Best Tablet for Graphic Design

tablet for graphic design

To be a good graphic designer, you need to both be skilled in the craft and have the persistence required to achieve success. It helps to have access to the best tools and technology as well. Luckily, in our modern world there are many different devices that can aid you towards that end.

While computers are great tools for graphic design, tablets go a long way as well. However, as with any piece of technology, some go a lot further than others. In this article, we will look at the best tablets for graphic design to help you create anything you might need.

Quick Summary

  • The Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet is a top option for all graphic designers. This is an affordable, powerful tablet that makes it easy to move your design ideas into digital form.
  • Another amazing option is the Apple iPad Pro. Apple products have always catered to creative professionals and the newest model comes packed with features that any graphic designer will love.
  • The Microsoft Surface Go is also one of the best graphic design tablets on the market. Lightweight and portable, this tablet has a long battery life and is built for life on the go.

Who Should Get This?

If you consider yourself a graphic designer in any capacity, a tablet can add a lot of power and capability to your setup. For professionals, any of the tablets outlined here will give you the means to create and design in a range of different situations. Their ease of use and cutting-edge features make them an almost necessary addition for full-time graphic designers. If you need a tablet for work, the options here are the way to go.

Even if you’re more of an amateur graphic designer, or still just learning the basics, having great tools at your disposal will help you improve and learn quickly. The tablets on this list are great for designers at any level. Each one will give you the ability to improve your skills so you can create for fun or pay depending on what you need.

Best Tablet for Graphic Design: What to Consider

Screen Sensitivity

One of the main reasons to use a tablet for graphic design is the ability to draw right onto the device’s screen. As such, you need something with solid sensitivity. That will help you accurately capture the movements and pressure that you create when drawing on the screen with a stylus or tablet pen. All of the tablets you’ll see here feature excellent screen sensitivity to help your design pursuits.

Power and Performance

Graphic design is a power-consuming task. If you want a tablet that can handle those demands, you need it to be built with the power and performance to handle anything you put it through. Most good graphics programs are large and demanding software that can easily overwhelm underpowered machines. To be able to run professional-level programs, you need a tablet that will perform well under high-CPU stress.

Look for a tablet with at least 8GB of RAM for optimal power and performance while running graphic design programs. A faster processor also helps in this regard. Memory does as well. Both help you store all of your projects and ideas without slowing the system down. The best tablets for graphic design are all built and engineered with peak power in mind. That’s why they stand above the competition.

Battery Life

It is also important to consider your tablet’s battery life. A main reason that many people add a tablet to their graphic design work is they are easy to transport and take with you when you travel or are in the field. However, a portable device is only useful for as long as the battery lasts. A battery life of 10 hours or more is a good baseline to look out for because it will allow you to work on your device all day long without needing a charge.

Best Tablet for Graphic Design: Our Picks in 2020

1. Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet


One of the best tablets for graphic design out there is the Wacom Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet. The magic in this model comes from an amazing screen sensitivity that’s able to detect 8,192 pressure levels to accurately capture your drawings with the included Pro Pen 2. It also comes with tilt recognition to give you a precise experience that’s perfect for professional or personal use.

This tablet also comes with a large 15.6-inch display that offers a 1920 X 1080p resolution for crisp and clear HD images. The vibrant colors on the display are made possible by 16.7 million bit colors. The included pen is battery-free and will work for as long as the device holds a charge. Other great features include a 3-in-1 connection cable to connect to other devices and foldable legs to provide the perfect working angle.

Pros:

  • 8,192 pressure levels
  • Pro Pen 2 included
  • Large display with great resolution
  • Scratch-resistant display
  • 3-in-1 connection cable included
  • Foldable legs
  • Available in several sizes

Cons:

  • A bit heavy for a tablet

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Apple iPad Pro


Another amazing tablet for graphic design is the latest Apple iPad Pro. iPads have been a go-to for designers for many years, and the latest version offers some serious power and performance. The 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display has crystal clear images and the A12Z Bionic chip works with the 8-Core graphics to make it a designer’s dream machine. On top of that, it also has great battery life and a high-quality camera for scanning or taking photos.

Pros:

  • Powerful and built for high performance
  • 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Display
  • A12Z Bionic Chip
  • 8-core graphics
  • 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Apple Pencil not included (but needed for graphic design

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Microsoft Surface Go


The Microsoft Surface Go is another top tablet for graphic designers. This is the most affordable option on the list, but it still packs plenty of punch thanks to the high-res 10-inch PixelSense display that features excellent sensitivity. It’s also lightweight, which makes it a great travel companion, and comes with 9-hours of battery life so you can use the device all day long. When paired with the Surface Pen, this tablet turns into a portable graphic design workstation.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 10-inch screen with good sensitivity
  • Windows compatible
  • 9-hour battery life

Cons:

  • A little underpowered for more demanding design tasks
  • Surface pen not included

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips & Resources

While a tablet can provide you with many graphic design options, it can take some time to learn all of their different capabilities. Many graphic design programs offer great tutorials that are built right into the software, but if you want some additional tips take a look at this video. After a few days of working on a tablet, you’ll get the hang of it.

Also Read: 99designs Reviews: How to Get a Logo You’ll Love

Final Words

A tablet is a great graphic design tool, and if you want to have the best tools at your disposal, it is best to check out the devices in this list. All of the models are amazing devices that can help you accomplish a wide variety of different design tasks. You don’t absolutely need a tablet to be a successful graphic designer, but in this day and age, it’s highly recommended.

How long have you been a graphic designer? What are your favorite design programs? Let us know in the comments below!

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