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Cheap Beginner Graphics Tablets

Updated on November 27, 2015

How to Find a Perfect Graphics Tablet When on a Small Budget

There is a pretty rich selection of relatively cheap graphics tablets available in case your budget does not allow for something more expensive. Buying a graphics tablet should not be based solely on your money, and you should rather consider the specifications you want to have and make your choice based on that.

You may think that a good balanced tablet cannot be found below 100$, but in the further sections of this article you will see that there are several options that start as low as 30$ that have excellent characteristics.

Some of the general flaws of cheap graphics tablets are heavier pen styluses (because they mostly include a battery inside), and smaller resistance to damage from drops and scratches. However, if you can take care of your things well, the duration of these tablets should not be an issue at all.

In the following sections we will talk about what you can get for a smaller amount of money.

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Attributes to look for

Regardless of your limited budget, when buying a graphics tablet, you need to look for certain things. Even the cheapest among them have decent stats, so you should think about what you want and be picky for your money. Your aim is to get a tablet that is a real value product, which will justify the money's worth and be a great help in your artistic and designing projects.

Some things to look out for:

  1. Dimensions of the graphics tablet - Keep in mind that the dimensions of the tablet itself are not the dimensions of its work area. The work surface will be a bit smaller, and make sure to see exactly how big it is.
  2. Pressure-sensitivity - You can find tablets with 512, 1024, and even 2048 levels of pressure-sensitivity. 1024 is an excellent PS level and should be more than enough for most.
  3. Is the pen cordless or not - Try to buy a graphics tablet with a cordless (wireless) pen stylus, because otherwise it might be awkward and limiting to work with it.

These three things are the main attributes to check when looking for a low price drawing tablet, so make sure to check the stats of each before deciding to reach for the wallet.

Wacom Bamboo Splash Tablet

This is a very good and very cheap graphics tablet from Wacom, and regardless of its relatively low price, it is very durable and practical. The active area of this tab is 3.6 by 5.8 inches, which is a nice basis for a lot of artistic freedom.

Wacom Bamboo Splash comes with an ergonomic pen which has its own pen holder. The pen fits nicely into the hand and it is very light which is a great advantage. It will make for a natural feeling of pen on paper.

It also comes with free downloadable software which is a great advantage as well - Autodesk Sketchbook Express and ArtRage Studio are in a bundle with this drawing tablet. When it comes to its pressure-sensitivity, Splash offers 1024 levels of sensitivity, which is ecellent.

Generally, Splash is a good looking, ergonomic tablet which is light and is thus good for carrying around. Just make sure to protect it from scratches and falls.

DigiPro Graphic Tablet with Cordless Pen

DigiPro graphics tablet offers 1024 levels of pressure-sensitivity and a soft-tip cordless pen which comes with its own holder. The pen is a bit thicker, but not too bulky or heavy, so it's a good fit for your hand.

The working area is 3 by 4 inches, which is more than enough for most. This tablet is very easy to use and is compatible with virtually all drawing and editing software, including Painter and Photoshop programs.

It comes with its own installation disc, so there is no worry regarding finding appropriate drivers and technical things like that. For starters, this is the perfect low-budget tablet which offers enough until you are able to buy a more expensive, better tablet.

All in all, DigiPro is durable, practical, and very very cheap.

Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small Tablet

Wacom Intuos tablet has a good sized work area and is a perfect choice for people who want to retain the pen on paper feeling - the working surface is textured to feel like paper, so the coarseness of the work area provides that friction you would miss working on a smooth tablet.

Its other features are very balanced. Another advantage is a great feeling pen which is ergonomic and good looking. The pen also comes with its holder and three extra nibs.

You won't have to worry about the drivers as the installation disc pretty much finishes the installation for you and you will be good to go in a matter of moments. The neat simplified design also makes this tablet look pretty cool, and it is an excellent choice for beginners and pros alike.

VT PenPad 7.7-Inch Graphic Pen Tablet

VisTablet's PenPad is a thin, neat-looking graphics tablet you can buy very cheaply. Don't let its price fool you, though, as this is not a bad tablet by no means.

Its active working area is 6 by 4.5 inches big, which is more than enough to have the freedom of expression you need. It also offers 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is a very good feature for this low of a price.

VisTablet's products are pretty durable as well, so you will only have to worry about scratches and falls, and if you can manage that, this tablet will last you a long time.

Wacom Bamboo Capture Pen and Touch Tablet

Wacom Bamboo Capture is a very good and balanced graphics tablet, with a textured surface to make you feel like you are working with pen and paper. The work surface of this great-looking tablet is 5.8 by 3.6 inches and it also has 4 express keys which will be invaluable shortcuts while you are working.

This tab comes with a great package of bundled software, and one of them is Photoshop Elements. The drivers are easy to install as all you need to do is insert the dics and it will walk you through the necessary steps to set you up for work.

Wacom is famous by its quality, and one thing appreciated by many are their light-weight, ergonomic pens which fit the hand perfectly. Bamboo Capture has 1024 levels of pressure-sensitivity and considering all it offers, this drawing tablet is pretty cheap.

Monoprice Graphic Drawing Tablet

Monoprice is a really good, well-balanced graphics tablet with 1024 levels of pressure-sensitivity, and ergonomic and light pen, and most importantly a large working area of 10 by 6.25 inches which enables the artist a lot of freedom of expression.

Amazingly, a tablet this cheap would not be expected to be extremely durable, but this one has proven to be both practical and very durable. Most reviews are very positive and consist out of people being genuinely surprised by the quality of this tablet.

Turcom 10 x 6.25 Inches Drawing Tablet with 8 Hot Keys

Turcom is basically the same like Monoprice, but for the name. The design, the pen, the specs and everything else is basically the same, but it can be a bit cheaper (up to ten dollars) if you come at exactly the right time.

This is a very good graphics tablet worth considering.

Short Endword

Finding a perfect graphics tablet does not have to be limited by money. In fact, some artists and designers are very happy not having a monstrously expensive tablet and often opt for some of the drawing tablets from this list.

The prices of these are more or less very cheap all things considering, but despite that all of these graphic tablets are excellent and highly recommended.

For more choices for designers, refer to Best Graphics Tablets for Designers, and if you are more concerned with pressure-sensitivity go to Best Pressure-Sensitive Graphics Tablets.


In case you are still wondering if you need a graphics tablet or not


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