Alternative to MS Surface / Wacom Companion



I’m looking for a drawing device, like Companion or Surface, but less expensive.
Purpose is to draw. Do you have anything to recommend?

Thanks a lot :slight_smile:


Well, let’s see…

Wacom 13" MobileStudio Pro starts at $1299.95 for the lowest end model
Surface Pro starts at $799 (+$99 for the Surface Pen which is no longer bundled together with the Surface Pro) for the lowest end model

So that’s the baseline for this discussion: You’re asking for something less expensive than $898 USD. If we stick with Windows devices, this is a tough request because there aren’t many mainstream brands that can beat the Surface Pro for the price (Samsung is one exception. They have a Galaxy Book 10.6" Windows 10 2-in-1 PC that starts at $629.99). There are some Windows devices from less-known companies such as Huawei or Cube, but they might cut corners on either technical support (because English is not their native language) or construction quality (device falls apart after some time because cheap materials and construction were used). It is a gamble on getting what you paid for.

If the purpose is only for drawing, then it’s easier to recommend devices with mobile operating systems (Android or iOS), many of which are cheaper than $898. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S Pen starts at $299.99 and the ASUS Z300M-A2 ZenPad 10 starts at $159 (add $49.99 for the Asus Pen)

My personal preference is the Apple iPad Pro 10.5" which starts at $649 (add $99 for the Apple Pencil) which is expensive, but the drawing experience is excellent in comparison to the Wacom MobileStudio Pro and Surface Pro.


Some alternatives from Lenovo, which have excellent build quality generally and run Win10 so you’re not stuck with iOS or Android’s garbage:

Lenovo Miix 320, $349 base model

And a very different but potent option, the Yoga Book, ~$550 for Windows model:

Both the top and bottom are touch-based, and the bottom is especially cool, though it’s small and probably more useful for a notebook instead of a drawing tablet.


don’t forget an intuos of craigslist for under 100 :slight_smile:

nothing cheaper than that!!


This is from personal experience.
I’d recommend a XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display .
(I’v been using it for almost 2 years now without any issues.)

It’s a monitor tablet . (not exactly sure what kind you’re looking for.)

XP-Pen is a cheaper alternative to Wacom products. (they’re pretty good quality too)
I’m sure they have newer models better than the Artist 15.6 by now.
I know they have the normal graphic tablets too. such as XP-Pen DECO line , star line .(which would be a lot cheaper than a monitor tablet.)

I purchased from their offical store :

I hope this could be of help.


Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is superb for drawing and painting, with a number of apps, but Procreate is one of the strongest. Photoshop is coming to the platform shortly also. I also have a Wacom Cintiq, but the portability and price of the Pro in comparison to any of the Wacom offerings, is pretty great.



It doesn’t appear that those Xpen styluses offer Tilt functionality. Is this so? Do you notice yourself missing out on tilt, or has it never been an issue for you?


If you’re looking for something similar to a Companion you’re short on options.

Surface Pros are pretty good for art - that’s your best bet if you want SAI. Pressure levels is a meaningless number on tablets - it’s not something you should focus on.
You can’t go Android or iOS so those options are out.

Aside from the Microsoft Surface series, you can look up 2-in-1 laptops online. There have been a lot of 2-in-1 laptops coming out recently and there could be cheaper alternatives to the Microsoft Surface laptops.

One thing to remember though is to at least get 8GB ram and an i5 processor .

I currently use a XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Drawing tablet monitor . It is a cintiq downgrade, but only because it does not have the muti-touch like the cintiq does. it support pen tilt , 8192 pen pressure levels , battery-free and wireless stylus . 88% NTSC Color gamut , 1920x1080 resolution , 15.6 inch IPS Screen , it has no parallax , no lag .
Overall its an amazing tablet and I do suggest it! It works amazing for me, and personally, I improved a lot while using it.

The only problems, however, is that it always has to be plugged into a PC , Though it is lightweight and works great, the graphics are nice, and its only $439.