7 Top Drawing Tablets Under $200 in 2023

Choosing the right drawing tablet is important for artists. It’s the primary tool used by artists to draw and paint digitally. Luckily, there are many drawing tablets that offer excellent features at a cheap price.

But, with so many drawing tablets available on the market, choosing the right one can take time and effort.  It’s not easy to find a good drawing tablet with a budget under $200.

In this article, I will discuss the key features to consider when choosing a drawing tablet within this price range and share my top 7 picks for drawing tablets within this budget. 

Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Drawing Tablet With a Budget Under $200

Since your budget is limited, you must prioritize several key features of drawing tablets that are important for all artists.

Pen Tablet or Graphic Tablet?

For those with less than $200 to spend, the pen tablet is usually the preferred choice. It tends to be less expensive than a graphic tablet, which often comes with a smaller screen and average build quality at this price point.  

Not only that, a pen tablet is better for beginners. As your artistic skills improve and you begin to earn commissions, consider upgrading to a graphic tablet.

The Right Tablet Size

Size is an essential factor in choosing a drawing tablet. The best size for you depends on the types of art projects you do and where you plan to use your tablet most often, whether that’s in a home studio or on the go.

I recommend choosing either a medium or large tablet. Avoid small tablets, as they can be challenging to work with and may lead to discomfort when drawing over extended periods. 

Medium tablets strike a good balance between drawing space and portability, while large tablets are best if you have ample desk space and portability is not a concern.

Choosing the Brand

My preferred brand is always Wacom due to its established quality and reliability. However, alternatives like XP-Pen and Huion offer quality pen tablets at a more affordable price than Wacom. 

Check out this article for more information: Top Drawing Brand Ranked

If Wacom is unavailable where you live, or you’re seeking a less expensive option, consider these brands.

Pressure Sensitivity and Response Rate

Regarding pressure sensitivity, many users may not notice a significant difference between 2k, 4k, or 8k levels. A higher number does not necessarily equate to better sensitivity. 

Moreover, you can adjust the pressure sensitivity to your liking through your tablet’s driver and the drawing software you use, so this specification may not be as critical as it seems.

Considering these aspects, you can select a drawing tablet that meets your artistic needs without exceeding your budget.

The Best Drawing Tablet Under $200

Wacom Intuos Medium

What I Use
Wacom Intuos Medium

Active Area Size: 8.5 x 5.3 inches (216 x 135 mm)

Stylus: Battery-free Wacom Pen 4k

Pressure Sensitivity: 4096 levels

OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, Chrome OS

The Wacom Intuos Medium is the drawing tablet I use when working in Clip Studio Paint on my MacBook. Drawing with this tablet is a pleasure; it’s simple to use, and I’ve never had any problems.

It’s an affordable pen tablet, and being a Wacom, it virtually guarantees you won’t encounter wobble or driver issues.

While the budget-friendly Wacom Intuos line may not match the Wacom Intuos Pro’s features, it’s still a solid choice for most artists.

Note that there are two versions of this tablet: the Bluetooth model, which offers portability, and the non-Bluetooth version. I recommend the Bluetooth version for its convenience.

Pros:

  • Portable size
  • Strong build quality
  • Comes with Free Software: Corel® Painter® Essentials™ 8, Corel® Aftershot™ Pro 3, CLIP STUDIO PAINT PRO, Boris FX Optics, Skylum Luminar Neo, Bluescape
  • Four Customizable Express Keys
  • Driver quality is stable > I hardly ever encounter bugs
  • Works with many drawing apps such as CSP, Krita, Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI, Medibang, and more

Cons:

  • The charging port is still a micro B USB rather than the newer USB-C type.
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Wacom One Medium Pen Tablet

Wacom one medium

The Wacom One Medium Pen Tablet, released in October 2023, is the updated version of the Wacom Intuos lineup. The key difference between it and its predecessor is that it comes with a Wacom One EMR Pen and is Bluetooth only, while it lacks express or shortcut keys.

The Wacom One Medium has 4k pressure sensitivity and 60-degree tilt support, suitable for various digital art creations. 

It supports all popular drawing applications on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, such as Clip Studio Paint, Photoshop, Krita, ibisPaint, Medibang, and more.

Since Wacom One Medium is a newly released drawing tablet, you can rest assured that it will be supported with driver updates for a long time by Wacom.

Specifications:

Dimension Size: 9.9 x 7.1 x 0.3 inches

Active Area Size: 8.5 x 5.3 inches (216 x 135 mm)

Resolution: 2540 lpi

Stylus: Wacom One Standard Pen

Pressure Sensitivity: 4096 levels

OS Compatibility: Windows® 10 or later, macOS 11 or later, Android™ 8 or above, and the latest version of ChromeOS

Connection: Bluetooth and USB C

Weight: 350 g (0.76 lb)

Battery life: 15 hours (3 hours charging time)

Pros:

  • Supports USB-C cable
  • More portable than the Wacom Intuos
  • Attractive design with sturdy build quality
  • Compatible with EMR styluses from other brands, like the Staedtler Noris digital and Lamy AL-star EMR digital pen
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Built with recycled plastic, emphasizing environmental friendliness ♻️

Cons:

  • Weak initial activation force; you need to press harder to draw, which can be adjusted in the pen settings
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Xencelabs Pen Tablet Small

Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium

Xencelabs is an emerging brand releasing drawing tablets comparable to Wacom. It’s an A-Tier Brand in our Top Drawing Brand Ranked article.

I borrowed this tablet from my friend to test it. After trying it, I believe it’s almost as good as the Wacom Intuos Pro. This pen tablet has the most beautiful design I’ve ever seen. It uses quality materials for the surface, so drawing with the stylus feels excellent.

It’s the only brand that provides two pens: a slim one and a three-button pen that you can adjust. They also include a free artist glove, which is convenient if your hands sweat easily.

The tablet drivers are solid. I didn’t experience any bugs while using it with Clip Studio Paint and Krita.

Specifications:

Dimension Size: 9.21 x 7.27 x 0.3 inches (234.18 x 184.66 x 8 mm)

Active Area Size: 6.93 x 3.89 inches (176.10 x 99.05 mm)

Aspect Ratio: 16.9

Stylus: Battery-free EMR 3 Button Pen and Thin Pen

Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels on both stylus (adjustable)

OS Compatibility: Windows® 7 or later, macOS 10.12 or later, Linux

Connection: Bluetooth and USB C

Weight: 398 g (0.87 lb)

Battery life: 16 hours (2.5 hours charging time)

Pros:

  • Supports USB-C cable
  • Stable driver quality, no wobble line  on my drawing test
  • 24 month warranty
  • Pretty design, even better than Wacom

Cons:

  • Compatibility is limited to Windows, MacOS, and Linux
  • Almost on par with Wacom quality. But, if you have more money, you should always settle for Wacom
  • It is more expensive than a drawing tablet from XP-Pen and Huion
  • Xencelabs utilizes UGEE digitizer technology, the same used by XP-Pen and UGEE.
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XP Pen Artist 10 inch 2nd Gen

XP Pen Artist 10 inch 2nd gen

If you want to get a graphic tablet with a budget limited to $200, then this tablet is one of the only choices. It’s the second generation of the previously released XP Pen Artist graphic tablet. 

It fixed most issues the first gen has, so you can rest assured you can comfortably use this graphic tablet for drawing and painting digitally.

The XP Pen Artist 10-inch 2nd Gen is perfect if you care about portability. It is small in size,  easy to carry, and you can easily use this tablet on a small table.

It pairs nicely with the MacBook Air, though a USB C thunderbolt cable or a Mini DP to HDMI adapter is needed for connectivity.

Setting it up may be challenging, but XP-Pen provides a helpful guide on how to set up this drawing tablet.  Once done, the hotkeys give a pleasant tactile experience, and the accompanying stylus performs reliably for various creative tasks. 

While it shows compatibility issues with specific programs like FireAlpaca, it excels with well-known apps such as Clip Studio Paint, Krita and Medibang.

Specifications:

Dimension Size: 9.21 x 7.27 x 0.3 inches (234.18 x 184.66 x 7.62 mm)

Screen Size: 10.1 inches (measured diagonally)

Active Area: 8.84 x 4.99 inches (224.49 x 126.7 mm)

Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (16:9 Aspect Ratio)

Color Gamut: 120% sRGB, 88% Adobe RGB, 85% NTSC

Color Depth: 8-bit

Brightness: 220 cd/m^2

Stylus: X3 Elite stylus

Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels

OS Compatibility: Windows® 7 or later, macOS 10.10 or later, ChromeOS 88 or later, Linux

Connection: USB-C (thunderbolt compatible only), HDMI

Weight: 3.06 lb (1.39 kg

Pros

  • Includes six customizable shortcut keys
  • Supports USB-C connectivity
  • High-quality display with minimal parallax

Cons

  • The screen may feel small compared to an iPad
  • Requires manual color calibration for optimal color accuracy
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One By Wacom Medium CTL-672

One by Wacom Medium CTL 672

One by Wacom is the most affordable tablet in Wacom’s lineup, positioned below the Wacom Intuos.

Even though it’s a budget drawing tablet, the One by Wacom is still quite capable of creating art. It includes essential features for digital drawing and painting.

The tablet supports pressure sensitivity and tilt, and the driver quality is solid — no wobble or broken lines when used with programs like CSP; it just works.

The build quality might feel a bit cheap because it’s mostly plastic. But as long as it’s durable, that’s not a big concern.

Specifications:

Dimension Size: 10.9 x 7.4 x 0.3  inches (234.18 x 184.66 x 8 mm)

Active Area Size: 8.5 x 5.3 inches (216 x 135 mm)

Pressure Sensitivity: 2048 levels 

OS Compatibility: Windows® 7 or later, macOS 10.10 or later, Chrome OS 87 or later

Connection: USB

Pros

  • Durable build quality with plastic
  • Reliable driver stability; performs well in tests with CSP and Photoshop

Cons

  • The surface texture may feel too coarse when you’re drawing
  • Lacks additional features like shortcut keys or wireless connectivity
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XP Pen Deco M and Deco L

XP Pen Deco M Black

If you’re looking for a good Wacom alternative, the XP-Pen Deco M and Deco L are options to consider. These latest pen tablets from XP-Pen feature the upgraded X3 Elite stylus, the same one used for the XP-Pen Artist Graphic tablet.

In my testing of the XP-Pen Deco M, I encountered no problems. It has addressed many of the issues and bugs found in its predecessor, the XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 tablet.

They support both Android and iOS, making them versatile for those needing a drawing tablet compatible with smartphones or iPhones. Remember that the Deco M and L are similar in size to the Wacom Intuos Pro.

Specifications:

Active Area Size: 

  • Deco M: 8.5 x 5.3 inches (216 x 135 mm)
  • Deco L: 10 x 6 inches

Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels 

OS Compatibility: Windows® 7 or later, macOS 10.10 or later, Android 6.0 or later, iOS, Chrome OS 88 or later

Connection: USB and Bluetooth 

Pros

  • Supports ibisPaint on iOS
  • Compatible with Bluetooth 5.0
  • Features eight adjustable shortcut keys
  • Reliable driver performance in most drawing applications

Cons

  • Driver performance, while good, does not match Wacom’s
  • Colors may appear less vibrant compared to the original image
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Huion Inspiroy 2 M and L Pen Tablet

Huion Inspiroy 2 M

If you’re looking for a Huion drawing tablet as an alternative to the Wacom Intuos, then the Huion Inspiroy 2 is a solid choice. It’s larger when compared to the Wacom Intuos and the XP Pen Deco of the same size.

The Huion Inspiroy 2 offers a good size for day-to-day art creation. The stylus includes 8K levels of pressure sensitivity. It also has tilt support, though less refined than Wacom’s.

The accuracy and response time are quick—I feel like I’m drawing on paper in real-time. The driver setup is somewhat challenging, but once completed, everything works seamlessly.

However, when I tried drawing in CSP with the Huion Inspiroy 2 M, which I borrowed from a friend, I faced some issues. I had to tweak the pen pressure sensitivity in CSP to function correctly with this tablet. This issue did not arise in Photoshop or Krita.

Specifications:

Active Area Size: 

Huion Inspiroy 2 M: 8.7 x 5.4 inches (221 x 138mm)

Huion Inspiroy 2 L: 10.5 x 6.56 inches (266 x 166 mm)

Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels 

OS Compatibility: Windows® 7 or later, macOS 10.12 or later, Chrome OS 88 or later, Android 6.0 or later, Linux(Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or later)

Connection: USB  

Pros

  • Reliable driver performance in most drawing applications
  • It comes with a scroller, eight programmable press keys and three Group Keys

Cons

  • No Bluetooth support
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Wrapping UP

After determining which drawing tablet to buy, ensure you know how to maintain your drawing tablet so it lasts longer. Remember to clean your drawing tablet as well routinely.

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Author
Kenny HD
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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