12 Best Drawing Tablets for Architects and Designers in 2023
August 15, 2023
Architecture is one of the most majestic and creative forms of art. It is a process that relies on creativity through a lengthy and demanding procedure.
Drawing Tablets have become an indispensable part of the modern architect’s arsenal. They are vital in communicating architectural visions to our clients, professors or a wider audience.
With a drawing tablet, you’ll easily be able to make some quick sketches, into writing, editing PDFs, online meeting, taking notes, modeling, rendering and for explaining your idea and design concepts to other people.
With so many different drawing tablet models and types available on the market these days, it can be hard for an architect to know which one is right for their needs.
Fear not! In this article, we’ll share the best drawing tablets for architects and designers in 2023, including key tech specs like size, pen pressure levels, battery life, and more.
What works for someone else might not work for you, So we also provided the most important things that you should pay particular attention to when choosing your tablet.
How many types of drawing tablets are there?
The market covers various types of drawing tablets, including standalone tablets, display tablets, and screenless tablets.
Either way, a pen tablet is interesting and generates different workflows with which you could get used to!
Standalone tablets are self-contained devices that do not require a separate computer to operate. They are most expensive that comes with buil-in computer, screen and stylus.
The weight and size (10-inch~14-inch) of the standalone tablet make it much easier to carry around and make it completely versatile.
A good example is the iPad Pro with a 11-inch screen, or Android (like Samsung Galaxy Tab) and Windows (like microsoft surface) models of the same size. This is a popular format among our Architects.
Display tablets, on the other hand, have a built-in display that allows the user to draw directly on the screen.
It feels really near to drawing on a paper. The downside is that you are still tethered to a laptop or computer.
The most representative series are wacom cintiq, XP-Pen Artist and huion Kamvas.
non-display tablets are cheaper, sturdier and more durable than display ones.
But the hand eye coordination being a problem: Drawing on a tablet while looking at a screen in a different direction. You need to get used to it.
Honestly you can go with any of the brands. They are all pretty comparable from xp-pen deco, to Huion Inspiroy to Wacom Intuos.
Here are some of the most well-liked choices: Revit, Archicad, AutoCAD, Sketchup, Chief Architect, 3DS Max, Rhino, Vectorworks, Civil 3D, CATIA, and Photoshop.
Graphics tablets are used in combination with many different kinds of software, including graphics, animation, and sketching software. As long as it is compatible with the graphics tablet, you can use the two together.
Do architects need a drawing tablet?
Engineers, architects and architecture students can experience a massive improvement in their workflow if they use graphics tablets to make quick sketches.
It bridges the divide between the analog and digital and when it’s so seamlessly integrated with an app like Photoshop that you forget you’re not using the real thing, that’s a remarkable feat.
graphics tablet allows for a much more natural drawing experience than using a mouse, as the stylus pen gives more control and accuracy.
A stylus is a great tool to easily sketch on plans, make annotations on pictures, digitally sign documents, or jot down to-do lists.
The pressure-sensitive stylus allows for more varied and realistic strokes, making it much easier to create more sophisticated artwork.
Additionally, some graphics tablets come with additional features, such as a roller wheel or buttons, that can make it easier to control the architectural design software and tools you use.
Finally, A lot of professional architects have repetitive strain injuries (RSI) which are really painful. The pen tablet is a fine ergonomic mouse alternative to reduce strain from desk work.
What to look out for when getting a standalone drawing tablet?
There are a few things to look out for when getting a standalone drawing tablet:
Your screen size requirement, screen quality (resolution, color accuracy, brightness and refresh rate), pressure levels, battery life, use case, performance (cpu, ram and storage), brand, and what operating system you prefer for use.
12 Best Drawing Tablets For Architects and Designers in 2023
Here is the list of the 12 best tablets for architects and designers that should suit your purpose just fine.
1. iPad Pro
The Apple iPad Pro is the ultimate drawing tablet for anyone looking for maximum performance and reliability.
The device by itself is gorgeous. The whole body is machined out of magnesium, giving it a very premium and luxurious feel.
The tablet comes in two size variants – 11” and 12.9”. the screen is an edge-to-edge liquid retina display with features like ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate), True-tone and 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut.
Its powerful M2 chipsets deliver remarkable processing power, ensuring seamless multitasking, fluid animations, and impressive graphics performance.
The tablet’s large display and multi-touch capabilities offer enhanced productivity, allowing users to effortlessly navigate and interact with apps, files, and media.
With the Apple Pencil 2nd Gen, users can unleash their creativity by sketching, annotating, or taking handwritten notes directly on the screen.
The Pencil’s palm rejection technology ensures a natural and uninterrupted writing or drawing experience.
The iPad Pro’s slim form factor and lightweight design make it highly portable. It offers users the flexibility to work, create, and consume content from anywhere.
The tablet’s long-lasting battery life ensures extended usage without the need for frequent charging.
However, the iPad Pro’s reliance on the iPadOS operating system may limit certain software applications or functionalities compared to traditional desktop platforms.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is a sleek and powerful Android drawing tablet that boasts an array of features for both work and entertainment.
Its stunning 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display offers vivid colors and excellent contrast, making it ideal for multimedia consumption and productivity tasks.
The S8 Plus tablet is equipped with a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, providing smooth multitasking, quick app loading, and impressive graphics capabilities.
The device also supports Samsung DeX, which is the way to get a PC-like experience with your Samsung tablet.
With 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, low latency and tilt recognition, the included S Pen is responsive and accurate, lets architects navigate effortlessly through various software, draw sketches or plans, and take notes with ease.
The S8 plus tablet offers a substantial battery capacity of 10,090mAh, ensuring extended usage without frequent recharging.
The slim and lightweight design further enhances portability, allowing users to carry the tablet comfortably and use it on the go.
However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. One limitation is the limited amonts of Android productivity apps compared to the iPad and Windows ecosystem.
The Wacom Intuos Pro is great for architects and designers who want to upgrade from their first entry-level drawing tablet. It is easy to install on Windows and macOS.
It is available in 3 sizes: Small (6″ x 3.7″ active area), Medium (8.82″ x 5.83″) and Large (12.24″ x 8.5″) with a price difference of around $100 between each size.
The Small and Medium version is lightweight for its size and comes in a super-slim build that makes it easy to carry when traveling. The large size is perfect for professional and serious hobbyist.
Its useful bluetooth connectivity allows for wireless integration and hassle-free working. The battery lasts 10 hours for continuous usage with pen or multi-touch.
The most precise wacom pro pen 2 have two exclusive features that are not available on the regular Intuos: tilt support and an eraser on the other end of the pen. It also supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, which gives you more control.
The build quality of the Intuos Pro is substantial in the hand and build materials give off a premium feel. It also has a replaceable Texture sheet drawing surface that mimics the feel of paper.
The Intuos Pro offers a good deal of customizability. Not only do you have the 8 express keys, but the touch ring can have 4 different functions set to it.
The intuos pro tablet also offers a multi-touch feature hence allowing you to turn it into a trackpad. If you’re not a fan of trackpads, there is the option of turning it off.
Wacom One is an affordable entry-level pen display for beginners who want to draw directly on the screen but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a Wacom Cintiq Pro.
The 13.3-inch LCD screen comes with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 99% sRGB color gamut and a viewing angle of 170 degree, which results in sharp and clear images.
The glass surface has a matte AG film protector, which offers enough resistance on screen to feel like drawing on natural media-paper.
The 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and Tilt recognition give you decent stroke controls and accuracy. The EMR stylus doesn’t have a battery and doesn’t require charging.
It comes with a bundle of free creative software trials, and is compatible with whatever software or computer you want to use it with, including Windwos, Mac, some Android and Chromebook devices.
The wacom one display is slim and sleek with its body design being 0.6-inch thin and its body dimension ranging 14.1 x 8.9 inches. It also weighs 1kg hence making it easy to carry out with your laptop.
The Huion Kamvas 13 is a popular drawing tablet that provides excellent value for the price, making it an attractive option for architects and designers on a budget.
The Huion Kamvas 13 features a 13.3-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 FHD resolution and 120% sRGB wide color gamut, making the images on the screen look very natural, vibrant and deatiled.
The parallax is minimal thanks to the fully laminated screen. Kamvas 13 also has a matte screen protector, This eliminates glare and mimics the feeling you get while drawing on normal paper.
The battery-free pen comes with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, 266RPS Report rate and 60 degrees of tilt recognition. This provides you accurate pen tracking, great stroke response and pleasant drawing experience.
The tablet features 8 programmable shortcut keys and 2 pen buttons that can be tailored to individual preferences, allowing users to access frequently used functions with ease.
Huion Kamvas 13 has the ability to connect to most computers (Mac or Windows) and even some Android tablets and smartphones.
Wacom Cintiq 16 is moderately priced, and is a good choice for architecture students and pros on tight budgets.
The 15.6-inch screen size is big enough for comfortable drawing, the resolution is a simple 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD; It can display 16.7 million colors covering 96% of sRGB standards.
The screen has a built-in anti-glare film, preventing any distracting reflections. Stain resistant and sturdy. the textured surface makes writing and drawing on the screen feel like on paper.
The included pro pen 2 offers both tilt response and 8K pressure sensitivity, accurately capturing the nuances of an artist’s strokes, enabling artists to achieve the desired effects and textures in their artwork.
The Cintiq 16 connects directly to your Mac or Windows PC through the common HDMI port. It works with all major architecture design software too, such as the AutoCAD, Sketchup and 3DS Max.
With this budget pen display tablet, you’ll have everything you need and more to start creating.
Those who are interested in buying one of the best pen display tablets they can find can choose between two sizes: 15.6-inch and 22 inch (Wacom Cintiq 22).