Category Archives: Graphics tablet

Tablet made of plastic that you attach to your computer. You draw on the tablet and see the image on your computer.

Acepen AP1060 graphics tablet review

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

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huion610prov2review

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

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

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

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. Some Adobe Creative Suite program features are designed to work with Touch.

Wacom+Intuos+Pro+Paper+Edition-2

Intuos Pro Paper Edition hits the stands: Hands on

Intuos Pro Paper Edition: Take note

The Intuos Pro Paper Edition is here, joining the ranks of tablets that add real paper and pen to the mix. It comes in only Medium and large, and is a regular Intuos Pro except for the addition of a paper pad and fine-tipped pen.

Like the paperless model, it comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, which gets an eye-popping 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The regular Intuos Pro has also been updated.

Intuos Pro Paper Edition

Intuos Pro Paper and pens. Image courtesy Wacom

New Intuos Pro and Paper Edition features

The new Intuos Pro, including the Intuos Pro Paper Edition (as they’re the same tablet)  is thinner than the old version and has a smaller footprint. The pen stand is now smaller, the pen case is updated. Then nibs sit in the pen holder, which is now flatter and cookie-like.

You also get three Texture Sheets that you can use to get the look of three drawing textures.

The Paper Edition still has touch, the ExpressKeys, and Rocker Ring as controls.

It also includes the 0.4mm Finetip gel ink pen, which is also an EMR pressure-sensitive pen.

Inkscape App

Like the Bamboo Slate and Spark, the tablet comes with the Inkscape app. (Though the app is free to download, eventually it becomes subscription-based).

intuospropapereditionreview

Intuos Pro Paper with Pro Pen 2 and new, thinner pen stand

Besides the gel pen, there’s an optional ballpoint pen. Wacom says that in mid-2017, there’s going to be a pencil option. Yippie! Wonder if it will have an eraser end.

With the app, which works on mobile or desktop, your drawings get digitized and you can store or share them.

intuospropaper

You can use the Paper Clip (that thing on top) to attach your favorite drawing paper to the Intuos Pro Paper Edition. Or you can use the tablet as a regular Intuos Pro.

WIth the paid app, you get 50 GB storage instead of 5; you can convert text to notes, collaborate with others, or turn raster into vector. It costs $3.56 per month as of this writing. The basic app is free and can be used on its Web platform or as an Android and iOS mobile app.

newintuosprogelpen

Intuos Pro Paper Edition Bamboo gel pen

The Intuos Pro Paper now has this whole new functionality. While I like the ink pens, can’t wait for mid-2017 when the pencil comes out in time for summer sketching.

See it on Amazon

Read more about the top Wacom tablets.