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Can Drawing Tablets Work without a Computer?

Can Drawing Tablets Work without a Computer?

Let’s talk about drawing tablets. If you’re a budding animation artist or graphic designer, you might want to buy a drawing tablet at some point. If you’re an expert, you might want to find out more about the kinds of tablets available out there and whether or not you will need a computer to use them. So, can drawing tablets work without a computer?

Yes. Some drawing tablets can work standalone and don’t need to be hooked up to a PC or other system. However, these standalone tablets don’t have to be ideal for the kind of work you want to do. 

We will give you some in-depth insight into what tablets are and which ones you can use for your specific needs.

Other related topics about drawing tablets:


What are drawing tablets?

Drawing tablets are essentially add-on ‘screens’ that you can use to bring your digital artwork to life.

Some of them have screens, and some don’t.

Now, you’re probably asking why you’d need a separate tablet to draw when you can draw on your computer.

It might not make intuitive sense to have another screen or surface to do the same thing you can do on your existing machine.

The caveat here is that you might not need your computer display to draw, but you will need the processor.

Usually, graphics software is heavy and requires a lot of memory to run.

Drawing tablets don’t usually carry that much power in them, so if you want to use the Adobe Suite for your work, you’ll need a computer and a tablet.

3 Types of Drawing Tablets

  • Smart Pads: these are your essential drawing tablets that don’t need a computer to work.

    They have screens that allow you to doodle, sketch, and take notes, so you can imagine they carry many possibilities.

    One of the big names that make these tablets is Wacom, a Japanese company.

    Their tablets come with battery-free and cordless pens, making them ultra-easy to use the tablets.

    You can opt for these kinds of tabs if you don’t want to work with a computer.
  • Touch-screen Tabs: these tablets have screens that you can use to draw.

    Animation giants like Disney and Marvel use these sorts of tablets to create the stunning animations we know and love.

    However, you will need a computer to use these tablets because they require specific software to render designs and transfer them.

    You will like these tablets if you’re precision-oriented because you can see each stroke with complete accuracy as you draw.
  • Essential Drawing Tablets: these tablets are bare drawing boards.

    They need to be connected to a computer and need special software to work.

    When you draw on these tabs, they transfer your movements onto the computer screen.

    Essentially, this is like drawing on a sheet of paper, except you see your work coming across digitally.

    You might take some time to adapt to this sort of tablet, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create drawings very quickly.

Who Uses Drawing Tablets?

Now that you know what drawing tablets are for, it’s time to talk about who uses them.

So, who uses drawing tablets on the regular?

Illustrators and animation artists use drawing tablets to create accurate and beautiful digital artwork.

They’re handy for drawing because the artists feel like they are drawing on paper, albeit one with many technical abilities and functions.

It’s like an electronic paper and pencil that translates each stroke to the computer.

You’re also able to edit your work how and when you want to.

Asides from artistic uses, drawing tables are also used by:

  • Architects and Engineers: these specialists use tablets to create technical illustrations and see them in 3D.

    Accuracy is vital for them, and these tabs certainly help with that.
  • Doctors: tablets are used in the medical field for checking patient scans, reports, and results.

    It’s faster than using conventional pen and paper.
  • Geographical Mappers: cartographers and geophysicists also use these tabs to designs graphics related to mapping and navigation.

    The tabs make it easy to zoom in on the most minor details and are indispensable to these professionals.

The Best Drawing Tablets

Let’s talk about the best drawing tablets you can purchase currently, depending on your budget and needs.

  1. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Surface Pro brings you a 12.3-inch screen that makes it both portable and large enough for drawing.

    You won’t miss out on any features, and you won’t need to plug them into a computer.
  2. The Apple iPad Pro: Here’s a tablet that does it all.

    You will get professional features, software, and design with the iPad Pro, as well as an Apple pencil that feels like a natural pencil!
  3. Wacom Tablets: Wacom makes a tablet for every professional.

    They make both smart pads and screenless tablets so that you can pick either, depending on your convenience.

    You can use Wacom tablets with and without a computer.

    It depends on which tablet you’ve purchased, but they’re always a reliable pick.

Can you use Drawing Tablets without a Computer?

The tablet you purchase factors into it. If you get a tab with a touchscreen, like the iPad, you won’t need a computer for anything.

However, if you pick a Wacom tablet that doesn’t have a screen, you will need a monitor and special software to use the tablet.

You should pick the best tablet for you depending on your budget and which special features you’re looking for.

With all that being said, happy drawing!

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