I have been asked countless times about which tablet a beginnerdigital artist should get, so I decided that I would make a super-comprehensive video toanswer all of your questions in one place, in one video,right here, right now. First off, we need to get on the same page about what tablets are actually out there. I’m going to explain to you the four types of drawingtablets that you can buy today, and then later on we’ll talkabout my recommendations about which ones you should pick depending on your own unique situation. If you already know about the tablets that are available out there, then you can skip to this timestamp here, or in the description or in the comments to my own recommendations. So, there are two maincategories of devices. You have the mobile andmultipurpose tablets like these right here, and then the more conventionalstationary dedicated tablets.
When it comes to mobile tech,you have two main options. The first are tablets. These are tablets that have acomputer chip inside of them and usually they run on eitherWindows, Android or iOS. All you have to do is buy the tablet and then the stylus or pen if it doesn’t already come with it. When it comes to Android,there are a ton of options, and they often come at muchless of the cost than an iPad. However, this comes at thecost of overall performance, where the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil currently stand undefeated. Tablets are usually thebest bang for your buck across the board whenit comes to everything that you get and can do withit straight out of the box. This is especially true if you consider many of the great freedrawing applications that are available out there. The second type of mobiletablet is not even a tablet, but they are actually full-on computers. I don’t have a physical example of this type of device here with me today, but they are devices thatmainly function as laptops that also allow you to draw on them.
They’re often referred to as2-in-1s or tablet computers. These all usually comewith an Intel or AMD chip and sometimes pack a lot more power and can run on Windows operating software. Some products, however, focuson the creative aspects first rather than the laptop experience, such as the Wacom MobileStudio Pro, for example. Although this category ofproducts are super-useful, they can often be the mostexpensive to choose from and tend to have the least bangfor your buck in my opinion. This is because the slimmeryou make these computers, the less power you have available for programs like Photoshopand Clip Studio Paint. Digital art can be veryprocessor and RAM-heavy, and especially if youwant to get into 3D work, this is a serious concern, so keep this in mind whenyou’re choosing your next model. Now, for the second big category, we have the dedicated stationary tablets like I mentioned before.
Here you have a couple moreoptions to choose from. The first one, you mightalready have in your possession, and it’s pretty much just the conventional plastic drawing tablet. These tablets do not have adedicated computer chip inside, so you must plug them intoa laptop or desktop computer in order to use themwith a drawing software. I would’ve brought my own Intuos Pro that I had with me in college, but I think I lost it when I moved, so unfortunately I don’t have it. These tablets are oftenyour average person’s first step into digital art, and can be very cheap depending on which of the many brands andsizes that you choose from. Some of these tablets actually allow you to connect them to deviceslike your own phone or even transfer traditional mark-making into digital information. These facts, includingtheir usually small size and light weight, canmake traditional tablets a more mobile solution for many people. Your classic, traditional tablet can also tend to beeasier to transition to from traditional artbecause of the rough surface is much more like drawing onpaper than most glass surfaces. The downside to these tablets is that you have to get used to not looking at your hands when you draw.
This is something that many professionals have gotten used to and stillmade incredible work with, but it still remainssomething to keep in mind. Now, the second option under the more stationary,dedicated tablets are your display tablets. These tablets do not havea computer chip inside, so they also require a desktopcomputer or laptop to use. The big difference between these and your regular, more traditional tablets is that they actuallyhave a digitized screen. That means that you can actually draw directly on the same screenthat you see your artwork on, just like your mobiletablets and tablet computers. Now, these are, across the board, more expensive than your regular tablets that don’t have a screen, but they usually providea much better experience for the majority of people out there. Now, there are several brands for these screen tablets to choose from. However, the quality andfeatures vary greatly as well. So, for example, the Cintiq Pro is the only dedicateddisplay tablet right now that boasts a 4K display, and if you ask me, that’sextremely important. Okay, so let’s go ahead andget into the recommendations. Some of you might even be more confused than you were before right now, especially if I mentioned a tablet that you haven’t heard of before. But don’t worry, I’mgoing to help you decide which type you should get.
Just keep in mind that yourdecision will largely depend on factors that are uniqueto you as an individual, such as your skill level,budget, goals and lifestyle. I also want to clarify that there are many tablets out there that I probably haven’tmentioned or shown in this video. I’m only going to recommend products that I’ve used in myown personal experience or that I would buy myself. Otherwise, the purpose isto help you make a decision on what type of tablet to get, not to get into an argument about which specific model or brand has better pressure sensitivitylevels for the price, or yadda yadda yadda, you know. Stuff like that. So, obviously, if you arecompletely starting out, you don’t wanna spend too much money, because you don’t want it to become an expensive paperweight in a few weeks if you decide it’s just not for you. I recommend a 7th-gen iPad, all the way up to aniPad Air in this case. That way, you can stillenjoy the features of an iPad if you don’t end up drawing too much. I personally have influenced many people to purchase iPad over the past two years, and some of them have ended up not taking drawing tooseriously, but this was fine because they didn’t purchasesomething too expensive like the iPad Pro or somethinglike a dedicated Cintiq that they would end up just throwing away.
Otherwise, you can getone of the cheaper tablets that don’t have screens as well. I recommend a Wacom Intuosor a cheaper alternative like the XP-PEN Deco series. Now, if you’re moreserious about digital art, but you’re still a beginner, then the first thingyou need to ask yourself is whether or not you have a computer. If you don’t already have a computer, then you’ll want to stickto a more mobile solution like a tablet or a tablet computer. In this case, you wantto ask yourself again, what type of work do you wanna do, and what your current lifestyle is. If you’re in school orhave a full-time job, you probably want to getsomething mobile like an iPad Air, or even an iPad Pro. I purchased an iPad Pro whileworking a full-time job, and it allowed me this flexibilityto create enough artwork to grow my Instagram and YouTube audience. Depending on your job andwhat you’re doing in school, it might be best to pick up something that can serve as adedicated laptop as well. In this case, a Surface Bookor another 2-in-1 laptop with a robust drawing styluswould be an excellent choice. If you have a non-technical degree or your work doesn’t requirework from home regularly, then you could probably get away with an iPad Pro and a keyboardsetup like this one here.
Now, if you do alreadyhave a good computer, then you might wanna go ahead and just get something more stationary. However, I just want to clarify,when I say ‘good computer’, I mean a computer that canrun drawing applications well. You really want something that has at least, the very least, 8GBof RAM and a quad-core CPU. If your specs are below that, then you might just want to get an iPad or a tablet computer instead, because drawing on a low-specPC can be a huge pain. Now, again, ask yourselfwhat type of person you are. If you have a decent desktop computer, then you may not needto get a mobile device. Try a larger tablet,like the Wacom Intuos Pro or maybe just skip right ahead to an art display from XP-PEN. If you have around $400-plus to spend, then you can start looking atmore quality display tablets. For example, this is theWacom One, and it also allows you to connect itto a phone, which makes it one of the most portabledisplay tablets out there. Now, let’s say you’ve beendoing digital art for a while. Maybe you already have anold tablet lying around. Maybe you’re still a beginner,but you’re very serious, and you’re even planningto go to art school.
Maybe you just have the cash to spend, or you just want something to last you in case you start to get serious. Whatever the case, here are my personalrecommendations for you. Fair warning, the productsthat I will mention from now on will be quite expensive, but if you fit the previouscategory I just mentioned, then it will be well worth the cash. So, if you prioritize mobility, then definitely get the iPad Pro. It’s the absolute best combo of precision, power andportability out there. Sure, the apps aren’t quite as extensive as a PC or Mac environment, but there are plenty ofprofessional artists out there who make amazing artwork on this device. Just think about the typeof work you want to make and what apps are currently out there, or in future development. Now, the one person who hasno choice in the matter here is the 3D artist. If you wanna work in 3D, then you really need toget a stationary tablet, ideally one with a display. You also really need to havea decent computer already, and I don’t recommend getting a 2-in-1 tablet computer for these things, so I would either get theWacom Mobile Studio Pro or even better, build your own PC and get whatever size conventional drawing tablet you need to get started.
Now, if you don’t need mobility, then by all means get a display tablet. I highly recommend these, especially since thecheapest ones available now are under $300 bucks. Back when I started totake digital art seriously, there weren’t any displaytablets for that price. I personally recommend you look at the offerings from Wacom or XP-PEN. The last recommendations I have are for those of youwho have money to burn or are at a point where making money with your work is a reality but you wanna deliver the highest quality to your clients or employers. For you guys, I recommendthe Cintiq Pro line, like the 32-inch one Ihave here, or smaller. The color representation is great, and I can draw on it forseveral hours at a time. Something like the iPadPro works great too for pen sensitivity, and you can always make use of the USB-C cable for flexibility. You can also pair a non-display tablet with a high-end computer monitor if you really need to makesure your colors are right. But a Cintiq just getsthe job done faster, and it’s more comfortable when it comes to drawing eight hours a day every day, as a main source of income. Now, this was a pretty long video, but I hope that you are much closer to making your finaldecision when it comes to which tablet you shouldbuy for digital art.
If there’s anything that I missed, please leave them inthe comments down below. But again, please do your own research if you’re wondering aboutany of the other brands or specific models that I havenot mentioned in this video. The only specificproducts that I mentioned are the ones that I’ve used myself or trust from otherartists that I respect. I personally can’t sayanything about Android tablets or any of the other tablet manufacturers like Gaomon, Huion or Parblo, but I think Huion did send me a broken tablet toreview that I sent back, but I don’t know if that counts, does it? For those of you more interested in the details of differenttablets that are available, I strongly recommend checking out Brad Colbow or Aaron Rutten for their more in-depth tablet reviews. So, that’s it from me, guys. I’ve been Ergo Josh, andI’ll see you in the next one. Peace.(light, gentle music)