What is the Best Android Tablet for Drawing in 2021?

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If you’re in a hurry, then the best Android tablet for drawing is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7.

Among the wide range of Android drawing tablets on the market, it can be difficult to spot which is the absolute best, specifically for drawing and sketching.

Most reviews do not focus on the qualities that those of us using the Android tablets for art require, such as the accuracy of the pen and color gamut of the display, or they focus on laptops for drawing, or cover all tablets including iPads.

This article focuses on the relevant specifications for digital art to reveal the best Android tablet computer for drawing, and includes the best Samsung tablet for drawing and a number of cheap tablets for drawing for those on a more limited budget.



The Best Android Tablet for Drawing

My Top Pick

The Best Android Tablet for Artists

  • Large 11.0″ 2560 x 1600 px Screen
  • 6 or 8GB RAM & up to 512GB Internal Memory
  • Very High Color Accuracy with 99.8% of the sRGB gamut
  • Included Samsung Stylus, the best pen for Android tablets
  • Cheaper than iPad Pro, with very similar specs
Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 are direct competitors to iPads, and in this case are even better than the top end iPad, the iPad Pro, and better yet, at a lower price.
The included S Pen, which is the best stylus for drawing on Android, makes Photoshop use very easy and allows for subtle masking and other edits to your photos. The 120Hz screen refresh rate makes the visuals as good as any other device currently on the market, and the very high color accuracy means that your photos look beautiful.
And better still, if you want a larger screen with sAMOLED display, rather than the TFT LCD of S7, you can get the same tablet in a larger 12.4 inch screen size as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, which keeps all the pros of its larger brother.

The Best Cheap Android Tablet for Drawing

Best Drawing Tablet for Kids

  • 8.0 inch HD display in a small, compact tablet
  • Only weighs 0.67 lb, so is very easy to hold for long periods
  • 32GB internal storage, but this is extendable with micro SD cards
  • Very competitively priced for the specs
  • 15 hours plus of battery life at 50% screen brightness
  • No pen included – one must be bought separately
Although the Lenovo Tab M8 is one of the cheapest Android tablets for drawing currently available, this Lenovo tablet for drawing feels like a much higher quality device in use.
The 8 inch display is perhaps its largest weak spot, as it only has a 720p resolution, but the advantage is that it makes the tablet very small and light, so does not hurt your hands to hold for long periods. Combined with the low price, this cheap tablet for drawing is ideal for kids and those who just want a basic device, and aren’t interested in a super high res display.

Quick Comparison of Android Tablets for Drawing

Tablet

Screen

sRGB Colors

RAM

Storage

Accessories

Check Price


[Best Android Drawing Tablet]

12.4″
2800 x 1752

99.8%

6GB / 8 GB

128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Pen & Keyboard with Trackpad

10.5″
2560 x 1600

98.4%

4 GB

64GB / 128GB

Pen & Keyboard cover

10.4″
2000 x 1200

96.2%

3 GB

32GB / 64GB

Pen & Keyboard cover

 

[Best Budget Tablet]

8.0″
1280 x 800

81.0%

2 GB

16GB / 32GB

None - 3rd party only

10.3″
1920 x 1200

97.8%

2 GB

32GB

None - 3rd party only


What Should I Look for in the Best Android Drawing Tablet?

To compare all of the Android drawing tablets currently on the market, I scored each against the below criteria. These are what I believe make the difference between regular Android tablets and the best Android tablet for drawing in particular.

  1. Stylus
  2. Display
    • Screen Size
    • Resolution
    • Color Gamut
  3. Memory
    • Interal Storage
    • RAM
  4. Battery Life
  5. Weight & Portability
  6. Value for Money
Android drawing tablet

1. Stylus

If your primary consideration is drawing, then the stylus that ships with the tablet should be one of your biggest concerns. Although it is possible to buy third-party pens for Android tablets, these tend not to be as good as the best Android tablet stylus for drawing, the Samsung S Pen, although this stylus only works with Samsung products.

Pretty much all third-party styluses these days are passive. This means that they do not need charging, but means that they lack features of active styli, like Bluetooth buttons.

Most Android styli are also pressure sensitive, meaning that as you push harder with the pen, the line you are drawing will get wider (depending on the brush you have selected in your drawing software).

As the top example, the Samsung S Pen that comes with the Galaxy Tab S7/S7+ and S6 Lite is widely considered the best Android stylus for drawing. It is active, but charges wirelessly when magnetically attached to the back of the tablet. With a soft tip, pressure sensitivity and a Bluetooth button, it works amazingly well, and has almost no lag, now that Samsung have got the latency down to 9ms.

2. Display

The display of the tablet is often a trade-off between ease of drawing and ease of holding the tablet for long periods of time, with the three points below being those you should pay attention to when comparing displays.

I. Screen Size

The larger the display, the more uncomfortable it is to hold long-term, and the less portable it becomes. But you get a much clearer screen for drawing.

My personal preference for the best drawing tablet for artists is to have a larger screen above all else, but in addition to the above, that also means a higher price tag.

The absolute minimum size to preserve drawing ability is about an 8 inch screen size, but an 11 or 12 inch screen is preferable.

II. Resolution

As the screen size gets larger, you also get access to higher resolution displays. Smaller screens at around 8 inches tend to only have 1200 x 800 resolution, while the 12.4 inch screen of the Tab S7+ offers 2800 x 1752 resolution. The latter has a much higher pixel density, even accounting for the larger screen size, and means that your drawings will be both clearer and sharper.

Even on low resolution devices, you can zoom in to effectively gain a sharper picture, but you shouldn’t overlook the power that comes from being able to view your entire drawing in detail at once.

Essentially, look for the device with the highest resolution possible if you care about your drawings.

III. Color Gamut

It can be difficult to find the color accuracy of a tablet display, but this is a critical part of knowing that your drawings will look the same across differing devices, and even in print.

The colors that a screen can show are often given in a percentage of the sRGB color gamut. This is the Web standard, and contains about 33% of all the colors available to the human eye. This may not seem too high, but mainly excludes subtle shades of green and yellow that in practice you will not miss.

Look for a tablet with the highest sRGB percentage to be sure of accurate colors.

3. Memory

Memory can be broken down into RAM, used by the operating system and apps to run essential services, and storage, where you can keep your drawings and personal data.

I. RAM

The more RAM that your tablet has the better. More RAM generally equals a faster tablet that doesn’t hold you up when you are trying to do something. Premium tablets have 8GB of RAM, while budget tablets have only 2GB. Although the latter is fine in a pinch, expect tablets with less RAM to show worse overall performance.

II. Storage

One of the advantages of Android tablets over iPads is that they often allow you to extend the storage yourself, with the help of micro SD cards.

This means that you don’t need to worry so much about internal storage size, although more internal storage does delay the point at which you need to add an SD card.

You should aim for at least 32GB of internal storage, but above that is really only necessary if you intend to keep a lot of music or movies on your tablet.

4. Battery Life

The battery life quoted by most manufacturers tends to not be totally accurate. They test their devices in perfect conditions that do not reflect real-world use.

I have tried to give accurate battery life figures in the reviews, but these are of course dependent on the programs you use and the screen brightness.

Generally, most Android drawing tablets give you 10 plus hours of battery life, which should be sufficient for everyone.

5. Weight & Portability

If you most regularly use your Android tablet sat at a desk, then weight and portability might not matter much to you, but if you will be regularly carrying it around, then they become far more important.

Bear in mind that screen size has a big impact on size and weight, with small 8 inch tablets weighing about half of larger 12 inch tablets.

If possible, try using a tablet in store to get a feel for whether you are happy with the weight.

6. Value for Money

Value for money for you will depend on how you rank the above factors. I have included only what I think are the drawing tablets that offer a higher performance than their raw specifications would suggest, so you can be confident that all tablets in this article are very good value for money.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

The Best Drawing App for Android Drawing Tablets

If you want to use an Android tablet as a drawing tablet, you will need drawing software. I always use various Adobe programs, such as Illustrator Draw, as they offers plenty of control over brush type and size, and interacts well with touch screen devices. Take a look at the current price of Illustrator Draw.


Reviews of the Best Android Drawing Tablets 2021

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

The Best Samsung Tablet for Drawing

  • Screen: 11″ 2560 x 1600/ 12.4″ 2800 x 1752
  • Memory (RAM): 6GB / 8GB
  • Storage Capacity: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
  • sRGB Color Space: 99.8%
  • Accessories: Pen & Keyboard with Trackpad
  • Battery Life: About 11 hours
  • Weight: 1.28lb/581g
  • Pros:
  • Large, very high resolution screen
  • Loads of RAM and internal memory
  • Included stylus
  • Cheaper than iPad Pro, with very similar specs
  • Highly color accurate screen
  • Cons:
  • Less strong battery life – Tab S6 is better
  • Expensive

As the best Samsung tablet for drawing, but also the best Android tablet for drawing, the Galaxy S7 and S7+ are outstanding achievements for an Android tablet, coming close to toppling the very high standard set by the iPad Pro.

Using the Galaxy Tab S7 for drawing is a joy – it comes in two flavors, the S7+ with a 12.4″ screen, or the standard S7, which is otherwise largely identical, but has only an 11″ screen. The S7+ screen operates at 120Hz, and is an AMOLED displays (the S7 is an LCD display), with the S7+ offering a higher DPI than the iPad Pro (274 vs 265). Although it’s possible to get both with up to 512GB of internal storage, you can add a microSD card with a capacity itself of up to 1TB, and meaning that the issues of slow transfer speed over cloud storage for your photos can be largely eliminated, by keeping photos on the tablet itself.

The S Pen included with the S7 series is excellent for drawing, with only a 9ms latency and a soft tip that deals with varying pressure very well.

With the new DeX mode, the S7+ can be used as a pseudo-laptop, transforming into a Windows 10-like machine which makes using the tablet that much easier, though it should be noted that this is still below the performance of dedicated laptops for standard laptop tasks.

Nonetheless, the Samsung Galaxy S7+ remains the best tablet PC for drawing thanks to the included stylus and very high performance.


2. Lenovo Tab M8

Best Affordable Drawing Tablet

  • Screen: 8.0″ 1280 x 800 px
  • Memory (RAM): 2GB
  • Storage Capacity: 16GB / 32GB
  • sRGB Color Space: 81.0%
  • Accessories: None – 3rd party only
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 hours
  • Weight: 0.67lb/304g
  • Pros:
  • Very lightweight
  • The cheapest tablet reviewed here
  • Surprisingly good color accuracy
  • Very high performance for the price
  • Excellent battery life
  • Cons:
  • No stylus included – one must be bought separately
  • One of the smaller, lower res screens – but you get a much smaller tablet
  • Lower color accuracy

With only 81% of the sRGB color gamut, you might think that the Lenovo M8 is an Android tablet to discount, but this would be missing out on a device that actually performs very well, with long battery life and excellent portability.

You get a lower resolution screen, but at 8 inches, the lower resolution is not actually that noticeable, and is offset by the advantage of having a much smaller tablet.

There is no stylus included, but this gives you the option of choosing your own among the many options specifically designed for painting, sketching and drawing.

Although the Samsung S7 is objectively better, if you are on a strict budget, then for my money, the Lenovo M8 is the best affordable drawing tablet.


3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Budget Samsung Drawing Tablet

  • Screen: 10.4″ 2560 x 1600 px
  • Memory (RAM): 4GB
  • Storage Capacity: 64GB / 128GB
  • sRGB Color Space: 98.4%
  • Accessories: Pen & Keyboard cover
  • Battery Life: About 15 hours
  • Weight: 1.02lb/463g
  • Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • High resolution screen
  • Included stylus
  • Long battery life
  • Very reasonable price
  • Cons:
  • Pen can be jittery
  • One of the smaller screens

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the model below the S7 in the pecking order. For the money, you get a high resolution screen with very good color accuracy, and a lightweight device that should be considered as a smaller version of the S7. These two are very similar in specs, other than screen size, and the S6 may well be a good option for you if the price of the S7+ is beyond your budget.

The main drawback to the S6 is the relatively small screen, at 10.4″, and an occasional problem that some users have reported, where the pen is found to be jittery and far less smooth than more expensive tablets.

Nonetheless, the S6 Lite, with the included and otherwise excellent S Pen, is a strong contender for those looking for a premium drawing tablet, but without a premium price tag.


4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

Inexpensive Android Tablet for Drawing

  • Screen: 10.4″ 2000 x 1200 px
  • Memory (RAM): 3GB
  • Storage Capacity: 32GB / 64GB
  • sRGB Color Space: 96.2%
  • Accessories: Pen & Keyboard cover
  • Battery Life: Up to 13 hours
  • Weight: 1.05lb/471g
  • Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Cheap
  • Long Battery Life
  • Cons:
  • An all-round tablet, not drawing focused
  • No S Pen included
  • One of the smaller screens

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is one of the cheapest tablets from a well-known brand currently available, and is therefore excellent value for money (although the current price difference between this and the S6 Lite is not vast).

It is marketed as more of a family tablet, but the specs show that it is possible to use this tablet for drawing . Bear in mind that you do get what you pay for, and the whole experience may be slower and less responsive than on the S6 or S.

The screen is of a much lower resolution, but the Tab A is about 1/3 of the price of the S7, so is much more suited to those on a budget.

Build quality is surprisingly solid for a device in this price range, with the chassis made from a mixture of metal and plastic, with a Gorilla glass covering. This obviously doesn’t match the single piece of aluminum of iPads for example, but does make a remarkably hard wearing tablet.

Color accuracy is generally good, particularly for an LCD panel, although you may notice some tones having cyan or blue tints when they shouldn’t. This shouldn’t be much of an issue in real-world use, and is perfectly reasonable for the price of the tablet.

All in all, while it may not be quite the best tablet for drawing, which would go to the Tab S7, the Tab A7 makes a good case to be a solid tablet for digital art for those on a budget.


5. Lenovo Tab M10 Plus

Lenovo Tablet for Drawing

  • Screen: 10.3″ 1920 x 1200 px
  • Memory (RAM): 2GB
  • Storage Capacity: 32GB
  • sRGB Color Space: 97.8%
  • Accessories: None – 3rd party only
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 hours
  • Weight: 0.70lb/318g
  • Pros:
  • Very lightweight
  • One of the cheapest tablets
  • Surprisingly good color accuracy
  • Very good performance for the price
  • Cons:
  • Older version of Android
  • No stylus included – one must be bought separately
  • One of the smaller, lower res screens
  • Poor battery life

Although this Lenovo tablet for drawing does not trouble the Samsung S7 in terms of performance, it does actually hold its own, particularly when you consider the relatively low price of this Lenovo M10 Plus.

Sure, the screen is smaller and lower resolution, but the color accuracy is on a par with the more premium models, and this is particularly light and small, making it one of the most portable tablets, and one that you won’t have a problem holding for long periods of time.

You must buy a stylus separately if you want to use this for drawing, but there are plenty of good options out there, so this shouldn’t be a concern.

Follow Tim Daniels:

Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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