It has been almost a year since I have been using the Huion Kamvas 22 Plus and I have been wanting to give my thoughts on the tablet as well as keep my blogs diverse with some tech review. It has also been too long since writing a blog entry so here we go.
My overall impressions of the device were very positive. Keep in mind this was my first drawing tablet and the first time I have incorporated drawing (not on paper) directly into my designs. Since this time, everything I have done with Adobe illustrator and Photoshop (my primary applications) was strictly mouse and keyboard. There have been a few instances where I incorporated some hand drawings (on paper) into digital designs by the means of a scanner.
The Huion Kamvas 22 Plus sits nicely underneath my main monitor setup (2 dell 24 Inch Ultrasharps on either side of a 1 LG UltraGear 27 Inch centered – all on arm mounts). The Huion is able to clear the top monitor because of the adjustable stand in the back. The stand allows the tablet to rest almost flat on the table as well as almost 90 degrees vertical with several positions in between. I am able to slide it out for more hands-on use and nestle it back for using it as just a display. It is the 4th monitor in my setup, but I almost never turn it on unless I am doing design work. However, if I desired the extra real estate for general desktop use then it would be more than sufficient.
At the beginning of the year, I tried to challenge myself to push for more hand drawing exercises and designs in an attempt to gain a small talent I had in my adolescents. Well, that has faded somewhat as my need to push content and general work demand increased. However, that is not to say the Huion did not serve a place in my design structure, more notably Photoshop. Using the tablet with Photoshop brushes is ideal (especially for touch ups), but that was going to be a given. The real surprise of using the tablet was how it made grunt work in Photoshop more efficient, especially when creating layer mask. Alas, Adobe is doing everything they can to optimize this task without tablets (more on this in the next blog when I cover the 2021 Adobe Max), it is still very satisfying to get after areas where Photoshop cannot auto detect or just miss.
I am drawn to the functionality of the tablet with Photoshop more so than Illustrator, but I will use it with vector graphics on rare occasions. I am probably still a little intimidated by my lack of drawing skills compared to how clean and crisp line drawing is in Illustrator. Maybe with time I will tread deeper waters, but for now this device serves as my primary Photoshop display.
Speaking of displays, the Huion’s display is pretty good. I am satisfied with the 1920 Pixel X 1080 Pixel resolution with the 22 Inch size. It seems to be just enough. I personally would not want to work on something smaller or with lower resolution. The color right out of the box was good and I only needed to make minor adjustments in the settings to calibrate the color to closely match the rest of my displays. The navigational buttons and menu interface are clunky, but once you have everything set to your liking then you won’t have to fool with them. After one year of use I have also noticed some light bleeding in the top right side of the display. If this was my main monitor then I might be frustrated by this fact, but since it is more of a utility device then I am not too annoyed by it. Still, it is a little disappointing.
The laminated display is comparable to the iPad Pro (maybe better?) when using the pen and shows no gap between the pen tip and screen. Using the pen feels very precise and I am very pleased with the accuracy. I am never thinking about the pen, the screen, or the accuracy while using the tablet, I am only thinking about the design or task at hand, and at the end of the day that is what you want from the tablet. There are not physical buttons built into the device, but I have found using the keyboard for shortcuts is far superior to using “tablet buttons.”
Besides the light bleed, my biggest gripes with the device is that sometimes the software will sometimes forget what monitor is serving as the output. This means that I could be using the pen on the Huion tablet, but the cursor is being directed to another monitor. This is not a big deal as it only takes a couple of seconds to recalibrate, and it doesn’t seem to happen often enough for me to care. Another complaint would be the USB-C cord feels loose when plugged in the device. I feel the need to be very careful when handling the tablet (moving back to display position or bringing it forward to draw on). I am also concerned with something hitting the cord (in plugs into the upper right side of the device) and breaking the head of the cord or breaking the port all together.
To summarize, this is a good tablet for the price of $550.00. All issues it has presented have been minor and considering that a drawing tablet like this would have cost you far more 10 years ago, I am pleased with it being so financially accessible without it being total crap. The display is good enough. The accuracy of the pen is really good. It has definitely served a purpose in my design arsenal, and I can’t imagine using Photoshop as efficiently without it. For more on the Huion Kamvas 22 Pro, I would strongly recommend checking out this video from Teo Yi Chie. He does a great review and demonstration that ultimately convinced me to make the purchase.