Best Tablet for CAD Design and 3D Modeling – Increase Productivity

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By Pick Tablet Staff

A few years ago, using tablets for intricate 3D designing was just a fantasy because CAD programs are process-hungry and require high-end workstations. Nowadays, you can find many tablets which can run these demanding modeling programs. Unlike laptops and desktops, tablets provide complete portability and are perfect for on-the-go use. You can directly work on the tablet screen, which is a more efficient way to work.

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In this post, we will talk about the best tablets for CAD design. However, some of you might be looking for drawing tablets for laptops and desktops; we will also cover it. Shell we start?

Best Tablets for 3D Modeling – How to Buy

Before we talk about the best tablet for computer modeling, there are some crucial factors that we need to talk about.

  • Operating System
    As we are talking about the best tablet for CAD programs; therefore, we have mainly three options, Windows, Android, and iOS. You might be wondering why Windows? There are many laptops cum tablets available with Windows that feature a detachable keyboard design for on-the-go use. Nowadays, most of the popular CAD software is available on Android and iOS platforms. We have listed all types of powerful tablets.
  • Display and Size
    When working with minute details, the display size and resolution should be sufficient. At least a full HD display is recommended with more than a 12-inch display. For Android and iOS, shoot for at least a 10-inch tablet. If you work outdoors, you should pay attention to the brightness level as well.
  • Processor and GPU
    A CPU is the heart of a computer as it processes the majority of tasks. Therefore, it is advised to invest in a multi-core processor with a higher clock rate. Also, computer memory size is equally considered as it plays an essential role in multitasking. You should choose a tablet with at least 8GB of RAM. For handling higher graphics models, a potent GPU is recommended. Most graphics-related tasks such as visualization, rendering, and simulation depend on a GPU. To work efficiently with CAD programs, along with a potent processor, a robust GPU, and adequate memory is required.
  • Battery
    The battery is an essential feature of a tablet. Otherwise, it doesn’t make a difference to have a laptop or tablet. The tablet must have at least 6 hours of backup while not connected to the wall; it will provide flexibility. You can directly work on a tablet screen with a stylus; you don’t have to worry about the keyboard and mouse.

If you’re looking for a drawing tablet; you should pay attention to these crucial factors.

  • Active Area
    For working with CAD applications, you should consider a drawing tablet with a large active area. It will provide a convenient experience when working with a larger model.
  • Shortcut Keys
    It’s another important feature that can improve productivity. You can assign dedicated commands to those shortcut keys.
  • Stylus
    Nowadays, you can easily find a drawing tablet with an EMR stylus. This type of stylus doesn’t require charging and provides a hassle-free working experience.
  • Pressure Sensitivity
    With pressure sensitivity, you can control the thickness of the strokes. It’s much useful for professionals. However, even budget drawing tablets nowadays feature enough pressure sensitivity, so it’s not a big issue.

BEST CAD DESIGN TABLETS AT A GLANCE

SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+

BEST ANDROID
  • Wi -Fi / Wi -Fi + Cellular
  • 12.4-inch Super AMOLED 2800 x 1752
  • Qualcomm SDM865 Octa Core, 6/8 GB, 128/256/512 GB
  • Up to 14 hours
  • Android 10

Apple iPad Pro (5th Gen)

BEST CHOICE
  • Wi -Fi
  • 11-inch. Liquid Retina 2388×1668
  • Apple M1 chip 8/16, GB 128 GB – 2TB
  • Up to 10 hours
  • iPadOS 15

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16

LARGEST
  • Wi-Fi
  • 15.6 -inch IPS 3840 x 2160
  • CoreTM i7-8559U, 16 GB, 512 GB
  • NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4GB
  • Up to 5 hours
  • Windows 10 Professional

Microsoft Surface Book 3

BEST 2-IN-1
  • Wi-Fi
  • 15 – inch PixelSense 3240 x 2160
  • Core™ i7-1065G7, 16 / 32 GB, 512 GB / 1TB PCIe SSD
  • GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Up to 17.5 hours
  • Windows 10 Home

Wacom Intuos CTL6100WLK0

BEST PEN PAD
  • Pen Pad
  • 8.5 x 5.3-inch
  • 4096 Levels
  • Bluetooth/USB
  • Mac, Windows, Chrome and Android
  • Battery-free stylus

XP-PEN Artist12

BUDGET PEN DISPLAY
  • Pen Display
  • 11.6-inch, 1920×1080
  • 8192 Levels
  • USB and HDMI
  • Mac, and Windows
  • Battery-free

Wacom Cintiq 16

BEST PEN DISPLAY
  • Pen Display
  • 15.6-inch, 1920×1080
  • 8192 Levels
  • USB and HDMI
  • Mac, and Windows
  • Battery-free stylus

Best Tablet for 3D Modeling and CAD Design – Recommendations


Best Android Tablet for CAD Design

  • Type: Wi -Fi / Wi -Fi + Cellular
  • Weight: 20.48 Oz
  • Display: 12.4-inch Super AMOLED 2800 x 1752
  • Cameras: 13MP Ultrawide + 5MP, 8MP
  • Processor: Qualcomm SDM865 Octa Core (3.09+2.4G+1.8GHz)
  • Memory: 6/8 GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512 GB (Expandable up to 1TB)
  • Battery: 10090mAh
  • OS: Android 10.0

Price
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the flagship model from the company; therefore, it’s expensive. The 512GB variant of S7+ will cost you around 1000$. However, if you need an Android tablet for CAD design, it is undoubtedly the best choice.

Design and Features
SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus comes with a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display that supports 2800 x 1752 pixels of resolution. Additionally, it supports HDR10+ high dynamic range along with the NTSC color gamut. The display quality is perfect for working with intricate 3D models.

The best thing, this device is lightweight and portable, which makes it perfect for on-the-go use. This tablet is available with Cellular + Wi-Fi as well, so you can choose as per requirements.

S7+ offers an S Pen, which is helpful for drawing, notes taking, and much more. Additionally, you can use this tablet as a desktop with Samsung DEX, connect your keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

The camera quality is also impressive; you can capture beautiful images and do HD video calls. With the quad-speaker system tuned by Dolby Atmos and AKG, this buddy can produce brilliant quality sound.

Performance
With the power of Qualcomm SDM865+ octa-core processor, 8GB memory, and 512GB SSD storage capacity, the S7+ tablet becomes a perfect choice for CAD work. This processor comes with a built-in Adreno 650 GPU, which is enough to run CAD applications smoothly.

Whether you do intense multitasking or play games, this tablet won’t disappoint you. It supports all major CAD applications flawlessly.

Battery
This Android tablet is equipped with a 10090mAh battery which promises around 14 hours of backup. Even if we talk about working with 3D modeling, it can easily last up to 6 hours.

If you’re looking for a portable, powerful and stylish Android tablet for your CAD work, Samsung TAB S7+ might be a solid choice.

✓ PROS

  • Robust performance
  • Premium quality Super AMOLED display
  • Fingerprint sensor and USB Type-C available
  • Samsung S Pen is included
  • Great quality camera and sound quality
  • Available with 5G connectivity

✗ CONS

  • Expensive


Best Apple Tablet for CAD and 3D Modeling Work

  • Type: Wi -Fi / Wi -Fi + Cellular
  • Weight: 16.48 Oz
  • Display: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina, 2732 x 2048, 600 nits
  • Cameras: 12 MP Wide + 10MP Ultrawide, 12 MP Ultra Wide
  • Processor: Apple M1 chip
  • Memory: 8/16 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB – 2TB
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • OS: iPadOS 15

Price
Apple iPad Pro’s top model costs around 1500$; however, it comes with a desktop-level performance which justifies its price. The 5th Gen iPad Pro has tremendous improvements in every aspect. It’s a versatile gadget whether we talk about 3D modeling, designing, editing, or gaming.

Design and Features
The iPad Pro Liquid Retina display is improved with 2D mini LED-backlit technology, and it offers a better contrast ratio, brightness, and refresh rate.

There is a significant improvement in the camera quality; the front sensor offers many good features such as Smart HDR3 and 2x optical zoom. You can choose 5G enabled iPad Pro as well. Moreover, it now supports Thunderbolt/USB4 port which is another good news.

Performance
The latest iPad Pro comes with the Apple M1 chip, which is a revolutionary change. It can offer 50% faster CPU performance and 40% GPU performance than its previous model, which is insane. You can do whatever you want on this powerful iPad Pro; it is the most powerful tablet out there.

You can build complicated AR models, play high-end games with console-quality graphics, and much more. The latest iPad Pro is now available with a 2TB model; therefore, you won’t run out of space.

Battery
The 5th Gen iPad Pro is tremendously powerful, but it still offers the same battery life as the previous model. It supports up to 10 hours of backup with a single charge.

If you need a reliable and durable tablet for 3D modeling, heavy multitasking, or gaming, the latest iPad Pro is the best choice.

✓ PROS

  • Highly color-accurate Liquid Retina display with top-notch sharpness
  • Best performance
  • Durable, secure, and reliable
  • Now supports 5G and Thunderbolt / USB 4 port

✗ CONS

  • Very costly, accessories need to purchase separately


Largest Tablet for CAD and 3D modeling

  • Type: Wi-Fi
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 – inch, IPS 3840 x 2160
  • Cameras: 8MP, 5MP
  • Processor: CoreTM i7-8559U
  • GPU: NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4GB
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours
  • OS: Windows 10 Professional

Price
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16 is also an expensive tablet, but it is the most popular choice for professionals. It’s a Microsoft Windows tablet powered by robust hardware configuration; therefore, it can run your full-featured CAD program.

Design and Features
Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16 offers a 15.6-inch superior quality 94% Adobe RGB display with 3840 x 2160 pixels of resolution. The picture quality is outstanding; it can deliver precise colors and brilliant sharpness. The main drawback of this tablet is its weight which might not be ideal for carrying. However, Wacom Studio Pro is available in a 13-inch model as well. You can also check that out.

Wacom is well-known for its reliable quality drawing tablets, so this is. It comes with a Wacom stylus which provides paramount pressure sensitivity along with greater accuracy. You can feel the most natural drawing and designing experience. Also, it offers tilt recognition and lag-free tracking.

Studio Pro 16 is compatible with all major 2D, 3D, and CAD software and ensures seamless working. It features a 3D scan with a built-in Intel Real Sense camera which is quite innovative feature. With the eight customizable ExpressKeys and Radial buttons, you can enhance your workflow.

Performance
This Windows 10 powered tablet comes with an Intel Core i5 / Core i7 processor along with 8/16 GB RAM and 256 / 512 GB SSD storage. The Intel Core i5 model is paired with Nvidia Quadro M600M 2GB GPU, while the Core i7 model accompanies the Nvidia M1000M 4GB graphics card.

The performance is just outstanding; you can smoothly run any CAD or 3D modeling programs with the provided workstation graphics cards and robust hardware. Wacom Studio Pro 16 is a powerful Windows tablet that allows doing anything that you want, whether it’s about 3D modeling, video editing, drawing, or gaming.

Battery
This full-featured Windows tablet is packed with robust hardware; therefore, it consumes more battery. It can only deliver 5 hours of juice with a single charge.

If you require a large and powerful tablet for your modeling work, the Wacom is the ultimate choice.

✓ PROS

  • Highly color-accurate and responsive display
  • Wacom stylus with higher pressure sensitivity, tilt-recognition, and lag-free tracking
  • Powerful hardware with the workstation graphics card
  • 3D Intel Real Sense camera
  • Powerful Windows 10 OS
  • Available in different sizes
  • Specially designed for 2D, 3D, and CAD software

✗ CONS

  • Heavy and costly
  • Average battery life


Best 2-in-1 Laptop for 3D Modeling and CAD Work

  • Type: Wi-Fi
  • Weight: 6.85 lbs
  • Display: 15 – inch PixelSense 3240 x 2160
  • Cameras: 8MP, 5MP
  • Processor: Core i7-1065G7
  • GPU: GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • Memory: 16 / 32 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB / 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Battery: Up to 17 hours
  • OS: Windows 10 Home

Price
Microsoft Surface Book 3 could be a solid choice if you’re searching for a powerful laptop that serves as a tablet as well. This premium convertible laptop offers many attractive features but also costs higher than its rivals.

Design and Features
Microsoft Surface Book 3 is available in two sizes 13.5-inch and 15-inch; you can choose as per your requirements. Both models offer fantastic quality PixelSense display, which comes with higher resolution and vivid colors. The panel support 10 points multi-touch feature, which allows working on the screen seamlessly.

It comes with a detachable keyboard design, and you can use it as a tablet. It features USB Type-A ports, USB C, Surface Connect port, and full-size MicroSD card slot. You can connect to an external monitor and other peripherals.

With the Microsoft Surface S Pen, you can make the most of this tablet. However, you have to purchase the accessories separately. The best thing, the weight of this laptop isn’t very high, especially when we detach its keyboard, which makes it perfect for on-the-go use.

This laptop is packed with dual far-field Studio Mics along with front-facing stereo speakers supported by Dolby Atmos.

Performance
This portable laptop is available with Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processor with 32GB memory and 1TB PCIe SSD storage capacity. Moreover, with the support of Nvidia GTX 1650 dedicated GPU memory, it allows working with CAD applications easier.

The Surface Book 3 is powered by Windows 10, so you can run full-featured CAD software on this device. This tablet cum laptop is packed with HW TPM 2.0 chip which ensures enterprise-grade protection. Moreover, it supports Face login with Windows Hello for quicker access.

Microsoft Surface Book 3 comes with all-general sensors such as gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity, and ambient light.

Battery
Surface Book 3 offers up to 17.5 hours of battery life when using with base. Even if you use this tablet with multitasking and 3D modeling it can easily last more than 6-7 hours which is pretty good.

✓ PROS

  • Versatile 2-in-1 design
  • Premium quality PixelSense display with higher resolution and accurate colors
  • Dependable performance with robust hardware
  • Compatible with all major CAD applications
  • Longer battery life
  • Enterprise-grade security
  • Available with several configurations

✗ CONS

  • Expensive
  • Accessories have to purchase separately

Best Drawing Tablets for CAD Design

If you want to enhance your productivity while working with a laptop or desktop, adding a drawing tablet to your setup can help. A drawing tablet is a superior choice over a traditional mouse as it provides a natural working experience.


Best Pen Pad Graphics Tablet for 3D Designing

  • Type: Pen Pad
  • Weight: 10.08 Oz
  • Display/Active Area: 8.5 x 5.3-inch
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 4096 levels
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth/USB
  • Supported OS: Mac, Windows, and Android
  • Stylus Type: Battery-free

Price
If you’re seeking a budget graphics tablet for CAD design Wacom Intuos might be the best choice. It will cost you around 200 bucks and offers all premium features.

Design and Features
Wacom Intuos comes with a large working area of 8.5 x 5.3-inch which allows convenient operation even with large and intricate models. Moreover, it comes with an EMR stylus that doesn’t require charging and allows working without interruption.

This drawing tablet supports wired and wireless technology, and you can use it as you want. It offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity which is viable for professionals.

Performance
Wacom Intuos CTL6100WLK0 drawing tablet supports all major photo editing and designing software. It works flawlessly with CAD applications as well.

This graphics tablet endorses Macbook, Chromebook, Windows, and Android, which provides flexibility. With the higher report rate and pressure sensitivity, this graphics tablet ensures a smoother working experience. It comes with ExperessKeys which can be assigned to some repeated commands to enhance workflow.

Wacom Intuos CTL6100WLK0 graphics tablet could be a great addition to your 3D modeling work setup to enhance productivity.

✓ PROS

  • Impressive pressure sensitivity with a higher report rate
  • Compatible with different OS
  • Support all the major designing and editing software
  • Battery-free stylus
  • Support wired and wireless connectivity

✗ CONS

  • A bit costly than competitors


Budget Pen Display Drawing Tablet for CAD Work

  • Type: Pen Display
  • Weight: 32 Oz
  • Display/Active Area: 11.6-inch, 1920×1080
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Connectivity: USB and HDMI
  • Supported OS: Mac, and Windows
  • Stylus Type: Battery-free

Price
XP-PEN Artist12 costs around the same previous Wacom tablet, and it’s a pen display which is more value for the money. If you need a pen display tablet, you can consider it.

Design and Features
This Pen display tablet features an 11.6-inch full HD display backed with 72% NTSC color gamut (100% sRGB), which provides sharper images and accurate colors. You can use this tablet for color-sensitive tasks as well, such as graphics designing or photo editing.

While working with CAD applications you can directly interact with your model on the tablet screen which makes working easier and faster.

Mind you, XP-Pen is a pen display tablet and it can’t be used standalone; you’ll need to connect it to a computer with the HDMI and USB cables. If your computer doesn’t support HDMI then you’ll need a converter or adapter.

This graphics tablet endorses all major editing and designing software and is also viable for CAD applications.

Performance
XP-PEN Artist12 tablet is compatible with Windows and Mac OS. It supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity which provides a natural drawing and designing experience.

As compared to the previous Wacom tablet, it offers a larger working area with a screen. It’s a perfect choice even for beginners.

Altogether, if you don’t want to spend much and need a pen display tablet, XP-PEN Artist12 can make your setup complete. The best thing, this tablet is very cost-effective as compared to its rivals.

✓ PROS

  • Best price
  • Higher color-accurate full HD display
  • Top-notch pressure sensitivity
  • Comes with six express keys for productivity
  • EMR stylus
  • Support Mac and Windows

✗ CONS

  • The screen can be scratched easily


Premium Quality Graphics Tablet for CAD Design

  • Type: Pen Display
  • Weight: 4.19 lbs
  • Display/Active Area: 15.6-inch Pen Display 1920×1080
  • Pressure Sensitivity: 8192 levels
  • Connectivity: USB and HDMI
  • Supported OS: Mac, and Windows
  • Stylus Type: Battery-free

Price
Wacom Pen Display tablet is a premium range tablet chosen by professionals. Its 22-inch model is even more expensive that costs more than 1000$. However, if you’re into professional 3D modeling, designing, or drawing, it might be a great addition to your setup.

Design and Features
Wacom Cintiq 16 is also a pen display graphics tablet that works by connecting to a computer. This device is available with a 15.6-inch or a 21.5-inch display with full HD resolution and 72% NTSC color gamut. Working on these tablets has a drastically better experience as compared to traditional laptops or computers. You can directly interact with your model or design on the screen just like working on paper.

This Wacom tablet endorses all popular designing and editing software, and it is compatible with CAD applications.

Due to the larger size, these tablets are heavy. Moreover, pen display tablets require a tablet or computer to connect; therefore, you can’t use them outside.

Performance
This powerful Wacom Pen display tablet is backed with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity which ensures fantastic precision for natural drawing and designing experience.

If you want to take your designing journey to the next level, you can consider the Wacom Cintiq tablet. However, keep in mind, pen display tablets aren’t designed for portability as Android, Windows, or iPad.

✓ PROS

  • Superior quality full HD display with 72% NTSC color gamut
  • Larger screen for efficient working
  • Battery-free EMR stylus
  • Higher pressure sensitivity for utmost precision
  • Support Mac and Windows

✗ CONS

  • Very costly

Best Tablet for CAD and 3D Designing

If you need a CAD tablet for working on the go then you should choose from our first category. It includes Android, iOS, and Windows devices. On the other hand, if you want to tweak your work setup then drawing or graphics tablets are recommended. Drawing tablets work by connecting to your computer, laptop, or smartphone. They offer higher precision which isn’t possible with a standard mouse. However, drawing tablets aren’t considered for portability as they require additional devices to make them work.

REGULAR TABLET

DRAWING TABLET

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