These days pulling out paper and pencils is just not going to cut it for satisfying your clients’ needs. Many graphic designers and artists have started relying on tablets to complete their projects instead now.
A good tablet offers both graphic designers and artists a convenient, reliable, electronic option for completing tasks. This also allows for working almost anywhere due to only requiring the tablet and stylus.
Therefore, we decided to put together these in-depth reviews of the best standalone tablets for graphic designers and artists. So, let’s go through them and find the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 6 Best Standalone Tablets for Graphic Designers And Artists In 2021 Review
- 1.1 1 Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16” – Best Premium Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
- 1.2 2 Apple iPad Pro 12.9” 4th Gen – Best Standalone Apple Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
- 1.3 3 Kamvas Studio 22 – Best Value Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
- 1.4 4 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 – Value Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists – Best Standalone Android Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
- 1.5 5 Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen – Best Standalone Windows Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
- 1.6 6 Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13” – Best Small Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
- 2 Best Standalone Tablets For Graphic Designers And Artists Buying Guide
- 3 Business Or Pleasure?
- 4 So, Which Of The Best Standalone Tablets For Graphic Designers And Artists Won Our Hearts?
Top 6 Best Standalone Tablets for Graphic Designers And Artists In 2021 Review
1 Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16” – Best Premium Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
We are starting out with the most expensive tablet featured today, and it is packed with premium specs. The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro can easily rival and often even surpass current laptop capabilities.
Not only are the specs already impressive, but both the RAM and the SSD storage drive can be upgraded. Along with a premium tablet, the all-important stylus for graphic designers and artists is also a top of the line writing tool.
Desktop power in your hands…
Looking at the specs sheet for this tablet, you would be forgiven for thinking that you’re looking at a desktop PC. Just check out the Intel Core i7-8559U processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, NVIDIA Quadro 4GB VRAM P1000 GPU, and 4K display.
As mentioned, the RAM can be upgraded with an additional 16GB, taking it to 32GB. You can also upgrade the SSD to a maximum of 2TB. Once you let all that sink in, you will start to understand the reason for the high price tag.
Now you’re just showing off…
We did briefly mention the stylus too. Featuring 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity is double what most other stylus’s offer. It is comfortable to hold and has two buttons for left and right-click functionality. The level of precision and lack of lag is simply astounding.
While it’s great to have a functional stylus, what appears on the screen is just as important. The only way to describe the 4K display is stunning. Bright, vivid, vibrant, sharp, detailed, and accurate, all still don’t do justice in describing the beauty witnessed viewing this screen.
- Top of the line specifications.
- Outstanding stylus included.
- Brilliant 4K display.
- High price tag.
- Battery life is not great.
2 Apple iPad Pro 12.9” 4th Gen – Best Standalone Apple Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
Next up in our reviews of the best standalone tablets for graphic designers and artists, you won’t be surprised to see an Apple offering. There is no doubt that Apple products are well-designed, user-friendly, and attractive. They just do what they are supposed to do well. The latest 4th Generation iPad Pro is no exception when it comes to maintaining these qualities.
The iPad Pro has always found itself stuck between being a tablet and a laptop device. Well, Apple has taken a step closer to functioning more like a laptop with this latest Generation. This is thanks to full mouse and keyboard support.
Performance and compatibility…
We have always found two competing forces at play with Apple products. While the performance achieved out of the hardware is always fantastic, this comes with a trade-off in order to maintain that smooth performance we’ve come to expect.
Upgrades are extremely limited, mostly non-existent. All software and hardware must be specifically designed for use with Apple products too. This is because everything must be strictly optimized for use with the system.
Expressing yourself with a stylus…
As a graphic designer or artist, you will need a stylus. As a separate purchase, you can have the Apple Pencil. It is one of the most accurate and precise styluses available, with features such as pressure sensitivity and palm rejection.
Resolution on the screen is 2,732 x 2,048, providing amazingly sharp and detailed images. Colors are also incredibly accurate, with a Delta E measurement of 0.78, which is fantastic. Add this to a 120Hz refresh rate, and you have one impressive display.
- Slick and fast performance.
- Precise and accurate stylus available.
- Impressive display.
- Limited compatibility.
- No upgrade possibilities.
3 Kamvas Studio 22 – Best Value Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
If you liked the sound of the Wacom tablet, but don’t want to drop too much cash, then maybe the Kamvas Studio 22 is for you. While it doesn’t quite match the specs, it does come reasonably close for a much lower price.
Featuring a huge 21.5 inch IPS screen, the Studio 22 uses superior next level lamination technology. This makes it feel like you’re writing on paper, something that any artist, architect, or graphic designer will surely appreciate.
Specifications for the Studio 22 are not at the forefront but still well above average and would still rival most desktops. Features include an Intel Core i5-8400 processor, a choice of 8 or 16GB of RAM, Intel HD 630 graphics, a 1TB HDD, and either a 120 or 240GB SSD.
This tablet is capable of running even the most demanding graphic software with ease. You’ll also be happy to know that during your downtime, you can still enjoy some gaming or stream your favorite series and movies.
Heading in the write direction…
Included with the tablet is a battery-free stylus. Called the PW500, it is capable of 8,192 levels of pressure, has tilt recognition, and operates with virtually no lag. It doesn’t matter if you’re left or right-handed either, as there is a dual touch bar with keys symmetrically placed on either side of the device.
Once again, the display is not the latest and greatest, but it can still compete well. Resolution is older tech 1920 x 1080p FHD but still offers sharp, detailed images. Offering over 16 million colors with wide-gamut color representation, the visuals are still stunning.
- Lamination technology makes screen feel like paper.
- Lag-free stylus included.
- Impressive specifications for the price.
- Older FHD 1080p resolution.
- No touch display support.
4 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 – Value Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists – Best Standalone Android Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
Samsung recently released the S7 line of tablets, and while they’re great, they weren’t a huge leap forward. This makes the S6 really great value for those looking to enter the premium tablet space on a budget.
One of the few manufacturers to take on Apple in the premium tablet segment, Samsung really stepped up. They hands down produce the best, well spec’d Android tablets available on the market today.
Take your pick…
There are a few different versions available, all of which provide a massive bang for your buck. The 128GB storage model features 6GB of RAM, while the 256GB storage model increases to 8GB of RAM. Both are available in either Wi-Fi or LTE models.
No matter which model you choose, they all share some useful features, such as the built-in fingerprint sensor. Sound quality is fantastic for standard speaker standards, thanks to the four AKG tuned speakers, with two on each end of the tablet.
Take it for a S Pen…
Unlike the iPad Pro, the Galaxy S6 has a stylus included called the S Pen. It has a handy magnetic holder just below the camera that charges the stylus when not in use. While not quite as accurate and precise as the competition, it still surpasses expectations given the price.
One of the standouts for this tablet is the screen quality. Once you feast your eyes on the 10.5 inch Super AMOLED display, you’ll know why Samsung leads the competition in display technology. A resolution of 2560 x 1600 provides a vibrant, high contrast HDR10+ image.
- Affordable premium tablet.
- AKG tuned speakers.
- Beautiful Super AMOLED display.
- Limited software options with Android OS.
- S Pen not as precise as competition.
5 Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen – Best Standalone Windows Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
While Apple has been trying to create a tablet that is more like a PC, Microsoft went the other way. They have been trying to make a PC more like a tablet. The result is the Surface Pro, and we are taking a look at the 5th Generation.
With Windows being a Microsoft product, it’s not surprising that the Microsoft Surface Pro is one of the best Windows tablets around. The bad news for our target audience is that the 5th Generation does not include the Surface Pen, and it needs to be purchased separately.
Something for everyone…
There is a vast range of combinations of Intel processors, storage, and RAM available, to suit most budgets. The lineup starts with the Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD and goes up from there with Core i5 and i7 processors.
The top model includes a Core i7, with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. All models share the same connection options. On the right, you’ll notice a USB 3 port, Mini DisplayPort, plus a charger input. A Micro SD card slot is integrated into the rear, and the charging brick has a handy additional USB 3 port.
Rise to the Surface Pen…
For graphic designers and artists, you will want to purchase the Surface Pen. It features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and also tilt direction support. Latency has been improved from earlier models, assisting with precision and accuracy.
Images are brought to life on a 12.3-inch Pixelsense touch display. A resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 pixels provides crisp and detailed pictures. Color accuracy is excellent, with a high level of brightness that performs well even outdoors.
- Nine different spec levels available.
- One of the best Windows tablets available.
- Stunning Pixelsense display.
- Surface Pen no longer included.
- Core i7 required to match iPad Pro performance.
6 Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13” – Best Small Standalone Tablet for Graphic Designers and Artists
We started with a Wacom tablet, and we are going to finish with one too. This time it’s the smaller 13-inch version. While some of the specs have been slightly scaled back, this thing is still an impressive powerhouse.
If your budget just can’t quite stretch to the larger 16-inch model, you certainly won’t be disappointed here. Not to say that this tablet is cheap, but it does still offer a sizable saving. So let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
How did you get that in there?
The 13 inch Wacom features an Intel Core i7-8559U processor, 16GB of RAM, Intel Iris Plus 655 GPU, and a 512GB SSD. RAM can be easily upgraded to 32GB and the SSD to 1TB. Still incredibly impressive specs for a tablet.
On the left-hand edge of the tablet are six buttons, as well as a D-pad with a select button in the center. Every button is fully customizable and can even be programmed to perform different functions depending on the program you’re using.
The Goldilocks stylus…
We love Wacom’s stylus that is included with their tablets called the Pro Pen 2. It doesn’t use a battery and is perfectly balanced. Heavy, but not too heavy, as well as big, but not too big. It’s just right. Goldilocks would be impressed.
The display is 13.3 inches with WQHD 2560 x 1440 resolution. While it is brilliant, we were most blown away by the glass. It is resistant to reflection, fingerprints, smudges, and almost anything that will reduce your viewing experience.
- Desktop PC comparable specs.
- Almost perfect stylus.
- Amazing glass on the screen.
- It’s still expensive.
- Short battery life.
Best Standalone Tablets For Graphic Designers And Artists Buying Guide
Each and every one of these standalone tablets will undoubtedly improve your workflow, no matter whether you’re a graphic designer or an artist. We have shown you products ranging in price, features, sizes, and with different operating systems.
Therefore, how do you decide which of these tablets is best for you? Luckily we’ve included a handy buying guide detailing what you need to consider before making that final decision. So let’s take a look…
If you are already a part of the Apple ecosystem, then the iPad Pro would be the obvious choice. It will integrate seamlessly with all your other devices in a way that only Apple can. You might prefer the other side of the camp, though.
For Windows users, you’re spoiled for choice. All the other devices, apart from one, offer the flexibility and customization Windows is known for. That only leaves the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. Being an Android device, you will lack in programs but will make up for this with its snappy and simplified user experience.
The Right Stylus
One of the most critical tools for any graphic designer or artist will be the stylus. Each of these manufacturers offers its own take. At the top of the list is both the Wacom tablets. The included stylus is as close to perfect you can get.
Coming in next is the Apple Pencil. Like most Apple products, it has been designed and optimized brilliantly. Next comes both the Surface and the Kamvas Studio 22, followed finally by the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.
If you’re still struggling to decide on which of these products to choose, then stick around. Next, we reveal our choice for the best overall standalone tablet for graphic designers and artists, as well as why.
Business Or Pleasure?
Whether you’re an artist, a designer, or both, we highly recommend checking out our Best Fine Point Stylus Pen Review, the Best Drawing Tablets Review, the Best Printers for Art Prints, our Best Scanner for Artwork Review, our Best Printer for Mac Reviews for 2021!
Commercial studio owners, don’t miss our Top 5 Best Touch Screen Monitors Review, our Best Monitor for Photo Editing Review, our Best Desktop Computers for Photo Editing Review, our Best Large Format Scanner Review, and our Best Business Card Scanners Review!
Back to the best tablets for a graphic designer or artist…
So, Which Of The Best Standalone Tablets For Graphic Designers And Artists Won Our Hearts?
To decide which of these products can be crowned as the best, we have considered the following categories. The tablet must have great specs, provide a productive user experience, have a great stylus, and still represent excellent value.
The tablet we concluded performed in all these categories is the…
As far as bang for your buck, this product takes the cake. While it doesn’t have the highest specs, they are still impressive. The user experience is excellent, and the stylus performs very well.
Whichever you choose, enjoy your new tablet!