Written and media by Momoka Murata.
Are you interested in drawing? How about drawing on your computer? Have you ever experienced drawing with your mouse and created a messy graphic? This article will introduce computer graphic tools, commonly referred to as “pen tablets” and “screen pen tablets”. It will also examine the difference between the two products and show the pros and cons of each. A good tablet can improve your graphics and cut down on quite a deal of design time. Picture left shows my progress when I was drawing using the mouse to after I started to draw with the tablet. The only question that remains is which one is for you?
First, what are the differences between a “pen tablet” and the “screen pen tablet”? A pen tablet is the computer accessory that reflects what you draw on the pen tablet to the computer screen. In contrast, the screen pen tablet is the monitor that can draw directly on the screen. Both use special pens that need to be charged before used for long periods of time. Some people have a hard time imagining how to use the pen tablet, but it helps if you use it like you do a keyboard —what you type is what appears on the computer screen. The screen pen tablet is more close to the sense of how one draws on paper, only that what is drawn is reflected directly onto the screen. Thus, for those of you who draw on paper, I recommend the screen pen tablet. However, if it is not in your price range, or if you have more delicate eyes that easily get tired, you can start with a pen tablet. If you are considering purchasing one, make sure to check the pen pressure level. You can find pressure levels from 512, 1024, and 2048. As those numbers increase, you can feel more close to drawing on paper. Even for beginners, I would recommend getting a higher pen level product.
The second issue to consider when buying a tablet is the size. Even once you have decided to buy a pen tablet or a screen pen tablet, there are multiple sizes to choose from. Sizes range all the way from 6 inches in length to 21 inches for a large screen size. To consider what is best for you, you need to analyze your drawing style. Do you use your wrist or arm when you draw? If you are a person more comfortable with drawing small illustrations on the corner of your notebook, you may be using your wrist. In contrast, if you are an artist drawing more on a huge canvas, you may be using your arm. Smaller tablets are more affordable, however, if you think you are using your arm to draw, it might be better to get a large-size tablet.
The third issue when you are in the stage of searching what to buy is the brand. Recently, several different companies are selling pen/screen tablets from different sales points. Several companies place more emphasis on support, prices, or product quality. If you focus more on quality and durability, you may look for a “Wacom” product. This company is well-known for developing pen tablet products for a long while. In fact, the company is so well-known that several other stylus-producing computer companies have cooperated with Wacom to mount high-quality pen stylus technology. They produce a wide range of products such as the Bamboo series for pen-tablet beginners, the Intuos series for professionals, the Cintiq screen pen tablet series, and so on. If you focus more on inexpensive products for trial, you may consider exploring what Chinese tablet companies have to offer. HUION is one of the more popular companies at the moment, due in part to good quality products, and an affordable price range even for poor college students. You may get inexpensive Chinese products for trial and you can get Wacom-quality ones later when you are used to it. From the perspective of customer care, I recommend XP-Pen, which is the U.S. product. Their products are cheap as HUION’s, but also they have a quick response customer care. They have a question form on their website, and you can get real-time answers as soon as they notice your question. Even if they can’t answer your question, they will respond through e-mail quickly. All this to say, if you are worried about quality or warranty, you can invest in XP-Pen products and receive nice treatment in return.
Was this article helpful? Are you now interested in the creation of computer graphics? If you are still thinking, you may go to electronic store which sells pen/screen tablets and several stores that display those for trial. You may find those stores if you are still considering and find your favorite. Remember your graphic style, pen pressure level, size, and brand preference and you are sure to improve your computer graphic life drastically!