It’s pretty much a given that anybody using a computer for any serious design needs a good tablet. Selecting drawing tablets for artists can be daunting because of the many options out there.

Are you thinking of getting your first artist tablet, or perhaps upgrading? Here are some things to think about while making that big decision:

Pressure Sensitivity:

People’s preferences vary, but in general, the more sensitivity the better. You should definitely try various models out to get your own feel for this, paying special attention. If you have friends who have tablets, try them out for an hour or so and check out how you respond to their feel. Wacom is a favorite among most tablet buyers, to be honest, and these models consistently get the best reviews

Size:

This one is partially based on personal preference but really mainly based on what the tablet’s principal use will be. Applications like CAD require a bigger tablet in general, or at least having a bigger tablet is a huge advantage for CAD. Other applications may be better paired with smaller tablets which are less fragile and more portable. Obviously, how often you plan to take the tablet out of your home has a big impact on this as well.

Application:

Will the artist tablet in question be used for painting? Coloring? Editing photos? Drawing? Design? All of these applications have tablets best suited for these applications. Cintiq has tablets that specialize in drawing applications, but Wacom has recently made inroads into this market as well. Design is probably the lightest of these applications, and many designers actually prefer the mouse, but this is up to personal preference as well. Other designers definitely feel that they increase their productivity with the right tablet at hand. Only you can know what is right for you.

Consider Second Hand:

Artist tablets, especially the really good models, can be expensive, so don’t be afraid to check out the second hand market. There are some good deals to be had out there. In the case of something like an artist tablet, it is definitely recommended to meet the seller in person and take the unit for an extended “test drive” before putting your money down. Also consider using secure methods of payment such as Paypal and including a proviso for any unforseen technical issues in the first 30 days or so after buying.

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