Hey Guys! So in this post I am gonna discuss a question that every designer faces when he/she switches from traditional to digital media. Yes the dilemma of which graphic tablet should I buy? I faced the same dilemma so I penned down my thoughts on some popular choices available for a graphic pen tablet. This post is intended for beginners.
My background: I am a designer and been using graphic tablets for over 1.5 years. And let me tell you it has become an inevitable part of my design life. Whether its creating paintings, graphic design, wire frames or even taking notes. I use it for all sorts of purpose and the freedom to draw anywhere on the go without worrying about colors or canvas is truly amazing. So let me start the review of two tablets out there suitable for absolute beginners. If you are curious , all the artwork on my blog is done with these graphic tablets in photoshop and adobe illustrator.
The two tablets are Wacom One Small (CTL 471/K0-C) Pen Tablet and HUION K58 8″ x 5″ Graphic Pen Tablet. Before we start lets clear out some popular nomenclature in graphic tablets.
- LPI (lines per inch):It represents the resolution of the tablet just as MP represents in a camera. It means that how many line can be drawn in one inch with the pen tablet at maximum resolution. More the LPI ,more detailed and high ppi image you can draw in a software. But ppi after a certain limit doesn’t matter very much for practical purposes (unless you are a highly skilled professional , anyway its not meant for those people 🙂 .
- Active Area: Represents the actual surface area of the tablet that detects the pen input.
Remember the tablet dimension is not its active area, Infact active area is always less than actual dimension of the tablet.
- Pressure Sensitivity: Represents the amount of pressure the tablet can measure. This is important as it helps to draw simple brush strokes to hard charcoal lines. More sensitivity equals more precision.
- Active Area: The active area for wacom one is 15.2 x 9.5 cm whereas for Huion its 20.32 x 12.7 cm. So Huion is much bigger than the wacom one. So winning points to Huions.
- Accessories: Both the devices comes with a pen , micro USB charging cable and some spare nibs. Point to note here is that Huion pen comes with a non -replaceable rechargeable battery which charges via micro usb. The pen has good battery and last about 2 months from single charge. However the Wacom pen is totally battery less so you don’t need to find for batteries or charge it anytime which is pretty cool. Winning points goes to Wacom.
- LPI: The LPI of wacom is 2540 whereas Huoin’s official site states it about 5080 which I personally think is too much hyped. Point to note LPI above 2000 is very well enough for any practical purpose even for professional. So you will not see any major difference in performance over other for this factor.
- Pressure Sensitivity: Wacom has 1024 levels of sensitivity whereas for Huion its about 2048 levels, which is double that of wacom. In this section Huion gets the winning point as it reads more sensitive to your movements. Note that again the marginal difference here will appear when you move to very high resolution stuff.
- RPS (reading per second): RPS denotes how often the tablet read inputs from the pen. Higher RPI means the reading rate input is fast and hence less latency or lag between your actual hand movement and how quickly stuff appears on your laptop screen. Wacom RPI is 133pps whereas for Huion its 230 pps. So huion gets points in this category. On a personal note I have not measured any particular lag with both devices.
- Software Updates: The software updates for wacom is much faster and compatible with almost every designer tool and OS. The dev community has many forums for problems related to wacom. Huion’s software is also compatible with most devices but updates are close to nill. Also forums don’t have much troubleshooting discussions for Huion.
- After Sales Service: Its one of the important factor that I personally feel nobody considers. Wacom has good service centers in India but huion doesn’t. Also its very easy to get spares for wacom than for Huion. So if you loose your pen or damage any part like I did then I think wacom is much better in terms of getting spare parts.
- Price: Wacom comes about 4500 INR whereas Huion comes for about 4000 INR.
- Warranty: Both device comes with a standard 1 year warranty.
PROS & CONS
On a personal note smaller size of wacom may become uncomfortable for people with big hands for long drawing sessions (you can always zoom in as much as you want to get comfortable with drawing). Alternatively you can go for Wacom Medium if your budget allows it.
I lost my Huion pen and boy it was hell of time to get its replacement to a point that I thought it will easier to get a new tablet than the spare pen.So yeah after sale is kind of disappointing.
My personal recommendation after using both tablet to go for Wacom one if you are looking for tablet in range of 4000-5000 bucks. If you have budget you can go for Wacom medium for 7000 bucks. Better software, better community forum, good after sales service is the factor I based my recommendation on but in no way Huion is a bad tablet. Its just personal preference as huion trumps every tech category. I will put up the links to buy these tablets below so you can see for yourself.
PS: 200 bucks off wacom small is offered by some seller so grab it quickly. Its the perfect gift for your designer friend 🙂