Top Tablets for Artists: A Guide to the Best Drawing Tablets with Stylus

In the dynamic world of digital creativity, selecting the right tablet with a stylus pen can be a game-changer, especially for those engaged in digital art, graphic design, or even digital crafting.

This guide is meticulously crafted to help you navigate through the myriad of options available, focusing not only on the best tablets for artistic endeavors but also those that excel in note-taking.

As someone who regularly employs an iPad Pro for Procreate sketching, and having experienced the affordability and versatility of the HP Chromebook X2 for streaming and digital art, I understand the importance of a well-rounded device.

The tablets featured in this list aren’t just randomly picked; they are thoroughly tested by our Creativebloq team, many of which we use in our daily work. This hands-on experience is crucial to appreciate the subtle differences in size, latency, resolution, and overall feel of these devices.

The leading manufacturers in this space strive to closely replicate the traditional experience of paper and canvas, and it shows.

In the selection highlighted in this guide, we emphasize tablets that are adept at both drawing and note-taking, distinguishing them from those tailored solely for a singular purpose.

This dual-functionality is a key factor in our evaluation, ensuring that each recommended model can seamlessly transition between artistic creation and efficient writing.

Through this guide, we aim to demonstrate that the most recent or expensive tablet may not always be the optimal choice for every individual. Our goal is to help you find a tablet that not only fits your creative and practical needs but also aligns with your budget, potentially leading to significant savings without compromising on quality or functionality.

Top Picks: The Best 5 Tablets with Stylus Pens Available Today

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the quest for the ideal tablet with a stylus pen can be both exciting and overwhelming. To ease your search, we’ve handpicked the finest tablets available in the market today, each excelling in its unique way.

From high-end models offering unparalleled precision and responsiveness to budget-friendly options that don’t skimp on quality, our selection caters to a wide range of needs and preferences.

Whether you’re a professional artist, a casual doodler, or someone who juggles between drawing and note-taking, these tablets are designed to enhance your digital experience.

Let’s dive into the details of each, helping you find the tablet that not only meets your requirements but also elevates your creative endeavors.

1. Apple iPad Air (5th Generation)

Apple iPad Air

The 2022 Apple iPad Air presents itself as an excellent alternative for those who find the iPad Pro slightly beyond their budget. It boasts the same Apple M1 processor, equipped with 8GB RAM and eight GPU cores, ensuring a performance that closely mirrors the Pro model. This iteration also supports the Apple Pencil 2 (which is an additional purchase), enhancing its functionality with improved performance and the convenience of wireless charging.

Our hands-on experience with the Apple iPad Air (5th Gen, 2022) revealed its impressive capabilities. The tablet’s performance is robust, handling even the most demanding tasks with ease and without any lag. Its display is a highlight, featuring a luminosity of 500 nits that makes visuals pop. The Apple Pencil 2 enhances the iPad Air, offering one of the finest drawing experiences available. This, combined with the tablet’s precise handwriting recognition, makes it not only an excellent choice for artists but also for those who frequently take notes.

While the iPad Air is a powerhouse in many respects, it does have areas where it falls slightly short of the iPad Pro. The most notable is its 60Hz refresh rate display, compared to the Pro’s 120Hz. This difference means the iPad Air doesn’t quite match the Pro’s ultra-smooth drawing experience. Though this is a subtle distinction, primarily noticeable when comparing the two side by side, the smoother scrolling and animation of the Pro’s 120Hz display are preferable for some users.


  • Processor: Apple M1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU Cores: Eight
  • Display Brightness: 500 nits
  • Stylus Compatibility: Apple Pencil 2
  • Screen Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Reasons to Buy:

  • Comparable to iPad Pro in performance but more affordable
  • Equipped with a high-performance Apple M1 processor
  • Vibrant and bright display
  • Compatible with the advanced Apple Pencil 2
  • Excellent for both drawing and efficient note-taking

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Additional purchase required for Apple Pencil 2
  • Lower refresh rate compared to the iPad Pro

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 stands out as a formidable contender in the realm of tablets designed for artists and note-takers alike. With its sleek design and robust performance, it caters to both professional and personal use. Equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, it delivers smooth and efficient performance, making it ideal for a variety of tasks, from drawing to multitasking. The tablet’s 11-inch TFT display offers vibrant colors and clear visuals, enhancing the overall user experience.

Using the Galaxy Tab S7, one immediately notices its responsiveness and speed, especially when engaging in tasks like drawing or graphic design. The included S Pen stylus is a game-changer, offering low latency and a natural pen-to-paper feel, which significantly enhances the drawing experience. Additionally, the tablet’s impressive battery life ensures that you can work for extended periods without needing a recharge.

However, while the Galaxy Tab S7 excels in many areas, there are a few aspects where it doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle. The TFT display, while clear and vibrant, doesn’t quite match the OLED screens found in some higher-end tablets. Also, while the S Pen is included, which is a great value addition, some users might find the ecosystem of apps slightly limited compared to rivals like the iPad.


  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • Display: 11-inch TFT
  • Stylus: Included S Pen
  • Battery Life: Extended
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Optional LTE

Reasons to Buy:

  • Powerful performance with Snapdragon 865 Plus processor
  • S Pen included, offering low latency and a natural feel
  • Long battery life for uninterrupted use
  • Vibrant 11-inch display
  • Great for multitasking and creative tasks

Reasons to Avoid:

  • TFT display is not as superior as OLED options
  • Limited app ecosystem compared to some competitors

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 marks a significant step forward in the Surface line, offering a blend of versatility and power that makes it an excellent choice for both artists and professionals. This 13-inch touchscreen tablet is powered by the latest Intel processors, providing exceptional performance whether you’re drawing, editing, or multitasking. The highlight of the Surface Pro 8 is its PixelSense™ touchscreen, which delivers crisp, vibrant visuals and an ultra-responsive touch experience.

In our hands-on experience with the Surface Pro 8, its versatility as a tablet and laptop hybrid stood out. The device excels in delivering a smooth and intuitive drawing experience, especially when used with the Surface Pen (sold separately). The responsiveness and accuracy of the pen on the screen are remarkable, making it ideal for detailed artwork and note-taking. Additionally, the Surface Pro 8’s battery life is impressive, ensuring productivity throughout the day.

While the Surface Pro 8 is a powerhouse in its own right, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The Surface Pen and the keyboard are additional purchases, which can add to the overall cost. Also, while its versatility as a tablet-laptop hybrid is a significant advantage, it may be bulkier than standalone tablets, something that users prioritizing portability might need to consider.


  • Processor: Latest Intel processors
  • Display: 13-inch PixelSense™ Touchscreen
  • Stylus Compatibility: Surface Pen (sold separately)
  • Battery Life: Long-lasting
  • Mode: Tablet and laptop hybrid

Reasons to Buy:

  • Powerful performance with the latest Intel processors
  • High-resolution PixelSense™ touchscreen
  • Versatile as both a tablet and a laptop
  • Excellent for drawing with Surface Pen compatibility
  • Durable and long-lasting battery life

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Surface Pen and keyboard are additional expenses
  • Slightly bulkier compared to traditional tablets

4. Apple iPad Pro (M1, 2021)

Apple iPad Pro

The Apple 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro represents the pinnacle of Apple’s tablet technology, especially in its Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model in Space Gray. This iPad Pro is not just a tablet; it’s a powerful tool for artists, designers, and professionals who demand top-notch performance and connectivity. Equipped with Apple’s M1 chip, it delivers exceptional speed and efficiency, making it ideal for everything from complex graphic designs to intensive multitasking.

Our experience with this iPad Pro model was nothing short of impressive. The 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display is a standout feature, offering stunning visuals with extreme brightness and contrast ratios. This, combined with ProMotion technology, results in a super smooth, responsive experience, whether you’re drawing, scrolling, or watching videos. The support for the Apple Pencil 2 (sold separately) enhances the creative capabilities, providing an intuitive and precise drawing experience.

However, the 2021 iPad Pro comes with considerations. Its premium features come with a premium price tag, making it one of the more expensive tablets on the market. Additionally, while the larger screen is excellent for detailed work, it might be less portable than smaller models, and the additional cost for the Apple Pencil 2 and cellular functionality can add up.


  • Processor: Apple M1 chip
  • Display: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi + Cellular
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Stylus Compatibility: Apple Pencil 2 (sold separately)

Reasons to Buy:

  • Outstanding performance with the M1 chip
  • Exceptional Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion
  • High-quality build and sleek design
  • Great for professional artists and designers
  • Cellular connectivity for on-the-go use

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Higher price point compared to other models
  • Additional cost for Apple Pencil 2
  • Less portable due to larger size

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra emerges as a powerhouse in the world of high-end tablets, specifically tailored for those who seek a larger screen and top-tier performance. This tablet is particularly notable for its expansive 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display, which provides an immersive experience for drawing, multimedia consumption, and productivity tasks. The Tab S8 Ultra is powered by the latest Snapdragon processor, ensuring smooth and responsive performance across a wide range of applications.

Our exploration of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra revealed its strengths as a versatile device for both creative and professional use. The included S Pen stylus is a significant advantage, offering low latency and a highly accurate drawing experience. The tablet’s large screen size is particularly beneficial for artists and designers who require a broad canvas for their work. Additionally, the device boasts impressive multitasking capabilities, facilitated by its powerful processor and ample screen real estate.

However, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s impressive features come with considerations. Its size, while advantageous for creative work, may affect its portability, making it less ideal for those who need a more compact device. Additionally, the premium features of the Tab S8 Ultra are reflected in its price, placing it at the higher end of the tablet market.


  • Processor: Latest Snapdragon
  • Display: 14.6-inch Super AMOLED
  • Stylus: Included S Pen
  • Size: Large screen for extensive workspace
  • Performance: High-end for multitasking and creative tasks

Reasons to Buy:

  • Large and vibrant Super AMOLED display
  • Powerful performance with the latest Snapdragon processor
  • Includes S Pen stylus for precise drawing and note-taking
  • Ideal for detailed creative work and multitasking
  • Premium build and design

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Size may affect portability
  • Higher price point compared to other models
  • May be too large for casual users or those with limited space

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I look for in a stylus for drawing and note-taking?

Look for a stylus with pressure sensitivity, as it allows for more precise control over line thickness and opacity. A comfortable grip and minimal latency are also important for a natural drawing experience.

Can I use any stylus with any tablet?

Not all styluses are compatible with every tablet. It’s important to check the compatibility of the stylus with your specific tablet model. Some tablets require proprietary styluses designed by the same manufacturer.

Do all tablets with a stylus support palm rejection?

Many, but not all, tablets with a stylus support palm rejection, which allows you to rest your hand on the screen while drawing without making unwanted marks. It’s best to confirm this feature before purchasing.

Are there affordable tablets with a stylus for beginners?

Yes, there are several budget-friendly tablets that come with a stylus, making them ideal for beginners or those who need a tablet for casual use.

Can I replace the nib of my stylus?

Many styluses have replaceable nibs, allowing you to maintain the precision of your drawing tool. Check the specifications of your stylus to see if this is an option.

Choosing the Right Tablet with a Stylus for Your Needs

Selecting the best tablet with a stylus pen hinges on understanding your specific requirements, artistic aspirations, and budget. The range of options varies significantly, from basic graphics tablets to advanced tablet computers, each with unique features and functionalities.

  1. Understanding Graphics Tablets: These are basic yet effective tools for digital artists, particularly beginners. Graphics tablets provide a drawing surface without an in-built display and require a connection to a computer or device. They are an affordable entry point into digital art, although the disconnect between drawing and viewing might require some adjustment. Their portability is a plus, and the ability to connect to a smartphone for on-the-go use adds to their versatility.
  2. Resolution in Graphics Tablets: Unlike traditional displays, graphics tablets measure resolution in LPI (lines per inch). A higher LPI means more detail and precision in your artwork. Most budget-friendly options offer satisfactory LPI, making them a good starting point for emerging artists.
  3. Pen Displays – A Step Up: Moving to pen displays, you get a more intuitive experience as these are essentially monitors you can draw on. They tend to be pricier but offer a more natural drawing process. When choosing a pen display, consider both the resolution (from Full HD to 4K) and the size of the drawing surface. Your choice should align with the intricacy of your work and the need for portability.
  4. Tablet Computers – Versatility at its Best: Tablet computers like the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab offer a more comprehensive package. They’ve evolved to provide an authentic and precise drawing experience, suitable even for professional work. These tablets are multifunctional, doubling as regular tablets for various applications beyond drawing. If you plan to utilize these additional features, a tablet computer can be a worthy investment. Remember to check if the stylus is included or if it’s an additional purchase.

Overall, your choice should be guided by how you intend to use the tablet. Whether it’s for casual sketching, professional graphic design, or multifunctional use, there’s a tablet out there to suit your needs.

The budget also plays a crucial role; while high-end tablets offer more features and better performance, mid-range, and budget options can also serve well, depending on your requirements.

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Final Words

Selecting the right tablet with a stylus is a decision that hinges not just on the technical specifications, but also on how well it aligns with your individual needs and creative aspirations.

Whether you’re an artist, a designer, a note-taker, or someone who blends these roles, the perfect tablet is one that feels like an extension of your own creativity. From budget-friendly graphics tablets to high-end tablet computers, each option has its unique strengths.

The key is to balance functionality, quality, and cost, keeping in mind that the most expensive option isn’t always the best fit for your requirements.

As technology continues to evolve, so do the possibilities for digital creativity and productivity. A tablet with a stylus offers a level of precision and versatility that can transform the way you work and create.

It’s an investment in your craft, so take the time to consider what features are most important to you. Whether it’s the fluidity of the stylus, the sharpness of the display, or the overall user experience, the right tablet can become a crucial tool in your artistic and professional journey.

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