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There are many reasons why shoppers might be searching for the best drawing tablets under 100 dollars. Parents who know their children can destroy products marketed as “indestructible” are one segment of that group. College students. Starving artists. The skeptics who simply are not sure if they will use the drawing pad often enough to justify spending a lot of money on one.
Personal devices from smartphones to laptops, from game players to virtual assistants are big business these days, but to remain competitive, you must also remain affordable.
The good news for all of the shoppers we described above is this: there are plenty of great graphic drawing tablet products available under $100! And the even better news is that we did the legwork for you here.
We will walk you through our choices for the best cheap drawing tablet options under $100, but first, we will give you a quick overview of what they are and how they work.
What Are Drawing Tablets and How Do They Work?
As much as we love our computers, and as much as devices have changed the way we live for the better (well, mostly anyway), they do have their limitations. And for anyone who has tried to create art or mimic the drawing experience on a computer using a mouse or trackpad, well, you have most certainly experienced those limitations firsthand.
Computers can do incredible things in the world of design and art, but the mouse or trackpad stifles the process. Not to mention an extremely burdensome condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome, which is often brought on by the repetitive stress of using said mouse!
For artists, the ability to draw directly on a tablet computer touchscreen, mimicking the act of taking a pencil (or brush) to paper, was paramount in the tablet experience. Thus, the drawing tablet was born to meet this demand.
Also known by other names such as a digitizer and a graphics tablet, a digital drawing tablet is a small, portable device that allows an artist to create images on a touchscreen using a stylus. Users can draw directly on the graphic tablet surface with the stylus, or in some instances, they can trace a design on a piece of paper, which transfers that design into the device or digitizes it.
Why Do I Still Need a Separate Computer to Use a Drawing Tablet?
It is important to understand that a drawing tablet is not a full-fledged computer, and you will still need the function of another device to enable you to use various programs and software to create art.
Think of the tablet as hardware: it is a machine you can draw on. But the software programs that enable you to DO something with that drawing software are not “in” the tablet-they are on a computer you will connect to, either while drawing or transferring drawings.
Screenless tablets are basically pads you draw on, and you watch the drawing come to life on your drawing monitor or computer screen; there are also touchscreen drawing pads where you see your actual drawing on the device in front of you.
For the purposes of this article, we will be looking at screenless tablets because they are more affordable, with plenty of options in the under $100 range.
What Should I Look for in a Drawing Tablet?
Now that we have clarified that screenless tablets are the more affordable version, we can tell you that if you are shopping for a touchscreen drawing tablet, you should first be looking for some deep pockets!
For those with a more modest budget, a screenless tablet is well within reach. It is also a practical choice when you consider the fragility of screens. You are probably looking for something that is both durable and portable, and we have you covered with some great choices.
When you consider which affordable drawing tablet will best suit your needs, you will be looking at the following factors:
- Connectivity with your existing devices
- Compatibility with software
- Size/weight and portability
- Battery Life
- Pressure sensitivity
Keep the specs for your laptop or desktop computer handy, so you can check that the tablet can connect to the computer(s) you already own, and if you already have a favorite software program for art, you will want to make sure the tablet is compatible with that program.
“Pressure Sensitivity” may be the one item on the list shoppers know the least about when looking at the best drawing tablets for artists. You will also see this referred to as pad sensitivity in some cases, and it relates to the amount of pressure you have to put on the device for it to detect your digital drawing motion. You want a tablet that is MORE and not less sensitive to pressure; good pen pressure sensitivity on the active drawing area will mean that the table can respond more precisely to variety in the thickness of lines.
Now that you have a general idea of what to look for in the best drawing tablets for artists under $100, we will dive right into an overview of our top picks and have you drawing on a tablet in no time!
This affordable tablet is getting high marks for some of its best features: a large drawing surface, compatibility with Windows and Mac Operating Systems, and a slim easy-to-carry profile.
Huion continues to tinker with its tablets to improve both pen accuracy and pressure sensitivity while also making the device even more lightweight. The Inspiroy H 1161 went on a “device diet” and shaved off 200g from the previous model, but the weight loss does not mean any quality or durability has been sacrificed. Another great improvement upon previous models from Huion is that the pen accompanying this tablet is battery-free.
The Huion Inspiroy is among the best tablets for drawing under $100 thanks to its easy-to-use features, including 10 HardExpress keys and 16 soft keys, compatibility with all of the main paint and animation software programs, and solid performance when it comes to pen accuracy and pressure sensitivity. Included with your purchase of a Huion Inspiroy H 1161 drawing tablet are a battery-free pen, USB cable, pen holder with extra nibs, OTG adapter, and a quick start guide.
The HUION Inspiroy H 1161 Specifications at a Glance
- Overall Dimensions: 14.67 x 8.72 x 0.31 inches
- Drawing Surface: 11 x 6.875 inches in PC mode and 109.1 x 174.6mm in phone mode
- Pen Pressure: 8192 levels (8k)
- Item Weight: 1.26 pounds
The Huion H610 Pro V2 is an even more budget-friendly choice than the Inspiroy while still boasting some great features for users.
Right off the bat, we will tell you it’s not going to work with your iPhone or iPad, so if that’s an issue for you, opt for a drawing tablet that will. But if you have an Android device, it will likely work (check the specifications first), and this is a great first tablet to try without breaking the bank.
The pen’s tilt capability of up to 60 degrees is a great feature for shading, and artists will also appreciate the large and smooth drawing surface. A battery-free stylus pen and customizable shortcut keys are other outstanding features in this affordable device.
Another nice touch that makes the Huion H610 Pro V2 a great choice for drawing tablets under $100 is the placement of anti-slip mats on the back of the device, which ensures the pad stays in place while you create your next masterpiece!
Huion H610 Pro V2 Specifications at a Glance
- Overall Dimensions: 13.89 x 9.64 x 0.55 inches
- Drawing Surface: 10 x 6.25 inches
- Pen Pressure: 8192 levels
- Item Weight: 2.8 pounds
It may be named a “small” graphics tablet, but this device is big on quality in the under $100 market. The XP Pen Deco Pro is wrapped in an aluminum casing, making it both lightweight and durable. A double wheel interface means you can perform multiple actions with one hand (a multitasker’s dream!), and eight responsive shortcut keys give you efficient actions at the touch of a button. The wheel also has a light inside, and this will certainly come in handy when users are working in a dimly lit area.
The XP Pen Deco Pro has a 60-degree tilt function, which helps artists with smooth transitions between lines and greater accuracy. The pen holder is a nice touch for keeping your pens and pen tip options in place, and the stylus is also battery-free, so there’s no need to fuss with charging.
While the lack of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity is a bummer, the XP Pen Deco is still a great choice overall for those shopping on a budget. And weighing in under two pounds, it’s certainly one of the most portable! We think it’s a solid pick for drawing tablets under $100.
XP Pen Deco Pro Specifications at a Glance
- Overall Dimensions: 13.8 x 7.6 x 0.6 inches
- Drawing Surface: 9 x 5 inches
- Pen Pressure: 8192 (8k)
- Item Weight: 1.79 pounds
Compatible with both Mac and Windows, the Veikk A15 Pro Graphics Drawing Tablet also caters to those who tend to lose things: it comes with 28 extra nibs! But it’s not just the surplus of nibs we love about this drawing tablet. The Veikk A15 Pro has a number of great features that landed it on our list of best drawing tablets under $100.
A quick dial with 12 customized express keys can have you drawing on this tablet in no time, and the Type C USB port will have you easily connected to your computer and the software programs you love. The battery-free pen is another plus, and in addition to that, you will receive a USB cable, pen nib remover tool, pen pocket, and glove.
Veikk is one of the newer names in the drawing tablet market, but we are confident enough in this product to give it a hearty recommendation.
Veikk A15 Pro Specifications at a Glance
- Overall Dimensions: 14.5 x 8.2 x 1.7 inches
- Drawing Surface: 10 x 6 inches
- Pen Pressure: 8192
- Item Weight: 1.21 pounds
If this is not your first drawing tablet rodeo, then you inevitably know the name Wacom. It’s a name that is well known for a reason, as they are a leader in drawing tablet technology. We saved the cream of the crop and the very best for last with the Wacom Intuous Wireless Graphics Drawing Tablet. A better drawing tablet under $100 you simply will not find.
While it has nothing to do with the tablet functionality, we have to admit we are suckers for a color choice. The Wacom Intuous is available in a cheery pistachio green for those who are bored by basic black! And when it comes to the real nuts and bolts of how this tablet performs, the features are outstanding.
As a gift to the left-handers of the world, the Wacom tablet is invertible. It features a battery-free stylus pen and comes bundled with several programs (depending on whether or not you purchase the Bluetooth version).
We should point out that the way to get a Wacom tablet under $100 is to opt for the small size. This tablet is pretty compact, and that could be an issue for some. You can get a larger drawing area on the medium tablet, but that will take you over the $100 price point.
You can connect your Wacom drawing tablet to Mac OS or Windows and also to Android phones. Four customizable keys, a compact yet durable frame, and a pen that never needs to be charged make the Wacom Tablet a favorite among art students and teachers. We think it is your very best bet for a drawing tablet under $100.
Wacom Intuous Wireless Graphics Drawing Tablet Specifications at a Glance
- Overall Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.3 inches
- Drawing Surface: 6.0 x 3.7 inches
- Pen Pressure: 4096
- Item Weight: 0.55 pounds