Graphic tablet for beginners part 1.September 29th, 2020 / Graphics Basics
A GRAPHIC TABLET OR AN ARTISTIC SOUL IN A DIGITAL WORLD
On the electronics market, we can find various gadgets and innovative equipment. It is similar with tablets, and more specifically with their one specific type. I am talking about a graphics tablet – equipment that most graphic designers and artists cannot and do not want to do without these days.
There is no need to spend a fortune to get started with such a device. So let’s check which graphics tablet to choose to start with. What size, type and brand to buy? In this post, I will try to show you what to look for in order to choose the best model for you.
Graphics tablet – what is it all about?
It is a versatile device that, thanks to the possibility of free drawing with a special stylus, will allow you to create CAD projects, maps, 3D diagrams, graphics, drawings of any content, as well as for post-production in the field of photography. Over the past decade, it has become a very popular and almost indispensable work tool for people involved in the creation of graphics, maps and illustrations. Usually it works with special computer software, which offers a lot of room for maneuver to the people using it.
Types of graphics tablets
Although the graphic tablet as such looks deceptively similar to a classic multimedia tablet, we can distinguish two types here:
A traditional graphics tablet is a type of graphics tablet also known as a “pointing” tablet. Roughly speaking, its design is limited to a work surface that resembles a computer mouse pad and stylus. In the way it works, it is supposed to be a substitute for that traditional computer mouse/touchpad. Its operation, however, looks completely different – if you want to perform an action in the corner of the screen, you have to touch the appropriate corner of the tablet surface. For your comfort, therefore, you should choose a tablet proportional to the size of the computer monitor you work with.
The LCD graphics tablet is a model equipped with an LCD display, on the surface of which you draw with the included stylus. Working with such equipment is even more like a traditional drawing on paper. The effects of your artistic efforts are immediately visible in front of your eyes without the need to turn your head or develop a hand-eye feeling, as is the case with classic graphic tablets.
Regardless of whether it will be a graphic tablet for advanced users or beginner draftsmen, our attention should focus on a few parameters, without which we will not adjust the device adequately to our expectations.
When choosing a graphics tablet, it is worth considering its size, and we are talking about:
- A4 – a tablet of this size is ideal for a beginner, because it gives her a large surface to work, and also allows you to get used to the operation of the device. Remember, however, that its operation requires more sweeping movements, which means that tablets of this type – especially at the beginning – can tire the hand
- A5 – a tablet of this size will work better in the hands of more advanced graphics, but also a novice user can handle it. It is successful both for free drawing and for creating detailed projects
- A6 – a tablet of this size I would describe as equipment intended for use by very experienced graphic designers who work on extremely precise projects. I do not recommend starting your adventure with graphic tablets from this type of device
Smaller tablets are naturally cheaper, but it is not the price that you should suggest here, but the convenience and functionality of your equipment.
The working surface should reflect the parameters of the monitor as accurately as possible, as this will allow you to work more precisely on small details. Ultimately, the point is that even small movements with the stylus are perfectly reproduced. A greater disproportion between the size of the monitor and the working surface translates directly into less comfortable work. The working area of 157 x 98 mm has become widely accepted as ideal in combination with a monitor with an aspect ratio of 16:9.
A decent graphics tablet can boast a stylus accuracy of around 0.25 mm, with 0.5 mm still being generally acceptable. As this coefficient decreases, the accuracy of the stylus increases, which is extremely important – especially for projects of a technical nature. The tablet with good accuracy makes it easier to delve into even the smallest details.
The reading height is a parameter that indicates the distance the stylus will need to be brought closer to the tablet’s working surface in order for it to “see” it and reproduce its movement on the computer monitor. In most cases it is 9-10 mm.
The sampling parameter is the speed of reading the stylus by the tablet, the accuracy with which your more rapid movements will be reproduced by the equipment. The higher the value, the more precise the movements will be. By default, the sampling rate for graphic tablets is around 200 pps.
As for the pressure sensitivity – the higher this parameter, the more accurate the force with which you press the stylus.
So what kind of graphics tablet to start with?
For novice creators with a limited budget, I recommend A4 size models with sampling approx. 200 pps (points per second), resolution of at least 2000 lpi (lines per inch), stylus accuracy of approx. 0.25 mm and pressure sensitivity of at least 1024 levels .
Among the brands of leading manufacturers, three distinguish themselves with the price-quality ratio: Huion, Wacom and XP-Pen. It is their most attractive models for beginners in the price range of PLN 100-500 (€ 25-100) that I decided to place in our “turdus” ranking. However, I note that their order in the list below is random. Here they are:
- Huion New 1060 Plus
- Huion 610PRO V2
- Huion HS64
- Huion H640P
- Huion H420
- Wacom Intuos S
- XP-Pen Deco Pro M
- XP-Pen Star G640
- XP-Pen Deco 01V2
- XP-Pen Star 03
It is worth looking for outlet offers of these models, which may result in a chance to buy a graphics tablet for a ridiculously low amount.
Kasia from Turdus Concept uses the Huion 610PRO V2 model, which will soon be the main character of the new movie on our YouTube channel, which I can encourage you to watch today!
If you are also interested in broadly understood graphics and you are tempted to transfer your creativity to the digital plane, it is worth taking a closer look at graphic tablets. These are very useful devices that forgive much more than a simple piece of paper.
Let us know if the above blog was helpful for you, whether it treated the issue exhaustively and share your comments about graphic tablets, if you already use them. We are also waiting for you on our social media!