Many android tablets coupled with a good stylus and the right software can become the perfect digital sketching tool. Unlike traditional sketching tablets which don’t have a display, an android tablet is entirely self sufficient, and can be used on its own or connected to a computer. But how do you go about choosing the best android tablet for drawing and sketching considering there are hundreds of models in the market? Unlike its MacOS counterparts, android tablets use open source OS and come in a huge variety of flavours, sizes and budgets.
However, there is a thing the best android tablet for drawing MUST have and that is a good stylus that is 100% compatible and will work out of the box. While you have many choices in terms of sketching software, both free and commercial, not all android tablets support a stylus and not all tablets which support a stylus actually support the full range of utilities you need for sketching. Some are little more than glorified pointers, and won’t register things such as pointer pressure which are a must have for sketching.
Top 5 Android Tablets For Drawing And Sketching
The following are our top recommendations if you are looking to purchase an android tablet for artistic drawing and sketching. Read on for a more detailed reviews of our top picks!
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ – Low Latency, Lots Of Functionality, Native Stylus
This tablet has a high resolution 12.4-inch AMOLED display (2800×1752 resolution!), 120Hz refresh rate and the Samsung S Pen Stylus has a 9ms of latency. This makes drawing feel almost immediate, and the moment your pen touches the screen your sketches appear. It’s really easy and intuitive to use, unlike other tablets that have much more lag and feel slow and cumbersome. Of all the android tablets, this would be my first pick as the best android tablet for drawing and sketching without a doubt.
Besides the fact that it has one of the lowest latencies in the market, this tablet is also really comfortable for the eyes. The screen is bright enough to be used outside while still being comfortable on a dark environment.
In this particular case, the stylus makes the tablet orders of magnitude better. The Samsung S Pen stylus is on a league of its own, with a really low latency and a pleasant weight that makes it feel like a real pen. If you are worried about developing bad habits due to tablet stylus not being similar enough to professional sketching tablets, worry not. The S Pen is up there alongside some of the best stylus for sketching tablets, and it comes included with the tablet so it’s one less expense to worry about. There is only one bad thing: unlike other stylus for tablets, this one doesn’t have different nibs to mimic the feel of different types of sketching tools (brushes, crayons, etc…) so it may fall short if you are a very advanced user.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite – Best Value for Money Android Tablet
So, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is awesome, but it’s indeed a bit pricey. However, its little sibling Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is probably the best budget android tablet for drawing and sketching, and it’s compact format makes it perfect for beginners and sketching on the go. It is a trimmed down version of the S7+, without the bezels around the screen and a smaller processor.
Yes, it’s a bit slower than the S7+ and can start to get cranky if you are working on very large artwork. And the screen is not AMOLED and as such it’s not nearly as good as the S7+. However, for this price you won’t find a better andoid tablet for sketching and the stylus is still awesome.
One thing to keep in mind though is that while the basic functionality of the stylus remains unchanged, the air gestures and wireless charging are only available on the S7+ model. If they are important for you, you should consider going for the non-Lite range. But if you are looking for an android tablet to sketch on a budget, they are not the most important features the S Pen offers.
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus – Powerful Midrange Tablet For Casual Artists And Students
If you are after a really good android tablet that can also be used for sketching, the Lenobo Tab M10 Plus is a great option even if you need to purchase the stylus separately. Are you looking for the right android tablet for an art student? The note taking abilities of this one, and the built-in eye protection makes this one a step above the rest of budget friendly android drawing tablets. However, as a purely artist tool you may get disappointed at the lack of pressure sensitivity and finesse of the stylus.
The specs are really good, with a high resolution 1920×1200 pixel screen, octa-core processor and a very sensible 32GB of storage space. The Dolby Atmos speakers are a really nice touch and perfect for watching video tutorials. And at 440 grams the tablet feels portable and easy to handle. So, in terms of “which tablet would I buy for work and fun” this one wins.
But the stylus lets it down a bit, and you will outgrow it as your artistic skills develop and you need more pressure sensitivity and control. If you are willing to splurge a bit more, its bigger sibling the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus 10.3 Inch FHD Tablet has better specs and more versatility, at a slightly higher price.
Simbans Picasso Tab – Perfect For Beginners on a Tight Budget
As cheap android tablets go, you can’t beat the Simbans Picasso Tab. It’s a wonderful cheap android tablet for drawing and sketching that doesn’t skimp on performance despite the very reasonable price. The price also includes the stylus and a pre-applied screen protector, which makes it very safe to use for young artists who may end up scratching a more expensive model with the stylus.
This is an android tablet for drawing and comes with apps like Autodesk Sketchbook preinstalled, so it makes the perfect gift for somebody exploring the world of digital sketching who may not have strong software preferences just yet. However, it is not nearly as good as a tablet as the Samsung models above, the speakers aren’t very good and the stylus uses up battery pretty quickly. But you can’t beat the performance at this price range.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A – Small And Compact Android Tablet For Drawing
A small android drawing tablet, with an 8 inches LCD display that still offers vibrant colors and good accuracy and contrast despite the small size and reduced price. This tablet belongs to the cheaper Samsung’s range, and fits perfectly with a budget conscious consumer that is happy with a smaller (and lighter) device.
As with other Samsung android tablets, you get to enjoy the S Pen which is a great stylus included with the tablet and makes even this budget option feel much more expensive and luxurious.
What To Consider When Buying An Android Tablet For Drawing
Unlike the MacOS universe, the Android world is full of competing tablets, and some are great for drawing and others are just great tablets. For example, the Kindle Fire is a great tablet that is very cheap and can be used to stream media, and Amazon is probably pushing it on your every time you search for the best android tablet for drawing. However, it is not nearly as good as other android ones that aren’t locked into the Amazon software ecosystem and doesn’t have a quality stylus.
So before you get lost trying to compare different android tablets for sketching, focus on the following:
The combination of a great, low latency stylus and a responsive screen is what makes or breaks a tablet for sketching. If you can’t see what you draw straight away it will feel clunky and it will annoy you. Maybe not in the first 10 minutes, but definitely within the first half an hour. This is why the Samsung Galaxy Tab family scores so high, they feel like sketching on paper and have very low latency.
You also want to choose a tablet with a stylus that is lightweight but still solid, and offers support for pressure and tilt. Pressure and tilt are key for digital sketching, without support for those you can as well paint with your fingers on the screen. If you are just starting with digital drawing you may get away with a cheaper stylus that doesn’t suport pressure sensitivity, but you will need tilt to make wider and thinner lines. You will outgrow the most simple stylus sooner rather than later.
If you like sketching on the go, a good battery life is very important. If you are likely to be sitting at your desk right next to a power outlet, it becomes less important. Generally speaking, a longer battery life means the tablet will be either heavier or more expensive (or both!) so it’s better to be realistic and go for something that fits your actual requirements and budget.
A tablet that is too small or too large will soon become uncomfortable to use. Keep in mind that most drawing software will take a certain amount of screen space, so what looked big enough may not be sufficient once you are trying to draw something in an app. However, a larger tablet can become difficult to use unless you have a desk or flat surface, and may feel too much like a laptop when on the go. Personally, the sweet size for me is between 11 and 13 inches.
The best android tablet for drawing is likely to be one of the Samsung ranges, depending on your budget and requirements. It’s a fact that the S Pen stylus is one of the best input devices for tablets if you are into digital sketching and drawing. However, if you are not a fan of Samsung or the Samsung version of android, there are other great options also available.