veikk 640 review ultrathin graphics tablet

Veikk S640 review: ultrathin graphics tablet

Veikk S640 review: ultrathin, affordable graphics tablet

I did this full Veikk S640 review using a unit I received at no cost for testing. The Veikk S640 is a small, very thin, small, affordable, lightweight graphics tablet that you can use as an alternative to the Wacom Intuos. It has a high number of pressure levels (8192), equivalent to the maximum of any tablet as of this writing.

Type of tablet

Graphics tablet, no screen, works with Mac and Windows

You have to connect this tablet to a computer to use it.

Digitizer:

EMR, 8,192 levels of pressure

What’s in the Box

Tablet, pen, pen sleeve, nib remover, extra nibs, instruction manual, driver reminder, USB cable

Unboxing the Veikk S640 tablet

veikks640unboxing

Veikk-in-the-box.

The Veikk tablet comes in a nice-looking package that’s easy to open. Instead of a CD, there’s a cardboard disc that tells you where to download the latest CD. The tablet is also sleek and even stylish. It’s thin and light. The pen also has an attractive design with gray barrel and comes with a nice felt case.

The default active area is rectangular and maps to the whole screen.

veikks640review

Here’s what you get

The Veikk has a thicker part that would hold the battery inside and stop the pen from rolling off.

The pen is lightweight and not the standard pen that comes with inexpensive tablets; its barrel is one I haven’t seen before. It’s comfortable to hold.

There was a bit of squeak at first when I used the pen but a few quick rubs of the tablet with my (clean) hands were enough to stop the squeak. The oils from one’s hands fix the new-tablet squeak problem.

The VEIKK logo also has good design. The quality of packaging, and design, makes this tablet a nice inexpensive gift idea.

Features

The tablet is small and black, made of plastic with gray lines indicating the active area. The tablet does not have any external buttons or shortcut keys. It has a blue LED indicator light that lights up when you’re using it. The pen is batteryless. The tablet is very thin and light.

Size: 6″ x 4″

Thickness: 2 mm (less than 1/10 of an inch) at the tablet part, and the side bar is about 3/8 inch thick.

Weight: 174g (6.1 oz.)

Works with: Windows XP/Vista 10/8/7, Mac 10.8 or above

Connects via USB; cable included. No further power source is needed.

Resolution: 5080 LPI;
Report rate: 230 pps
Reading height: 10 cm

Portability

You could easily carry this in a backpack, handbag, or any small carrier. It’s very lightweight, at a mere 6.1 ounces.

For Lefties

There’s a setting in the driver for right- or left-handed use. The raised bar would go on one or the other side.

Setting up the Veikk S640

veikk driver

Veikk driver

Clicking on the “Drivers for Mac” link gets you the correct driver, one that’s shared with Veikk’s other tablets.

It was easy to install onto the Mac, and Windows.You can choose Pen or Mouse.You can customize the pen buttons to right-click or erase, and adjust the pressure settings. You can change the screen mapping settings to All, or specify exact dimensions.  There aren’t any keyboard shortcuts. There’s no touch, either.

Drawing on the Veikk

Veikk S640 review

Veikk’s ultrathin tablet with pen

You can easily put the tablet on your lap, where it balances well, or on a table even if you don’t have much space. Or can rest it on your laptop keyboard.

The tablet surface is smooth; so if you like texture this may not be for you. It’s not slippery, though, like glass screens; the pen glides rather than slips. The smooth top should make the pen nibs last longer.

The pen comes mapped to full screen; I didn’t have to calibrate.

The pen weighs 12g (4.2 oz.) is comfortable to hold. It’s also not so light that it feels flyaway, and not so heavy (talking to you, Apple Pencil) that it tires the hand. The length helps it balance. It’s not a stubby stylus, but a full-length pen. The buttons are easy to reach and I didn’t experience issues with accidental clicks. The hover distance is listed as 10 cm.

You need to apply a little bit of hand pressure to use the pen, more initial activation force than with a Wacom pen, but not enough for it to feel tiring. (do more testing of curve). I didn’t get any blobs or jitter. The weight needed to get a line varied among programs but was never a problem.

Testing art programs

veikk graphics tablet

Veikk, Photoshop (Mac)

Mac: It works great in Sketchbook, Photoshop, and Clip Studio Paint. In Gimp, I got less variation in line width.

The tablet worked with Krita, but I was not able to get pressure sensitivity in Krita despite the pressure settings being on.

Windows: The pressure worked great and the performance was smooth in Sketchbook, Photoshop, and Clip Studio Paint. I could not get it to work with SAI but SAI has issues with tablets in general. Could not get pressure in Krita.

In Windows, you will need to check the checkbox in the driver to enable Windows Ink.

Gimp and Krita are both free, open-source programs but don’t seem to work terribly well with this tablet. Luckily, the full version of Autodesk Sketchbook, which is non-open source and once required a paid subscription, is now free, you just need an account. Sketchbook works well with the Veikk.

Note: I reported the Krita and Gimp issues to the company and they are working on fixing these.

The company says it works with Flash and Animate.

OSU gaming

OSU is a game played where it’s advantageous to use a pen tablet instead of a game console. You have to click on buttons that create a musical beatmap. While the driver tablet doesn’t have specific settings for OSU, it’s a good size and weight for it and has excellent accuracy. There’s no learning curve or need to be an artist. It’s certainly a good tablet for OSU and the company promotes its use for this game.

Pros

Inexpensive
lightweight
portable
works well
nice design
highest available pressure sensitivity (8,192 levels)
simplicity and ease of use
works with Flash and Animate (company says; I did not test these)

Cons

No touch
no Express Keys
not big enough for most artists to use as a sole drawing tablet
did not get pressure in some of the programs I tested

Veikk S640 review verdict

This Veikk S640 review is a thumb’s-up if you want a very portable drawing tablet. The value and portability are great and it has the maximum levels of pressure of any tablet. It offers smooth performance and easy installation. Its size is something like a signature pad. It’s simple to set up and use.

The high quality of the design and packaging makes it a suitable gift. Because of its size it’s not going to replace a main drawing tablet for most artists, but if you’re going on a trip or just want something that doesn’t take up much space it’s a great little companion. While it’s not the biggest or most ambitious tablet, it does what it does very well.

See it on Amazon US

See it on Amazon UK

 

end of Veikk S640 review

huiongt190review

Huion GT-190 review with art software testing

Huion GT-190 review: affordable drawing monitor (Kamvas GT-190)

huioncheapdrawingmonitor

This Huion GT-190 review looks at this cheap drawing monitor Wacom Cintiq alternative in detail. The Huion Kamvas GT-190 is the same tablet.

Type of tablet: tablet monitor with screen, attaches to Mac or Windows computer.

Features

Display 19″
2048 levels
16:10 aspect ratio
1440 x 900
250cd/m2
5080 LPI
14.6 lbs.
17.8 x 12 x 2.4 inches

What’s in the box
Huion GT-190 Tablet Monitor
Two Pens
Pen holder (8 pen tips included)
Pen Charger
VGA Cable
Power Adapter and Cable
USB Cable
Artist Glove

Opening the Huion package, it looks like most of the affordable tablet monitors I’ve reviewed before. It’s got a solid metal build, comes with some nice accessories, and comes with a stand. The box is printed, and everything came safely packed. The accessories are sealed in plastic, and there are two pens. This one has a built-in screen protector, so it doesn’t come with a separate one. Gearbest sent me this unit for this  Huion GT-190 review.

huionkamvasreview

Here’s all the stuff that comes with it. Photo by Tablets for Artists

This stand arrived detached from the tablet, which is unusual; it needs to be attached. Huion thought ahead and included a Philips head screwdriver.

It comes with a VGA cable, two pens with charging cables, pen stand that holds nibs, a cleaning cloth, CD with driver, and booklet. It doesn’t come with adapters for Lightning or HDMI ports.

You charge the pen via your computer’s USB port. Charging takes about an hour. The LED light is red while charging. The pen is batteryless and lightweight. It’s thick but comfortable to hold. It’s a standard pen for this type of tablet. I’m glad it comes with two pens, since you can charge one from your USB port to use when the other one runs low.

It installed great on my Mac. With Windows, I had trouble opening the latest version. But an earlier one, the one right before the latest one installed fine and has the same functionality as the Mac. Huion told me this does not usually happen, and I haven’t seen it reported in other Huion GT-190 reviews or articles.

There’s less squeak on this one than on some, I guess because of the screen protector. The screen is not very slippery, nor is it overly reflective.

huionkamvasgt190driver

Huion Kamvas GT-190 driver for Mac

As with other similar Cintiq alternatives, the driver does only basic functions (if you’re eagled-eyed, you can spot the typo on the driver screen). You can program the pen buttons with shortcuts.

Ports

The ports are under a panel in the back, which is more awkward than if they were on top, as they are in the XP-Pen Artist 22E. The cords are secure, they won’t fall out.

The tablet is sturdy with a good, standard range of positions with the stand. The screen protector and screen offer a pleasant drawing experience. I do wish I could press less hard.

Adapters needed

The most unusual thing about the Huion Kamvas GT-190 that this comes with only a VGA/DVI port, something you don’t see much anymore. Most newer tablets have HDMI ports. If you’ve got an older computer, you’ve got it made, but if your computer is newer you’re going to need adapters. For Mac you need a VGA to Lightning adapter, and for Windows you will need an HDMI to VGA adapter.

FOR PC

The inexpensive ones I used worked fine. For my PC I used the Vic Tsing Gold-Plate HDMI to VGA for PC (VS1-VC38BVT-VD)

FOR MAC

I used the Vic Tsing Gold-Plated Thunderbolt Mini Display Port to VGA Male to Female adapter for Mac.

You can use other brands too, of course but these did the job.

huion gt-190 review

Back of Huion Kamvas GT-190. Adjustable stand.

Color

The color seems to change with different viewing angles. Sitting right in front of it, the color is bright and clear. It’s adjustable using the controls on the outside of the monitor.

Resolution

The screen isn’t high res. Since the screen is large, I don’t find it to be that much of an issue, since I’m sitting near it and mostly looking at parts of drawings close up. Still, it’s lower than HD. It’s the same resolution of the MacBook Air. The color is adjustable via the driver, like most of the tablets of its type.

Drawing on the Huion Kamvas GT-190

The EMR digitizer is sensitive and springy, similar to Huion graphics tablets, and pressure sensitivity works well, offering a thin to a thick line without blobbing or skips. Make sure the pen is fully charged; if it isn’t, you’re in for some blobbing and skips, but once charged, it works well. I had to press down fairly hard to get a steady line even after adjusting settings.

Drawing programs

Photoshop, Gimp, and Sketchbook Pro all work very  well in Mac and Windows. Gimp on Mac was hiccuping so I couldn’t test each feature that fully (am not sure if it’s due to the driver or Gimp itself), but the other programs worked fine with line and opacity pressure. (Haven’t tested Windows Gimp yet).

There’s a slight parallax but that’s to be expected due to the thickness of the screen. Calibration works out of the box. As expected, there’s no pressure sensitivity in Illustrator or Inkscape, nor would I expect there to be, so again, to get vector art with pressure you have to use Manga Studio, which doesn’t let you export to vector, so you have to keep it as a native file type.

Pros
Affordable
good pressure sensitivity
pleasant surface
comes with two pens
comes with a screwdriver for the stand

Cons

VGA port only, leading to needing adapters
driver is limited in function; had installation issues in Windows 10 (used the slightly older version which was OK)
viewing angles not great
Not high-resolution

huion gt-190 review

Color image on Huion GT-190. Photo by Tablets for Artists

Huion GT-190 review verdict

All in all, the Huion Kamvas GT-190 is a decent drawing tablet monitor comparable to other affordables. The pressure sensitivity works well across drawing programs, which is the main thing. It’s best for beginners, students, and artists who don’t want to spend a lot. The VGA adapter is likely to put off some people, since they will need adapters (or older computers).  I guess between the VGA and the low resolution, this probably wouldn’t be my first choice. But If you get one for a good price then go for it.

GearBest sent me this to review and you can see it on their site here.

Paint Tool Sai and XP-Pen troubleshooting

The following is from XP-Pen, for users who are having cursor trouble with Paint Tool Sai. They have given me permission to share this free download of SAI for users who are having issues. (I’m going to remove it end of March, but can send it to users on request if they are having trouble with their XP-Pen and Sai.

1.     SAI only supports windows version.

2.     Actually, SAI has a lot of bugs and the users question there are 2 ways “maybe” can solve them.

Method 1. Use this installation of SAI:

(please contact me for the link, it is free)

Download it from Google Cloud. When the download is complete, please EXTRACT then open the folder to run SAI.exe. Try to test this version cans solve users question.

b.     If this doesn’t work, please follow the FAQ below about how to setup SAI, please see the attachment.

Method 2. If the download of SAI above does not solve the issue, please follow these instructions:

Q: My tablet won’t work with Paint Tool SAI; the cursor will not move at all. Other creative software does not have this issue.

A: Please follow these directions:

  1. Ensure that all tablet drivers, including your XP-Pen driver, are uninstalled completely. To do this, open Start >> Control Panel >> Programs and Features and check your programs list. Reboot your computer after uninstalling any tablet software.
  2. After rebooting, click “Start,” then search for “Tablet preferences.” If you find a match, you still have tablet software installed; please repeat step 1.
  3. Reinstall your tablet’s latest driver from the Support >> Downloads section of our website. Reboot once more.
  4. Ensure that your tablet functions correctly in software other than SAI.
  5. Open your SAI installation path, then open “misc.ini” in a text editing program such as Notepad.
  6. Scroll down to “TabletMouseSimulation.”paint tool sai troubleshoot7.
  7. If it is set to 0, please change it to 1, then save and exit.8.
  8. If it is set to 1, please change it to 0, then save and exit.9.
  9. Open SAI and test for the issue.
intuos2018review

New Wacom Intuos 2018: Can’t touch this

intuos2018review

image by Wacom

 

New Intuos 2018: Upgrade, or sideways move?

Wacom intuos 2018

New Intuos 2018 package. Image: Wacom

A new Wacom Intuos 2018 is here! The Wacom Intuos tablet design, up to now, has not been changed since the old days of 2015. (The Intuos line was formerly known as Bamboo). We’ll take a look at the difference between new and old and whether the new one is an upgrade or something that goes more… sideways.

In the last few years most art tablets, including tablet PCs, have gone far beyond 1,024 levels of pressure. The Intuos (non-Pro version) was starting to feel like a dinosaur in that respect. The new Intuos 2018  has 4,096 levels, plus a number of other changes to design and functionality. Most of these are for the better.

However, there is one major change that’s not great. Wacom has removed multitouch from the new Intuos. Only the Intuos Pro and older Pen and Touch models (and all Cintiqs) still have it. More on this below.

See our Intuos Draw review

See our Intuos Pen & Touch review

See our article on choosing an Intuos

 

New Wacom Intuos 2018 vs. old Intuos

What’s the same?

The active area takes up a greater percentage of the tablet, but the actual active area hasn’t changed–it just now goes almost to the edge of the surface.

There are still four customizable, application-specific Express Keys, even though their arrangement has been changed.

The new Intuoses, like the old one, come in only Small and Medium.

They still come bundled with drawing programs at no additional cost.

The pen’s reading speed (PPS) and tablet resolution (LPI) are still the same.

There’s still a tether so you can lock the tablet.

The pen is still battery-free. It still does not have rotation sensitivity and still does not have an eraser end. (In some markets, there was an Intuos pen with an eraser end; I’m referring to the U.S. market because that’s where I am.)

 

What’s different?

More pressure sensitivity

There are now 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. This way, there’s not such a huge difference from the Intuos Pro and Cintiqs, which have 8,192.

Wireless use with Bluetooth

This time, the Intuoses have Bluetooth. You no longer need to buy the optional Wi-fi kit to use your Intuos wirelessly. Only one model, the small, more affordable  Intuos S, does not have Bluetooth. All come with a USB cable so you can use them wired.

Bundled software

Newer: The new Intuos comes bundled with up to 3 programs: Currently, they are: Corel Painter Essentials 6, Corel Aftershot 3, and Clip Studio Paint Pro. With the Medium size, you get all three. With the Small with Bluetooth, you choose two. With the least expensive new Intuos, the Small without Bluetooth, you get just one–a choice between Corel Painter Essentials 3 or Corel Aftershot 3.S

So, they’re now offering a range of versatile programs that cover digital painting, drawing, and photo editing.

With the older Art Pen and Touch Wacom offered the same tablets with different software, some of which were programs in trial versions or were free anyway. I prefer the new way.

Older: The older Intuoses have different names according to what software they’re bundled with. I always found this a bit confusing. The customer may not even realize the tablets are the same.

Weight

The new Small with Bluetooth is 250g (8.8 oz.) and without Bluetooth, 230g (8.1oz.). The old Small weighed 290g (10.2 oz). The new Medium weighs 410g (14.4 oz.) and the old Medium weighed 480g (16.9 oz).

 

Pen differences

The pen is now called the Wacom Pen 4K (LP-1100K). It looks similar to the old Intuos Pen, but has 4096 pressure levels, or four times its predecessor. (For some reason, Wacom skips some multiples; it skipped 2048 in this new-generation Intuos ands skipped 4096 in the Pro tablets, going from 1024 to 8192). Now the nibs are stored in the barrel. It comes with a nib in the pen plus 3 replacement nibs. The compatible Felt and Flex nibs also will fit in the barrel. The Pen Ring that was sometimes available is gone.

wacom intuos 2018

Intuos 2018 with 4K pen. Image by Wacom

Design

Now, to keep the pen from wandering away, there’s a tray, an indent in the top of the tablet that will keep your pen in sight and not rolling off the table like a meatball off spaghetti.

Another difference is the footprint and weight. The new Intuos 2018 is sleeker, taking up less space on the desk, and it’s a bit thinner, about the thickness of a smartphone. The models are all a bit lighter as well.

The top part of the Intuos is about an inch smaller than before. The pen tray doubles as the Express Keys. The pen, when lying in the tray, is sitting over the keys. By redesigning the buttons, Wacom saved some space.

Formerly, there was only the pen loop, which was rather tight and a bit annoying. The pen loop is still there, but you can now use it to carry the pen with the tablet and not as way to keep the pen from rollin’.

The tablet is also thinner, with the top part being thicker than the bottom.  It’s now 5 mm in the lower part and 8.5 mm in the upper part. Slender, man.

wacom intuos 2018

Medium and small; nibs in pen barrel; thinner footprint. Images: Wacom

This design, while not in itself a reason to get a new Intuos, uses less plastic and  is smarter and better than the old one.

What’s the disadvantage?

To keep the price down, Wacom has removed the multitouch feature. Yes, I was shocked too,You’ll have to buy the pricier Intuos Pro to get touch.

(See our Wacom Pen and Touch review about the 2015 models, which as of this writing are still for sale though no longer are on the Wacom site).

One unfortunate result of taking away touch was it was a nice feature for kids, who could use it to finger paint. It also made it so if you lost the pen, you could use your finger if you had to. Now you’ll have to use your mouse if you can’t find the pen.

Without touch, you don’t have gestures, which allow you to pan, zoom, and navigate. You’ll have to use the pen and your art software commands, or keyboard commands, or Express Keys.

Touch made it possible to use the tablet as a trackpad. And, you could take advantage of the growing amount of touch commands in Adobe and other software–commands that, arguably, are mostly used by professionals.

Handwringing aside, touch isn’t needed, it’s just useful. Wacom had almost branded themselves by offering it since it was only NOT available on one art tablet, the down-to-basics Intuos Draw.

The various non-Wacom, less expensive graphics tablets and screen tablets also don’t offer multitouch.

Ironically, it’s hard to get a tablet PC that does NOT have a touchscreen.

Is it worth upgrading to the new Intuos?

The levels of pressure, as I often remind people, don’t matter all that much. I can sense the difference in smoothness between 1024 and 2048, but not after that. Additional levels do offer more accuracy, but we’re talking millimeters. For most people, 1,024 levels are enough.

Bluetooth is a really nice feature. Some reported loose ports for the USB in the old Intuos, so it’s a good thing that you can stop using the USB. You’re saving money by not having to buy the Wi-fi kit. Working wirelessly, you can now put the computer at more of a distance away if you wish.

Storing extra nibs inside the pen stand is convenient, since you might not always keep the pen stand with you. This is another smart design move.

The new tablets come in black, pistachio, and berry, which may make artists run to the refrigerator instead of sitting down to work. (Berry, a vibrant pink, is only available in certain markets). Pistachio is an aqua color.

If you have a Pen and Touch, you’ll probably be fine keeping it. It’s an individual decision. Intuoses are solidly built and can last for years.

Wacom’s redefining of multitouch as a Pro feature feels a bit off. It seems strictly a budgetary decision, not one that should affect your perception of how useful or “professional” multitouch is. It’s useful if you use it; if you don’t use it you probably won’t miss it. Non-professionals are likely to get some use out of, it but it’s true that that use may be limited. Pros find it important in saving time, as they can master a workflow that uses Express Keys and gestures.

If  you’re puzzling over it, ask yourself whether you want to just draw, more like in real life, or also use gestures and use the tablet as a trackpad with your hand.

If you do like the touch feature, I suggest grabbing an Intuos Pen and Touch while they last. If you’re OK without it, then you’d probably be happy with the positive improvements found in the new Intuos 2018.

Note: the 2018 Intuos is still not for sale quite everywhere but you can see it at Wacom.

 

 

samsung notebook 9 pen review

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro Review, S Pen included

samsungnotebook9proreview

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review: an all-you-need 2-in-1

This relatively powerful, relatively affordable, art-friendly 2-in-1 tablet PC laptop is on my list of top drawing tablet PCs. This is the second generation and came out in late 2017.  It comes in 13.3 and 15″ versions. This Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review focuses on the 15.”.

(There is no upcoming 2018 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, but the soon-to-be-released Notebook 9 Pen will be similar).

The 15″ Notebook 9 Pro is one of the lightest in its class on the market, and the included S pen saves you money on an extra pen purchase. It also rests in a built-in silo, so you don’t have to keep looking for a place to stow it.

It’s not super powerful, but it can handle Photoshop, light gaming, and general use. The best thing about it, and Samsung’s myriad other S-Pen offerings, is the smooth Wacom EMR pen experience.

Type of tablet

2-in-1, nondetachable
Runs: Windows, comes with Windows 10 Home and Creator Update

Digitizer

Wacom EMR, S Pen, 4096 levels, tilt sensitivity
Uses Windows Ink

Features

Comes in 13.3″ and 15″
Nondetachable keyboard
360-degree hinge
8th-gen Intel i7 processor (on Best Buy model, only on the 15″)
The 13 also has an i5 version.
Aspect ratio 16:9
Can charge with portable charger
Display: LED LCD. HD 1920 x 1080p
Brightness 350 nits
Color gamut: 106% sRGB, 77% Adobe RGB
Windows Ink
Weight: 3.79 lbs (15″)
2.91 lbs (13″)

Graphics:
AMD Radeon 540 (15″ – 15 also discrete graphics (2GB GDDR5, switchable).
Integrated Intel UHD graphics 620 (13)
Backlit keyboard

RAM: 16GB (15) 8 GB (13). RAM not upgradeable
Storage: 256 GB (can swap to larger hard drive)
720p HD Webcam with microphone
Samsung’s Dual Channel Memory (quickens multitasking, viewing, and rendering)
Windows Hello facial recognition
Modes: Outdoor, quiet, HDR mode for videos

Ports

1 USB-C
2 USB 3.0
headphone,
Micro SD
HDMI
Dimensions:
13.7 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches (15)
12.21″ x 8.54″ x 0.63″ (13)

What’s in the Box

Notebook Pro 9
Battery (3-cell)
Charger

Build

The Notebook 9 Pro has a solid build quality with utilitarian style, meaning, not  much style. It has an all-metal, aluminum alloy body. It’s slender but solidly built, doesn’t bend, and has nicely rounded edges that won’t dig into your hands and thighs.

Its two hinges let you pose it into laptop/tent/stand/tablet.The hinges are sturdy and hold the positions without making the screen wiggle. It takes a little effort to open it from a closed position.

When bending the laptop into a tablet, I immediately accidentally shut off the power key, which sits on the right side where it’s easy to do that.

The other easy accident is putting the S Pen back upside-down, which I also immediately did. If you put it in wrong, it can get stuck and even cause damage.

For lefties

It’s fine for lefties, but as one Samsung Notebook Pro review observed, lefties may do well to get a longer pen to be able to reach scrollbars.

Display

The screen has really good color to the eye, bright without being oversaturated. It’s sharp (though not 4K) with realistic colors and deep blacks. You can pick different color profiles.

It’s glossy but not overly slippery or glarey and doesn’t attract a lot of fingerprints.

The display is bright at 350 nits, and colors are faithful, with deep, rich blacks.

The slightly raised bezel is thin, not the minimal “infinity” style, but i I don’t mind having what I’m doing separated from the environment around it.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard is backlit. Keys are comfortable and quiet, chicklet with each key slightly curved. It would be nice if they had more travel.

The keyboard when on the bottom, does not retract, but the keyboard and trackpad both stop working when folded back. So, if you want keyboard shortcuts you would need an external Bluetooth or USB-connected keyboard.

The trackpad is large, accurate, and accepts gestures.

The 1.5-watt speakers don’t seem to be a priority. They don’t have much bass or oomph.

The machine boots up really fast, and it’s fast and responsive; I didn’t get any annoying blue circles as can happen on lower-power computers even with undemanding tasks.

The 8th generation Intel chip, the dual core  i7-8500, is the same  used in the most recent MacBook Pro 15. The 15″ Notebook 9 Pro has a 2GB dedicated graphics chip that’s about half again as fast as the 13’s integrated chip. Both sizes are fine for Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite, video editing, and light gaming.

The 9 Pro is not a super powerhouse but it’s fine for digital art, students, and general productivity or busness.The quadcore Lenovo Yoga 720 is more powerful, but heavier.

It comes with some bloatware, such as Samsung apps you may not have much use for and can remove.

Portability

At 3.9 lbs., the 15″ is lighter than the same size Yoga 720 or HP Spectre. It’s still a little heavy to carry around but you won’t find something lighter at that size. The 13″ is a pound lighter and easier to slip into a messenger bag. The pen weighs hardly anything and the included charger is compact. The Notebook 9 Pro is lighter than Yoga 720 15 or HP Spectre 15.

You can charge it with a portable battery charger (not included) via the USB-C port.

Battery life

About 7 hours of mixed use on both models.

 

Pen

The battery-free, Refined S pen fits into a silo in the front of the laptop base. The pen is skinny and short, and very light. Its fine point is .07mm.

Having a silo is super convenient since you don’t need to worry about keeping a separate pen someplace.

Should you want a larger implement, older Wacom EMR tablet-PC pens as well as the golden Staedtler Noris are compatible. The tilt sensitivity works with these pens as well as the S-Pen.The older tablet PC pen I tried on it didn’t produce an offset.

As with the Galaxy Note, the pen opens up Air Command, where you can do things like screenshot and annotate. Beyond the usual Windows Ink settings, there aren’t specialized pen settings.

Drawing on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Having a 15″ display is almost like having a Cintiq MobileStudio Pro 16, without quite the power so many art features, but the size makes up for it in many ways.

Being able to stow the stylus right in it makes working less fraught with anxiety over losing the little devil. Though you may definitely want a larger, slightly heavier pen for heavier work.

The pen has great accuracy, nearly no parallax (offset), and is calibrated right out of the box. It’s also very sensitive. Even though it’s superlight, gently running it over the screen produces a line.  Lines come out fluidly, almost like ink. The fine tip makes it precise in hitting icons. Palm rejection works fine.

Tilt sensitivity doesn’t seem as obvious as with a Cintiq pen. I’ve gotten something resembling barrel roll with some apps using the S Pen, but I don’t think this is a feature intended to create designs the way it was in the old Wacom Art Pen for Cintiqs.

If you want to do 3D, it comes with Microsoft 3D, which is, as they say, fun for all ages. It’s sort of a premade way for young Makers to assemble a quick monster or robot. You can also go a lot farther with it.

User Reactions

Most who penned a Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review were very satisfied. Some praised the color quality as well as speed. While some wish the screen were 4K, others don’t mind. One pointed out that a higher resolution screen would cause issues with scaling Adobe icons. Most thought the speakers were just OK.

Pros

lightweight
can charge via portable charger (not included) via USB-C
well-built
value
fast, smooth
Wacom EMR, S Pen included

Cons

Must remember to put pen in silo the right way or can get stuck
RAM not upgradeable
Speakers lack oomph
Bloatware

The Verdict

This Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review is a pen’s-up. It’s speedy, affordable, portable and all you need for general art use. If you had one of the old Samsung slates, this will replace that with the same drawing experience and a lot more power.

Still, you might want to wait for the Notebook 9 Pen which you might think of as the 2018 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. It’s not that different from the Pro but will weigh only 2.2 pounds because it’s built with a lighter-than-aluminum alloy called Metal12. You can see what’s ahead for Samsung’s new lineup.

See Samsung Notebook Pro 9 at Best Buy

Save $100 on a Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 13″ (256GB SSD) (1/28 – 2/3 only!) Reg. $1,099.99. Plus free shipping! (Samsung)

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Optional, if you want a longer pen than the one it comes with:

End of Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review

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