Can I Use a Drawing Tablet with a Chromebook? 2021 Guide

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If you own a Chromebook and are wondering can i use a drawing tablet with it then you’re in the right place. In this post we’ll talk about

Chromebooks are compatible and lightweight and they are perfect for you if you’re the one who needs something to take along on the go. These are very versatile and convenient and are very well suited for the frequent travelers. But what if you are an artist or professional graphics designer who wants to use a drawing book?

A drawing tablet allows natural drawing motion and is quite beneficial if you want to create complicated shapes. If you’re a digital artist who owns a Chromebook, you must first discover whether a drawing tablet is compatible with your machine or not. This post will answer all the queries of Chromebook owners who want to use a drawing tablet.

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Huion Inspiroy H640P

Graphics Tablet M708 UGEE

Drawing Tablet OSU! Parblo Ninos S Digital

Is a drawing tablet compatible with Chromebook?

drawing tablet compatible with chromebook

The problem is that most of the best drawing tablets don’t offer compatibility with Chromebooks. Thus, if you have a drawing tablet, it won’t work to its full potential unless you have installed a driver for compatibility. Though you can easily use the drawing tablet by just plugging it into the USB slot of your Chromebook, but you won’t be able to draw with pressure sensitivity.

If you are a professional artist or graphics designer, then obviously you won’t be able to survive without pressure sensitivity drawing. Pressure sensitivity allows you to vary the width of the lines you draw. This is done by applying different amounts of pressure on the surface of the tablet. When you apply a light stroke, a thin line will appear and vice versa. The more pressure sensitivity a drawing tablet is equipped with, the more you’ll be able to vary the size of the lines you draw. If you want to get the best out of a drawing tablet, you must make sure that the software supports this feature.

There are some drawing tablets that work with Chromebooks, but not all of them. Also, if you need pressure sensitivity drawing, then you’ll need to install drivers. Keep on reading if you want to learn about a good solution to this issue.

Drivers for drawing tablets

The main function of a drawing tablet is that it allows natural drawing motion and pressure sensitivity. These features make sure that the challenging and tough projects are handled easily. If you can’t use this feature, then having a drawing tablet is useless. The drawing tablets manufacturers have various types of drivers that you’ll see when you visit the website and peek into the drivers section. However, when you’ll go to the drivers section you’ll find drivers for Mac and Windows only.

The problem is that, when a giant manufacturer doesn’t support a particular platform, the upcoming brands and models also follow the footsteps. Most of the new brands such as the Huion and X-Pen are compatible with Windows and Mac only. The main reason behind this is that the market isn’t big enough and that’s why the manufacturers are not catering to it.

Should you use a drawing tablet with a Chromebook?

use a drawing tablet with a Chromebook

When you plug a drawing tablet in the slot of Chromebook, it will start working but it won’t work to its full potential. The drawing tablet will perform the function of a mouse only and won’t function as a drawing tablet should. You shouldn’t use a drawing tablet with a Chromebook because of the following reasons:

  • Limited RAM
    Chromebooks have a lightweight design and they are affordable too. A Chromebook has an average RAM of around 4 GB which is too less for handling the graphics programs, especially the Adobe Photoshop or Illustration. The limited RAM is the main reason why most of the programs won’t work properly on the Chromebook. Thus, most of the drawing tablet manufacturers don’t provide support for the Chromebooks because of low RAM.
  • Pressure sensitivity
    As we told above, if you plug in your drawing tablet into the Chromebook and start using it, it will work but without pressure sensitivity. So, if you need pressure sensitivity for drawing, then you must leave the option of Chromebook as it won’t allow you.

Who should use the drawing tablets with Chromebooks?

If you already own a Chromebook and you want to draw using a drawing tablet, then you should check out our next section where we have discussed some Wacom tablets that are compatible with Chromebook.

However, if you haven’t yet bought a Chromebook, and you are willing to buy it to use it with your drawing tablet, then we don’t recommend it. You have other good options to use with your drawing tablet as Chromebook won’t let you draw in peace. Even a laptop would be go with a drawing tablet as you’ll be able to do the complex graphics designing work on Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

What are the drawing tablet options for Chromebooks?

When you’re in the market to buy a drawing tablet for Chromebook, you have limited options. The Chromebooks offer native pen support depending on their model. If your Chromebook has native pen support, even then it will be limited and you won’t be able to use it with every brand of drawing tablets. Following are some Chromebook brands that provide native pen support:

If you have come this far and insist on using a drawing tablet with Chrome book, then we recommend going for a cheap one. The Wacom Intuos drawing tablet is a good option for those who own a Chromebook and want to use a drawing tablet. It is a very cheap tablet and it will help you in satisfying your drawing needs with a Chromebook. The main point is that, you must not spend too much on a drawing tablet that won’t allow you to use pressure sensitivity for drawing.

The Wacom Intuos drawing tablet offers Chrome OS support and is a good and cheap option. The support will allow your Chromebook to read the device so that you’re able to perform small tasks using the drawing tablet. Never make a mistake of buying a drawing tablet from Huion or XP-Pen; they do offer cheap drawing tablet options but they don’t support Chrome OS at all. These drawing tablets are compatible with Windows and Mac Systems only.

Should I buy a Chromebook specifically for drawing?

drawing on chromebook

The answer is a clear no. Using drawing tablets with a Chromebook is not an easy thing. Though manufacturers and developers are working hard but you’ll still face a lot of technical issues with this combination. An easier option is always to go with a Windows or Mac platform.  

Even if you go for a Chromebook that has native pen support, it will have many restrictions and there will be a lot of complications with the apps you want to use. You’ll be able to draw with Chromebooks that have native pen support but they’ll be issues with the processing power and you won’t be able to do the professional stuff with them.

So, you shouldn’t buy a Chromebook specifically for drawing, but if drawing is a secondary or even tertiary thing, you can go for a Chromebook. You can go for this option only if you want to practice some drawing skills or give it to your kids for drawing and fun.

OS compatibility for drawing tablets

The drawing tablets offer support for Windows and Mac platforms and not for the Chrome OS. If you want to use Wacom tablets, following are the OS systems which they support:

Windows: The newer tablets are compatible with Windows 7, 8, 9 and 10.

MAC: The newer tablets are compatible with MAC OS 10.11 to 10.14.

LINUX: Only available for old generation tablets which are Capture, Bamboo Create, Bamboo CTL, Bamboo CTH, Connect, Splash, One by Wacom)

The Wacom tablets also offer support for mostly Windows and Mac platforms. The Linux OS support was available for older generation Wacom tablets but it isn’t available for the newer ones. These tablets are the ones that were designed before 2011 and thus no support is available for the newer tablets now. Most of the drawing tablet manufacturers are focusing only on Windows and Mac systems.

Conclusion

The Chrome OS is an operating system that was introduced by Google and has Google Chrome web browser is an interface. Thus, most of the Chrome OS devices support only web applications and the drivers for drawing tablets such as Wacom are unable to be installed. Depending on the model of Chromebook you have, you can benefit from the limited pen support for drawing on some older Wacom tablets.

The older Wacom tablets will allow you to draw but you won’t still be able to use the pressure sensitivity, touch input, and tablet Expresskeys. After reading this post you are no aware that you can’t use a drawing tablet with a Chromebook. The Wacom manufacturers are working with Google for a solution in the future, but right now there is no support available for the Chrome OS by the Wacom devices.

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