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Xencelabs scoops drawing tablet of the year in the Creative Bloq Awards 2022

A person uses a drawing tablet
(Image credit: Future)

The best drawing tablets can enhance your digital art or simply break down boundaries and introduce you to a new way of creating. Our Drawing Tablets category of the Creative Bloq Awards 2022 celebrates the best budget tablets and pen displays, as well as those ideal for kids or anyone looking for a bit of luxury.

We have a wealth of drawing tablet guides here on the site for you to look at, including the best tablets with a stylus pen for drawing and writing. Many of the winners in this year's Creative Bloq Awards 2022 are also reviewed elsewhere on our site too, and we've picked the best deals around at the moment for those tablets that have won.

We have over 70 award categories in this year's Creative Bloq Awards 2022, from the best monitors to the most impressive graphic cards and 3D software. The winners of the all the categories will be shared throughout this week, to catch up we have a schedule below.

  • MONDAY: Laptops and Tablets
  • TUESDAY: Crafting and Home Studio
  • WEDNESDAY: Gaming and Entertainment
  • THURSDAY: Software and Computing
  • FRIDAY: Cameras

Each category was voted on by the staff here at Creative Bloq as well as guest judges from some of the world's leading websites and magazines for art, technology, video games and entertainment. For a full list of judges visit the Creative Bloq Awards 2022 website (opens in new tab). For now, scroll down and see who and what won in the Entertainment category.

Drawing tablet of the year: Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle SE

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The Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle was already one of the best drawing tablets of the year and then Xencelabs went and released a special edition Nebula White model. This tablet features a 16:9 active drawing area and is a nice 8mm thin; it sits neatly beneath a 13-inch Apple MacBook. The bundle comes with everything you need to get creative, but it's the smart Quick Key Remote that impresses – the separate device features an OLED display and nine-buttons with physical wheel dial for configuring the tablet to your needs and for each software you use. Brilliant. 

Read our Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle SE review (opens in new tab).

Best tablet stylus: Samsung S Pen Pro

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While it is designed for Samsung's tablets the S Pen Pro can be used on most Android devices, making this the Apple Pencil of Androids, for example it offers an Apple-like 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. The S Pen Pro is a little thicker than previous stylus from Samsung but this makes it a better pen for digital art as you can grip it nicely. It boasts 16 days of battery life and has a fun 'find my pen' mode and app, for those of us who quickly lose our nice things.

Read our guide to the best stylus for Android (opens in new tab).

Best pen display (budget): XP-Pen Artist 12 (2nd Gen)

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The impressive XP-Pen Artist 12 (2nd Gen) features the brands new X3 Smart chip and features the same balance of leading edge tech and budget-friendly design choices, for example the display is Full HD but not 4K but it does feature 127% sRGB and full lamination for a toothy drawing surface. Considering this pen display has an MSRP of $219 / £229 it's a well-deserved winner of the best budget category.

Read our Wacom vs XP-Pen (opens in new tab) feature.

Best drawing tablet (luxury): Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle SE

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The second award win for the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle SE, this time our judges voted this the best luxury drawing tablet. The exceptional build quality and design finish impresses, but it's that OLED remote and two excellent styluses, featuring 8,192 levels of pen pressure and 60 degrees tilt function. If you want a fantastic drawing tablet, with everything you need, this Xencelabs package is a classy bundle.

Read our Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle review (opens in new tab).

Best Drawing Tablet (budget): One by Wacom

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The only drawing tablet on our list is the One by Wacom, which points to a lack of new releases from the giant of tablets – but is easily one of the best released in the last 12 months. One by Wacom is the brand's answer to the rising number of budget tablets appearing, but created with Wacom's attention to quality. Offering a battery-free pen with 2048 pressure levels this is a sturdy and well-proportioned tablet for home and travel use (it supports Mac, Windows, Chrome OS and Android). Best of all in the budget category, the One by Wacom comes bundled with great software, including Clip Studio Paint.

Best pen display (luxury): Apple iPad Air (5th Gen, 2022)

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The only winning Apple device in our drawing tablets category naturally wins the best luxury pen display award. The Apple iPad Air (5th Gen, 2022) is a small tablet with the power of a MacBook Pro and can run any leading digital art software. The Apple M1 chip can handle most tasks and the recent updates to the iPadOS ensure this model impresses as much as the larger and more expensive iPad Pro. But for art on the go, Apple's smaller and lighter iPad Air is a powerful and adaptable little tablet.

Read our Apple iPad Air (5th Gen, 2022) review (opens in new tab).

Best tablet for kids: XP-Pen Deco Fun

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Mixing affordability, durability and ease of use, the XP-Pen Deco Fun is this year's winner of the best tablet for kids award. Coming in four colours – Carmine Red, Apple Green, Space Blue and Classic Black – and featuring the same excellent tech as the more costly XP-Pen tablets, including a stylus with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. The three sizes range from extra small (4.8 x 3-inches) to large (10 x 6.270-inches), making it ideal for smaller hands.

Read our guide to the best drawing tablets for kids (opens in new tab).

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Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut, SFX, and assisted on The Idler. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.