“Art meets Technology”, An Inexpensive Affair – 7 of the Best Drawing Tablets Under $100 [2020 Update]

Whether you are a professional artist or an amateur, it is hard to bet on a new device before knowing whether it is right for you. Especially with devices like graphic tablets, you need to be absolutely comfortable using it if you don’t want to jeopardize your work.

Some of the most popular brands in the industry have created remarkable products that are light on your wallet but make no compromise in quality. These prove that good art needs a lot of concentration, not a lot of currency. Here are our top picks for the best drawing tablets under $100.

Price Disclaimer: Since publishing this post the mentioned product prices may have changed and could be higher than the price limit stated above.

XP-Pen Deco 01,

Our Choices

We thoroughly looked through the most affordable graphic tablets and made a list of the devices most loved by users.

Tablet

Working Area

Resolution

Express Keys

System Requirements

Huion 420

4.17" x 2.54" (106 x 64.6 mm)

4000 LPI

None

Windows 7 or above,
MAC X 10.8 or above

Huion Inspiroy H640P

6.29" x 3.93" (160 x 100 mm)

5080 LPI

6

Windows 7 or above,
MacOS 10.11 or above,
Android 6.0 or above

Huion Inspiroy H610 Pro

10" x 6.25" (254 x 158.8 mm)

5080 LPI

8

Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.11 or later

Wacom Intuos

5.98" x 3.74" (152 x 95 mm)

2540 LPI

4

Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 (excluding Windows 10 S; latest service pack/build), MacOS X 10.11 or later (latest update), Android smartphone and/or tablet (OS version 6.0 and above)

XP-Pen Star G640 Sketch

6" x 4" (152.4 x 101.6 mm)

5080 LPI

None

Windows 7 and above, Mac OS X 10.10 and above

UGEE M708

10" x 6" (254 x 152.4 mm)

5080 LPI

8

Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS X 10.10 and above

XP-Pen Deco 01

10" x 6.25" (254 x 158.75 mm)

5080 LPI

8

Windows 7/8/10 (32 or 64-bit), Android 6.0 or above, Mac OS X10.10 or above

The first thing you will notice about this tablet is the size. It is pretty small for a drawing tablet, but if you can get used to that, the Huion 420 can be your daily handy companion.

Device Specs:

  • Dimensions: Small: 6.9 x 4.4 x 0.3 inches (176 x 111 x 7.5 mm)
  • Working area: 4.2 x 2.5 inches (106 x 64.6 mm)
  • Resolution: 4000 LPI
  • Weight: 0.37 pounds (167g)
  • Pressure sensitivity: 2048 levels
  • Report rate: 200 PPS
  • Reading height: 0.47 inches (12 mm)
  • Express keys: None
  • In the box: Battery pen (PEN68), USB cable, replacement nibs

It has a slim and light body that is easy to carry around. All you need to do is plug it into your computer or laptop using the USB cable and you can start working. The pen is nice and comfortable to use, with two buttons on the side, but the nibs wear out fairly quickly. It works with a single AA battery, so you don’t have to worry about charging it.

The pressure sensitivity may seem comparatively low, considering that many graphic tablets go over 4000 and ever 8000 levels these days. However, it doesn’t make a huge difference when drawing. Even a higher sensitivity would not help increase the drawing accuracy on this – it’s the size that is the real issue.

The size makes it difficult to use for long hours, especially for detailed drawing. For small tasks like taking signatures, making instructional videos, or some light design work, this device is a great choice with minimal investment.

This is another small device by Huion that is great for beginners. Their Inspiroy range has several tablets with a combination of features. The H640P is one of the smallest and cheapest one.

Device Specs:

  • Dimensions: Small: 10.23 x 5.81 x 0.31 inches (260 x 147.7 x 8 mm)
  • Working area: 6.2 x 3.94 inches (160 x 100 mm)
  • Resolution: 5080 LPI
  • Weight: 0.61 pounds (277 g)
  • Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Report rate: 233 PPS
  • Reading height: 0.39 inches (10 mm)
  • Express keys: 6 (on left-hand side)
  • In the box: Battery-free pen (PW100), USB cable, pen holder, replacement nibs

The device is slim and lightweight. It has a matte finish, which provides a nice light friction during drawing. This is something I enjoy having in a tab. Connecting the device is easy and requires just the USB cable. It works pretty smoothly for a budget device and you won’t face any major glitches using the tablet itself.

All the keys are programmable, so you have the desired shortcuts within your reach at all times. There is also a switch to enable or disable the keys, which is a plus point. The passive pen requires no charging or battery and feels good in hand. The material is light and the nibs feel high quality, with two buttons on the side. There is also a pen holder with 8 replacement nibs inside.

For a device under $100, this is a great buy, especially if you are new to digital art and graphic tablets.

This device is quite a surprise – how is it not more expensive? Huion H610 Pro is made for artists and they love it.

Device Specs:

  • Dimensions: 13.85 x 9.37 x 0.47 inches (352 x 238 x 12 mm)
  • Working area: 10 x 6.25 inches (254 x 158.8 mm)
  • Resolution: 5080 LPI
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds (635 g)
  • Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Report rate: 233 PPS
  • Reading height: 0.47 inches (12 mm)
  • Express keys: 8 (on left-hand side)
  • In the box: Rechargeable pen (PEN80), USB Cable, pen charger, pen holder, replacement nibs

This device is bigger and consequently more comfortable for drawing. It does not look very sophisticated but will win your heart with its functionality. There is an indicator light on the top left corner letting you know when your pen touches the tab – a unique and useful idea.

There are 8 programmable press keys on one side and 16 soft keys at the top lining the working area. It does sound like a great option to have that many shortcut keys, but you can’t really use the soft keys without looking (they are quite small) and since this is not a pen display, your attention would be on your computer screen while drawing. So they do not add as much value as one might expect. 

The pen is battery-powered, so you will have to charge it. The front of the pen has a matte, slightly rubbery texture, so it provides a good grip. It has two buttons on the side that can be customized. The pen holder has the replacement nibs and a nib-clipper. This is not Huion’s best stylus, but works just fine. The tablet surface provides very slight friction, but the pen does not slip. The pressure sensitivity is really good – lines are smooth and you can really see how the device detects the pressure you apply.

Overall, the drawing experience is great and the working area is very comfortable. If you’re not looking for a particularly fancy device or some special feature, this performs pretty well. There is no point in spending more money.

You cannot talk about graphic tablets and not mention Wacom. The Wacom Intuos tab comes in two sizes – small and medium. The small one has two options you can choose from – with or without Bluetooth. Adding the Bluetooth increases the price and weight of the tab ever so slightly.

Device Specs:

  • Dimensions: 7.87 x 6.3 x 0.34 inches (200 x 160 x 8.8 mm) - small, 10.39 x 7.87 x 0.34 inches (264 x 200 x 8.8 mm) - medium
  • Working area: 6 x 3.74 inches (152 x 95 mm) - small, 8.5 x 5.31 inches (216 x 135 mm) - medium
  • Resolution: 2540 LPI
  • Weight: 0.5/ 0.59 pounds (230 g/ 250 g) small, 0.90 pounds (410 g) medium
  • Pressure sensitivity: 4096 levels
  • Reading height: 0.27 inches (7 mm)
  • Express keys: 4 (at the top)
  • Battery life: 15 hours of continuous use on Bluetooth
  • In the box: Wacom Pen 4K, USB cable, replacement nibs

The device is slim, lightweight and comfortable to use. Since there is the option of Bluetooth, you don’t even need to meddle with wires. In both sizes, the express keys are at the top, so it doesn’t matter which hand you draw with, the keys are not a barrier. Also, Wacom has a great feature called anti-ghosting, which means you can use multiple keys at the same time.

The pen does not require charging. The good thing about the pen is that you can take off the cap at the back and there are 3 extra nibs hidden inside. The one that comes with this tab is good enough, but Wacom does have better pens and most of them are compatible with the Intuos, so you can buy another separately too.


Considering the size, the medium one is more comfortable for drawing, but that will cost you over $100. However, the small only gives you a smaller working area, it does not compromise on quality. There have been almost no complaints with the usability of this device and it has been one of the most popular budget tablets since its release in 2017.

This device is currently the no. 1 bestseller on Amazon. There are a number of devices in the Star series that have some great features, and this one gives you all that in the lowest price.

Device specs:

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.37 x 0.31 inches (190 x 162 x 8 mm)
  • Working area: 6 x 4 inches (152.4 x 101.6 mm)
  • Resolution: 5080 LPI
  • Weight: 4 pounds (181.4 g)
  • Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Report rate: 266 RPS
  • Reading height: 0.39 inches (10 mm)
  • Express keys: None
  • In the box: P01 Passive pen, USB cable, replacement nibs, pen-clipper

This is a nice, slim device with a significantly broader working area. It’s not too big, and not too small. The tablet sits flat on the desk and has nice rubber feet underneath to keep it in place.


The pen has a smooth body with two buttons on the side. It is light and feels good in the hand. It does not require charging. You get 20 replacement nibs in the box! Replacement nibs are not that expensive or hard to find, but you have to agree that getting that many with the tablet is great. There are no express keys, so you will have to use your keyboard while drawing. But for the low price you’re paying for it, can you complain?

The tab’s working area is smooth and feels almost flawless. However, you cans see a lot of smudge on it from your fingers and palm, so you have to keep cleaning it. Other than that, the drawing experience on this is quite fluid. The device is great for writing, drawing, editing and whatever else you like to do on a digitizer.

Ugee is not the most popular brand out there. They only have a handful of products, but this particular one is quite good. The Ugee M708 is a budget device worth trying out.

Device Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14.17 x 8.27 x 0.31 inches (359.9 x 210 x 7.87 mm)
  • Working area: 10 x 6 inches (254 x 152.4 mm)
  • Resolution: 5080 LPI
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds (658 g)
  • Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Report rate: 266 RPS
  • Reading height: 0.39 inches (10 mm)
  • Express keys: 8 (left-hand side)
  • In the box: Drawing pen, USB Cable, pen holder, replacement nibs, nib-clipper, drawing glove

The device is somewhat large, but slim. Hence, it is still light considering the size. It looks great and the working area has a matte finish. The surface does not scratch easily, even after long hours of continuous use. It is easy to set up in both Windows and Mac OS.

The eight express keys are divided into two sections. In the middle there is a status indicator light that will stay lit as long as your pen touches the tablet. When the tab is turned on but you are not working, the light keeps flickering and this can be a bit annoying. Although the keys are lined up on one side, the Ugee driver lets you rotate the device 180 degrees, so it can used by both right-handed and left-handed artists.

The pen is battery powered and you will need one AAA battery for it – there’s no need to charge it. It has two buttons on the side to switch between pen and eraser modes. The pen is overall comfortable to use. There is some jitter during slow drawing, but that varies from software to software. Even the best pens or tablets give some jittery results, so this is not a major issue.

This device is a great buy for the price and even if you are not accustomed to using graphic tablets, you will face no issues with it.

XP-Pen has proven to be a good competitor to Wacom, especially with their Deco range. The Deco 01 has been one of their most popular tablets because of its simplistic design, and packed features, not to mention – the price tag.

Device Specs:

  • Dimensions: 13.82 x 8.54 x 0.31 inches (351 x 217 x 8 mm)
  • Working area: 10 x 6.25 inches (254 x 158.75 mm)
  • Resolution: 5080 LPI (lines per inch)
  • Weight: 1.32 pounds (598 g)
  • Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Reading height: 0.39 inches (10 mm)
  • Report rate: 266 RPS
  • Express keys: 8 (left-hand side)
  • In the box: P03 Passive pen, pen holder, replacement nibs, USB cable, drawing glove

The XP-Pen Deco 01 is a stylish slim device that looks fancy. With only 0.31" (8 mm ) thickness, the tab is very light to carry and fits in a laptop bag easily. It sits flat on the desk and doesn’t slip, thanks to the four rubber feet underneath. It only requires one cable to connect, so you can easily set it up anywhere.

The express keys are lined up on the left-hand side, but the tab can be rotated 180 degrees and the setting modified for left-handed users. So it does not pose as a barrier. All of the express keys are customizable and have a smooth design. There are four Deco lights marking the edges of the working area that light up when the tab is connected, making it easier for you to work in low light.

The pen that comes with it has a smooth black body and weighs only 10g. It is very light and easy to use and does not require charging. However, the seamless finish makes it slightly slippery with no texture or rubbery covering. There is no eraser on it, but two customizable buttons on the side that can be used to switch between pen and eraser mode. The pen holder opens up, grips all the replacement nibs and also works as a nib remover.

The matte finish on the tab provides just enough friction for a paper-like experience. Your search for the best graphics tablet under $100 ends here.

Alternate Option – Just Above the $100 Mark

We have another great device we could not leave out, in case you have a flexible budget.

This tablet is definitely an upgrade in the Inspiroy range. The Inspiroy Dial has a design that stands out and is definitely a solid performer overall.

Device Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14.78 x 8.68 x 0.31 inches (375.5 × 220.4 × 8 mm)
  • Working area: 10.5 x 6.56 inches (266.7 x 166.7 mm)
  • Resolution: 5080 LPI (lines per inch)
  • Weight: 1.47 pounds (666 g)
  • Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Reading height: 0.39 inches (10 mm)
  • Report rate: 266 PPS
  • System requirements: Windows 7 or above, MacOS 10.12 or above, Android 6.0 or above
  • Battery capacity: 1100 mAh
  • Express keys: 8 (left-hand side), one dial
  • In the box: Battery-free pen (PW500), pen holder, replacement nibs, pen clip, USB cable, USB adapter, wireless receiver

The tab itself has a matte finish and feels like paper on your skin. It looks professional and also has a textured back so it firmly sits on any surface.

There is a wireless receiver that you can connect to your computer, laptop, tablet or even your phone. Since there is a wireless option, the tab has a battery that will give you up to 20 hours of usage with a single charge. However, I personally feel that it works much better with the cable attached. This is not a lot of hassle.

There are 8 express keys that are all programmable, as well as the dial. Since they are all located on one side, the driver lets you change the settings and rotate the tablet 180 degrees for left-handed users.  There is another button at the center of the dial that you can also use as a shortcut.

The pen does not require charging. It has a rubbery coating at the front, which provides a good grip. There are two buttons on the side that are customizable. It is a standard drawing pen, very comfortable to use and does not feel too light. The pressure sensitivity is great on this – lines come out really smooth and accurate.

It is very comfortable to draw on – large working area, matte surface and a good quality solid stylus – I couldn’t ask for more. It is only a little over $100 and is a pretty good product overall.

We mean “just above the mark” when we say it.

Final Thoughts

You have to pay a lot to get a lot – this is no longer true. Also, if you are looking to start something new, it is not wise to spend a large sum on a device you have not used before. Some of these devices are seriously cutting-edge. Although pen displays are more preferable for illustrations and designs, once you get used to a graphic tab, you will find it equally easy to work with the latter. You can create great art with either or both.

Do you agree? Let us know your views or if you have any queries. Leave a comment below!


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