Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

Choose between a pen tablet and a display tablet

Updated

This guide covers some of the standalone tablet device options that you may want to consider using along with you computer. Unlike a stand alone tablet, these devices plug into your computer. We include drawing tablets with and without a display screen.

Before you begin

  1. How do I use a drawing tablet? To use these tablets, you need to connect the drawing tablet to your computer to transfer data to your computer.
  2. What is a pen tablet vs a pen display? The main difference between a pen tablet and a pen display is that the pen tablet does not have a screen, and the pen display does. A pen tablet is a computer input equipment, usually consisting of an electronic drawing tablet and a stylus. The users can draw on the tablet with the stylus, and the image will be displayed on the computer screen. The pen display is an input device and a monitor. It is much easier to use than a simple pen tablet, but also requires more financial investment.

1. Drawing Tablets (no display screen)

1.1. Huion H640P Graphics Tablet

The Huion H640P graphics tablet ($59.99) is an affordable one and great if you want a smaller tablet that is light enough to be portable. It offers a great drawing experience with a good set of shortkeys in a small and compact package. The stylus is battery free and cordless, and it has excellent response rate for really smooth and fluid lines.

Things to note:

  • The cursor does not show up in SAMSUNG at present, except SAMSUNG Note Series.
  • Known issues with some pens being faulty.

1.2. XP-Pen StarG640

The XP-Pen StarG640 tablet ($59.99) is another affordable one if you are looking for something that is quite small and portable. The stylus is battery free and suitable for both left and right hand use, and it has excellent response rate for really smooth and fluid lines. The minimalistic tablet does not have any express keys, but if that is not something that you are looking to use, then this is definitely a good buy.

1.3. Huion HS611

The Huion HS611 ($119.99) is one that is on the larger side and is unique with its touch strip and multimedia keys. It is relatively light weight for its size and is quite portable.

Things to note:

  • The cursor does not show up in some SAMSUNG devices.
  • If you don't want the touch strip functionalities, it can be deactivated in the driver.

1.4. Huion Inspiroy Q11k V2 (wireless connection)

The Huion Inspiroy Q11k V2 ($152.99) is worth considering if you are looking for a large tablet and it is an affordable alternative to the Wacom Intuos Pro series of tablets. It provides a work area approximately the size of an A4 sheet of paper and can be wireless connected to your device or connected with USB.

Things to note:

  • Be aware of its size (13" diagonal workspace).
  • Driver is easy to install.

1.5. Wacom Intuos (Bluetooth connection)

The Wacom Intuos tablet ($135.12 for size small with Bluetooth) provides USB and Bluetooth connectivity and comes in 3 size selections: small, small (with Bluetooth), and medium (with Bluetooth). It also comes with bundled art software (amount depends on size).

Things to note:

  • The express keys are at the top of the tablet instead of on the side.
  • The surface scratches easily when a lot of pressure is applied with the pen nib.

2. Drawing Tablet (with display screen)

2.1. Huion Kamvas 13

The Huion Kamvas 13 ($349.00) is an affordable pen display with fully-laminated textured screen, battery-free pen, and pen tilt functionality. It is definitely a good alternative to the Wacom Cintiq 13HD.

Things to note:

  • Power cable must be connected for the tablet to work, cannot be powered by only USB connection to computer.

2.2. Wacom One

The Wacom One ($529) is a pen display that is moderately priced and is an affordable alternative to Wacom's higher-end Cintiq series. It provides a matte surface that is smooth and very paper-like, and a battery-free stylus.

Things to note:

  • The multi-cord set up (4 cable cords) might take up table space.
  • Lack of express keys.

If you are interested in seeing a comparison between the Huion Kamvas 13 and the Wacom One, check out this quick comparison video between the Huion Kamvas 13 and the Wacom One.

3. Comparison Table

Product Huion Inspiroy H640P XP-Pen StarG640 Huion HS611 Huion Inspiroy Q11K V2 (Wireless Connection) Wacom Intuos S (with Bluetooth) Huion Kamvas 13 Wacom One
Type Pen Tablet Pen Tablet Pen Tablet Pen Tablet Pen Tablet Pen Display Pen Display
Price (Amazon) $59.99 $59.99 $119.99 $152.99 $135.12 $349.00 $529.95
Shipping Time  ~5 days,
1 day with prime
~6 days,
1 day with prime
~6 days,
1 day with prime
~6 days,
1 day with prime
~6 days,
1 day with prime
~6 days,
2 days with prime
~5 days,
1 day with prime
Weight 277g 372g 550g 880g 230g 980g 1.0 kg
Dimensions 

(L x W x H)

260 x 147.7 x 8 mm 190 x 162 x 8 mm 333.4 x 218.4 x 7.3 mm 390 x 223 x 11 mm 200 x 160 x 8.8 mm 366.5 x 217.4 x 11.8 mm 225 x 357 x 14.6 mm
Workspace dimensions 160 x 100 mm 152.4 x 101.6 mm 258.4 x 161.5 mm 279.4 x 174.6 mm 152.0 x 95.0 mm 293.76 × 165.24mm 294 x 166 mm
Stylus
  • Battery-Free EMR
  • Pressure-sensitive (8192)
  • Battery-Free
  • Pressure-sensitive (8192)
  • Battery-Free EMR
  • Pressure-sensitive
  • Battery-Free EMR
  • Pressure-sensitive
  • Battery-Free EMR
  • Pressure-sensitive
  • Battery-Free EMR
  • Pressure-sensitive
  • Battery-Free EMR
  • Pressure-sensitive
Stylus Accuracy/ Tilt Recognition
  • ±0.3mm
  • None
  • ±0.25mm
  • None
  • -
  • 60 degrees
  • -
  • 60 degrees
  • -
  • -
  • ±0.5mm (Center) ±3mm (Corner)
  • 60 degrees
  • -
  • 60 degrees
Compatibility
  • Windows 7 or later 
  • Mac OS 10.12 or later 
  • Android 6.0 or later
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS X 10.10 or later
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS 10.12 or later
  • Android 6.0 or later
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS 10.12 or later
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS X 10.11 or later
  • Android 6.0 or later
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS 10.11 or later
  • Android
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS 10.13 or later
Shortcut Keys 6 Programmable Press Keys - 8 Programmable Press Keys, 8 Multimedia Keys 8 Programmable Press Keys 4 Programmable Press Keys 8 Programmable Press Keys -
Interface Micro USB USB USB-C Micro USB USB-A, Bluetooth Classic for wireless connection 3-in-1 USB-C Port / Full Featured USB-C Port (USB 3.0 Gen1) HDMI port and USB-A port
Screen Resolution - - - - - 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 1920 x 1080 pixels
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