Tablet monitors

Category Archives: Tablet monitors

Flat monitor where you draw directly on its screen, which is attached to a computer. Also called pen display tablet.

Tablet monitors

Ugee 1910B review: Hands-on with 19″ Cintiq alternative

Hands on with the Ugee 1910B: affordable 19” tablet monitor delivers

ugee-1910b-review

See it on Amazon

 

Features

19″ display, TFT panel
UC-Logic digitizer (uses EMR)
1440 x 900 resolution
2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity
Battery-free pen recharges from USB. Two pens included.
Pen has eraser/pen toggle button
Adjustable metal stand goes from 90 to about 20 degrees
Compatible with Windows XP on up and Mac. Works with 2d and 3d art software.
Can support dual monitors and has screen mapping
Pen does not have tilt or rotation sensitivity (nor do other Cintiq alternatives)
Pen has eraser/pen toggle button setting
Brightness: 300 nits
Contrast ratio: 800:1
Viewing angles to ~80/~80
5080 LPI (lines per inch)
220 RPS (revolutions per second)
Response time 5 ms

ugee-1910b-review-with pen

Ugee 1910B with pen

What’s in the Box

Ugee 1910B tablet monitor
Power adapter and cords: VGA, USB, power supply
Two pens, two pen charging cables
Pen stand
CD with driver
Drawing glove
Screen protector (glossy)
User manual
Pen battery lasts at least 800 hours
Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and latest Mac OS

Weight: 15 lbs.
Dimensions: 20.9 x 18.3 x 7.2 inches
Active display area: 19”

ugee1910breviewpin

Packaging and setup

Ugee is a Chinese company and, like Yiynova, Huion, and others, makes lower-cost tablets that are alternatives to the Wacom Cintiq. This is an an Ugee 1910B review.

This model is among the most economical of the Cintiq alternatives for its size. It’s a tablet monitor that attaches to your computer. It works with Windows and Mac. You can also use it as a regular monitor and attach it to a TV or projector.

Ugee kindly provided me with a unit to review. It is my first time trying an Ugee product.

The tablet monitor came safely packaged in cardboard, with a hard backing, and styrofoam. The inner cardboard box having a handy handle. The packaging is not fancy—it’s no-frills, and the savings are passed along to us.

The boxes open vertically rather than like a clamshell. Inside, along with all the cords, are some nice extras: a drawing glove, screen protector, and extra pen and cord. The screen protector is in a separate package.

The USB and cables are each about four feet long, and the power supply about 6 feet long. The power brick is pretty small and compact (about 5” long, 2” wide and 1.5” thick) and stays cool. The pen cords are about 3 feet long.

The cables are relatively simple to set up (no splitters or confusion as to what goes where) and do not produce cord tangle–I was grateful for that. There is VGA, but no HDMI support. You can use a VGA to HDMI adapter if needed.

The cords are in back near the bottom, which makes them a little hard to access, but once set up, they are out of the way both physically and visually. The cords are long enough for me, but it depends on your setup.

You plug the tablet into a wall outlet or surge protector, and connect the 15-pin VGA to your computer or use an adapter for HDMI—most newer computers use HDMI. You also connect the tablet to your computer’s USB tablet, and charge the pen via USB as well.

Installing the Ugee driver

The drivers support Windows 10, even though the info in the paper booklet doesn’t go up that high. The driver comes on an included CD, but I used the ones from the Ugee site. You can use anything from XP to Windows 10. It also works on the latest Mac OSX (and I am checking with the company about older Macs).

You have to delete all tablet drivers and any remnants of them before installing. You connect all the cables, including the USB, with the computer and tablet turned off, then install the driver, then reboot.

Once installed, the driver icon stays in its folder rather than appearing on the desktop, so you need to open the folder and click on it.

If your screen is high-resolution, you will need to set the monitor to Extend mode. If your resolution is the same as or lower than the Ugee’s, then set it to Duplicate. If you are getting a big offset, this setting is the first thing you need to look at.

I tested it using my tablet PC and it worked fine with that; as with other tablets, using a penabled computer does not cause a conflict.

Since I did have remnant files from other drivers, I at first got the dreaded “other tablet drivers detected” error. What solved it for me was going into the Windows folder and deleting two files, a fix I quickly found online after doing a search for the text of the error message. If you have never installed another tablet, then you should not have a problem installing.

The pen calibration and pressure sensitivity worked great out of the box for me and required no adjustments.

Build quality

The Ugee is black plastic and attractively designed. It’s not all that thick, but it feels solid. While it’s not lightweight, it’s not hard, if you’re of average strength, to carry it around the room. I would not want to carry it around town or anything.

Stand

The stand is also plastic (though it resembles metal) and uses a latch system to lock in place. It adjusts from 90 degrees to back to about 20 degrees—which is the best angle, ergonomically, to draw on.

The stand is attached and stable at any position. The tablet is VESA-compatible, so you could use a mounting arm. The tablet sits about two inches off the table surface. The bottom of the stand has four rubber bumpers.

Screen

The glossy screen is flat glass all the way up to the ends. There is no raised bezel, only a black frame that’s a bit less than an inch wide, making good use of the screen real estate. You could use a ruler or template on it if you want—makes it easy to make stencils.

Or. if you have done your line art on paper, you can use it as a light box by laying your drawing over it and tracing over it to transfer your drawing, which can be useful in retaining a loose line quality. (You can do this even with a raised bezel, but it’s easier with this flat setup).

The glossiness of the screen makes colors look brighter. Thanks to the flat glass, if you want to use a different screen protector, such as a matte one to get some paperlike tooth, you don’t need to worry about cutting it to fit within the bezel.

The protector covers the active area and a bit beyond. I installed it and got some bubbles that I’m working on getting rid of. The pen doesn’t scratch the tablet if you do not put on the protector, so you may prefer to go bare-screened. If you wear the glove it will stop smudging and moisture. The protector does not affect drawing or the visibility.

There is a slight, very rare squeak with some pen strokes with the screen protector off, but the squeak is a lot less than on some tablet monitors, and it tends to go away after a while—it’s that new-tablet sound.

The display resolution is not high, so things are bit pixelated. Because of the large size, the pixelation is noticeable, and text is a little fuzzy. It’s not lower-res than the Cintiq 12ux or the original iPad, but at this large size, it is more noticeable. This is really my only sticking point. However, higher resolution would mean a higher price and I don’t see it as a dealbreaker. You can still see your art on whatever computer or second monitor you are using.

The viewing angles seem best straight on; this is not an IPS screen. But you don’t get blind spots or anything from other angles, you can see what’s on the screen. If you move around a lot the image becomes a little less clear from certain angles, but chances are you will be drawing from right in front of it. The stand does not swivel, it only goes up and down, the but if you want to turn the monitor it’s not terribly heavy.

Palm resolution works well; I didn’t have any issues with that or the hover distance.

Ugee pen

ugee-1910b-review-pen

Ugee pen

The Ugee pen has a good weight, not too heavy. It’s a little chunky, with a thin part near the tip. It’s thicker than a fountain pen. It’s light enough to not cause fatigue but heavy enough to give a good balance. With my small hands I could stand it to be slightly thinner, but it’s less thick than some of the other tablet pens out there. All in all, I like the pen.

There is a slight parallax (space between pen and screen), but not enough to bother me at all—maybe 1/10th of an inch. In fact I like it seeing the whole line instead of any of it being blocked by the pen.

You will need to use a USB port to charge the pen for about 45 minutes, and a USB cord to connect the monitor. A blue LED light stays on until the pen is fully charged. If you don’t have an extra port, you can charge the pen via a power bank or another device—or simply charge the pen then remove it.

The company says the pen battery lasts a minimum of 800 hours. I haven’t had it that long. There is no need to pair, as no Bluetooth or other wireless signals are involved.

The pen does not have an eraser end but the 3-way button (front, back, and left click) has a pen/eraser toggle and some choices of settings, including and the choice of absolute positioning, or relative (mouse mode).

With absolute mode, the cursor goes where you touch the pen to the screen. I left it on absolute, as it’s desirable for a tablet, unless you have a reason to use mouse mode. The driver also lets you set pen sensitivity and after some testing I put that around the middle, slightly to the harder side.

The Ugee comes with a manual that’s pretty basic and takes you through the steps of installation, settings, and basic troubleshooting.

In Windows 10 you can do a little bit further pen customization by going to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.

Drawing on the Ugee 1910B

One happy surprise about UC-Logic drivers is their excellent responsiveness, which I find comparable or better than other digitizers, including Wacom’s. The Ugee’s driver has a comfortable pressure curve and seem to maximize line variation. You can get very thin, interesting lines, similar to using a ballpoint pen.

The driver includes a small test area where you can make adjustments. You can get a very thin line, like drawing with a fine ballpoint pen. Inking feels very fluid.

As mentioned above, there is a small amount of parallax, maybe 1/10” of an inch, with the cursor being a little under the pen. I do not mind this as I like to see where the cursor is. If it were larger, I would mind, but it’s pretty small. I drew around the edges and did not get jitter regardless of speed or direction.

I also did not get lag when drawing, no matter how fast. I did get lag, though if I stopped drawing for a few minutes. Putting the pen back on the tablet apparently wakes the pen up, but sometimes would result in it drawing a random line, which I fixed with a simple Undo command.

The screen is glossy, so colors appear bright and contrast is enhanced. The screen is smooth glass, with no tooth. The included screen protector is also glossy. The protector does not affect drawing.

Controls

You can do monitor mapping with the driver and set up multiple monitors.

Buttons are all along the bottom of the monitor, there are none on the sides. The “menu” button lets you make changes to positioning, color temperature, contrast, and other parameters. There is not a lot of customization to the drivers. If you want express keys, you could try a gaming tablet, Photoshop Actions, the Tablet Pro app, or a radial menu.

Pros

Affordability
Size
Cables simple to set up (no splitters and such)
Adjustable stand
VESA-compatible (meaning you can attach it to VESA stand, so it can go on a wall or mounting arm)
Excellent pressure curve and pen sensitivity
Good build quality
Comes with useful extras, such as glove and screen protector
no jitter
battery-free pen
uses EMR, a sensitive digitizer system allowing excellent drawing control

Cons

Screen shows some pixelation
Color accuracy is imperfect
Driver installation ease varies
Pen takes a moment to “wake up” if you pause drawing

Ugee 1910B vs. Wacom Cintiq

There are a lot of things that pricey Cintiqs has that this doesn’t, including multitouch–so you can’t use your hands on it, nor finger paint or gestures. The drivers have a lot less customization, and there are also no programmable express keys either on the monitor or on-screen.

You can only get pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator using Wacom tablets, so you will not get it with the Ugee, but you will get it in other Adobe programs. All this is standard for Wacom alternative tablets.

Customer reactions

I’ve looked at Ugee 1910B reviews in different places, and this seems overall to be a pretty well-liked tablet, with praise for the pressure curve. On the negative side, some people have technical issues with the drivers and aren’t happy with the help they’ve received. Occasionally there are issues with the pens ceasing to work, which could be from the battery.

The company seems to issue replacements of the tablet, pens, or parts when needed. In my own contact with Ugee, they responded quickly and helpfully—though my contact was with the general rep, not tech support. They do not seem to have elaborate customer support with screen sharing, but most places don’t. They have a Facebook page where you could upload images or videos if you’re having problems, and they can also be reached via email or Skype (or WeChat if you use that).

The Verdict

The verdict for this Ugee 1910B review is that it’s is a really good deal for the price. It works well, with the pressure curve being comparable to or superior to Wacom. It does not have all the features of a Wacom, but it’s similar to other Cintiq alternatives.

Despite the screen resolution being a bit low, and the colors not super accurate, but you can check against your computer monitor. The Ugee is a fine choice for artists on a budget, for students, or beginners wanting to try a tablet monitor without a big investment. While you may want to eventually invest in a Cintiq, this is a fun and solid drawing tablet with a screen.

I have only had the tablet a short while, so I will be doing more testing and adding more pics.

Check price and read more Ugee 1910B reviews on Amazon

 

 

 

 

Tablet monitors

Artisul D13 review: quality pen display tablet lets you unplug

Artisul D13 review: Cintiq alternative lets you unplug

artisuld13review

Artisul D13 with U-Pen

See it on Amazon

Artisul is part of UC-Logic, a Taiwanese company that has been making digitizer tech since the 1990s. The Artisul line, which includes the Artisul D10 (which has very similar specs to the D13 but is smaller) and Artisul Pencil Sketchpad, are the first tablets company has produced, and their Web site describes the tablets as the culmination of a dream.

The D13 is a tablet monitor you might consider if you are looking for a Cintiq 13HD alternative. Artisul kindly lent me an Artisul D13 for review.

The tablets are designed in San Francisco and created in Taiwan. The name comes from Art and Soul. Will this drawing tablet find a place in your heart?

Type of tablet

Tablet monitor/pen display tablet (draw on screen)

Digitizer

UC-Logic
Electromagnetic resonance (EMR)
2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity

Dimensions

13.3″ diagonal screen

What’s in the Box?

Tablet
Pen (called U-pen)
Pen case with 9 extra nibs and nib remover
Pen stand
HDMI cable (HDMI on one side, mini HDMI on other)
USB cable (USB on one side, micro USB on other)
Y-type cable
Power adapter, plugs for U.S./Asia, Europe, Australia

Opening the box, you can’t help but being wowed by the presentation. The cables and small items come in individual, black, quality cardboard boxes in a sturdy, sleeved box with a foam-lined lid. The tablet is sleek and solidly built, and the slim, gold-trimmed pen looks would look good in one of those fancy pencil cups executives keep on their desks. The D13’s packaging pretty much screams “gift me!”

artisul d13 review

Unboxing the D13. There’s an outer sleeve with a box inside.

Features

Works with: Win 7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS 10.8 or later
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Active Area: 11.5″ x 6.5″
Weight: 2.42 lbs. (1.1kg)
Dimensions: 12.8″ (L) x 7.6″ (W) x 0.7″ (H) (in mm: 389.0 x 250.7 x 14)
Screen: LCD, 13.3″ FHD 1920 x 1080 IPS
Wide Viewing Angle: 178° (89°/89°) H, (89°/89°)
Brightness: 300 nits
Resolution 5080 LPI
Reading speed 200 PPS
Powered by: USB 3.0, HDMI input
6 assignable hotkeys and Quickdial scroll wheel on tablet
2 pen buttons

The build quality is excellent, with a solid plastic body. I only had a it a month, but the ports seem durable and the cables fit well. The thin, relaxed cables actually put less stress on the connectors.

Unusual Features of the Artisul D13

One really cool thing is that you can power the Artisul off your computer’s battery alone. This will work with a single USB 3.0 port, or two 2.0 ports. This ability to unplug  is a major advantage for those who want to work in places out of reach of a wall outlet. You also have the option of plugging the tablet into an outlet. This ability isn’t unique (a small Yiynova also offers this feature, as mentioned in this New York Times article about trying out a Cintiq and a rival), but it’s not common.

Another unusual feature is that in Windows, the Artisul will work and get pressure sensitivity just from the pen and digitizer alone, without even installing the driver. Without the driver, you won’t be able to customize the hotkeys and other settings, of course, but let’s say you just got the tablet and have no Internet connection–you can still use it. On Mac, you will need the driver to use the tablet.

Portability

At 2.42 lbs., it’s quite portable–of course, you will also need to have a computer. The lightweight power cords and option to power from the computer alone adds to the Artisul’s portability.

For lefties

The tablet can be turned so that the hotkeys are on the left side, making it suitable for southpaws.

Setting up the Artisul D13

Documentation

The documentation is well-designed, but it could be more thorough. Some of the cables may not be familiar to everyone; the detailed diagram in the manual is hard to see clearly; and the instructions take you through, but don’t always explain what to expect. For instance, I thought the installer would show up on the desktop, but had to click on it from inside the folder instead.

There are ample instructions about working with different graphics cards, and some troubleshooting tips.

Cables

There are several cables you’ll need to use, including a splitter. Though it’s a lot, there’s no large power brick. To avoid having so many cables, you may choose to work more often using your computer power.

If your computer lacks an HDMI port, you will need to supply an adapter; that doesn’t come with it. (You can ignore the note in the Artisul manual about only using Artisul cables as far as HDMI adapters). You can find them on Amazon for various connections.

Artisul drivers

Installing the drivers is easy, though if you’re new to it, setting them up may be a little tricky. Like Cintiq drivers, the Artisul drivers offer lots of customization options. Once set up correctly, they perform well and and are free of the unpredictability that plagues some drivers in budget tablets.

More description on the download page of which driver to choose would be helpful–for instance, the word “beta” might scare some people off, but the beta drivers have been deemed ready to use. Capabilities varied a bit on different programs and different operating systems. The company continuously works on the drivers.

Be sure to uninstall all other tablet drivers you’ve previously installed before installing the D13 drivers.

You can use a mouse and pen, but you cannot use both at the same time. You can map the D13 to multiple monitors.

There are some preset hotkeys (the co. calls them FastAccessKeys) for Photoshop, CorelPaint, Clip Studio Paint (Manga Studio), and some basic defaults.

Though the drivers look like Huion’s, such as the little icon of a tablet and pen, UC Logic and Huion are not related. In fact, Artisul says UC Logic launched a lawsuit against Huion.

U-Pen

The batteryless, cordless fine-point U-pen weighs just 11 grams. It looks very much like a ballpoint pen. It would give more balance and drawing oomph if it weighed more, but I prefer light to too heavy, and didn’t feel that the lightness affected my drawing. Your hand won’t get tired holding this pen for hours. If you’re a fan of heavy pens, this one may feel too light.

It comes with 9 nibs nested neatly into the pen case. The nibs are hard, and they’re all the same; they don’t have different tips or pen choices.

This Artisul tablet is aimed at the educational market as well as consumer, and I think the pen, being light and suitable for small or larger hands, is ideal for kids middle-school age and up for note-taking and art. It’s used in classrooms for creative learning, writing, and calligraphy, and the company offers a student discount for educators and students in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Screen

The screen comes with a removeable, replaceable anti-glare matte screen protector that cuts glare and allows the brightness of the display to shine through. It gets fingerprinty, but cleans up well. As with other tablet monitors, you can wear an artist’s glove to keep the screen clean and keep moisture from your hands from sticking.

Neither the D13 nor the 13HD are super sharp, both being HD, but the display looks good. The screen gets a bit fingerprinty, but cleans up well. You can wear an artist’s glove to not only keep the screen clean, but to keep moisture on your skin from causing stickiness.

The screen protector has slight texture that’s pen-and-paperlike and not slippery or glossy.  It lacks the rougher “bite” of the Cintiq but has some tooth. The D13’s surface provides enough traction for a pleasant drawing experience. There are color calibration settings. Colors are bright, with a 75% percent Adobe RGB coverage, same as Cintiq 13HD. Bottom line, the screen is nice.

Drawing on the D13

The drawing experience is excellent. I got no lag when drawing and almost no parallax (the slight gap between pen tip and screen) either; the line was right under the tip; I did not have to keep an eye on the cursor to see where my line would appear.

The D13’s pressure curve is smooth. The pen makes a bit of tapping noise, but no squeaking, as can happen with glossier screens.

cintiq alternative reviews

Drawing with the U-Pen

Drawing on the Artisul easily matches drawing on a Cintiq. The Artisul uses EMR tech, as does Wacom, each using their own technology. EMR offers the most sensitive digitizer outside that of Apple’s iPad Pro. You don’t have to press hard at all to make a mark with the Artisul pen.

I don’t have a number for the initial activation force, but I noticed dragging the tip lightly across the screen made marks, also some skips due to my not being able to precisely control the pressure. This means it’s very sensitive. The pen is also lighter than the Cintiq’s. I would guesstimate that this is as sensitive as the Cintiq.

Palm rejection worked well, with a comfortable hover distance.

Art Programs

Will work with most software, including Photoshop, Sketchbook, Maya, Corel, Clip Paint, Photoshop, After Effects, Anime Studio Pro, Toon Boom, and Affinity Designer. Works with Illustrator, but without pressure sensitivity at this time (this may change). I tried it with Photoshop, Sketchbook, Gimp, and Illustrator. Photoshop and Sketchbook worked great. The manual has instructions about working with Paint Tool SAI.

I told the company about some issues I had with Gimp with one of the drivers and they quickly identified the problem and said they’d fixed it (that was after I returned the tablet). Later they said they had a new Windows driver that fixed that issue plus some others.

Controls

The six hotkeys are on the tablet and are round and a good size. They’re a little bit stiff to click on. You can program the hotkeys to presets, or customize your own commands. You can also assign them to different programs–the programs don’t automatically show up in the driver as with Wacom; on the Artisul, you program the buttons, then save them, and on the next screen assign them to the applications of your choice. There’s also a scroll wheel. The two pen buttons are programmable to an extent.

The stand goes from 13 to 70 degrees, which is a lot more flexible than the Cintiq stand’s three positions. Easel mode is good for working on and gallery mode for admiring your work.

Artisul Freestyle Stand

artisulstand

The Artisul Freestyle stand is made of is fully adjustable to any angle between 13 and 70. You can use it when drawing in “easel” mode or upright in “gallery” mode. (20 degrees is an advisable angle to draw on for good ergonomics).

artisul stand gallery mode

Artisul Freestyle stand in gallery mode

Artisul D13 vs. Cintiq 13HD

The Cintiq 13HD and Artisul D13 have a lot in common, and some differences.

Win for Artisul: Artisul is more portable because it doesn’t always be plugged into a wall outlet. The display is 50 nits brighter. There are six hotkeys embedded into the tablet body, as opposed to just four with the Cintiq 13HD. The screen protector is removeable and replaceable. The Artisul Freestyle stand adjusts to any angle between 13 and 70, as compared to the Cintiq’s 3-position stand.

The response rate of the monitor is 19ms to the Cintiq’s is 25 ms (milliseconds)–lower is better. 

Win for Cintiq: The Cintiq offers tilt sensitivity, rotation sensitivity with an optional pens, and pressure sensitivity in Illustrator two pen buttons have more customization options. The Cintiq’s pen has an eraser end, which also has 2,048 levels of pressure.

The Cintiq has various kinds of pens and nibs as an optional purchase. The Cintiq screen has more “bite,” though Artisul’s has enough.  Cintiq comes with some freebie software and Artisul doesn’t. The Cintiq’s cords are simpler.

The Artisul’s design and build are just as good, I think, and its ports seem durable. Many of the Artisul specs are identical to the Cintiq, including screen resolution, resolution in lines per inch (5080), and amount of colors displayed (16.9 million).

Customer support

Artisul was extremely helpful in answering my questions both about products and technical aspects. You can contact them or post on their forum. They will set up a remote screen-sharing session if needed. They are a small and dedicated company and open to feedback.

User reviews and reactions

User reviews have been positive. Reading the Artisul forums and some other comments, some people are having some issues with things like offset, but this should be fixable by adjusting the driver. Some people have had some glitches but overall this tablet has been well-received so far.

Pros

Pressure curve
Quality build
Stylish
Pleasant drawing surface
Comfortable pen width
Lightweight, portable
Reversible for lefties
Drivers work well
Battery-free, cordless pen
Can work without being plugged in to wall
Can work without driver in Windows

Cons

Can be a little tricky to set up, depending on your skills
Documentation could be more detailed
Drivers have some differing features, so it can be hard to know which to choose
Nibs all the same (for now)

The Verdict

This is not a budget tablet, but a high-quality one that offers value. It’s similar to the Cintiq, but has its own character and some unique and convenient features, particularly that you can run it from your computer’s battery, adding to the tablet’s portability. The Cintiq provides more options, but not everyone uses all of them. The Artisul is a durable and well-made tablet with great drawing capability for tablet users whether students or pros.

artisul d13 pen

Artisul U-Pen with nibs and carrying case

 

See the Artisul D13 on Amazon – includes pen and stand

Mini Display Port to HDMI Adapter on Amazon

Extra screen protectors, pens and nibs, cables, and stands are all available on the Artisul site.
end of Artisul D13 review: Cintiq alternative lets you unplug 

Tablet monitors xppen22review

XP-Pen 22 review: a tablet monitor that rivals Cintiq 22HD

XP-Pen 22 review: a Wacom alternative that rivals Cintiq 22HD

The company started in Japan in 2005, has offices in Taiwan and China, and in 2015 XP-Pen opened in the U.S. The company states that product development is in the U.S. and meets U.S. standards.

Type of tablet

Pen display monitor or tablet monitor (Draw on the screen, must be connected to a computer to work–like a Wacom Cintiq)

XP pen 22 review

See the XP-Pen 22 on Amazon

 

The XP Pen comes in both 22″ and 10.1″ models. This XP-Pen 22 review will focus on the 22″. A 27″ model is slated to come in late 2016.

 

What’s in the Box?

Two pens
One pen charging cable with pin-type USB charger
pen holder
8 nibs
nib remover
CD (drivers also available on the XP-Pen site)
smudge-protection glove
screen protector
power adapter, power cord
VGA cable, USB cable, HDMI cable, HDMI to Mac adapter cable
user manual
cleaning brush
microfiber cleaning cloth
Adjustable stand (attached to monitor) made of plastic with rubber on feet
monitor has rubber on base and bracket

 


Features

Weight: about 15.4 lbs (7 kg)
2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity
IPS LED screen with good viewing angles (178 degrees, or +/-89 degrees)
Dual-monitor, Mirror/Extended mode
Diagonal 21.5″
57 x 321 x 30 mm
active area 18.76″ x 10.5″ (476.64 x 268.11 mm)
16:10 aspect ratio
worth with Windows (XP through Windows 10) or Mac. No Linux.
1920×1080 dpi up to 16M colors
VESA-mount compatible
Report rate 220rps
Accuracy (parallax, gap between pen’s drawn line and screen) plus or minus .01 in
Resolution 5080 lpi
UC-Logic digitizer

The tablet is not multitouch, meaning you can’t use your fingers to paint or do anything on it.

For Lefties

It’s fine for lefties. Controls are on the right side, but they don’t need to be used frequently. There are no Express Keys.

Screen

The display, color quality, and resolution are equal to the Wacom Cintiq 22HD non-touch model. There’s no real difference there. On the XP-Pen’s glossy screen, colors look brighter; there is little difference in covered color gamut between the two. The matte screen of a Cintiq tends to mute the color, though many find it preferable to draw on as it offers a paper-like “bite.”

You can choose a 4 or 9-point display calibration. Pen accuracy is very good, and most people say they do not need to calibrate it as it’s calibrated correctly out of the box.

The included glove, which is pretty large, keeps your screen clean and smudge-free. The glove has nothing to do with the palm rejection, so you do not have to wear it if you don’t want. It covers your pinkie and ring finger only, so your hand slides smoothly across the screen. Without it, you may find that your hand may stick to the screen while drawing broad strokes.

A screen protector is included, but you might choose not to use it. It cuts down on the glossy glare. The pen slides quickly, since the screen is slick. Using a protector slows it down somewhat. Some people like to draw on a glossy surface; others prefer a textured screen such as that on the Cintiq, or a more matte screen protector.

The 178-degree viewing angle means the picture will be clear even if you are standing somewhat to the side of it, up to 89 degrees on each side.

Unlike Wacom, the XP-Pen doesn’t offer a  multitouch model. Multitouch isn’t necessary to draw with and some artists don’t even use it if they have it. Reasons to use it are to take advantage of the increasing Adobe software touch features, and it can be seen as future-proofing the device for a while. Others just like to finger paint or manipulate tools by hand.

Pen

The pen has good tracking, with a bit of parallax due to the thickness of the screen, as do Cintiqs. No one has reported lag or jitter. The company says the digitizer does not create jitter.

The pen features an auto-sleep function to save battery life. It takes 1 to 2 hours to charge the pen, which will last a couple of weeks depending on use. Because two pens are included, you can keep one charged and switch to it when needed.

The pen has a blue light indicator to signal when the battery is low. The pen is rechargeable, but the battery that comes in it is not replaceable.

While charging, the pen light will be red until fully charged.

The two buttons on the pen are programmable in the driver. You can toggle it with just one click and one hand, since the button is within reach of your drawing hand’s fingers, so you could program one button to switch to the eraser, which could save you time. The pen does not have an eraser on the back end.

The pen’s build quality isn’t as premium as Wacom’s Cintiq pens, which do not take batteries so they do not need to be charged. It’s just a different technology.

The XP-pen has an unusual feature, the ability to let you choose an angle in the pen settings that will remember the way you hold the pen. The settings are for 0, 90, 180 or 270 degrees. The tablet doesn’t have true tilt sensitivity, but you could readjust the pen-angle settings to get a rather labor-intensive facsimile if you need that. You can, of course, freely draw at any angle you want. Lack of tilt sensitivity means that the line will not change as it would if you were holding a real pencil.

Tilt sensitivity is not a dealbreaker for most people. Nor is rotation sensitivity (barrel roll, when you can twist the pen to make patterns), which this also doesn’t have–only the Wacom Intuos Pro and Cintiqs support rotation sensitivity, and only with certain pens.

The pen can be squeaky while vigorously drawing or erasing, but as the nib wears down it should stop squeaking.

There is only one kind of pen, whereas with Cintiqs, there are several options for pens and nibs.

 

Tablet and Stand

The buttons are on the bottom, but are easy to reach because the stand lifts the tablet above the table. The monitor build quality as a whole isn’t as premium as Wacom’s, but it’s solid and stable. Though there are volume controls, there are no speakers; they are for speaker support.

The device is made of rugged textured plastic with rubber on the base and bracket.

The stand can be adjusted up and down to any angle but does not rotate (the Cintiq 22’s metal stand both rotates and goes up and down) It’s a good idea to replace the stand with a mounting arm such as this Amazon Basics one.

The monitor sits on the stand above the table, making the buttons, which are on the right and along the bottom, easy to access. The ports for the cables are on the back, and a little hard to get to because of the stand. The cables can also get mixed up in the stand.

The stand is removeable; you can replace it with a mounting arm.

Software

Programs for Mac and Windows,including open-source software, work fine, including Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI, Illustrator, Open Canvas, Comic Studio, and Zbrush

Here’s the company’s video, so you can see the XP-Pen in action:

 

Drivers

Some users report no problems at all and others had some glitches. The XP-Pen site has a page of troubleshooting tips. Drivers from other tablet systems, such as Wacom, should be uninstalled. So if you want to switch off with a Wacom tablet or Cintiq, you would have to reinstall those (it’s probably a good idea to uninstall the XP drivers before reloading the Cintiq ones). There don’t seem to be major driver issues overall.

TIP: There is a conflict in Windows 7 and 8 laptops where the XP “Star” driver may stop the computer from being able to type. This is fixable and the fix is covered in Troubleshooting on the XP-pen site.

Pros

Value
Screen and display of high quality
Good accuracy
Comes with generous amount of extras (extra pen; several types of cable; cleaning brush and cloth, screen protector, adapter for Mac)
programmable pen buttons

Cons

No programmable express keys
No tilt or rotation sensitivity; pen tilt is manually adjustable, though.
No multitouch option
Pen needs to be charged, though the extra pen helps
Only one type of pen and one type of nib, as opposed to the variety vailable for Cintiq

User reviews and experiences

Users have been positive about this tablet. They report no dead pixels (a problem sometimes with Cintiqs, though it could be that many more Cintiqs are sold, since Wacom takes most of the market).

Artists have had few issues with it, and many did not have to do any calibration at all. They do well using a mounting arm. Some felt the stand wasn’t very useful. Several report that the XP’s colors are slightly better than on a Cintiq.

One XP-Pen 22 Display review said this tablet monitor is the same as the Ugee 2150. This is quite possible. Both have UC Logic drivers, as do the majority of other Wacom alternative tablet monitors.

Some have commented that this is one of the best Cintiq alternatives in its class.

Customer service

The customer service has received praise, and people are available via Skype from the U.S., China, and Taiwan. Email addresses and phone numbers are also on the XP-Pen site. XP-Pen emphasizes its commitment to listening to customer requests and taking them into consideration in product development.

They state their commitment to the environment as well, with all products conforming to the European ROHS  standards, which restrict hazardous substances in electronics.

The Verdict

The XP-Pen is an excellent and economical choice as a Wacom Cintiq alternative. It offers almost all the Cintiq 22HD’s features, with only some bells and whistles missing–chief among them are tilt/rotation sensitivity, the XP-Pen tablet’s lack of programmable express keys, the coating over the screen, and a touch option (the Cintiq 22HD comes in two models, the 22HD and the 22HD Touch). While many had no problem with drivers, some did.

So, some willingness to troubleshoot potential driver issues is in order; the company is helpful but you may need a bit of confidence with such matters. This XP-Pen 22 review gives a thumb’s up as an impressive art tool and Wacom Cintiq alternative.

See the XP-Pen 22″ display on Amazon.

See the XP-Pen 10.6″ display on Amazon.

Accessories

Amazon Basics mounting arm lets you mount, rotate, and tilt the screen as you wish.

Read our review of Yiynova tablet monitor.

Read our review of the Cintiq 13HD tablet monitor.

Read the homepage article for more help finding the best drawing tablet, read the homepage a

end of XP Pen 22 review

 

Tablet monitors Yiynova MVP22U.V3 review

Yiynova MSP19U+ Review (model with Vesa stand)

Yiynova MSP19U+ review: large pen display won’t break the bank

by Tablets for Artists

Update: This newer Yiynova MVP22U.V3 has fixed some of the issues of the 19U. We recommend this one over the MSP 19U, and will be adding more information on it.  See more reviews and info on Amazon.

Update: Yiynova MVP22U.V3 worth a look

Yiynova MVP22U.V3 review

Yiynova MVP22U V3

Yiynova MSP19U+Yiynova-msp19u-review

For a small fraction of the cost of a Cintiq, you can have a Yiynova tablet monitor by the Chinese company Yiynova. While the first iteration of the this monitor, the MSP19, had some issues, this second one, the MSPI9U+, has remedied most of them, and the slightly higher price tag is worth it . The Yiynova at 19″ delivers almost as much screen real estate as the Wacom 22″, but it is far lighter. At about 9 lbs., I wouldn’t call the MSP19U+ highly portable, but it’s not as desk-bound as the 22″ Cintiq. The Yiynova works with Mac and Windows.

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

The monitor, pen with 2 spare nibs, clip to attach it to the monitor, nib removal tool, attached mini USB, power supply, quickstart guide for Mac and PC, CD with drivers, and documents. The warranty (good for U.S. only) is one year, serviceable by The Panda City in Taiwan.

 

FEATURES

The Vesa-compatible kickstand, which is non-detachable, lets you prop up the Yiynova and has an adjustable angle of 5 to 45 to 90 degrees. Or you can use on Ergotron arm. Drawing area is 19″ diagonal with a 16:10 wide screen. There are 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, as many as the Cintiq. There are 16.7 million colors. It has a VGA input, a VGA output, a USB cord that is hardwired to the tablet, and a pen with kit. The pen needs an AAA battery. You can use it with multiple monitors.

System Requirements (for the -19U and -22U):

PC with USB3 port, video card with either VGA port, DVI port, or HDMI port (or mini-display port)

If your computer has a DVI or DisplayPort input, you will need a VGA to DVI cable.

Windows 7 or up, Mac 10.8 or up

What’s a VESA stand?

VESA stands for Video Electronics Standards Association, and being VESA-compatible means the mount, the square that attaches to the stand and the monitor, is of a standard size that can fit most TVs and modern flat-panel monitors.

 

 

Yiynova-msp19u-features-1

 

 

SCREEN

The screen is glassy, and smooth, reflective, not the matte of the Cintiq. While the Cintiq feels more like drawing on paper, the Yiynova gives you more of a glide. The colors start out a bit cool but can be calibrated.

The Yiynova lacks the expansive viewing angles of the Cintiq’s 175 degrees. The Yiynova’s are 85 degrees horizontally and 80 degress vertically, so you need to be more or less right in front of the Yiynova to see what’s on the monitor. Personally that’s how I work anyway, but to some it might be annoying.

The screen has a far lower resolution than the Wacom. It’s 1440 x 900. While users of the previous model complained of jagged lines in raster programs and font-rendering problems, this model has a different digitizer, so this problem has been solved for most. However, there are still some complaints.

The color gamut is a standard 16.7 million. Color calibration can be more difficult on the Yiynova than on the Cintiq. The display is bright and cheery with its LED backlight (which the Cintiq does not have). All the same, the colors themselves won’t necessarily be as bright as on your main monitor; this is also true of the CIntiq.

A smudgeguard glove will be useful, as fingerprints show on the glassy surface.

YIYNOVA PEN

The plastic pen has a rubber grip and two clicker buttons on the side. It needs an AA battery. The pen feels cheap compared to Wacom pens. It also lacks an eraser; you have to use the eraser tool in your art program, but that’s not a big drawback.

The pen requires a single AAA battery that should last for months with frequent use. It has a low-battery indicator light. The pen gets 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, just like the Wacom. It just has the one size nib, unlike the varied nibs of Wacom. The Yiynova comes with a “kit” including a spare nib and nib remover.

There is far more parallax in the Yiynova than the Cintiq, you see a good quarter-inch between the stylus tip and the line. While this takes a bit of getting used to, it actually makes it so you can see what you are drawing better, since the pen isn’t in the way. But it takes the experience a further step away from pencil and paper. When looking straight at it, it’s not noticeable.

CONTROLS

This model has power and adjustment buttons on the lower right side of the device. There are no controls on the front–that means no programmable ExpressKeys.

SOFTWARE

The drivers are more difficult than the Cintiq, though I can’t say that using Cintiq drivers is always a breeze. You need to uninstall all other tablet drivers before installing the Yiynova ones. You need to use two drivers. It’s better to use the ones from their Web site rather than the included ones on the CD, because the site will have all updates.

Unlike the Wacom, you can’t do things like mapping the drawing area, it’s just a 1:1 shot of your screen. I only use this anyway even with the Cintiq, but some artists might miss the extra features. The driver’s limitations compared to the Cintiq are one of the biggest differences between the two. The Yiynova works with any art or other software your computer works with (Photoshop, Illustrator, Toon Boom etc.)

 

PORTABILITY

At 11 pounds, it is not very portable, but if you really had to take it somewhere you could do this far easier than you could with the much heftier Wacom 22 and 24s.

 

USER REVIEWS AND RATINGS

Most of those who have written a Yiynova MSP19U+ review or participated in discussions have been positive.

Customers really like the feeling of the pressure sensitivity, and they love the price. The things that I thought might annoy them seem to be OK, such as the parallax, and some do not notice it at all, or only notice it on 25% of the screen. It would depend on the angle you are viewing from. One said he prefers the parallax because he can see his whole drawing now.

Some said the included cables are not long enough to use with a desktop computer, so they used their own cables. One Yiynova MSP19U review said the Yiynova colors because it doesn’t have the anti-glare screen of the Cintiq and therefore the colors are truer and the line more accurate; others miss the traction of the Cintiq screen and feel the Yiynova colors are less vibrant. Biggest complaints are the limited viewing angles and that the pen is not as good as Cintiq pens. Parallax does not seem to be much of an issue.

Some versions of Sketchbook Pro do not work in dual monitor mode (see below). Sai Paint Tool has also had problems in dual monitor mode.

Sketchbook Pro 6.0 and 7.1.1 work on dual monitor mode. Sketchbook Pro
6.02, and 7.0/7.1 won’t work in it.

TIP: For Sai Paint Tool, Yiynova suggests this solution:

Go to the SAI data folder and find the misc.ini file
Use the text editor to change the line
TabletMouseSimulation = 0
to
TabletMouseSimulation = 1

then restart Sai. This might fix the cursor issue.

 

PROS

Price a fraction of the Cintiq

functions

display brightness

ease of use

customer service

VESA-compatible stand is solidly built.

 

CONS

Pen not as good as Wacom’s

drivers can be difficult

viewing angles are limited

screen resolution not high, leading to some having issues with jagged lines and font rendering.

no programmable keys

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customer service, provided by Panda City, is fast and excellent. They give detailed help in response to problems customers mention, and show that they are listening and concerned. They are closed on weekends, as is Wacom. The manuals and specs are all on the company Web site. Though the English is imperfect, it’s understandable.

This pen display tablet offers a lot of value to both hobbyists and pros, and can be compared to the Cintiq. Some artists like its underdog appeal. Others might miss the controls of the Cintiq, such as the ExpressKeys and rocker ring, which can streamline workflow.

INCLUDED ACCESSORIES:

It comes with a handy carrier with plastic handles, stylus, power supply, mini USB, and male VGA cable. As with the Cintiq, you will need to get an adapter if you have a Mac.

THE VERDICT

The more expensive Wacom Cintiq is better in many small ways, but with the closest-sized Cintiq, which is the 22 inch, costing almost 4 times as much, this Yiynova is a good, reliable solution for a student, and entry level designer, or any artist on a budget.

 

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

You might want an HP single monitor arm to make work more comfortable, and a longer cable if you need.
hp single monitor arm

 

 

HP Single Monitor Arm

Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm, Tall Pole

Yiynova Artist Gloves

The Original Smudg G’luv L/xl! For Smudgeless Touchscreen Operation

New Tablet Pen with kit for Yiynova U series tablets

Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

StarTech.com DisplayPort to VGA Video Adapter Converter

See our review of the XP-Pen 22 tablet monitor.

See our review of the Wacom Cintiq 13HD.

end of Yiynova MSP19U review

Tablet monitors

Wacom Cintiq 13HD review, now with Cintiq 13HD Pen and Touch

Cintiq 13HD Review: quality tablet gives you choice of pen or multitouch too

by Tablets for Artists cintiq-13HD-review

Wacom Cintiq 13HD

This article has been updated to include the Cintiq HD Touch.

The Cintiq has long been considered the top-of-the-line tablet for artists, including illustrators, graphic designers, fine artists, video artists, and photographers. Its high-resolution 13.3-inch, 1920×1080 display can render 16.7 million colors and offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. The Cintiq 13HD is the successor to the 12UX. Weighing 2.6 pounds, it is considerably lighter than the 12ux. The peripherals (cables, converter box, power supply) add about another 6 pounds. This is about 2 pounds less in total than the 12ux. The dimensions are 14.75 x 9.75 x 0.5”.  The expansive 178-degree viewing angle lets you see the image on the screen if you’re not directly in front of it.

TYPE OF TABLET

The Cintiq is a  tablet monitor, pen display tablet, or hybrid (those are all terms that apply to it), meaning it’s a monitor that combines a digitizer and screen so you can draw directly on the screen. It If you have never used a drawing tablet with screen, the experience is hugely different, even life-changing. You can choose to see the same thing you see in your computer screen or an extended view (this is set up in the computer’s Control Panel) and you can add more monitors as well. It’s quite different than a graphics tablet such as the Intuos or the old Bamboo line (some of the current Intuos lines used to be called Wacom Bamboo).

The Cintiq is pretty easy to set up and comes with everything you need. On a Mac, you will need an HDMI input, an adapter costing about $15 that you have to buy separately. Wacom claims 85% of the art tablet market and is the most well known and trusted name in art tablets. than its competition, such as the Yiynova. Read our Yiynova review here.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Included are a detachable, adjustable kickstand with 3 viewing angles (all landscape mode, not portrait), Pro Pen, a collection of 10 nibs (including the one that comes in the stylus) with a variety of tips, pen case, nib remover, 3 colored pen rings )so if you have more than one pen you can tell them apart) converter box, 3-in-1 cord, installation and driver CDs, and manual, and a download key for bundled software. (The main photo on Amazon is actually incorrect since it shows the old pen holder; you now get a plastic case for the pen).

CINTIQ 13HD TOUCH

wacomcintiq13hdpenandtouch

 

I’m updating this post to include information about the Cintiq 13HD Pen and Touch (see it on Amazon), more formally known as the Cintiq 13HD Creative Pen & Touch Display. Wacom added multitouch to this tablet monitor in 2015. For two years, it did not have touch. Now you can use gestures to navigate, pan, zoom, and rotate. Larger versions are now also outfitted with touch, including the 22HD Cintiq Touch Interactive Pen Display (note: though for some reason it is not called “pen and touch,” it is), and the mother (in terms of size) of all Cintiqs, the 27″ one. So now you can happily finger paint on the Cintiq and play with vector lines with your finger. Palm rejection works well. You won’t get pressure sensitivity when drawing with your fingers. Art-software companies including Adobe, Corel, and Autodesk, maker of Sketchbook,  are increasingly integrating touch into the interface, giving your more capabilities.

If the topic interests you, here is a YouTube video that shows the Touch and also shows the artist using a plugin to draw with Adobe Illustrator with your fingers and actually get some variable line width based on speed. You can start at about 9:35 to see that demoed.

 

To do what he’s doing with Illustrator–getting a varied line width, you need to use the plugin he’s using. Without the plugin you would still be able to use your fingers to manipulate vector lines and shapes, sort of like on the iPad.

So now the iPad has a full-featured stylus version in the iPad Pro (see our review), and the Cintiq has incorporated touch. Nice that we can all get along.

 

13HD vs. CINTIQ 12UX

There are now fewer cords than the 12ux had; the whole thing is more manageable. The 12WX had a large, heavy converter box with cables sticking out of it, creating cord spaghetti, plus a hefty power brick. The 13HD has simplified the peripherals considerably. In the 12WX version you had to connect the AVI cable and a USB from the computer to the converter box and power brick. Now, a single 3-in-1 cord goes from your computer and branches out to the box that holds the power supply, HDMI port, and USB.  The colors in the 13HD are brighter than in the 12WX. The screen on the 12HD is 13.3″ diagonal and on the 12WX it’s 12.1.” There is less plastic surrounding the screen on the 13HD. The 13HD weighs 2.6 lbs. and the 12WX 4.4 lbs.

 

FOR LEFTIES

The Cintiq is reversible and thus fine for both right- and left-handers.

SCREEN

cintiq-tablet-with-stylus

The beautiful HD display with a 16:9 aspect ration will show off your artwork. The display is ultra sharp. It’s not searingly bright, less bright than it probably is on your other monitor. The screen’s matte finish gives it a pleasing, paperlike bite. The matte finish cuts glare. More space is taken up by the display as compared to the 12UX display, which has quite a bit of plastic around it.

 

You can calibrate colors using your preferred color-calibration software. Only the Cintiq 24HD Touch comes with Wacom’s own color-calibration software, which can be used on the 13HD as well. The detachable stand has 3 positions, the one probably the most comfortable for drawing for most people being the 20 degree one.

 

If you already have a 12UX, the 13HD isn’t a must-have, but it’s more pleasant to use because of fewer weighty cables and boxes and the great HD display. The Cintiq 13HD is no multitouch, only pen input. You can’t use your fingers or hand gestures.

The only Cintiqs with multitouch are the larger, pricier 22HD Touch and 24 HD touch.

Because of the HD screen resolution of 165 pixels, icons in Photoshop will show up small. This is an issue with all high-res tablets. So it can be a little fussy to use, and better to look at Photoshop icons on your main monitor rather than on the Cintiq. (This could just as well be in an Adobe review as a Cintiq 13HD review, since the issue is the software not keeping up, and this should change someday, Adobe willing.)  The 178-degree viewing angle makes it so you can see what’s on the screen from many vantage points.

PEN

cintiq-tablet-with-stylus

The battery-free Pro Pen feels substantial, and the silicon grip makes it comfortable to hold for long periods.  It’s solid but doesn’t feel too heavy. The tip and the eraser each have 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Pen accuracy is great, with very little parallax effect, meaning the line you see on the screen appears to be directly where the pen tip is touching it (in reality you are seeing the line under the glass). You can recalibrate the pen easily whenever you want by opening up the calibration screen and tapping on a series of points. The pen has a tip switch and two side switches for shortcuts and modifiers (these are optionally used).

The grip has no latex, so you don’t need to worry about latex allergies. The pen does not need to be charged. It’s nice to not have to worry about batteries or recharging the pen.  The Pro Pen has plus or minus 60 levels of tilt recognition, so just like in the real world, the line will change according to the angle at which you hold the pen. This tilt can be very handy both in drawing lines and in creating patterns.

The Pro Pen is as it sounds–professional. There’s no advantage to replacing it, unlike with some tablets. While it comes with a nice sent of nibs, if you want even more variety, you can buy additional pens with different tips, such as the Airbrush Pen, and the Art Pen, which has the feeling of a felt-tip marker and allows for painterly strokes.

The Cintiq pen won’t work on tablet PCs, since the technology is different. Some pens work on both Cintiqs and Intuos tablets.

 

PORTABILITY

A Cintiq isn’t the type of thing you can tuck under your arm and run from place to place. On top of its weight of about 8 lbs. including power stuff, you would need to also lug a computer, the Cintiq cords, power brick, and converter box. Taking the whole shebang in a car is fine, and I’ve taken my laptop, Cintiq and all in my carry-on bag numerous times, leaving some clothing behind in order to make room. Airport security, while they allow Ipads through without a hassle, often doesn’t know what to make of the Cintiq and one agent dusted it for explosives! A Cintiq isn’t something people see every day, so leave a few extra minutes for possible airport hassles. There are now a couple of more portable Cintiq options: the all-in-one Wacom Cintiq Companion, which is an artist’s dream, a portable Cintiq (the computer is part of it, it’s the ultimate art tablet PC), and the Cintiq Hybrid, an Android tablet that’s a bit cheaper than the Companion and can work either as a standalone tablet or as a regular Cintiq that attaches to a computer.

 

SOFTWARE

You can use whatever software is on your computer (Adobe Suite, Maya, etc.), and you can use Mac or Windows. According to forums, it can be set to work with Linux. (For more Linux and Wacom info and drivers, please visit this page at Sourceforge.) Wacom drivers are on the Wacom site and also come on an included disk.

 

CONTROLS

The rocker ring and four express keys give you a convenient way to program shortcuts. The default ones are pretty good. You can use these keys to bring up an on-screen radial menu with further options. Personally I use the keyboard shortcuts since I’m used to them. Resizing a brush using the express keys requires several clicks, it can sometimes be simpler to use the commands in your art program.

 

PRICE

At around a grand, it’s pricey, but Cintiqs have held their resale value quite well so far, and they last for years. The 13HD is comparable in price to to a tablet PC such as the Surface Pro. You get more screen real estate with the 13HD, but of course you need to attach it to a separate computer.

TIP: A [easyazon_link asin=”B00115OFJK” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”quicofnow02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Wacom Cintiq 12WX 12-Inch Pen Display[/easyazon_link] 12-Inch Pen Display may be a good option if you’re really counting on a Cintiq but the 13HD is out of reach.

 

CONSUMER REVIEWS AND RATINGS

Many users love their Cintiqs, but there are some detractors. In reading each Cintiq 13HD review, we looked for common complaints. The biggest gripe was that the USB connector was loose. There are some workarounds, but they are annoying. Other users had no problem or didn’t think it was a big deal. The USB issue seems to be a fairly common issue with Wacom as well as some other tablet companies.

TIP: A good place to look for Wacom answers and discussions is forum.wacom.eu.

 

PROS

Terrific art experience

Size is big enough to draw comfortably, small enough to hold in your lap

Simple to set up and use

Can outlast your computer; can be used with different computers and operating systems, including netbooks

Holds resale value

Pen is battery-free and does not need to be charged

 

CONS

Jitter in corners, common in Wacom digitizers

Some users complain of USB port looseness

Not easily portable

Some users have issues with the drivers

High-resolution screen means some programs’ tools, such as Photoshop, will be small on the Cintiq (hopefully Adobe will catch up)

Not cheap

 

THE VERDICT

I couldn’t live without my Cintiq. To me, a tablet PC is useful as an add-on or something to travel with, but  it’s not a replacement. I like the line quality I get from the slight bite provided by the matte finish of the screen, it’s closer to what I would get on paper. I also prefer having a dedicated work area, one I can hold in my lap. I even like to watch movies on it sometimes (got to take a break from art now and then). If portability is a priority, the Cintiq may not be for you.  If you need a lower price, there are some other feasible options, though Wacom is still top of the line.

 

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

 

wacom-6d-art-pen

6D Art Pen
The 6D art pen is great for painting. It’s compatible with other Cintiqs and the Intuos Pro 4 and Intuos Pro 5. It’s a chisel-shaped pen tip. You choose whether you want plastic or felt. You can rotate the barrel 360 degrees while drawing for interesting designs. It includes both hard plastic and felt nibs. I use the felt tip to mix colors and get painterly effects.

Read our review of the XP-Pen 22 tablet monitor.

Read our review of a Yiynova tablet monitor.

end of Cintiq 13HD Review