It is super exciting when you want to dive into the world of digital art especially if all your used to is making traditional art using a pencil and paper however, nowadays, you’ll see that there are many options when it comes to buying a drawing tablet and the multitude of options might end up confusing you on which one is really the one for you.
As a beginner wanting to break into the world of digital art you might have some idea of the tools you need and why you need them but choosing the right one is a far daunting task.
I have researched the best brands in the industry by searching all around the net for reviews, professional recommendations and personal experiences and have found that these 5 drawing/graphics tablets under $100 are some of the best drawing tablets you’ll find as a beginner.
Top 5 best graphic/drawing tablets for beginners
Let’s now dive into the list of the best drawing tablets for beginners.
Out of all these, I recommend the XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 as the best beginner’s tablet.
Wacom Intuos S
The Wacom Intuos S is a great beginner’s tablet for anyone trying to get into digital art or trying to get used to a tablet.
The Intuos S is one of Wacom’s least expensive drawing tablet for only $79.95 and can fit any beginner’s budget.
Wacom is considered the gold standard for digital artists which means it will also set you up for the future if you want to pursue this career professionally.
The tablet offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and an EMR powered stylus meaning you would never have to charge your stylus. It is a compact size with an active area of 6 x 3.7 inches.
The tab is connected to your laptop with a USB cable however by paying $20 you can also get the Wireless Bluetooth version.
The major downsides of this tablet are usually the setting up process. This tablet isn’t exactly plug-and-play and has a bit more complications.
In order to start using the tablet you have to download necessary drivers from the Wacom website for your laptop or PC to recognize it. This used to be a major issue as Wacom was not able to keep up with the complaints regarding their customer service in 2018, however, this has changed since Wacom has updated its site and improved its customer care so even if you do unfortunately run across any issues they’ll be able to solve them for you.
It also comes with amazing free software if you register an account on their official website, namely, Corel Painter Essentials 8, Corel AfterShot Pro and Clip Studio Paint PRO meaning you’ll save $150.
The Wacom Intuos S is compatible with MAC (OS X 10.10 and above), PC (Windows 7 and above), Chromebook (devices running the latest Chrome OS) and Android Smartphones/tablets (OS version 6.0 or later.)
One by Wacom
The One by Wacom, not to be confused with the Wacom One, was ideally designed for students and teachers for remote work due to the pandemic.
Even though it is perfect for that it is also a good start for anyone getting into digital art.
It’s a good budget tablet for only $59.95 with an active area of 6 x 3.7 inches. The stylus is EMR powered (doesn’t require charging) with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and a light pencil like feel giving you precise strokes and comfortable grip.
The great thing about this tab is that it is fully plug-and-play as you don’t need to download any drivers to start using it, however, if you need more control over your pen you may want to.
The One by Wacom is compatible with MAC (OS X 10.10 and above), PC (Windows 7 and above), and Chromebook (devices running the latest Chrome OS)
Huion H610 Pro V2
Huion is and has always been a great choice for beginners due to its high functionality even in a tight budget and is second to Wacom in being the industry-standard.
The Huion H610 Pro V2 has an active area of 10 x 6.25 inches and offers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity with a battery-free stylus meaning you don’t have to worry about your pen dying in the middle of your work and tilt sensitivity giving you more realistic strokes.
The tab is connected to your laptop or PC using a USB cable and also comes with a OTG connecter if you want to connect the tab with your Android Smartphone as well. It has 8 programmable keys that you can use as hotkeys, this can save you a lot of time and make your work much more efficient.
The Huion H610 Pro V2 is compatible with Mac (OS 10.12 and above), PC (Windows 7 and above), Chromebook (running the latest Chrome OS 88 and above) and Android devices (OS 6.0 and above.)
XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 (Best Pick – Recommended)
The XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 is in my personal opinion the best tablet for beginners.
It has an ultra slim design and is lightweight with only 8mm thickness which means you can easily carry it around in your bag or take it with you if you like to travel and draw. It is connected with a USB cable and has an active area of 10 x 6.25 inches with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity with a battery-free stylus.
Along with this, the tablet includes tilt sensitivity up to a 60 degree angle giving you better flowing strokes and the ability to add realistic shading to your designs.
There are 8 round programmable buttons on the side which can save you time and increase your productivity.
The pen and tablet come with a Pen stand, 8x replaceable nibs, 1x FREE Drawing Glove, 1x Protective Film,1x Quick Guide (this is incase you run into some unfortunate issues with your tablet) and 1x USB-A to USB-C adapter 1x USB-A to Micro USB adapter.
The Deco 01 V2 is compatible with MAC (OS X 10.10 and above), PC (Windows 7 and above), Chromebook (OS 88.0.4324.109 or above) and Android phones and tablets (6.0 and above.)
The XP-Pen G430S is a ultra slim tablet with only 2mm thickness and an active area of 4 x 3 inches with a battery-free stylus, 10x extra pen nibs and 8192 pressure levels of sensitivity meaning you have a lot more control over your pen and tablet.
It’s compact size makes it portable and comfortable so you can carry it along with you wherever you go.
The max report rate for the G430S is 266RPS making your lines flow quicker, smoother and overall giving better performance.
There is also a button located on the side of the pen which gives you a quick one-click toggle to switch from the pen to the eraser which is super efficient whilst drawing.
|The Tablet is actually quite tiny|
The only major downsides of it might be its size for digital artists and how it doesn’t include any programmable buttons for quick switching.
The size might restrict some people to fully extend their arm whilst drawing which might be a disturbance for many beginners. Also, since there aren’t any customizable buttons on the side of the case they may not be as productive.
However, I still think that in a price as low as $29.99 it is a great value for money.
The XP-Pen G430S is compatible with MAC (OS 10.10 and above), and PC (Windows 7 and above.)
Choosing the Best Tablet for You
Even though out of all of these I recommend the XP-Pen Deco 01 V2, choosing the one most suitable for you depends on your personal preferences.
Maybe you want smoother flowing lines with no lag and are willing to compromise on advanced features such as tilt sensitivity, or you want a durable tablet which can last for a long time even if you had to compromise on the overall design and portability.
You can check out my Beginner’s guide to buying a drawing tablet to have a better sense of what to look for in a tablet before buying it. The guide is beginner friendly and won’t bombard you with technical terms without explaining them.
As a beginner, any of these tablets should be a great start for you but be advised that no matter which tablet you choose there will be a bit of a learning curve in the start when transitioning into digital art from traditional art due to some major differences in the mediums.
You would need some getting used to at first even if you are an experienced artist.
So, don’t stress, buy yourself a good, durable tablet, get your creative juices flowing and have fun drawing!