Best Drawing Tablets for pixel art

Pixel art is fun! It is a form of digital art drawn with graphics software in which color is applied to individual pixels to create an image.

It didn’t die out in the nineties, and even started to regain popularity in video games.

If you would like to make pixel art for video games you will need the right tools to create your pixel sprites.

When drawing Pixel Art, A lot of pixel artists work with a drawing tablet and others with a mouse.

Which one Is Better? Should you invest in a pen tablet, or stick with a mouse?

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your style, preferences, and budget.

In this article, we’ll compare the pros and cons of using a tablet vs a mouse for making pixel art, and help you decide which one suits you best.

Best Pixel Art Editors

Aseprite program for creating pixel art

Digital art software allows you to draw on a computer will be your best ally for making pixel art.

There are also many programs available that are specifically designed for creating pixel art, such as Aseprite, GraphicsGale, and Pyxel Edit.

These programs often have features that are specifically tailored for pixel art, such as the ability to zoom in for precise pixel-level control, and a limited color palette that can be used to ensure that the final image has a consistent, retro look.

Here’s a list of software commonly used for pixel art:

Aseprite: Great professional editor with many time-saving features and yet simple to use.

Graphics Gale: A free classic japanese pixel art tool, used in many games. Excels at animation with features such as onion skinning.

Piskel: A free and open source online pixel art editor with a user gallery.

Pyxel edit: a pixel art drawing app especially designed for working with tiles. pretty good, and the price tag is quite reasonable.

Photoshop: Powerful image editor not intended to make pixel art but you can set it up to use it.

Gimp: A multi-purpose image editor, designed to be a free replacement for photoshop. Can be configured to use for pixel art. A free image editing program for windows, originally intended as a replacement for MSPaint. It supports making pixel art.

Krita: A free, open source graphics program. It is intended for digital painting and 2d animation but can be set up for pixel art.

What is a drawing tablet?

A graphics tablet, also known as a drawing tablet, is a popular tool for digital artists, including those who create pixel art.

It allows you to draw directly on a screen or a surface with a stylus, which mimics the feel of a pen or a brush.

There are many different types of graphics tablets available, from entry-level models to professional-grade tablets.

Some tablets come with a built-in screen, while others connect to your computer and use your computer screen.

Do you need a drawing pen tablet for pixel art?

Pixel art is doable with a simple mouse, because you actually don‘t „draw“, you just place the pixels. You don‘t have to draw dynamic and smooth lines and such.

Moreover, a mouse can be more precise and accurate than a tablet in some cases, such as when you need to make fine adjustments, edits, places or selections.

However, a graphic tablet is mostly useful to convey your pen-and-paper drawing skill to the computer.

If you want to make a quick sketch and easily draw your pixel art’s form, especially curves, a graphic tablet helps. It allows you to get the right proportions and movements, before the pixel-by-pixel detail.

Drawing tablet come with a stylus that can be used to precisely control the size and shape of each pixel. Also, It is much easier, natural more comfortable to draw with stylus than mouse.

The pen tablet can reduce the risk of strain or injury on your wrist, hand, and arm, as you can adopt a more ergonomic posture and movement.

In conclusion, a graphics tablet can be a valuable tool for making pixel art, providing you with greater control and precision when creating your art.

6 Best drawing tablets for pixel art in 2024

When selecting a tablet for pixel art, it’s important to consider factors such as the tablet’s size, the accuracy of the stylus, and the software that you’ll be using.

Here are our top six picks, They aren’t just for creating pixel art. They’re also a great way to edit photos, skecth and paint.

1. One By wacom

one by wacom drawing pad for making pixel art

one by wacom is a good drawing tablet to start on, especially since it was the most affordable Wacom tablet.

The One by Wacom is available in two sizes: small version with 6.0 x 3.7 inches of active area, and medium version with 8.3 x 5.7 inches of active area.

It come with a battery-free stylus with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. In supported drawing software, the harder you press, the thicker the line.

Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and Chrome OS devices, this tablet empowers you to unleash your creativity across multiple platforms.

This tablet is simple, well-designed, supremely portable, yet still very effective. It can slip into most laptop bags with ease and be readily available whenever the creative urge strikes.

2. XP-Pen Deco 01 V2

XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 graphics tablet for pixel art

Wacom products are better in every way but these are so much expensive ! XP-Pen products are more than capable and sufficient for a hobbyist.

XP-Pen Deco 01 v2 is a slim light weight graphics tablet with a clean simple design. The best thing is that it gives a high value for its price segment.

It comes with a 10 x 6.25 inch working area so you have more space to create and get work done.

The Deco 01 V2 tablet also has 8 hot keys that can be program to do some of the common tasks you need.

The battery-free stylus supports 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60 degrees of tilt response! The lines and strokes come out smooth and looking natural.

It’s compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android, Chrome OS and mainstraeam art applications.

3. Huion Kamvas 12

Huion Kamvas 12 display drawing tablet for pixel art

Huion is also a great option for those who are looking to save some money.

The Huion Kamvas 12 is a screen tablet. It is designed as an entry level tool for beginner unfamiliar with digital art and drawing monitors.

It comes with a 11.6 inch IPS screen with1920x1080 full HD resolution and 120% sRGB wide colour gamut. The screen looks sharp, vibrant and vivid, great for drawing pixel art.

Full-laminated screen minimizes the parallax so that your cursor appears exactly where you expect. The textured screen film is anti-glare and provide you with the slightest of resistance for that pen on paper feel.

The Kamvas 12 tablet includes eight programmable hotkeys that you can set up to be whatever shortcut you want.

The PW517 battery-free stylus features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60° tilt recognition provides you amazing precision and control.

This is a lightweight pen with a rubber grip, which makes it comfortable to hold and has two customisable shortcut buttons on its shaft.

One last cool feature on this tablet is that it works on Android as well as Windows and Mac.

4. XP-Pen Artist 10 (2nd gen)

xppen artist 10 2nd gen screen drawing tablet for pixel art

The XP-Pen Artist 10 (2nd gen) is a good low-cost and entry-level drawing display.

As the name suggests, the screen is a 10.1-inch IPS display. It features 1080p resolution and 120% sRGB amazingly color gamut. The screen is quite impressive that delivers clear, vibrant and realistic images.

The display is laminated so there’s minimal gap between the line and the pen tip. Furthermore, The anti-glare matte finish provides a nice tactile drawing experience of pen-on-paper.

Fortunately the tablet also includes six shortcut keys, for instant access to the most commonly used tools in your chosen software.

The X3 smart chip stylus feels light with excellent performance, no lag or latency at all while drawing. It supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt detection and 3g lower initial activation force.

You can use it with Chromebook, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux Devices.

If 10.1-inch is too cramped for you, XP-Pen Artist (2nd gen) series also has bigger 11.9-inch, 13.3-inch and 15.4-inch options to choose from.

5. ipad (9th generation)

Apple iPad (9th gen) standalone tablet for pixel art

The Huion Kamvas 12 and XP-Pen Artist 10 (2nd gen) requires you to connect it to another device, laptop, desktop or android phone / tablet.

But this ipad 9th generation is a stand-alone tablet that can be used without a computer and supports pen input, which makes it very versatile and portable.

The 9th-gen iPad may not be the most up-to-date model, but its value and solid specs make it an excellent choice for the budget-conscious.

It comes with a 10.2-inch Retina touchscreen with 2160 x 1620-pixel resolution, a maximum brightness of 500 nits and 79.2% of the DCI-P3 color space.

The display is solid, overall. it’s plenty sharp, detailed and Color accurate. The two drawbacks are the non-laminated screen and 60Hz refresh rate, But it’s not much to say for the price.

The powerful A13 Bionic Chip can offer impressive performance across apps. Additionally, it has 3GB of RAM and 64 GB or 256GB of Storage.

This iPad works with the Apple Pencil 1st gen, While it’s not the latest Apple Pencil 2, it’s still enough for sketching and drawing. However, it is sold separately.

One of the standout features of any iPad is its battery life, and this generation is no exception. The 9th gen model provides up to 10 hours of battery life.

Pixel Artists love the iPad. It’s portable, versatile, super handy and easy to use.

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite standalone tablet for pixel art

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the best budget Android tablet for creating pixel art.

It features a 10.4 inch TFT LCD display with 2,000 x 1,200 -pixel resolution, 435 nits of brightness, and covers 98.4% of the sRGB color gamut. the screen looks plenty sharp, bright, vibrant and colorful.

The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, which is a fast processor overall and can handle multiple apps open at one. It’s supported by 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

The included S Pen is very responsive, low latency with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support, the palm rejection is also excellent.

The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite packs in a 7,040 mAh battery that should easily get you through a couple of days of typical use.

Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a very good entry level android tablet for more casual art or design work. It’s mobility is great, you can carry it around like a book and sketch, draw, or paint on the go.


You can get away with using a cheaper pen tablet when it comes to pixel art since you don’t really need a super accurate pressure sensor!

Most drawing tablets with a display will run you at least $170, which is not really worth it unless you’re super into it and really dislike not having a display on your tablet.

But really it’s up to you! Just use whatever you are most comfortable with and you should be fine.

The final result will depend on the skills and creativity of the artist, as well as the features and capabilities of the software being used.

About the author : Clinton Kane

A technical content writer, passionate about sharing high-quality knowledge of pc technology, software, and creative workflows.

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