An Alternative to Wacom
As I’ve explored the digital art genre, I have noticed more often than not that many artists use the Wacom brand of tablets. And there’s good reason to as they are a quality drawing tablet. However, not everyone can afford the price involved in getting one. With that in mind, I started looking for an alternative that would do the job. Mainly so I would not have to explain to my wife why I spent that much money.
What I found out was there were a number of less expensive options and all had their pluses and minuses. In the end, after reading a number of reviews and Watching YouTube videos, I selected the Huion Kamvas GT-191. It is not the newest model offered by Huion but it is still available and really impresses. So what were my impressions? Let’s explore.
The Huion Kamvas GT-191
The first thing that leaps at you when you purchase this tablet is that it‘s pretty weighty. Around 16 pounds shipped. It was very well packed and gives you a pretty nice selection of accessories. For starters, you get not one but two pens with the tablet. These are rechargeable pens that you charge using the included micro-USB cable. The great news is after a charge, the pens goes and goes. I have only charged my pen upon arrival nearly two weeks ago and it is still going strong. The extra pen I have on the charger and when a charge is necessary, I’ll switch the pens and still keep drawing. Nice!
The Pen is Mightier
The pen also has two buttons that you can map to which ever function you would like. Usually people will make it rotate and maybe move. Maybe because I am a newbie, but for me, the buttons keep getting accidentally pushed as I draw. Because of this. I unmapped them. Eventually I will get more proficient and remap them. But for now, no buttons. It also comes with a pen holder that contains 8 replacement nibs. Not sure when you will ever need them. When added to the 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, you get a nice set of pens that do the job.
When Bigger is Better
The other exciting thing for me was the screen size. I had been using the UGEE M708 drawing tablet which has a 10×6 size. At the time that seemed pretty nice and actually is. However, this tablet has 19.5 inches of area to work from. The difference is staggering and will make it hard to go back to a smaller size. The screen is colorful and bright and many people will be able to use it straight out of the box. Some reviewers have suggested that a color configuration might be in order. This is usually done using an external app and takes just a little time. Myself, I wasn’t too concerned and have left it as it is. It also comes with a stand that adjusts to multiple angles and is very sturdy. This is not always the case with some tablets but Huion delivered a stable platform.
What else is included
There is an included driver disc that comes with some of these tablets and others just comes with a piece of paper resembling a disc. In either case, just go to the website and download the latest drivers. You may need to restart your computer and you’ll be good to go. The tablet comes with an HDMI cable, a VGA cable, a USB cable, and the pen charging cable. What you use depends on your computer. I have two monitors connected to my PC and the tablet makes three. They all work without any issues as long as you set them up properly.
Protecting the Monitor
In addition, the tablet also comes with a drawing glove to keep your hand from sticking to the monitor. Some like the glove, some do not. I usually wear it, but that’s me. Speaking of the monitor, it also includes a screen protector. The problem is that it is somewhat difficult to apply. Imagine trying to put on your iPad protector but double the size. Getting it on without air bubbles is problematic. You may decide to go without it. Your call.
What can you do?
So what can you do with the GT-191? All that techno Mumbo Jumbo doesn’t mean anything unless you can draw and or paint with it. I’m happy to announce that the GT-191 worked with all the programs I use. It worked with Photoshop, Clip Paint Studio, and its predecessor Manga Studio 5. In each case, the pen reacted with the pressure used on the pen with complete smoothness. I didn’t notice any jagged lines unless I was being shaky with my hand, which happens…I’m old. Here is some inking done on Clip Paint Studio.
And some Photoshop work
So far all I have been mentioning is positives. But what about negatives? Other than the problematic screen protector not many really. If you want to be picky and because it is a comparison to more expensive tablets, there are no shortcut buttons along the side of the tablet. This would be an inconvenience if you are used to having them. Myself, I am used to using the keyboard for such shortcuts such as undo. If you are a slave to such things it is a small price to pay. Especially when you consider that you will be paying around $200 less or more than you would for a Wacom tablet. That doesn’t make it better than a Wacom but it is a great route for those on a budget.
With a bright clear picture, two responsive pens and an expansive screen, you will be hard pressed to find much to complain about with the Huion GT-191 tablet. It works with many of the popular drawing programs and supplies many of the same attributes of the more expensive tablets for a more moderate cost. If that is your goal, you may have found your tablet.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.