The other day I was searching for the perfect birthday present for my two nephews when I suddenly found it: a drawing tablet! You see, my nephews (aged 5 and 12 years old respectively) are creative little guys but like a lot of children they spend hours playing videogames. I thought it could be a great idea to give them a tool that allows them to express their imagination and that can entertain them. But hold on, what are actually the best drawing tablets for kids?
If like me you are looking for the best drawing tablets for kids, you’ll soon realize that there’s an overwhelming number of options available out there. Don’t worry, I’ve already done the research for you, so relax and read on to discover the best drawing tablets for kids in 2021.
- Summary of the Best Drawing Tablets for Kids
- What type of drawing tablet is the right one for your kid?
- Product Reviews – Best Drawing Tablets for Kids in 2021
- 1. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition – Most versatile tablet for kids aged 3-12
- 2. Apple iPad mini – Best standalone tablet for kids and teenagers
- 3. XP-PEN Artist 12 – Best premium yet affordable drawing tablet
- 4. Wacom Intuos S – Best overall non-screen drawing tablet
- 5. XP-PEN Deco 01 V2 – Best non-screen drawing tablets for value
- 6. Huion HS64 – Best user-friendly tablet for all ages
- 7. Huion H1060P – Best large drawing tablet for beginners
- 8. Iskn Slate 2+ – Best drawing tablet for pencil and paper lovers
- 9. Ansel LCD Drawing Tablet – Best simple tablet for kids aged 3-7
- Buying Guide – Things to consider when choosing a drawing tablet for kids
- Frequently asked questions when considering a drawing tablet for kids
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition –
Best tablet for 5 to 9 year-olds
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is the most versatile tablet for kids and it comes at a very attractive price point. It supports a wide variety of apps beyond just drawing and is super easy to use.
Apple iPad mini – Best tablet for older kids
The iPad mini offers a beautiful design, huge portability and fast performance. The fact that the App Store is also packed with plenty of free drawing apps makes is an excellent choice for older kids and teens.
Summary of the Best Drawing Tablets for Kids
In case you’re too busy to go through my in-depth buying guide, find below a summary of the best tablets for kids in 2021 😊
|Tablet Model||Display Area (inches)||Pressure Sensitivity||Weight (lbs)||Current price|
|Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition||10.1||NA||1.7 lbs||Check price|
|Apple iPad mini||7.9||NA||0.66 lbs||Check price|
|XP-PEN Artist 12||11.6||8192||1.96 lbs||Check price|
|Wacom Intuos S||6x3.7||4096||0.51 lbs||Check price|
|XP-PEN Deco 01 V2||10x6.25||8192||2.2 lbs||Check price|
|Huion HS64||6.3x4||8192||0.57 lbs||Check price|
|Huion H1060P||10x6.25||8192||2.75 lbs||Check price
|Iskn Slate 2+||10.5x7.3||NA||0.83 lbs||Check price
|Ansel LCD Drawing Tablet||12.7x7.7||NA||0.44 lbs||Check price
What type of drawing tablet is the right one for your kid?
In order to find the best drawing tablets for kids, the first question you need to ask yourself is what type of tablet you are looking for. There are 3 main types of drawing tablets out there and they each serve different purposes:
Non-screen drawing tablets: These are touchpads that plug into a computer as they don’t have a built-in screen. You just draw on them using a stylus (usually included with the tablet) and the sketch is displayed on your monitor.
Although these tablets are usually the go-to tool for graphic designers, the main drawback of using this type of tablets with kids is their lack of mobility. This is because you need to plug the tablet into a computer, which is less practical than a standalone tablet like in iPad.
Full-fledged drawing tablets: These are drawing tablets with a built-in screen and a fully functional computer. This means they can run drawing software like Photoshop and Illustrator. They offer great portability as you can take them anywhere, plus they usually come with a wide range of connectivity options (e.g. HDMI, USB-C, etc.).
The main drawback is the price and the fact that they can be easily damaged, especially if used by kids.
Traditional tablets: These are the traditional tablets we know (e.g. iPad, Samsung tablet) with built-in screens that can also be used as a drawing tablet. They usually have less drawing features and are less precise but they do have the advantage of offering other functionalities besides drawing.
There is a wide range of tablets that can suit your kid depending on his age. For instance, the Amazon Fire HD Kids tablet is aimed at kids from 3-12, while the iPad can be a great tablet for teenagers that want to make the most out of the tablet.
Product Reviews – Best Drawing Tablets for Kids in 2021
1. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition – Most versatile tablet for kids aged 3-12
A top-quality tablet recommended for those looking for a cost-effective way to get kids access to multimedia and drawing
The tablet includes a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which is an all-in-one subscription that brings together all the types of content that kids ages 3-12 want, with over 20,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, games, and Audible audiobooks.
While the Fire Kids tablet is not a drawing tablet per se, it offers a wide range of drawing apps that can be installed to transform it into a powerful great drawing tablet. Just bear in mind you’ll need to purchase a stylus separately (we recommend this one which is affordable and does the job well)
This tablet comes with a 10.1″ 1080p Full HD screen (larger than its predecessor’s which was 8″), an octa-core CPU up to 2.0 GHz with 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 512 HB) and 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording.
Easy-to-use parental controls
Amazon offers all the tools needed to keep children safe while they use the tablet. You can limit screen time, set educational goals and curfews, and manage content for up to 4 child profiles. The tablet also offers a “FreeTime” mode, which restricts the kid’s access to social media or Alexa when activated.
Connectivity and other features
Tablet a has dual-band Wi-Fi, built-in Bluetooth, dual stereo speakers, built-in microphone. It’s difficult to do better.
The Fire Kids Edition tablet includes a 2-year worry-free guarantee. If it breaks, just return it to Amazon and they’ll replace at no additional cost.
Extremely versatile thanks to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited
Not a high-end drawing tablet
Built specifically for kids
Requires a subscription to Amazon FreeTime after first year ($2.99 per month)
Strong battery life
Complete parental control features
Great warranty and comes with a Kid-Proof Case
2. Apple iPad mini – Best standalone tablet for kids and teenagers
Apple’s latest generation of the iPad mini makes drawing accessible to everyone and offers huge portability while delivering fast performance
The iPad mini is extremely light and thin as it weighs only 0.66 pounds (300 grams), meaning you can take it with you everywhere.
Don’t get fooled by the iPad mini’s size, the tablet delivers incredibly fast performance thanks to its A12 Bionic Chip. The tablet can run the most advanced digital art apps (e.g. Procreate) without any issues. In a nutshell, the iPad Mini is able to turn into a professional drawing tablet.
The iPad mini is extremely light and thin as it weighs only 0.66 pounds (300 grams). However, don’t get fooled by this stat, the tablet delivers incredibly fast performance thanks to its A12 Bionic Chip. This means that compared to a traditional tablet where you need a couple of minutes to start drawing (turning on the computer, opening Illustrator, etc.), the iPad mini allows you to start drawing instantly. Now this is a key advantage because it creates a frictionless experience.
The iPad mini features a 7.9-inch Retina display which delivers incredibly vibrant colors. If you find the screen too small you might want to consider the iPad Air, which offers the same specs as the mini but with a 10.5-inch display.
Apple Pencil compatibility
Apple’s most recent iPad mini (5th generation) is finally compatible with the Apple Pencil, which is a major upgrade. Overall, drawing with this stylus feels great. It is smooth and responsive and although Apple doesn’t disclose the pressure levels, we found that the pencil’s sensitivity enabled pixel-perfect precision. Our only drawback is that the Apple Pencil is sold separately (check price here).
Equally suitable for beginners and professionals
The App Store offers a wide range of digital drawing apps that will suit both beginners (e.g. Autodesk Sketchbook) and professional designers (e.g. Procreate). This makes it one of the best drawing tablets for kids.
Lightest standalone tablet
Apple Pencil is sold separately
Apple Pencil is great
Apple’s iOS user experience is great for kids
Highly versatile tablet
3. XP-PEN Artist 12 – Best premium yet affordable drawing tablet
The XP-PEN Artist 12 is a premium quality and easy to use drawing tablet. Priced at $200, we consider it to be one of the best drawing tablets for kids at the moment
Portable yet extremely precise
The Artist 12 features a beautiful 11.6 inch Full HD display which makes it super-portable, yet it is capable of reaching 8192-levels of pressure sensitivity, offering a crazy level of accuracy to draw and paint. Bear in mind the Artist 12 is not a standalone product, it acts as a second monitor and therefore needs to be connected to a computer
Customizable hotkeys and touch bar
The Artist 12 comes with 6 hotkeys and a touch bar that can be customized to fit your favorite functions such as zooming in and out, scroll up and down, and more. These customization options will enable you to maximize your productivity while improving your user experience.
Excellent battery-free pen
The tablet comes with XP-PEN’s Advanced P06 pen, which is a battery-free stylus that feels like a traditional pencil. What we most like about this pen is its non-slip grip, its built-in eraser at the top and its right mouse click button.
The Artist 12 supports both Windows 10/8/7 and Mac OS, and is compatible with popular digital art software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter, Autodesk Maya, and more.
Most affordable tablet on the market that can project a second monitor on
Wire set up is a bit bulky
Excellent display, providing highly accurate and vibrant colors
Adapted for novice teen artists but too complicated to use for kids
Very responsive, no lags at all while drawing
Highly adjustable pressure sensitivity (8192-levels)
Glove provided with the tablet allows the hand to slide smoothly over the tablet
4. Wacom Intuos S – Best overall non-screen drawing tablet
The Wacom Intuos S tablet is a cheaper version of the Intuos Pro. The company has cut down the pressure sensitivity, resolution, battery time, and keys-on-board into half, which is really not a deal-breaker for kids.
Large Drawing Area
With a large active area of 6 x 3.7 inches, the Wacom Intuos S is one of the best entry-levels drawing tablets on the market. It’s small and slim enough to fit onto your computer desk. And large enough to provide an adequate workspace.
Plug and play
It’s a non-screen tablet meaning you just have to plug it to your PC or Mac using a USB cable. What you draw then appears on your screen. If you don’t like wires don’t worry, there is also another version of the same tablet that offers wireless connection through Bluetooth (slightly more expensive though).
The stylus has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, which provides a really smooth feeling. The line weight gets stronger as the pressure you apply changes. Lastly, the pen does not require charging which is a plus
The Intuos S also comes with 4 customizable hotkeys which makes drawing easier and more interactive. These hotkeys can be used to save, zoom, change layers, and more.
Although the tablet’s surface doesn’t feel like drawing on paper (no tablet can replicate that sensation), it does feel great and it is really pleasant to draw on it.
Brings Wacom's excellent hardware and drivers' quality
Less portable than an iPad (needs to connect to a computer)
Large active area
Not compatible with Android / iPhone
Plug and play, easy to set up
Stylus is great
Comes with Clip Studio
5. XP-PEN Deco 01 V2 – Best non-screen drawing tablets for value
XP-PEN’s DECO 01 V2 tablet is top-quality drawing tablet from XP-Pen that comes with a very sensitive stylus and eight different shortcut keys for easy management.
When unboxing XP-PEN’s second generation of the Deco 01 tablet, you instantly realize that it’s a bargain: it just feels like a top-notch, elegant tablet that offers smooth drawing sensations. Some might say this tablet has nothing to envy to the higher dollar drawing tablets. One of the best drawing tablets for kids.
Large active area
The tablet features a large active area of 10 x 6.25 inch and a minimalistic design, the tablet being extremely light and slim (weighs only 1.3 pounds).
High sensitivity stylus
The XP-PEN Deco comes with a battery-free stylus that offers as much as 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, giving it the ability to draw with a full pallet of brush and pens. The stylus works smoothly and is quite pleasant when drawing on the surface of the tablet. Also, the stylus also comes with a stand which is quite nice.
Large and thick work area
This drawing tablet comes with a large work area of 10-inch x 6.25-inch. This allows you to get your art done with more convenience and comfort. The 8mm thickness adds to the overall comfort of drawing capability.
Upgraded version offers new features
Compared the its predecessor – the Deco 01 – the Deco 01 V2 now supports connections with Android devices 6.0 and above, which means that you can take your tablet with you during trips and use your Android device as a monitor while you draw on the tablet. The other major feature is that the stylus now supports up to 60 degrees of tilt brush effect which allows to deliver smoother and more natural lines.
8 customizable keys
While the Wacom Intuos S offers four hotkeys, the XP-PEN Deco 01 V2 offers eight customizable keys that are located on the side of the tablet. Furthermore, the tablet supports rotations of 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees, which means it is equally suitable for right and left-handed artists.
Arguably the best value for money beginner drawing tablet
Kids might prefer an iPad for its simpler drawing apps
Compatible with Android devices
Not compatible with the iPhone or iPad yet
Great stylus quality and sensitivity levels
Suitable for both right and left-handed artists thanks to the rotation support
Elegant design yet user-friendly
6. Huion HS64 – Best user-friendly tablet for all ages
The Huion HS64 is a compact “plug and play” tablet that supports Android devices. This means you can start drawing right away using your phone’s drawing apps.
Compact yet functional tablet
The HS64 is an ultrathin (8mm thick) and lightweight (258g) tablet featuring a 6.3 x 4 inch active area, which works well for smaller desktop areas. Despite its compact design, it is very functional and doesn’t lag at all when drawing.
The main highlight of this tablet is perhaps is best-in-class integration with Android devices. You only need to connect the tablet to your phone and start drawing using your favorite drawing app. What’s also nice is that the tablet comes with two adapters (USB-C and Micro-USB) so you’ll be able to plug the tablet to your phone without having to buy the adapter separately.
Despite its compact design, the tablet’s stylus offers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity which means that it does not sacrifice accuracy and precision.
4 Customizable Press Keys
Like the Wacom Intuos S, the Huion HS64 also provides 4 customizable hotkeys to keep all your favorite shortcuts handy.
Although the tablet is of course compatible with both PC, Mac and Android, unfortunately it does not support the iPhone or the iPad yet. If that’s a big deal for you, you might want to go for the Wacom Intuos S.
Compact design makes it easy to carry
Not compatible with the iPhone or iPad yet
Tablet is solid, makes it a great fit for kids
Great drawing performance, no lag at all
Battery-free stylus with high sensitivity
Compatible with Android devices
7. Huion H1060P – Best large drawing tablet for beginners
The Huion H1060P is one of the only drawing tablets to offer a large active area and Android compatibility at an affordable price (below $100).
Large active area
The Huion H1060P has a 10 x 6.25 inch active area, which is 1.5x larger than the Huion HS64. Overall the drawing surface has a wonderful, gentle texture to it that just feels great to draw on. The large surface is nice to have especially for kids, as it gives them a wide space where they can express their creativity.
Besides its 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, the battery-free stylus also features a 60 levels tilt recognition. Tilt recognition means that the tablet senses the amount of tilt between the pen and the tablet, which in turn creates a more natural-looking pen, brush and eraser strokes. In our opinion this feature is worth the extra cost of the tablet compared to the Huion HS64.
The tablet is compatible not only with PC and Mac, but also with Android devices. You just need to plug the tablet to your Android device using an OTG connector (sold separately), and you can start drawing on any popular drawing app immediately.
12 express keys
The Huion H1060P has 12 express keys and 16 soft keys, all of them customizable to make your life easier. This is a nice feature for advanced artists, but not really necessary for kids.
Cheap given its large active area
Not compatible with the iPhone or iPad yet
Easy set up and user-friendly, suitable for kids
Battery-free stylus provides high accuracy
Compatible with Android devices (phones and tablets)
Comes with a glove and extra nibs
8. Iskn Slate 2+ – Best drawing tablet for pencil and paper lovers
The iskn Slate 2+ is a tablet that combines the unique experience of drawing on paper with the benefits of digital tablets
Hybrid tablet for paper lovers
The concept is simple: you simply connect the tablet to your favorite device and then draw with your own pencils on real paper. The tablet digitalizes your drawing and displays them on your device in real time.
Use your favorite pencil
You can use your favorite pencils and draw on a piece of paper or even on a notebook up to 7mm thick, the tablet does the rest. This means you can use the Slate as a regular graphic tablet.
Compatible with all devices
The great advantage of the Slate 2+ is that it supports PC, Mac, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android, devices. That’s a huge plus given most of standard drawing tablets usually don’t support the iPhone and iPad yet.
Highly portable tablet
Another great thing about the Slate 2+ is that it can be used either connected to a device to see your drawings instantly come to life, or in screenless mode to use the tablet while on the go.
Large Drawing Area
The Huion Inspiroy animator tablet is by far the largest tablet on our listing. It has an active drawing area of 11 by 6.8 inches. The screen has high touch sensitivity and pressure levels. The screen also comes with its own stylus. However, the stylus uses a battery, so it’s not the most efficient. The package comes with a pen stand and charging cable. So at least you get everything you’ll need.
A true mix between real drawing and graphic tablet
Less precise than normal drawing tablets
Perfect for kids as really easy to use
Some users have experienced minor lags
Can be used both as a standalone tablet or connected to a device
You can use your favorite pencils
Comes with Repaper Studio, a free app that enhances your creations
9. Ansel LCD Drawing Tablet – Best simple tablet for kids aged 3-7
The Ansel tablet is an affordable smart electronic drawing pad that allows kids 3-7 to write, draw, scribble and doodle.
Large LCD screen
The Ansel tablet boasts a large 10 inch color screen. The tablet uses flexible liquid crystal writing technology so you don’t need to worry about kids scratching the screen.
The Ansel tablet offers a basic but easy to use drawing functionality that will suit younger kids. Besides that, it also provides a convenient way for kids to practice their letters, do their homework, etc. without wasting any paper as it easily erases.
The tablet is ultra-and weighs only 7.1oz or 200g, so it’s light enough to carry with easy during long trips and car rides.
Impressive battery life
Battery can last up to 12 months which is definitely a key advantage compared to more advanced tablets like the iPad
Kids aged 3-7 love this tablet
Will not suit those looking for more advanced drawing tablets
No multimedia means no internet distraction (vs. the iPad)
Super-portable due to its light weight
Longest battery life in the market
Comes with an extra stylus
Buying Guide – Things to consider when choosing a drawing tablet for kids
Now that you know which are the differences between the main types of tablets, here are some other criteria to take into account in order to pick the best drawing tablets for kids:
Is the drawing tablet suitable for kids? If the tablet is only compatible with advanced software such as Illustrator or Photoshop, you kid might get discouraged fast. You want to pick a tablet that is “kid-friendly”, meaning that your kid doesn’t need a masterclass to start using it.
Decide what is the usage you want the tablet to provide. If the tablet is for a teenager that is already familiar with illustration or graphic design, then you should get either a standard drawing tablet or a full-pledged tablet. However, if you are looking for a learning companion for your kid that can also serve other educational functionalities then go for a kid-friendly tablet.
Parental control is a must-have feature if you decide to get a normal tablet. The web can be quite dangerous for kids so you want to make sure you have control over the content that is accessible through the tablet.
Drawing tablets are generally fragile, so we recommend you either get a “kid-proof” tablet or at least get one that offers a worry-free warranty.
When talking about drawing tablets, we usually say that bigger is better. A bigger active area will allow your kid to express his creativity without space restriction. However, you will also want to compare screen size to weight to ensure that the tablet’s is portability is in line with your expectations. The good news is that most of the tablets we recommend in this guide are relatively lightweight.
Sensitivity of tilt
With the tilt sensitivity of a stylus, you are able to create more natural strokes and create more innovative and real-looking designs and arts. Tilting is not going to be any issues when you are drawing on your computer. But when you are using a drawing tablet, this tilt recognition will allow you to create your drawing more like you do on paper.
Wireless is always better than wired connectivity, especially for kids. Tablets with built-in screens have the advantage of being much more portable, meaning you can bring the tablet when traveling.
The general rule of thumb is that you want to privilege tablets that offer USB-C charging. This means faster charging and less cables as USB-C is quickly becoming the new charging standard across devices.
Your kid will be using the stylus to draw anything on the tablet, therefore make sure it is of good quality. The stylus is essentially the brush or pencil with which you your kid will create the art. This might not matter that much if you kid is less than 10 years old, but just bear in mind that the quality of the stylus becomes essential for a more advanced usage of the tablet.
There are plenty of options out there, from $20 entry-level tablets to $2,000 full-fledge tablets. It all depends on how much you want to spend and how complete you want to tablet to be in terms of functionalities. If you are looking for a basic drawing tablet that enables your child to show his creativity you could get a cheap standalone writing tablet. On the other hand, more functionalities will come with a higher price tag. Our review covers both needs.
Frequently asked questions when considering a drawing tablet for kids
What kind of tablet should I get for my kid?
This will depend on the age of your child and what you want to get out of the tablet. For kids 3-12 you’ll want to go for a tablet that is compatible with simple drawing apps, whereas for teens you might want to get a proper drawing tablet so they can learn the basics of more advanced drawing software such as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Painter.
Can drawing tablets work without a computer?
Yes, in fact most of the tablets we recommend in this article can work without a computer. Tablet computers such as the Amazon Fire or the iPad are standalone devices, while the other drawing tablets can connect directly to Android devices.
How easy is it to connect a drawing tablet to a mobile device?
Nowadays most of non-screen drawing tablets are compatible with phones and tablets running Android 6.0 or above. This mean you can draw on your tablet and see the drawing on your Android device which is used as a monitor. To do this, you need to follow a simple two-step process: first you need to connect your tablet to your Android device using a USB adapter (USB to Micro-B or Type-C), and then open the Android drawing app that can support pen pressure. Tip: make sure to verify if the tablet is compatible with your specific Android device.
What Android drawing apps are compatible with my tablet?
The tablets we recommend work with all major Android drawing apps. This usually includes ibis Paint X, FlipaClip, Medibang, Autodesk Sketchbook, Zenbrush, Artrage, Procreate and more.
Overall, we believe the iPad Mini is one of the best drawing tablets for kids in 2021.
It is a highly versatile tablet that delivers fast performance using a user-friendly software, which makes it a tablet equally suitable for kids and professional graphic designers. The fact that the iPad is not a true drawing tablet is actually its strength, because it takes only 2 seconds to start drawing on it using your favorite drawing app. This is a huge benefit because kids are generally not going to have the patience to navigate through the complexity of advanced drawing software like Illustrator or Corel painter. Finally, the Apple Pencil is a highly accurate stylus that provides a really pleasant drawing experience.
In this buying guide we covered the key criteria to consider when buying a drawing tablet for kids as well as a summary of the best drawing tablets for kids in 2021. We hope that this article will help you easily find the right tablet for your kid.
If you think we missed out a tablet in our buying guide, please leave us a comment below and we’ll consider it for inclusion in our shortlist.