Category Archives: Wacom alternative

Wacom alternatives are lower-cost tablets similar to the Wacom Cintiq or Intuos and Bamboo graphics tablets. While they don’t have the more advanced features of the Cintiq, they can be effective digital art tools. They have EMR digitizers and usually get 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Companies include XP Pen, Ugee, Parblo, Yiynova, Bosto, Monoprice, Turcom, and more.

This category does not include tablets such as the Dell Canvas that are similar to a Cintiq, nor does it include things like the Surface Pro. It only includes products by smaller companies whose tablets are affordable alternatives to Wacom. In cases where there is a low-priced all-in-one (tablet that is also a computer) I have included it, such as the Mytrix.

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

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

 

 

 

PNBOO PN10 review

PNBOO PN10 review: pen display under $250. Testing and video

PNBOO PN10 review

Image courtesy PNBOO

PNBOO PN10 review: Amazingly affordable

The PNBoo PN10 is a small, lightweight tablet monitor with screen that costs under $250 as of this writing (Dec. 2017).  It’s just 10″ diagonal, with an active area of 8.5 x 5.3″ (217 x 136 mm). It’s amazingly affordable.  PNBoo sent me the PN10 to review.

pnboo pn10 review

Click image if you’re already ready to see it on Amazon

Type of tablet

Pen display/Cintiq alternative

You have to attach it to a computer.

PNBoo also makes the 21″ PN2150 (review here).

Features

Active area: 8.5 x 5.3″
Pen: batteryless, lightweight
Display: HD (1280×800)
Pen pressure: 2048 levels
Resolution/Report Rate: 5080 LPI, 220 pps
ms 5

What’s in the box?

The PNBOO comes in an attractive white box with graphics. (Unlike some budget ones that come in plain cardboard). You can see the box at the bottom of this page where it says unboxing video (you don’t have to watch the video to see it).

10intabletaccessories

PNBoo PN10 with pen, pen holder, glove, CD

Pen display monitor
1 Pen
Pen holder
8 extra nibs
1 pen page
USB cable
HDMI cable
Plug
2 in 1 cable

Like other budget graphics monitors, it has no multitouch (can’t finger paint on it), no tilt sensitivity, and no pressure sensitivity in Illustrator. Palm rejection is not an issue since it doesn’t have multitouch.

I recently reviewed the PNBOO PN2150, a 21″ tablet monitor. The PN10 is around a couple hundred bucks at this writing.

pnboo 10 small tablet

Tablet

The build quality is nice. The PNBOO is really lightweight, lighter than an iPad Pro. It’s made of plastic and pretty solid, with two rubber grips along the back so you can grab it easily. There’s a raised bezel around the screen. Unlike most budget drawing monitors, there are six Express Keys that are programmable in the driver. The driver has presets to some popular drawing programs.

You can use any art software with it, including Photoshop, Sketchbook, Gimp, Blender, Illustrator and more. It gets pressure sensitivity (not in Illustrator or Inkscape though–for pressure in vector, use Manga Studio). You can’t finger paint on it, though, you have to use a stylus.

On a Mac, you will need a MiniDisplayPort to HDMI adapter.

There’s no need to plug the PNBOO PN10 tablet into a wall, which gives it a lot more mobility. I was easily able to sit on the couch and draw, and at the desk, it doesn’t take up much space.

The best thing about it (besides the price) is how light it is. The pen is very light, too. It’s thin, more like a ballpoint pen. It’s similar (perhaps the same) as the pen that comes with the ArtisulD13. The driver says Artisul, so there’s some connection there.

Pen

The pen has a more premium quality than the thick pens that come with most budget tablets. It has a chrome band at the place you can unscrew and open the two sides (though there’s no good reason to open it). The pen doesn’t need a battery or charging.

The pen is accurate, without much parallax. I did recalibrate it, but it was fine out of the box. The plastic on the screen is pretty thin so there’s not a lot of distance between the surface and the digitizer layer, thus, not much parallax. It’s not possible to have zero.

Driver

Driver installation was simple. I used the site to get the driver, rather than the included CD, since my computers lack a CD drive. It’s always better to use downloaded ones anyway, because they are kept updated.

The driver says Artisul, and as mentioned, it has shortcuts for the express keys and pen buttons. More on the driver later.

pnboopn10driver

Screen

The drawing surface is plastic. It’s not too slippery. It’s a lot less slippery than the iPad Pro. In fact, when home, I find myself using this instead of the iPad Pro, which surprised me. I like that I can use desktop programs, that it’s not too slippery, and that it feels like a dedicated drawing surface rather than something that invariably distracts me with all the online temptations (even though I can on those on the tablet screen, the icons are so small on it that it’s less tempting.

Colors on the IPS LED screen are rich and bright, with deep blacks.

Changing the brightness on the computer screen does not affect the brightness or color on the PnBoo.

The pen is thinner than most budget pens. It’s like the Artisul D13’s pen.

Drawing on the PNBOO PN10

pnboo pn10 drawing

lines done in Clip Studio Paint

At first the driver was fine but then it started to behave inconsistently. I deleted, then reinstalled it, and since then it has been fine. Pressure sensitivity works well and there’s good pen accuracy. You have to press a little bit but it’s fine.

I also tried the Artisul D13 driver from the Artisul site (Artisul.com) and that one worked well, so if you have any driver issues, or just want to compare, try that one.

PNBoo PN10 review: the verdict

I’d recommend the PNBOO PN10 for people who want something small, light, and cheap, who want to use desktop programs as opposed to apps. The PNBOO could be a good travel pick if you are working on a larger Cintiq type of tablet but can’t bring it with you. It also could be good for a starter tablet for a student. The size makes it more like a sketchbook.

Here’s a quick pen test from the outside of the tablet:

https://youtu.be/Ou11WTmpzXY

Here’s my unboxing video.

https://youtu.be/3X0lafewAag

See it on Amazon: click for US

See on Amazon: click for UK

pnboo 2150 review

PNBoo PN2150 review: affordable graphics monitor

pnboo pn2150 review

PNboo PN2150 review: budget tablet monitor

Here’s a full PNboo PN2150 review and art program tests.

Pnboo graphics monitors are made by China’s Shenzhen Pnboo technology company. Their products are sold in over 100 countries.

This 21.5″ tablet monitor is a new offering, in the vein of Huion and Ugee tablet monitors known as Wacom Cintiq alternatives. These attach to a computer and provide a second monitor with a touchscreen and pressure sensitivity. PNBoo also sells a 15.6″ version they call the PNBoo 1560.

Here’s a video showing the pressure sensitivity in Photoshop. A pen test showing the tablet from the outside is below.

https://youtu.be/_fz4K5TjFwk

Type of tablet

Tablet monitor
Needs to be attached to computer

Type of digitizer

EMR (Electromagnetic Resonance)

Features

21.5″ diagonal screen
HD display
2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
batteryless pen (charges with cord)

Comes with: 2 pens, 2 pen power cables, screen protector, drawing glove, extra pen nibs. Cables: HDMI, VGA, USB, power cord, English user manual, CD drive. Drivers also available for download on the PNBoo site.

Drivers available for Mac and Windows.

Packaging

The Pnboo graphics monitor arrived safely nested in styrofoam blocks inside two inner boxes, one of which has a plastic handle, and one outer Amazon box. As with some other budget tablet monitors, the box containing the tablet was plain cardboard without any printing.

The PNboo comes with lots of accessories such as a glove, two pens, and screen protector. It also has numerous cables: USB, HDMI, VGA, and two pen charging cables.

It does not come with a Mac adapter, so you’ll need to have a mini display port or USB-C to VGA or HDMI adapter for your Mac.

Display

The HD screen is nice, clean and shiny, with no dead pixels. The black border is reflective. It’s about an inch wide on the top and bottom and a little thinner on the sides. The plastic screen isn’t too glossy. It doesn’t have a texture the way Cintiqs do.

The screen has a black border with no bezel, so you can run your pen right off of it, making it easier to draw right out to the edge.

pnboo pn2150 review

Build quality

The body has a pleasing design with a curved back. The back has a textured plastic that’s grippable. The plastic is not that thick, but the thing seems sturdy. I would not want to drop it. The back has a rounded design

There are air vents in the back, as well as speaker holes, which a lot of these types of tablets seem to have.

pnboo 2150 tablet monitor back

Adjustable stand

The metal stand is solid and adjusts easily. You pull up a lever and pull on the stand to lower it.

The ports for the cables are under a panel in the stand, which to me isn’t optimal. It’s harder to access them that way, and it makes it easier for them to get jiggled loose. The ports seem fine, not loose.

With the stand extended. the footprint of the stand and tablet from front to back is about a foot. The stand goes all the way back to about a 25-30 degree angle.

The stand has a rubber cover on each side of the bottom bars to keep it from slipping around or scratching your table.

 

PNboo stylus pen

The pen requires charging from a USB port. The cord is long enough that you can charge it and draw at the same time. The pen is lightweight, since it has no battery. It’s pretty thick but comfortable to draw with.  It’s the standard pen used with Huion, Ugee, and most other Chinese tablets. The pen has a blue LED indicator light that stays on while it’s charging. I charged it overnight, as there’s not a clear way to show if it’s fully charged.

Drawing on the PNBOO 2150

Here’s a quick pen test. This is using a thin pen.

https://youtu.be/P0pWPri5j9k

 

First off, there was that familiar squeak when I used the pen. I’ve begun the process of rubbing my hands on the screen to impart some oils from my hands to quiet it down.

Though it comes with a screen protector; I don’t use one unless a screen is too slippery, and I don’t find this one to be. I like the way the plastic pen tip feels on the bare screen. So for now, I’m living with the squeak. It’s that new tablet-monitor sound.

Software

Installing the driver was quick and easy. Even though I’d forgotten to remove a Wacom driver, the PNBOO 2150 driver installed and worked anyway. (I do recommend not forgetting to remove other tablet drivers you’ve added!)

As with most affordable graphics monitors, the driver functions are very limited compared to Wacom drivers. You can test and adjust the pressure curve from heavy to light. You can program the pen button to click toggle to eraser.

You can calibrate the screen and draw lines in different colors to test the pressure. But that’s all. You can’t program your favorite shortcuts into Photoshop and other programs.

Drawing on the PNBOO 2150

pnboostyluspen

The PN2150 comes with two of these stylus pens.

The screen came calibrated, but it could have been better. I recalibrated and it was more accurate afterward. On Mac, there was a 5-point calibration. The accuracy now is fine. Because of the glass, there’s a little parallax, but now there’s no offset.

I first tried Photoshop. The pressure curve is smooth and controllable. Some of the low-cost tablets have almost too springy a line but this one is very natural-feeling.

You have to apply a bit of pressure to draw. It’s not quite as sensitive as Wacom, where the inital activation force is really low, and even lightly dragging the pen without all the pen’s weight can leave a mark. On the PNboo, dragging the pen across it using the pen’s weight resulted in a very light line.

I have the settings on the lowest, requiring the least amount of pressure. I don’t like to press down much; it’s an individual preference. The Pnboo feels comfortable to draw on for me.

Art programs tested

So far I have only tested on a Mac. I plan to add Windows testing soon.

Besides Photoshop, the pen pressure and drawing works great in Gimp, Sketchbook Pro, Clip Studio Paint/Manga Studio, Inkscape, and Illustrator. Some of the cheap tablet monitors I’ve tried have had drivers that haven’t played well with Photoshop and Gimp right away, but this one seems perfectly attuned to the pressure settings in those programs. (I am working with clean installs of the programs, and hadn’t tweaked anything.)

This not being a Wacom driver, there’s no pressure sensitivity in Illustrator (Illustrator limits the pressure sensitivity to a couple of types of brushes). If you want to get pressure in vector, you can use Clip Studio Paint’s vector layers, but you can’t export the file type into other vector programs.

I experienced no lag or latency with any programs. The driver really works well.

You can draw with the pen plugged in, but let it charge for a while first.

Color

The display color is a bit warm out of the box. I fiddled with the menu on the display, which lets you adjust color temperature, brightness, contrast, and red/green/blue. This took a while, but I got it to a nice neutral white.

Pros

Nice design
Driver easy to install (in my experience)
Smooth, consistent drawing across programs
Comes with extra pen and other accessories

Cons

Features are basic: no programmable buttons
Cables on bottom of panel
Doesn’t come with adapter for Mac
Needed to fiddle with calibration and color settings

User reactions

So far this PNboo 2150 review seems to be one of only a few out there, but I’m sure that will change.

PNBoo 2150 vs. Wacom Cintiq

The PNboo 2150 has the same screen size as the Wacom Cintiq 21. It has the same HD (1920×1080) resolution and the same amount of pressure sensitivity as traditional Cintiqs (2048 levels. Newer Wacoms such as the Cintiq Pro and Wacom Studio Pro have more). 2048 is more than enough in real-world use.

The tablet has no programmable shortcut keys. It does not get tilt/angle sensitivity.
With the current stand, you can’t swivel it like you can with a Cintiq stand.

But, this costs a heck of a lot less.

PNboo PN2150 review: The Verdict

Though it required some adjusting of the settings, I found it took less adjusting in the art software I tried. I’m using fresh installs of these particular programs, so it’s not because I saved settings from before. Everyone’s system is going to have different things on it that could affect things but in this case it went well.

The tablet overall is pretty similar to the XP Pen, Ugee, and Huion ones that have no programmable keys.

So far the driver stands out for working well across programs, while the rest of the package is basic. It can do most of what a Cintiq can do. This tablet is a great starter tablet monitor, or one to keep.

The conclusion of this PNBoo PN2150 review is that it’s a solid addition to the budget graphics monitor lineup. It doesn’t have bells and whistles, but if you want to draw on the screen it works well. Recommended for students and artists on a budget or just those who don’t need the advanced features of a Cintiq.

See the PNboo PN2150 on Amazon

See/Buy on Amazon UK

Pnboo site: pnbootech.com

See more budget tablet monitors

Read intro post about top drawing tablets

End of PNBOO PN2150 review