Things that Matter in A Digital Drawing Tablet

Someone was once asked whether they needed a digital drawing tablet, and their response was that drawing with a mouse felt like drawing with a bar of soap.

Obviously this was a professional artist, which is why he was able to discern the difference between drawing with a stylus and with a mouse. But at least we can get a clue here.

You see, a stylus guarantees a more natural way to draw and paint than with a mouse. After experimenting with a digital drawing tablet, you’d start feeling like a mouse just offers a slow and clunky drawing experience. It lacks the smooth pressure experience that you get when you use a stylus on a digital drawing tablet.

So, who exactly should use a drawing tablet?

No one needs a drawing tablet except those whose careers involve digital illustrations and photo retouching work. However, these electronic devices can also be used by people who draw just for fun.

After all, you don’t have to be a professional to experience the kind of drawing that takes place on a graphics tablet.

Things you need to know

The pressure level


Most tablets come with various pressure levels. You should expect anything within the range of 256 all the way to 2,048. These numbers indicate the level of sensitivity of the stylus.

If you normally use your stylus as an art tool, then the highest number is always the best because it shows that the stylus is very sensitive. The higher we go, the higher the sensitivity. Keep this in mind.

It is also important to understand that pressure levels work using the same principles applied on pencils, paintbrushes, or chalk. What this means is that if you push harder on the surface, the thicker and darker the line will turn out.

This feature is extremely important in a digital artist’s work since they need to exercise full control over the color, thickness, transparency, and even blending.

Furthermore, certain high-end pens allow artists to control line width or even brush orientation using tilt and rotation feature.

Features that can be programmed on the device

Every tablet has features that vary from other models. But you should at least expect your tablet to come with programmable buttons which are engraved either on the device itself or on the stylus. Whatever the case, the end purpose must be fulfilled.

  • Side switches for the stylus—A typical stylus has side switches which are set as right click and double click, but these are just default functions that you should expect in a standard digital
    drawing tablet. Other high-end tablets can give you the option of modifying default functions.
  • Express keys—Nearly all tablets include express keys, even the smallest of tablets on the market. Express keys can be programmed to give more flexibility in terms of keystrokes and function too.
  • Touch ring—Some models come with a nifty feature called a touch ring. This feature controls the size of the brush, canvas rotation, zoom function, scroll, and layers. This touch ring is versatile since it can also be programmed to perform other functions as well. This can be done by visiting the properties menu to assign new functions. When you’re all set, one click on the center button will launch the menu on your tablet display in order to allow you choose the tool you want to use.

Is size all that important?

Digital tablets come in different sizes. The least measurement you should expect is 4’’ by 5’’ while the largest is 18’’ by 12’’. Whereas this is the standard measurement for most digital drawing tablets, you can also find bigger sizes, typically measuring 20.4’’ by 12.8’’.

As a beginner, you can start with the Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW Graphics Tablet Review. But if you need more room and prefer a bigger interface, try the Wacom Intuos CTH690AB Art Pen and Touch Digital Graphics Drawing and Painting Tablet Review.


Smaller tablets can be comfortably used at home or by professionals. But keep in mind that most artists would rather go for a medium or bigger drawing tablet as opposed to a small one since bigger means freedom in painting and drawing movements.

But if you’re not an artist, you can always invest in a small one and it will suffice. Therefore, the small tablet is ideal if you don’t want something that feels bulky.

Also, if you don’t want to deal with the stress that comes with constantly moving your wrists and hands, going with the small version is just okay.


You have learned the things that matter when it comes to finding an ideal drawing tablet.

Even if you are a newbie who would like to invest in a tablet, feel free to take this piece of advice and make a purchase decision.

Are you a beginner? Take a look at our top rated drawing tablets below.

Additional Resources, Which is the best drawing tablet for beginners?. Retrieved on 3/2/2018., 40+ Tutorials for Working with Wacom Tablets. Retrieved on 3/2/2018.

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