If you’re new to RFA, I’m a traditional pencil portrait artist of 13 years and this is my very first experience with a graphic display drawing tablet.
There’s a video to go along with this blog post. It covers pretty much the same stuff except the post has more technical specs.
For full specs, please go to Amazon.
Here’s the video:
This was sent to me for free by Huion in exchange for a review. Needless to say, this is going to be an unbiased review.
Here’s what comes inside the box:
- Cute thank you note
- GT-191 HD monitor
- Anti-glare screen protector
- Tablet stand
- 2 Rechargeable styluses
- 8 pen nibs
- Stylus holder
- 4 Screws (to attach the stand)
- Thick and soft cleaning cloth
- Stretchy two-fingered glove (to help your hand glide across the tablet as you draw)
- USB cable
- HDMI cable
- VGA cable
- Power adapter
- Power cable
- Installation CD
- Warranty card
Closer Look at the Pens and Pen Stand
- 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
I love that this comes with an extra pen because I can always keep one charged while working. The build is plastic from end to end with a nice metallic accent and two programmable buttons. The buttons have a good amount of travel and make soft clicking sounds which I found a little addictive playing with admittedly…
One concern I had was that they don’t have rubber grips, but after using it for the last few days, I haven’t found that to be an issue at all. It’s very comfortable to use and so far it hasn’t slipped out of my hand.
I like how sleek and simple the design is as well.
Both are rechargeable via the small port at the end of the pen. The cable snaps into the port real snug. I haven’t tested it long enough to know how long the battery lasts on a full charge yet. So far it’s been good!
I’ve used it everyday (on and off) for about a week.
The pen stand can be twisted open to reveal 8 extra nibs (which are all identical to each other) and a nib extractor. I couldn’t get the nib extractor to work. I think the hole is too large for the pen nib. If I need to replace one, I’ll probably use a pair of tweezers.
Closer Look at the Stand
The stand is made of plastic and metal as well as a non-slip rubber bottom, just like the tablet itself.
Here is the locking mechanism inside of the stand, which gives you 20 to 80 degrees of tilt. What I like about this stand is that the teeth are really small which means I can tilt the screen in tiny increments exactly to my liking. The stand is very easy to install and it holds the tablet up very firmly. The rubber grips keep the tablet in place while I draw.
Closer Look at the Display Tablet
- 19.5″ HD IPS Monitor
- Wide Screen: 16: 9 ratio, 1920 x 1080 HD resolution
- 3000:1 contrast ratio
- 16.7 million colors
- 72% NTSC color gamut
- Viewing angle of 178 degrees guarantees uniform color from edge to edge
- Three signal ports for image transmission (HDMI, VGA and DVI).
- Net weight 3.3kg
The tablet comes with a pre-installed anti-glare screen protector which is attached by 4 double sided stickers at each corner which means you can easily reattach it.
With the stand attached, the tablet feels very sturdy. Making adjustments to the tablet angle is smooth and I find the lever very well positioned.
This is the lowest angle of the tablet. When pressing down on the corners, there is a bit of movement, but I am using a lot of force on it. It definitely feels very sturdy and well built – I don’t feel like I need to be gentle with it at all.
Make sure the usb cable is plugged directly into your computer. I used a usb hub in the beginning which caused me some trouble. Also, don’t forget to turn your Anti-virus off during installation.
With the screen protector off, the monitor looks really sharp and colors are more vibrant. Later on I’ll be testing this out with the protector on and off to see which I ultimately prefer.
Installing the driver only took a few minutes. In the Huion desktop app, you can reprogram the two stylus buttons on the pen (there are many options).
You can adjust pen pressure sensitivity. The lower the number, the more sensitive the pen will be.
You can also calibrate the pen to the screen using 9-point calibration.
Out of the box, the cursor is about 2 millimeters off. After I go through the calibration process, it’s about half millimeter off. I’ve tried calibrating many times and I get similar results. I got used to it after a while though.
Testing the Tablet with a Speed Drawing
For this review, I wanted to test the tablet by drawing a complete portrait. I’m also a total beginner to Photoshop, so this section of the review will also include my thoughts about going digital.
I watched one basic Photoshop tutorial before attempting this, so please excuse my newness with this program.
Drawing with the stylus felt quite natural. I like how light and ergonomic it is as well. I found the placement of each button just right and they’re also easy to distinguish from each other because one sticks out further than the other.
Regarding response time, there is no noticeable lag.
When it comes to shading, I think the pressure levels are great. I didn’t need to do much erasing or undoing, so that’s a good sign. Even though the cursor isn’t perfectly positioned under the pen, I got used to it really quickly. It only bothers me when I’m zoomed all the way out and I’m working on small details. Other than that, I don’t think it’s a big issue for me.
By the way, at this point during the drawing process, it’s almost 3 in the morning and I was pretty much finished the portrait but I was having a total blast so I decided to color it as well. This is the most exciting thing about working digitally for me. Normally I never add color to my portraits, but doing it digitally means I can always revert back to the original version if my experimentation goes wrong. So I feel like I can push my boundaries a lot more if I use this more often.
I calibrated the pen in the beginning but after a few hours. the cursor was an additional millimeter off, so I quickly calibrated the pen again which only took a few seconds to do.
One thing I love about working on this tablet is how large the screen is and how rich the colors are.
Regarding screen protector vs glass, I much prefer drawing on the glass because everything just looks sharper and the stylus glides across the screen pretty effortlessly which makes the drawing experience feel super smooth. The stylus squeaked a lot in the beginning but after a few minutes, it ran silent. I think the nib just needed to be worn down.
Okay, let’s check on the nib. I used it for around 3 hours straight and a bunch more throughout the week and it’s still in great shape! Also, the pen kept its charge.
So what are my opinions on this tablet so far?
Here are the pros:
First of all, I completely kicked my old monitor to the side because this one beats it out of the water hands down. From now on, I’m definitely going to use this as my main computer monitor. The colors are more true as well which is great because I do a lot of video and image editing daily.
Again, the screen quality looks amazing, colors are vibrant, everything looks super sharp, the build quality of this tablet feels and looks great. It’s really strudy. I don’t feel like I need to be gentle with at all.
The rubber base keeps everything perfectly in place while I draw and there is no noticeable shake (I usually apply light to medium pressure when drawing).
The stylus feels light, natural, comfortable to use and I’m very happy with the pressure sensitivity.
I did have some trouble setting this up in the beginning, but that was totally my fault because I hate reading instructions.
A few cons are that even after careful calibration, the cursor is still about half a millimeter off. I don’t notice it if I’m zoomed into the section I’m working on and I got used to it fairly quickly but it’s most noticeable for me when I’m zoomed all the way out and trying to work on small details like the eyes. I’m very very nit picky about precision, so this might just be me.
The cursor position does change depending on where I am on the screen. The cursor is an additional millimeter off in the right corner of the screen.
Also, I couldn’t get the nib remover to work, even after reading the instructions, so that will be an issue when I need to replace one. Although, I’m sure a pair of tweezers will do the job.
When I lower the stand to the bottom most tier, the wires are in the way, which makes a part of the stand lift up off the table. But if I position the cables over to the side, this doesn’t happen anymore. This is just something for you to keep in mind if you want to prevent the wires from pinching. You can see what I mean at the end of the video.
Overall, I really enjoyed drawing on this tablet, I think it’s really easy to use. There’s really no learning curve at all. Using Photoshop though is a different story, I feel like once I learn more about Photoshop I’ll be able to create even more realistic renderings. But that’s aside from this review.
As a traditional artist, I love drawing on this tablet and I’m so excited to play with it further. I have to admit, I’ve been starting to loose interest in drawing, but this was just so refreshing for me. It definitely reignited a spark somehow.
It works very similarly to what I’m used to without the fear of wasting paper or making permanent mistakes, so I feel like I can draw anything with this. It was also really fun to push my boundaries by adding color to the portrait, something I would otherwise never really do drawing traditionally.
I’m giving this tablet a big thumbs up. I think the price point is great considering the quality and I think the pros far outweigh the cons.
If you want to check out more detailed specs on the Huion Kamvas GT 191 or pick one up for yourself, click here to see it on Amazon.
I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions about the tablet, let me know. I’ll try my best to answer your questions.
And thanks again to Huion for sending me this awesome drawing tablet. It’s been a lot of fun to play with!