After many hours of research and considering a large number of different brands, we eventually came to the conclusion that the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro is the best standalone drawing tablet.
This is because of its 4K resolution, amazing specs, great display size at 16 inches, and upgradability of memory.
Other brands like Apple’s iPad and Huion’s Kamvas Studio 22 have a much better price-to-performance ratio, but they don’t quite hit every mark as Wacom does. Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 almost matches Wacom but doesn’t meet it in the end by lacking upgradability in memory and true 4k.
With that being said, the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro is typically priced at over $3,000 which is likely more than most people have the budget for. Luckily, there are much cheaper alternatives that offer a lot of value and might be more than enough for you.
Read the full workup below and see how they compare.
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Best Option: Wacom Mobile Studio Pro
The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro is one of the better standalone drawing tablets on the market right now. It has a variety of different features and aspects that might make it the ideal choice for certain hobbyists or professionals.
It’s available in either 13 inches or 16 inches, possesses a powerful i-7 processor, 16 gigs of ram, a large 512 GB SSD, and a 4k display for your artwork. The technical aspects behind the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro are very impressive.
You’ll find very few brands or models that are capable of beating the level of quality that Wacom has to offer.
Unfortunately, Wacom’s Mobile Studio Pro is also expensive. Exorbitantly so. It’s so much more expensive than any other tablet that you need to consider carefully before you buy it.
For the hobbyist or professional who wants the highest possible performance–regardless of price–Wacom may be a good option. There are others, however, to consider.
Check out the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro on Amazon.
Cheapest Option: Apple iPad
Apple’s iPad is a device that has a lot of different uses, and art is certainly one of them. If you were looking for a standalone drawing tablet and happen to be an Apple fan, this model might work well for you.
Even the pro model is on the cheaper end of this list, which you might want to consider because of its 12.9-inch display.
Unfortunately, this tablet has its downsides too. The iPad displays are relatively smaller compared to the other entries on this list. Furthermore, because it’s an Apple product and runs on iPadOS, there is the chance that there may be some software incompatibilities if you have a specific piece of software you happen to like to use that’s Windows-only.
Most major software developers do support Apple, especially in the space of art tools or art programs, but it’s something to be noted.
It also doesn’t come with most of the accessories, unlike Wacom or some of the other entries on this list. It still wouldn’t close the price gap, but many of the items someone may take for granted when drawing has to be purchased separately.
Still, the iPad is one of the best standalone drawing tablets on the market available right now.
All three models: 1) Pro, 2) Air, and 3) the “normal iPad” support styluses like the apple pencil and other third-party styluses, and they have done so for quite some time now (also the models from the previous generation, and the generation before that…).
I have been drawing a lot on my 10.2-inch iPad, and it has been a great experience. However, I have also tried my father’s iPad Pro 12.9 inch and the larger display size does make a big difference.
Check out the Apple iPad on Amazon.
Middle of the Road: Huion Kamvas Studio 22
One of Wacom’s direct competitors, Huion has a high-quality tablet in the form of the Kamvas Studio 22. It has a large amount of storage, with a 1 TB HDD and up to a 240 GB SSD available if selected.
It has 16 GB of ram, a nice i-5 processor, and a large number of accessories that are included in the purchase.
It’s only 1080p for the resolution, which is a shame, but the difference between 4k and 1080p is noticeable, and if the Kamvas Studio 22 had 4k, it would certainly be far more expensive.
All of its specifications and hardware are decent for the price point it’s at–about $1400, give or take–but they’re not amazing, either.
The Kamvas Studio 22 has a unique problem of just sort of sitting in the middle without a truly strong brand name like Apple or the sheer strong specs of Wacom’s Mobile Studio Pro to back it up.
It’s a great standalone drawing tablet–or ‘pen computer’, as the Huion website calls it–but it doesn’t have anything truly unique that stands out about it.
Another point against it is its lack of utility in terms of doing anything else besides drawing. It’s purely used as an artistic device, and can’t be used for anything else, like the Ipad.
For some buyers, this isn’t a problem at all, but for others, it might be an issue.
Check out the Kamvas Studio 22 on the official Huion store.
Just Shy: Microsoft Surface Book 3
The final standalone drawing tablet to discuss today is the Microsoft Surface Book 3. It is configurable and can feature some truly monstrous specs, but the price increases accordingly of course.
With up to a powerful i-7 processor, 32GB of Ram, a huge 1 TB SSD, and a GTX 1660 TI powering the graphics, this tablet is a real contender with Wacom when it comes to amazing specs that blow other tablets out of the water.
Getting the best options puts the Microsoft Surface Book 3 at a similar price as the Wacom Mobile Studio. One important point to note is that the Microsoft Surface Book 3’s resolution is exactly 3000 x 2000, which is unfortunately not 4k. This might be an important sticking point for a lot of people.
It certainly has great compatibility with a lot of apps, amazing specs, and some awesome storage, but it hits just short of the finish line because of the lack of 4k.
Check out the Surface Book on Amazon.
If you want the absolute best possible performance -and considering these products are already very expensive as it is anyway- Wacom’s Mobile Studio Pro offers the best experience.
However, most buyers might be tempted by any other there models on this list since they offer an experience close enough to the Wacom without the steep price.
Not Quite What You Were Looking For?
Standalone tablets tend to be more expensive than tablets you connect to a computer or other device, but they have many benefits on their side as well to make up for the price.
However, if the large display and the fact that you can draw directly without the need for a computer are not that important to you, then the drawing tablets I review here might be for you.
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