Important Update (Fed. 23, 2019)
This review is now outdated.
Please read my re-review of the Huion H640P here instead: Huion H640P ReReview 2019
Important Update (Jan. 31, 2019)
The newest firmware update version HUION_T173_181115 for the Huion H640P addresses all the major issues I have mentioned regarding the H640P in this review, which are:
-Non-linear pen pressure
-Bad click sensitivity
To check that your firmware version is up to date, open your Huion driver with your tablet plugged in, then on the “About” screen, press the keys Ctrl+V+E+R. The firmware version of your tablet should now be displayed.
To get the firmware update, you can send your tablet serial number, order number and your OS version to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will send you a firmware upgrade package. Please make sure to follow the included instructions precisely to install it properly.
The above 2 images are my testing pages which test pen pressure and line wobble with the new firmware update.
As you can see in the pen pressure tests, there are no longer sections in the pen pressure which clearly “blow out” in an unnatural way. As far as I could tell, the pen pressure is now properly linear instead of the weird pressure curve it used to be previously.
Also, in the line wobble test, you can see that the slow ruler lines are not very wobbly at all. This is a massive improvement from how wobbly the lines were before this firmware update.
I now believe this is a worthwhile tablet thanks to these improvements, and can wholeheartedly recommend it to any artist who is looking for a cheaper alternative to the small Wacom Intuos.
Please keep these changes in mind when reading this review as I have not tried to rewrite the whole review to reflect this change.
Instead of rewriting this review, I may do a whole new review of the Huion H640P at a later date.
End of Important Update (Jan. 31, 2019)
Update (Nov. 11, 2018): I have written a post detailing the main reasons why I do not suggest this tablet: Why I do not recommend the Huion H640P/H950P
Update (Oct. 24, 2018): I have revised this review with my latest thoughts regarding its drawing capabilities.
I reread this review which I wrote last year and I am honestly appalled by how uneducated my conclusions are about this tablet. I would like to believe that all of my more recent reviews have been written objectively, but I will be taking some time to check them to make sure.
I apologize for not realizing back then that this tablet is a failure when taking into consideration the issues present on it.
Huion came out with a new tablet which features a battery-free pen (no-battery/no-recharge), so I just had to buy it for myself to see how good it is! I’m not sponsored by them for this review, but I have contacted them to talk about a pen pressure anomaly.
Another reason I got the tablet is because I wanted to try ordering off huiontablet.com to see how good their shipping is. This tablet
is still not available is now available on Amazon, and my conclusion is that you should order Huion tablets from Amazon instead of their official site. More about that near the end of the review.
-I am not a Mac or Linux user!! I only tested this tablet on Windows 8 and Windows 10.
-The USB cable direction on this tablet is not suited for use in left-handed mode!
-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?
- Important specifications
- What’s in the box?
- Tablet drivers
- The pen pressure anomaly
- The drawing experience!
- Buying off of huiontablet.com
- Places to buy the tablet
How good is this tablet?
Design and build quality: Excellent!
Tablet drivers: Really good!
Drawing experience: Workable, but certainly not ideal.
Overall: An “okay” buy for 50 USD.
-I can’t really recommend getting this because of the pen pressure anomaly and click sensitivity issue. It can draw, but there are much better tablets for you to buy which will give you much more consistent drawing capabilities than the Huion H640P.
Price: 49.99 USD (when this review was written) Amazon.com
Active Area: 6.3 x 3.9 inches
Pen Type: Battery-free
Pen Buttons: 2 side buttons, no eraser
Pen Pressure: 8192
Pen Tilt Sensitivity: None
Expresskeys: 6 Buttons
Special features: None
What’s in the box?
The Huion H640P comes in a simple white box with a pleasing image on the front. As you might be able to see, the official name for this tablet is Huion Inspiroy H640P, so it is a part of Huion’s newest line of Inspiroy tablets.
The things that come in the box:
- Pen stand
- Tablet cable (USB type-A to Micro-USB)
- Pen nib replacements x8
- Driver installation CD shaped instruction card
- User manual
- “Thank you” card
Before talking about the tablet, I wanted to talk about this driver installation CD shaped instruction card. It replaces the driver installation CD which often comes with a tablet, but it is a much better choice. This card redirects you to download the latest drivers directly from Huion’s main website, and this addresses the issue where many people run into problems simply because they use the outdated drivers on the installation CD.
I just had to applaud Huion for creating a card that looks like an installation CD so that it catches peoples eyes. It is much more eye-catching than a normal rectangle sheet of paper which many people tend to ignore and not read.
This tablet has a very simple design with a matte plastic covering most of the surface area on top of the tablet. The right and left edges of the tablet feature a spotted design. The tablet itself is quite small and should fit in basically any bag that you’d want to put it in. The small size makes it extremely portable.
The surface of the tablet has enough texture to prevent your pen from slipping and losing control, but it is quite smooth so it will not eat your nibs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Is it like paper? No. Is it a good texture? Yes.
The underside of the tablet has the information sticker and four rubber feet. The rubber feet do their job properly as I did not have problems with the tablet sliding around while drawing.
All the edges of the tablet are curved so that they doesn’t dig into your wrist when drawing.
The expresskeys along the side are fantastic and feel great to use. They have very nice feedback when they are clicked and are not hard to use whatsoever. Compared to other 50 USD tablets, these expresskeys are amazing in both quality and feel.
The Micro-USB port on the tablet is located on the side with the expresskeys. The USB cable itself bends upward. This design is meant for right-handed users, and the cord will point toward the user when the tablet is flipped for left-handed use. This is something you should note if you are left-handed!!!
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 as set to lock.
Another use for it is for left-handed people. If you lock the expresskeys, you can avoid turning the tablet around and pointing the USB cable at yourself by drawing with your hand on the (locked) expresskeys.
The pen is made of a matte plastic with a semi-hard/semi-soft rubber grip. It has a nice shape with a bulge at the bottom of the grip to prevent your fingers from sliding, although the rubber grip does already do a plenty good job of preventing sliding. The center of gravity is much more towards the pen tip then the center due to the rubber grip. Perhaps it’s because of the rubber grip, but the pen is light but weighty enough, so the pen does not feel unbalanced at all when in use.
The pen for the Huion H640P is a battery-free pen, meaning that it does not require batteries or recharging, just like Wacom’s pens. This is Huion’s first tablet featuring a battery-free pen!
The grip is very comfortable because it features a rubber grip which no other battery-free pen currently does (except for the Wacom Intuos Pro, but that’s in a whole different class of tablet due to its super high price). The Wacom Intuos CTL-480, the previous generation of Intuos which has been discontinued, used to have a battery-free pen with a rubber grip which I really loved, but the current Wacom Intuos CTL-490 series only uses cheap plastic pens.
The pen buttons are flush with the surface but are surprisingly easy to find without looking because the plastic buttons feel different from the rubber grip. They also click nicely and feel very good to use.
The top of the pen does not have anything as it does not need a charging port.
The pen stand is a small plastic cone with a hole in the top. You can stand the pen upright, or horizontal on it. When you stand the pen upright, you can tell that the stand is not made properly for the pen because the pen always leans to one side and never stands completely vertical. Is that a problem? No, it’s just something funny I wanted to mention.
The bottom of the pen stand is purely plastic, so the pen stand does not have very much grip on hard surfaces. However, the bottom is not as smooth as the previous all-plastic Huion pen stand so it doesn’t actually slide so much that it’s obnoxious.
The inside of the pen stand houses the replacement pen nibs. The pen nib remover is built into the bottom of the stand with the instructions on how to use it engraved into the plastic on the bottom. But for those who don’t understand the pictures, you stick your pen into the hole, lever it to the side a bit, and pull the nib out.
The tablet drivers 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 huion.com and remove all other tablet drivers you have on your computer before installing it.
Once you’ve installed the driver, 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.
Although the installer doesn’t prompt you to restart your computer after it finishes, I wholeheartedly suggesting restarting your computer anyways to allow Windows to properly update the files necessary for the driver to run smoothly.
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).
If you see a “Require Admin” button along the bottom of the driver when you first run it, click it to give your driver proper administrator privileges so that it can make changes to system files when necessary.
The Press Keys tab allows you to customize the functions mapped to your expresskeys. As you can see above, the hotkeys menu has keyboard shortcuts, pen clicks, and some “switch” functions available. The drop down menu for the keyboard shortcuts has every keyboard key that I can think of.
The only thing that I notice is missing is the double click function, but I guess it’s pretty easy to just double tap your pen instead so that can’t even be considered a problem.
The Stylus Pen tab allows you to customize the pen buttons and the pen pressure curve. The pen buttons have the same amount of configuration as the expresskeys. I found that the pen pressure works best for me at a setting of -1.
Usually you will need to uncheck the “Enable Windows Ink” option to prevent Windows Ink from messing with your drawing. That said, some programs such as Photoshop usually do not work if it is not turned on, so play with that option as you see fit.
One limitation of this tablet driver is that the pen buttons cannot be used at the same time as the pen nib click. For example, if you were to assign spacebar (for panning) to the pen button, then you hold down the pen button and press the pen onto the tablet, the result would be a normal pen stroke, not the hand tool for panning as you would expect. It seems the pen nib overrides the pen button command rather than occurring alongside it.
A simple way to remedy this is by assigning both spacebar and left click to the same pen button (because you can do that with the Huion drivers), but it should be noted that the pen button and pen nib don’t interact as expected.
Edit (July 10, 2018): This limitation was fixed in the latest V14 Huion driver.
Also, as I mentioned before, the pen pressure on this pen has a small anomaly, and I will elaborate on that in the next section after I finish going over the tablet drivers.
The Work Area tab allows you to customize the monitor your tablet is mapped to, and the size of the active area your tablet uses. Pick your monitor from the drop down menu, then click the Full Area button, and then click the Screen Ratio button to properly adjust your tablet area to match your monitor.
There is also the option to rotate your tablet input for left-handed use, but like I mentioned before, the USB-cable direction may be annoying for left-handed users.
The pen pressure anomaly
I have found out that this anomaly was being “amplified” by the custom pressure curve on my CSP pen, and that was the reason my pen would skip the middle pressures so noticeably. If I instead use a normal linear pressure pen, the middle pressure skip isn’t as bad, despite still being there a bit.
The Huion H640P pen pressure is clearly a bit skewed if it gets affected this negatively by my custom CSP pen which has a perfectly linear pressure curve.
The pen pressure anomaly that I found is that the pen pressure jumps too quickly when trying to do a gradual increasing pressure stroke from low to high.
You can see the problem even more clearly when you set the pen pressure curve setting to above zero.
The above are screenshots of my slow strokes from left to right, low pressure to high pressure for all the different pen pressure settings available on the Huion driver. I did the exact same tests on the Q11K for comparison.
Comparing the +1, +2, and +3 sections, you can clearly see that I was completely unable to draw any middle pen pressures with the H640P, whereas I am able to get the middle pen pressures on the Q11K even at +3. Even with -1 and 0, you can see a slight jump in the pen pressure on the H640P.
The issue becomes the least prominent when using -2, -1, or 0 in the pen pressure curve settings. With those settings, the pen pressure feels more natural, although it requires you to draw lighter.
From left to right, the above are all screenshots of reviews on Youtube for the Huion H640P by Tech Guy, Illustrayna, and Trent Kaniuga. Only Trent Kaniuga noticed the pen pressure anomaly and mentioned it briefly, but I have drawn red arrows pointing to the spots where you can see the pen pressure jumps in all 3 of their reviews.
Using the Youtube reviews as reference, it seems pretty clear that this pen pressure anomaly is an issue present in all Huion H640P tablets currently out.
I have received a definitive answer from Huion that this problem is either a firmware or hardware issue. So if they fix it, it will only be fixed on the newer batches of this tablet.
Update (October 24, 2018): This issue has not been fixed, and it appears it will not be fixed as it has been almost a year since this tablet was released.
A drawing tablets most important function is to draw consistent lines. Having an unpredictable pressure curve such as this is a clear fail for a drawing tablet.
The drawing experience!
This tablet gave me a decent drawing experience for a simple 50 USD tablet. The surface of the tablet is smooth but feels great to draw on, and the fact that the pen has a nice rubber grip and doesn’t need to be recharged is definitely a good thing.
Unfortunately, the issues regarding the pen pressure anomaly, click sensitivity, and wobbly lines betray the great build quality of the 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.
The stroke control of the pen is decent when using the pen with pen pressure set to -1, but the pen pressure anomaly is certainly still there. I was able to draw even with the non-linear pen pressure curve, but it was certainly not ideal.
One problem I have noticed is that clicking things with the pen requires more initial force than any other tablet I have ever used. Simple things like clicking layers, or opening Chrome require more than a simple light tap. It’s not a massive problem because this problem doesn’t affect drawing, but it’s quite annoying when using your pen to navigate your computer or the internet. If you are considering this tablet for something like photo editing (which requires you to click lots of options), then I would suggest against it for sure.
Another problem I noticed is that slow diagonal lines tend to have a fair bit of wobble to them. The wobble will not get in the way of your drawing when doing quicker strokes as it will be smoothed out, but it will get in your way if you often do slower lines.
The expresskeys on this tablet are amazing and feel much better than the cheap plastic buttons that you get on most 50 USD tablets. If the expresskeys were the most important factor, I would have no qualms suggesting this tablet to someone who uses expresskeys for most of their functions.
I can’t really recommend this tablet to anyone wanting to start out in the world of digital art due to the pen pressure anomaly and click sensitivity issue. Like I mentioned once, a drawing tablet with an unpredictable pressure curve is a failure of a drawing tablet as that is its most important feature.
This tablet is certainly “okay” when considering all the factors, but I believe it would be much better to consider other options as they will most likely give you a better and more consistent drawing experience overall.
Buying off of huiontablet.com
At the time of writing this review, this tablet is still not available for purchase on Amazon (now available on Amazon.com). I bought the tablet off of huiontablet.com because I figured it was a good chance to check how good their service is, and I have come to the conclusion that you should probably buy Huion’s tablets off of Amazon due to a few reasons.
One reason is that there are high shipping costs involved if you order off of huiontablet.com (for North America in particular). If I had not ordered the Huion H640P during their free shipping event which occurred during the first month of the release, I would have had to pay 20 USD for shipping to Canada, that’s an extra 40% added to the price of the tablet! (Shipping within China is free though.)
For comparison, if you were to order the tablet off Amazon, you would not have to pay any shipping because it is usually free. At most, you might need to pay ~5 USD for standard shipping if the tablet is not yet a “Fulfilled by Amazon” item, but even then that is loads better than the shipping cost on huiontablet.com.
Edit: Huion has updated their chart to specify which countries use which postal services and the estimated delivery times for each. They have also properly included a disclaimer at the bottom which includes the possibility of delays during busy periods. Very good on them!
This section no longer applies so I have striked out the text.
Another reason is the shipping speed. My tablet took 2 and a half weeks to arrive in Canada. The expected delivery window was 5-10 days because they chose EMS for my package (I assume 5-10 business days, but they do not specify).
I asked them why it was taking longer than expected, and they said that delays were caused due to high shipping traffic in China, but they do not state anywhere on their site that there may be delays in shipping times due to high traffic.
Delays due to congestion do happen and that is common sense, however, you are still required to state that they may happen, otherwise you’re basically guaranteeing that the package will arrive in the estimated delivery window, which in my case, it didn’t.
But either way, the shipping was very slow. As a continuation of the above, another reason to not order off huiontablet.com is because you do not get to choose your shipping speed. Look at the list of possible carriers and their delivery estimates. If you’re lucky you’ll get assigned UPS, but if you’re unlucky you’ll be assigned something much slower. How is that worthwhile at all when Amazon will deliver within 3-5 business days no matter which carrier you’re assigned?
Edit: I will mention here that my Huion H430P which I bought off huiontablet.com on January 2nd, 2018 arrived on January 8th, 2018. So it can be assumed that the shipping speed is acceptable during non-busy seasons.
And the last reason that you should not order off huiontablet.com is because of their returns policy (here: https://www.huiontablet.com/warranty-statement/).
Huion “Return with quality issue” – You can only return within 30 days from date of purchase, or 7 days after maximum delivery date.
Huion “Return without quality issue” – Same time frames as above, but you must pay 8% restocking fee + return shipping.
Huion “Cancel order” – You can cancel an order before it’s shipped if you pay an 8% restocking fee.
As comparison, the Amazon return policy for Fulfilled by Amazon products is: You can return products for any reason within 30 days after delivery. And if you return without product defect you only have to pay the return shipping. Also, you can cancel an order before it’s shipped for free.
Unless there is a very good promotion exclusive to the huiontablet.com site, I suggest buying Huion tablets off of Amazon for the faster shipping speeds and better return policy.
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!