Best Portable Tablet for Drawing

For the artist who wishes to be on the go, a drawing tablet that’s very portable is probably the number one concern.

There are a few products mentioned in this article and I am going to go over several:

  • the best overall,
  • the best battery life, and
  • the ‘most portable’.

My top choice for the best portable drawing tablet is the iPad Pro 11″. It’s the top choice for a whole lot of reasons, but just to name a few: a ten-hour battery life, a ridiculously light-weight 1.04 pounds, a lot of power under the hood, support for tons of different accessories, and great portability combined with other uses as a camera.

Read about a few others below.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. At no cost to you, I may receive a commission if you buy through a link on this page.

Best Overall: iPad Pro 11 Inch 2nd Generation

The iPad Pro 11″ is the best overall portable drawing tablet. It’s standalone, powerful, great battery life with almost no weight to it, and has a ridiculous number of other tasks and features that come along with it to make it a great choice. However, it is also the most expensive on the list.

The display size is in the middle of the other two choices on this list, but in this case, smaller screen size is actually good when we’re talking about portability.

The iPad is in the perfect place at 11 inches: just large enough to be powerful, usable, and effective and small enough as opposed to other drawing tablets with sizes like 15.6 or even 21.5 inches intended for home use.

Trying to lug around something like that–even if it wasn’t heavy–is cumbersome and awkward. The iPad, on the other hand, along with the other two choices on this list, can fit well into a bag, pack, purse, carrying pouch, or any other way you want to transport it.

The one major downside? You need to buy the Apple Pencil to use this as a drawing tablet, and that comes at a hefty price. It’s a bit of a letdown to have such an expensive accessory gatekeep the great art that can be made with the iPad, but it doesn’t stop it from being the best on this list.

The much less expensive iPad (without the pro) is also worth mentioning, as it can also function as a drawing tablet and it does that quite well honestly. It is a great option if you have less money to spend.

Check out the iPad on Amazon.

Best Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is another great choice for a portable drawing tablet.

One of its main draws is its absurd battery life, putting the other contenders in this article, even the iPad, to shame: 15 hours of full use!

That’s quite a number to boast, as that outdoes most drawing tablets, laptops, and phones. Does the Galaxy Tab S6 have more to offer besides a huge battery inside of it, though?

It does, in fact. The display is 11”, a great size for portability. It has 256 GB storage, however, a far cry from other entries on this list, including the iPad, if you wanted to spend more money for more storage.

It has support for up to a TB of micro SD card storage.

The Galaxy Tab has a few other things going for it besides battery life and screen size, though.

It comes with its drawing accessory, the S Pen, so you don’t have to buy that separately. It does have support for a trackpad, too, but that does have to be purchased separately.

The battery is fast-charging, so even after using it all day you can charge it back incredibly fast and continue using it. It has PC compatibility despite being an Android device. It also features a very good camera.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a great alternate choice to the iPad, with a few technical weaknesses and feature losses to make up for the gap in price and function. If battery life and pure function is everything to you, the Galaxy Tab S7 should interest you.

Check out the Galaxy tab on Amazon.

Most Portable Drawing Tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen

The final entry on this list is the Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen. This is another great portable drawing tablet and has a few things that make it stand out compared to its competitors, just like the iPad and the Galaxy Tab do.

It has the in-between of battery life: 13.5 hours, which places it smack-dab in the middle of the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

It has the biggest display of these three, too, at 12.3 inches, and weighs 1.69 lbs. It has 8 GB of Ram and 256 GB of storage.

These initial numbers look promising for the Surface Pro, but it has a little more than just that to offer in order to compete with the other contenders.

Considering it has three modes in terms of how you use it: laptop mode, studio mode, and tablet mode, utilizing the built-in kickstand for laptop mode, makes the Surface Pro extremely portable and usable.

Convenience seems to be a key factor here, and many people find that important, especially with an expensive device that you use for a major hobby or even your profession.

A few downsides: the Surface Pro, like the iPad, doesn’t come with the pen and you have to purchase that. Additionally, other useful accessories like a cover or a surface arc mouse are on the more expensive side if you wish to have them to customize your tablet.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen is a great general option, with a few downsides clearly expressed, but it sticks to its strengths and what it does well, it does very well. You wouldn’t go wrong if you bought this as a portable tablet for drawing.

Check out the Surface Pro on Amazon.

Things To Consider

When you’re trying to buy a drawing tablet that has portability, there are a few factors that rise above others that were considered in this article.

Size is a large one, for example, and here size can actually be bad if it’s too big because you don’t want something bulky or awkward to carry.

Battery life is supremely important because you don’t want to run out of juice while you are creating far away from anything that’s capable of charging your device.

The ability to set it on a kickstand or change modes is also very useful depending on where you are.

Overall, the best thing to remember for portability–even if you don’t want any models in this article–is that convenience and reliability trump everything when looking at devices like this in that lens.


The iPad Pro 11″ is the overall winner, but the other two models are strong contenders too.

If you need amazing battery life, consider picking the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. That will provide you with hours more than the iPad Pro 11″.

For different forms of convenience–while still providing a great experience all around–and providing the most usability in different locations, the Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Generation is an awesome selection.

Any of these three models will provide you with a great portable drawing tablet. If you need something else, though, or didn’t like what you saw here for some reason, just remember the most important aspects of portability, and that should help you make a selection on any brand of drawing tablet that you’d like to buy.

For your convenience, some other great brands of drawing tablets, in general, are companies like Wacom, Huion, and XP-PEN.

They have many models for sale at any of these companies, and many of them could be considered portable. Browse their selections if you didn’t like anything you saw there, and it should help you find something you like.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. At no cost to you, I may receive a commission if you buy through a link on this page. Read more here.

About the author: My name is Marcus, I am a lawyer (LL.M.) and the founder of this website. Besides sometimes doing lawyer stuff, I like to draw and improve my skills as a “digital artist”, and I write about what I learn on this website. If you want to know more about me or reach out, then you can click here.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge