Online tutoring is no longer just reserved for children struggling to keep up with their in-class curriculum. Instead, it has become an integral part of every child’s learning experience, especially since more and more students must learn from home. In recent months, an unusual amount of students have turned to online learning and online tutoring to meet their educational needs. The goal of these online environments is to facilitate real learning with as little educational disruption as possible. To do so, teachers, parents, and students will need to have the right tools on hand, specifically pen tablets.
Best Pen Tablets for Teachers at a Glance
- Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet
- XP-Pen Deco 10 x 6.25 Inch Digital Drawing Pen Tablet
- Our Choice: HUION H420 OSU Tablet Graphics Drawing Signature Pad (newest version Sept 2020)
- XP-Pen Star G640 6×4 OSU Ultrathin Pen Tablet
Most online tutoring sessions and classes are conducted via remote HD video conferencing tools and via webcam. These can be great for forging a face-to-face connection, but they still don’t always integrate in-classroom tools in a virtual space. That’s where pen tablets are paramount for online tutoring. Whether you need to participate in an online whiteboard session or work out a math problem with tutors help, pen tablets allow tutors and tutees to communicate with hand-drawn and written diagrams they can share across a virtual whiteboard. You can even connect pen tablets to most interactive whiteboards.
In this way, pen tablets are an absolute must for any student or tutor learning and working virtually or attending online tutoring sessions. Of course, there are a myriad of pen tablets on the market today. Some fare better than others for online learning.
We’ve touched upon the most critical aspects of a pen tablet for online tutoring to round up the best pen tablet for online tutoring on the market today. Whether your budget is big, small, or somewhere in between, these are the best pen tablets for online schooling you can find.
The Best Pen Tablets for Online Classes Reviewed
1. Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet With Software
Wacom has long been regarded as one of the most important names in the game when it comes to pen tablets. Their offerings represent the total package for students and casual artists who want to create or communicate digitally with intuitive and responsive tablets. The Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet is a one-stop-shop for students who wish to a full at-home learning experience and use it with several disparate subjects. We found that whether it was art, math, or even writing, the free software and pressure-sensitive pen proved excellent tools.
With any pen tablet, a pen has to offer precision and control. In online tutoring sessions, both tutees and tutors need to be able to deliver content. The Wacom Intuos pen is highly pressure-sensitive, putting control right in the student’s hands. We loved that it included EMR technology built right in pen itself. That means the pen will never have to be charged—a welcome relief for parents already inundated with a tangle of cables and chargers. The surface of the tablet is smooth and feels nice against the hand. There are also four customizable express keys at the top, allowing students to modify and add their preferred shortcuts right to the tablet itself. When drawing or writing, pen strokes and lines are smooth, precise, and free from drag.
Of course, the most important part of discerning the best pen tablet for online tutoring is whether it will work for every student. The Wacom Intuos not only works with iOS, Android, and Windows devices, but they also work with whiteboard applications on Zoom, Teams, and Skype. We found that the Intuos is perfect for note-taking, showing math problems, and using virtual whiteboards. With awesome portability and a great interface, the Wacom truly meets our standards for online tutoring.
2. XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 10×6.25 Inch Digital Drawing Pen Tablet
XP-Pen may not boast the name recognition of Wacom or more expensive pen tablets, yet their offerings are quickly gaining steam in the online tutoring and art communities. This is for a good reason. XP-Pen is creating top-notch tablets at a price that is accessible to most. Their XP-Pen Deco 10 x 6.25 Inch Digital Drawing Pen Tablet is a solid choice for teachers, students, and tutors. We found that straight out of the box, the device is easy to connect to either iOS, Windows, and Android devices with total ease. Unlike other tablets, there is no learning curve. Just set up and get to work.
With a very slim profile (8mm) and an expansive tablet drawing space (10 x 6.25 inches), the XP-Pen Deco provides plenty of space for students and tutors to create. Despite this, the tablet is light and easy to transport from room to room. We enjoyed that using the tablet felt as natural as drawing or writing on a piece of paper. It is something that benefits all parties involved. With a 60-degree tilt brush effect, the XP-Pen Deco also delivers more natural lines and handwriting than competitor tablets. It also works for left-handed and right-handed students.
For students, we loved that this tablet proves an online tutoring powerhouse. Thanks to simultaneous digital inking, the tablet is compatible with all Microsoft Office Apps. This allows students or tutors to present handwritten notes and signatures visually with ease. The Deco also allows students and tutees to write and edit complicated math problems or issues with total ease while streaming or broadcasting. Students can even record notes or jot down ideas as a tutor doles out lessons and advice.
Of course, what we truly loved about the XP-Pen deco was the compatibility with video conference learning tools such as Zoom, Twitch, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Webinar. The product works with whiteboard apps on these platforms beautifully. We found the only real qualm with this pen tablet because the larger work surface will require students and tutees to have a very big cleared off work area. This isn’t always feasible for students sharing a workspace with siblings or parents.
3. Huion 4×2.23 Inches OSU Tablet Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet (newest version Sept 2020)
The best pen tablet for online tutoring should always have the capacity to transcend age and skill level. That’s why we love the HUION H420 OSU Tablet Graphics Drawing Signature Pad. This is a straightforward, easy-to-use tablet that is great for beginners or those who have never used a pen tablet prior. With an active area of 4 x 2.23 inches, the tablet offers generous space for writing/drawing while still proving portable and convenient. Easily transition from room to room without the bulk. We also enjoyed the 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and resolution of 4000 LPI.
When it comes to using the tablet, we found that the Huion OSU offered a pressure-sensitive pen that was responsive and free from lag or disjointed strokes. Students will easily draw, write, or create graphics, as each line input is accurate and consistent. The work surface was smooth and worked great for little hands or students in elementary school. With compatibility with Microsoft Office applications, tutors and tutees are provided a myriad of options for sharing notes, ideas, and graphics.
In terms of the applications online tutoring recipients need most, the Huion is compatible with the big names in video conferencing, including Zoom, Skype, Teams, and other online learning platforms. This tablet does boast whiteboard compatibility. Its only true weakness is that it is not compatible with Android while it works with iOS and Windows devices. We found battery life on the pen to be good, but the pen itself is a bit clunkier than competitor options.
As mentioned above, this tablet will work best for younger students who don’t require a huge workspace or a very slim profile pen.
4. XP-Pen StarG640 6×4 OSU Ultrathin Pen Tablet
For an ultra-thin pen tablet with a battery-free stylus, look no further than the folks at XP-Pen. Much like the Deco above, the XP-Pen Star G640 6×4 OSU Ultrathin Pen Tablet is a workhorse that gets the job of online tutoring done right. This is a tablet that has been specifically designed to meet several needs. It works for gameplay, writing, drawing, sketching, signatures, and even painting. The best part? No need to install any drivers or pesky software. With 266 RPS and a pressure-sensitive pen, lines are smooth, quick, and accurate.
Unlike many tablets, the XP-Pen Star G640 has a generously sized active work area at 6 x 4 inches. This allows students and tutors to fully take advantage of the 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity within the pen. With such a high sensitivity, anyone using the pen is afforded control and fluidity to work out their thoughts quickly and creatively. We also enjoyed that students and tutors could easily toggle between the pen and eraser with just one click. Despite such a great work area, the XP-Pen Star is very slim and compact (2mm thick). You can easily transport the tablet wherever you go without adding any extra bulk.
This may be the very best tablet for tutoring online on the market today when it comes to online tutoring. The reason? Much like the deco, the XP-Pen is compatible with all Microsoft Office programs. What does this mean for students and tutors? It affords them the ability to present notes in a visual capacity. Since many students are visual learners, this is paramount to their success. We also enjoyed that the device is compatible with such a wide array of devices. It works with Windows 7/8/10 as well as Mac OS X 10.10 and above.
Additionally, the tablet is compatible with those all too important HD video conferencing apps like Zoom, Twitch, Teams, Skype, and more. This allows students to connect with teachers face-to-face while engaging with whiteboard style apps for live instruction that feels more personal. Whether writing, sharing graphics, or working out complex equations, this pen tablet can handle it all. One thing worth noting is that the device also has 4-Help ease to minimize any wrist pain and stiffness that can come from long tutoring sessions.