As an aspiring artist, animator, or graphic designer you might want to invest in a good-quality drawing tablet for your creative endeavors. However, you might be stumped when it comes to buying one as the costs can stack up once you realize you also need a computer to go with it. Even though there are budget options you might ask yourself, can drawing tablets work without a computer?
Yes. Some standalone drawing tablets can work without a computer as they have their own software and touchscreen but they do have a few limitations. Modern drawing tablets just aren’t powerful enough to handle huge files and advanced drawing software to assist you in your digital drawings and paintings – which is why most of them require a PC.
A PC has a bigger internal storage making it possible to download more files and perform tasks faster due to higher RAM. It also has fast processing units compared to standalone tablets making it more beneficial to use a computer with a drawing tablet. Read on to find out whether or not you should buy a standalone drawing tablet.
What is a Standalone Drawing Tablet?
A standalone drawing tablet is a display tablet that doesn’t need a computer to work. You can use it freely without carrying around your PC as it has hardware features such as a processor, RAM, and storage.
There are many drawing tablets that come with touchscreens however not every touchscreen tablet is a standalone tablet. These display tablets don’t have any independent hardware to function so they rely on a computer to provide them with the necessary tools to function properly such as memory and drawing programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Should I Get a Standalone Drawing Tablet?
The main benefit of a standalone drawing tablet compared to a regular drawing tablet is its portability. With a standalone drawing tablet you don’t have to bring your laptop or computer with your wherever you go and can work on your digital drawings.
However, these tablets are pretty expensive and buying one can be a costly investment. For some people a standalone drawing tablet might not be worth it and they would be better off with a simple tablet and PC.
If you are a person who travels frequently and often work/draw while travelling, a standalone drawing tablet can be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. However, I’ve noticed that these tablets are usually good for lighter workload unless you buy a highly advanced one like the iPad Pro. Since these tablets don’t have the same powerful specs a computer has you can’t expect to perform at the same level.
Professionals usually use a display drawing tablet with a powerful computer like the iMac or a laptop like the Macbook. If you want more powerful specs go with a computer but if you want portability go for a standalone drawing tablet that doesn’t require a computer.
Best Standalone Drawing Tablets that Don’t Require a Computer in 2022
Below are 3 of the best standalone drawing tablets that don’t require a computer and are great for most beginners and professionals.
If you’re on a tight budget you can look at our options on the best standalone drawing tablets under $300.
1. Apple iPad Pro
The 12.9 inch Apple iPad Pro remains the industry-standard for many digital artists in the creative industry thanks to its intuitive interface and highly advanced Apple pen. The iPad Pro keeps on improving every year and now offer support for Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop making it the ultimate standalone drawing tablet.
It uses the powerful A1 processor and has a beautiful UHD liquid retina display which gives you a bright screen with rich color contrast. It comes with 8GB and 16GB RAM models.
2. Wacom MobileStudio Pro
The Wacom MobileStudio Pro comes with a hefty price tag but for good reason. This tablet gives you everything a computer can do and unlike the Apple pencil – which has to be brought separately with the iPad – it comes with a battery-free EMR powered stylus. It has a long battery life which is great for longer drawing sessions and a majestic 15.6” display with 4K resolution.
It has features that most computer manufacturers strive for – an Intel i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.
3. Huion Kamvas Studio 22
The Huion Kamvas Studio 22 is a great machine with immense capabilities. It is a great drawing tablet for your work and can switch into a computer for other uses as well. It features a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution screen and has a 100% sRGB color gamut which would give you super bright and contrasting colors.
The Kamvas Studio 22 standalone drawing tablet is fast with a RAM of 8/16GB and an Intel core i5 which is lower than the Wacom above. But one crucial thing that favors the Kamvas over others is its price coming at about $1195. This is an impressive price point knowing that it can function like a computer and drawing tablet simultaneously and has 10 hotkeys, a battery-free stylus and a fast operating system.
Most people are hesitant to buy a drawing tablet just to realize they have to buy a computer and drawing software for it to work as they want. However, this is not necessary as standalone drawing tablets make it possible to use a drawing tablet without a computer.
A standalone drawing tablet includes all the necessary features for it to be used without any additional material and are more convenient than carrying around a computer or laptop with you all the time.
Ibrahim Ahmed is the founder and CEO of Mediacaterer – an Art & Design blog covering the latest news, tips, guides, and product reviews for beginners, intermediates, and professionals. He’s a self-taught graphic designer and writer hoping to help aspiring artists and designers make it big in the industry