Using a drawing tablet in bed


For various reasons people sometimes want to use their drawing tablet in bed.

It is possible, but you should be aware of some of the complications. Generally I recommend people use an iPad.

My experience with using a pen display in my bed

I tried using a Wacom One (13") and a Huion Kamvas Pro 16 Plus 4k in bed and overall it was super cumbersome and a little risky.

  • A 16" pen display is just too big when lying on my stomach - my face was close enough to the screen that it made seeing and reaching the corners awkward. When I sat up it worked better. However, while I found the drawing experience nice, I didn't feel comfortable managing something that large and always felt it was going to slip from my grasp.

  • I ended up with a big mess of wires connecting to power, my laptop, and the tablet. It made for a precarious situation where I was afraid that something would happen and send my laptop or tablet crashing to the floor

  • With a laptop and pen display it was just difficult to do many things because of the need to reach for the laptop's keyboard. If the tablet has buttons that helps, but it turns out that there's lots of things I still needed to use the keyboard for. For example, to switch apps, or launch a program, or change the volume.

  • These pen displays don't have touch, so that's another inconvenience.

  • My laptop wasn't enough to power the 16" pen display. So I had to power it from the wall. I think my laptop could power the Wacom One - but then it significantly drained the battery.

  • Cabling. For these displays I had to use a their included 3-in-1 cables. Which meant that I could not directly connect them to my Surface Pro 8 which did not have the ports needed. So I had to use a Surface dock to provide a USB A port for data, a USB A port for power, and a mini DisplayPort that I used with an adapter to provide an HDMI port.

  • It was much easier using my iPad since the apps and applications (like Procreate) were optimized to be used without a keyboard. Power, touch, size - it all worked better with the iPad.

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