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Community Tablet Discussion

Hello! This is a post we've decided to make to help people who are shopping around for digital art tablets. Much of this will rely on user input, along with our own personal recommendations.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, shopping for a tablet can be one of the most individual, confusing experiences out there. There are so many different kinds at different pricepoints, but be aware that as a general rule, tablets are 'get what you pay for'. What you need will depend quite a bit on what you plan to do with it. If you're a casual doodler, you likely won't need a $400 dollar Intuous, much less a $1600 dollar Cintiq.

The first thing to figure out is your personal preference in regards to drawing on a traditional tablet, or if you're more comfortable drawing directly on a screen. Just be aware that the latter options, while lacking the mental disconnect between screen and where you draw that normal tablets have, are often far more expensive. I highly recommend doing everything you can to test between the two types before deciding to make a purchase, but if you are unable to do so there are many cheap traditional tablets you could try just to get a feel for it.

For easy reference, I will refer to the type of tablet that you draw on which is separate from your monitor as a 'traditional' tablet, and the type where you draw on it directly as a 'cintiq-type' (as that's most recognizable for people).

For beginners, here is a small list of cheap, traditional tablets I have heard of that you may wish to try, all under $100:

Monoprice

Huion

Turcom

Wacom Intuous Draw

Wacom Intuous Refurbished

These are small, cheap tablets that would be good for beginners to try while they work to get used to digital art and the disconnect between the tablet and the screen.

If you are an artist who is looking to upgrade from a cheap traditional tablet to something better, my -personal- recommendation based on experience is the Wacom Intuous 4. I took art as a contract job for a website and needed something better than what I had, and have not regretted my purchase since. My only complaint would be the rough surface texture, which will eat through your nibs, but I got around this easily via a screen covers.

The Wacom Intuous series are widely regarded as the best tablets on the market, thus the expense.

There are many options, however, and many artists will go through a couple of tablets before finding one that suits all their needs, so don't be discouraged if it takes you a few tries. It's usually fairly easy to re-sell a lightly used tablet or to donate them if you're feeling generous.

As for cintiq-type tablets, you may be able to try them via display models at stores. Unfortunately, unless you manage to find a good deal for something probably refurbished or heavily used, you are unlikely to find one that won't cost at least a couple hundred dollars, which is a costly gamble to take for something you might not like in the end (I have tried cintiqs and personally didn't care for it, myself). I would definitely recommend at least making a real effort to get used to traditional tablets before giving up, as it can a while. It took me over a year to get the hang of one!

I am now opening the comments for discussion over people's experiences and recommendations for tablets so this can become a post that is a good resource for new and not-new artists! What tablets have you tried? What were the pros and cons? Are you looking for recommendations based on your needs? Go for it.

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Comments

celestinaketzia
Nov. 9th, 2016 03:21 am (UTC)
Yiynova
I've been waiting for a post like this just so I can say how much I don't recommend the Yiynova.

I've used this tablet on three different laptops. An ASUS ROG G74vw running Windows 8, an ASUS X555lab (??) running Windows 10, and a Lenovo desktop running Windows 8.

Pros: The Yiynova has a pressure sensitivity that is quite unlike anything I've been able to replicate with the Intuos 5. I've tried all sorts of settings, and the way this tablet handles seems to be unique.
It has a smooth reaction time. I've never experienced lag, or had any issues with my cursor when the machine is running properly.

Cons: This list will be long. Bear with me.
1. Dual monitoring is buggy at best. It worked fantastic on my ROG, but did not work at all on my Lenovo despite working on the settings endlessly.
2. This tablet is not compatible with all laptops. My best guess is that if the screen size of the laptop is smaller than the Yiynova it will not calibrate correctly at all. My Yiynova did not work on my smaller ASUS laptop.
3. Expect buggy drivers. Sometimes you can't even download updated drivers from Yiynova themselves.
4. There have been reports that the Yiynova does not work with Paint Tool SAI nor Windows 10. Considering my only windows 10 machine is the laptop that didn't work with it anyway, I can't confirm that. I can confirm it doesn't work with SAI.
5. The angles the Yiynova can adjust to is limited.
6. You will need to unplug the usb part of the connection and reconnect it often, because the Yiynova can go unresponsive.
Edit for 7. This machine gets extremely hot. This may be common with these types of tablets, but I wear my glove mostly to prevent the screen from getting too hot on my hand!


Would I buy this machine again? No I'm not sure how reliable the competitor tablets are, but in terms of the Yiynova's price tag for the amount of fiddling you'll have to do with it to keep it working it's a pain.

Edited at 2016-11-09 03:24 am (UTC)
chronidu
Nov. 13th, 2016 02:06 am (UTC)
Re: Yiynova
Connection issues, dual monitoring problems, and constant drivers not working were unfortunately the axe for me as well with Yiynova

It ended up working better for my roommates computer though thankfully, but they still have issues with it.
synviver
Dec. 26th, 2016 02:59 am (UTC)
Re: Yiynova
While admittedly I haven't played too much with it, the Yiynova seems to be working well enough with my husband's fussy, excessively crash-happy, Windows 10 OS desktop computer.

We'll see how it responds to the new desktop my dad's put together for me for Christmas, once the build is finished and he brings it by.

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