Category Archives: Tablet monitors

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

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XP-Pen Artist 22E review, art testing

XP-Pen Artist 22E review: Express Keys bring it closer to a Cintiq

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The XP-Pen Artist 22E is an update of the XP-Pen Artist  22, a pen tablet monitor in the family of “Wacom alternatives.” It offers many of the features of a Cintiq, without the price tag. I’ll go over the differences.

XP-Pen started out in Japan in 2005, and since then has opened offices in Taiwan; Shenzhen, China; and the U.S. They state their concern with the environment led to them to make their pens battery-free. They were kind enough to send me this tablet to review, so I have had time to test out various art programs on it.

In a hurry? See the XP-Pen Artist 22E tablet monitor on Amazon.

XP-Pen Artist 22E vs. XP-Pen Artist 22

The 22E is an update of the XP-Pen 22. The main obvious change is the addition of the Express Keys. The 22 had no Express Keys. (Those are buttons on the outside of the monitor, or sometimes on-screen keys, that can be programmed with software commands). The 22E also uses A+ LED, which has better color quality than the 22.

The 22E has two sets of keys, eight on each side, making life equally convenient for lefties, righties, and the ambidextrous. They mirror each other, so there are a total of 8 programmable keys, not 16. These are all on the outside. They are slightly raised.

The cords now get tucked vertically in the back. On the XP-Pen 22 they were in a row under the stand. They are now easier to reach. This version does not have speakers. (Installing it, though, may alter the speaker settings on your computer–it did on my Mac–so you may need to go and reset them to continue getting sound from your computer).

 

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XP-Pen Artist 22E review drawing test

 

 

Features

Type of digitizer: XP-Pen
Included EMR pen with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, charges via USB

Display: 21. 5 inch diagonal IPS?)Dimensions: 567 x 326 x 30 mm
Display Area: 476.64×268.11mm
1080p resolution (HD)
178° viewing angles (wide)
4- and 9-point calibration
16 Express Keys (8 are programmable, 8 are mirrored)
Pen has two programmable buttons that map to mouse functions
Color gamut: 72% of Adobe RGB
VESA-compatible
Pen weight: 0.6 oz. (17g)

LPI (lines per inch): 5,080
Response time: 14ms
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Brightness: 250 nits
Ports: USB, DC power, VGA, DVI, HDMI
Report rate: 220 rps
No multitouch (cannot use your fingers to draw–only has pen input)

What’s in the Box

XP-Pen Artist 22E 21.5″ tablet monitor
2 rechargeable pens
Pen power adapter
Cables: VGA, USB, HDMI, HDMI to Mini Display Port adapter cable
Power adapter
Power cord
Stylus pen stand/holder (8 replacement pen nibs and one pen nib removal ring tool inside)
CD driver
User manual
Cleaning cloth
Black drawing glove
Screen protector

 

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Back of the Artist 22E–(ignore the extra cord). The cords in the 22E are vertically next to the stand; making them easier to access; in the XP-Pen Artist 22, they were in a horizontal row beneath it.

 

 

 

Since XP-Pen has included an HDMI to Mini Display Port adapter, you don’t need to buy anything additional to use it with a Mac.

To install the driver, you have to uninstall all other tablet drivers I had zero problems installing the driver on my Mac. On Windows, the tablet icon that you click to open the driver settings, didn’t appear, but I opened the driver settings in the folder.

If you’ve had other tablet drivers on your computer, you’re going to have to uninstall them and all remnants of them–this can be tricky. XP-Pen has a troubleshooting page for driver issues.

The driver lets you program the Express Keys, adjust your pressure sensitivity, test it by drawing with four colors, calibrate the touch points (4 or 9 points), and rotate the image on the screen in 90-degree increments.

It came well-packaged, not fancily, but safely. The accessories are all individually wrapped and put in one box. The box has a handy handle.

Portability

At around 17 lbs. including the stand and power supply, this (or any) large tablet monitor is not very portable. The handle on the box helps. The attached stand folds up. It’s not terribly heavy to pick up, though I would not want to walk around with it for long. The power brick is not that big.

For Lefties

The right- and left-hand columns of Express Keys make this a great choice for lefties.

Screen

The XP-Pen’s HD screen is brighter than a Cintiq, since it doesn’t have that filmy coating Wacom uses to give the screen a paperlike bite. So the XP-Pen screen is smoother, but isn’t too slippery. It’s fun to draw on. The screen doesn’t get that dark even with brightness turned all the way down. Turning it up increases color intensity.

The screen has been measured at 250 nits brightness to the Cintiq 22’s 230 nits.
The pen squeaks a little on the screen once in a while but not often, and that should go away after a while. There were no dead pixels. There was a little dust on the outside of the monitor.

Screen protector

The screen protector had some bubbles that were difficult to get rid of. I also just preferred the feeling of the pen on the screen, so after trying the screen protector I removed it.

Pen

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The pen has a pretty fine tip.

The pen needs to be charged via USB. A full charge takes about an hour and a half, but 30 minutes is enough to work for quite a while. The company says the pen can go up to 130 hours on one full charge. It has red and blue indicator lights showing when it’s charging or low.
The pen has no indentation to grip, but it’s comfortable to hold, and a good weight at 17g–a combination of light enough to not get tired, but giving some balance. The barrel has two buttons. They are easily reachable.

The default settings are right-click and erase, but you can change that in the driver settings. The pen does not have an eraser end. The buttons cannot be customized to keyboard shortcuts, but only to eraser and things your mouse does (right-click, etc.).

Art Software

Mac: I tested on Mac El Capitan: Photoshop, Illustrator, Manga Studio, Sketchbook, and the free programs Gimp, Inkscape, Paint Too Sai, Sculptris, and  Krita.  The pressure sensitivity worked great in all of them (I am not that familiar with Sculptris, a free 3d program, so I was not sure what to expect but the pressure did make a difference).

As expected, the pressure sensitivity doesn’t work in Illustrator; so far, Wacom Cintiqs and Intuos Pros have the monopoly on that. The pressure also, as expected, doesn’t work in the Inkscape calligraphy brush, since Inkscape is similar to Illustrator. You can still use the tablet in those programs, without pressure. Pressure sensitivity worked in vector layers in Manga Studio Pro, so you can draw in vector with this.

The one little glitch I experienced in Mac was that the pen suddenly seemed to stop working, a major bummer. But then I realized it was working, but stuck on the eraser tool. Yet, I still got pen lines in the area of the driver where you can test.

Looking this up, I see it’s an issue on Wacom too, so I’m going to chalk it up to a Mac thing. Unplugging the tablet from the computer then plugging it back in fixed it.

Windows: On Windows 10 I tested Photoshop, Gimp, and Sketchbook, and got the same results–works great.

Controls

There are basic controls on the bottom right. There are no speakers in the monitor, and when you attach it, you may have to change speaker settings to get sound in your computer as it may change the settings (this did happen and it’s on the XP-pen site). The driver settings let you test and adjust pen pressure, calibrate the screen to the pen, and set up the Express Keys.

On the bottom there are controls to adjust brightness, bring up the menu that allows some color adjustments, and the power on/off.

Out of the box, the Express Keys are on default settings that work in all programs.  You can reprogram them to your favorite keyboard shortcuts using the driver settings. The pen’s two buttons are programmable as well, to mouse commands such as right and left-click, and eraser.

Drawing on the XP-Pen 22

Here’s a pen test showing pressing down harder and softer in Photoshop CC. I’m working on some more video.

Me drawing curlicues on the XP-Pen Artist 22E. You can see the pressure sensitivity at work.

Have to say I really enjoyed the XP-Pen Artist 22E for drawing. The lines are fluid, the pen sensitive. I adjusted it to a bit higher in pressure as it’s very sensitive at the lower areas. The driver, which Ugee and XP-Pen developed together, gives a springiness to drawing. XP-Pen (the company) also used to work with UC-Logic (the company), but no longer does.

Tip: On a Windows 10 computer, some programs, including Photoshop and Sketchbook, require “supports digital ink” to be ON in your PC tablet settings in order to get pressure sensitivity.

In Photoshop, remember to have Brush Shape Dynamics turned on.

It seems to take slightly more initial activation force than Wacom to make a mark, but less than N-trig pens of the Surface line. There is a little parallax because of the glass. No jitter whether drawing forward, back, or faster  I didn’t experience any hover issues.

Pros

Sensitive, responsive to drawing
Affordability
Display
Stand
Extra pen, cables, adapter for Mac, glove, and screen protector all included
Easy setup
Ports are in good place
Battery-free pen; charge lasts up to 130 hours of use

Cons

Some have issues with driver installation
No multitouch (pen only–doesn’t respond to hand touch)
Drivers more limited in functions than Wacom’s
No tilt or rotation sensitivity
No pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator (only Wacom has this. But, the XP-Pen does get pressure with vector tools in Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint)
Pen button customization is limited
Stand does not rotate

Stand

The stand is very sturdy and highly adjustable. Simply press a lever in back and it goes from nearly straight up to nearly all the way down, to about 15 degrees. Twenty degrees is considered the most “neutral” and offers the best ergonomics (I confirmed this with a physical therapist). It doesn’t rotate; you can instead rotate the art, turn the tablet itself, or use a mounting arm. The monitor is VESA-compatible.

XP-Pen Artist 22E vs. Cintiq 22HD: main differences

Same: display resolution, size, line resolution, pressure levels, Adobe RGB coverage. The Cintiq 22 pen still has 2,048 levels, not 8,192 like the newer MobileStudio Pro and Cintiq Pro. So pressure levels are the same as the XP-Pen.

The earlier XP-Pen had no Express Keys, and now it does, so that brings it closer to a CIntiq, though the XP-Pen has 8 programmable keys (16 keys in mirrored columns) and the Cintiq has 16 different programmable keys.

The Cintiq is a premium item made of premium materials, but the XP-Pen is solidly built. The drivers give a slightly different feel, both very responsive. Here are the major differences:

Cintiq 22HD:

-Drivers let you customize Express Keys per-app

-Pen has eraser end

-Wacom pen is battery-free and cordless

-Cintiq 22HD Pen and Touch model has multitouch (you can use your hand for gestures such as pan, zoom, and rotate, and you can finger paint, but only the pen gets pressure sensitivity)

-Additional controls such as Rocker Ring, Touch Strip, Radial Menu

-Tilt and rotation sensitivity

-Cintiq stand rotates

-Pen buttons can be customized to keyboard shortcuts

-Wacom pen has different types of nibs

XP-Pen Artist 22:

-Greater affordability

-Brighter (250 nits to Cintiq 22’s 230)

-Screen not coated, so smoother, but not too slippery

-Pen can be mapped only to mouse buttons and eraser

-Comes with extra pen, glove, screen protector

-Pen is battery free, needs to be charged via USB

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XP-Pen Artist 22E up as far as it will go, down as far as it will go, Express Keys close-up

 

 

The Verdict

I can’t find much to complain about. It works well and is great to draw on. This is a good professional or starter pen tablet monitor. It doesn’t have every feature of the Cintiq, so the decision should come down to how much you need those additional features. Customizable keys increase efficiency, but you can draw without using them at all if you prefer, or just use some.

This XP-Pen Artist 22E review is a thumb’s up. The color is bright and vivid, and it gets most of the Adobe RGB. This is a great tablet if you want a large, responsive drawing surface to create digital art.

End of XP-Pen Artist 22E review

 See the XP-Pen 22E on Amazon

UK customers

Canada customers

Compare the Cintiq 22HD:

U.S. customers

UK customers

Canada customers

(Remember that if you want the Cintiq with multitouch, you must get the Pen and Touch version.)

Optional accessories::

Amazon Basics Display Mounting Arm

 

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Ugee 1910B review with art tests

Ugee 1910B review with art program testing: affordable 19” tablet monitor delivers

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Ugee 1910b–click image to be taken to the Amazon store in the country you’re in.

 

 

 

 

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

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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”

 

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.

This was my first time trying an Ugee.

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.

Setting up the Ugee 1910B

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

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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.

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.

Check price and read more Ugee 1910B reviews on Amazon

Link will take you to the local Amazon store for where you’re located.

End of Ugee 1910B review

Artisul D13 review: quality pen-display tablet lets you unplug

the Artisul D13 review: high-quality 13″ pen tablet lets you unplug

artisul d13 review

The Artisul D13 with U-Pen

Artisul is part of UC-Logic, a Taiwanese company that has been making digitizer tech since the 1990s. The company kindly lent me a unit for this Artisul D13 review. The Artisul line, which includes the Artisul D10 (which has very similar specs to the D13 but is smaller) and Artisul Pencil Sketchpad, is the first tablets the company has produced. Its 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 something more affordable than a Cintiq 13HD.

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
Stand for pen
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 Wacom’s offering, 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. The pen is lighter than the Wacom pen and feels about as sensitive.

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 Wacom 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 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: You’ll get tilt sensitivity, rotation sensitivity with an optional pens, and pressure sensitivity in Illustrator. The two pen buttons have more customization options. Also, the Wacom pen has an eraser end, which like the tip has 2,048 levels of pressure.

Cintiq has various kinds of pens and nibs as an optional purchase. Its 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’s, 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. Though some people have had some glitches, overall, this tablet has been well-received.

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)

Artisul D13 review: the Verdict

This is not a budget tablet, but a high-quality one that offers value. It 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 Artisul is a durable and well-made tablet with great drawing capability for tablet users whether students or pros. It’s one of the better, probably the nicest in quality, of the Wacom competitors.

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

xppen22review

XP-Pen Artist 22 review: Wacom alternative rivals Cintiq 22HD tablet monitor

XP-Pen Artist 22 review: affordable Cintiq alternative

Update: XP-pen has released a sequel to this Cintiq tablet monitor alternative, the Artist 22E. You can read our review here: XP-Pen Artist 22E review, art testing. XP Pen tablets are lower priced than Wacom’s, and have much of the same functionality.

The main difference between the XP-Pen Artist 22 and 22E is that the 22E has Express Keys, two sets of them: one on each side, for left- and right-handed use. The XP-Pen 22 does not have any Express Keys.

XP-Pen started in Japan in 2005, has offices in Taiwan and China, and in 2015 they opened offices in the U.S. The company 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.). Also called Cintiq alternative.

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 Artist 22 review will focus on the 22″.

Digitizer: XP-Pen, 2,048 levels of pressure.

 

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; the Cintiq tablet color gamut covers over 90% of Adobe RGB and the XP-Pen over 70%.

The matte screen of a Cintiq tablet 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 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 multitouch 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, or use gestures to pinch, zoom, and navigate.

The included glove, which is pretty large, keeps your screen clean and smudge-free.  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.

Pen

The pen weighs 17 grams and is comfortable to hold. It doesn’t have indentations or a grip, but it has a good balance in the hand. It slides quickly over the glass, since the screen is slick, though not super-slippery.

Using the screen 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 pen has good tracking, with a bit of parallax due to the thickness of the screen, as does a Cintiq tablet.  I did not notice any jitter.

The pen features an auto-sleep function to save battery life. It takes 1 to 2 hours to charge, which will last a couple of weeks, up to 130 hours depending on use. Because two pens are included, you can keep one charged and switch to it when needed. The pen weighs 17 grams.

There’s 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.

Unlike the Wacom Pro pen, this pen does not have an eraser on the back end. The buttons can only be customized for mouse functions, such as right-click, as well as eraser.

XP-22 vs. Cintiq tablet

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

The XP-pen does not have tilt sensitivity. Lack of tilt sensitivity means that the line will not change depending what angle you hold it at, as it would if you were holding a real pencil. Cintiqs have tilt sensitivity.

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 Cintiq tablets 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.

Build and Design

The buttons are on the bottom. They are not too hard to reach because the stand lifts the tablet above the table; still, it would be nice if they were in a more convenient place.

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.

Adjustable Stand

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 and VESA-compatible; you can replace it with a mounting arm.

Art 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 Intuos 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 available for Cintiq

cintiq tablet wacom alternative pen

Look, Ma, no eraser end.

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 feel 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. I have since verified this and it is true. Ugee, another economical art tablet company, partnered on the XP-drivers. UC-Logic once worked with XP-Pen but no longer does.

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 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 Cintiq  alternative.

See the XP-Pen 22″ display on Amazon.

See the XP-Pen Artist 22E, which is an updated 22, this time with Express Keys (and on each side) on Amazon.

Accessories

A mounting arm such as Amaon Basics or Ergotron lets you mount, rotate, and tilt the screen as you wish.

Read our XP-Pen Artist 22E review.

More Wacom Alternatives

Artisul, Turcom, Parblo, Bosto, Huion, Monoprice, and others also make devices similar to the Cintiq and Intuos. The drivers resemble each other though are not all the sam. Some are cross-compatible. Read more reviews of these affordable tablets.

Linux users

Good news for users of Linux, an open-source operating system: XP-Pen says it is working on its own Linux drivers and they will first work on its graphics tablets, then on its tablet monitors. They get a lot of requests.

Related:

Read our review of Yiynova tablet monitor.

Read our review of the Cintiq 13HD tablet monitor.

New to digital art? Check out the homepage article, Best drawing tablet for you: An introduction

end of XP Pen 22 review: HD display rivals CIntiq tablet

 

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

Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

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

See our review of the Wacom Cintiq 13HD.

end of Yiynova MSP19U review