Huion Inspiroy Q11K Review

Warning:
This review is now well over 1 year old and may contain outdated information.
I suggest looking for a newer review if possible.


I was provided this tablet for testing by Huion. I was told that reviewing was optional, but I had been moving towards reviewing the tons of tablets I have and this turned out to be a good chance for me to start, so here it is!

Please note!
-I am not a Mac or Linux user!! I only tested this tablet on Windows 8 and Windows 10.
-Prices may have changed since I wrote this review.
-Check when a review was written. Some aspects may improve or change over time, so it is in your best interest to concentrate on reviews which are less than 1 year old.



Table of contents



How good is this tablet?

Design and build quality: Excellent!
Tablet drivers: Almost perfect!
Drawing experience: Extremely comfortable!

Overall: A very good buy for 120 USD!

My verdict:
-If you are considering this as your first graphic tablet, I would recommend getting this instead of the “beginner” Wacom Intuos any day. It is well worth the extra 20-40 USD if you can afford it.
-If you are experienced with tablets, I would recommend you get this instead of a Wacom Intuos Pro if you don’t need the following features of the Intuos Pro: pen tilt/rotation, multi-touch, and touch wheel.


Important specifications

Price: 119.99 USD (when this review was written) Amazon.com
Active Area: 11 x 6.875 inches
Pen Type: Recharging
Pen Buttons: 2 side buttons, no eraser
Pen Pressure: 8192
Pen Tilt Sensitivity: None
Expresskeys: 8 buttons
Multi-touch: No
Special features: USB wireless connection


What’s in the box?

2-in box2

The Huion Inspiroy Q11K comes in a nice and simple, easy to open box.

 

The things that come in the box:

  • Tablet
  • Pen
  • Pen stand
  • Tablet cable (USB type-A to Micro-USB)
  • Pen charging cable
  • Wireless receiver (USB type-A)
  • Pen nib replacements x8
  • Driver installation CD
  • User Manual
  • ‘Thank you” card

4-tablet surface

The tablet has an interesting spotted design around the drawing area, but overall it looks very nice. It has a rather large overall footprint, but it should fit perfectly in any 15.6-inch laptop bag.

The surface of the tablet is a smooth design, but it has enough texture to prevent you from sliding and losing control of your pen. This is probably the best type of texture to prevent nibs from wearing out while giving you decent control over your strokes.

5-tablet underside

The underside of the tablet has the usual information sticker and four rubber feet. The rubber feet do a good job as I have not had any problems with the tablet sliding around.

6-expresskeys

The expresskeys are amazing, exactly how the Intuos Pro buttons felt. They are hard enough to press that you don’t accidentally press them by resting your fingers on them, but they are light enough that you don’t have to press too hard to use them. They’re also much quieter than the other alternative tablets which have cheap plastic buttons which click really loud.
If you’re a first-time digital artist, then you won’t know how good expresskeys are supposed to be, but trust me that these are of amazing quality.

 

The ON/OFF switch on the left side of the tablet is for turning on the wireless mode. The wireless mode is on when the little white circle between the expresskeys is on, and the tablet automatically turns off after 15 minutes of inactivity. If the tablet goes to sleep, you have to toggle the ON/OFF switch to turn it back on.

The lock switch on the right side of the tablet locks the expresskeys and prevents them from activating any functions. I guess if you don’t need the expresskeys you can just leave that switch on lock.

8-pen

The pen is made of a full matte plastic with an interesting shape that actually feels very nice to hold. It has an indent near the tip to catch your fingers, then it bulges around the middle and tapers out toward the other end. The center of gravity is around the middle, but closer to the tip than the top by a slight bit.

The top of the pen has the charging hole for plugging in the pen charging cable.

 

I know some people prefer rubber grip pens, but this plastic pen does not feel worse in any way. I actually prefer this type of comfortable plastic pen over rubber grip pens because I apply skin cream to my hands and that makes a rubber grip pen slippery and hard to use.

One thing to note about the pen is that to turn on the pen, you have to apply max pressure once and the pen will stay on for around 5 minutes before automatically powering off. Unlike most other recharging pens, pressing the pen buttons or applying light pressure to the nib will not turn on the pen. This is a countermeasure against wasting pen battery life while being carried around in a backpack and it is a very smart feature for people who intend to take this tablet around with them. If you’ve used other recharging pens though, it takes a bit to get used to consciously waking up the pen.

 

Another thing to note about this pen is that the pen nib sinks quite far into the pen from min to max pressure. This is unlike the Wacom pens where the pen nib barely even moves when pressure is applied. However, I never found this a problem and I personally prefer feeling the pen nib sink, but my friends opinions were split about which one they prefer.
The pen nib quirk will not affect beginners as they have no previous experiences to compare the pen to, but people who are experienced with other tablets (namely Wacom) may dislike how far the pen nib sinks. I can use both Wacom and Huion just fine so it’s most likely something you can get used to.

10-pen stand

I really like this pen stand!
The weight is very concentrated in the bottom piece, and combined with the light plastic top piece it’s actually very hard to topple accidentally. It’s actually quite refreshing to see Huion make a new pen stand design instead of using the same pen stand that every other alternative does.

11-pen stand inside

Inside the pen stand are the plentiful replacement nibs that you’ll probably never need because the tablet surface is pretty smooth in the first place.

The pen nib remover is that small metal ring in the top half of the pen stand. You stick your pen tip in there and then pull and the pen nib is simply removed.

That slot in the pen stand is where you can store the wireless receiver.

12-wireless receiver

This is the wireless receiver which lets you draw wirelessly on the Q11K. Make sure you store it in your pen stand whenever you’re not using it so you don’t lose it.


Tablet drivers

13-tablet driver

The tablet driver are extremely easy to install. You don’t even need to have your tablet plugged in to install them! Just go download the latest version from huiontablet.com and remove all other tablet drivers you have on your computer before installing it.

 

Once you’ve installed it, the icon shows up in your taskbar, and the driver also creates a shortcut on your desktop so you don’t have to go searching for it in your apps.
Correction: The desktop icon only starts the Huion driver software (if it doesn’t run automatically on startup) and clicking it doesn’t actually open the settings screen. To open the settings screen, you will need to click the Huion icon in the system tray (the bottom right portion of your screen). 
If you don’t see the Huion icon in the system tray, it could be automatically hidden by Windows. If so, click on the small white arrow to show all the system tray icons.

 

In the driver, you can configure your tablet expresskeys, pen buttons, pen pressure curve, and work area. There’s also an option to save different profiles, although the save and open buttons are named a bit ambiguously (they’re the import config and export config buttons in the “About” section. I only found out you could save profiles when I read about the new driver features in the Huion forums). So now people who complain about alternatives not being able to save custom profiles for different programs can consider the Q11K.

16-tablet driver customization

As you can see above, you can basically customize the buttons to anything. The same cuztomization window shows up when customizing the pen buttons.
The only thing that I notice missing is left double click. It seems you can customize your buttons to anything aside from that.

17-pen curve

I was actually surprised when I saw the pen curve chart because I was so used to the basic one line bar for pen sensitivity. I was even more surprised when testing the pen sensitivity that changing the pressure curve actually caused the pen pressure to change noticeably. You can increase and decrease the pen pressure curve from -4 to +4. I found my sweet spot at +1.

18-screen area

For the “Work Area” tab, I suggest using the “screen ratio” button so that your vertical and horizontal motions are properly matched. My screen is 1920x1080p, and when I clicked the screen ratio button, it slimmed the vertical width a fair bit. It may be a small thing, but just a tip from me to make sure you get the right experience.


The drawing experience!

This tablet gave me one of the best drawing experiences I’ve ever had with a graphic tablet. The smoothness of the tablet made it feel very responsive, although occasionally I did feel it was a slight bit too smooth. However, it feels way better to have this smoothness than to know you’re slowly scraping off a rough surface and ruining your pen nibs and tablet!

 

I only test my tablets on Clip Studio Paint because that’s all I use. You should contact Huion support directly if you want to know if the tablet is compatible with the drawing program you use, but most major drawing programs should be compatible. Their customer support is also very kind so there’s no need to be afraid of contacting them directly.

Anyways, the stroke control of the pen is very good and the tapering is really smooth. The one problem I was able to find with the pen control is the slight waviness when doing slow diagonal lines. It’s not particularly bad and it could be much worse, but it’s there just so you know.

The expresskeys on this tablet are the only ones I’ve wanted to use since my old Wacom Intuos Pro. All the other alternatives I bought had really cheap plastic expresskeys which really didn’t make me feel like using them, or the drivers just didn’t have enough customization so I couldn’t do what I wanted with them anyways.
Once you feel premium keys, you have a really hard time accepting anything less.

The wireless on this tablet works without a hitch. You install the driver, plug in the wireless receiver, turn on the tablet, and it works no problem. There is no delay when using wireless compared to wired, so I decided to use the wireless the whole time to avoid having the wire snake across my desk. I couldn’t care less about wires, but hey, if there’s wireless I might as well use it, right?
Since the wireless lasts 40 hours on a single charge, I didn’t run out or power during my testing at all, but I should probably charge it soon.


Conclusion

This is a fantastic tablet for its price of 120 USD on Amazon.com. That’s basically the same price as a Wacom Intuos small, except the Q11K has a way bigger active area for better line control, and it has 8 completely customizable expresskeys.

If a beginner digital artist has enough money to consider an Intuos, I would much rather they spend 20-40 USD extra to get this. It should be well worth it to get all that extra active area space instead of just paying for the Wacom brand name.


Places to buy the tablet

Huion Store | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca
People living in other regions should check their regions Amazon or see if the Huion Store ships to them.

If you have any questions about the tablet, feel free to ask me!

Author: Nikage

I am a hobbyist artist. Ever since I bought my first Wacom alternative tablet, I've become interested in finding out what other alternative tablets are good, and trying to guide people to see that there's more than just Wacom on the market.

27 thoughts on “Huion Inspiroy Q11K Review”

  1. Assuming the Huion H950P performs identically to the H640P, what are your thoughts on it in comparison to the Q11K? I’m switching from a Surface Pro 4 (tired of my big fat hand being in the way all the time 😉 to a drawing tablet, for use with a 27″ monitor. Desk space is somewhat limited so I am leery of the huge size of the Q11K but I realize 27″ is a big stretch for a medium tablet and I can make it fit if I need to. Cost isn’t really an issue at the price these things sell at and I’m not really worried about it being wireless, so it’s more whether the larger work area and possibly better(?) pen are worth dealing with the huge footprint.

    Like

    1. Hey there!

      For your specific situation, I believe the Huion H950P would actually be the better choice between the H950P and Q11K. The main selling point of the Q11K is its long wireless battery life, so if you do not need wireless, then the H950P with its passive pen is worth just slightly more (I think the pen for the H950P is more comfortable than the pen for the Q11K as well).

      I would not worry too much about the tablet to screen size ratio for monitors above 22-inches. This is because once you go past the “medium” tablet size (8×5 to 10×6 inches active area), the size of the tablet becomes more of a problem than a solution. Above the medium size, the accuracy that you get from buying larger tablets starts to become overshadowed by the problem of needing to move your arm much more for bigger strokes.
      I believe the 9×5 inch active area of the H950P should be more than sufficient for use on your 27-inch monitor with practice. It’s also good to note that my friend uses a 6×3.7 inch tablet with their 27-inch monitor and they’re completely used to it, so if you draw frequently, the size shouldn’t be a problem!

      I was told by another user that the pen pressure anomaly I mentioned in the Huion H640P review has been fixed on the newer batches of H640P tablets (although I have not yet confirmed it myself by asking Huion). Either way, it did not affect drawing at all so I still suggest the H950P for the smaller footprint.

      Hope this helps!

      Like

      1. Thanks! I went ahead and tried an H640P and confirmed that I do love using a tablet vs screen, but that I definitely need a larger size. I didn’t really want to deal with the hassle of Chinese shipping and harsh return policies, and comments by Huion on other reviews indicated that it would be several months before the H950P appeared on Amazon so in the end I ponied up for an Intuos Pro M while they were on sale. I agree it was probably still overpriced but I do really miss my Surface touchpad when using my desktop PC and the Wacom works surprisingly well for that purpose outside of drawing programs.

        Like

      2. Ah yes, the pains of Chinese shipping when the tablet isn’t on Amazon *shivers*
        I’m glad you were able to snag the Wacom Intuos Pro M while it was on sale! Honestly, the Wacom Intuos Pro is technically the best tablet with the most features you can get right now, so if you were able to get it on sale it’s more than worth it. Especially since you’re actually going to use the multi-touch feature and not let it go to waste like most people who buy it. xD

        Like

  2. Hi Nikage, i’m using too Clip Studio Paint, but only for fun, i’m not satisfied with the pen pressure settings with my Q11K; can you send me some, if you can, to load into my CSP, or some advice? Thanks

    Like

    1. Hello, what is it specifically that you find unsatisfactory about the pen pressure? If you are talking about the default G-Pen tool or Pencil tool in Clip Studio Paint, they have tilt sensitivity enabled by default in their pen pressure settings and act weird until you disable those. You can do that in the tool settings for each tool.

      Like

  3. Hi,
    It appears V2 is on presale direct from Huion. The only difference that I can see is the pen is now battery-free and has tilt function support? Is this now a better option than the original Q11K and is it worth the hassle of buying directly from Huion (not on Amazon) as I have seen the odd comment here suggesting otherwise?

    Also in this presale is the HUION WH1409 V2 which has the same upgraded pen + pen holder. Would this be another alternative to the Q11K?

    Cheers,
    John

    Like

    1. Hello,

      The problem about buying from Huion’s site is that the shipping usually costs around 20 USD to anyone outside of China. It’s not exactly a hassle to order from huiontablet.com, but it does cost extra with the shipping.

      With the shipping in mind, the pre-sale for the Q11K V2 and WH1409 V2 is ~40 USD, and with the shipping cost included the V2 becomes the same price as the V1 tablets. If it’s during the pre-sale you should very clearly go for the V2 tablets because they’re the same price. However, without the pre-sale, the V2 versions are 20 USD more than the V2 versions, so it becomes a matter of whether you mind paying 20 USD more for the battery-free version or not.

      The WH1409 is for people who want a massive tablet, but if it’s your first tablet, I suggest sticking to around the Q11K size. Some people find the WH1409 too big for them, so it’s safer to go with the medium-ish sizes first, then later decide whether you really need more space to draw or not.

      Hope that helps,
      -Nikage

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Nikage,
        Thanks for your answers, and the explanation of the difference between the Q11k and WH1409. As I live in Australia I cannot avoid the $20 shipping fee unfortunately. I did send you an email via your contact link asking you another couple of questions.
        Cheers,
        John

        Like

      2. Hey John,

        I haven’t received the contact email for some reason. Could you try resending it? Alternatively, you could ask your questions here even if they aren’t related to the Q11K review.

        -Nikage

        Like

  4. Hi Nikage.
    I’d just bought the Q11K, and as you said, it’s amazing for its prize.
    Wondering though how to configure the express keys (tried the shortcut settings and modifier key settings, first time ever configuring these things LOL). I’m using ClipStudioEx and want to set the zoom in and zoom out…somehow it is not working.
    Any suggestions?
    Many thanks in advance 🙂

    Like

    1. Hello!

      To configure the shortcut keys on the tablet for zooming in Clip Studio Paint, you should first take note of the two default zoom in/out methods.
      By default, you can zoom in/out by clicking Ctrl+= and Ctrl+- (the = and – button beside the Backspace button on your keyboard), or you can hold down the keys Ctrl+Space and drag your cursor left or right while holding down the left mouse button.
      Try zooming in/out using those methods using the keyboard before attempting to set your tablet shortcut keys because if they don’t work using a keyboard, they won’t work using the shortcut keys.

      Now, once you know the shortcuts for zooming in/out by keyboard, you can assign those exact keys to a shortcut key(s) in the Huion drivers. I personally use the Ctrl+Space and left mouse drag method as it only takes up one shortcut key.
      To assign this shortcut to the shortcut key, you simply go into the Huion drivers and open up the Press Key Settings by clicking on the shortcut key shortcut that you want to modify. In the Press Key Settings window, press “Keyboard Combination Keys”, then checkmark “Ctrl”, click “Clear String”, then click in the white text box and press the Spacebar once on your keyboard. The result should look like this: https://i.gyazo.com/4fead190b107706ccc86c821452d2ff5.png
      Then press OK to set the shortcut key, and then click Apply at the bottom of the Huion drivers to make sure the changes have properly been applied to the tablet.

      Hopefully this helps,
      Nikage

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Either this or the Huion 1060 (either Plus or H1060P) which one do you recommend/prefer? Or would you recommend the Giano WH1409 instead?

    Like

    1. Here there,

      I personally like the Huion H1060P the most.
      If I were to rank the ones you mentioned based on how much I like them, it’d be:
      1) Huion H1060P
      2) Huion New 1060 Plus/Huion Q11K (I don’t consider either to be superior)
      (No opinion on the WH1409 since I haven’t tried it.)

      To me, any active area larger than 10×6 inches feels excessive and doesn’t provide me with any extra control or comfort, so I do not feel the need to pay extra for the larger Huion Q11K and WH1409. With that said, people who are used to drawing from their arm instead of their wrist (ex. people who do traditional art on large canvases) will most likely prefer the larger sizes.

      Between the Huion H1060P and Huion New 1060 Plus (8192), it really depends on whether you think the price difference is worth the battery-free pen. They can both draw with the same quality.
      The only difference is that the Huion H1060P has tilt functionality in the pen, but that’s a niche feature that not many people use. If you know you are going to use it, then maybe it’s worth prioritizing, but otherwise the price and battery-free pen vs recharging pen will probably be the biggest concern.

      Hopefully that helps,
      Nikage

      Like

    1. Hey there,

      Thanks for the suggestion! I will consider that idea, but I do not believe there have been any considerable changes to the Q11K which would make it any better or worse than it was when I first reviewed it. Is there a specific reason or feature which is giving you difficulty choosing between the H1060P and Q11K?

      Personally, I rank the H1060P higher than the Q11K simply because the pen is battery-free with a rubber grip, whereas the Q11K pen is recharging with a plastic grip. The H1060P also has pen tilt functionality, which the Q11K lacks. Pen tilt is not a particularly necessary feature to make digital art, but it is still an advantage that the H1060P holds nonetheless.
      I have found that they are mostly the same aside from that, so in terms of value for the money, my personal opinion is that the H1060P is better. However, both tablets are really good and I don’t think either of them are a “wrong” choice.

      -The Q11K does have a bigger drawing area than the H1060P, but I found that they are not very different to draw on and the extra size makes no noticeable difference to my pen control. There’s a noticeable difference when comparing something like the small Wacom Intuos to the H1060P/Q11K, but not when comparing the H1060P with the Q11K.
      -The Q11K also has wireless while the H1060P does not, but I personally have never valued wireless as an important feature, so I don’t really consider that an advantage.

      With all that said though, I will check with Huion whether there have been any significant changes to the Q11K since I received it to see if I need to do an updated review for it.

      -Nikage

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I started with the 1060 plus as a complete beginner, had it for a year, and I think its quite good, is the h1060p a direct upgrade ? the name and appearance is similar but the pen looks different, do they it have the same pressure response ?
    I didn’t realize the h1060 was a thing so I bought a Q11K v2 and a ‘giano’. I found that the Q11K has a really different pressure response to the 1060 plus, it might surprise some buyers. Basically I have to press extremely lightly, barely contacting the surface, to get the thinnest line on the Q11K v2, and what to me is medium to get the biggest line, so I find this model hard to use, it can be improved in software. My drawings don’t look like my own with this model. So far what I tried with the Giano I prefer the pressure response, its closer to the 1060 plus, but I dont have to press so hard, you need a large monitor to use this tablet though I think. I noticed you did not review the Giano. I was thinking about getting a wacom intous M but decided against it based on the large amount of 1 star reviews it has, so I started looking for whats the best HUION tablet (without screen).

    Like

    1. Hey there,

      From what I have experienced, the recharging pen that the Huion New 1060 Plus uses is very similar in pressure response to the Huion H1060P. Aside from the different pen, I believe the Huion New 1060 Plus and Huion H1060P have no other significant differences, so if you already have a Huion New 1060 Plus, I do not see a point in “upgrading” to a Huion H1060P until your old tablet dies.

      In the case of your Huion Q11K v2, perhaps the Huion Q11K v2 just has badly tuned pen pressure (firmware or drivers). This was the case with the Huion H640P where the pen pressure was not linear until a recent firmware update (despite using the same PW100 pen as the Huion H1060P which has great linear pen pressure).
      It could also be a defective pen, but I cannot be sure about that.

      Sorry, I can’t really help much because the Huion Q11K v2 is a tablet I haven’t tried.

      -Nikage

      Like

  7. Hello, I’m just concerned about the wireless aspect. A video I watched on Youtube reviewing Huion Inspiroy G10T says it can’t be used when the tablet itself is charging. The pen can still be used when charging tho. Is it the same for this Q11K? Does it also present the same problem or does it work fine even when charging (i.e., connected via usb cable) Thanks!

    Like

  8. Hi, I was wondering whether the tilt function is a really important feature, as I’m quite apprehensive to buy this as it doesn’t have tilt. If it is a big feature, could you tell me some other tablets that do have that feature and are in the same price range as the Q11K (£50-70)? Please bear in mind this would be my first tablet, so I’m a bit new here.

    Thanks

    Like

    1. Hey there,

      I don’t consider the tilt function to be a necessary feature as artists have been drawing fantastic things without pen tilt for the past decade (because tablets didn’t even have pen tilt until fairly recently). Even now, I believe most people who you talk to who have tablets with pen tilt do not use it.
      With that said, it’s a fairly common feature on quite a few tablets nowadays, so it probably won’t hurt to have it so you can experiment with using it later down the road.

      In terms of tablets with pen tilt, I would recommend the Huion H1060P (my personal favourite), Huion H950P, Huion HS610, Huion H1161, Huion Q620M. Most of Huion’s tablets have pen tilt now and I may have missed a few, so I recommend looking through their catalog on their site, but those are the tablets I think are the most noteworthy.
      Personally, I recommend the Huion H1060P since it’s the one I’ve used the most, but it’s probably out of your price range by a bit. I think the Huion H1161 would be a good pick with roughly the same size as the Q11K which you were looking at.

      -Nikage

      Like

  9. Hey! I have had a Huion Q11k for the last 2-3 years. I think my pen is starting to wear out as the spring feels it has loosened quite a bit. Have you encountered this problem? Also I don’t really apply that much of a pressure to have caused this. I wanted to replace the pen and was wondering if any other pen instead of the PF150 would be compatible?

    Like

    1. Hey there,

      Wow, you’ve been using it for a decently long while now!
      Unfortunately, I don’t think any other pens aside from the PF150 are compatible with the Huion Q11K, although you may want to try asking Huion support directly about that since maybe they have another one which is compatible.

      -Nikage

      Like

  10. Thank you so much Nikage! I even got to use and compare it with a Wacom intuos Pro large at my workplace for a few days and I was really impressed by how wonderful the Huion performed. I went back to using my Huion. I can’t understand how someone can be comfortable using a Large sized tablet even if they have a huge display.

    Like

    1. Hey there,

      I’m glad to hear that you’re liking your Huion!

      With regards to large size tablets, I believe they are mainly for traditional artists who are used to painting on large canvases. This is because artists who do canvas paintings usually use their whole arm when making strokes, and the large size allows them to do those same arm motions on a tablet.
      Of course, most people are not canvas painters so they are not used to this full arm drawing technique. Most people are instead more experienced with wrist movements from writing, and I believe that is why the medium and small sizes feel more natural to most artists.

      -Nikage

      Like

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