Best Wacom MobileStudio Pro Alternative

The best alternative to the Wacom MobileStudio Pro will for most people be the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, find out why below!

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Microsoft Surface Pro 8
With a 13” display screen., a powerful 11th Gen Intel Core processor, and up to 32GB of RAM. Paired with its Surface Slim Pen 2, it provides a paper-like feel drawing experience.
  • Depending on the configuration, it is significantly cheaper than Wacom.
  • Screen Size: 13”
  • Screen Resolution: 2880 x 1920 (267 PPI)
  • RAM: 8GB – 32GB
  • Battery life: Up to 16 hours of use
  • Processor: i5 and i7 options with storage 256GB and above built on the Intel® Evo™ platform

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is equipped with a 13” display screen which is a fair size for drawing digital art. It is not exclusively a drawing tablet, but it’s described best as a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet.

It runs the latest Windows 11 operating system with a 120HZ screen that provides a fast response time between the stylus pen and display screen when drawing.

It can be configured to your preferred RAM with either 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB and storage memory of 128GB SSD, up to 1TB.

Assuming that you draw a lot (you are looking into the high-end drawing tablets after all), the 16GB paired with 512GB of memory should serve you well, and it will be for a price that is significantly lower than the Wacom Mobilestudio Pro. We’re talking many hundreds of dollars difference! And you will be running for example Adobe Photoshop from a “real computer” 😎

The surface pro has an above-average battery life of up to 16 hours, it has is fast charging and a built-in kickstand that can be adjusted up to nearly 180 degrees which attests to its full portability.

Since it is a laptop, it contains other features such as USB ports, a headphone jack, other ports, a 5MP front camera, a 10MP rear camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth compatibility, etc.

It is worth mentioning that its stylus pen- Surface Slim Pen 2 is sold separately. Nonetheless, the features I have mentioned definitely make the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and Surface Slim Pen 2 worth the price which makes it a great standalone drawing tablet.

Honorable Mention:

Apple iPad Pro 12.9
Lightweight, portable, and can be used for various purposes other than drawing, the Apple iPad Pro can be a great stand-alone drawing tablet. Especially if you are already in the Apple ecosystem.
  • Screen Size: 12.9”
  • RAM: 8 GB – 16 GB
  • Size: 128GB – 2TB
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours of use

Apple’s iPad Pro is pretty great when it comes to its high-quality, laminated, color-accurate Liquid Retina XDR display screen. Of course, you can also use your iPad for many other things than drawing.

Of course, the iPad Pro is also significantly cheaper than the Wacom Mobilestudio Pro, while still being a great stand-alone drawing tablet. Me and my wife have enjoyed drawing a lot on your iPad using the procreate.

The small issue with the Apple iPad Pro is that it doesn’t have access to the same software as the Surface Pro, because it is running its own iPadOS and not windows. Depending on your workflows and the software you like to use, it might not be an issue at all. It does have Adobes applications, and many other software e.g. the popular procreate.

It should be mentioned that the Apple Pencil / Stylus is also purchased separately similar to the surface pro.

If you don’t mind using the iPadOS and the restrictions on the available software, then the iPad Pro is a great choice! If you are already “in the Apple ecosystem” then it is a no-brainer!

Wacom, Surface Pro, and iPad Pro Comparison

The essence of having a standalone drawing tablet is that it can be used on its own without connecting it to another device. However, other factors can affect its portability such as its weight, size, and battery life.

I have made it easier for you to see the comparison in the tables below. Note that I am comparing the 13″ devices.


Weight Battery Life*
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 1.44 kg / 3.2 lbs up to 6 hours
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 0.88 kg / 1.96 lbs up to 16 hours
iPad Pro 12.9″ 0.68 kg / 1.5 lbs up to 10 hours


*Battery life: as reported by the manufacturer. Battery life is will be less when running drawing software.

Clearly, both the Surface and iPad are lighter to carry around and can be used longer even without access to a direct power source.

For a drawing tablet to work on its own, it functions similar to a laptop and/or tablet with its own battery, RAM, memory storage, etc. For a device to produce digital illustrations efficiently, at least 8GB of RAM would be necessary.

Typically, the better the specifications, the more expensive the device would be. Unlike, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 can be configured with varying RAM and storage for differing prices. Apple only lets you choose storage and not ram.

RAM & storage Pricing range*
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 16GB & 512GB SSD $$$$$$$
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 16GB & 512GB SSD $$$$$
iPad Pro 12.9″ 8GB & 512GB SSD $$$$


*Pricing range: the exact prices vary over time, so a “range” is used instead.

As you can see, Microsoft Surface Pro 8 offers the same amount of power, RAM, and storage as Wacom MobileStudio Pro16 but at a significantly lower price. Even with Microsoft’s most powerful configuration that surpasses Wacom, its price is still significantly lower. Memory on an iPad can not be directly compared to a laptop and the 8GB should be more than enough for Adobe applications and similar.

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Stand-Alone Drawing Tablets vs. “Normal” Drawing Tablets

Wacom’s MobileStudio Pro is a standalone drawing tablet that does not need to be connected to a laptop or computer to work. It is operated by Windows and is remarked by its portability and power that supports “heavy-duty” illustration work

Standalone drawing tablets are best for professional artists who need to draw anywhere, anytime. If you are a beginner or hobbyist, a standalone drawing tablet might be unnecessary. A typical, and less expensive drawing tablet would be best for you. In that case, these buyers’ guides might interest you.

Buyer’s Guides Worth Your Time

Do you have a specific budget? then check these out:

Something else?

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.

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