The Simbans PicassoTab 10 Inch Drawing Tablet and Stylus Pen is a budget drawing tablet that has both pros and cons. It comes with Autodesk Sketchbook and Artflow: Paint Draw Sketchbook installed but other drawing programs can be installed if they are compatible. It's a barebones tablet without a lot of extra features. As an example, mine only came with one wallpaper. Of course, any image can be downloaded and used as wallpaper.
According to Simbans, the PicassoTab is the "Best Gift for Beginner Graphic Artist." It "has 1024 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity which will allow you to create different strokes" and palm rejection. The great thing about this tablet is that it comes with a case and pen, so out of the box, it's ready to use. And "you may also download other pen-friendly apps for note-taking."
Because the PicassoTab uses the Android Operation System (OS), it can be used as a regular tablet. You can download apps from the Google Play Store, watch movies, send emails, and check social media. It doesn't have the best processor, so expect some latency, especially when watching videos. It comes with a 32GB disk drive and 2GB RAM. You can get additional space by adding a 128 GB micro-SD card.
The current model uses the Android 9 Pie OS. According to Simbans, "games like Angry Bird, Minecraft, Sims, and Candy Crush all run smoothly on the tablet with exceptional sound quality."
For $229.95, the price as I write this, the Simbans PicassoTab has a lot of features. It's ideal for children and adults who draw as a hobby. Casual and aspiring artists can enjoy drawing digitally without a high price tag. Compare to the price of an iPad with an Apple Pencil. The pencil alone costs $129. And you have to spend at least $800 to get an iPad that will work with it.
For serious artists though, the PicassoTab has a lot of shortcomings. One reviewer complained about "slow diagonal line jitter...slippery surface...Palm rejection unfortunately doesn't work that well."*
When we got an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil, the kids quickly left the PicassoTab behind. One reason is that they wanted to use the hugely popular drawing app Procreate, which is only available for the iPad. Procreate offers a lot more features than the apps which come with the PicassoTab. And because it's widely used, there are lots of drawing tutorials available. The Simbans pen also doesn't have the level of accuracy of the Apple Pencil. Resolution is another issue. The PicassoTab resolution is only 1280x800 pixels compared to 2388 x 1668 for the iPad Pro.
These issues probably won't bother new artists who are doing simple drawings and learning the basics of drawing programs, or casual artists who draw for fun. My kids happily used their PicassoTab for eighteen months.
Updating the Operating System and Patches
I have an earlier version of the PicassoTab that runs Android 7.0. The Android security patch level was dated September 5, 2017. That's about a year before I purchased the device. There's no way to update either the OS or the security patches from the system itself. If you can't update the device, then it's vulnerable to hackers. Of course, every tablet will reach a point where it will no longer be supported. If a device is no longer supported, some apps won't function properly or may not work at all, although that might not happen for a few years. There is a way to reformat the device and install a later OS, but it seems so complex, I'm afraid to try it. The lack of an update option for the OS and security patches in the system settings is a major shortcoming.
Is It Worth Buying?
The Simbans PicassoTab isn't a perfect drawing tablet, but it will satisfy casual artists who want to create digital drawings without breaking the bank. But like with everything else, you get what you pay for. Serious artists may find any kind of lag annoying when they're drawing and will likely prefer a device with a higher resolution. But for everyone else, it's a great way to get started with drawing tablets.
Digital Art on a Budget
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2020 LT Wright