The Best Cheap Drawing Tablet with Screens

Best drawing tablets with screens

Aimed at the more experienced digital artist, drawing tablets with screen (pen displays) enable creatives and designers to draw and view their work via one singular digital platform; the tablet.

With a few cheaper exceptions, these tablets can cost upwards of 10x as much as the above graphics tablets featured in our beginner section, and hence they are predominantly aimed at an intermediate to expert market.

This is due to competent artists generally having a lot more experience in knowing what their own requirements for a tablet are, and so feel far more comfortable with the extra expense, and the fact that they will make good use out of the extra performance.

With new and beginner artists there is always a learning curve and period of experimentation, where the added performance and specifications of a digital display tablet often aren’t required.

What are the best cheap drawing tablets with a screen? 

The amount of drawing tablets available with digital screens is vast, and even we at times find it overwhelming, but in spite of the endless amount of options available, we think the below 5 drawing tablets provide a well rounded shortlist of the best tablets with screens currently available.

Best Wacom drawing tablet with screen

Our Pick
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet

With Wacom firmly positioned at the top of most of our guides, when it comes to architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, the Cintiq 22 is a clear winner with its exceptional performance and large high quality drawing area.

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Best value drawing tablet with screen

Gaomon PD1560

Dimensions: 22 x 13.7 x 5 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 13.5 x 7.6 inches | Item Weight: 3.48 pounds | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | Screen Size: 15.6 inch | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC Power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level: 8192 Levels | Express Keys: 10 | Customizable Express Keys: Yes

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Best Wacom alternative drawing tablet with screen

HUION KAMVAS Pro 16 Drawing Tablet

The KAMVAS Pro provides an excellent substitute to the above Cintiq tablet by Wacom with its 16 inch matt anti-glare digital display and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. Considering its very completive price tag, we think this is among the best digital drawing display tablets currently on the market.

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Best drawing tablets with screens reviews

Firstly for speed and efficiency we only review the products that we feel are the most worthy of selection, and this often results in a list that is a little smaller than the “10 best” collections we see everywhere else.

So the below carefully sourced 5 tablets form a list of what we consider to be some of the best all-round products currently available.

01 – Wacom Cintiq 22 Digital Drawing Tablet

Our Pick
Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet

With Wacom firmly positioned at the top of most of our guides, when it comes to architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, the Cintiq 22 is a clear winner with its exceptional performance and large high quality drawing area.

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Dimensions: 22 x 10.5 x 0.7 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 21.5 x 10.4 inches | Item Weight: 3.3 pounds | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | Screen Size: 21.5 inches | RGB Gamma Ray: 2.2 | Response time (report rate): 14ms | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level (pressure sensitivity): 8192 Levels (via pro pen 2) | Express Keys: N/A | Customizable Express Keys: No |  Resolution: 5080 LPI | Viewing Angle: 178° | Display Colors: 16.7 Million

One of the first things that you will notice about the Wacom Cintiq 22 drawing tablet are the levels of pressure sensitivity of the pro pen 2 – with compatible software, you can execute almost any type of stroke you want.

The tablet itself is solid while still managing to possess enough tilt in its build to be ergonomic. The screen is large and spacious, allowing you to make big and broad drawing pen strokes.

The high refresh rate of the Wacom Cintiq means that there is no noticeable lag as you make pen strokes. Even as you complete tasks continuously for several hours, the tablet does not overheat and get uncomfortable to use. 

Pros

  • Full HD screen resolution
  • Highly responsive user interface
  • Ergonomically satisfying 
  • Comes with a Wacom Pro Pen 2 stylus with 8192 levels of pressure
  • A large active area
  • Accurate colors straight out of the box without configuration 
  • Overall an excellent natural drawing feel

Cons

  • Despite having plenty of room for express keys, this tablet does not feature any
  • The Wacom Cintiq is expensive if looking for an entry-level tablet with screen
  • Lower color gamut
  • Only one connectivity option (HDMI)

02 – GAOMON PD1560 15.6

Gaomon PD1560

Dimensions: 22 x 13.7 x 5 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 13.5 x 7.6 inches | Item Weight: 3.48 pounds | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | Screen Size: 15.6 inch | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC Power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level: 8192 Levels | Express Keys: 10 | Customizable Express Keys: Yes

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Dimensions: 22 x 13.7 x 5 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 13.5 x 7.6 inches | Item Weight: 3.48 pounds | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | Screen Size: 15.6 inch | RGB Gamma Ray: 2.2 | Response Time (report rate): 14ms | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC Power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level (pressure sensitivity): 8192 Levels | Express Keys: 10 | Customizable Express Keys: Yes | Resolution: 5080 LPI | Viewing Angle: 178° | Display Colors: 16.7 Million

The GAOMON PD150 tablets comes with a rechargeable pen with 8192 pen pressure sensitivity levels that offer a more precise and accurate movement of the pen slider, which makes your drawing line natural and smooth.

With a resolution of 5080 LIP and a report rate of 233 PPS, this tablet ensures definition, fineness, accuracy of lines and image color.

There are a total of 10 express keys that can be customized according to what you prefer, which can make operation more efficient and help you save time as you work.

Because the monitor stand is adjustable, you can easily find the ideal position by dragging the switch to make adjustments to the angle of the pen display.

Pros

  • The stylus pen is light and precise
  • The color on the screen is vibrant and accurate
  • It comes with a tiltable monitor adjustable stand for an enhanced drawing experience
  • Fully customizable hotkeys, up to your 10 best shortcuts.
  • Highly sensitive and responsive screen with 1920 x 1080 resolutions
  • Fully compatible with Windows and Mac OS 
  • Comes with two drawing gloves

Cons

  • Some users have found the installation process is a little difficult (we did not)
  • Less manoeuvrability due to the cables – 3-in-1 cable isn’t very functional
  • Stand must be removed to fit tablet into included travel case
  • No touch or gesture controls

03 – Huion KAMVAS Pro 16

HUION KAMVAS Pro 16 Drawing Tablet

The KAMVAS Pro provides an excellent substitute to the above Cintiq tablet by Wacom with its 16 inch matt anti-glare digital display and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. Considering its very completive price tag, we think this is among the best digital drawing display tablets currently on the market.

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Dimensions: 17.3 x 9.84 x 0.4 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 15.2 x 7.3 inches | Item Weight: 2.68 Kg | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | Screen Size: 15.6 inch | RGB Gamma Ray: 2.2 | Response Time (report rate): 14ms | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC Power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level (pressure sensitivity): 8192 Levels | Express Keys: 6 | Customizable Express Keys: Yes | Resolution: 5080 LPI | Viewing Angle: 178° | Display Colors: 16.7 Million

This tablet features a combination of 1 touch bar and 6 press keys that will not only enhance your productivity but also save you a lot of time.

The screen has a richer color gamut that shows 16.7 million colors vividly. 

The Pen PW507 is battery-free with pen pressure sensitivity levels of 8192 and tilt recognition, and also comes with an ergonomic design, making it easy to hold and comfortable to use.

The Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS, which gives you more options when it comes to functionality.

The full-laminated anti-glare is effective at reducing the “glare” effect to keep your eyes safe.

Pros

  • The screen is matte with no glare
  • The drawing monitor features 6 customizable express keys (shortcut keys)
  • The stylus is battery-free 
  • It comes with a pen stand and 8 different square nibs.
  • Good color gamut.
  • Large FHD display with IPS screen
  • Overall good value

Cons

  • Some users have found that the calibration is a bit off
  • You must connect the tablet to a computer.
  • The surface is slightly rough and can cause pens nibs to wear

04 – XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Drawing Tablet

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Drawing Tablet

Dimensions: 17.5 x 11 x 0.4 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 15.6 inches | Item Weight: 3.2 | Multi-Touch: No | Pen Pressure Level: 8192 Levels | Customizable Express Keys: 8 + Touch Dial | Supported Software: Windows, Mac | Battery Power: Yes | Connectivity Type: USB

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Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 0.5 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 344.16 x 193.59 mm | Item Weight: 3.3 pounds | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | RGB Gamma Ray: 2.2 | Response Time (report rate): 14ms | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC Power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level: 8192 Levels | Express Keys: 8 | Customizable Express Keys: Yes | Resolution: 5080 LPI | Viewing Angle: 178° | Display Colors: 16.7 Million

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6″ Pro offers an incredible interface and seamless display, delivering superior and realistic imagery with its 120% sRGB color accuracy and 178-degree viewing angle. 

…Providing an experience of  vivid images, rich colors, and precise details in a wider view.

It features a matt anti-glare optical film with scratch resistance and high transparency to minimize glare, while ensuring that the display remains crisp and clear. This provides a light textured feel when drawing, similar to that of paper.

This unit pairs beautifully with its stylus to create natural transitions. It has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, making it extremely accurate and giving the artist total control. 

The multi-functional pen holder is intended to keep your pen safe, and can act as both a pen stand or a pen holder

The Artist 15.6 Pro connects with both Windows and Mac operating systems and is compatible with graphics software such Illustrator, Clip Studio, and Photoshop.

Some users may struggle with its initial setup and installation, due to the multiple power, pen and display connections, along with finding and installing the right drivers. This all however only needs to be done once.

On the whole this is a large and very responsive drawing surface for the price, however for artists who like to work at an angle, there is no stand provided and some may find that initially the visual offset between the stylus and display takes some getting used to.

Pros 

  • Generous full HD display
  • Sensitive stylus with a high level of pressure sensitivity
  • Good number of express keys
  • Realistic drawing surface
  • Overall great value at an affordable price

Cons

  • No wireless connectivity
  • Some will find the installation process over complicated
  • Precise work may be difficult due

05 – XP-PEN Artist22E Pro

XP-PEN Artist22E Pro
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Dimensions: 22.3 x 12.8 x 1.2 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 476.64 x 268.11 mm | Item Weight: 14.99 pounds | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | RGB Gamma Ray: 2.2 | Response Time (report rate): 14ms | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level: 8192 Levels  | Express Keys: 16 | Customizable Express Keys: Yes | Resolution: 5080 LPI | Viewing Angle: 178° | Display Colors: 16.7 Million

There’s no denying that Wacom are the kings of the drawing tablet industry, and with their Cintiq range in particular offering superb quality, user experience and reliance, they can be very hard to beat. 

But for those who can’t quite reach the higher price tags of Wacom’s products, The XP-PEN Artist22E Pro tablet is a very worthy contender with a 21.5-inch full HD resolution display, and 16 fully customisable expresskeys.

The 21.5-inch display has 77%-82% accurate color gamut, and comes equipped with a matte screen protector that provides the display with a paper-like feel. 

The screen can also be used for other purposes other than drawing, and double up as a second monitor, thanks to its expansive dimensions.

Although the tablets stylus requires it to be manually charged, the tablet comes with two of them, and they both last up two months each. 

So that’s potentially 4 months of drawing time without needing a charge, and with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, we think that’s a very minor pay off.

Complete with a glove to aid with drawing (this is particularly useful if your hands get sweaty), and a vertical adjustable stand that reclines down to approximetly 15 degrees.

Software wise this tablet is fully compatible with the likes of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Painter and Autodesk Maya etc, and runs on both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Pros

  • High pen sensitivity, accuracy and responsiveness to drawing
  • It comes with an extra drawing pen, cables, adapter for Mac, glove, and screen protector all included
  • The build quality is solid and sturdy
  • More affordable to entry level artists
  • Solid stand
  • Easy to install and setup
  • Ports are in good place
  • Battery-free pen; charge lasts approximately 1:15 hours of use

Cons

  • There is no DVI cable included
  • Some customers have reported issues with driver installation
  • There is no multitouch function ( tablet only responds to the pen and not hand touch)
  • Drivers more limited in functions than Wacom equivalent
  • The screen has no tilt or rotation sensitivity
  • There are no levels of pressure sensitivity when using Adobe Illustrator
  • Some user will find the customization of the pen is limited
  • Stand does not rotate

06 – Huion GT-220 v2 IPS

Huion GT-220 v2
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Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.6 x 1.6 inches | Display Area (Active Area): 344.16 x 193.59 mm | Item Weight: 14.6 pounds | Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixel | Screen Size: 21.5 inches | RGB Gamma Ray: 2.2 | Response Time (report rate): 5ms | Connectivity Type: USB cable | Supported Software: Windows and Mac operating systems | Battery Power: AC Power | Multi-Touch: Yes | Pen Pressure Level (pressure sensitivity): 8192 Levels  | Express Keys:16 | Customizable Express Keys: Yes | Resolution: 5080 LPI | Viewing Angle: 178° | Display Colors: 16.7 Million

One of the highlights of the Huion GT-220 v2 IPS is the stylus pen which recognizes 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and is fully covered by fine rubber to prevent slippage as you use it.

The 21.5 inch full HD screen that has an aspect ratio of 16:9, and displays almost 17 million colors with 1920 x 1080 pixels and a contrast ratio of 1000:1.

The tablet supports both Windows and Mac, allowing you to run a wider range of software.

It has a resolution of 5080 LPI for a high specification display.

It comes with a very secure and stable adjustable stand that has a good locking mechanism.

Pros

  • It is a nice sleek size, with good levels of pressure sensitivity
  • The pen does not require frequent recharging and has a nice weight and balance
  • It comes complete with a screen protector and speakers

Cons

  • It is big and heavy, limiting portability
  • No shortcut buttons on the screen

The verdict

So which one should you buy?

The short answer to this question is currently the Wacom Cintiq 22, which as described above, comes with the famous Wacom seal of approval and warranties, together with an excellent display at an affordable price.

At the slightly lower (higher) end, the XP-PEN Artist22E Pro, offers an excellent Wacom substitute, but for those dedicated Wacom fans, the Wacom One is a real contender for this price bracket.

Then edging into the beginner graphic tablet categories, the Wacom Intuos range of tablets provides Incredibly good value, solid build quality, and high pressure sensitivity, with the HUION New 1060 Plus snapping at its heals.

And for digital screen displays, for those who don’t want to commit to a Wacom Cintiq 22, then the Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 is an excellent alternative.

Is there a “best” one?

In truth with so many different types of artists all with their own alternative and bespoke requirements, there can never really be a one size fits all “best” product, and ultimately the tablet you choose will depend on your level of experience, priorities, and budget at the time.

We can however get as close as possible through deciphering and narrowing down our own individual specifications. So when it comes down to it, ask yourself:

  • Are you currently experienced enough?
  • Will this be a worthwhile investment?
  • Is portability important?
  • Do my current and future skill sets meet my chosen specifications?
  • …and of course, what is my maximum budget?

Advantages and disadvantages of tablets with screens (digital displays)

Advantages

  • A closer imitation to drawing on paper and/or a canvas.
  • No need to look and back forth at a seperate monitor.
  • More portable than tablets that require a seperate and second screen.

Disadvantages

  • Tend to be the most expensive type of drawing tablet.

Are drawing tablets with screens better?

The short answer to this is yes. As a drawing tablet with a digital screen display allows the artist to see exactly what they are drawing, as they draw it, without the need to keep looking up at a seperate monitor.

This provides a far more natural and intuitive method of artistry, and one that imitates the natural motions of drawing onto paper.

The payoff however, is that they are also more expensive than their more affordable counterparts; graphics tablets. 

What is the cheapest drawing tablet with screen?

Whilst most of the best drawing tablets with screens are between $500/$600 to upwards of $1700, there are a few very good lower budget digital display tablets that come in at around $200/$250. 

However the payoff for the discounted price is the size of the screen and therefore the drawing area. 

Drawing tablet with screen for under $200?

For example one of the best low budget drawing tablets with a screen display is the XP-Pen Artist 12. Which as the name suggests has a 12 inch display (11.6), which is less than half the size of most of the above recommended tablets. 

So the answer is roughly $200, but you must be willing to make sacrifices. 

Drawing tablet with screen for under $100?

Simply put, currently there is no viable option for a drawing tablet with a digital screen display for as low as this. And for artists on a tight budget, you should really only be looking a graphics tablets at this stage.

How much does a cheap drawing tablet with a screen cost?

As a rule of thumb the cost of the best drawing tablets with screens range from between £500 to $2000, depending on the size and its specification.

Subject to the supplier and any temporary offers that may or may not be available, the cost of the above reviewed tablets is:

  1. Wacom Cintiq 22 Drawing Tablet – Approx $1200
  2. XP-PEN Artist22E Pro – Approx $800
  3. Wacom DTK2200 Cintiq 22HD – Approx $1700
  4. Huion GT-220 v2 IPS – Approx $850
  5. GAOMON PD1560 15.6 – Approx $600
  6. Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 – Approx $500
  7. XP-Pen Artist15.6 Pro – Approx $450

Best drawing tablet with screen for beginners

For new and amateur artists it is advisable to start at the lower end of the price bracket and aim for a drawing tablet brand such as XP-Pen and/or Huion. Both these brands provide fantastic products with screen displays at a very affordable price.

The reason for keeping expenses low in the beginning of your digital artistry career, is to limit the risk of spending a lot of money on a tablet that you don’t like. 

As with most new things, there is an element of experimentation and testing that only comes with experience before you can know exactly what the right tablet is for you and your work.  

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