Well, I didn’t think I’d go and do this but I grabbed a new art tablet to see if it’d help me be more productive. Stranger yet I’m deciding to write a review on this! This isn’t paid or whatever I got this with my own money after I got showed a review or two from friends.
Color me impressed. For what many call a ‘clone’ this tablet really is impressing me. It has everything you need to get it started and some extras the competition should be including. You get TWO pens, and the battery lasts up to a week before it needs to be recharged, a pen-stand for that has 8 replacement nibs hidden away. You get a metal stand included, this sounds like “well duh you do” but sadly the competition isn’t including one and they want you to pay $100 for a plastic wonky one, also you get a tablet glove! That thing that makes your hand glide on tablets vs sticking to them.
The stand is excellent, there’s no preset adjustment levels but it does lock into place with a gear mechanism. This is really good for two reasons: 1- it will not give when you lean on your tablet, which was a major problem I had with the Wacom 12WX 2- It’s not limited by only a few positions like my old Surface Pro 2, you just reach over the top of your monitor, pull on the lever with a finger, adjust and let go and it locks into place. The downsides I could see are it gives the tablet a larger footprint and it makes the tablet a bit heavier. That said this is a tablet you should probably be having on your desk only and not a lap.
I honestly got this because I got teased by a lot of my friends and fellow comic artists for working on such a small tablet, my Surface Pro 4. So I had some store credit and decided to try this out while it was on sale. I was really nervous about it as I’m always hearing “There’s a trade off with the clone tablets”. Sure, maybe if you’re expecting a luxury tablet that’s got a metal chassis or whatever but this tablet has a glass screen, a ton of extras and feels sturdy.
I worked on a piece for a while, trying to get comfortable with it and it’s impressive to say the least. I don’t think the parallax (distance between the pen & screen) is bad, way better than my old Wacom 12WX…as is the color accuracy. I’ve worked on the Surface Pro 4 for a while which has very minimal parallax and I honestly didn’t have much trouble on here with the Huion tablet. That said there IS some to me it was only noticeable when you’re close to the tablet and your reaching on the edges of the tablet. Which makes sense as you’re going to be seeing more at the angle that would see between the glass & screen. When you get it, get comfy and position yourself as you would work and calibrate it to minimize it.
Other good news: there’s no hot spot on the face of the tablet, you know that spot where your hand would stick to or just start to get sweaty, none of that here.
The pressure range of 8k is really good and I noticed it was higher than my Surface Pro 4’s 1k pressure range. That said I’m not so blown away that I feel the SP4’s pen is bad or unusable but there’s a difference. You have a solid range of control that’s to be certain but I think past a certain number you’re less and less likely to notice. Must be said, some may be turned away by the plastic pen on the glass screen (there is a textured screen protector but we’ll get to that and why it’s bad with my tips) and I’m fairly spoiled with my Surface’s pen tips giving me a range of 4 different feels as this only comes with 1 type of 8 nibs, smooth and plastic.
There are speakers in the unit, or rather my audio device manager registers there are. I haven’t tested them but I honestly haven’t seen a good set of speakers in a monitor/TV since the ol’ CRT days where they could fit larger drivers in there. I can’t give my 2 cents on that since I haven’t tried them but, this is an artist tablet and I’m focusing on that. Also, if you plug in your unit and notice the sound is gone? Go to your sound settings and reset it to your default audio device.
I tested it with Clip Studio Paint EX and I’m including a pic of the workspace & the piece I finished so you can suss out how it can work. I did one doodle before it and then straight to this from being used to my Surface Pro 4 so I didn’t have much of a learning curve to get on with this. I had no compatibility issues and had it working with the software instantly. Messed a bit with Photoshop and the pressure seems to work straight away. I don’t use photoshop much for the art end so I can’t say fully how well it works but when I made some brush strokes they worked fine enough.
As far as negatives, well the monitor is large and a bit heavier than you’d expect with a lot of modern ones really slimming them down. This monitor is a fat one, and the stand really makes the footprint of this device pretty big on your desk. This with the stand isn’t going to strain your muscles to move it about but I don’t think you’ll have this on your lap while you’re sat back in the chair either. The pen I’ve heard feels cheap, I’d say it feels very light and there’s no rubber like on the wacom ones so that might be where that feeling comes from. The screen protector that’s supposed to add a texture is worthless and really isn’t worth having on…When you use it, a rainbow effect appears as you’re wearing into it and it makes the tablet unusable. You simply can’t see what is going on under it, so stick with the glass, your plastic pen won’t hurt it but make sure you’re not wearing a watch or whatever.
The other thing is there’s no eraser on the pen’s butt, there’s two buttons which are programmable but it’s something you’ll either have to learn to live with or adapt if you’re gonna grab this.
Overall, if you’re looking for a tablet where you can work right on screen this is an excellent one to have pro or hobbyist alike. If you’re just starting out it has everything you need, especially for the cost. I’ve worked on Wacom products for years and the Surface Pro 2 and 4 for ages as well and this tablet impressed me. Thing to keep in mind, this is not a luxury tablet, it’s not ultra thin and light and it’s not made of an aluminum chassis, but it’s well built and I feel is worth the asking price. Especially considering I’ve spent far more on Wacom with their 12WX and was underwhelmed.
Pen stand + 8 replacement nibs
USB cord for PC
HDMI, DVI, VGA
Here’s some tips for setting the thing up since the youtube reviewers I’ve watched missed some things:
- You need to calibrate the colors out of the box. Once you do the colors are really nice and the 1080P works nicely on this size monitor.
- I would say remove the textured screen protector. Because the screen is glass your not going to do much harm to it with a plastic nib. I have a Surface Pro 4 which I’ve worked on for 2 years and without a screen protector. After all that time there’s no damage I can see on it. The screen protector on this thing has a texture to it to make it more like working on paper. The problem is it’s useless and ruins the experience, The colors are ruined with it because of the matte texture and as you use it, a rainbow effect appears as you use it. It’s really bad and isn’t something I think is worth the texture effect. I was genuinely struggling seeing my linework on the monitor till I removed it and it’s vastly better.
- What the youtubers got wrong: They say the stand gets stuck on the cables, this really caught me as odd as the stand has a massive hole in it for you to put the cables through so it makes it impossible to put the stand on the cables in any way.
- Be sure to NOT install the drivers off the CD, you’d be wasting your time. Go to the huion website and download the fully up to date drivers there.
- There are no express keys, honestly I’m so used to a keyboard that this didn’t even register till I saw others complaining about it.
- No touch interaction, this IS what got me since I’ve been working on a Surface Pro 4 using 2 fingers to rotate and zoom. That’s simply not here. Which is a shame but, something I’m getting used to again.
- Wash the glass screen, there’s some form of residue that makes the pen kinda drag against it, but after a microfiber cloth+water wash over the glass it’s super smooth and nice.
- Make sure you uninstall all other tablet drivers before using this.
My tablet history: (Unknown name brand), Wacom Graphire 2 & 3, Intous 2, Wacom 12WX, Surface Pro 2 w/ Wacom Bamboo Feel, Surface Pro 4, Huion GT-191
And hey, if you have any questions or want me to clarify something feel free to leave a comment and ask and I’ll answer as best I can.