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The best drawing tablets for kids in 2020

(Image credit: Hal Gatewood on Unsplash)

Welcome to our guide to the best drawing tablets for kids. As much of the population spends more time at home, parents are finding more and more creative ways to keep their little ones entertained. And a quality tablet can be a brilliant extra resource.

Loads of children love to draw, and if you want to encourage them to explore this interest, a kid-friendly pen display or graphics tablet is a great (and certainly less messy) way to do so. Many of the best tablets for kids are available for a great price, so you don't have to break the bank, and it means an end to paper and pens left all over the house. The affordability of tablets for kids also means you don't have to stress so much about it getting dropped or bashed (which, let's face it, may well happen).

Drawing tablet devices have proven to be big hits with kids (and adults, check out our round up of the best drawing tablets for big kids too!). The touchscreen surfaces make them intuitive to use, and many are capable of interfacing with all your kid's Windows/Mac/Android devices, whether wirelessly or via USB, so their creations can be safely stored. Bear in mind that there are a few different types of drawing tablets for kids: 

  • Pen display tablets: Come with a built-in touchscreen monitor with a pressure-sensitive surface that you draw on with a stylus
  • Graphics tablets: These plug into a computer – kids draw and paint on the surface, and the image is shown on the monitor of your computer
  • Tablet computers: Like pen display tablets, these work well with styluses and display the art as its being drawn (think iPad, for example)

You’ll find a more detailed explanation at the bottom of this article. 

To help you choose the best drawing tablet for your kid, we've listed our top picks here: every option below is child-friendly, easy to use and makes learning how to draw a joy – so you can't go wrong. Even better, our price comparison tool is continually checking all the major retailers to make sure you’ll get the best deals as well.

The best drawing tablets for kids

Wacom Intuos Draw

01. Wacom Intuos Draw

The best drawing tablet for kids out there

Type: Graphics tablet | Active drawing area: 6.0 x 3.7 in | Resolution: 2540 lpi | Pen pressure sensitivity: 2,048 levels | Connections: USB | OS: Windows/macOS

Easy to carry
Feels small
Screen texture can affect stylus

The Wacom Intuos Draw is our pick for the best overall drawing tablet for kids. This is down to its affordable price, along with the sturdy build quality and feature set that we've come to expect from Wacom (a brand to be reckoned with in this area). It's a great drawing tablet for beginners, and it can cope with more advanced uses as your child grows in skill and confidence. There's an optional wireless module you can buy to make it easier to use as well. The major downside is that the small version may quickly start to feel a little cramped.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

02. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

The best affordable tablet for kids

Type: Tablet computer | Active drawing area: 8-in | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Connections: USB, Bluetooth | OS: Android

Protective case
HD screen
Requires Wi-Fi for best performance
Relies on Amazon app store

In our view, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is the best affordable drawing tablet for kids in 2019. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the cheapest, but the functionality you get for the price is hard to beat. It comes with a rugged case and a two year no-quibble warranty, which means you won't have to worry about it being dropped. It's a tablet PC device, which means it wasn't built solely for digital art. This has benefits, as it means it's a more versatile device that can perform other tasks, but it also has drawbacks. It doesn't have some of the more advanced digital art features, and it doesn't come with a stylus, so you'll need to buy one separately.

iskn The Slate 2+

(Image credit: iskn)

03. iskn The Slate 2+

For that proper paper feel...

Type: Graphics tablet | Active drawing area: 210 x 148mm | Pen pressure sensitivity: No | Connections: Micro USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows/macOS/Android

Clever analogue/digital hybrid
Works with your pencils
Small drawing surface
No pressure sensitivity

The best tablet for the kind of kid who's always doodling in a notebook, iskn's The Slate 2+ is based on a really neat idea. It's effectively a digital notepad that works with actual physical paper – simply attach it to the front of the slate, then start drawing with your own pen or pencil (with the supplied magnetic rings attached) and the tablet will create an instant digital copy that can save straight to a connected device (computer or smartphone). A great tool that a budding artist can carry everywhere.

XP-Pen Deco01 V2

(Image credit: XP-Pen)

04. XP-Pen Deco01 V2

A tablet for kids offering fantastic value

Type: Graphics tablet | Active drawing area: 10 x 6.25-inch | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 | Connections: USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows/macOS/Android

Fantastic price
Supports pen-tilt
Pen feels slightly cheap

One of the best things about XP-Pen's tablets is that they offer tremendous value for money, so you don't have to stress quite so much about giving a tablet to a kid who might not take care of it as assiduously as an adult. The XP-Pen Art Deco01 V2, for instance, is not only fantastically affordable but also offers a great drawing experience, with full connectivity that includes Android as well as Windows and Mac. Though the pen does feel a little cheap and plasticky, it does offer 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for precise, fine detail work.

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display

05. XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display

The best pen tablet for kids

Type: Pen display tablet | Active drawing area: 13.54 x 7.62in | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB-C | OS: Windows or macOS

Highly affordable display
Good pen and drawing surface
Sound build quality
 Stand not included 

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 is an excellent pen tablet for kids, offering a good-sized drawing area, comfortable pen with a good range of sensitivity levels and a very good screen. It has a robust design that means it can handle knocks and bumps pretty well, and it's a great introduction for kids who want to use a pen display tablet for their digital art.

Huion H640P

06. Huion H640P

The best compact drawing tablet for kids

Type: Graphics tablet | Active drawing area: 6.3 x 3.9in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 8,192 levels | Connections: USB | OS: Windows or macOS

Small and light
Good drawing experience
Pen doesn’t need a battery
Might be a bit too small for some

The Huion H640P is an excellent drawing tablet for kids. It's small and portable, making it perfect for little hands – and also easy to carry around in a backpack. At just 10.2 x 5.8 inches, this option is no thicker than a smartphone, but offers a handy set of shortcut keys, which makes up for its compact size. It's pretty competitively priced as well, which makes it an ideal choice for young beginners.

Wacom Bamboo Slate

07. Wacom Bamboo Slate

Best mid-range graphics tablet for kids

Type: Graphics tablet | Active drawing area: 8.3 x 11.7in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 1,024 levels | Connections: USB-C, Bluetooth | OS: Windows, macOS, iOS or Android

Good build quality
Easy to use
Not exactly a graphics tablet

Wacom Bamboo Slate isn't technically a graphics tablet – it's what Wacom calls a 'smartpad'. This turns handwritten notes and sketches into digital art that can be sent to a tablet via Bluetooth, or a PC via USB. It's a great choice if you have an arty kid who's just starting out: they can doodle on the Bamboo Slate, then edit their work on a PC or tablet.

Huion H430P

08. Huion H430P

Best budget graphics tablet for kids

Type: Graphics tablet | Active drawing area: 4.8 x 3in | Pen pressure sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Connections: USB | OS: Windows or macOS

Brilliant starter tablet
Low cost
Four shortcut keys
Drawing area small for some

The H430P is a great graphics tablet for kids, as it gives you all the basics without requiring a big investment. This means, if they lose interest or quickly outgrow the small drawing area, then you've not lost out on too much money. While the drawing area is small, the pen is sensitive enough to allow kids to draw and paint easily, giving them a taste of what it's like to create digital art using a graphics tablet.

Apple iPad 10.2-inch (2019)

09. Apple iPad 10.2-inch (2019)

The best iOS drawing tablet for kids

Type: Computer tablet | Screen: 10.2-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology | Resolution: 2160x1620-pixel resolution at 264 ppi | OS: iPadOS

Brilliant screen
Affordable for Apple
Powerful for the price
Apple Pencil costs extra

If you want the best iOS drawing tablet for kids, then the new iPad (2019) is the one to get. It gives you the best of Apple's tablet world – including an upgraded A10 processor and access to all the best iOS art apps – in a form factor that's not only beautiful, but highly portable. The headline feature? It works with the Apple Pencil (although you’ll have to buy that separately – you’ll find the best Apple Pencils deals here), making the new10.2-inch iPad a huge win for artists everywhere. It's also reasonably affordable, for Apple, anyway. Throw in the fact that you can use the iPad for a lot of other tasks besides drawing, and this model iPad is easily one of the best drawing tablets for kids you can buy. 

Asus ZenPad 3S 10

10. Asus ZenPad 3S 10

The best Android drawing tablet

Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | OS: Android 7 Nougat

Strong, hi-res display
Swift response
Mediocre battery life
Not great build quality

Note: this item is currently out of stock.

The Asus ZenPad is something of a direct rival to Apple's best tablets thanks to a slick and stylish design, yet it's also quite a bit cheaper than any of its iOS rivals. It has a sharp and bright touchscreen that works well with stylus devices for drawing, and the size of the display is larger than other tablets at this price point. If you're looking for the best Android drawing tablet for kids, then Asus' recent offering is the one to go for.

How to choose the right drawing tablet for kids

There are three main types of drawing tablets... 

Pen display tablets feature a built-in touchscreen monitor with a pressure-sensitive surface that you draw on with a stylus. The screen shows the pen and brushstrokes as the child draws, which makes it much easier for them to use. They are more expensive than graphics tablets, and usually need to be connected to a PC.

Graphics tablets plug into computers and enable kids to draw and paint naturally. They are usually a bit cheaper than tablet PC devices. The drawback is that they often don't display what's being drawn, which is instead shown on an external screen, such as the monitor of the PC it is plugged into. This can make using them a bit tricky for kids at first.

Tablet computers, such as the iPad, come with bright and vibrant touchscreens that work well with styluses. The benefits of these include being able to display the art as it's being drawn. They can also run a number of other apps and games as well, which makes them a more versatile purchase. They are also often quite a bit more expensive than pen and digital drawing tablets. 

Also read: The best drawing tablets | The best Apple Pencil deals | The best cheap 4K monitor deals | The best cameras for creatives | Top keyboards for creatives | The best mouse | The best office chair | The best desk