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The best tablets for art and graphic design

If it turns out that you are an artist, designer, creative or illustrator looking for a new tablet or tablet With which to work and carry out your professional projects, you have arrived at the right place. We have prepared this article with the help of professionals in the sector.

Before going into the detail of what each product offers, we compile a whole series of tips to take into account when choosing the device depending on the price, size, resolution of the screen, as well as the sensitivity of each pencil digital.

We did not want to orient the article on traditional graphic tablets with flat drawing surfaces that connect to a Mac or PC, as is the case with the Wacom Intuos Pro Paper Edition that you can buy on amazon.

Nor do we include graphic tablets with integrated screens such as the range Wacom Cintiq Pro. These are solutions more oriented to 3D modeling, illustration and development of video games and animation.

Tablet or laptop 2 in 1? What suits me?

We wanted to focus on the devices that are basically tablet or 2-in-1 equipment equipped with processing and with screens that meet the best conditions to be able to draw, paint or even write.

Beyond including the iPad and the occasional tablet Android, you will find in the article other convertible or transformable devices with larger screens of 13 or 14 inches, in which you can run the same applications as in your desktop computer.

Windows computers, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 or the HP ZBook X2, offer generous screens and their respective digital pencils, in addition to running Adobe Creative Cloud applications.

Most of these models offer keyboards with clips that adhere to the device, which is why some manufacturers sometimes call them 'removable', offering great versatility when it comes to operating the screen without the attached keyboard.

We analyze the form factor of each of them and comment on when it is better to use one format against another and the reasons. Note that many of the comments made belong to the digital illustrator Sam Gilbey.

The best tablets for art and design

Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

There are situations of the day that make us think that Microsoft's Surface Pro 7 is a unique device within its category, so that they make it special to be able to perform your work in the best possible way and in various situations.

This is the real case of many designers or creative artists who spend the day meeting in meeting and traveling, taking notes and taking advantage of dead times to retouch and modify their projects on the fly.

It is in these environments where the Surface family performs frankly well, imitating perfectly the concept that we all know as an origami device, very valid to be decisive in diverse situations.

The Surface Pro 7 Run with Windows 10 Pro, so you can install and run full versions of programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator or XD. Artists looking for the best drawing and painting experience will also find a complete tool for vector drawing.

Therefore, although for many it does not have the best screen, it is one of the hybrid equipment that best solves the productivity problem, with the possibility of facing any job, in addition to doing day-to-day tasks such as managing mail or handling social networks.

Surface Pro X

Microsoft Surface Pro X

During the period that Adobe has been developing the version of Photoshop for iPad, Microsoft has been busy building an iPad running Windows so you can use the version of Photoshop you already have. Or Illustrator, or InDesign, or XD and probably hundreds of other creative applications that you won't find on iOS.

Surface Pro X It's a bit like Surface Pro: it is a tablet that runs Windows 10 and becomes a laptop when you connect a keyboard that is almost identical to the Surface Pro, but in many ways, it is closer to the iPad Pro than to a Surface.

The real difference between the Surface Pro X and the Surface Pro is inside. While the Surface Pro uses a 10-generation Intel Core processor, the Surface Pro X opts for Qualcomm Snapdragon, the type of chip you'll find on a mobile phone like my Huawei P30 Pro.

Obviously, this has its advantages and disadvantages, given that it provides a longer useful life of the battery, superior to the Surface Pro 7, but in return, it seems that the performance with intensive applications of CPU usage is slightly affected.

Thus, if you can do without having the maximum power in favor of being able to use the equipment for a longer time before having to resort to the power source, this may be a better choice than the traditional Surface.

iPad Pro 2018

iPad Pro 12.9

We do not discover anything if we say that artists can take full advantage of the use of iPad Pro. In fact, they can create works of art from scratch that will be finished on the device using tools such as Procreate 4.

For designers it is probably not the best option, because it is still not compatible with the full version of applications such as Creative Cloud Photoshop, but this will change very soon.

We are not sure how much time to miss Illustrator Gemini project An to reach its official availability, since the dates are still unconfirmed, but surely to be a great extra for users with this profile.

The iPad Pro 2018 You can find it in sizes of 11 or 12.9 inches, the first one replacing the previous 10.5 inch model. At our review, we notice how they are thinner and less curved in the back, and without the typical bezels. In spite of which, the resolutions are identical.

The most striking is perhaps the use of the new Apple Pencil, which magically adheres to the iPad Pro to charge its battery. It is not necessary to stand out from the bottom of the iPad and the only one, but it is an accessory that you will have to pay separately.

The iPad Pro remains an incredible creative tool. For artists and illustrators who want a portable drawing and painting device, it is more than a combination unless you prefer the three-inch more screen offered by the 16-inch Wacom.

For designers, publishers and the rest, Windows-based tablets offer the ability to close projects in a way that you don't have with the iPad Pro. However, if you lack a budget, the 11-inch model is an excellent tool to pair with an iMac or desktop PC.

With Duet Display Pro-style applications, you can use your iPad Pro as a Cintiq tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Without a doubt, the tablet commented here is the best rival that you can find to compete with the Apple iPad Pro, evidently from the Android side and considered one of the best in recent years.

The resolution of its HD quality screen amounts to 2,048 x 1,536 with HDR support, one of the best in the market in terms of faithful reproduction of the colors and contrast levels displayed.

The Galaxy Tab S3 It does not have the True Tone screen of the iPad Pro (all you can do is optionally activate the blue light filter) and it can be a bit reflective. However, it includes the S Pen pencil that has four times more sensitivity than the Apple Pencil.

Against him, it should be noted that although Autodesk Sketchbook Pro is available on Android, Procreate unfortunately is not. You must be willing to dispense with this type of professional tools.

Wacom MobileStudio Pro

Wacom MobileStudio Pro

First launched three years ago, the Wacom PC tablet option comes with Wacom Pro Pen 2 and runs Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

You can find it in two different sizes, both 13.3 and 15.6 inches, and has a screen resolution that competes with laptops such as Dell Precision 5510 or HP ZBook Studio, a complete workstation in mobility

The 2019 generation of Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 it reproduces 85 percent of the Adobe RGB color space, in addition to its screens being multi-touch. The rest of the new specifications show considerable improvements in GPU graphics, CPU and SSD memory.

As with other Wacom digital pencils, and unlike the Microsoft Surface Pen, or the Apple Pencil, the fountain pens do not need to be loaded for use, which avoids an additional inconvenience.

In fact, MobileStudio Pro can detect up to 60 different levels of pencil inclination at vertical angles at 40 degrees, which will significantly vary the stroke displayed depending on the inclination and pressure. It is a great option for designers and artists who want to work with a portable tablet.

HP ZBook x2

HP ZBook x2

This portable 2-in-1 device from HP, which is very focused on guaranteeing performance in a format very focused on mobility, is powerful, but much thicker than an iPad Pro or a typical Surface Pro.

You can draw inside the applications and edit with Photoshop, or even render in 3D with Maya, Maxon and SolidWorks, all on the same device, but it is much heavier than the range of Wacom devices discussed here, as well as iPad Pro.

It is designed for independent artists and designers, with the idea that they can run multiple creative applications at the same time, taking full advantage of multitasking environments.

Instead of drawing on a smaller tablet, and then using a notebook to edit, the workstation HP ZBook x2 allow you to work through a complete creative process without having to change devices.

You can use it as a traditional tablet, such as the Apple iPad, or in portable mode by connecting the keyboard with clip, or even in mode dock If you choose to add an external monitor to your video output, in the style of a Wacom Cintiq Pro tablet.

You will find the HP ZBook x2 with a 14-inch 4K touch screen. It is anti-glare and there is a Dreamcolor option that can generate 10 billion colors, including the full range of Adobe RGB. Wacom pick-up pencil is sold separately.

Dell XPS 15 2 in 1

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

This is a 'convertible' variant of the XPS 15, Dell's choice to compete with Apple's latest MacBook Pro 15. It offers a digital pen based on Wacom technology (with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity), 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color space.

Its screen guarantees a resolution of 1080p, using medium or high graphics settings.

Either to use it as a drawing tablet, or to display the content as a tent, the generous 15.6-inch panel of the Dell XPS 15 allow you to work comfortably during long working hours, something that a tablet do not.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 (2018)

Another Windows device of the so-called 2-in-1 that is part of Lenovo's extensive catalog within what are very specific products aimed at designers and artists. In this case, it turns on itself up to 360 degrees to adopt different modes of use.

With a 13-inch 3K screen and its Active Pen that offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, as well as the Dell computer, it allows you to act as a tablet if you decide to dispense with the case that acts as a keyboard to work as a portable.

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