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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 

xppen22review

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

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

Update: XP-pen has released the 22E. I am trying to get a review unit. The main difference 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. You can see the 22E on Amazon: XP-Pen 22E

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.

Digitizer: UC Logic, 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; 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.

See the XP-Pen 22E, which is an updated 22 this time with Express Keys (two sets) on Amazon.

Accessories

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

Related:

Read our review of Yiynova tablet monitor.

Read our review of the Cintiq 13HD tablet monitor.

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

end of XP Pen 22 review

 

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