Don’t Know How to Go About Buying a Graphics Tablet?

by Megan Trudeau

Graphics tablets, also known as drawing tablets, digitizing tablets or graphics pads, are input devices for your computer, like mice. They are used like an electronic pen (called a stylus) and paper (the tablet), with the movements of the stylus on the tablet displayed virtually on your computer.

What kind of features do you need to look for when buying a graphics tablet?

People looking to purchase a graphics tablet for the first time should note several features before actually buying it: price (how much are you willing to spend on it?), size (the size of the tablet’s input surface area), interface options (how it connects to the computer), pressure sensitivity (how sensitive the tablet is to varying pressure levels from the stylus) and any accessories.

Before you do anything, you should determine the price range you’re wiling to spend for a new tablet. First-time buyers and novice users should probably look to spend considerably less than their professional counterparts. Lower-end tablet models offer a more practical price for users who aren’t professional graphic artists. These tablets tend to have less advanced features and a smaller tablet size, but are nonetheless viable options for newer users.

Graphics tablets are typically priced according to their size and pressure sensitivity. Standard tablet pads have input surface area sizes of 4″x5″, 6″x8″ or 9″x12″. Prices increase with size, so keep your price limit in mind.

The way the tablet interfaces with your computer is another important feature to consider before purchasing anything. Some tablets use only a USB interface, while others require a separate power source. The portability and convenience provided by having a tablet that doesn’t need power outlet or another cord to lug around with it is an important feature to consider while shopping.

Another important feature of graphics tablets is their sensitivity to pressure. Standard pressure sensitivities are 256, 512 and 1024, where the higher the number means a higher sensitivity to pressure input from the pen stylus. Tablets with a higher sensitivity are often priced higher than those with lower sensitivity, so it’s important to note in order to stay within your price range.

Lastly, think about any included accessories the tablet offers, the most important being the stylus. If your tablet includes a stylus you should try it out- make sure it fits and feels comfortable in your hand. Note how it is attached to the tablet, if at all. Does it require any batteries or power source? Does the tablet come with any other accessories (like a mouse or a stylus stand)?

I hope that this has helped you to decide what to look for when purchasing a new graphics tablet. Different tablets have different pros and cons, so try to think about the tablets’ features in relation to how you will be using it. As long as you plan ahead and weigh different features carefully, you should have no problem choosing the right tablet for you!

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