’t feel unbalanced when in use. Another great feature of the pen is its rubber grip which no other pen except the Wacom Intuos Pro has.
7. 2020 HUION KAMVAS 13 Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Full Lamination Technology: Kamvs 13 is a more affordable graphic...
- Premium Pen Technology: Benefit from the Huion PenTec3.0, PW517...
- Easy Cable Connection: Kamvas 13 comes with 2 Type-C ports.The...
- Android Devices Supported: Kamvas 13 could work with Mac(MacOS...
- Optimize your Workflow: The Kamvas 13 has 8 programmable hot-keys...
The Huion Kamvas is a great choice for digital artists and photo editing enthusiasts. It comes with a battery-free pen with 8192 levels of pressure. The pen also supports tilt. The drawing tablet is compatible with Windows, Mac and Android.
It comes equipped with 8 customizable physical keys and 10 replacement pen nibs. The drawing area has a matte screen protector hence providing a great texture for drawing.
8. Parblo Coast10 10.1"Digital Pen Tablet
- 1. Battery-Free pen,you don’t need to worry about the power...
- 2. High Viewing Angle, Horizontal 170°and Vertical 170° Viewing...
- 3. Ergonomic Design, you can put the digital screen in your...
- 4. Compatible with Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Photoshop,...
- 5. Operation system: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows...
The Parblo Coast10 is a great budget choice for beginner and intermediate artists. An interesting feature is that it can be powered solely by USB to the computer. It doesn’t come with a power adapter that plugs into a wall hence making it a great choice for moving around or travelling. It, however, does not come with any express key buttons but the stylus pen does have buttons that can replicate your mouse.
The Coast10 offers viewing angles of 170° horizontally and vertically. Another great feature is the option to place your pen above the screen which reduces the chances of misplacing it. The stylus pen is battery-free.
It’s a great choice if you are looking for a drawing table with a bigger display and screen. It, however, takes quite some effort to configure. In terms of compatibility, PC users will have an easier time than MAC OS X users even though it is compatible with major versions of OS,
The Coast10 features an ergonomic design that is convenient for both right and left-handed users. It also allows for comfort as you can use it on your lap or set up the back clips on the device which allows for upright drawing.
The Coast10 offers a fantastic display with a bright resolution of 1280x800 pixels.
The Coast10 tablet measures 0.73 in thickness and weighs 630g making it lightweight, compact and, hence extremely portable.
For the price, you not only get a drawing tablet with great features, but you also get a USB cable, lanyard and a remove ring and, a drawing glove. This helps reduce the friction between your hand and the table surface allowing for comfortable drawing.
It also comes in a free size hence it can fit either hand. The glove is made of high elastic lycra and features strong tensile resistance and high air permeability. Another great inclusion is the portable four-port USB 3.0 hub hence affording your extra flexibility to plug in multiple devices.
The Coast10 tablet is compatible with Windows Vista / XP/7/8 and higher and Mac OS X 10.11. and higher. It also supports a wide variety of software such as CorelDraw and Adobe Photoshop.
The downside of the fantastic display Coast10 offers is the occasional glare you may face when you position the tablet in certain angles or under specific lights. The Coast10 doesn’t allow you to customize its brightness which can be frustrating. Though you can put the protective cover for the screen included in the box, it may not stop the glare.
9. Huion Inspiroy H1060P Graphics Drawing Tablet
- Graphic drawing tablet with 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity -...
- 16 Programmable Soft Keys - With 12 Programmable press Keys,...
- Professional Working Area Configuration - HUION art tablet equips...
- Tilt Function Battery-free Stylus - Provide you ±60 degree tilt...
- Compatibility:HUION drawing tablet supports Android...
The Huion 1060Plus is best if you are looking for a large active drawing area. It offers 10 x 6.25-inch active area. The drawing area is smooth hence there’s less friction which means that you don’t have to constantly replace the nibs as often.
If you prefer a pen- on- paper feeling, the Huion 1060Plus doesn’t offer that hence it would be something to get used to. The tablet comes with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity hence making the drawing experience quite enjoyable. The Huion 1060Plus also comes with 12 customizable hotkeys.
One thing to note is that the shortcut keys do not have anti-ghosting capabilities which basically means that you can’t use two buttons at the same time. Hence, if this an important feature to you, it is worth noting. The Huion 1060Plus front and back edges of the tablet are rounded hence it reduces chances for wrist strain.
The Huion 1060Plus comes with a battery-free pen with a rubber grip that’s similar to the Wacom Intuos Pro. The pen also has tilt sensitivity. It’s a great choice for professionals as well and a worthy alternative to the Wacom Intuos Pro if you can do without the pen rotation offered by the Wacom.
The Huion1060P is compatible with Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.12 or later and, Android 6.0
10. VT PenPad 7.7-Inch Graphic Pen Tablet
- Ideal Gift: Is a gift that is sure to be on the list of any...
- Great for Travelers: The most ideal tablet for travelers, no need...
- Everyday use: Virtual tool for everyday use, are slimmest and...
- Learning Tool: Great tool for children and adults alike who are...
- Drawing Tool: VT Pen pad is designed for beginning and advanced...
The VT PenPad is a great choice if looking for a starter tablet. It only offers a drawing surface hence requires to be connected to a computer for visualization. It offers 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and a 6.5 x 4-inch drawing area. The drawing area bends like a thick piece of rubber making it flexible for portability. However, the drawback is that you always need to have a hard source like a desktop or clipboard to use it.
It is a great tablet for those new to the drawing tablet world and want to test what it would be like using one. It is compatible with Windows Vista/XP/7 and Mac OSX 10.3 or later.
What To Look For In The Best Cheap Drawing Tablet
There are a couple of things you should consider while looking for the best cheap drawing tablet.
For starters, it is important to note that drawing tablets come in three categories.
1. Graphics Tablets
A graphics tablet tends to have a blank surface and requires to be connected to a computer monitor. Graphics tablets are considered to be traditional drawing tablets due to their signature blank and flat surface and the stylus that is used to draw on them.
A graphics tablet is relatively simple in terms of its features, appearance, and functionality and tends to be on the lower end of the drawing tablet price bracket.
They are great and ideal for beginner artists and designers because they are affordable, simple to use, and durable. However, if you seek more functionality, they are not ideal.
2. Pressure-Sensitive Pen Displays
Pressure-sensitive pen displays enable the user to draw directly on the display with the pressure-sensitive pen. The advantage of this is that you as the interior designer or architect feel fully connected to your work plus you also get to work on an interactive display.
The con is that they are not as portable as a graphics tablet and require more cables. Some displays also lack the surface friction that a graphics tablet offers.
3. Tablet Computers
Tablet computers also commonly referred to as tablets are what most are familiar with. These include products like iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface. The advantage they have is that they offer more functionalities than drawing.
They are also highly portable and do not require to be connected to a computer monitor. The cons are that they can be very pricey hence expensive.
Though they offer more functionalities, they may not necessarily offer what you’re looking for. Most tablets are not designed for drawing hence they lack key functions such as express keys.
Features To Consider When Choosing The Best Cheap Drawing Tablet
There are a couple of functions you need to be on the lookout for.
1. ExpressKeys/ HotKeys
ExpressKeys/HotKeys are essentially customizable buttons on your device. You can create shortcuts to your most frequently used apps and tools hence making your drawing process much more efficient.
When choosing your cheap drawing tablet, it is important to note that not all have this functionality. Some tablets automatically add the keys based on your usage while others allow you to be able to customize your shortcuts.
There are two connections to take note of USB and Wireless. Some drawing tablets offer USB connections which means that for you to connect your device to a monitor, you will always need to have your USB cable.
Other tablets offer wireless connections which means that your device is not tied down to a cable. Both connections are valuable and when it comes to choosing the best drawing tablet for you, you can decide to have the best of both worlds. The best drawing tablets now offer both wireless and USB connections.
When it comes to price, it is possible to try and find the middle ground between functionality and cost-efficiency. Though you are looking for a cheap drawing tablet, remember that at the end of the day, you want to get the best value for your money.
So make sure that when looking through the best drawing tablets recommended below, you pay attention to the functionalities and your needs. Remember that you can use the best drawing tablet or graphics tablet for two to three years before you get a similar one or upgrade.
4. Pressure Sensitivity
Pressure sensitivity refers to the function that controls how the weight of the pen stroke affects the thickness of the line drawn. Basically, this is how thin or thick a line appears on a display. Drawing tablets offer varying levels of pressure sensitivity.
The levels of pressure sensitivity range from 512 up to 8192. The higher the number, the more subtle the differences the tablet can detect. The best drawing tablets have higher levels of pressure sensitivity.
If you are used to a mouse, it might take a while to adjust to a pen. However, once you do you’ll probably never miss using a mouse because most pens are designed to be ergonomically friendly.
This means that users with repetitive strain injury (RSI) or tendonitis experience it less than they would if using a mouse. Most pens have buttons that are customizable hence mimicking the feel of a mouse.
You, however, need to be careful when customizing to not confuse yourself hence making your tablet or drawing experience super frustrating.
Size is dependent on your needs. Most drawing tablets are small hence making them ideal for those who move around a lot. However, there is the option for larger sizes but with a bigger size comes less portability.
Resolution is another important feature to consider. Resolution tends to be measured as to how many lines per inch (LPI). A high LPI will provide more options for detailing and that is really important for an architect or interior designer.
Larger sized tablets tend to have higher resolutions than smaller ones. So, if you really value the details, then a drawing tablet with a higher LPI will be the best option.
8. Active Area
The active area of a drawing tablet refers to the available drawing surface that the tablet uses to record the pen strokes of the artist. For graphics tablets active areas, the sensor is covered by a plain pad which then translates the user’s pens strokes through to a separate monitor connected to a computer.
While for a display tablet, the active area will be the interactive display. For the most part, the larger the tablet, the larger the active area. Most drawing tablets, however, have either a gloss finish or textured. Textured finishes give the illusion of using paper. They offer a more traditional drawing experience.
The pros of drawing tablets are portability however a good rule of thumb is to buy one that has at least a 10- inch display. It may not be small enough to fit in your pocket but at least you won’t have to really squint to see your work.
You might be tempted to buy a drawing tablet that is WI-FI only. However, you are better off with a tablet that has the option of a sim card too. Wi-Fi only tablets work best for homes and offices and not for someone that needs to constantly be on the go.
The worst thing is having an off-site meeting and not being able to access any of your documents because your tablet only works with Wi-Fi.
The operating system depends on what you are used to. If you are familiar with the iOS system, then it would make sense to purchase a tablet with the same operating system and vice versa for Android. Most drawing tablets are compatible with Windows and MAC 0S.
Storage is extremely important. You don’t want to be in a position of constantly having to delete your work because you don’t have enough space. It is recommended to buy a tablet with storage of at least 32GB.
You can also check to see if your tablet has the option to insert an SD card ( most android tablets do). Be sure to check the specs of the SD/ microSD card slot as well. Most tablets also offer free cloud storage so you can take advantage of that too.
You need a drawing tablet whose lifeline is not dependent on a charger to function. Battery life is extremely important because you need a drawing tablet that allows you to move around without thinking about where the next available charging spot is. It is also handy carrying around a power bank.
Overall, the key features to consider when looking for the best drawing tablet is the user level. If you are a beginner, a beginner drawing tablet would be best as it allows you to ease yourself into using drawing tablets and graphics tablets.
Other key features to consider are price, the pressure sensitivity, size and compatibility with operating systems. A lot of research goes into choosing the best drawing tablet that will give you the best value for your money and will also meet your needs. We hope this gave you some insight on which budget drawing tablet is best suited for you.