Category Archives: UC Logic

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XP-Pen Artist 22E review, art testing

XP-Pen Artist 22E review: Express Keys bring it closer to a Cintiq

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The XP-Pen Artist 22E is an update of the XP-Pen Artist  22, a pen tablet monitor in the family of “Wacom alternatives.” It offers many of the features of a Cintiq, without the price tag. I’ll go over the differences.

XP-Pen started out in Japan in 2005, and since then has opened offices in Taiwan; Shenzhen, China; and the U.S. They state their concern with the environment led to them to make their pens battery-free. They were kind enough to send me this tablet to review, so I have had time to test out various art programs on it.

In a hurry? See the XP-Pen Artist 22E tablet monitor on Amazon.

XP-Pen Artist 22E vs. XP-Pen Artist 22

The 22E is an update of the XP-Pen 22. The main obvious change is the addition of the Express Keys. The 22 had no Express Keys. (Those are buttons on the outside of the monitor, or sometimes on-screen keys, that can be programmed with software commands). The 22E also uses A+ LED, which has better color quality than the 22.

The 22E has two sets of keys, eight on each side, making life equally convenient for lefties, righties, and the ambidextrous. They mirror each other, so there are a total of 8 programmable keys, not 16. These are all on the outside. They are slightly raised.

The cords now get tucked vertically in the back. On the XP-Pen 22 they were in a row under the stand. They are now easier to reach. This version does not have speakers. (Installing it, though, may alter the speaker settings on your computer–it did on my Mac–so you may need to go and reset them to continue getting sound from your computer).

 

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XP-Pen Artist 22E review drawing test

 

 

Features

Type of digitizer: XP-Pen
Included EMR pen with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, charges via USB

Display: 21. 5 inch diagonal IPS?)Dimensions: 567 x 326 x 30 mm
Display Area: 476.64×268.11mm
1080p resolution (HD)
178° viewing angles (wide)
4- and 9-point calibration
16 Express Keys (8 are programmable, 8 are mirrored)
Pen has two programmable buttons that map to mouse functions
Color gamut: 72% of Adobe RGB
VESA-compatible
Pen weight: 0.6 oz. (17g)

LPI (lines per inch): 5,080
Response time: 14ms
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Brightness: 250 nits
Ports: USB, DC power, VGA, DVI, HDMI
Report rate: 220 rps
No multitouch (cannot use your fingers to draw–only has pen input)

What’s in the Box

XP-Pen Artist 22E 21.5″ tablet monitor
2 rechargeable pens
Pen power adapter
Cables: VGA, USB, HDMI, HDMI to Mini Display Port adapter cable
Power adapter
Power cord
Stylus pen stand/holder (8 replacement pen nibs and one pen nib removal ring tool inside)
CD driver
User manual
Cleaning cloth
Black drawing glove
Screen protector

 

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Back of the Artist 22E–(ignore the extra cord). The cords in the 22E are vertically next to the stand; making them easier to access; in the XP-Pen Artist 22, they were in a horizontal row beneath it.

 

 

 

Since XP-Pen has included an HDMI to Mini Display Port adapter, you don’t need to buy anything additional to use it with a Mac.

To install the driver, you have to uninstall all other tablet drivers I had zero problems installing the driver on my Mac. On Windows, the tablet icon that you click to open the driver settings, didn’t appear, but I opened the driver settings in the folder.

If you’ve had other tablet drivers on your computer, you’re going to have to uninstall them and all remnants of them–this can be tricky. XP-Pen has a troubleshooting page for driver issues.

The driver lets you program the Express Keys, adjust your pressure sensitivity, test it by drawing with four colors, calibrate the touch points (4 or 9 points), and rotate the image on the screen in 90-degree increments.

It came well-packaged, not fancily, but safely. The accessories are all individually wrapped and put in one box. The box has a handy handle.

Portability

At around 17 lbs. including the stand and power supply, this (or any) large tablet monitor is not very portable. The handle on the box helps. The attached stand folds up. It’s not terribly heavy to pick up, though I would not want to walk around with it for long. The power brick is not that big.

For Lefties

The right- and left-hand columns of Express Keys make this a great choice for lefties.

Screen

The XP-Pen’s HD screen is brighter than a Cintiq, since it doesn’t have that filmy coating Wacom uses to give the screen a paperlike bite. So the XP-Pen screen is smoother, but isn’t too slippery. It’s fun to draw on. The screen doesn’t get that dark even with brightness turned all the way down. Turning it up increases color intensity.

The screen has been measured at 250 nits brightness to the Cintiq 22’s 230 nits.
The pen squeaks a little on the screen once in a while but not often, and that should go away after a while. There were no dead pixels. There was a little dust on the outside of the monitor.

Screen protector

The screen protector had some bubbles that were difficult to get rid of. I also just preferred the feeling of the pen on the screen, so after trying the screen protector I removed it.

Pen

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The pen has a pretty fine tip.

The pen needs to be charged via USB. A full charge takes about an hour and a half, but 30 minutes is enough to work for quite a while. The company says the pen can go up to 130 hours on one full charge. It has red and blue indicator lights showing when it’s charging or low.
The pen has no indentation to grip, but it’s comfortable to hold, and a good weight at 17g–a combination of light enough to not get tired, but giving some balance. The barrel has two buttons. They are easily reachable.

The default settings are right-click and erase, but you can change that in the driver settings. The pen does not have an eraser end. The buttons cannot be customized to keyboard shortcuts, but only to eraser and things your mouse does (right-click, etc.).

Art Software

Mac: I tested on Mac El Capitan: Photoshop, Illustrator, Manga Studio, Sketchbook, and the free programs Gimp, Inkscape, Paint Too Sai, Sculptris, and  Krita.  The pressure sensitivity worked great in all of them (I am not that familiar with Sculptris, a free 3d program, so I was not sure what to expect but the pressure did make a difference).

As expected, the pressure sensitivity doesn’t work in Illustrator; so far, Wacom Cintiqs and Intuos Pros have the monopoly on that. The pressure also, as expected, doesn’t work in the Inkscape calligraphy brush, since Inkscape is similar to Illustrator. You can still use the tablet in those programs, without pressure. Pressure sensitivity worked in vector layers in Manga Studio Pro, so you can draw in vector with this.

The one little glitch I experienced in Mac was that the pen suddenly seemed to stop working, a major bummer. But then I realized it was working, but stuck on the eraser tool. Yet, I still got pen lines in the area of the driver where you can test.

Looking this up, I see it’s an issue on Wacom too, so I’m going to chalk it up to a Mac thing. Unplugging the tablet from the computer then plugging it back in fixed it.

Windows: On Windows 10 I tested Photoshop, Gimp, and Sketchbook, and got the same results–works great.

Controls

There are basic controls on the bottom right. There are no speakers in the monitor, and when you attach it, you may have to change speaker settings to get sound in your computer as it may change the settings (this did happen and it’s on the XP-pen site). The driver settings let you test and adjust pen pressure, calibrate the screen to the pen, and set up the Express Keys.

On the bottom there are controls to adjust brightness, bring up the menu that allows some color adjustments, and the power on/off.

Out of the box, the Express Keys are on default settings that work in all programs.  You can reprogram them to your favorite keyboard shortcuts using the driver settings. The pen’s two buttons are programmable as well, to mouse commands such as right and left-click, and eraser.

Drawing on the XP-Pen 22

Here’s a pen test showing pressing down harder and softer in Photoshop CC. I’m working on some more video.

Me drawing curlicues on the XP-Pen Artist 22E. You can see the pressure sensitivity at work.

Have to say I really enjoyed the XP-Pen Artist 22E for drawing. The lines are fluid, the pen sensitive. I adjusted it to a bit higher in pressure as it’s very sensitive at the lower areas. The driver, which Ugee and XP-Pen developed together, gives a springiness to drawing. XP-Pen (the company) also used to work with UC-Logic (the company), but no longer does.

Tip: On a Windows 10 computer, some programs, including Photoshop and Sketchbook, require “supports digital ink” to be ON in your PC tablet settings in order to get pressure sensitivity.

In Photoshop, remember to have Brush Shape Dynamics turned on.

It seems to take slightly more initial activation force than Wacom to make a mark, but less than N-trig pens of the Surface line. There is a little parallax because of the glass. No jitter whether drawing forward, back, or faster  I didn’t experience any hover issues.

Pros

Sensitive, responsive to drawing
Affordability
Display
Stand
Extra pen, cables, adapter for Mac, glove, and screen protector all included
Easy setup
Ports are in good place
Battery-free pen; charge lasts up to 130 hours of use

Cons

Some have issues with driver installation
No multitouch (pen only–doesn’t respond to hand touch)
Drivers more limited in functions than Wacom’s
No tilt or rotation sensitivity
No pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator (only Wacom has this. But, the XP-Pen does get pressure with vector tools in Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint)
Pen button customization is limited
Stand does not rotate

Stand

The stand is very sturdy and highly adjustable. Simply press a lever in back and it goes from nearly straight up to nearly all the way down, to about 15 degrees. Twenty degrees is considered the most “neutral” and offers the best ergonomics (I confirmed this with a physical therapist). It doesn’t rotate; you can instead rotate the art, turn the tablet itself, or use a mounting arm. The monitor is VESA-compatible.

XP-Pen Artist 22E vs. Cintiq 22HD: main differences

Same: display resolution, size, line resolution, pressure levels, Adobe RGB coverage. The Cintiq 22 pen still has 2,048 levels, not 8,192 like the newer MobileStudio Pro and Cintiq Pro. So pressure levels are the same as the XP-Pen.

The earlier XP-Pen had no Express Keys, and now it does, so that brings it closer to a CIntiq, though the XP-Pen has 8 programmable keys (16 keys in mirrored columns) and the Cintiq has 16 different programmable keys.

The Cintiq is a premium item made of premium materials, but the XP-Pen is solidly built. The drivers give a slightly different feel, both very responsive. Here are the major differences:

Cintiq 22HD:

-Drivers let you customize Express Keys per-app

-Pen has eraser end

-Wacom pen is battery-free and cordless

-Cintiq 22HD Pen and Touch model has multitouch (you can use your hand for gestures such as pan, zoom, and rotate, and you can finger paint, but only the pen gets pressure sensitivity)

-Additional controls such as Rocker Ring, Touch Strip, Radial Menu

-Tilt and rotation sensitivity

-Cintiq stand rotates

-Pen buttons can be customized to keyboard shortcuts

-Wacom pen has different types of nibs

XP-Pen Artist 22:

-Greater affordability

-Brighter (250 nits to Cintiq 22’s 230)

-Screen not coated, so smoother, but not too slippery

-Pen can be mapped only to mouse buttons and eraser

-Comes with extra pen, glove, screen protector

-Pen is battery free, needs to be charged via USB

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XP-Pen Artist 22E up as far as it will go, down as far as it will go, Express Keys close-up

 

 

The Verdict

I can’t find much to complain about. It works well and is great to draw on. This is a good professional or starter pen tablet monitor. It doesn’t have every feature of the Cintiq, so the decision should come down to how much you need those additional features. Customizable keys increase efficiency, but you can draw without using them at all if you prefer, or just use some.

This XP-Pen Artist 22E review is a thumb’s up. The color is bright and vivid, and it gets most of the Adobe RGB. This is a great tablet if you want a large, responsive drawing surface to create digital art.

End of XP-Pen Artist 22E review

 See the XP-Pen 22E on Amazon

UK customers

Canada customers

Compare the Cintiq 22HD:

U.S. customers

UK customers

Canada customers

(Remember that if you want the Cintiq with multitouch, you must get the Pen and Touch version.)

Optional accessories::

Amazon Basics Display Mounting Arm

 

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Ugee 1910B review with art tests

Ugee 1910B review with art program testing: affordable 19” tablet monitor delivers

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Ugee 1910b–click image to be taken to the Amazon store in the country you’re in.

 

 

 

 

Features

19″ display, TFT panel
UC-Logic digitizer (uses EMR)
1440 x 900 resolution
2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity
Battery-free pen recharges from USB. Two pens included.
Pen has eraser/pen toggle button
Adjustable metal stand goes from 90 to about 20 degrees
Compatible with Windows XP on up and Mac. Works with 2d and 3d art software.
Can support dual monitors and has screen mapping
Pen does not have tilt or rotation sensitivity (nor do other Cintiq alternatives)
Pen has eraser/pen toggle button setting
Brightness: 300 nits
Contrast ratio: 800:1
Viewing angles to ~80/~80
5080 LPI (lines per inch)
220 RPS (revolutions per second)
Response time 5 ms

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Ugee 1910B with pen

What’s in the Box

Ugee 1910B tablet monitor
Power adapter and cords: VGA, USB, power supply
Two pens, two pen charging cables
Pen stand
CD with driver
Drawing glove
Screen protector (glossy)
User manual
Pen battery lasts at least 800 hours
Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and latest Mac OS

Weight: 15 lbs.
Dimensions: 20.9 x 18.3 x 7.2 inches
Active display area: 19”

 

Packaging and setup

Ugee is a Chinese company and, like Yiynova, Huion, and others, makes lower-cost tablets that are alternatives to the Wacom Cintiq. This is an an Ugee 1910B review.

This model is among the most economical of the Cintiq alternatives for its size. It’s a tablet monitor that attaches to your computer. It works with Windows and Mac. You can also use it as a regular monitor and attach it to a TV or projector.

This was my first time trying an Ugee.

The tablet monitor came safely packaged in cardboard, with a hard backing, and styrofoam. The inner cardboard box having a handy handle. The packaging is not fancy—it’s no-frills, and the savings are passed along to us.

The boxes open vertically rather than like a clamshell. Inside, along with all the cords, are some nice extras: a drawing glove, screen protector, and extra pen and cord. The screen protector is in a separate package.

Setting up the Ugee 1910B

The USB and cables are each about four feet long, and the power supply about 6 feet long. The power brick is pretty small and compact (about 5” long, 2” wide and 1.5” thick) and stays cool. The pen cords are about 3 feet long.

The cables are relatively simple to set up (no splitters or confusion as to what goes where) and do not produce cord tangle–I was grateful for that. There is VGA, but no HDMI support. You can use a VGA to HDMI adapter if needed.

The cords are in back near the bottom, which makes them a little hard to access, but once set up, they are out of the way both physically and visually. The cords are long enough for me, but it depends on your setup.

You plug the tablet into a wall outlet or surge protector, and connect the 15-pin VGA to your computer or use an adapter for HDMI—most newer computers use HDMI. You also connect the tablet to your computer’s USB tablet, and charge the pen via USB as well.

Installing the Ugee driver

The drivers support Windows 10, even though the info in the paper booklet doesn’t go up that high. The driver comes on an included CD, but I used the ones from the Ugee site. You can use anything from XP to Windows 10. It also works on the latest Mac OSX (and I am checking with the company about older Macs).

You have to delete all tablet drivers and any remnants of them before installing. You connect all the cables, including the USB, with the computer and tablet turned off, then install the driver, then reboot.

Once installed, the driver icon stays in its folder rather than appearing on the desktop, so you need to open the folder and click on it.

If your screen is high-resolution, you will need to set the monitor to Extend mode. If your resolution is the same as or lower than the Ugee’s, then set it to Duplicate. If you are getting a big offset, this setting is the first thing you need to look at.

I tested it using my tablet PC and it worked fine with that; as with other tablets, using a penabled computer does not cause a conflict.

Since I did have remnant files from other drivers, I at first got the dreaded “other tablet drivers detected” error. What solved it for me was going into the Windows folder and deleting two files, a fix I quickly found online after doing a search for the text of the error message. If you have never installed another tablet, then you should not have a problem installing.

The pen calibration and pressure sensitivity worked great out of the box for me and required no adjustments.

Build quality

The Ugee is black plastic and attractively designed. It’s not all that thick, but it feels solid. While it’s not lightweight, it’s not hard, if you’re of average strength, to carry it around the room. I would not want to carry it around town or anything.

Stand

The stand is also plastic (though it resembles metal) and uses a latch system to lock in place. It adjusts from 90 degrees to back to about 20 degrees—which is the best angle, ergonomically, to draw on.

The stand is attached and stable at any position. The tablet is VESA-compatible, so you could use a mounting arm. The tablet sits about two inches off the table surface. The bottom of the stand has four rubber bumpers.

Screen

The glossy screen is flat glass all the way up to the ends. There is no raised bezel, only a black frame that’s a bit less than an inch wide, making good use of the screen real estate. You could use a ruler or template on it if you want—makes it easy to make stencils.

Or. if you have done your line art on paper, you can use it as a light box by laying your drawing over it and tracing over it to transfer your drawing, which can be useful in retaining a loose line quality. (You can do this even with a raised bezel, but it’s easier with this flat setup).

The glossiness of the screen makes colors look brighter. Thanks to the flat glass, if you want to use a different screen protector, such as a matte one to get some paperlike tooth, you don’t need to worry about cutting it to fit within the bezel.

The protector covers the active area and a bit beyond. I installed it and got some bubbles that I’m working on getting rid of. The pen doesn’t scratch the tablet if you do not put on the protector, so you may prefer to go bare-screened. If you wear the glove it will stop smudging and moisture. The protector does not affect drawing or the visibility.

There is a slight, very rare squeak with some pen strokes with the screen protector off, but the squeak is a lot less than on some tablet monitors, and it tends to go away after a while—it’s that new-tablet sound.

The display resolution is not high, so things are bit pixelated. Because of the large size, the pixelation is noticeable, and text is a little fuzzy. It’s not lower-res than the Cintiq 12ux or the original iPad, but at this large size, it is more noticeable. This is really my only sticking point. However, higher resolution would mean a higher price and I don’t see it as a dealbreaker. You can still see your art on whatever computer or second monitor you are using.

The viewing angles seem best straight on; this is not an IPS screen. But you don’t get blind spots or anything from other angles, you can see what’s on the screen. If you move around a lot the image becomes a little less clear from certain angles, but chances are you will be drawing from right in front of it. The stand does not swivel, it only goes up and down, the but if you want to turn the monitor it’s not terribly heavy.

Palm resolution works well; I didn’t have any issues with that or the hover distance.

Ugee pen

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Ugee pen

The Ugee pen has a good weight, not too heavy. It’s a little chunky, with a thin part near the tip. It’s thicker than a fountain pen. It’s light enough to not cause fatigue but heavy enough to give a good balance. With my small hands I could stand it to be slightly thinner, but it’s less thick than some of the other tablet pens out there. All in all, I like the pen.

There is a slight parallax (space between pen and screen), but not enough to bother me at all—maybe 1/10th of an inch. In fact I like it seeing the whole line instead of any of it being blocked by the pen.

You will need to use a USB port to charge the pen for about 45 minutes, and a USB cord to connect the monitor. A blue LED light stays on until the pen is fully charged. If you don’t have an extra port, you can charge the pen via a power bank or another device—or simply charge the pen then remove it.

The company says the pen battery lasts a minimum of 800 hours. I haven’t had it that long. There is no need to pair, as no Bluetooth or other wireless signals are involved.

The pen does not have an eraser end but the 3-way button (front, back, and left click) has a pen/eraser toggle and some choices of settings, including and the choice of absolute positioning, or relative (mouse mode).

With absolute mode, the cursor goes where you touch the pen to the screen. I left it on absolute, as it’s desirable for a tablet, unless you have a reason to use mouse mode. The driver also lets you set pen sensitivity and after some testing I put that around the middle, slightly to the harder side.

The Ugee comes with a manual that’s pretty basic and takes you through the steps of installation, settings, and basic troubleshooting.

In Windows 10 you can do a little bit further pen customization by going to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.

Drawing on the Ugee 1910B

One happy surprise about UC-Logic drivers is their excellent responsiveness, which I find comparable or better than other digitizers, including Wacom’s. The Ugee’s driver has a comfortable pressure curve and seem to maximize line variation. You can get very thin, interesting lines, similar to using a ballpoint pen.

The driver includes a small test area where you can make adjustments. You can get a very thin line, like drawing with a fine ballpoint pen. Inking feels very fluid.

As mentioned above, there is a small amount of parallax, maybe 1/10” of an inch, with the cursor being a little under the pen. I do not mind this as I like to see where the cursor is. If it were larger, I would mind, but it’s pretty small. I drew around the edges and did not get jitter regardless of speed or direction.

I also did not get lag when drawing, no matter how fast. I did get lag, though if I stopped drawing for a few minutes. Putting the pen back on the tablet apparently wakes the pen up, but sometimes would result in it drawing a random line, which I fixed with a simple Undo command.

The screen is glossy, so colors appear bright and contrast is enhanced. The screen is smooth glass, with no tooth. The included screen protector is also glossy. The protector does not affect drawing.

Controls

You can do monitor mapping with the driver and set up multiple monitors.

Buttons are all along the bottom of the monitor, there are none on the sides. The “menu” button lets you make changes to positioning, color temperature, contrast, and other parameters. There is not a lot of customization to the drivers. If you want express keys, you could try a gaming tablet, Photoshop Actions, the Tablet Pro app, or a radial menu.

Pros

Affordability
Size
Cables simple to set up (no splitters and such)
Adjustable stand
VESA-compatible (meaning you can attach it to VESA stand, so it can go on a wall or mounting arm)
Excellent pressure curve and pen sensitivity
Good build quality
Comes with useful extras, such as glove and screen protector
no jitter
battery-free pen
uses EMR, a sensitive digitizer system allowing excellent drawing control

Cons

Screen shows some pixelation
Color accuracy is imperfect
Driver installation ease varies
Pen takes a moment to “wake up” if you pause drawing

Ugee 1910B vs. Wacom Cintiq

There are a lot of things that pricey Cintiqs has that this doesn’t, including multitouch–so you can’t use your hands on it, nor finger paint or gestures. The drivers have a lot less customization, and there are also no programmable express keys either on the monitor or on-screen.

You can only get pressure sensitivity in Adobe Illustrator using Wacom tablets, so you will not get it with the Ugee, but you will get it in other Adobe programs. All this is standard for Wacom alternative tablets.

Customer reactions

I’ve looked at Ugee 1910B reviews in different places, and this seems overall to be a pretty well-liked tablet, with praise for the pressure curve. On the negative side, some people have technical issues with the drivers and aren’t happy with the help they’ve received. Occasionally there are issues with the pens ceasing to work, which could be from the battery.

The company seems to issue replacements of the tablet, pens, or parts when needed. In my own contact with Ugee, they responded quickly and helpfully—though my contact was with the general rep, not tech support. They do not seem to have elaborate customer support with screen sharing, but most places don’t. They have a Facebook page where you could upload images or videos if you’re having problems, and they can also be reached via email or Skype (or WeChat if you use that).

The Verdict

The verdict for this Ugee 1910B review is that it’s a very good deal for something this affordable. It works well, with the pressure curve being comparable to or superior to Wacom. It does not have all the features of a Wacom, but it’s similar to other Cintiq alternatives.

The screen resolution being a bit low, and the colors not super accurate, but you can check against your computer monitor.

The Ugee is a fine choice for artists on a budget, for students, or beginners wanting to try a tablet monitor without a big investment. While you may want to eventually invest in a Cintiq, this is a fun and solid drawing tablet with a screen.

Check price and read more Ugee 1910B reviews on Amazon

Link will take you to the local Amazon store for where you’re located.

End of Ugee 1910B review