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.

Gaomon S620 affordable graphics tablet review

Gaomon S620 review

gaomons620unboxed

Graphics tablet (non-screen), EMR digitizer

OS: Win 7 and macOS 10.12 or above, Android 6.0 or above.

Size: 6.5 x 4″

Battery-free pen

8192 levels of pressure

266 report rate

1080 LPI

Pen hover: 10mm

Type of Tablet

EMR with passive, battery-free pen

Wired, no wireless option. Need to connect to computer or Android phone/tablet.

This is the first Gaomon I have tried.  I received a complimentary unit for testing.

Gaomon is a Chinese company that has been in the digitizer space since 2011. In 2016, the company released the Gaomon S56K, and has since released more tablets, both with screens and opaque, non-screen ones.]

It’s light and easy to carry in a small bag.

Suitable for left-handed and right-handed use.

What’s in the Box

Opening up the box.

gaomon s620 unboxing

The Gaomon unboxed. The pen is in the compartment on bottom right.

 

Tablet, Artpaint AP32 pen, felt pen pouch, 8 extra nibs, USB, OTG adapter for Android  6.0 and up, booklet, nib remover, booklet

The tablet came in a nice, minimalistic white branded box. The packaging is high-quality and the gray felt pen pouch is quite luxurious. There are 8 extra nibs plus one in the pen.

The Gaomon stylus pen in its included felt pouch

The Gaomon pen in its included felt pouch

Build quality

The Gaomon is solidly built, not flimsy. It has a matte finish that’s not that bumpy. The bottom has four rubber anti-slip dots. The pen is about the size of a ballpoint pen and weighs 12 G or 3/8 oz.

 

Installing the driver

 

GaomonSs620 Windows driver

GaomonSs620 Windows driver

The driver installed smoothly onto both Mac and Windows. Oddly, with the Mac, a screen popped up saying the tablet wants to record my screen and it was asking me to click yes or no. This refers to playing back the drawing so you can watch each step. But the tablet doesn’t have that feature. So I clicked no. Later, I ended up reinstalling the driver after installing the latest Mac update to see if it made a difference, and I did not get that message.

De-install any previous tablet drivers you’ve added, including any Wacom drivers. In the Gaomon driver, you need to click “enable Windows Ink” get the pressure working in Windows.

The driver lets you customize the pen buttons and the four Express Keys and you can do this per app, which is nice. It doesn’t offer as many customization options as some tablets, but the basics are there. I felt the UI was a bit confusing but not that hard. If you want to make some customizations and shortcuts it’s enough.

The Pen

Artpaint AP32 pen

Artpaint AP32 pen

The Artpaint AP32 pen weighs 13 grams. It’s not too heavy, not too light. It’s not slippery. The two buttons are easy to reach. The top half or so is covered with a comfortable-to-hold rubber sheath. It’s not a super-fancy pen, but it’s similar to most comparable tablets and has the nice feature of the soft grip.

Texture

As you can see, it’s plastic matte.

gaomon 620 surfacetexture

Surface texture of the Gaomon S620 drawing tablet

Using the Gaomon

The high report rate and LPI, and number of pressure levels. are similar to the Wacom Intuos and make for a high-resolution line quality.

It has a slightly textured, matte surface that’s not too rough, but it’s good they included extra nibs as the nibs will wear down after time. There’s no rubbery-soft surface like on some tablets. I did not find that it caused slipperiness, and I like that it didn’t attract things like hand oil like the softer tablets do.

In the really compatible programs, drawing was a pleasure. There weren’t bumps, jumps, or anything like that, and the pressure and opacity sensitive worked smoothly.

Art program testing

On Windows, the Gaomon performed great on almost everything, such as Photoshop, Krita, Sketchbook Pro, Inkscape, and Clip Studio Paint.  With Gimp, i could not get the pressure sensitivity working. For fun I tried some programs without the driver, and got pressure in Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop with no driver at all.

On Mac, I tested it on Photoshop, Krita, Inkscape, GIMP, Rebelle, and Clip Studio Paint. It worked great in Clip Studio Paint, and fine in Inkscape. In Photoshop, it was OK but a little laggy if I drew quickly. I wouldn’t recommend it with the others. This was my individual experience on Mac.

The company has a long list of programs they tested for compatibility. You can see it from the link below if you like. (PDF on this site)

Gaomons620.Compatibility

I didn’t test it on Android–if I ever do. I will update this Gaomon S620 review.

 

Gaomon s620 graphics tablet review

Image courtesy of Gaomon

gaomon tablet cheap

Image courtesy of Gaomon

Pros and Cons

Pros: Good build quality. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but that may make it a better value for those who don’t need those and won’t have to spend on them. It has as many pressure levels as a Wacom, and four Express Keys. It works on Window, Mac, and Android. So it’s a good deal for the dollar.

Cons: Didn’t work that great for me with Mac (with some exceptions), not a lot of customization options (though not everyone uses that many). No wireless option. No eraser tip on pen.

The size is pretty small; medium is a better size for professional art, and small is good for small drawings, photo editing, signatures, and having an extra tablet.

The Verdict

The Gaomon S620 is fine for a starter tablet to draw, do signatures, replace a mouse, play OSU, edit photos, and more. For me it worked better on Windows than Mac overall, but was fine in some programs on Mac. It’s built well and should last a while. The felt pen holder is a great accessory, and I like the rubber-grip pen a lot. It’s in the very affordable category at the moment so it’s something to consider.

See it at Amazon US

See it at Amazon UK

See it at Amazon Canada

Gaomon UK Storefront Home

S620 in the UK Gaomon store

Gaomon YouTube channel  http://bit.ly/gaomonyoutub

 

 

 

end of Gaomon S620 Review

ugee s640 review

Ugee S640 review: small but powerful graphics tablet

Ugee S640 graphics tablet review: small but packs a punch

ugee s640 review

Ugee S640 review

The Ugee S640 graphics tablet is by Hanvon Ugee. Ugee began in China 1998, as did Hanvon, and the two companies merged in 2017. The company also includes XPPen. Hanvon Ugee holds 91 patents.

Disclosure: Ugee sent me an S640 tablet to test and review.

The S640 is a wired graphics tablet with no screen. If you’re looking for something similar to the Wacom Intuos small, the Ugee S640 is one to consider. The features are close to being on par with the pricy Intuos.

The Ugee S640 lets you customize the pen to your own shortcuts. It has as many pressure levels as the most advanced tablets, which is 8192. The Ugee site has free downloadable drivers for Windows, Mac, and Android,  so you could use with either with a computer or a mobile device. Drivers for Linux, Debian, and more are also on the site.

Besides being able to fully customize the pen buttons, you can customize 10 buttons to shortcut commands. You can customize on a per-app basis.

ugees640driver

See the Ugee S640 on the Ugee site

See the Ugee S640 on Amazon

See more of our Ugee reviews

Type of tablet:

Graphics tablet (no screen)
-Must be connected via an included cord to computer or Android device
-Works with Windows 7/8/10, Mac (10.10 or higher), Linux, Android 6.0 and above
-Pen, not pen and touch (can’t use finger touch on it, only the stylus)

Type of digitzer: EMR
Pressure levels: 8,192
Customizable shortcut keys: 10
Highly customizable pen buttons
Tilt +-60 degrees
Tablet can be rotated using driver to 0, 90, 180, 270 degrees
Battery-free, lightweight stylus pen
Size : 215.3 x 162.53 x 12.06 mm
Active area 6.3″ x 4″

Pen weight: 11g

Resolution 5080 LPI

Report rate: up to 220 RPS
Accuracy ±0.4mm
Reading Height: up to 10 mm

What’s in the Box

Tablet
Pen
10 extra nibs
pen clipper
USB cable (L-shaped_)
USB to Micro USB adapter
USB to USB-C adapter
Quick guide
Warranty card

The Ugee shipped in a brown cardboard with cute line graphics. The items inside are sealed in plastic bags. It was packed carefully and everything needed is in there. You can download the latest drivers off the Ugee site; no disk is included.

The L-shaped connector is a nice feature as it makes it harder to stress the cord, and the tablet has a place you can attach a lanyard if you want to add a lock or some kind of accessory. The pen does not have a built-in opening to attach a lanyard.

Ugee S640 drawing tablet with pen

Ugee S640 drawing tablet with included pen

The tablet is rectangular and in a landscape format, not square like the small Wacom Intuos. The Ugee has a heft to it; it’s not flimsy or lightweight. The included mini-USB fit snugly. You connect the USB to your computer and the mini USB to the tablet.

The tablet has ten physical programmable buttons on top. They’re a generous size. They make an audible click. They’re not hard to press, but have a bit of firmness, which might stop you from pressing them by accident.

The surface is pretty smooth but has some matte finish. There’s a soft pen loop attached to the upper right of the device.

The active area is bounded by small rectangles.

It did pick up some fingerprints, so I suggest keeping hands off it or wearing a glove to keep the oils from your hands off it. I have no evidence that these oils cause any harm, but I think if they build it up it could cause slickness.

Anti-slip strips

The bottom has two long, narrow rubber strips to stop sliding. Most tablets have four rubber squares, so this is more generous with the amount of rubber. The strips go along the full length of the part that fits on the table; the footprint goes beyond that with the sides curving upward. The corners are rounded.

ugee review back of tablet

Back of the Ugee has two anti-slip rubber strips.

There’s no wireless option. The co. also has released a version of this, the S640W, that has a wireless option, as well as a similar, larger tablet, the S1060 and S1060W (the W is for Wireless).

Pen Loop

The fabric pen loop is sturdy and the pen fits well (in some tablets, the loop is too tight-fitting). It would be nice if the pen loop were not on the same side as the mini-USB port, because it makes it so you can’t lay the pen flat across the tablet when the tablet is connected. But you still can put it into the loop.

I’m guessing the pen loop is on top and not on the side because if it were on the side, the pen then be longer than the tablet, making it a little harder to carry around. It also would look a little weird on the bottom but that could be a better solution.

If you want a pen loop on the side, you can simply buy some portable pen loops that have sticky backs and adhere one to the back of the tablet. I use these pen loops when needed, though I’m going to use the built-in loop on the S640.

Portability

The S640 is easy to carry and would fit into a backpack or even a purse.

For lefties

It’s fine for left- and right-handed use, as you can map the tablet to the orientation you want.

Pen

The batteryless, cordless pen is made of plastic and is light at 11g.

ugee emr stylus for s640

The Ugee pen is batteryless and cordless.

The Ugee has a small, bright white indicator light that lights up when you connect it to the computer and when the pen is in contact with the surface.

You can customize the pen button as you wish, which is not the case with all affordable  tablets.

Art Programs

I did basic pressure tests on Mac on Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape, and Clip  Studio Paint. The Ugee pressure worked well on all of these. I was really impressed with how it got pressure on Inkscape. I did have some issues with Gimp on Mac, which is buggy anyway, so I don’t think it had to do with the tablet.

In Illustrator on Mac, at first I could not get the pressure option to show up in the options panel for the pens that get pressure. After trying a few things, I learned I had to download the Wacom drivers off the Wacom site, and voila, the pressure option showed up and it worked fine. In Illustrator for Windows, the pressure options work out of the box, as Windows may already have some built-in drivers that enable it.

Drawing on the Ugee

In Windows, I tested Illustrator, Krita, Adobe Sketchbook, Paint Tool Sai, Photoshop, and Inkscape, and had no issues, all worked great.

The drawing experience is smooth and solid, with no jitter. While we do recommend a larger tablet, such as medium size, for professional illustration and fine art, a small one is fine for small drawings, photo editing, graphics, OSU, and more. Or you may just want to replace your mouse and mouse pad with something that does a bit more. Customizing your buttons and pen can really speed up your workflow, and a pen offers easier control than a mouse when you’re doing things like lassoing.

https://youtu.be/gxeF97pnuOg

If you want a larger, similar tablet, Ugee also offer the S1060 model.

Driver

The driver installed really easily on Windows and Mac, to my relief. In the olden days I was often struggling with installation, but this was a breeze. I was careful to delete old tablet drivers I had installed before installing this one, and of course I had to allow the driver in the Mac System preferences Security and Privacy/Accessibility panel.

The driver lets you customize the pen and the ten Express Keys, both to presets and your own customization. You can customize the pen buttons however you like. You can also add software programs to set the customizations to each program if you like. So, it’s pretty similar to the Intuos.

You also have control over tilt.

S640 vs. Wacom Intuos

-S640 pen is lighter
-no wireless option for S640
-art software is not included with the Ugee
-Ugee is landscape format

-has similar customization options to Wacom, including per-app
-more affordable

Pros:
-driver easy to install
-highly customizable
-good build quality

Cons:
-no wireless option with the S640, though you can get the S640W for that
-pen loop too close to charging port

The Verdict

In short, I’m really happy with the Ugee S640 in the small tablet category. The driver installs smoothly, there’s tons of customization options, the table works with a wide variety of art programs (there are more listed on the Ugee page), it’s got a solid build, and it’s portable. You can use it for art, design, photo editing, OSU, and more. If you’re looking for a small graphics tablet that’s affordable, versatile, and has a smooth-installing driver, you should consider this one.

See the Ugee S640 on Amazon

See the Ugee S640 on the Ugee site

end of Ugee S640 review

xp-penstarg960sreview

XP-PEN Star G960S Review: graphics tablet with tilt

xp-penstarg960sreview

XP-PEN Star G960S review: affordable tablet with premium features

The XP-PEN Star G960S is a new (as of May 2020) graphics tablet from XP-PEN. The company started in Japan in 2005 and since 2019 has been part of the HanvonUgeeGroup. In the past I have reviewed some XP-PEN display tablets. The G960S is a non-screen graphics tablet I received for review.

In a world of Wacom alternative tablets, the G960S manages to stand out with some features that are pretty hard to find in an affordable price range: tilt, and the ability to use the tablet with Android. It also works with Linux, as well as Mac and Windows. And, it lets you customize the pen to your own shortcuts, which is very unusual in an affordable tablet.

(Want to see it in the XP-PEN store before reading more? Visit the store and use coupon code Vicky960S for a $5 discount on the G960 or G960S in the US and Canada. More regions in links at the end of the article.)

XP-PEN Star line

The Star line has three models: the G960S, the G960S Plus, and the G960. The G960S Plus has the same features as the G960S but its pen has an eraser end. The G960S and G960S Plus are upgrades to the G960.

Type of tablet:

Graphics tablet (no screen)
-Must be connected to computer or Android device (no wireless option)
-Works with Windows 7/8/10, Mac (10.10 or higher), Linux, Android 6.0 and above

Type of digitzer: EMR
Pressure levels: 8,192
Customizable shortcut keys: 4
Highly customizable pen buttons
Tilt +-60 degrees
Tablet can be rotated using driver to 0, 90, 180, 270 degrees
Battery-free, lightweight pen
Size 319.5 x 209.5 x 10mm (12.57 x 8.25 x 0.39″)
Active area 9 x 6 inch (228.8 x 152.6mm)

Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz. (483g) without cable
Pen weight: 1/4 oz. (8g)

Report rate: up to 230
Accuracy ±0.4mm(Center)
Reading Height 10mm

Works on: Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android tablets/phones/Chromebook

The company lists these programs as being compatible: Photoshop, SAI, Painter,  Illustrator, Clip Studio GIMP, Medibang, Krita, Fire Alpaca, Blender 3D, Paint X, FlipaClip, Autodesk Sketchbook, Zenbrush, Artrage, Microsoft Office.

What’s in the Box

xp-pengstarG960S

What’s in the box: the tablet and more.

xppeng960smac

All set up and ready to draw.

Tablet
Pen
USB cable
USB to Micro USB adapter
USB to USB-C adapter
10 extra nibs (total of 11)
User guide
Warranty
Nib remover ring

The tablet comes in a brown cardboard box with black print. It came safely packed, no issues there.

The Star G9N06s is well made, lightweight but solid.  The mini-USB fits snugly and doesn’t get dislodged easily.

The tablet has four physical buttons on one side. They’re a generous size, light. They’re easy to press, and you can hear the click. There’s no wheel or on-screen keys to extend the ability to make shortcuts.

The surface is slightly matte but as it’s pretty smooth, so shouldn’t wear down the pen nib quickly. It’s not a fingerprint magnet; I tried leaving some and they just dry and disappear. That’s not to say there are zero fingerprints, but it’s not too bad. It’s less printy than tablets with smoother surfaces.

The active area is bounded by small rectangles. There’s a small bezel around the edges of the tablet, beyond the active area.

The bottom has a small rubber piece in each corner to keep it from slipping.

xppeng960

Side view.

Portability

At about a pound, it’s easy to carry and would fit into a backpack.

For lefties

It’s fine for left- and right-handed use, as you can map the tablet to the orientation you want.

Pen

The pen is nice-looking and lightweight, it’s narrow and looks like a ballpoint pen. At 8 grams, it weighs less than half of many tablet pens that have batteries. I prefer this ballpoint-like pen to the thick round pens some budget tablets have. Some might prefer if it weighed a few more grams, but I don’t mind the light weight, as it stops my hand from getting tired.

xppen g960s stylus pen

The G960S pen is light and ballpoint-pen like.

The pen is battery-free and doesn’t require charging since it’s a traditional EMR tablet.
An indicator light on the tablet lights up when the pen is in use.

The pen has a plastic loop on the end you can fasten to a lanyard. However, the tablet doesn’t have anything you can attach the lanyard to, such as a fabric loop. So if you want to use the pen’s loop (totally uo to you) you could hang the pen on the wall, wear it around your neck, or find some way to affix it to the tablet.

One really unusual feature for an affordable tablet like this is you can customize the pen button as you wish. Here’s a picture of the driver that lets you do that. I almost didn’t notice this as it’s not being talked about a lot on the site.

xppeng960pendriver

You can program the pen button as you wish.

The list goes on much longer. I tried some and found them to work.

Unfortunately, the pen button fell off after rolling off a surface about a foot and a half high.  I was able to put it back with the help of tape and it still works. I was glad that I was able to find the button!

Using the Star G960S

In this video to supplement this XP-Pen Star G960S review, I go over a sketch so you can see me drawing lines. The drawing experience is smooth and enjoyable. The lines are responsive to pressure, no blobs or lag. I don’t have to press down hard on the default pressure setting, which as you can see is about in the middle. It’s a satisfying experience with a good pressure curve. Sometimes having high pressure levels can cause too fast a change in line, but I didn’t have that issue here. It had the same feeling that I liked in the XP-PEN display tablets.

The size is an excellent one for drawing. It’s not so big that you tire your arm, nor so small that you feel cramped.

Here is a short demo of me using it with Photoshop. I’m going over a sketch but pressing harder so you can see the darker lines.

Art program testing:

You may or may not have to add each art software to your list of allowed programs–if it isn’t working right, try adding it.

Driver

xppenstarg960stabletdriver

The driver.

To install the driver onto Mac Catalina took a bit of time. You have to go into System Preferences and allow permissions for various parts of the driver. In some cases you need to add drawing software to this too. It wasn’t difficult to install, but it was a lot of steps. This is not unique to XP-PEN; you have to do the same thing to install Wacom drivers and other software. Further, you have to add some programs to Input Monitor. It’s important to do this in Photoshop to get the pressure working.

The driver has a bar where you can see numbers that show how hard you’re pressing. This tells you if pressure is working or not, but as it doesn’t have a little window to test it in, to see the actual effect of the pressing you have to use a drawing program and canvas. You can also set the speed, and pick absolute or relative (Mouse Mode).

The driver lets you map the monitor, rotate it to different angles, and switch to left-hand or right-hand use,

Express Keys

You can set the four Express Keys to any options you want, the presets or your own, or you can keep the default ones. When setting the keys, it asks you to pick the application, but I found what I set worked in other art programs too. The custom commands I  created were saved after restarting the computer.

You can set the pen button to many different options, similar to Wacom.

For certain programs you will get pressure even without the driver, such as Sketchbook Pro, but the driver gives you more possibilities.

Mac: I tested Sketchbook, Gimp, Krita, and Inkscape, Photoshop CC, and Photoshop Elements. (Inkscape is not on the compatible list but it does work). The OS I used is Catalina.

Initially I had some problems with the driver. They then resolved themselves, but I wanted to try to replicate them, and managed to by not plugging it into the computer all the way, then plugging it in all the way. I think this caused the driver to crash. Restarting the computer with the tablet plugged in fixed the issue. The issues were things like skips and not being able to press some buttons. So I advise that you smoothly plug it in securely.

If the tablet icon is not in the Launcher, the Mac will ask you if you want to open it when you turn on the computer.

Windows:
In Windows 10 the driver is easy to install and worked great in the programs I tested–Photoshop, Gimp, SAI, and Krita. Inkscape, which is not on the compatible list, worked fine.

Android: To attach it to Android, you simply use one the included USB to Micro USB adapter. On my Android phone I tested it in Sketchbook, Medibang, and Infinite Painter. There is no driver to download and no driver is needed, so I didn’t use the Express Keys. Pressure worked well in all of these. I found it was easier to use my finger to use gestures, but not too hard to find where I was on the phone screen, which was automatically mapped to the phone screen.

xppen tablet with android

USB connection to Android phone.

xppen tablet used with android

A pressure-sensitive doodle done with the G960S on an Android phone.

This could be a great money saver to use with a Chrome book or larger Android tablet, which would give you a larger size. There are some Android devices that come with pressure that let you draw on the screen, but most are quite pricy. If you already have an Android device and wish you could use it for art, the G960S gives you that ability.

Pros

affordability
portability
tilt
maximum pressure levels
ability to use on Android
includes adapters

Cons

pen button not attached solidly
some hiccups in Mac Catalina, fixable

XP-PEN Star G960S vs. Wacom Intuos Pro

You may be reading this XP-Pen Star G960S review to compare it to a Wacom Intuos or Intuos Pro, so here’s the rundown. The features are quite competitive. There are the same amount of pressure levels, similar size, and same report rate and both have freely customizable pen buttons. The size is a little smaller than the current Wacom Intuos Pro Medium and larger than the Intuos Pro Small.

The Intuos Pro has more Express Keys, a wireless option, has a more premium build, as well as some other differences such as that the Intuos Pro will work with several Wacom pens. But the Wacom doesn’t work on Android.

The Star G960S is affordable and has the main benefits of Wacom, plus offers Android use. It’s the closest I’ve seen so far to the Intuos Pro, and has more features than the regular Intuos.

(see best Wacom tablets)

The Verdict

This is a well-made tablet hardware-wise. The size is generous. The pen is comfortable to grip. The pressure is responsive and doesn’t have an overly springy feeling. Four Express Keys isn’t a whole lot, but it depends how much you want to use them. The tilt and Android use, and generous size make it appealing. You can also use it with Linux, though I did not test that. I like that it includes adapters for micro USB and USB-C so you can use it right away with mobile and other devices.

Its versatility is a strong point–the tilt and varied operating systems it works with. It has more of the features of a Wacom Intuos tablet than most budget tablets do; most budget tablets do not offer tilt or Android use. Like Wacom tablets, it uses EMR, which gives a high quality brush experience.

The Star G960S works especially well in Windows, with Mac Catalina sometimes posing some difficulties that restarting the computer with the tablet plugged in seems to fix. I do take off some points in this XP-Pen Star G960S review for that and the pen button. I will keep using this tablet because I like the drawing experience and the tilt sensitivity.

Support

You can email them or post on the forum on their site.

Links and coupon code

Due to current global disruptions, the tablet hasn’t yet been listed on Amazon (as of May 2020). It’s for sale at the XP-PEN store.

If you use the code Vicky960S with this link to the XP-PEN store, you will get $5.00 off when you buy the Star G960S or Star G960S Plus. The coupon is only good in the US and Canada.

Other regions:

UK web-store: https://bit.ly/2ygvahL
EU web-store: https://bit.ly/3bJx9J9
AU web-store: https://bit.ly/2Xb40kT
SEA web-store: https://bit.ly/3cNhn0g

XP-PEN Star G960S at XP-PEN

Read our XP-PEN reviews
Check out other XP-PEN tablets on Amazon

end of XP-XP-PEN Star G960S review

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

Learn all about tablets for art

huion610prov2review

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

Huion H610Pro v2 review: a sequel worth the ticket

huion610prov2review

Update: I’ve just published a review of the newer Huion Inspiroy H610x.

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