Creative Bloq Awards 2023: software and drawing tablets winners named

Throughout this week, the Creative Bloq Awards 2023 is recognising the best in creative tech in more than 40 categories, from game design to crafting and cameras. We continue today with the announcement of the results of the drawing tablet and software categories.

There was competition among drawing tablets in a number of categories, while software for digital art, photo editing, video editing and graphic design were also put to our judging panel. Adobe swept the board in the software department, while XP-Pen, Xencelabs and Wacom earned recognition in drawing tablets. You can see the full CB awards shortlist to view the stiff competition and the Creative Bloq Awards website for more information on the awards. Read on for today's winners.

The Creative Bloq Awards 2023: software and drawing tablets winners

The winner of one of the Creative Bloq Awards 2023 drawing tablets categories

(Image credit: Future / Xencelabs)

Drawing Tablet of the Year: Xencelabs Pen Display 24

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Xencelabs did it again this year, scoring a second consecutive Creative Bloq Drawing Tablet of Year title. This year it took the award for its Pen Display 24, which the judges praised for its professional quality, ease of use and wealth of accessories.

Read our Xencelabs Pen Display 24 review

Best pen display (luxury): Xencelabs Pen Display 24

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Turning specifically to pen displays, the Xencelabs Pen Display 24 logically also picked up the award for the luxury category here. Again, the judges praised the overall drawing experience and agreed that the device cemented Xencelabs' presence on the market.

Read our Xencelabs Pen Display 24 review

Best pen display (budget): XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen)

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The budget pen display category was won by the XP-Pen Artist 13. Our panel found the display to be excellent value, with superb stylus tech and a vibrant, glare-free display. They also welcomed the compatibility with ChromeOS and Android.

Read our XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) review.

Best drawing tablet (luxury): Xencelabs Small Bundle

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Moving on to graphics tablets, Xencelabs won the luxury category here too, with its Xencelabs Small Bundle. The Medium bundle won Drawing Tablet of the Year in 2022, and our panel found the smaller version to be well adapted for travel, coming with two excellent stylus pens and a high-quality travel case. 

Read our Xencelabs Pen Tablet Small review

Best drawing tablet (budget): Wacom One S

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On the budget side, our judges were impressed with the value offered by the new small drawing tablet added to Wacom's One range. As well as the great price, they appreciated the easy setup and portability.

Read our guide to the best drawing tablets

Software of the Year: Photoshop 2023

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For a second consecutive year, Adobe's Photoshop has been named Software for the Year in the Creative Bloq Awards. Our judges agreed that the recent integration of Adobe Firefly-driven generative AI in the beta version will ensure it keeps its place as the industry standard tool for a range of disciplines.

Read our Photoshop 2023 review

Best digital art software: Photoshop 2023

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Adobe swept the board in the software categories at this year's Creative Bloq Awards, with Photoshop alone picking up three wins. The judges recognised the usefulness of new AI-powered tools like Generative Fill and Generative Expand for speeding up workflows in digital art.

Read our Photoshop 2023 review

Best software for video editing: Adobe Premiere Pro

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Adobe also triumphed in the video editing software category with the latest version of Premiere Pro. Our judges were of the opinion that the program remains the best option around for productivity enhancements, collaboration features and tools for fine-tuning footage.

See our guide to the best video editing software

Best software for graphic design: Adobe Illustrator 2023

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Adobe's veteran vector art tool Illustrator walked away with this year's award for best software for graphic design. Again, Adobe was praised for its constant rolling out of new features, in particularly for 3D work in this case.

Read our Adobe Illustrator review

Best photo editing software: Photoshop 2023

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Our judges also found Photoshop's new text-to-image generative AI tools to be a game changer for photo editing, along with Adobe's neural filters. Photoshop has been around for a long time, but the panel agreed that Adobe's innovations have kept it at the top of the game.

Read our Photoshop 2023 review

We'll be announcing the rest of the Creative Bloq Awards 2023 winners this week as follows:

Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.