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Looking for the best drawing tablet 2019? Here are our picks.

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best drawing tablet 2019

A guide to the best tablets for artists in 2019

Creating art digitally more popular among artists than ever. Why should you use one, and which is the best drawing tablet 2019?

In this article we go over the categories of drawing tablet and pick our favorites. The categories are graphics tablets, tablet monitors, tablet PC 2-in-1s, and mobile tablets.

Why use a tablet to draw? Tablets speed up workflow. You can deliver to your client a lot faster. WIth the accurate pens, you can also take written notes. Easily sync and share your work. You can make changes to your work whenever you want. They’re an art studio you can carry around.

Reviews of 2019 drawing tablets

The following are some capsule reviews. Check out the rest of the blog for more detailed ones. Click on the images to see more info, reviews, and to shop.

Best overall art tablet 2019: iPad Pro

If I had to pick ONE, it would be the iPad Pro (read our review). I like the 12.9″ size. It combines portability, a powerful processor, and tilt and pressure sensitivity. With the Apple Pencil and robust drawing apps, the iPad Pro suitable for professional art. You can even use it as a Cintiq along with your Mac using the Astropad app.

ipad pro
Our pick for best drawing tablet 2019

Mobile tablets ideal for illustration, design, photo editing, and digital fine art. A lot of drawing apps now offer almost as much as full Photoshop. You can paint, edit photos and video, and create graphics with the help of pen or finger. If you want to use Procreate, it’s only available on iOS. While you may also want to have a larger tablet monitor, the iPad Pro is a versatile companion.

Looking for Android? We recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. The Wacom S Pen has angle sensitivity and provides a smooth draw.

Best graphics tablet 2019: Intuos Pro

Wacom-Intuos-Pro-2017
Wacom Intuos Pro Medium with Pro Pen

A graphics tablet attaches to your computer while you look at the screen–this is the least costly type of tablet. You can spend from around $40 to several hundred dollars on a graphics tablet with pressure sensitivity.

The Intuos Pro offers an wide array of features including 8,192 pressure levels, tilt, customizable tablet and pen buttons, a variety of pen nibs, and great build quality. The Medium is the most popular. The Intuos is the choice of professional artists. While many prefer to draw on the screen, a generation only had screenless tablet and some still prefer them.

Why is the Intuos Pro again a pick? We think it’s the best graphics tablet 2019 because Wacom keeps ahead of the rest.

Less expensive pro level:

Want something less expensive? Read our review of the Huion 610Pro V2.

huionh10prov2

Best inexpensive small tablet

While this is a bit small to work on large artwork, if you want to draw or edit small or need a signature pad, we liked and reviewed this ultrathin Veikk.

best small tablet for drawing

Read our article on how to choose a Wacom graphics tablet.

 

Best tablet monitor 2019: Wacom Cintiq and Cintiq Pro

best drawing tablet 2019
Wacom Cintiq

A tablet monitor that attaches to your computer where you draw directly on the screen. The most popular one is the Cintiq (above). There are several kinds of Cintiq–the traditional ones such as the one above, and the Cintiq Pro (below), which is thin and light.

Wacom Cintiq Pro

wacom cintiq pro
Wacom CIntiq Pro with optional Express Key controller

The CIntiq Pro (above) is a good value as it has all the Wacom features while being relatively affordable. You can use a stand or VESA mount with it. If you want buttons, you will need to use the Wacom Express Key controller. The Cintiq Pro 24 and 32 have 4K screens.

The Cintiq Pro is a great tablet for those transitioning from an Intuos, for emerging professionals, and for anyone who wants great art features, affordability and portability. Larger, traditional Cintiqs are still ideal for in-studio use and still the choice of top animators.

If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 CIntiq type of experience from Wacom, check out our writeup of the MobileStudio Pro.

Less expensive: XP-Pen Artist 22E

Wacoms are pricey and there are many alternatives that cost much less and offer most of the features. We have tested a lot of these and you can check out our detailed reviews.

best cintiq alternative tablet monitor 2019
XP-Pen Artist 22E: our pick for best Cintiq alternative

Wacom stays ahead of the crowd and is still the top pick of artists. With its advanced features, solid build quality, and customization, most professionals feel that a Wacom is worth the cost.

 

A tablet PC 2-in-1 lets you run full Photoshop and the ability to use an active pen. Once a specialized niche, a computer with a pen and pressure sensitivity is the norm now. Clamshell models let you open them all the way, while others have detachable keyboards.

Best tablet PC 2-in-1 2019: Lenovo Yoga C930

lenovo yoga c930

This was the most difficult category to choose from, as there are now so many tablet PCs on the market. Specs and overall usability as a laptop were the main criteria for these best 2019 tablet PC picks.

The 2019 Lenovo Yoga C930 has a Wacom digitizer with a feeling of natural writing. It weighs a reasonably light 3 lbs. and boasts an aluminum body and FHD screen. (Note: I’m not talking about the Dual Display Yoga Book that has the separate E-ink display, though that’s cool too).

The Lenovo’s 12GB of RAM and long battery life make it a workhorse when running full Adobe programs. The C930 got positive press from Laptop Magazine and other publications. The included active pen garaged in a port in the back that charges it is a selling point for me.

Other top pick: Surface Pro 6

surface pro 6

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The Surface Pro 6 has come a long way. The N-trig Surface Pen is a lot better than it used to be. It now has great accuracy, 4,096 levels of pressure, and tilt sensitivity. It even has an eraser end.

The Surface Pro 6 detaches from the keyboard to give you a dedicated drawing device. The pen even has an eraser at the end. The bright screen is a sharp  2736 x 1824 pixels, higher than the Lenovo above. It’s probably the most popular 2-in-1 and a best tablet PC of 2019.

bestarttablet2019

Pin it please!

 

 

What to look for when choosing a drawing tablet in 2019

Size

Size matters with tablets. Pick what you’re comfortable with. With graphics tablets that have no screen, medium is the most popular. Small can be confining when drawing, and large can tire the arm and take up a lot of space. The best drawing tablet 2019 is a comfortable one.

With tablets with screens, large, 27″ sizes can be a joy to draw on. Rather than positioning the tablet monitor upright, aim for a 30-degree angle, so that you don’t tire your arm. Even a smaller, 13″ tablet monitor can be used for professional work.

Resolution

Most tablets with screens still have HD resolution. Affordable tablet monitors have a wide variety of resolutions from fairly low to HD. Some tablet PCs and the Cintiq Pro 24 and 32 offer 4K.

Digitizer

The digitizer is a layer under the tablet surface. There are several type of digitizer including EMR (electromagnetic resonance), ES (electrostatic) N-trig, and Synaptics, as well as some lesser-known ones, and the iPad Pro has its own kind. The way the pen makes contact with the screen affects accuracy. Most graphics tablets and tablet monitors use EMR.

Pen

You want a pen that’s accurate, comfortable to use, not too heavy, and offers good pressure sensitivity. The maximum now is 8,192 levels, but the numbers aren’t all that important. If you’ve got a tablet with 4,096, 2,048 or 1,024, you will be fine.

Some pens are batteryless because the charge comes from the contact with the screen. Other pens have batteries and a few have cords. Batteryless pens are lighter and more convenient. Some battery-free pens are hollow and others have a bit of heft that may make it easier to draw. I usually weigh them and I think the sweet spot is 16 to 18 grams.

best drawing tablets 2019
huion 610pro v2 cordless, battery-free pen

Tilt

Some tablets offer tilt sensitivity which gives a natural-feeling drawing experience. Tilt means that the way you hold the pen will affect the appearance of the line. The best drawing tablet is one with tilt.

Some pens have eraser ends. Wacom pens for the Cintiqs, MobileStudio Pro and Intuos Pro let you customize the buttons to many commands.

With most affordable tablets, the pen buttons have fewer customization options and most of the affordable tablets don’t offer tilt. Wacom’s Pro line has tilt. Wacom Intuoses also offer a wireless connection option and the CIntiq has a controller to program keyboard shortcuts.

Tablet surface

The surface of your tablet affects your drawing experience a lot. Wacom has a more paperlike surface, whereas the iPad and most Wacom alternatives have smooth glass. Using a matte screen protector can help you get some tooth, which many artists enjoy. Some screens are too glossy and slippery. A matte screen protector can help with those.

best drawing tablet 2019
Intuos Pro in use

Drivers

The driver is software. You download the lastest ones from the company’s Web site. Drivers let you program buttons to pick your favorite keyboard shortcuts, such as Photoshop commands. This saves you time. Some people get great mileage from customizing commands while others might choose to not use them. But everyone has to download the driver to get the tablet to work. Drivers for computers will not also work on mobile devices.

Build quality

You want something durable with connectors that aren’t loose. Less expensive products are often made of plastic, which is less desirable, but usually acceptable.

Computer requirements

Programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator are thirsty for processor power, and the files they create can be large.. So, you’ll get best results with a computer that has at least 4GB of RAM (preferably more). It also should have an i7 processor (you can get away with an i5 for light use).

How we help you find the best art tablet for your needs in 2019

The best drawing tablet 2019 is one that helps you create art without wasting time on things that don’t work. My decades of experience have helped me test and recognize the tools that give the best results. I receive tablets to review. I’ve also tested many a tablet at CES. I keep up with industry developments to bring you a go-to place for 2019 drawing tablet reviews and news.

Want something easier on the wallet? We feel you. Check out our post on cheap drawing tablets.

Acepen AP1060 graphics tablet review

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acepen1060-review

Acepen AP1060 graphics tablet review: customizable pen buttons stand out

Acepen, located in China, makes a wide variety of drawing tablets. They were kind enough to contact me and send me their AP1060 graphics tablet to review. It’s an affordable tablet comparable to the Wacom Intuos.

https://ace-pen.com/

Type of tablet

Graphics tablet. Opaque black tablet, draw on it while looking at screen. Works with Mac and Windows. I used it on Windows 10 and Mac Mohave.

Digitizer

EMR (Electromagnetic Resonance), 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity

What’s in the box

Tablet, pen with nib in it, nib remover ring, 8 extra nibs, micro-USB cable, driver CD, multi-language quickstart guide

(in a rush to see more reviews and info? Go to Amazon to see the Acepen)

Build quality

The tablet is solidly built of plastic. It doesn’t feel hollow. It’s not made of the most premium materials, buy it’s sturdy and has some heft. The shorter sides curve downward, while the long sides have an edge. It rests on four small rubber dots. The bottom has 8 screws. The USB port holds the connector tightly, it’s not loose (more on this later).

Acepen A1060 drawing tablet

Acepen A1060 drawing tablet

I like the bright yellow fabric pen loop on the side, it’s easy to see. I didn’t have trouble fitting the pen into it as with some pen loops. The pen needs to go in thin side first. My package came with a driver mini-CD, but I used the one from the Acepen site.

acepen 1060 review

Drawing on the Acepen graphics tablet

Features

Size: approx. 9.5 x 14″ (57 x 40 mm)

Active area 10 x 6″

Pen loop on side of tablet

8192 pressure levels

Batteryless pen

8 customizable buttons on tablet

Pen button fully customizable

micro USB

USB 2.0

Drivers can be downloaded from Ace Pen site

Reading speed: 226

Resolution: 5080 LPI

Accuracy: +/- .01 mm

Hover distance: 10 mm

Active area indicated by four printed corners

weight 1.39 lbs.

dimensions approx 14 x 8.5 x .31″

Portability

Lightweight and thin, and doesn’t need an external power supply, only the USB cable, so very portable.

For lefties

You can “rotate” the tablet in the driver so that you can physically rotate it to have the buttons on the right side, so it’s fine for left-handed people.

Pen

The batteryless pen is nice, easy to grip, and light but not so light it’s flyaway. It’s got a tapered shape and is about the size of a fountain pen. Because the pen is passive, no batteries are needed. You get 8192 levels of pressure, which is the maximum of any device on the market. There’s no eraser end.

Acepen stylus pen

Acepen stylus pen

Unboxing the Ace Pen 1060

The Ace Pen 1060 came well-packaged printed box. The side says 1060N (I’m not sure what the N stands for). The innards were packed safely. A quickstart booklet with different languages is included. There’s also a thank-you card with contact info for the company (card is not in my photo)

Acepen box contents

Acepen box contents

The design is attractive, with buttons along the side. and over an inch of bezel all around. I like the smooth slope of the long sides.

The first thing I noticed was the shiny surface of the tablet. That’s a removable protective film. There’s also a removable film over the black plastic strip the buttons protrude from. Once removed, that strip is sleek and shiny.

The LED light is, cleverly, a small feather that’s like the company’s logo. The fabric pen loop is a nice and useful touch that most tablets don’t offer. It’s easy to put the pen in (thinner part first), and once in, it’s snug.

The tablet has a total of 8 hotkeys, all on the tablet surface.

Installing the Ace Pen 1060 driver

acepen 1060 driver

Acepen driver

Before you install the Ace Pen 1060 driver, be  sure you have uninstalled any other tablet drivers you have installed. (If you’re using a tablet PC, leave the drivers that came pre-installed with your tablet PC as they are.)

I used the driver from the Acepen site rather than the included CD. The latest versions of drivers will always be online.

Installing it was simple onto both Windows and Mac. With Mac Mohave you have to remember to allow third-party programs to be installed.

The driver created an icon on my desktop generically named Tablet Digitizer. Opening it, the Windows driver had some nice color graphics with shading, while the Mac version used the more common black-and-white outline drawings.

Be sure the micro USB is fully inserted into the tablet. If it’s not, you will get a blinking LED light o the LED indicator between the buttons. The  tablet’s USB port is secure, no slippage.

After installation, the driver guides you to restart. You can then connect the tablet.

Customizing the driver

Customizing the buttons worked and was very simple. You simply right-click in Windows to open a menu and choose your favorite shortcuts. You can’t customize on a per-app basis.

The LED light on the tablet goes on when the pen makes contact with the surface.

You can rotate the tablet in the driver for left-hand or other use. You can also map it to the monitor.

Like most tablets in the affordable range, there is no touch function, no tilt sensitivity, and no wireless option. Note: the company says it’s working on adding tilt.

What this tablet does offer that most in the affordable range don’t is a fully customizable pen button. You can program it to your favorite keyboard commands.

I tried some (not all) customizations with the tablet and pen buttons and they worked fine.

You can adjust the pressure from firm to light in the driver.

Fully customizable pen buttons

Fully customizable pen buttons

A few issues:

The drivers were easy to install, but on my Windows, sometimes I can open the driver without the tablet connected and other times I cannot. Another time, I had to click Run as Administrator. This hasn’t affected the functioning, but I prefer more consistency.

When I tried a working micro USB that did NOT come with the tablet, I had some connectivity issues, getting a blinking LED light (I don’t know the brand of USB). I then switched back to the one it came with and it worked again. The company has mentioned that the tablet does not always work with cables that did not come with it. They don’t sell replacements.

Obviously, if someone loses or breaks the USB, this could become a problem. So I ordered a new micro USB cable to test it. I picked this Amazon Basics micro USB, and it works fine. I now feel better knowing I can reorder a micro-USB if I need to.

Support

Acepen offers lifetime free technical support. They seem responsive to buyer questions. They offer a one-year guarantee of products and free lifetime technical support.

Art program testing

Windows: I tried out Photoshop, Sketchbook, Krita, Paint Tool SAI, and GIMP. Got a very small lag in Photoshop. The driver was pretty sensitive in Photoshop (going from thick to thin quickly).

Like other tablets besides Wacom, you can use the Ace Pen with vector programs such as Inkscape and Illustrator but doesn’t give pressure sensitivity in Illustrator. You can use SAI vector layers with the Ace Pen  if you want pressure in vector drawing.

Mac: Tested Photoshop, Sketchbook, Clip Studio Paint, Krita, Inkscape

Note:  Sketchbook, GIMP, Inkscape, and Krita are all free and can be downloaded online.

On the company’s site, they list compatibility with Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Flash, Comic Studio, SAI, Infinite Stratos, 3D MAX, MAYA, ZBrush, and more.

Drawing on the Ace Pen 1060

The size is enjoyable to draw on, big enough to not feel cramped.

The tablet surface tended to attract fingerprints and oils from my hand (the weather has been very humid during testing). The package didn’t come with a glove or cleaning cloth so you may want to get those, especially the glove.

The tablet has a very slightly beaded surface that’s pleasant to draw on, not slippery or  bumpy. I do miss the rubbery feeling of Wacom Intuos Pros, but the affordable tablets never have that. The pen makes a little bit of noise but not too much.

I do wish there was some space between each button rather than having four pairs (it looks like four buttons but is actually eight), as if you hit one button you might hit the one next to it by accident. But it was easy to get used to and hit the buttons correctly.

The pen (which the company calls a Monet pen)  is pretty stylish and easy to grip. It’s not too heavy or too light.  The pen buttons are easy to get to. I don’t feel at all like I need a grip to help hold the pen.

User reviews and reactions

Reading other reviews, most of them are very positive about the pressure sensitivity, value, and overall experience. A few experienced issues with connectivity and drivers.

Pros

Size
Value
Customizability of tablet and pen buttons
Mappable to monitor
Ease of use
Lightweight, portable
generous amount of extra nibs

Cons

May not work with cables it did not come with
Design of buttons could leave more space
Attracts fingerprints
Driver hiccuped, though no major issues

Ace Pen 1060 vs. Wacom Intuos and Intuos Pro

Comparing the Ace Pen 1060 drawing tablet to the pricier Wacom Intuos, you get a better bang for your buck with the Acepen. You get more levels of pressure and the same resolution, speed, and accuracy. The regular Intuos has 4096 levels and doesn’t have tilt either. (Again, Acepen is planning to roll out tilt).

You don’t get bundled software as you do with Wacom.

The driver for the Ace does almost as much, though doesn’t let you save commands for separate art programs or some other, small features of Wacom.

Comparing it to the Intuos Pro, which is far more expensive, you don’t get tilt, touch, wireless, or bundled software, or app-specific customization, or the ability to use different kinds of physical pens. So the Acepen is more comparable to the regular Intuos but has more pressure levels and may later get tilt.

Acepen AP1060 review verdict:  good starter tablet

It’s a good starter tablet for students and can be used for professional art as well. The feature of having customizable pen buttons make it stand apart from most Wacom-alternative graphics tablets. It gives you a generous size and many of the same features Wacom has while not busting the budget. There are plenty of free art programs online you can use with it.

The USB port thing could be a problem but I’m glad I found one that works with it that I can order anytime.

I’ll continue to use this and take advantage of the high levels of pressure and customization.

See the Acepen AP1060 on Amazon

To buy on Amazon Japan:

https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07RP7QFFG

 

See more best budget drawing tablets

See top drawing tablets 2019

Learn all about tablets for art

What art directors look for in an ILLUSTRATION PORTFOLIO

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illustration portfolio

29 ways to wow with your portfolio

Got the illustrator blues? Pounding the pavement but not getting replies? If only illustrators could read minds, it would be easy to know what art directors want to see in an illustration portfolio. But not being psychic, many resort to plain guesswork.

Luckily, there are some things that art directors often say in in-person talks, articles, and videos. I’ve compiled a list here of valuable tips they’ve deigned to divulge. Some are things they say over and over, while others are less common but struck a chord.

These tips apply to both print “books” (term for portfolio, in case your a newbie) and online portfolios, and though targeted at be illustration portfolios, most apply to other creative fields as well, including fine art, graphic design and photography.

Here’s the list of illustration portfolio tips:

  1. Ease of use is the most-mentioned recommendation for an illustration portfolio. Keep the focus on your work, not on your site design. Don’t make people click more than once to view a larger image. Instead, have thumbnails they can choose from. Navigation should be clear and simple.
  2. Offer downloads of your tear sheets, preferably high-res. Be sure to put your contact info on each one, keeping the look (fonts, placement) consistent. Don’t make the art director do a “print screen.”
  3. Make sure your site loads fast.
  4. Separate your work into galleries on your site, such as animals, people, business, holiday, etc.
  5. Post the type of work you want to get. If you’re no longer interested in working in a style, don’t include it.
  6. Remember it’s all subjective, what one creative director sees as great art is another one’s nightmare. So don’t get discouraged, and be ready for lots of conflicting opinions.
  7. Keep in touch, but not too much. Send postcards twice a year. Holidays are good time to send. Postcards might be kept up on a wall. Include tear sheets and/or postcards in your analogue portfolio as takeaways.
  8. 8 1/2 x 11″ tear sheets are good to have in your portfolio as takeaways or downloads, as these can be kept in a filing cabinet.
  9. Put your art ON things and show them or mail them. Some ADs love little doodads and clever promo pieces. Portfolios don’t have to come in cases.
  10. With a paper portfolio, check each page to be sure it’s clean before you show it. A piece of shmutz or, worse, something scurrying is a sure way to never get a good-news call from an AD.
  11. It’s good to put art in clear plastic pages in your print book.
  12. Don’t drop off original art. Things can get lost or damaged, nothing is 100% guaranteed. Save your fancy handmade portfolio for in-person visits.
  13. Keep images all in one format. That doesn’t mean you have to make all the images vertical, just the way they’re shown. Don’t make people flip the book (or iPad!) around.
  14. They like to see blogs, to get to know you. Keeps them engaged.
  15. They’re watching you. One rep says she keeps tabs on artists she’s interested in. She said be an artist who produces consistently, not one who does things in spurts then fades. So show them you’re still out there, keep your site updated (even if it’s just moving things around), and connect with industry people on social media to subtly help them watch you.
  16. Be a polymath. If you’re open to doing more than one type of work, by casting your net wider, keeping quality and style consistent, variety gives you more chances. Editorial, children’s book, people, animals, lettering, maps, patterns, food, and character turnarounds are all great to include.
  17. Diversity is strength. Show characters of differing backgrounds, ages, and abilities. Also have diversity of format–include a multi-image narrative if you want narrative work. Show a variety of visual angles as well.
  18. Got more than one style? ADs disagree on this. Most say to include a bunch of samples of each style and separate them in a portfolio. But some only want to see one style. Some illustrators actually use different names for their different styles. Their reps may present them that way, being aware that it’s all one multifaceted person. Basically, as long as you show you have mastered each style, it’s probably OK. You shouldn’t limit yourself.
  19. Don’t have published work? Everyone starts somewhere. You can take things such as magazine articles, fairy tales, or stories and create pieces. You’re being evaluated on how you express ideas, so the concept should be clear.
  20. Pick a meaningful point in the text you’re working from to illustrate. It doesn’t always have to be the most dramatic moment–it can be a turning point, a moment before or after an event, or a quiet scene showing the character’s personality–and your interpretive abilities.
  21. Edit, edit, edit–a good print portfolio or online gallery (you can have multiple galleries) should have 12 to 20 pieces. Showing more than that risks viewer fatigue.
  22. Put your best images as the first and last images in a print book or online gallery. That gives a positive impression and last impression.
  23. Have your own site as well as being on larger ones. An art director trying to choose from thousands of creatives on a big site faces choice paralysis, according to these tips on photography portfolios.
  24. Make search easy. Use tags, categories, and hashtags. If an agent wants to see humorous animals dancing on Easter, you should make that possible using tags such as humorous, animals, dancing, and Easter. Sites such as Behance (free with free Adobe account) offer many options such as galleries, projects, and hashtags.
  25. Don’t rely on social media sites to show your portfolio. Those aren’t easy to arrange, according to these tips on arranging your work in a children’s book illustration portfolio.
  26. Make your work shareable online. Add sharing links to individual images and galleries.
  27. Keep updating and removing images that no longer reflect who you are. Pare it down and stay in the present.
  28. Think of turning through pages or clicking through images as dancing to a beat. Be aware of how the viewer will respond to the pacing of the images and page turns.
  29. Having an unusual style of “book” to show in person, such as a handmade one, or an distinctively designed Web site can make you memorable, as long as it creative and matches your brand. If you’re not sure, keep it minimal.

Print or online, stay consistent.

We don’t have control over everything. What we do have control over is presentation. Image arrangement, easy navigation, and consistent branding are all tweaks that can go a long way. If you do the best at what you can, show it off in the best way you can, and carefully curate, your illustration portfolio can impress even the most jaded AD and help you land your dream assignment!

huion610prov2review

Huion 610Pro v2 review: low-cost graphics tablet with tilt

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Huion H610Pro v2 review: a sequel worth the ticket

huion610prov2review

This Huion 610Pro v2 review (also called H610Pro v2) covers the second generation of the popular and affordable Huion 610Pro. There have been several versions in between, each one upping the functionality of the driver while the hardware stays the same.

Could the H610 Pro v2 finally deliver all the features you want at a truly affordable price? Well, this model boasts a battery-free, cordless pen that lets you fully customize the buttons, 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, 24 express keys, and tilt/angle detection. It doesn’t have touch, but other than that it’s got all the most important features of the Intuos Pro (yes, the Intuos Pro, not the plain old Intuos). Scroll down for a more detailed comparison. I was able to test several art programs on Mac and PC on the Huion. To find out how that went, read on.

Type of tablet

Graphics tablet, non-screen. You will need a Mac or PC (desktop or laptop) to connect it to. Works with Mac and Windows only.

Digitizer: EMR

Needs Windows 7 or later or Mac 10.12 or later.

Features

10″ x 6.25″ active area

8192 pressure levels

Battery-free, cordless pen

Tilt sensitivity +/-60 degrees

8 External hotkeys and 16 softkeys, all customizable

Pen has two buttons, fully customizable

Materials: black plastic exterior, rubber mat feet

Accuracy +/- 0.3mm

Report rate (PPS) 233

Lines per inch (LPI) 5080

Reading Distance: 10mm

Tablet weight: 22.4 oz. (635g)

Pen weight: .49 oz. (14g)

Size including inactive area: 13.9″ x 9.6″ (353 x 245 mm)

The bezel adds about 2″ on each side of the active area.

 

What’s in the box?

huionH610Pro v2 review

The Huion H610 Pro v2 and accessories. Photo by Tablets for Artists

Tablet

Pen

Pen stand that includes 8 extra nibs inside (total 9 nibs, including the one that comes in the pen)

The pen stand can also be used to remove nibs

mini-USB cable

Quickstart guide

Anti-smudge glove

The tablet, which Gearbest sent me to write this H610Pro v2 review (click to see it there), came well packed in a sturdy and attractive printed box that says Inspiroy, which is the product line the tablet is part of. You don’t see the word Inspiroy a whole lot other than on the box.

It has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, matching Wacom’s maximum levels. Not only that, but the v2 offers tilt/angle sensitivity and a cordless, battery-free pen. The old 610Pro had a corded pen.

Tilt sensitivity means that your drawn line will change according to the angle at which you draw at, making your line more natural-looking.

The tilt range is -60 to +60 degrees, same as the Intuos Pro.

For Lefties

In the driver you can easily set up left-handed use.

Portability

At a lightweight 22 oz., it’s very portable and would fit into a largish backpack or briefcase. On a plane, it’s OK to bring it on board or place it in checked luggage. Leave the battery in the device.

Build quality

The Huion is lightweight and made of black plastic, with a thickness of roughly over a half inch at the highest part. It has a curved design. It’s sturdy, nothing loose or rattling. It has 6 round hotkeys on the outside as well as a dial that has two hotkeys (the dial is not a touch ring). The dial has two curved buttons that also press easily. The bottom has four soft rubber feet that add very little height.

The softkeys are along the top of the active area (or the bottom, depending how you have the tablet set up). You can see the softkeys faintly on the tablet; they don’t light up when used. The press keys and softkeys both function the same as ways to use shortcuts such as backspace, option click etc. They are totally optional to use.

The buttons and dial are shiny and the rest of the tablet is matte. Fingerprints don’t stick to the active area too much.

The drawing surface is smooth but not slippery. It doesn’t have a toothed texture.

While it’s plastic, it’s still sturdy, so I won’t take any points off for that in this Huion 610Pro v2 review.

Driver

 

Huion H610 Pro v2 review tablet driver

The 610Pro v2 driver’s About page

Installing the driver on both Mac and PC was easy as long as you follow the instructions and are ready with the Mac Mojave issue if you have Mojave.

You have to download the driver from the Huion site; there’s no included CD. There are two Huion sites, huion.com and huiontablet.com; either is fine.

You will need to remove all other tablet drivers including Huion ones. You don’t need to remove native Windows ones. If you have a tablet PC, this will work with it. Don’t remove the tablet drivers that come installed on the tablet PC.

You may or may not need to install the Huion driver under Administrator depending on your computer settings.

There’s no on or off switch. Once the tablet is connected via the mini-USB, the driver will show the words Device Connected. A green indicator light will go on when the pen touches the surface.

Mac Mojave and Huion 610Pro v2

If you can’t install the driver on your Mac that has Mojave, you need to take some simple steps which are described on the Huion site here:

https://www.huiontablet.com/mojave.html

Other potential Mac issue:

If you still have problems, sometimes with Macs you need to reset the USB ports. Here’s how:

http://osxdaily.com/2015/08/09/mac-usb-ports-not-working-fix/

Customizing the driver

Huion 610 Pro v2 review driver

Driver panel to customize shortcut keys on the v2

You can configure the pressure curve, test pressure, and map the screen you want to use; change to a left-handed setup, and set up multi-monitor use in the driver.

The driver has preprogrammed functions for popular shortcuts but you can also customize them to whatever you want. You get a total of 24 customizable buttons, including 16 softkeys which are visible along the top (or bottom, depending how you have the tablet set up).

To customize the buttons and softkeys, click on the buttons in the driver, then click on the bar in the center of the image.

Unfortunately, the softkeys do not light up and are hard to see. They are there to speed up workflow and are completely optional to use. But if you rely on them, the low visibility could be annoying. You could do something like write them down on a piece of white tape and tape that to the surface if you’re up for a DIY solution.

Unlike with Wacom drivers, you can’t save different shortcuts to specific art programs.

In the driver you can also customize the pen buttons to do much more than just erase and undo, which is not common at all with affordable tablets. The pen has one button, which toggles.

Pen

Huion H610Pro v2 review

The Huion 610 Pro v2 stylus pen needs no charging.

The pen is very lightweight at around a half ounce (14 grams) and feels hollow. Some may find it too light; you don’t get that feeling of balance and heft with a light pen. But it doesn’t add strain when drawing for hours. The pen has a tapered barrel. It does not take a battery nor need to be charged (the old Huion had a pen that had to be charged).

The pen stand is cleverly designed to hold 8 included extra nibs and the little hole is a nib remover. The stand is small and vertical and doesn’t take up much space.

The pen buttons are also fully customizable, which is unusual in a Wacom alternative tablet. Using the pen buttons as an eraser to to undo is convenient, or you can use them for other shortcuts as well. The pen buttons are placed in a way that’s easy to reach.

Art Program testing

To make this HuionH610 Pro v2 review complete, I tested it with several popular art programs on Mac and PC.

Testing on PC

Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro, Clip Studio, and Krita worked beautifully. Krita is especially sensitive with little pressure needed to get a thick to thin line (that is using the default pressure setting). Fresh Paint, which is a Windows app, works fine.

Gimp and Sai worked great as long as Windows Ink is unchecked. I had trouble installing the latest Gimp on my PC and had to use an earlier version.

Remember that these programs have various settings that need to be enabled for tablets and pressure to work.

Testing on Mac

Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro, and Clip Studio Paint work great. Pressure sensitivity worked fine in vector layers in Clip Studio Paint (haven’t tried on Windows). The tablet works fine with Inkscape as well.

Note that you won’t be able to get pressure in Adobe Illustrator’s pressure-sensitive brushes; only Wacom offers that for now, so if you want pressure in vector, use Clip Studio, though file types that can be exported are limited.

Not as good: Krita and Gimp in their latest versions really don’t work that well on the latest on Mac Mojave. While the tablet worked with them, these programs are difficult to install and generally have issues on Mac. In Krita, I’d sometimes get a reading height issue where the pen would make lines without touching the tablet. Earlier versions may work better.

The H610 Pro v2 should work with other programs as well, including Corel Paint, Medibang, and ZBrush; I didn’t test those, but others have.

There were some hiccups at times, such as loss of connectivity, but simply quickly disconnecting then reconnecting the USB (either side of it) fixed this. At times the pen would take a moment to start producing a line. These seemed to happen more on the PC.

Drawing on the Huion H610Pro v2

Compared to Wacom there is a slight difference in feel; the Wacom feels more fluid, the Huion more springy.

Photoshop and Sketchbook are my go-to programs, so I was very pleased with the performance of the pen and tablet. There’s a smooth, blob-free widening of lines with pressure, no skips or jitter.

Support

Huion offers a one-year guarantee. They respond to emails (on the Chinese time zone, so it’s at night if you’re in the U.S.) and also can be contacted on Skype and phone; the info is on their sites. They also answer questions in several places online. There are also discussions and forums around the Web to seek answers, and I’ve posted some hopefully helpful tips in this v2 review.

User reviews and reactions

Huion 610Pro v2 reviews by users are mostly positive from what I’ve seen. The chargeless pen is a big improvement over the 610Pro, and the drivers seem easier to install. Many are lauding the tablet’s affordability and comparable functions to the Wacom Intuos Pro.

Huion 610Pro v2 vs. Wacom Intuos Pro

With the Huion, you get the same 8192 levels and you get tilt sensitivity of +/- 60 degrees, same as the Intuos. You get customizable keys including fully customizable pen buttons. The drawing area of 10” x 6.25” comes to 62.5 sq in., a little larger in square inches than the current Wacom Intuos Pro Medium, which is 8.7 x 5.8” ,or 50.46 sq. in.

The Huion has no multitouch so you can’t use touch functions or finger paint. You don’t get bundled art programs, nor are there different types of pen nibs or pens. The Huion pen doesn’t have an eraser end. There’s no wireless option.

There are also no accessories that Wacom offers that are sold separately, such as texture sheets and the Paper Clip, which lets you attach paper (though you can go ahead and put paper on top of the Huion). The Huion doesn’t have a touch ring; the dial on the Huion is more part of the design, housing two Express Keys.

There’s no on-screen radial menu (instead, there are the softkeys). You also can’t save customized driver settings to specific art programs.

The Huion exterior is all plastic with no metal parts. and the Intuos Pro uses some anodized aluminum.

The Intuos, which is the entry level non-Pro Wacom drawing tablet, has 4096 levels and no touch or tilt. So the 610Pro v2 has more in common with the Intuos Pro, though has the lack of touch in common with the non-pro Intuos. The drawing surface on the Huion is smoother than either kind of Intuos.

Pros

Affordability

Battery-free, cordless pen

Ease of use–intuitive

8192 pressure levels

Tilt sensitivity

24 fully customizable Express Keys

Fully customizable pen buttons

Nice packaging

Lightweight, portable

 

Cons

Some people report driver glitches

Difficult to see the softkeys

No touch function

No Wacom type of accessories such as different types of nibs, texture sheets, or Paper Clip

Lacks a wireless option

Not a lot of documentation

Driver compatibility: what’s with all those Huion 610s?

Some Huion drivers are cross-compatible. If you’ve got the Huion610Pro (8192) that’s not the v2, you can use this v2 driver on that one but not on the earlier ones. Here’s some info:

There are 4 different models of the 610 series. Those are:
 
H610(2048), H610PRO(2048), H610 PRO(8192), H610PRO V2(8192)
 
H610(2048) and H610PRO(2048) can both use the same driver (note: meaning the driver for
 
those, not the v2).
 
H610PRO (8192) and H610PRO V2(8192) can both use the same driver.
 
H610(2048) and H610PRO(2048) are not compatible with the V2 driver.
 

Huion 610Pro v2 review VERDICT

This really is a bargain and a BIG step forward in the affordable drawing tablet category, so this Huion610 Pro v2 review is a thumb’s up. I had fewer driver problems than I’ve had with some of the others, and the battery-free, cordless pen is a major improvement.

There were a few minor glitches, but for the price, this gives you the creative power of the Wacom Intuos Pro. The generous size is great for drawing, not too small or too big. It’s easy to fit in a medium-sized backpack or bag and is lightweight. Ideal for artists, photographers, students, and OSU players, the v2 could be a starter graphics tablet, an extra, or your sole drawing tablet.

See it on Amazon

See it on Gearbest

 

end of Huion610 Pro v2 review

holiday gift guide 2018

2018 Digital Artist Gift Guide: Inspiring Ideas for Creative Cheer

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holiday gift guide 2018

Yes, it’s already that time again, the time to find that perfect gift for the stylus-wielding artist in your life. Whether want to really spur their creativity, help them learn, or just make their life a little easier, you can find something in this guide (well, I hope). Or maybe you’re the artist in need of a gift. So, without further ado…

This little stocking stuffer lets you grip that slick Apple Pencil. Probably one of the least costly but most useful things you can get a digital artist.

Veikk A30 Graphics Tablet

Sleek and thin, this graphics tablets give you all the power without breaking the bank.

Tryone Gooseneck Tablet Stand

When you’re tired of drawing you can lay back and watch stuff on your tablet. Holds phones and tablets up to 10/5/”

 

Pantone Watch

This unisex Pantone watch gives a colorful burst of sleek design to your wrist. It even tells time.

 

Ergonomic Grip for Apple Pencil

Note: this fits the both the first- and second-generation Apple Pencil. It comes in black, white, and orange. It offers greater drawing accuracy.

 

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker

A perennial fave around here. Help your artist stick to deadlines with this fast way of making coffee. Don’t forget a pinch of cinnamon!

2018 Lenovo ThinkPad x1 Yoga

A whole art studio in a laptop–the 14″ size gives you all you need while staying portable. Wacom pen included, Windows 10, up to 16GB RAM, i7 processor.

 

 

Blank Comic Book: Variety of Templates, 2-9 panel layouts, Draw Your Own Comics

A fun, inexpensive gift for kids and up to draw comics. A blank page or screen can be intimidating. There’s nothing like boxes to help you visualize, and paper still feels good.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

This Galaxy Tab S4 with the accurate, pressure-sensitive, lightweight S Pen will bring a grin to the face of any artist who likes a Wacom pen. Android OS. Try some Android art apps.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

Fascinating, behind-the-scenes takes a look at how video games are made. Paperback and Kindle books.

 


Schminke watercolors

This high-quality set makes art that will last. Also perfect for creating textures to digitize.

 

Art Socks

These socks were made for arting. Everyone needs a pair! Inspiration from, well, toe to toe.