No matter where you are in your journey as a digital artist, you likely know all too well that, when the muse hits, it’s best to capture that idea or risk losing it forever.
The trouble is that the muse has a habit of coming to you when you’re waiting for the subway or taking a pleasant stroll. And, when that happens, computer-reliant drawing tablets can be a real pain.
After all, you can’t very well take your whole laptop out with you. It’s therefore natural to ask one pressing question in your pursuit for the best equipment – can drawing tablets ever be used without a computer?
Lucky for you, the answer is a resounding yes.
In this article, we prove that point by considering how exactly you can use your drawing tablet without a computer, and what that’s going to mean for your digital artwork overall.
Standalone Drawing Tablets Offer the Best of Both Worlds
From the invention of the MacPaint way back in 1984 to top new releases this year from brands like Wacom, traditional drawing tablets act as input devices that send signals from your stylus straight to your computer screen to keep things synchronized.
That’s great news for getting your digital art on the big screen, but it’s not exactly the best if you want to head out into the wide world.
Luckily, drawing tablets aren’t a one-size thing, meaning that any artist looking for a way around this problem simply needs to consider the two different types of drawing tablets most commonly available on the market right now, which are:
- Passive drawing tablets: Classic tablets like those manufactured by Wacom and Huion that must be connected to a computer before you can draw.
- Standalone drawing tablets: Portable drawing tablets like the Simbans PicassoTab that use a self-powered input device and active pen to transmit signals directly to your tablet.
In other words, standalone tablets cut out the middle man, enabling the best possible finishes on your digital artwork, even when you’re on the go. All without a piece of bulky equipment in sight!
How can Standalone Drawing Tablets Help Your Artwork?
If you have a perfectly functional passive drawing tablet right now, even the promise of art on the go might not be enough to convince you that a standalone alternative is the right option.
In reality, though, a portable drawing tablet stands to benefit your artwork in many ways, and could even work alongside the passive drawing tablet you’ve got to ensure that you’re the best digital artist on the block.
Just a few benefits of a standalone drawing tablet that are worth considering in this sense include –
- Pen-enabled screens
- Portability (of course!)
- Cleaner workspaces
- Drawing-centric features
- A generally improved drawing experience
Which Portable Drawing Tablet is Best for Your Art?
As is always the case, ensuring a digital drawing tablet that can be used without a computer means considering your options. After all, some standalone tablets will inevitably prove better for your needs than others, as follows:
The Best Portable Drawing Tablet for Beginners
Uniquely designed for beginners, the PicassoTab XL Portable drawing tablet is a great option for budding graphic designers looking to spread their artistic wings.
Benefits including an all-in-one accessories package and an 11.6-inch, crystal clear screen certainly mean that the PicassoTab has everything that beginners need to get going, no matter where they choose to get stuck into their next drawing project.
The Best Advanced Portable Drawing Tablet
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
With pro quite literally in its title, advanced digital artists can’t go far wrong with the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, which boasts benefits including a 13-inch screen and Windows 11 support.
A powerful processor is perhaps the main selling point here, though, and ensures that this tablet can handle 3D applications and hundreds of drawing layers on your most advanced projects.
The Best Portable Drawing Tablet for Big Spenders
Apple iPad Pro
For pro artists who aren’t afraid to spend big bucks on a portable drawing tablet, the Apple iPad Pro is a temptingly powerful option.
A resolution of an impressive 2388 x 1688p is especially a selling point here, as is the fact that the Apple iPad Pro has been designed to do what it does in a simple, compact package that’s perfect for professional artists who are in a position to invest.
The Best Android based Portable Drawing Tablet
Samsung S8 tablet
Having only launched in February of this year, Samsung’s S8 portable drawing tablet could be a great shiny toy for artists who aren’t afraid to take a chance on the next new thing. With simple Android app integrations, and an impressive 128 GB of storage available in some variants, Samsung has certainly impressed so far. While it’s still undergoing some changes, the S-Pen as included with all models also boasts of a better than ever response rate that many would argue makes this a risk worth taking.
How to Start Enjoying Your Standalone Drawing Tablet
Your first few excursions with a standalone tablet will likely feel different from the passive desk-based experiences that you’re used to. Luckily, your art can soon start benefiting from this change in the ways already discussed if you make sure to factor in primary performance considerations including –
- Protection for your standalone tablet
- Backup batteries for Pen
- Drawing Glove
- And more
This way, you can get stuck straight into a brand new way of making art without the risk of unnecessary setbacks or teething problems as you get used to your new device. Portable drawing tablets that come complete with plenty of accessories are especially useful for this purpose as they provide everything that you need to adjust in style.
Meanwhile, shopping for additional extras like sturdy cases for your standalone drawing tablet will remove significant pressure from your first few outings with your new piece of kit. From then, making your best art is simply about playing around, having fun, and getting to know your new operating systems/software.
Standalone drawing tablets are great news for artists looking for accessible creation at any stage of their personal development. Simply make sure that you stock up on high-quality options like Simbans PicassoTab which comes packed with all the accessories, and then you can sit back to enjoy creative ease like never before.
Which is the best stand alone drawing tablet if a parent doesn’t want to allow their child access to the internet?