Besides a good notebook or personal computer and software, you really need graphics tablet if you work as a graphic designer or digital illustrator. With an intuitive surface, you can draw, paint, and design everything on your computer and feel that you are drawing on a paper. That will make your illustration become better and more natural.
However, there are many types of tablet in the marketplace, and it is challenging to choose the right one that suits you and your need. Since the graphics tablet price is a little bit expensive, so, you have to be careful before buying the drawing tablet. Do not buy a graphics tablet just because your professional illustrator friend has it, or just because it is so cool to bring anywhere. Give attention to these things if you do not want to buy the wrong graphics tablet and be disappointed later:
Knowing your skill
First of all, before you buy a new drawing tablet, you have to ask yourself about your illustration’s skill and on which group you belong to. Are you an amateur? A professional? Or maybe you have been an illustrator ninja?
If you just begin your journey as an illustrator, you can buy an economist and simple graphics tablet like Wacom Bamboo. Wacom Bamboo is easy to use but efficient for learning basic graphic design and illustration.
But if you are already a professional, you can choose the better graphics tablet like Wacom Intuos, or Cintiq. Those two series are much more expensive than the Bamboo series, but you will get better pressure sensitivity.
Why it is better for you to choose Wacom? There are plenty of tablet provided, with various prices, and there are many graphics tablets that are much cheaper than Wacom. However, Wacom is a reputable brand, and if you want the best quality and durability over anything when choosing the drawing tablet, you can count on Wacom. Moreover, Wacom are compatible with many devices and accessories.
Understanding your needs.
What will you do with the graphics tablet? Do you think that draw the illustration on it is the most important thing to do? Or you want to have an economist one, but can accommodate all your basic needs, like painting, coloring, and also manipulating a photo?
If drawing is the most important activity for you in illustrating, then you need a Cintiq. Cintiq has a good pressure sensitivity so you will feel like drawing on a real paper. If you want to use the graphics tablet for CAD or Computer-Aided Design, you need the bigger one. The small graphics tablet is not sufficient enough for Computer-Aided Design.
The Active Area
Many people who just start to use tablet sometimes think that overall size defines the size of the area to draw, design, etc. This thought will lead you to a big mistake, since there are some differences between tablet size to the area of the drawing, or usually called the active area.
The graphics tablet with good quality will provide complete information not only about the actual size but also the active area. If you are interested in the tablet that only provides the information of the active area, then you can add about 3-5 inches to measure its actual size.
Make sure it is responsive
The sensitivity of graphics tablet shows by Reports per Second (RPS) or Points per Second (for Wacom). The higher the number, the more sensitive the tablet is.
Usually, high-quality graphics tablet has high RPS/PPS, because, everybody wants the picture to be transferred as soon as possible to the screen, right? Moreover, the graphics tablet with low RPS/PPS will give you a wobbly line, and it is something you won’t wish for a graphics tablet.
Check the LPI of graphics tablet
Sensitivity is the most necessary thing to have once you want to draw on the graphics tablet. However, not only the sensitivity, you have to make sure that the picture you draw on the tablet has high resolution. How to understand the resolution? Well, the resolution of the graphics tablet measured by LPI or Line per Inch value.
The higher the Line per Inch value, the better the tablet. Because, with the high Line per Inch value, the printing resolution will be much better and the result won’t be noisy. Although you have a good and smooth design, it will be ruined by the noisy printing resolution, right?
The compatibility issue with your device and software
The graphics tablet must be connected to the software on your notebook/personal computer, so, make sure that the graphics tablet you choose is compatible with your software before you buy it.
The graphics tablet come with USB connector to be connected to your device, so you have to check whether the connector suits your device or not. Do not hurry while searching the compatibility issue, because, how good the graphics tablet is, it will be useless if it is not compatible with your device.
To make sure that the graphics tablet are compatible with your device and your software, we suggest you buy drawing tablet on the offline store, so you can try to connect them to your device and software before you buy it.
Compatibility issue with the accessories
Not only your device, make sure that the graphics tablet you buy support the accessories made by third-parties, especially the pen or stylus that is used to draw.
The drawing tablet often come with the stylus especially the good one. However, you have to be prepared if someday, the stylus is broken, or you lose it. If your graphics tablet cannot support some stylus, then you will find it difficult to replace the old pen.
If you choose a tablet that exclusively made for one or some limited number of a stylus, you have to make sure that the stylus is easy to find in the store or several marketplaces online.
To choose the right drawing tablet, do not hesitate to search much information, either from your colleagues or the Internet. By collecting enough information, you will understand what kind of drawing tablet that suit you and you will not waste your money spending for the wrong and useless tablet.