Drawing Tablet

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet introduced me to pen computing. I loved it so much, that i bought a drawing tablet for my Mac too.

I was thinking Wacom tablet, but found spies on you. See Wacom Tablet Spy on You

Here's a better pen tablet, after some research, i got this one.

Huion Drawing Tablet

Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 wkwct-s
Huion H640P drawing tablet Buy at amazon
The keyboard is Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard, mouse is Logitech G502 Mouse

100×62.5 mm (6.3×3.9 inch) active area.

Highest rating on amazon.

It works great.

Works in Windows, Mac, Linux?

I've used it on Microsoft Windows and Mac.

On Microsoft Windows, it just works great. No driver software needed.

On the Mac, works out of the box too, but not so great. You need to install driver software so that the buttons on the pen works. The driver software is not great. Also, Mac does not support using the pen tablet as a mouse. So, you use the tablet only for notes and drawing.

Mac is Not Integrated with Pen/Note Taking

while enamoured with Surface Pro with its pen, i bought a drawing tablet for my Mac, thinking i'll be taking notes with pen on Mac too.

was very disappointed that Mac does not support pen computing like Microsoft Windows does.

Mac does not support touch screen, so it's not designed with using a digital pen. The pen just do drag and click, and there's no note taking apps builtin. (there's one called Notes, i tried but doesn't work.)

The drawing tablet on the mac is just useful when you want to draw, or write in a drawing app, such as photoshop or gimp.

But on Microsoft Windows, you can use the pen to browse web, scroll, or write notes, or write on screenshots, with several builtin apps.

Why doesn't Apple's Mac support drawing tablet like Microsoft Windows?

A little web search shows that, Apple doesn't want to merge iOS and Mac. So if you really want note taking, you have to buy Apple's tablet the iPad, with Apple's “pencil”. And besides, Apple's main mouse is the Apple “magic trackpad”. Apple wants you to buy that instead. Apple Trackpad

Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 k2hs6-s-s900
Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 pxf33-s-s900

Tilt Sensitivity Not Important

In drawing tablet, there is a feature of tilt sensitivity. e.g. You can have thicker line when your pen is tilted more. But, according to pro artists, nobody uses that feature. However, pressure sensitivity is important.

Battery vs Batteryless Pen?

Also, there is battery vs batteryless pen. From one review, it says those with battery are just older tech. But from another article, it says battery is necessary for more advanced features. Note that Surface Pro pen requires battery.

Linguistics: Digital Pen? Pen Tablet? Pen Pad?

Note, the correct terminology of this device is Drawing Tablet. (not, for example, digital pen, pen tablet, pen pad, drawing pad, touchpad. Though, some do function as touchpad too.)

This is of linguistics interest. There are many forces at play: logic, marketing, history, convenience. “digital pen” is most logical naming, but that missed the pad part. “Tablet” or “pen tablet” won't work as its already taken to mean tablet computer. “Pen Display” is with a display.

Pen Display vs Drawing Tablet

Many professional artists prefer drawing tablet over pen display. pen display Because:

Drawing Tablet

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Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 wkwct-s-s289x217
Drawing Tablet
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