The graphics tablets for beginners are primarily intended as a mouse replacement. You can control dots on the screen with a pen. In addition, however, the devices bring only limited added value. For example, you can sign by hand and put the digital signature under your letters and other documents.
You can also create simple sketches. But you will soon reach your limits in view of a work surface in DIN A6 format. You cannot draw really precisely on this scale and with this resolution. The entry-level graphics tablets can score points for this: They are already available for around 50 euros.
Graphics tablets in A4 and A5 for high demands
For more demanding projects,Graphics tablet for beginners Articles you need a larger workspace of at least A5. A graphics tablet in A4 format is even better. The tray best matches the size of the printout. However, the larger the graphics tablet turns out, the more money you have to invest. Of course, how much space is available at your workplace also plays a role.
Graphics tablet with screen
With a computer mouse, you look at the screen all the time while moving the input device. With a graphics tablet, this process is more demanding. You normally use the device to make drawings, for example. Detaching the view from the pen and only paying attention to the result on the monitor is a real challenge for eye-hand coordination.
However, the market has an alternative: a graphics tablet with a TFT display. The current screen content is displayed there. The surface is touch-sensitive, so you can draw directly in the picture with your pen.
However, technical development has not progressed so far that this type of graphics tablet can be recommended without reservation. The problem is usually the resolution, which is lower than that of a normal tablet. The brand manufacturer Wacom is an exception. It’s Cintiq * series can also meet higher demands. However, these graphics tablets have their price and cost from 750 euros upwards (as of 2015).
These trays are definitely very popular with professionals from the creative sector. They often serve as a main or replacement monitor in the workplace. The monitor tablets have a screen diagonal of up to 27 inches, which roughly corresponds to a graphics tablet in A3 format.
Resolution in LPI
For graphics tablets, the resolution is given in lpi instead of dpi, as you may be used to from mice and printers. While dpi (= dot per inch) specifies the points per inch (inch), with lpi (= lines per inch) it is the number of lines. A standard value for graphics tablets is, for example, 2,540 lpi (as of 2015).
The graphics tablet pen
The best pen tablets for Photoshop is just as relevant to the quality of the device as the resolution and size of the graphics tablet. You should pay particular attention to the following features:
Pressure sensitivity and pressure levels
interchangeable pen tips
Pressure sensitivity and pressure levels of the graphics tablet pen
The tenderness of how accurate the pen responds to the movements of the fingers decides. If you apply more pressure, the pen should draw a wider line. In the opposite case, the line should be as thin as possible.
However, the prerequisite is that your graphics software is equipped for this. The higher-quality programs, however, have this equipment. The advantage is that you don’t have to change the brush thickness in the menu of your graphics software every time.
In addition, some graphics tablet pens are able to transmit the angle of the pen tip to the software. With certain brush shapes, such as calligraphy, this point is crucial.
The pressure sensitivity is specified by the manufacturers at pressure levels. A graphics tablet pen has a minimum of 256 pressure levels. However, the good models deliver around 2,000 different levels (as of 2015).
Function keys on the graphics tablet pen
By default, two buttons are attached to the front of the graphics tablet pens. They serve as a substitute for the left and right mouse buttons. Most of the time, the assignment of the keys can be adapted to your own needs using the software.
Many graphics tablet pens also have a virtual eraser at the top. When you touch the screen surface of the tablet with it, the graphics software knows that you have entered the delete mode.
A graphics tablet pen is usually able to pause through the paper onto the screen surface. This ability is very useful if you want to process a template further. Some graphics tablets are equipped with a clamp for this purpose. So you can pin the template and work in peace without the sheet constantly slipping.
Interchangeable pen tip
The tips of the graphics tablet pens are subject to natural wear. The more you work with the pens, the more abrasion you produce. With the higher quality trays, you can replace the tip.
At the manufacturer Wacom, replacement tips are already included in the scope of delivery of the device, for example. Other manufacturers offer different sized replacement tips. The graphics tablet pen can then simulate different brush sizes.
You should also place emphasis on a pen storage option with a graphics tablet. This way you do not run the risk of having to constantly search for the graphic pen. In some models, for example, there is a holder directly on the tray. Other manufacturers manufacture cases or other containers in which you can place the graphics tablet pen.
Similar to a mouse, you often hold the graphics pen firmly in your hand for a long period of time. So it should fit the hand as well as possible to prevent fatigue and cramping.
For pens that have their own power supply, you need to take a closer look. The battery makes the graphic pen heavier. Secondly, it is important where the battery is located. Because the further the center of gravity of the pen is shifted backward by the battery, the more pressure you have to exert on the tip at the front.
However, alternative graphics tablets are available that provide power to the pen through the screen surface. The graphics tablet pen then requires no battery and is accordingly easier to hold.