The best drawing tablet for kids 2018

null

If you're researching the best drawing tablet for kids, you're in the right place. We've rounded up our favourite drawing tablets for children right here.   

A kid-friendly pen display or graphics tablet is a great way to introduce children who love to draw to the world of digital art without breaking the bank. (It's also a great way for kids to hone traditional drawing and painting skills without the mess, when you've just tidied up.)

Drawing tablet devices have proven to be big hits with kids: interaction is highly intuitive thanks to their touchscreens, so the learning curve is gentle. Many of the best drawing tablets for kids are also made out of rugged materials that can survive knocks and bumps, and have parental controls for peace of mind. 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 drawing 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

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

Affordable
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.

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 2018. 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.

03. 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.

04. 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.

05. XP-Pen Artist 10S

Best mid-range pen tablet for kids

Type: Pen display tablet | Active drawing area: 8.5 x 5.4in | Resolution: 5080 LPI | Pen pressure sensitivity: 2,048 levels | Connections: USB-C | OS: Windows or macOS

Good build quality
Stylus doesn't need batteries
Small screen
Can get hot

This is an excellent mid-range pen tablet that offers more advanced features than some budget rivals, without costing too much. You get a fantastic build quality for the price, and it's compact enough to easily carry around and be used by smaller hands. The stylus doesn't need a battery, which means your kids won't be frustrated by it suddenly not working when the pen is out of juice. It's not the easiest tablet to get hold of, but if you're looking for a pen drawing tablet for kids that gives a bit more freedom, this is a great choice.

06. 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
Pricey

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.

07. 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.

08. Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018)

The best iOS drawing tablet for kids

Type: Computer tablet | Screen: 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology | Resolution: 2048x1536-pixel resolution at 264 ppi | OS: iOS 11

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 (2018) 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 new 9.7-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 the new 9.7-inch iPad is easily one of the best drawing tablets for kids you can buy. 

09. 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

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.

10. Acer Switch 3

Half the price of the Surface Pro – but not half the tablet

Screen size: 12.2-inch | Resolution: 1920x1200 WUXGA IPS LCD | OS: Windows 10

Excellent build quality 
Great screen
Tricky hinged stand
No good for games

The Acer Switch 3 is the best Windows 10 tablet for kids who want to get into digital art. It's solidly built, and has powerful-enough hardware to keep things feeling quick and responsive. It runs Windows 10, which means you can use full versions of desktop software such as Photoshop, rather than just being confined to apps. It also comes with a top-notch active digitizer and pressure-sensitive pen, and the price is pretty competitive as well.

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 of 2018 | 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 of 2018