A drawing tablet for PC is an essential tool that allows you to draw and paint on the computer effectively. We will look at a few properties that defines a good PC drawing pad as each individual computer drawing pad will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Pressure sensitivity: original drawing tablets had a pressure sensitivity setting of 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. These days, that number has shot up to 2048 levels (and will continue to rise as technology improves). This is huge for artists.
Weight and feel: from previous experiences, get a heavy board as it allows you draw without the board shifting around. It also increases durability as it reduces the chances that the rubber feet will shift out of alignment. Look for weight specs on any products you are interested in.
Interface and active drawing area: some have well placed function keys and slider pads. Make sure you are able to use these keys in a comfortable manner. Other than that, pick a digital drawing pad size that fits your budget and desk area since there are many sizes to choose from.
Software: a drawing tablet for PC may or may not come with drawing software. If it does, it will be factored into the price. Some popular software would be Photoshop and Painter. Just be aware that It may be more expensive to buy software if it's not bundled.
With that said, which drawing tablet for PC would you like to get? These days, there are many different manufacturers that will have drawing tablets. The most established is WACOM as their products rank very high even for their lower end tablets.
While lower end WACOM tablets are great even with 1024 levels of sensitivity, other tablets may not have this quality. That is why any tablet mentioned outside of WACOM here will play it safe and have 2048 levels, since the higher quality hardware is needed to make these tablets.
So far, UGEE and Huion are reputable companies that offer 2048 high pressure sensitivity tablets. Sorted by pricing, I used eBay feeds featuring top rated sellers only so that you can see the most up to date price ranges and product availability from trusted sellers.
As mentioned, tablets from WACOM are a safe bet. In additional to being a leader in quality and features, it comes with an assortment of popular drawing software for the average user (factored into the price). The 2048 tablets are called Intuos. It is also the most popular tablet on the market.
WACOM Intuos tablets can be quite costly as an initial investment. However, given its reputation in the field, it is worth picking up. Otherwise, you can get cheaper entry level versions of WACOM tablets with 1024 levels of sensitivity or try different brands.
Established in the year 2000, Huion specialize in graphics tablets only much in the same way WACOM. In fact, most of their products mirror what WACOM offers. For the most part, there have been many positive reviews of Huion products.
Based on pricing alone for a 2048 levels of sensitivity tablet, Huion is a very good alternative as the savings is mostly due to it not coming with any packaged drawing software. Depending on the software you want to get though, it can get pricey.
Established in 1998, UGEE specializes in pen input devices just like Huion. They have a slightly more range of tablets to choose from and is a recognized brand in Asia. Reviews on these products have also been favorable.
Again, just like Huion, part of the savings are due to a lack of packaged drawing software. That means you may need to find drawing software on your own. Beyond this, these are excellent alternatives to consider.
Another 2048 pressure sensitive tablet brand worth mentioning is PenPower. However, given that their higher spec tablets are limited in North America, it might be difficult to get a hold of one depending on where you are.
Switching out to 1024 levels of sensitivity will yield more brands that you can shop from. Adesso, VisTablet, and Genius are brands that are worth looking at. At the same time, be careful of re-branding. For example, TURCOM are re-branded Huion tablets.
One more thing to consider are tablet drivers. While hardware is good, what separates a good brand is its driver support (doesn't matter how good the hardware is if you can't use it properly). Luckily, drivers are easily updated and downloaded from the manufacturer given time.
Regardless, some research on current drivers is strongly advised. Always find the most recent reviews you can on driver compatibility based on timestamps. Good luck and I hope you find the right tablet for your needs and your budget as an artist.