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veikk vk1560 review

Veikk VK1560 review: lightweight, inexpensive draw-on-screen tablet

Veikk VK1560 review: slim, lightweight pen display

veikk vk1560 review

Veikk VK1560 review: The VK1560 is PNBoo’s first pen display tablet. I recently did a review of their Veikk S640 graphics tablet, and received this one for testing.

Type of tablet

Display tablet, draw on screen
You need to connect this tablet to a computer.

Digitizer:

EMR (electromagnetic resonance) with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity

What’s in the Box

veikk pen display tablet accessories

Veikk accessories (pen and cloth are in other photo). Photo by Tablets for Artists

 

Tablet, pen, pen case with extra nibs, power cord and brick, anti-smudge glove, cleaning cloth, mini display port to HDMI adapter (for Mac), USB, HDMI adapter

Features

15.6″ display, HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, IPS
94% Adobe RGB
7 customizable hot keys, external
Scroll dial, external
batteryless pen
pen tray on display’s right side

OS: Windows: XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1,10
Mac OS latest version

Works with: Photoshop,Illustrator, Clip Studio Paint, Krita, Gimp, and more. Was updated to work with SAI.

veikk tablet pen

Unboxing the Veikk VK1560

veikkvk1560unboxing

Veikk VK1650 unboxing. Photo by Tablets for Artists

The tablet came safely and neatly packaged with an outer box inside the Amazon box, as well as an inner box with a handle, and foam protection inside that box. The goods inside came in plastic bags, and the tablet itself had some extra foam protection.

The first thing I noticed was how slim and light the tablet is for something that sits on a desk.The 15.6″ display is of course not the biggest drawing tablet surface there is, but it’s a good size, larger than most computer screens and than the largest iPad Pro.

The Veikk 1560 isn’t completely flat like a Cintiq Pro is; it’s like a traditional Cintiq. It has a nondetachable stand. The aspect ratio is long horizontally; it’s much more rectangular than it is square.

There were no scratches, dust, dead pixels, or damage. The tablet comes with a protective film over the screen that’s meant to be removed. After removing that, there’s still a built-in screen protector.

There’s also a quickstart guide. You should download the latest driver from Veikk.com. As of this writing, there is not a lot of info about this tablet on Veikk.com, but there’s more info and photos on the Veikk Amazon listing.

The clamshell pen case with a nib holder inside and 9 extra nibs (total of 10) is a nice touch. There’s also a nib remover that sits in its own little recessed area in the pen case.Half the nibs are gray and half are white, with the gray ones being harder and the white ones slightly more rubbery. The pen did not come with a nib already in it. Putting the nib in was easy.

The pen holder on the right side of the tablet is a super-convenient way of putting down the pen without worrying about it rolling away.

Build quality

The build quality is good. It’s mostly plastic, which explains its light weight. The design is pleasing; though plastic, it doesn’t look cheap. The buttons and scrolldial make it resemble a Cintiq.

The stand is metal with rubber sleeves on the legs. It goes from an almost upright to a low angle and holds the tablet sturdily. It’s easy to adjust the stand.

The pen is thin, curved, and comfortable to hold. I really like the pen, and prefer it to the thick, round ones, since this one is more like a ballpoint pen.

Ports

veikk vk 1560 drawing screen pen display tablet review

Back of Veikk VK1560 shows stand. Photo by Tablets for Artists

The ports are in the back on the side. The cables stayed in them securely. To reach the power button you have to access the back of the device, so be sure you leave room to do that. I prefer the buttons on the side like this to hanging out the bottom.

The buttons on the side protrude a little and press easily enough. The buttons and dial make the Veikk resemble a Cintiq.

All the cables it came with worked fine.

Portability

This is a relatively portable pen display, considering it has an attached stand. While it’s not something you’d bring to a coffee shop or client meeting, I could see taking it in car to work when away from home, or if you’re a student who moves a lot, it could be a real convenience to have a screen drawing tablet that’s not big and heavy. The relatively compact size makes it not too big of a burden.

Setting up the tablet

The calibration worked out of the box. I didn’t have to adjust the color, but you can, using the controls on the back. All you need to do is attach the power cord, adapter, and, after installing the driver, attach the USB cord.

All buttons other than the express keys and dial are on the back, including the power button, so you will have to reach back to turn it on. Buttons on the back bring up an on-screen menu where you can adjust colors and brightness.

Driver

1560 driver for Mac

The driver allows quite a bit of customization due to the express keys and dial. You can use these to program your favorite commands in various art programs. There’s some customization for the pen, limited to the usual (for low-cost tablets) erase and right-click. You can also adjust the pressure curve in the driver, as well as map the tablet and rotate the image.

To calibrate the driver, you have to put it on Extend in the monitor settings, then go through a 5-point process. It was calibrated out of the box for me.

On Mac, I couldn’t get the driver to show up in the system tray, only in System Preferences. You have to keep the USB unplugged while installing the driver. I experienced some minor glitches along the way, but the art programs work well.

Art program testing

The tablet worked well with most programs with both line and pressure sensitivity.

On Mac, I tried it with Photoshop CC, Photoshop Elements, Krita, Sketchbook Pro, Gimp.

The tablet works with vector such as Illustrator and Inkscape, but as expected, you don’t get pressure sensitivity in those.

As I had some issues with my Windows computer, I will update this post with more Windows testing soon. In my short tests, I found that pressure worked in Sketchbook with no driver installed, but this was not the case with the Mac.

Drawing on the Veikk VK1560

Screen

The display is bright, and the colors, with 94% of Adobe RGB, are vivid. The built-in display is matte, and adds a very small bit of a tooth, making it so the pen doesn’t slip around. The matte screen protector has a slight cloudiness if you look at it close up, but the picture is still sharp. You can adjust the colors and brightness via using the on-screen menus in conjunction with the buttons on the back. There is some new-screen squeak that I’m working on via rubbing my gloveless hands on the screen. There is an included anti-smudge glove.

Pen

The pen is nice and light, its buttons easy to reach–you may end up pressing them by accident. Putting my index finger on the opposite side solves that problem. The nib moves around a little while drawing, and makes a slight noise.

Overall I prefer a squarer shape, as it makes it easier to move the arm up and down, but I soon adjusted to the horizontal format. You’re getting a bit less drawing space than with a 21″ screen, but freeing up your life in many ways. If you have limited space, this is a convenient size. Drawing on it is smooth. I keep it at a low, roughly 30-degree angle.

The accuracy was very good, as was the pressure sensitivity. I didn’t get any blobs or skips. Worst things was when sometimes I’d get the wrong tool. I have had that happen with Wacom drivers too, but it seemed to happen a bit more with this one.

Pros

affordable
relatively lightweight, slim, compact
good build quality
external Express Keys and Scroll dial, like Cintiq
batteryless pen
ergonomic pen
pen case and on-tablet pen holder

Cons

no touch function
driver finicky at times

Veikk VK1560 review verdict

veikk-vk1560-tablet

This Veikk VK1560 review is a thumb’s up for the value and compactness, as well as the Express Keys and ScrollDial. If you want a practical pen display that has a smaller footprint and lighter weight than other Cintiq, this is a great choice. For those who already have a large screen, this could be a good second tablet for another room or location. It’s good for students and beginners as well. The one drawback is the driver may take some fiddling around with.

 

See it on Amazon

 

end of Veikk VK1560 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.

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

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

 

 

samsung notebook 9 pen review

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro Review, S Pen included

samsungnotebook9proreview

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

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

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

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

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

Type of tablet

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

Digitizer

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

Features

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

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

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

Ports

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

What’s in the Box

Notebook Pro 9
Battery (3-cell)
Charger

Build

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

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

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

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

For lefties

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

Display

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

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

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

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

Keyboard and trackpad

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

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

The trackpad is large, accurate, and accepts gestures.

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

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

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

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

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

Portability

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

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

Battery life

About 7 hours of mixed use on both models.

 

Pen

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

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

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

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

Drawing on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

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

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

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

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

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

User Reactions

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

The Verdict

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

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

See Samsung Notebook Pro 9 at Best Buy

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

See on Amazon

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

End of Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review

See best 2-in-1s for drawing

best cheap drawing tablets

Best cheap drawing tablets: 10 for [2017-2018]

best cheap drawing tablets

Best cheap drawing tablets: our favorites for 2017-2018

Starving artist seeking the best cheap drawing tablets? Look no farther. Going digital without breaking the bank is a question on the minds of many. I’ve been lucky to be able to test quite a few cheap tablets and I’m a believer. I do not agree with reviewers who say you have to buy a Cintiq.

Here are top picks and links to our reviews.

CHEAP GRAPHICS PADS FOR PC OR MAC
  
Huion 610 Pro
Read Huion 610 Pro review
International customers
Wacom Intuos Draw
wacom-intuos-draw
Read Intuos Draw reviewInternational customers
Wacom Intuos Art Pen & Touch
Read Intuos Pen & Touch review
International customers
BUDGET PEN DISPLAYS
XP-Pen Artist 22E

Read XP-Pen Artist 22E review
International customers
PNBOO PN2150
Read PNBOO PN2150 reviewUK customers
(only in US and UK right now)
Ugee 1910B
Read Ugee 1910B review
International customers
Artisul D13
Artisul D13 reviewInternational customers
STANDALONE MOBILE AND 2-in-1s
Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
Read Galaxy Tab A with S Pen review
International customers
Lenovo Yoga Book
Read Yoga Book review

International customers
Lenovo Miix 320
Read about Miix 320International customers

I’ve made a list that includes the 3 different types: cheap graphics tablets without screens, budget tablet monitors, and cheap drawing tablets with screen–Android tablets or cheap 2-in-1 tablet PCs. All come with an active pen.

If we were talking about traditional art supplies, I would say to spend more, because of factors such as pigment, fillers, and lightfastness. But pixels are pixels. It’s the experience of using the tablet, and its reliability, that matter the most.

A good cheap drawing tablet does most of the same thing as an expensive drawing tablet. Some might say you shouldn’t penny pinch, but the price difference can be huge.

Below I go over the differences and want to look for.

Ultra cheap pen display

I’ve tested and reviewed this PNBoo PN10 as a small ultra-cheap tablet monitor. It has Express Keys. I think this is a good choice for a small cheap drawing tablet with screen.

A cheaper graphics tablet is the Turcom TS 6610, which is similar (with small hardware and driver differences) to the Huion 610Pro. If you use the Huion driver, you’re better off.

 

bestcheapdrawingtablets (1)

Dog knows.

Cheap tablets vs. Wacom

Build

Cheap drawing tablets, and their pens, are made mostly of plastic and thus are lighter. Parts are metal, including the stand. Expensive drawing tablets have more metal alloy and tend to weigh more.

Features and hardware

These budget brands, and most others, use EMR, which is the same type of technology that Wacom uses in their digitizers. EMR is highly sensitive, so you will not be missing out in terms of pen responsiveness.

Lower-cost tablets usually have no tilt sensitivity, no multitouch (ability to finger paint). A cheap drawing tablet won’t get pressure sensitivity in vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

For vector art, the best option is to use Clip Studio Paint, where you can get pressure sensitivity with a budget tablet. Though those files stay in their native file type and can’t be exported to .eps or .ai files.

Cheap graphics tablets don’t have a wireless kit the way the Intuos non-Pro models do (note, that costs extra).

Most budget tablet monitors lack external, customizable Express Keys. Some do, though.

Cheap tablet monitors come with a stand, but the stand doesn’t swivel the way Wacoms do.

Budget tablets usually have 2048 levels of pressure and Wacoms have up to 8192, though some still have 1024. All are fine.

Generally, a cheap drawing tablet won’t come with bundled art software. Wacom Intuoses do, though.

Wacom Intuos as a cheap drawing tablet

As you can see, two Wacom Intuoses are named as a best cheap graphics tablet. That may seem strange, but the small non-Pro Intuoses really aren’t that expensive. They don’t have all the features of the Pro line, but that’s OK for most people.  I think Medium is the best size for drawing, but it depends. With the Intuos you get bundled art software.

(See  best Wacom tablets.)

Drivers

Drivers for budget tablet brands do not offer as much customization as more expensive ones. They can also be harder to install or have occasional hiccups.

Wacom drivers are not immune from hiccups, but the installation process takes you by the hand more. Usually I find the budget ones to install quickly, but now and then there’s a hitch.

Low-cost tablets usually do not come with bundled art software. Wacom’s do, so that adds value.

Other differences are simply in the packaging. Some budget pen displays come in plain boxes without printing on them. The manuals may not be written in perfect English or may say “works with Windows 8” when the world is on Windows 10.

Don’t worry about that. Companies keep the drivers updated even if they don’t always keep the printed matter up to date. Download the drivers from their sites.

The screen tends to be smooth; there’s no texture as there is on some Cintiqs.

Many of the budget graphics pads and pen displays come with a generous assortment of accessories such as a drawing glove, bag, screen protector, and extra pen.

Tip:

A lot of the low-cost tablet brands have interchangeable drivers, meaning those from one company can work on another’s. That’s a positive. If you have trouble with a driver, you can sometimes download a driver from a different site. In some of my reviews, I’ve noted where I had difficulties with drivers and tried alternative ones that worked better.

Support

As far as support, most of the companies have ways of reaching them online, including forums, phone, and Skype chats. Some have offices in the U.S. and other countries and some don’t. Not all have Facebook pages and Twitter, as some are in countries where those are blocked. So you may need to use email or Skype.

Buying on Amazon is probably your best bet since you will have their return policy and guarantees.

Most of these are for sale only online, except the Wacoms. You won’t find cheap drawing tablets at Best Buy or other big box stores.

What to look for (and look out for) in an affordable art tablet:

Drivers should install without a struggle. Be sure you have deleted all previously installed tablet drivers first. (If you’re on a tablet PC, you can leave the tablet PC software. Only delete drivers that you or someone else installed onto the computer.)

If you do have a struggle, contact support of that particular company. You can also try deleting and reinstalling. It seems to me that installation is getting easier.

Drivers should work well across programs and for Windows and Mac.

Ports should not be loose. Loose ports are even a problem in some Wacom tablets. Cables should fit snugly into ports.

Don’t be alarmed if the screen squeaks at first when you use the pen; rub the screen with your hands a few times to quiet it down.

 

cheap drawing tablet

 

Cheap Android and 2-in-1s

I’ve included standalone, direct drawing tablets on my list too, including the Lenovo Yoga Book and Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, an excellent choice for a relatively cheap 10″ tablet.. There are some relatively inexpensive tablet PCs and Android tablets.

A lot of people want a 2-in-1. None are super powerful, though. If you want a lot of processing power at the lowest price, you may be better off using a PC with an attached graphics pad.

Students, beginners, hobbyists, and artists on a budget–including professional ones–all can benefit by saving money. Many people have been using these best cheap drawing tablets and are happy with them. I’ve been glad to have had the opportunity to try some.

You can always start out with an affordable option then move up. Or you may just decide to keep it.

You will find you can get good results without spending so much.

Read more drawing tablet reviews.

end of Best Cheap Drawing Tablets