Drawing on a piece of plastic, with a plastic pen with a small battery in it, may sound like something a toy-maker would come up with that’s the best standalone drawing tablet.
In reality, this way of creating art has been adopted by great illustrators and visual artists today!
Instead of working with oil colors and worrying about adding too much water in your watercolors, drawing using a graphic tablet is easier, faster and can give you excellent examples.
Of course, the results will always be digital art – but with a good printer, you can make it into real-life art of excellent quality.
In this article, we’re going to list some of the best standalone drawing tablets that don’t need a computer currently available on the market.
(A quick note: Some models are ‘almost’ standalone, meaning that you need a computer to use them, but they have a screen, and you don’t need to sit directly in front of the computer to draw.)
Read on to find out more about these awesome contraptions!
Our Favorite Standalone Drawing Tablets
7 Best Standalone Drawing Tablets- A List of Products
1) Wacom – Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
Coming from one of the most well-recognized brands in the world of best standalone drawing tablets, this Wacom model looks simple, is simple to use, but is packed with all sorts of useful features.
Even though on the surface this device looks simple enough, thanks to its smart software and advanced hardware, you can easily set the pressure sensitivity on this model, as well as fine-tune other parameters to enhance your drawing experience.
Here are some of the interesting features of this stand-alone art tablet:
- 8,192 pressure levels – … allow you to customize the pressure sensitivity of this device so that drawing on it doesn’t feel any different from drawing on paper with a pencil.
Also, this model comes with a feature called tilt recognition so that you can make a line of different thicknesses easily and naturally.
- HD screen – When it comes to the clarity of the images you’re drawing and looking at while using this tablet, you can rest assured that you will be able to easily draw and edit even the tiniest of lines.
Thanks to a high-definition screen this model comes with and the resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, even the minutest detail will be visible and easily workable-with able, so to speak.
- Anti-glare display – One of the problems people have with screens, in general, would certainly be that they can throw an uncomfortable glare back at you. (Not literally, of course, but because of the surface.)
With this model, this glare won’t be a problem because the folks at Wacom covered the display of this unit with a special anti-glare coating.
- Scratch-resistant display
- Anti-glare screen coating (for preventing annoying light reflection)
- High-pressure sensitivity
- HDMI connectivity
- 1920×1080 HD screen
- Compatible with a variety of drawing programs (Adobe suite, Krita, and many others)
- Fairly expensive
2) Wacom – One Digital Drawing Tablet with Screen
Another Wacom drawing tablet comes in the shape of this smaller model called One.
The folks at Wacom are marketing this product as a portable drawing tablet and a contraption that you can use to take notes during an online conference, for example.
Depending on what software you install, you can use it to edit documents, create sketches, or digital art.
Here are some of its most important features:
- HD display – Even though this device is better suited for beginners due to its simplicity and a smaller screen than the cousin we talked about above, this model still comes with a display that offers you HD quality.
This means that you can still create amazing art using this thing, take notes, and do whatever you want in high definition.
- No-batteries pen – When it comes to the way the pen interacts with the screen – it all comes down to pressure sensitivity.
The result is that the pen isn’t ‘fat’ or robust, as there is no need for batteries.
For this reason, using this pen feels like using any other regular pen or pencil, so you don’t have to worry about a bad learning curve when handling the pen is in question.
- A variety of software options – Whether it’s Photoshop, Lightroom, Adobe Fresco, or some other sort of drawing, editing, or note-taking program, you can rest assured that this tablet will support it.
As long as you live somewhere in the Americas, that is. (Other regions can still use these, but you need to pay for the full license price before you can do so.)
- Can be used for drawing and editing documents
- A perfect tool for web conferences
- A pen can be used as a normal pen with no batteries required
- Can be used to edit photos and videos
- Compatible with Mac, PC, and Android
- Best suited for beginners, so advanced users may not like it as much
3) VEIKK – VK1200 Drawing Tablet with Screen
A simple design, a large screen, and visible shortcut keys to the side of the screen are the first things you will notice about this model.
If you venture to turn it on, you find many other interesting features, too.
For example, there’s the fact that this model offers you 8192 pressure points, which means even the smallest of your pen movements will go smoothly and without any glitches.
Here are the most important features of this model:
- Laminated screen – As we said above, possibly the first thing you will notice about this model would be its smooth screen.
This is thanks to the special laminated coating that the folks at VEIKK decided to add for the smoothness of the pen movements while you’re drawing.
Also, there’s the anti-glare coating, which is there to break any annoying glare that could come off of the screen in a well-lit environment.
- Customizable Shortcuts – If you take a look at this model, you will see that there are six keys to the left side of the screen.
These keys can be customized to serve any purpose you want to help you make your drawing process more efficient and enjoyable.
For example, you can set them to change the thickness of the pen, or undo the last line, or save your file. (The list of options goes on, but you get the point.)
- Accessories – Buying this model means forgetting about having headaches over buying new pens and nibs online.
The folks at VIEKK added another extra pen to this deal, as well as 28 pen nibs, so you can rest assured you won’t run out of them any time soon.
The accessories that come with this model also include an artist’s glove and a cleaning cloth.
- Comes with two pens (battery-free design)
- 28 extra pen nibs
- Tilt function for a better feel while drawing
- 6 shortcut buttons you can customize
- Laminated screen with anti-glare protection
- Some users reported that setting up this thing can be a tad difficult for beginners
4) Parblo – Coast10 Graphics Drawing Tablet
An ergonomic design paired up with a large screen and a battery-less pen make this Parblo contraption an excellent choice for anyone interested in getting one of the best standalone drawing tablets that don’t need a computer.
While this model can be connected to a computer, you can also use it as a drawing tablet without a computer.
This means that, as long as you can find a place where you can charge up its batteries, you can use this model wherever you want!
Here are some of its most prominent features:
- Comfortable viewing angle – The great thing about this contraption is that it comes with two little supporting ‘legs’ you can use to tilt the entire tablet.
This way, you can draw at a more comfortable angle and view and edit what you’ve created easily without having to sit uncomfortably while doing so.
- App compatibility – When it comes to the apps you can use with this model, the list goes on and on.
For example, some supported applications and programs include Corel Painter, Illustrator, 3D Max, Manga Studio, and many others.
Thanks to this wide variety of options you can choose from, you can rest assured that you will find a program that would work well for you.
- 2048 Pen Pressure Levels – Boasting a rather large number of 2048 pen pressure levels, this tablet can be a great option for an artist who demands the best when it comes to pen control while drawing.
Thanks to this high sensitivity, you can make the perfect line every time. (Of course, you might need to try a couple of times first.)
- Compatible with a variety of applications
- Ergonomic design
- 2048 pressure levels for great pen sensitivity
- Works on Windows and Mac
- No-battery pen
- The surface is made out of tempered glass
- Fairly pricey
5) Simbans – Picasso Tab
Boasting a large, clear screen and a powerful CPU that can run whatever sort of software you fancy installing on this thing, this Simbans drawing tablet can be a great solution for a person in need of a cheap drawing tablet with a screen.
Thanks to its excellent Wi-Fi connectivity, this tablet can be used to watch movies, play games, or even surf the Internet.
As long as you’re within reach of a Wi-Fi signal, you’ll have no problems with using this thing whichever way you like.
Here are some of its most prominent features:
- Wi-Fi connectivity – As we said above, the fact that this model can be easily linked to the Internet means that you can use it as an entertainment system and not only as a drawing tablet.
Also, by using the micro HDMI port this thing comes with, you can connect it to your TV system and watch movies on the tablet.
- Powerful CPU – … enables this device to run multiple applications at the same time without any glitches or slow performance.
The motor that runs this device is a Media-Tek Quad-Core processor, which is powerful enough to enable you to run demanding software.
Also, the HD screen this model comes with is supported by this powerful processor to make your drawings clear and to make the drawing process itself smooth and glitch-free.
- Bonus items – Other than the powerful processor and a high-res screen, this Picasso Tab contraption also comes with a special case, a screen protector, as well as a drawing glove, and a universal power adapter.
- Great for drawing or taking notes
- 32GB of disk space
- Quad-core processor
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- HDMI port (for connecting this device with your TV set)
- Screen protective layer
- Drawing glove included in the package
- Comes with a special case
- Some users reported problems with the charger
6) HUION – KAMVAS Pro 16
Coming from Huion, one of the most well-known companies manufacturing drawing tablets, this model contains all sorts of interesting features that can be useful for pros and complete rookies alike.
One of the strongest features of this model would certainly be its large 15,6-inch screen.
The screen itself is laminated, and it also comes with a special anti-glare coating.
Thanks to this feature, you don’t need to worry about experiencing excessive fatigue when drawing on this tablet.
Here are some of its most important features in more detail:
- HD screen – Perhaps one of the most important features of this model would be its HD-quality screen.
Other than the excellent anti-glare coating this screen comes with, the HD quality helps you draw clearer, more precise lines, which will make all the difference when it comes to producing unique art.
- Battery-less pen – Usually, a slight problem with drawing tablets can be the thickness of the pen.
The reason behind this is that many manufacturers make tablet pens that require batteries to run.
This won’t be a problem with this model, as the pen that comes with the tablet doesn’t need a pen to work.
Thanks to this feature, the pen size is the same as that of a regular drawing pen, so that they feel it will be roughly the same.
- Customized quick-access keys – Once you get in the ‘zone’ of working with this tablet, it’s useful to be able to access various settings and tools quickly while drawing.
The folks at Huion anticipated this, so they built in a special set of 6 custom buttons that you can use to access various options quickly.
For example, zooming, changing the brush, or adjusting the brush size are some features that you can count on.
- Anti-glare drawing surface
- HD quality of the screen
- 6 custom express keys
- Comfortable pen grip
- The pen doesn’t require a battery
- This model only comes with a US power adapter
7) Wacom – Mobile Studio Pro
As the name of this product suggests itself, what you get if you decide to buy this tablet would be a mobile studio, with the qualities of a tool built for professional artists.
That said, of course, anyone can use it – from beginners to professionals.
Some of the most important features of this model include an almost completely lag-free pen, so you can use it to make precise lines in real-time, so to speak.
Here are some other important features of this model:
- Advanced computing and processor – To run smoothly, a drawing tablet needs to have a responsive screen and more importantly – a strong processor.
If the software you’re using is advanced and you’re also using special program features, this will require many resources.
This model’s powerful processor will enable you to use the latest software and its most advanced features without glitches or bugs.
- Windows 10 operating system – If you’re worried that it may take a long time for you to figure out how to use this thing, you can rest assured that you will be able to use it easily from day one.
This is because the operating system is using Windows 10, which you are probably already familiar with.
- Supports a variety of applications – The great thing about this Wacom model is that it doesn’t only allow you to sketch and draw.
It can also make complex 3D models and various models in CAD programs, such as Auto CAD.
This model has more than enough computing power to support some of the most resource-hungry features of the advanced programs mentioned above.
- Comes with a Windows 10 OS
- Lightweight, ergonomic pen
- Excellent pressure sensitivity and accuracy
- Can create 3D and 2D art and projects
- 25ms response time
- Comes with a built-in camera
- More suitable for professional users
Best Standalone Drawing Tablets Buyer’s Guide
The disk size of a standalone drawing tablet determines how much stuff you can save on it before needing to transfer it to a computer.
The more disk space one of these contraptions has, the more drawings you can save on it.
Since even the most complex 2D digital art doesn’t take up more than a couple of megabytes of space, a standalone drawing tablet can ‘house’ many files without any problem.
Typically, many mid-price range models come with disks of 64 GB, but you easily can find models that give you 128 GB, or more, too.
As some of the models we described above aren’t the best standalone drawing tablets you can use without a computer, connectivity is an important factor to consider.
Of course, even if a model is a standalone one, you would still need to connect it to a computer sometimes.
Typically, the connectivity options you have to work with include HDMI cables, as well as Wi-Fi.
Another common option for both charging and connecting to a computer would be a USB.
To use a standalone tablet (or one that needs a computer), you must install some drawing software.
This is where the compatibility comes into play with these tablets.
The more compatible a tablet is with various programs, the more options you have to choose from for different drawing and coloring software you can use.
For example, many models support Adobe Photoshop and other similar Adobe programs. Still, other programs such as Corel line of programs and CAD programs are commonly supported by various standalone drawing tablet brands.
Type of Pen
When it comes to the drawing itself, the type of pen you’re using is quite important if you’re using a drawing tablet or a graphic tablet.
There are two types of these pens – those that need a battery and those that don’t.
For reasons of comfortability, it’s probably better if you use a pen that doesn’t need a battery because it will feel more like a regular pen than a thick one with a battery in it.
The models that feature special shortcut keys can be an excellent choice for using these contraptions.
The reason behind this is that, while drawing, you can use these keys to erase the last line, quick-save your drawing, change the size of the brush, and so on.
Of course, it’s possible to use a tablet that doesn’t come with these keys rather comfortable, but if you’re a professional artist and you draw daily, having these keys can make your life a little bit easier.
How to use a drawing tablet for beginners
Fix the screen resolution
… or use the zoom in and out function to set the size of the drawing so that you find it comfortable to draw lines.
Some artists like drawing at a smaller scale, while some like to use their whole forearm or arm to make large lines.
Depending on your preferred technique, you can use the various resizing settings your tablet comes with to make the drawing experience more enjoyable.
Consider buying an overlay sheet
In case you can’t get used to the smoothness of the drawing surface on your tablet, you have the option of buying special overlay sheets that change their texture.
Usually, these sheets give you a slightly rougher texture reminiscent of real paper, so drawing on them can be a fair deal easier for someone who’s used to drawing on paper – especially thicker, rougher types of paper.
Adjust pen pressure
The pen pressure sensitivity represents the most important parameter for a drawing tablet.
It can either make or break a drawing tablet, so to speak.
Assuming your drawing tablet has a decent pressure sensitivity value, you will be able to change how much pressure you need to apply while drawing with your pen.
Again, this is a matter of personal preference, so rather than adjusting your drawing style, you can set the pressure sensitivity parameters so that you can draw the way you are used to with pen and paper.
How do drawing tablets work?
Pen touches surface
Drawing tablets have special screens that are not too dissimilar from the touchscreens we have on our phones.
Of course, the screens on drawing tablets are way more pressure-sensitive than those on phones.
That said, the way this technology function is pretty much the same as with phones – you press a certain part of the screen, representing some input in the program you’re using.
For example, you can hit ‘Save’ using this touch screen, draw lines, fill in color, and so on.
The Image Can Be Seen on the Screen
Unlike drawing tablets that need a computer, some of the best standalone drawing tablets don’t need a computer to have a screen where you can directly see the products of your labor.
So, instead of drawing on a tablet and looking at a computer screen, you can look at a screen – as you’re drawing on it.
The great thing about this is that there is no learning curve, as anyone who’s drawn with a pen and paper can learn how to use this fairly quickly.
Edit and Otherwise Change the Result on Your Computer
Even though many modern-day standalone tablets don’t require a computer to create awesome digital art, you may still need one for doing some extra work down the road, so to speak.
After you’ve finished with your drawing, you can use a computer to edit the finished piece of art further and otherwise apply various changes to it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) What is the best standalone drawing tablet that doesn’t need a computer?
Some of the best standalone drawing tablets that don’t need a computer nowadays would be models from Wacom, Apple, Simbans, Samsung, and others.
Of course, since drawing tablets are becoming more and more popular nowadays, many new brands you can look into, such as Huion or Veikk.
2) Can you use a Wacom tablet without a computer?
Wacom is one of the leading global manufacturers of drawing tablets, making models that can be used only with a computer and standalone ones.
For example, one of their best standalone models would be Wacom Mobile Studio Pro (featured on the product list above).
3) Is Wacom better than Huion?
While both brands have their strengths, the consensus among users is that Huion is a less expensive alternative to Wacom.
There are some pretty impressive Huion models nowadays, but Wacom still makes more durable and technologically more advanced models.
4) Can I use a regular tablet as a drawing tablet?
Yes, you can.
Since regular tablets all have touchscreens, you can use them as drawing tablets, but you will be limited when it comes to the precision of the drawing and the options you have to work with.
Drawing tablets that are specifically built to make digital art have way more options, and their screens are made to have more pressure sensitivity points than regular tablets.
5) What is the cheapest standalone drawing tablet?
Companies such as Wacom or Simbans can be great places to start looking for models when it comes to the budget-friendliness of standalone drawing tablets.
Of course, there are models such as Apple iPad Mini, which is pretty inexpensive.
Ultimately, you have to look into what features you want your drawing tablet to find the cheapest solution.
Owning the best standalone drawing tablets that you can use without a computer can be a great way to enable yourself to draw wherever you are.
Whether you like to use Photoshop, MediBang, Citra, or some other drawing program, having a solid machine at your disposal that can make this software run like clockwork is of great importance.
We hope you found this article helpful, and we wish you plenty of success with your artistic pursuits.