Cheap graphics tablets for artists - Aiptek

If you're looking for a cheap graphics tablet to dip your toe in the world of digital art, then the Aiptek is a great starting point. As an artist painting in both traditional media and digital media I have a range of artists materials. For the digital side of my artwork I use the Aiptek PC graphics tablet. It's a computer input device that allows you to hand draw images, similar to that of using pen and paper or a paint brush. This explanation seems a little to simple for a device that provides fantastic opportunity and freedom to any artist, and coupled with software like Photoshop or Painter can offer endless possibilities.

As a traditional artist for many years I was very dubious of taking the digital route and buying a graphics tablet but when I did take the plunge it opened up a wealth possibilities.

Below is my Aiptek graphics tablet review and thoughts.
The Aiptek tablet is my cheap and trusty tablet of choice and for 3 simple main reasons. One, it's cheap, (I think it's one of the best cheap graphics tablets), two, it's a great size and three, it's performance for it's price is simply fantastic. In life, it does seem you get what you pay for but I wanted an entry level graphics tablet with a high specification and the Aiptek gives me just that.

The Aiptek graphics tablet and pen

Aiptek graphics tablet
Aiptek graphics tablet

The PC drawing tablet
If you want to try a graphics tablet before you decide to take the plunge on a more expensive model then you can't go far wrong with the Aiptek tablet. The size and working area is great for almost all applications and I found this fine for all my painting needs. The unit itself is sturdy and does the job but lacks some of the build quality of the Wacom range. The surface of the tablet does mark but is very durable and to this day does not ive me any trouble and for the price you can't really complain.

The pen
The pen feels fine to hold and use for both drawing and painting for long periods but does have a plastic feel to it and could be of better quality. Combined with the drawing tablet itself it still offers a fantastic way of working.

Sensitivity of the Aiptek graphics tablet
Using the Aiptek tablet I really did find it very much like using pen and paper. The sensitivity of up to 4000 lpi resolution and 1024 levels pen pressure meant that I can sketch away with complete freedom and I was genuinely surprised for the cost bracket this device falls into.

The Aiptek tablet itself has a 9'' x 5 1/2'' active area maximising the working space for sketching, editing and painting. Dual mode active area for PC and Notebook with either Widescreen (16:10) or Standard screen (4:3) monitors. With up to 4000 lpi resolution, the 1024 levels pen pressure provides great graphics performance for professional design, drawing and painting. Two rolling pads and 5 hotekeys support both right- and left-hand users for quick zooming in and out, scrolling up / down or left / right, adjust audio volume and switch between widescreen and standard modes. When working I find the ability to zoom in and out using the wheels a great time saver and its always good to see your work at different sizes.

The Aiptek Graphics Tablet has and still serves me well, with great sensitivity and performance at a price that will not break the bank. If you want to dip your toe into the world of digital art and illustration then you will have a great springboard with the Aiptek.

The graphics tablet must be coupled with the correct software like Photoshop or Painter and I will look at these in other pages.

To look at what I have created using the Aiptek graphics tablet, take a look at the fantasy art digital images below which have all been created using the Aiptek graphics tablet and Photoshop.

Artwork produced using the Aiptek Graphics tablet

Being an arist in both traditional and digital mediums you can see some of the work produced on the Aiptek below while using Photoshop. The link here also shows a step-by-step demonstration of how I painted a dragon using the Aiptek graphics tablet.. .How I painted a Dragon on the Aiptek graphics tablet

Cave Dragon, painted entirely in Photoshop using the Aiptek graphics tablet
Cave Dragon, painted entirely in Photoshop using the Aiptek graphics tablet
Water Dragon drawn in Photoshop using the Aiptek graphics tablet
Water Dragon drawn in Photoshop using the Aiptek graphics tablet

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Do you use a graphics tablet? If so which one? 16 comments

Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 5 years ago from Devon Author

Hi All thanks for flagging this hub as useful and awesome.


Someone 5 years ago

How much does the average working tablet cost? Just wondering, I'm thinking of getting one for digital drawing.


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 5 years ago from Devon Author

That depends on how much you want to pay, like everything, there is a wide range with even wider prices. I started with digital drawing side of things and the Aiptek is ideal. I use it for all my digital drawing and painting and you really do not need to spends hundreds on a system unless you want to. A lot of it is down to personnel taste but my £50 Aiptek really does the job for my needs, including my published work.

Hope this helps

All the best

Jon


VengefulArt profile image

VengefulArt 5 years ago from Las Vegas

This is great. Im going to start with my graphic design classes soon and have been shopping around for a tablet. I don't want to pay too much and then have something happen to it so hopefully i can find one like this for close to the same cost. thank you!


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 4 years ago from Devon Author

There are lots out there with many different prices but to start with you can't go wrong with one of the lower priced items. They have the same specifications as the more expensive branded drawing tablets but a fraction of the price. Build quality can be a little poor sometimes but for the cost and performance they are great. You also have to consider the software you are using as the drawing tablets are only an input device, as you know. I use photoshop for all my digital work and you can see a few examples at http://drawingtabletreviews.com/.

All the best

Jon


adrian 4 years ago

what kind of aiptek are you using? 14000u or 10000u?


Brandi Gray 4 years ago

Alright, I have a question. I can't afford a WACOM Bamboo Create Tablet, so should I get something like this? If so, would it work with Paint Tool SAI?


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 4 years ago from Devon Author

Personally I think these graphics tablet are totally fine. The build quality is not as good as the Wacom range but fuctionality is great. The graphics tablet is ONLY the input device and it needs to be used with a good piece of software and I use an old version of Photoshop. Not sure what the Paint Tool SAI is but think of the graphics tablet as a glorified mouse. Hope that helps?

Thanks

Jon


anne 4 years ago

Is the aiptek graphic pad specific to mac or pc? My son gave me one years ago when I first learned computing but I had a pc then can I use it on my mac? I need a new pen that got lost/or misused. Can that be purchased still, replaced?. I am doing illustrations and think this could be really fun as a helping tool!


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 4 years ago from Devon Author

Hi I am not to sure as I have had mine for some time and just installed the drivers onto the PC. Can't remember if it is usable for the mac, sorry, but like most things there are usually mac and pc drivers for most divides like this.


Briana lopez 4 years ago

Hi!!!

I'm just wondering, were can you find this kind of tablet?


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 4 years ago from Devon Author

Hi

The best place is to look on Amazon and take a look at http://drawingtabletreviews.com/ (drawingtabletreviews.com) as there are some great reviews on cheap drawing tablets for digital artists and for general computer use.. This review shows a good insight into the drawing tablet I use. . .http://drawingtabletreviews.com/adesso-cybertablet...

Hope this helps


Gertrude Fin 4 years ago

Thanks so much for posting this! It's nice to know that I don't have to spend a fortune, and the links to different tablets on Amazon helped me find the perfect one! :D


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 4 years ago from Devon Author

No problem Gertrude and there are some good reviews of drawing tablets over at http://drawingtabletreviews.com/


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Wow. That is really a cool tool. I wish I had talent to justify getting one. :) Great information, Jonathan. Voted up and more.


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 4 years ago from Devon Author

Thanks for the feedback and the art just comes with practice but they are great tools though and some don't have to cost a fortune.

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