The 5 Best Tablets for Drawing Comics in 2022

The Best Tablet for Drawing Comics

Storytelling has been a huge part of human history, from the very beginning of our days as humans to the present day. Though the reasons for telling stories have changed quite a bit, what has changed the most is the way we do it nowadays.

Some decades ago, making comics was a very traditional process, only relying on paper and ink, some of the most wonderful stories were told. And since art is very flexible, other media was added to the process, like watercolors, colored pencils, and markers, however with the arrival of graphic tablets, the game completely changed.

The versatility of drawing and painting software to mimic any media, the multiple tools for easy correction, and the optimization for printing made a big impact in the comic industry.

Nowadays, almost everything is made digitally. Though there are still some traditionally inked comics, corrections, effects, and dialogues are added through computer software and the majority of comics are made with a PC and graphic tablet, with an iPad, or with a normal tablet.

And there lies the issue. With the overwhelming number of new devices that can be used to draw comics (that increase every year), it’s very hard to make a choice. Every device is similar yet different, just like how comics can be made.

For example, Slice of Life, social media comics, or Blog comics that have a few panels can be made in a single portable device like an iPad or a tablet.

Western comics can also be made on a portable device but since there are many more panels and they’re usually made by a team, a laptop with a graphic tablet or a medium pen display would be the best.

For manga, though there are manga artists that work fully traditionally, most of them prefer using a graphic tablet or a pen display that is on the bigger side.

Now, for webcomics or webtoons, the ideal would be a large pen display along with a powerful PC since the large canvas for these vertically-formatted comics tends to use a lot of RAM and GPU for backgrounds and assets.

The new animated comic generation that has yet to conquer the internet needs besides a graphic tablet or pen display a very powerful PC with a dedicated graphics card to handle the visuals so if that’s what you plan on doing, getting an iPad or an android tablet would be of no use.

But even though there are many kinds of tablets that can be used for making comics, there are some common elements that we have to take into consideration before thinking of buying any.

Selection Criteria for Graphic Tablets

Graphic Tablet Being Drawn On

Pen pressure sensitivity

Pen pressure sensitivity is very important not only for illustrations and digital painting but for comics as well. Controlling the line stokes pressure and flow as if we were working on paper is crucial for quality work and clean lines in our comics but it goes further than that since it can also be used for coloring and shading our work. Looking for 4096 to 9180 levels of pressure is ideal. Let’s not forget to look for devices that also support tilt and inclinación for a more organic use of the pen.

Active drawing area

For some artists having a big drawing area is not that important, but having a small area becomes an issue in many cases, especially for graphic tablets when the price difference between smaller and medium top-performing tablets is not that big.

For pen displays, we’d recommend going for a medium to big pen display since your hand and arm would take some of the screen space.

Portability

Graphic tablets need a PC and a monitor to work since we need to see what we’re drawing, so even if your PC is a thin laptop, drawing on the go is not that feasible.

For graphic tablets portability is limited yet not totally impossible. Most tablets are smaller or the same size as an average laptop so traveling with those or carrying them around for work is an option.

Pen displays, however, are not an option for optimal portability, though there are some devices like the Wacom Mobile Studio the price goes over the $3500 for an old processor and low GPU so it’s not worth mentioning.

Shortcut keys

Shortcuts are everything, and while some of us might be used to a keyboard, having a couple of keys on our drawing pad or pen display is very very useful. It doesn’t only optimize our workflow but you can customize them for any other software. Some graphic tablets and pen displays don’t have shortcut keys but the ones that have them are priced the same.

 

Selection Criteria for Pen Display Tablets

Pen Display Tablet

The selection criteria for Pen Display Tablets includes ALL OF THE ABOVE, PLUS the following:

Display size and resolution

Pen displays are the choice of most professionals and with a good reason. The big high-resolution displays are optimized for drawing and painting professionally. There are many sizes, but since the display will be a second screen, going for more than 13” would be the best. If you like having your references and resources on the same screen, then going for the bigger models is what will be the best for you.

For the resolution, most tablets are 1920x1080px (Full HD) but I’d recommend going for QHD (2560x1440px) or UHD (4K) if possible.

Color accuracy

This is an important issue since some of the most popular (Wacom) tablets that are for average budgets have low color accuracy (72% to 80% sRGB) when other brands offer much more (100% to 120% sRGB) giving richer colors and better contrast in our work.

Price

There are tablets for every budget, if you’re testing the waters, a graphic tablet would be the best. If you’re looking for a pen display, then going for a medium-size one won’t hurt your pockets as much as going for a bigger model, but if you’re willing to invest in a professional tool, then going for a more expensive and bigger pen display with the right qualities might be what’s best for you and your career.

For Standard Tablets

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Stylus

There are very few tablets that support pen pressure sensitivity, and the ones who do, usually sell their styluses apart. Typically for graphic tablets, the stylus is included and it has the highest pressure levels and drawing optimization, however for tablets, the levels of pressure are usually half of it, the styluses are not as optimized for drawing but note-taking, and also need to be charged constantly.

Software compatibility

Now that we are talking about tablets, you should know that some software is for either Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android only. So before rushing to buy the latest iPad or the most expensive Android tablet, take a minute to check the compatibility of the software you’re going to use.

Battery

The battery is another important matter when choosing tablets. Usually, tablets are not marketed toward artists, but to the general public, besides drawing there are a lot of things that can be done with them like note-taking, content creation, video edition, etc. that’s why when choosing a tablet that we are going to use for something else then drawing or making comics, especially if we are going to use it on the go, then getting one that lasts +6 hours would be the best.

Storage

Comic files and illustrations are not light. Most comic files made in any software are quite heavy, even though you can always use other options like external storage or cloud storage, for the files that need to be accessed frequently and for the software’s assets having at least 128GB of storage is a must.

RAM

One last thing to take into consideration is the RAM. The more RAM the better, however in tablets, the ones with +8GB of RAM tend to be quite expensive, so going for at least 8GB would be the best.

The Best Tablets for Drawing Comics on the Market Today

Without further ado, here is our final list of the best tablets for drawing comics!

#1 Best Tablet for Drawing Comics Overall – Huion Kamvas Pro 16 2.5K

2022 HUION Kamvas Pro 16

Selection Criteria:

  • Pen pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels of pressure
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Active drawing area: 13.5 x 7.6”
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Portability: Not stationary but not as portable
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Display size and Resolution: QHD 2560 x 1440 px Anti Glare glass.
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Color accuracy: 120% sRGB Gamut coverage
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Shortcut Keys: Yes, 8 Shortcut keys.
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Price: $599
    • Our score:9/10

About the Huion Kamvas Pro 16 2.5K

Huion has been for some time a strong contender to Wacom, but the Kamvas Pro 16 2.5K doesn’t only prove that having a premium device doesn’t need to empty your pockets, but also shows that high-quality characteristics are not tied to a brand name.

The 2.5K display, 145% sRGB gamut coverage, 178% view angle, and anti glare laminated screen along with the 8 shortcut keys and the price make this pen display the best tablet for making comics.

 Pros

  • Can run most professional software
  • High-pressure sensitivity stylus
  • Hass full sRGB coverage

Cons

  • Some might need a bigger area

#2 Best Tablet for Drawing Comics on the Go – iPad Pro 12.9

2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro for Comics

Selection Criteria:

  • Pen pressure sensitivity: 4096 levels of pressure
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Active drawing area: 11.5 x .46”
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Portability: Very portable
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Display size and Resolution: 12.9” Liquid Retina XDR multi-touch display 2732 x 2048 px
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Color accuracy: 120% sRGB Gamut coverage
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Price: From $1199
    • Our score: 8/10

About the iPad Pro 12.9

Apple has created amazing devices through the years, but the last iPad Pro is a game-changer. Many comics, webcomics, and webtoon creators have opted for buying this device that offers not only portability but a strong processor (M1 Chip) and enough RAM (8GB to 16 GB) to handle the big files and resources needed to make comics. The long-lasting battery of the iPad (10 hours) is also ideal for students and long work journeys.

 Pros

  • Can run most professional software
  • High-resolution display
  • Hass full sRGB coverage

Cons

  • Some might need a bigger area
  • Apple Pencil is sold apart.

#3 Best Large Tablet for Professional Webcomics – Wacom Cintiq 32

Wacom Cintiq Pro 32 Creative Pen and Touch Display

Selection Criteria:

  • Pen pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels of pressure
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Active drawing area: 27.4 x 15.4”
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Portability: Stationary
    • Our score: -/-
  • Display size and Resolution: 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 px touch display etched screen glass.
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Color accuracy: 98% sRGB Gamut coverage
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Shortcut Keys: Yes, customizable express remote.
    • Our score:10/10
  • Price: $3299
    • Our score: 7/10

About the Wacom Cintiq Pro 32 touch

This enormous pen display is a great tool for making comics. Especially vertical formatted webcomics, which need more space than page formatted comics. It’s great due to its big drawing area that allows not only to work on a bigger canvas but to have references and tools near us without needing an additional monitor or a second screen. Along with the Wacom Cintiq Pro 32 comes a remote control made specifically for Wacom that can be programmed for any kind of shortcut.

There’s a big disadvantage though, the touch mode of the tablet doesn’t seem to work well while using the pen and it’s not optimized to be compatible with desktop interfaces.

Pros

  • Can run most professional software
  • High-resolution wide display
  • Hass full sRGB coverage

Cons

  • Tablet mode issues reported
  • The ergonomic arm is sold apart.
  • It was very expensive.

#4 Best Price-Value Small Pen Display for Comics – XP Pen Pro 12

XP-PEN Artist12 Pro

Selection Criteria:

  • Pen pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels of pressure
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Active drawing area: 10 x 5.7 ”
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Portability: Very portable.
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Display size and Resolution: HD 1920 x 1080 px laminated screen.
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Color accuracy: 99% sRGB Gamut coverage
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Shortcut Keys: Yes, 8 shortcut keys + 1 red dial.
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Price: $249
    • Our score: 10/10

About the XP Pen Pro 12

This pen display might not be the biggest or have the highest resolution, but it’s great for beginners, it’s not overly expensive and it’s also portable. Great for small desks and optimized for carrying around since using the stand is optional. The shortcut keys and red dial are perfect for improving the workflow and the screen size is also great for working on comics.

Pros

  • Can run most professional software
  • Hass full sRGB coverage
  • Very budget-friendly.

Cons

  • Some might consider it small

#5 Best Budget-Friendly Graphic Tablet for Drawing comics – Huion HS610

HUION HS610 Graphics Drawing Tablet

 Selection Criteria

  • Pen pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels of pressure
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Active drawing area: 10 x 6.25”
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Portability: Very portable.
    • Our score:10/10
  • Shortcut Keys: Yes, 12 shortcut keys and a touch dial.
    • Our score:8/10
  • Price: $69.99
    • Our score: 10/10

About the Huion HS610

This drawing tablet is worth much more than its price. The Huion HS610 has the perfect size not only for drawing comics but for illustrations, photo editions, and even 3D modeling, though it could take a bit of time to get used to it, for the price and many functions it offers makes it the best budget-friendly tablet for comics.

Pros

  • Can run most professional software
  • Very budget-friendly.
  • Many shortcut keys and a dial for zoom or bruh size change.

Cons

  • Needs a PC to work.

Conclusions

 

Drawing comics is not an easy task, and learning how to recognize and buy the best tablet for our needs is a key point for our careers. There are many kinds of tablets that can be used for many different things, so after reading this article I hope you now know how to differentiate them and how to choose the best device for you.

Thank you for reading this article, until next time!