Drawing Tablet?

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Stormstriker217's picture
Stormstriker217
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I've heard of drawing tablets before, and I might be interested in purchasing one. Since I'll be losing my iPad, which is what I use to draw, in two months because of the ending of the school year, I do want to still be able to draw digitally, so I'm now considering a drawing tablet as an option.

 

Problem is, I know nothing about them, including how they work. Now forgive me for sounding like an idiot here, but I've kinda got a lot of questions, so just bear with me, alright?

 

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

How do drawing programs work with these?

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

 

I think that's it for now, but I'll probably come up with a lot more, sorry.

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hmm

 

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

- I mean.. you're gonna be drawing on that computer, right? Like the mouse and keyboard, it has to be connected. yay!

 

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

- Wacom has some cheap ones. They also have some very big prized ones... but u know... the cheap ones work just fine ^^

 

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

- ... less than a hundred? ^^ You can go check prices anytime...

 

How do drawing programs work with these?

- Usually very well! But you usually need to search the settings to get pen pressure working. Google can always help you with that if you can't find it.

 

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

- If a pad has a pen with pen pressure.. kinda? And the cheap ones.. u ain't drawing directly on the screen. The cheaper ones work like, u move your hand on this board and look at your computer screen. (I'm so bad at explaning things, I probaply leave you just more confused...)

 

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

- Yes, with a laptop. And again... it's like the computer mouse. U ain't gonna do a lot with it without a screen.

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

How do drawing programs work with these?

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

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Why do they need to connect to a computer?

Because they're peripherals, like a mouse or a keyboard. You need to connect those to your pc as well. They connect via USB mainly, some via Bluetooth or a combination of USB and DVI/HDMI/VGA for digitiser tablets.

 

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

Most brands are fine. Wacom is the 'default' brand, but the tablet I currently own is a Yiynova due to Wacom's bad service and outrageous prices. Try finding something cheap and check out the online reviews.

 

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

That's up to you and what you want. A digitiser monitor will cost you more than a tablet pad.

If you're starting out, go for a budget tablet, see if you like the general feel. No use spending over a thousand on something you're not sure you might even like.

 

How do drawing programs work with these?

Like with many special peripherals, tablets come with drivers and most art software is programmed to work with tablets per default.

 

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

No. The cheaper tablets have no screen. Standalone OS tablets work like the OS that's installed on them. Digitiser monitors (tablets with screens) can be used as monitors for multiple monitor setups.

 

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

A laptop is a computer, and you can use a tablet with your laptop. You can't use the majority without a computer, but some come as standalone tablets with an operating system.

You can also buy a tablet PC with graphic tablet-like features, like a Microsoft Surface Pro.

 

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

High pressure levels and good customer reviews. Consider a tablet with a battery-powered pen if you like weighted pens, opt for no-battery otherwise. Pick a brand that still sells nibs and pens for the tablet you want, too. Go for something durable with a strong wire if you use a laptop.

 

Extra buttons, touch function, stuff like that are pure gimmicks. Don't go for a touch tablet or something with many 'handy buttons' because they're useless and only cost you extra money. Trust me, you won't be using the buttons if you can help it.

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Navlyn Fury's picture
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Why do they need to connect

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

You can buy a drawing tablet with bluetooth so it doesn't have to be connected, but those are rather expensive. They need to connect to the computer so when you draw on the tablet what your drawing on the tablet will actually show up on the screen XD

 

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

I suggest Wacom. My sister has one and it works very well. 

 

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

around $100 I think. Unless you're willing to go all out. 

 

How do drawing programs work with these?

They work very well. Nice and smooth unless connection between pad and computer is funky or the program is glitchy. 

 

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

Kinda. But they're bigger and thinner (slightly thinner than a centimeter i think)

 

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

I belive so. But they are much more costly than regular drawing tablets and I believe it's kinda like a normal tablet. 

 

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

I'm honestly not sure. Might suggest a drawing stylus tho XD. I suggest you look for either good as new or new. 

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Wow, thanks! That really helped, and answered a lot of my questions! 

(I'm a bit lost on the technical terms but eh. I'm hoping I'll pick it up somehow)

 

Anyway, just two more right now:

 

With the ones without a screen, how do you keep track of what you're doing? It just seems like drawing blind to me...

Is there anywhere that I could test it out somehow before deciding? Like Best Buy, electronic stores...?

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Screenless tablets require some hand-eye coordination. You move the cursor by hovering over the tablet with the stylus. Touching the pad counts as a click. You watch your screen while you do the thing, kind of like using the mouse or keyboard!

 

And yeah some electronic stores do tend to have show models you can take for a spin. Not many do, though!

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Oh, I think I get it now! That's what I missed earlier, whoops. So it's somewhat like a high-tech trackpad, designed for art?

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You could say so, yes! But instead of your fingers it'll only react to the stylus.

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*insert subject*

Alsoo, if it was unclear: u can see the mouse moving when you move the pen above the tablet. Just like moving a mouse around. It's not really that blind since you always see where the mouse is going, right? ^^ And it won't ofc draw untill you press it on the tablet. 

 

So it's just like a computer mouse, but in a pen shape, and that makes it so much easier to hold and draw with! ^^

(I hope I'm not confusing you just more or anything)

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Yes, thanks, that does make a lot more sense!

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I'm probably very late, but...

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

They act like a mouse or a keyboard, and as such, they need communication with the PC. Most pad tablets connect through a USB port, but some tablet monitors need VGA, HDMI, and any other ports I might be missing.

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

Currently, I have a Wacom pad tablet that I got for real cheap (around $60, I think...) I really like Wacom since they have great, high quality tablets, and the only thing I find a little off-putting are the prices. You don't even need customer service if you take good care of your tablet. However, there are some other good brands of tablets out there like Huion, but personally, I recommend Wacom tablets.

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

For a pad tablet, you should spend around $40-$75. I found that as the sweet spot for tablets as you can find really good pad tablets in that price range. If you want a tablet monitor (which I wouldn't recommend if you're really new to graphic tablets), there are some really good alternative brands out there other than Wacom (Wacom has really high prices, from $699-$2000 in the monitor tablet price range) like Yiynova and Huion. You should spend around $200-$550 if you are looking a Wacom alternative.

How do drawing programs work with these?

Drawing programs (excluding MS Paint) work really nicely with most tablets. They have pen pressure, and there are some tools that can make drawing way easier.

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

It depends on the tablet. If you are looking to spend on monitor tablets, yes. Pad tablets, no. However, both pad tablets and monitor tablets has pen pressure, while iPads do not. Pen pressure is really important (especially for artists who use and make lineart) because it gives the drawing a more dynamic atmosphere, unlike a drawing with the same line size all over it.

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

You need a device to plug your tablet in for it to work. I personally own a laptop, and I use my tablet on it all the time. Tablets work well with both computers and laptops.

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

Pen pressure, good build quality, and lots of shortcut keys. Do not look for tablets made with cheap, weak materials.

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