12 Best Digital Writing Pen Tablets for Online Teaching in 2023
July 27, 2023
If you are teaching classes online or providing tutoring, you need to convey complex concepts, equations and diagrams to students quickly and often on the fly.
But only audio and visual contact is not enough here. It becomes really hard for students to actually get what the teacher is trying to say.
In this case, pen tablets and virtual whiteboards are a great help. pen tablet allows you to write on your computer screen as though you were writing with your hand.
The realistic digital pen recreates the classroom experience at home, helping teachers and students to digitally collaborate.
It gives teachers and students the freedom to write, annotate, create, collaborate, take notes, draw, study or teach in ways like never before.
Today, there are Plenty of pen tablets available on the market. However, not all of them offer the same quality in terms of writing experience.
Furthermore, As all teachers are unique, the needs of each teacher will vary.
In this article, 12 of the best digital pen tablets for writing and online teaching in 2023 are introduced.
We cover various sizes and types, from small, portable tablets that can be used on the go to larger, more feature-rich display tablets that are better suited for use in an office or home setting.
They will definitely help you excel in teaching online, video conferencing, and creating tutorials.
What’s a drawing pen tablet and what types are there?
Graphic tablet is basically a computer input device, allowing the user to draw, write and scribble freehand just like doing on paper. It is also called pen tablet, drawing tablet, or digital art board.
It is an extremely popular device for digital artists, graphic designers, teachers, students, painters, draftsmen and photographers. Wacom, XP-Pen, and Huion are some popular brands in the production of a pen tablet.
There are three main types of graphic tablets with different structures and functions.
The first type of graphic tablet does not have its own screen. It has a sheet of paper type work surface and a stylus. They can be wired or wirelessly connected to the computer.
These are the cheapest, but these require great hand eye coordination. You look at your computer screen while drawing on the pen tablet. The most popular options are Wacom Intuos, Huion inspiroy, and XP-Pen Deco.
The second type of graphic tablet is a device with its own display. You can draw directly on it. But they still need to be connected to a computer, for power and to use programs.
This type of graphic tablet is generally much more expensive than standard tablets but offers natural working conditions. The most popular options are Wacom Cintiq, Huion Kamvas, and XP-Pen Artist.
We only recommend them to people who have money to blow or are serious about drawing or teaching digitally.
The third type of graphic tablet is a device with its own display, computer and stylus. These are amongst the more expensive option, but are incredibly portable, since they don’t require a computer to run.
Apple iPad (iOS), Samsung Galaxy Tab (Android) and Microsoft Surface (Windows) are a super great choice these days as they offer a lot of power in a compact portable form.
What hardware do teachers need to start teaching online?
The most basic equipment for online teaching is a laptop (Windows, Mac or Chromebook) with a camera, microphone, and internet connection. Beyond that, you’ll need a fast internet and adequate lighting.
However, for interactive online classes, or subjects that rely heavily on graphs, formulas and visualisation, such as Mathematics and Science, a pen tablet can be an extremely useful addition to the setup.
Which video conference platforms can be used for online classes?
Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom are some of the more common video conferencing software and a great way for teachers to connect to students.
They offer group chats, screen sharing and video conferencing capabilities, thereby creating a more collaborative classroom environment.
All three software are free of charge for private users and run on most operating systems and web browsers.
Educators can conduct lessons through desktop sharing by presenting the prepare materials (e.g. Powerpoint slides).
What software are available for teachers?
The most popular software include the Microsoft Office (Word, Powepoint, Excel, OneNote.) suite of products as well as Adobe Acrobat or any other program for annotating PDF files. These software can be used to prepare lessons and create online teaching materials for the virtual classroom.
Online whiteboards allow teachers and students to replicate the experience of a physical whiteboard online, with an infinite canvas. some of the most popular options include Microsoft Whiteboard, Google Jamboard, Openboard, BitPaper, Whiteboard.fi, Explain Everything, Miro, Ziteboard, Limnu and more.
Bring your class to life by using annotation or the live drawing functionality of these software.
How does drawing pen tablet help with online teaching?
For interactive classroom learning, teachers can use drawing tablets together with functionality of the following applications:
Pointing and highlighting key concept;
Annotation to further elaborate a point;
Create graphs, module or explain formulas;
Sketching and drawing ideas.
PDF Annotation and Microsoft Office:
Highlighting critical points;
Commenting or correcting work;
Annotating to further elaborate a point;
Record online lessons.
Why get a drawing pen tablet for online teaching?
Have you ever used a digital whiteboard tool like Openboard and been forced to use your mouse to create barely legible text?
It is impossible to achieve the same level of fluidity that you get with a marker pen and whiteboard using a mouse.
With pen tablets, you can write with ease – from digital handwriting to sketching to mind mapping to annotating and grading.
If you are a math and science teacher, you will love using Wacom’s products to handwrite equations and create diagrams.
12 Best Drawing Pen Tablets for Online Teaching
You don’t have to have a full-fledged pen tablet to be able to draw, doodle, hand-write and operate on a whiteboard or other app in general more conveniently.
An affordable drawing tablet that connects to any Windows, Mac or a Chrome OS computer will do the job!
Let’s now go through our picks for the 12 best digital pen tablets for online teaching in 2023.
1. One by Wacom
The One by Wacom is the company’s least expensive entry-level option, lacks many of the common features, but it’s perfect for students and teachers looking for a reliable graphics tablet.
The One by Wacom is available in two sizes: Small Variant with 6.0 x 3.7 inches active area, while the Medium Variant has 8.3 x 5.7 inches work area. its compact size makes it easy to transport.
The tablet has decent build quality, which is made entirely of plastic and can be bent a bit, but it doesn’t take any damage in the process. Its drawing surface is black and the base is bright red.
Without batteries or wires, the Wacom’s EMR pen doesn’t need charging, so it works the moment it touches the pen tablet surface.
The stylus comes with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and 2540 lpi resolution. It isn’t the highest-spec stylus on the market, However, it’s still very good for online teaching, note taking, photo editing, writing, and drawing.
While dedicated driver software is required for working with the Linux, Mac or Windows PC, Chromebook users can get started right away — the connection with a free USB interface is sufficient.
The XP-Pen Deco Fun series is built to fit comfortably in many different use cases. It’s great for writing, sketching, painting, taking notes, and online teaching.
The tablet comes in 3 different sizes: XS (4.8 × 3 inches active area), S (6.3 × 4 inches active area), and L (10 × 6.27 inches active area). plus, there are four colors to choose from: red, black, green, blue.
The XS and S Version are compact, lightweight and easily transportable in your laptop bag. L version’s large drawing area provides enough space for painting or sketching.
The battery-free EMR stylus supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, 5080 LPI Resolution and 60 degrees of tilt recognition (XS Version not support). Pen is accurate, Quickly and easily responding to the way your hand naturally moves.
Deco Fun is compatible with Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. It supports most digital working, remote education, drawing, and animation software.
As an added bonus, with your purchase you can get an activation key to download and use free ‘ArtRage Lite’ drawing software and ‘Explain Everything’ whiteboard.
Deco Fun is a good tablet for the price it offers. As long as the lack of hot keys won’t bother you, you can do well with it.
Huion Inspiroy H420X is an affordable, solid, compact, light and very portable drawing pad to aid your online teaching.
Its small active area of 4.17 × 2.6 inches makes it a little awkward to use with larger monitors. but on the other hand, this makes it perfect for limited desktop space and easy to carry out when on a trip.
It uses a PW100 battery-free stylus with a pressure sensitivity level of 8192, a reading rate of 300PPS, and a pen resolution of 5080LPI. This makes every stroke look more fluent.
This tablet comes with a USB-C connector that goes to a USB-A, and it comes with two other small adapters for a USB-A to USB-C, or USB-A to micro USB, for your Android phone.
It is compatible with Android, Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows devices, so it can be a good option for those who are looking for a compatible and versatile device.
The Wacom One is the cheapest pen display from Wacom with its affordability making it a worthy rival to other chinese brands on the market.
Wacom One comes with a 13.3-inch full HD screen that provides a sufficiently large working area and details. The color gamut is up to 72% NTSC / 99% sRGB, which is fine for the majority of work.
There also has a matte protective film above the screen that the feel of a pen and paper and reduces glare.
The battery-free pen supports up to 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition support. Line performance is still very good. However, This is half of the 8,192 levels you enjoy on the Cintiq 16, another 15.6-inch budget pen display.
The design of the tablet itself is sleek and minimalist. The base of the device is made using strong, white plastic, and features two built-in foldable legs to adjust the height.
The display is compatible with Windows, Mac and even some Android and chromebook devices.
The Wacom One has the best design, accurate drawing functionality, and affordable price to save your time while teaching online.
XP-Pen Artist 10 (2nd gen) has a 10.1-inch IPS Screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. The screen looks sharp and you won’t be able to see individual pixels even when working up close.
The wide colour accuracy of 120% sRGB is also pretty good, images looks vibrant and bright, the calibration is probably not needed out of the box.
The matte screen has an anti-glare coating with a slightly rough surface that replicates a drawing-on-paper feel. The display is also fully laminated, which eliminates parallax—allowing the pen’s tip to precisely align with the cursor on the screen.
The left side of the tablet is equipped with 6 programmable buttons. You can easily change them to settings for your choice. The battery-free stylus also comes with 2 buttons making it easy to switch between eraser and pen mode.
Also, the stylus features advanced X3-Smart-Chip, which delivers an authentic drawing experience by using digital signal transmission technology.
The pen’s pressure can be regulated over 8000 pressure levels, has 3g low initial activation force and supports Tilt recognition.
This device can easily connect with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS devices. You can easily use various editing and drawing software as well as do online teaching effectively.
The iPad (9th gen) 2021 is Apple’s cheapest tablet, still capable and well worth the cost of entry.
The iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina touchscreen with a resolution of 2160 x 1620, 105.3% sRGB color gamut and 500 nits of maximum brightness. so it’s big enough, generally vibrant, sharp and easily visible under strong lighting.
However, The display of the iPad 9 continues to not be laminated. That means there’s a visible air gap between the glass surface and the panel layer. This may cause some parallax when drawing or writing on the screen.
The powerful Apple A13 processor is running inside together with 3GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB internal storage. This makes it fast enough for most needs and then some.
This iPad works with the Apple Pencil for sketching, although it’s the first-gen Pencil and and needs to be purchased separately, but it still works exceptionally well for quick sketches, handwriting and note-taking.
You can expect outstanding endurance from this tablet. The iPad (9th gen) lasts for about 10 hours by a built‐in 32.4 Wh lithium‑polymer battery.
Moreover, The build quality is flawless. The iPad is sturdy, slim, feels great to the touch, Navigation such as zoom, pan and rotate is smooth and responsive.
Altogether, the iPad (9th gen) is a solid all-rounder that is not only a great option for teachers, but it is also one that won’t break the bank.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 is an affordable creative and note-taking tablet for users who prefer to stay on the Android side of things.
It has a 10.4-inch IPS screen with a 2000 x 1200 resolution, up to 435 nits of brightnes, and covers 98.4% of the sRGB color gamut. So the screen is plenty sharp, and the colors look vibrant.
Tab S6 Lite display is laminated so there’s no air gap between the glass and LCD. When drawing or writing, there has no parallax issues, the line will look like it’s appearing beneath the pen tip.
The 2.3 GHz Octo-Core Snapdragon 720G processor with 4GB RAM gives you ample power to keep up with even the busiest of students.
It’s supported by 64GB or 128GB of storage, There also has a MicroSD card slot so it’s inexpensive to expand storage.
Samsung S Pen is included at no extra cost. This battery-free pen supports tilt recognition and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It offers accurate, consistent and predictable drawing and writing performance.
With a 7,040 mAh battery capacity, The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite will last all day. This means that you won’t need to be tethered to a power point when delivering your lessons to students.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a budget-friendly, yet powerful tablet competitor that is hard to beat.
Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 is the best budget Windows 2-in-1 tablet, it’s built well and offers a surprisingly enjoyable experience.
It has a 10.5-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,280 pixels, 400 nits of average brightness and 104.7% sRGB color gamut. The screen is bright, sharp and colorful, with great viewing angles.
With a 10th Intel Core i3-10100Y processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128 GB SSD storage, the jump in performance was very noticeable compared to earlier Surface Go models. It’s very usable for mainstream office apps, browsing and video meetings in Teams.
The rechargeable Surface Pen supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition, reliable for writing, drawing and note-taking. but you’ll need to charge it via USB-C every once in a while.
Unfortunately, The Surface detachable type cover and the Surface stylus pen are sold separately for $99 each, which tacks on $200 to the total price of the laptop if you decide to buy those.
Its 28Whr battery lasts a little over seven hours of light productivity, so depending on your school schedule, you might be able to get through the day on a full charge.
The Microsoft Surface Go 3 is decent for school use. It’s a very portable device as it’s compact and lightweight.