For many artists, drawing digitally using graphic WACOM tablets can be uncomfortable because you can't directly see where you are drawing when your eyes are looking at the screen and your hand is on the desk. Restricting hand and eye coordination.
Can drawing on Tablet Monitors be that much better?
Specifically for the purpose of demonstrating how the tablet handles drawing line work, we're going to review this new Tablet Monitor; the Huion GT-190, a much more affordable alternative to the WACOM Cintiq.
The actual quality of the screen display is highly dependent on viewing angles being very limited to you looking directly at the center. Tilt away to either sides and the images on the screen immediately begin to appear washed out. This can be a real negative for some people, but if you consider the main purpose of the device is to draw on it, being positioned properly above the screen is normal for most of us. It's hard to imagine how an illustrator can draw anything good on any kind of material while being completely slouched.
It should also be mentioned that this is an LCD monitor, and with it carries the potential to strain your eyes when staring too closely to it for long periods of time. So it is recommended for users to take breaks often.
Monitor image settings can be adjusted via its panel buttons, but it would seem the default setting straight out of the box works just fine. The temperature of the monitor itself is fairly cool, even when left on for hours, it never feels remotely warm to the touch, making it convenient for those who tend to lean their arm on it or would like to position it on their laps.
SURFACE HARDNESS & DURABILITY
The glass screen is strong to support the weight of your hands when working diligently on your illustrations.
The casing feels snug and doesn't have lose parts to worry about. Which is a good thing because it doesn't come with a carrying case.
The adjustable kickstand on the back of the monitor feels durable and offers versatility in positions of viewing angles.
Even at nearly vertical standing angles, the kickstand keeps the monitor stable from wobbling as you draw on it.
Many of you may have thought about drawing on mobile Tablet devices such as iPads and Galaxy Notes, which are great for doodles. But most illustration Apps on mobile tablets won't allow to create large DPI high resolution files needed for professional work. And latency is always an issue in the responsiveness of the cursor following the pen.
However, the GT-190 actually has virtually no lag. As you press the tip of the pen on the screen, drawing a line immediately responds according to your movement. Regardless of your speed. It is very much almost just as good as drawing on paper.
Even the glass screen is surprisingly not as slick to draw on as it might seem at first glance because the type of pen nib it has offers some resistance against the surface.
SURFACE DEPTH / PARALLAX
Digital Illustrators who are shopping for a drawing tablet monitor are usually concerned about the parallax factor which points the cursor a millimeter away from the actual pen nib due to the thickness of the glass of the screen. Thankfully this is easily fixed by the calibration option settings that come with the manufacturer's driver. It will allow you to adjust and point the cursor exactly to where the pen nib touches the screen. However, this process can be very tricky and frustrating at first.
So here's a tip: during calibration, when clicking on the crosshairs that appear on the screen, be very quick and precise. Do not let your pen nib linger too long on the screen, or you will have to repeat the process of calibration again.
SHAKY LINE ART
This is usually solved by using alternative drawing programs like Manga Studio and Clip Paint Pro which comes with the option to smooth out lines.
But amazingly, drawing on the GT-190 Tablet Monitor eliminates even having to turn that option on, most likely due to the increased visual aid of seeing where you're hand is drawing.
TABLET DRIVER ISSUES
First - Any display problems you may encounter with the GT-190 has everything to do with setting it as an extended monitor. When setting your screens to duplicate each other, it will work immediately without problems. But if you're like many of us, you would want the advantage of using it as an extended monitor so you may use the other when drawing reference materials. This is why proper installation of drivers is very important.
1) DO NOT plug in the Tablet Monitor in your computer's USB port before installing the drivers. This will cause errors in the system that will require a complete system restore to fix.
The same goes for even downloading the driver they have on their website because it may not actually be the latest version... since Huion is often working on resolving issues faced by many different drawing programs.
3) What you want to do is contact the official Huion customer service email and ask for the latest updated Driver for the GT-190.
Or you can follow the link we provide below, but chances are, by the time you get this review, they may already have an updated driver.
For example, in our experience using Manga Studio, with the Tablet Monitor set as an extended screen, we faced the problem of brush tools not working properly or outright without effect. This can be fixed by going into your Tablet setting, and turning off the "buttons" function then restarting the program.
At the time we first started using the GT-190, it also occasionally double clicked even when the pen nib is lifted inches away from the screen. But Huion gave us another updated driver to fix that bug. So it's important to remember, any problems you may encounter using this tablet monitor has nothing to do with hardware. Depending on your drawing program, keeping up with their latest updated driver is your best chance to resolving any problematic issues.
We are basing this brief review of the Huion GT-190 Tablet Monitor from the experience of first time users. If you are like many artists still contemplating on upgrading to a Tablet Monitor, we highly recommend investing on this.
The freedom to draw directly on the screen increases your hand and eye coordination. And compared to the more popular HD WACOM Cintiq, the retail price of the GT-190 is extremely affordable. A truly worthy investment that will increase your productivity and most importantly, improve your line art!
The complete package comes with all necessary items to work out of the box. While Huion provides a VGA display cable, the GT-190 is also capable of accepting a DVI cable connection, but you'll have to buy one separately if your graphics card only uses DVI.
The Tablet Pen itself is rechargeable by USB cable and feels very comfortable in your hand, not too bulky or heavy, and not too thin. Of course, there are a few things we would like the Manufacturer to keep in mind when designing their next models. Such as cable management. We feel that all the cables in the back would be less strained if they were mounted facing upwards, as opposed to crawling from the bottom. Although attaching a monitor ARM will undoubtedly solve this problem immediately.
WHERE TO BUY
Huion has also indicated that they are planning to release a full 1080p HD version of the GT-190 this year. Artists and comic book production studios hope to see more affordable alternative brands as the technology of Tablet Monitors is used by more and more professionals around the world.
You can go ahead buy from AMAZON, but the Tablet Monitor will still be shipped to you from overseas. At $539.00 currently, it requires a $79.95 S&H to be added to it.
However, if you go to the official HUION Website, you can buy this using PayPal at $580 +$10 shipping. Paying for the $29.95 Expedited shipping gets the GT-190 to your door in about a week or less. HUION is also known for great customer service. We can vouch for their friendly attentive staff responding to email inquiries right away for any support or driver update requests.