Okay, so I'm looking into tablets that are good for artists. (I want to teach myself to draw, and I figure, in the long run, a tablet that I can draw onto, and a program that can add colour and effects, will be cheaper than art paper and pencils and etc. having to be constantly replenished.)

So! I read one article that seemed kind of helpful, but I have ZERO knowledge about tablets. I don't even know what the difference is between different tablets, apart from the iPad being by Apple and presumably using a completely different OS to all the others.

Anyway, the article mentioned the iPad2 as being good for artists. Can anyone agree with that? What if I was looking at an iPad1 because it's cheaper?

Do I need special tools to draw on them? I don't intend on using my finger, as they're kind of chunkier than a pencil would be, and I want the skills to translate over to paper (eventually). Would a stylus work, or is there a newer tool that would be better?

What tablets can you recommend for someone on a budget? I was leaning towards the iPad for a few reasons.

1. Even though they can be pricy, if I'm buying a tablet, I want it to be able to do everything a tablet can normally do - such as type on it, browse the Net, watch videos, play music... Essentially be a computer-on-the-go that's more lightweight than my laptop, even if it is a bit less user-friendly for something such as typing a novel.

2. I'm curious about Apple products. I considered getting a MacBook Air when I was shopping around for laptops, but eventually got this Asus Windows 7 laptop for a bargain I couldn't pass up. The only Apple product I've ever used is an iPod Shuffle, which essentially doesn't count. I just flick a switch, and it plays music at my earholes.

In any event, what I'm hoping for is something that I can plug into my Windows 8 desktop, see the tablet's screen on the desktop monitor, and draw to my heart's content. Which is why I'm not sure about an iPad... I take it it's not going to gel well with Windows 8.

Can any tablets do that, though? Show the tablet image on the PC monitor? Or is that a pipe dream?

Anyone got any recommendations? Remember - budget, but a quality item.

Thanks in advance!