After the boom of the first years, it is true that tablets are in the doldrums, as confirmed by the successive falls in sales, while convertibles and, above all, smartphones continue to conquer our pockets. It seems that tablets are in no man’s land, they do everything, but they do not reach the level of a computer but they do not contribute much more than a smartphone. However, there is a task for which they can be the most practical devices: drawing.
More and more designers, illustrators and visual artists are leaving the pad at home and creating their works from a tablet with the help of a pencil or stylus. But in addition to drawing, these teams are also practical as a notepad where we can write down our ideas quickly. The truth is that it has its advantages; They’re light, versatile, and you won’t run out of sheets, just storage (although you’ll have to draw a lot to run out). If you are thinking of getting a tablet to draw or write, these are the best options on Android.
Lenovo Yoga Book
Perhaps one of the most versatile devices that we have seen in the last few years. The Lenovo Yoga Book has a design halfway between a tablet and a convertible and its possibilities are very wide; from using it as a laptop with the Halo keyboard to Take notes or draw with the included Real Pen.
The pen offers up to 2,048 levels of pressure and allows you to draw both on the keyboard panel and directly on the screen. What’s more, you can attach a normal pen nib to it and draw on a piece of paper and then digitize the drawing directly on the tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 “
Without a doubt the most advanced option on our list. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 is an option to take into account if you are looking for an Android tablet with which to draw. Unlike previous models, the Galaxy Tab S3 has an S Pen included as standard, with a 0.7 mm tip and that also recognizes up to 4,096 pressure levels.
Samsung includes standard applications such as Samsung Notes or the well-known Autodesk Sketchbook, but there is much more variety in the Play Store. In addition to the option to draw, the Tab S3 It also stands out for its high-end technical profile, with outstanding features such as the Snapdragon 820 processor, its 4 GB of RAM, the 9.7-inch Super AMOLED screen with 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution or its fingerprint reader.
In the design section, the Tab S3 is committed to a classic tablet format, although Samsung also allows it to become a more versatile computer thanks to the keyboard cover that is sold separately. It is built in metal, with a thickness of 6 millimeters and a total weight of 429 grams, light enough to draw comfortably.
ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 with Z Pen
A cheaper option is the Asus ZenPad 3S 10, the Taiwanese firm’s tablet compatible with the Z Pen. The pencil recognizes up to 1,024 pressure levels and has a 1.2 millimeter tip. The downside is that it is sold separately and is not exactly cheap, specifically 69 euros on Amazon.
On a technical level, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 offers a 9.7-inch screen with 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution, Mediatek MT8276 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 32 or 64 GB capacity and 5,900 mAh battery. The Asus option also has a classic design and its weight is at 430 grams. Asus sells a case that allows it to be placed vertically, but in this case it does not have an integrated keyboard. It also has a fingerprint reader.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 “with S Pen
We close our selection with another model designed for tight budgets. In September 2016 Samsung announced a new version of your mid-range Galaxy A tablet with the included S Pen as standard. It is the same that was released with the Note 7, with the same software and the same sensitivity.
The Galaxy Tab A has a 9.7 inch panel (LCD this time) with 1,024 x 768 pixels of resolution, Exynos 7870 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of expandable storage with MicroSD and 7,300 mAh battery. As for the design, here the weight shoots up a bit to 487 grams and the thickness rises to 7.5 millimeters, but we are still in a fairly comfortable limit to be able to hold it comfortably. The downside is that there is currently no stock in Spain, but it is expected to arrive shortly (or you can also try to buy it from another country).
We want more Android tablets to draw
During the completion of this article, it became clear to me that currently the supply of tablets to draw on Android is rather scarce, and this is demonstrated by this brief selection. Samsung is one of the brands that has opted the most for this possibility since the birth of the Note series, but the family tablets have already been discontinued, as happened with the 12-inch Galaxy Note Pro, a format that arrived in 2014 but was not continued.
In the case of Huawei, the Chinese firm offered a touch pen compatible with some of its tablets, in the style of what happens with the Asus ZenPad, but it is not available either on its website or in the usual sales channels. HP had the HP Slate Pro 12 with the Duet Pen, a pen very similar to the Lenovo Yoga Book that allowed you to draw on the screen or on paper with its ink tip. Again, we find the message of ‘out of stock’.
Apple’s iPad Pros have shown that tablets can be a solid alternative for drawing professionals, but these days Android’s presence in this category is almost anecdotal.
As I said at the beginning, drawing is one of the tasks in which a tablet can become a very practical device, especially now that there are so many complete apps. It is true that many drawing or design professionals tend to turn to more advanced options such as Wacom’s Cintiq, but Apple has shown with its iPad Pro that tablets can be a solid alternative. For now, the presence of Android in this category is almost anecdotal and not ambitious enough. Let’s see if the brands are encouraged and new models arrive so that our selection grows.
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