What Is Report Rate Speed(RPS) For A Tablet?
When looking at tablets you’ll often notice a spec called “Report Rate Speed” measured in RPS. This sounds confusing but it’s a very simple concept.
Report Rate Speed measures how many times per second the tablet sends information about the stylus position & pressure back to the computer. Most modern tablets have a report rate of 200+ RPS which is fairly standard.
The reported data is transmitted over a USB cable and it lets the computer know where the stylus is placed on the tablet, how much pressure is being exerted, and how fast it’s moving across the drawing surface.
Tablet manufacturers measure Report Rate Speed in a seemingly nonsensical RPS unit(Reports Per Second).
This can be simplified with the SI unit hertz(abbreviated Hz) which also measures cycles per second. But with a 200 RPS(or 200 Hz) tablet there’s still a lingering question: what exactly is cycling 200 times per second?
It’s cycling between reports sent to the computer, and every report shares information about stylus location and pressure sensitivity. Using the example above, the stylus data is sent from the tablet directly to the computer literally 200 different times per second.
Your computer can use the data in each report to do any number of things.
If you tap on the toolbox in Photoshop it’ll be recognized within 1/200th of a second. Or if you’re drawing a curved line then it’ll parse the unique distance and pressure of your stylus every 5 milliseconds(1/200th of a second).
For all intents and purposes we can say that a 200 RPS tablet can be measured as a 200 Hz tablet in regards to data transfer.
This can be compared to the polling rate of your computer mouse which uses Hz to report the position of the mouse. Report rate is the standard unit for monitors and tablets. But it all breaks down to Hertz which can be summarized as “somethings” per second.
So if you’re looking into a drawing tablet just know that report rate speed measures total stylus data reports per second. Anything around 200 RPS(or higher) is great and most tablets fit this description. But it’s still good to know what this stuff means so you can make an informed decision when buying.