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See the Wikipedia article at Graphics tablet.
A graphics tablet is an interface device that allows a user to make edits with a variety of styli. The most common stylus acts like a pen—when used with an image editing program like Photoshop, the user can interact as if they were making a drawing or painting by hand.

The primary feature of a tablet is the ability to make "pressure sensitive" edits, unavailable in other devices. Depending on how pressure sensitivity is handled by a tool, a brush stroke can gradually fade in and out, grow or shrink in size, become more or less jittery, all according to how hard the user presses the stylus onto the tablet.