What Is The Difference Between A Graphic Tablet And A Drawing Tablet?

What Is The Difference Between A Graphic Tablet And A Drawing Tablet?

You’ve certainly seen the words “graphics tablet” and “drawing tablet” tossed around as an artist trying to enter into the digital world. If you’re not sure what they say or how to tell them apart, you’ll be relieved to realise you’re not alone.
Many beginners are unaware of the various digital drawing instruments that are accessible to them. As a consequence, they are unsure which ones would be more helpful to their artistic journeys.
We definitely faced the same quandary when we first started out, and had to do extensive research before deciding on which tablet to purchase.
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We’ll save you time and annoyance, as well as probably hundreds of pounds in wasted resources, by delving into the subject in detail. We’ll focus on graphics tablets and drawing tablets in particular, offering broad reviews of all, main features, benefits, and drawbacks, as well as a discussion of which one is better for you based on your needs.

What exactly is a graphics tablet?

A graphics tablet is a kind of input system that uses hardware. It is a method for artists to do their work in digital form. Most graphics tablets have a pressure sensitive surface where artists can draw. To be completely used, the graphics tablet must be wired to a monitor or laptop.

What Is The Difference Between A Graphic Tablet And A Drawing Tablet
What Is The Difference Between A Graphic Tablet And A Drawing Tablet

You’ll only be able to see what you’re drawing once you do this.

Graphics tablets have a learning curve due to the way they operate. When you bind the unit to a screen, you must learn to sketch while looking at the computer rather than the tablet.
Most people find this very counterintuitive since we are used to staring down at the paper while drawing. When we first do it, it seems strange to have to aim at another surface to intuit where our hands can go when we sketch out lines and shapes.

Another feature of a graphics tablet that you can get acquainted with is orientation. While you can spin your hand around on a sheet of paper to draw elements that are not upright, when working on a graphics tablet, you should still be upright.

This makes it possible to better focus what you’re drawing in comparison to what’s on the display screen. When drawing non-vertical elements, you must rotate the graphics tablet rather than your palm.

However, after a bit, you get used to it and it almost becomes second nature.

What exactly is a pen display?

You’ll be shocked to learn that the previous segment covered the majority of the shared ground between graphics tablets and drawing tablets, also known as pen displays. The distinctions are minor. They are, though, significant enough that you should be aware of them in order to make more educated buying choices.

A drawing pad, also known as a pen monitor, is another kind of input device. The painting board, on the other hand, is a full-screen display that allows you to see the artwork while you sketch it.

Drawing tablets are available in a variety of styles. Some have a standard touch screen on which you can sketch, whilst others have a special pressure sensitive touchscreen that looks more like paper. The aim is to replicate the natural drawing experience as accurately as possible.

What exactly is the distinction between a graphics tablet and a drawing tablet?

Let us begin with the parallels, of which there are several.

The most striking link between graphics tablets and pen screens is that they all use touch technologies. To adopt touch technologies, graphics tablets use a stylus, while drawing tablets have more versatility. This isn’t a hard and quick guideline, however, since there are newer graphics tablets on the market that can recognise your side.

The drawing monitors are more evenly distributed. Some versions need a stylus to detect contact, while others recognise the palm. If you have a standard tablet PC, such as an iPad, you may be certain that it would recognise your palm. Drawing tablets are often more inclined than graphics tablets to accept international styluses (those that were not delivered with them).

Pressure sensitivity processing is used with both graphics tablets and drawing tablets. As a result, the more energy you apply, the heavier your strokes would be. You may also be able to calibrate the tablet to be more or less susceptible to pressure based on your desires and expectations.

Tilt awareness is another feature that several graphics tablets and pen displays have in common. This is a characteristic exclusive to the arts. It enables you to imitate more than just a painting pen. You will perfectly imitate the strokes of airbrushes, paintbrushes, and so on. This is more popular on graphics tablets and advanced pen displays than on mobile PCs such as iPads, but it is not unheard of.

Finally, the majority of graphics tablets and certain pen displays are built to imitate the natural feel of real paper. This is done to have an atmosphere as similar to painting on paper as practicable.


The most significant distinction between these two is that one has a computer on which you can view your job while you work, and the other does not. Graphics tablets must be wired to a device in order to be utilised. Drawing tablets should be used independently and the projector displays what you’re drawing when you draw it.

Another distinction is the expense. Because of the superior technology, drawing tablets are more expensive than graphics tablets. This is often a deciding factor for beginning and amateur artists who may like a drawing tablet but have a budget that only allows for a graphics tablet.

Of course, tablet PCs that can be used as drawing tablets exist. There are more akin to full-fledged machines that you happen to use for painting. They are not designed solely for drawing and often necessitate the usage of additional applications. They are frequently more costly than graphics tablets and painting tablets since they are general purpose devices.