11 Best Standalone Drawing Tablet (2020) That don’t need a computer

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Standalone drawing tablets have a lot of advantages over traditional drawing devices. One of the biggest being – they do not need to be connected to a computer.

standalone drawing tablet

Having a computer built inside your drawing tablet does not only give you a compact drawing device that you can take anywhere with you but also provides a number of added features and functionalities.

A number of these tablets come with special features such as shortcut buttons or accessories such as surface dial, magnetic stylus, desktop-grade app support that adds to the overall drawing experience.

If you are looking for the perfect standalone drawing tablet for yourself, you have come to the right place.

After spending weeks – comparing and evaluating over 50 tablets. We finally made a list of some of the most deserving tablets for being the best standalone drawing tablets in the market.

In a hurry? Here are our top recommendations.

Top Recommendations

Apple iPad Pro fourth generation
Apple iPad Pro
  • 11/12.9 Inch
  • Excellent Stylus (Apple Pencil)
  • 9ms Latency
  • Perfect color accuracy
  • Ultra-portable
  • Good battery life
  • OS: iPadOS
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the right size for a portable drawing tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
  • 11/ 12.4 inch
  • 9ms Pen latency
  • Great Stylus performance
  • Powerful processor
  • S Pen comes free
  • Great value for money
  • OS: Android
microsoft surface Pro 7 - best standalone tablet
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  • 12.3 Inch display
  • Good stylus
  • Portable tablet with Windows
  • Can run desktop-grade apps
  • Inbuilt tablet stand
  • OS: Windows 10

Standalone drawing tablets come in various sizes and forms and have a number of advantages over traditional drawing tablets.

What is a standalone drawing tablet?

Standalone drawing tablets are a combination of a drawing tablet and a computer.

These drawing tablets have a built-in computer inside, that allows them to work independently without needing to be connected to an external computer like the traditional drawing tablets.

what is a standalone drawing tablet

2. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best standalone drawing tablet

Our pick

microsoft surface pro 7 - standalone tablet with Windows 10

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Check on Amazon

There are so many good standalone tablets out there that it was kind of difficult to pick one tablet over the other.

After having a good look, it is clear that the Microsoft Surface Pro brings a lot to the table and it totally deserves the title of the “best standalone drawing tablet” in the market.

The Surface Pro 7 comes with a 12.3-inch screen that is small enough to be portable but still has a sufficiently large screen that it doesn’t feel cramped while drawing.

The support for Windows 10 is one of the biggest advantages of this tablet. Windows allows you to use all your favorite desktop-grade drawing and modeling applications right on this handy computer.

The processor is powerful enough to handle light 3D applications and hundreds of drawing layers of your project. The battery life is also decent with fast charging enabled.

Microsoft Surface Pen

microsoft surface pen
Surface Pen

Last but not least – the Surface Pen. The Surface Pen is counted amongst some of the very capable styli in the market. Ir comes with support for both the pressure and tilt sensitivity.

The Microsoft has put a lot of attention to the details, the writing tip of the stylus has a rubber tip instead of plastic ones that you find with most other tablets.

This rubber tip provides a better grip over the glass surface of the tablet providing better control over the stylus. It results in much pleasing writing experience.

Surface Pro 7 being a touch screen, the palm rejection is equally important. The palm rejection on this tablet is spot on and does an excellent job of handling accidental touches.

Available Configurations

The Microsft Surface Pro is available in multiple configurations where you can choose everything from processor to RAM and even storage.

microsoft surface Pro 7 for drawing

Surface Pro 7 is the perfect choice for artists who need the desktop-grade application support in a handy form factor.

If you are a multitasker who constantly switches between digital art to graphic designing and uses Adobe sweet of applications or just want the flexibility of a desktop operating system, the Microsoft Surface Pro is the best option for you.

PROs of Microsoft Surface Pro 7

  • 12.3 Inch large display
  • Powerful and compact
  • Windows 10 operating system
  • Above-average stylus
  • Above-average battery life
  • Built-in Kickstand
  • Available in multiple configurations

CONs of Microsoft Surface Pro 7

  • Average display quality
  • Pen needs to be purchased separately

Buy Microsoft Surface Pro 7 on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


2. Apple Ipad Pro – Compact, Powerful tablet with a great stylus

Upgrade pack

best standalone drawing tablet - Apple iPad Pro

Apple iPad Pro Check on Amazon

If you hang out in art communities, you know that Apple iPad is gaining popularity with some of the artists permanently switching from traditional drawing tablets to iPad Pro.

Getting the basics right is one of the best ways of making a good drawing device, that is essentially what Apple has done with its iPad Pro lineup.

Apple iPad Pro Screen

Starting with the display – a display is where all the action happens, so it is one of the most important components of a drawing tablet.

The display on the Apple iPad Pro has a resolution of 2388 x 1668p (11-inch) and 2732 x 2048p (12.9-inch).

drawing on apple ipad pro screen

The screen is vibrant with good color accuracy. The display is bright enough to be comfortably used outdoors.

One of the great things about this screen is that it comes with ProMotion technology. Where the screen refresh rate is boosted up to 120hz giving you a faster and smoother response when drawing with Apple Pencil.

Apple Pencil – Stylus perfection

If you ask us – “Which is the best stylus that one can get?” – Apple Pencil would be the answer.

Accurate tracking, balanced pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition and faster response rate and good ergonomics are some of the ingredients of a good stylus. The Apple Pencil stands tall at almost every benchmark.

At the heart of it – Apple Pencil is the main reason what makes the iPads so popular amongst the artist. It has a very precise stylus tracking and good pressure and tilt sensitivity.

What sets it apart from another stylus in the market is its amazingly fast response rates measuring just 7ms.

apple pencil features
Apple Pencil

The only area where the Apple Pencil falls short is the ergonomics. Although a vast number of artists like the overall shape and size of the Apple Pencil but some of them feel that it is a little too thin and may feel slippery on sweaty hands.

To counter that, some artists like to use an Apple Pencil grip that not only provides a better grip but also increases the thickness of the stylus.

Other than that the pen has a customizable touch-enabled button on the side that can be used to quickly switch between a pen and eraser. It also comes with features such as wireless charging and quick charging.

The only shortcoming of the Apple iPad Pro

So far the Apple iPad seems like a great choice – Right? but the biggest roadblock that stops many artists from getting this tablet is the Operating system iPadOS.

Although there are a number of good drawing apps available for iPads, still some of the most popular desktop drawing apps are not available for iPads yet.

Further, if you use a combination of different programs as a part of your workflow, you may find it difficult to find the iPad alternatives of those desktop apps – leading you to change your workflow.

In short, iPads are for sure ahead of the game in terms of hardware and power but their operating system is what holds them back.

The iPad Pro is a great choice if you are strictly a digital artist or if you feel the iPads easily fit your workflow, in that case you will love the drawing experience provided by it.

PROs of Apple iPad Pro

  • Powerful and compact
  • Excellent stylus (Apple Pencil)
  • Fastest response time of 7ms
  • Support keyboard accessory
  • Long battery life
  • Powerful drawing apps
  • Excellent palm rejection

CONs of Apple iPad Pro

  • The pen needs to be purchased separately
  • No matte display

Buy Apple iPad Pro on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ – Standalone Android tablet with great drawing features

Also great

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the right size for a portable drawing tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Check on Amazon

If you are an artist and you like the freedom and customizability that Android offers than you would love this one.

Android tablets have traditionally fallen behind tablets such as Apple iPad Pro but with the arrival of the all-new Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, that is not the case anymore. 

Samsung tablets are some of the most reliable Android tablets and come with some of the most powerful processors and premium design. They have a huge fan base of their own and people do really love them.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the latest iteration of the Samsung tablets whose features are kind of similar to the iPads.

Display – Color, and Resolution

The quality of the display is one of the highlights of these tablets. They come with SuperAMOLED displays which are known for their excellent color accuracy and contrasty and you do really feel the difference in real-life usage.

The Galaxy Tab S7 comes in two variants, 11 inches and 12.4 inches with an aspect ratio of 16:10 in a modern design with super-thin bezels around the screen.

The best part is, these screens can be super bright and very comfortable to use in bright outdoor environments. 

S Pen – The improved stylus with 9ms response time

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ S Pen
Samsung S Pen

Samsung has been constantly improving its stylus (S-Pen) from the last few years. The biggest improvement came this year in the form of blazing-fast 9ms response time which is the same as what you get with Apple Pencil. Check out our Apple Pencil vs S Pen comparison (new tab).

Other than that the pen tracking, pressure sensitivity as well as tilt sensitivity is also outstandingly good. All these features combined together result in a very natural drawing and writing experience.  

To make sure the S Pen is always by your side when you need it – it magnetically sticks at the back of the tablet where it charges wirelessly.

Power, Battery life and performance

A standalone drawing tablet needs to be powerful enough to easily handle day to day tasks and its battery should last all day long without needing to charge in-between. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 has both these features, it comes with one of the fastest processors and has a massive 10000+ mAh battery which can easily handle intensive usage.

Overall, if you are looking for a capable standalone drawing device and want the most color-accurate screen, powerful processor, a very capable stylus, and a bettery that lasts all day long – the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is definitely the best option for you.

PROs of Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

  • Best in class display quality and resolution
  • Powerful stylus with air gesture support
  • Bright display – for comfortable outdoor usage
  • Superfast 9ms stylus response time
  • Pen included in the package
  • Long battery life
  • Good palm rejection
  • Keyboard accessory support

CONs of Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

  • No matte screen
  • Only a few drawing apps supports tilt
  • No headphone jack

Buy Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


4. Huion Kamvas Studio 22 – Larger standalone drawing tablet

huion kamvas studio 22 - large size drawing tablet with built-in computer

Huion Kamvas Studio 22 Check on Huion.com

Till now we have seen a number of tablets measuring 10 to 13 inches. These tablets are great in terms of portability but they do compromise with screen size.

What if portability is not your priority and you actually want is a larger drawing area (bigger screen) instead.

The Huion Kamvas Studio 22, as the name suggested is a standalone drawing tablet with a massive 22-inch screen. Huion is known for its digital drawing devices. Artist like them because they provide top of the line features at very reasonable prices.

The advantage of this type of tablet is – It replaces your computer and your dedicated drawing tablet with a single device which is a computer as well as a drawing tablet.

It simplifies your work setup and makes it clutter and wire-free. The Kamvas Studio 22 comes with an Intel i5 – 8400 processor and a FullHD IPS screen with the color accuracy of 120%sRGB color gamut.

Stylus – Huion PW500

Huion stylus PW 500
Huion stylus PW500 for Kamvas Studio 22

Since Huion primarily makes drawing tablets, they are expected to have a good stylus and they do. The Kamvas Studio comes with a stylus that has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity with good pressure and tilt sensitivity.

Since this drawing computer is primarily made for artists there are a number of extra features that help provide a better drawing experience.

When you draw with a stylus on a glass screen over time it starts getting scratches. The Kamvas Studio 22 comes with a tougher etched glass, that not only provides better protection against scratches but also provides a textured surface for better drawing experience.

shortcut button and accessories of huion kamvas studio 22
Huion Kamvas Studio 22 – tablet and accesories

There are a total of 20 fully programmable shortcut buttons as well as 2 touch strip on both the sides of the screen.

Now one of the main reasons why this tablet is recommended is that it provides great value for money. Even though technically it is a combination of a computer and a drawing tablet but still it manages to keep its price low.

If you like then the idea of having a large size standalone drawing computer that is compact and has an inbuilt computer of its own, you should definitely get this.

PROs of Huion Kamvas Studio 22

  • Massive 22-inch screen
  • Good color accuracy
  • Fully Laminated
  • Etched Glass for better texture
  • Excellent stylus
  • Free wireless keyboard and mouse
  • Good build quality

Cons of Huion Kamvas Studio 22

  • Average design
  • Thick bezels around the screen

Buy Huion Kamvas Studio 22 on Huion.com 


5. Apple iPad Air – Same drawing performance at pocket-friendly prices

apple ipad airApple iPad Air Check on Amazon

We have already talked about iPad Pros and their superior stylus and how they are ahead of the pack in terms of providing great features and outstanding drawing performance.

Well, these discussions sound great but when people see the price of the tablet and how quickly it climbs when you add in a few upgrades, it makes some of us reconsider our decision.

What if there was a way of getting a very similar drawing experience at a more affordable price. The updated Apple iPad Air offers you exactly that.

With iPad Air, you are getting a fast processor, a fully-laminated screen, and a very capable stylus. Meaning you can draw using the heaviest texture brushes without the tablet feeling laggy. All at a considerably cheap price than the iPad Pro.

First Generation Apple Pencil

first generation Apple Pencil

Now some of you may have noticed the iPad Air only supports the first generation of Apple Pencil. The reality is the actual drawing experience of the first-gen and second-gen Apple Pencil is very similar.

You may not get the cool wireless charging and the pencil may not attach magnetically to the tablet, like what you get with iPad pro, but the raw features such as stylus accuracy, pressure sensitivity, and response times are similar.

PROs of Apple iPad Air

  • Great value for money
  • Excellent display
  • Good stylus (Apple Pencil)
  • Headphone jack
  • Slim and portable

CONs of Apple iPad Air

  • Thick Bezels
  • Two speakers (Instead of 4)
  • No Promotion 120hz refresh rate

Buy Apple iPad Air on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


6. Microsoft Surface Go 2 – A cheaper alternative to Surface Pro

Also great

microsoft surface Go 2 - budget tablet computer with Windows 10

Microsoft Surface Go 2 Check on Amazon

The Surface Go 2 is a 10.5-inch touch-enabled and Surface Pen enabled portable standalone drawing tablet. One of the best things about his tablet is in spite of being a small and handy device it still runs a full-fledged Windows operating system.

It can be seen as a smaller version of the Microsoft Surface Pro and it shares a number of features that come with Surface Pro.

Starting with that hinge at the back. It is built-inside the body if the tablet and allows you to place your tablet at any angle you want. The hinge also helps you provide a better grip while drawing handheld.

Microsoft Surface Go 2 stylus – Surface Pen

microsoft surface pen
Microsoft Surface Go 2 compatible stylus – Surface Pen

The tablet works really well with the Surface Pen, the pen tracking is good, you can customize the pressure sensitivity and you also get the tilt support.

There are a number of accessories that you can get with this tablet such as the Surface Keyboard as well as the surface dial.

Other than that the tablet has a good battery backup and everything works smoothly and as expected. The processor of this tablet is good but not that powerful.

But at the same time, as far as the drawing is concerned, it can comfortably handle heavy project files.

This drawing tablet is an ideal choice for those who want a tablet size Windows-powered standalone drawing tablet which allows them to use their desktop drawing applications.

PROs of Microsoft Surface Go 2

  • Windows 10 support
  • Built-in stand
  • Keyboard cover support
  • Compact and Portable
  • Good stylus performance
  • Good value for money device

CONs of Microsoft Surface Go 2

  • Surface Pen (stylus) needs to be purchased separately
  • Average speakers

Buy Microsoft Surface Go 2 on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


7. Microsoft Surface Studio 2 – Convertablet drawing PC

microsoft surface studio 2Microsoft Surface Studio 2 Check on Amazon

When we talk of a standalone drawing tablet we expect a computer and a drawing tablet combined into a single device. Most of the standalone drawing tablet is small in size measuring below 15 inches.

What if you want a larger standalone drawing device that does not needs to be connected to the computer and has a smaller footprint that occupies minimum space on your desk.

One good option is the Huion Kamvas Studio 22 that we already mentioned on our list. The thing is – Huion Kamvas Studio 22 is more of a functional tool that focuses more on features and kind of neglects the design and aesthetics.

If you want a larger drawing device that not only has a good stylus and powerful internals but also looks modern, elegant, and elevates the overall look of your setup, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is the right choice for you.

It comes with a massive 28-inch display which 3:2 aspect ratio giving you more vertical screen space which is great for productivity tasks.

The Hinge – PC Mode, Drawing Mode

pc mode and drawing mode on Microsoft surface studio 2
PC mode and Drawing mode

Its unique hinge mechanism is the standout feature that you can’t really find anywhere else. In normal mode, it works as everyday all in one computer.

The real magic happens when you tilt the monitor, with the help of its cleverly designed hinge mechanism, the drawing monitor lays flat on the desk. Where it essentially feels like a draft-table on which you can comfortably draw on.

The Microsoft Surface Studio also supports accessories like the Surface Dial that provides a number of handy shortcuts.

In a nutshell, this all in one drawing computer is expensive and it is not for everyone, but if you are someone who likes to have an elegant working setup and appreciate good design, you will love this one.

Pros of Microsoft Surface Studio 2

  • Massive 28-inch display
  • Stunning looks
  • Cleaver design
  • Easy to adjust from one position to other
  • Good stylus support and performance
  • Multiple drawing centric accessories
  • Productivity focused 3:2 aspect ratio Screen
  • Sufficiently powerful computer inside

Cons of Microsoft Surface Studio 2

  • Glossy Screen
  • Expensive

Buy Microsoft Surface Studio 2 on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


8. Apple iPad Mini – Portable and powerful

Apple ipad mini - smallest standalone drawing tablet for artist

Apple iPad Mini Check on Amazon

As Apple describes it “mini just got mightier“. The latest upgrade from the apple has added a number of extra features in the iPad mini which makes it a much better tablet than before.

One of the biggest upgrades to the iPad mini is – it now supports the Apple Pencil (First Gen).

The iPad mini is the smallest tablet featured on this list and comes with a 7.9-inch screen. When it comes to portability, there is no match for it. It can easily fit in your handbag or backpack and it is so lightweight that you won’t even notice it.

Small and Powerful

apple pencil for drawing and writing

In spite of being so small, it comes with a very powerful A12 Bionic processor that can not only handle large project files but also can be used for multiplayer online games.

To top it all, the iPad mini is super affordable and one of the cheapest standalone drawing tablet on this list.

The only negative point about this tablet is its outdated design. It has got massive bezels on the top and bottom which some people may not like.

Overall if portability is what you care about and you want a tablet that won’t make a huge dent in your bank balance at the same time that has the power to handle daily use and abuse – iPad mini is what you should get.

Pros of Apple iPad Mini

  • One of the smallest drawing tablet in the market
  • Great value for money
  • Super fast processor
  • Excellent stylus
  • Good battery life
  • A number of really good drawing application support (iPad OS)

Cons of Apple iPad Mini

  • No laminated screen
  • Large Bezels around the screen
  • Apple Pencil needs to be purchased separately

Buy Apple iPad Mini on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


9. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 lite – Cheaper Android drawing tablet

Budget pick

samsung galaxy tab s6 lite - cheaper standalone drawing tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Check on Amazon

After the huge success of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, Samsung has introduced the new Galaxy Tab S6 Lite where Samsung has ditched some un-necessary features in favor of keeping the prices low.

The Galaxy Tab S6 lite comes with a 10.4-inch screen that has a resolution of 12000 x 2000 and an aspect ratio of 5:3. The stylus comes included in the box and it has a good response rate and pressure sensitivity.

samsung galaxy tab s6 lite stylus
Samsung S Pen for Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

There are other cheaper android tablets available in the market but none of them has the combination of a good screen and an excellent stylus that you get with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 lite.

The tablet excels in other areas as well as such as battery life and a fast processor. There are a number of good Android drawing apps that can run on this device.

Other than being a good drawing and note-taking tablet, this can also be a good device for media consumption.

This tablet is a good alternative to Apple iPad mini and iPad Air as it comes with a minimal bezel around the screen giving you more screen space in a similar form factor.

PROs of Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

  • One of the best displays in its price range
  • A lot of features at a lower price
  • Excellent stylus
  • Small bezels around the screen
  • Good battery life
  • Decent speakers
  • Good multimedia experience

CONs of Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

  • Mid-tier processor (which is okay at this price point and more than enough for day to day usage)

Buy Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite on Amazon   BHPhotoVideo


10. Alternative – 2 in 1 ultrabook with stylus support

2 in 1 ultrabook as standalone drawing computer
Lenovo 2 in 1 ultrabook with stylus

When looking for a standalone drawing device you want something that is portable and powerful and supports pen input. Considering the requirements a 13-inch 2 in 1 ultrabook can be a great alternative.

These ultrabooks are very slim and lightweight devices that are easy to carry with you. Ultrabooks like Hp Spectre X360 and Levono Yoga C940 with 10th generation Intel Ice Lake precessors can run through any drawing, modeling, and 3D applications with ease.

Both of these devices come with a stylus that has above-average drawing and writing performance. And yes they come with 4K display – something you will appreciate as an artist.

These ultrabooks are recommended for the casual artist who likes to draw stuff every once in a while.

Advantages and Disadvantages of standalone drawing tablets

Advantages of standalone drawing tablet

  • Comes with a pen-enabled screen
  • Portable – Can be used on the go
  • Comes with a built-in computer
  • Cleaner workspace with minimum clutter
  • Some of them support keyboard accessories that essentially makes them a computer
  • Added drawing centric features
  • Multiple choices in terms of size and operating system
  • It can be used on a couch, patio, lawn, park or wherever you feel comfortable
  • Overall better drawing experience

Disadvantages of standalone drawing tablet

  • Expensive than traditional drawing tablets
  • Minimum to no upgradability – So make sure to pick best possible specs
  • Generally smaller screen sizes – 10 to 13 inches but some are also available in larger 22 and 27 inches
  • Difficulty running heavy 3D applications

Standalone drawing tablet: Simplified Buyer’s guide

What style of artwork do you make? Which Drawing Apps and Programs you use? Are you a beginner, or a professional? How often do you travel? You like to work indoors or outdoors? Do you like tablets with smaller or larger screens?

Everyone’s needs are different, So one tablet that is a perfect fit for you may not be the best choice for someone else. There is no perfect drawing tablet, every tablet brings some special set of features which are unique to that device.

When getting a standalone drawing tablet you should try to figure out what features are important to you and get the right tablet accordingly.


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If you have come this far, you are Awesome. Writing this article took a lot of time and effort and we hope that we were able to help you find the right Standalone Drawing Tablet.

So, did you find our article informative, is there something that we missed, please let us know in the comment section. We would really appreciate that.

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh is an Adobe Certified Graphic Designer and a 3D artist. He likes to acquire new skills and explore how things work.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    “saperatilty” Wow! Takes a lot of effort to mess up like this.

    1. Avatar
      Essential Picks

      Wow! we really messed that up. Thanks for pointing out.

  2. Avatar

    Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

  3. Avatar

    super helpful thanks!

  4. Avatar

    Best article to compare. Very detail and helpful! Thank you!!

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