“The Painful Truth About Drawing Tablet Reviews” – My Opinion

I am making this post as a pseudo-response piece to the “The Painful Truth About Drawing Tablet Reviews” videos which a few Youtubers have created following Aaron Rutten’s original video on the topic.

I am writing this post because, as a tablet reviewer myself who has worked with these companies, I do not completely agree with a few of their points about what they are trying to paint as “the painful truth” about drawing tablet reviews.

I honestly just wanted to get this uncomfortable feeling off my chest where I feel they are misinforming people about these tablet review agreements. It feels like they’re pitting too much of the blame on the tablet companies for their experiences when, in my eyes, much of what they point out appears to be the reviewers responsibility (or irresponsibility).
To me, these videos which they made seem much more suitably named as a “How I Feel Tablet Companies Treat Me Badly”, rather than some kind of “painful truth” about tablet reviews.

I don’t have anything against these Youtubers, and I refer to a lot of Brad’s review videos myself, but I just really needed to put out my own thoughts on this matter somewhere.

The videos I am referring to are:
Aaron Rutten’s – The Painful Truth About Drawing Tablet Reviews
Brad Colbow’s – The Painful Truth About Drawing Tablet Reviews: Response
Crowne Prince’s – I’m Quitting: Painful Truth About Drawing Tablet Reviews

P.S. This post is a very long wall of text with no pictures. You have been warned!



Table of Contents



Sending in Reviews For Fact Checking is Not Bad!

The biggest issue I have with these videos is that all three of these Youtubers make it sound like sending the company your full review before you publish it is a bad thing. They make it seem like every tablet company is only interested in censoring what you say in your review.

Yes, if you send your review in and they tell you to delete all the criticisms, then that’s wrong of them to do so. However, letting the company fact check your review is NOT an inherently bad thing whatsoever.

It is completely and absolutely possible that you as the reviewer have misinterpreted something, or done something unintended which caused the issues you experienced. Checking in with the company is obviously the correct thing to do if you are aiming to do your review as “correctly” as you can. As a matter of fact, it’s clearly worse to avoid consulting them before publishing your review.
Think about it. If you avoid checking in with the company before releasing your review, you are just doing your own viewers a disservice by shirking your responsibility to fact check!


You As The Reviewer Have A Voice

I also can’t help but dislike how all three of these Youtubers make it sound like the reviewer has no voice when it comes to renegotiating the terms and conditions tablet companies offer you before they send you the tablet.
The complaints they make about these review agreements that they themselves agreed to are… odd.

-Aaron Rutten mentions a case where he received a condition along the lines of “send us your review to look at before publishing it”.
-Brad Colbow also mentions a case where he received the same condition as Aaron.
-Crowne Prince mentions a case where she was given a condition along the lines of “finish the review within 1 week of receiving the tablet”.

In all of these cases, you can decline the terms!

Unlike how these three Youtubers made it sound, many companies are open to renegotiating the terms which you found disagreeable, and that is completely your responsibility to let them know that you do not think their terms are fair for you.

If you are willing to do dishonest reviews just because you’re afraid of losing partners for your Youtube channel, you are very clearly not going to last long. The fear of losing partners is not something that should prevent you from speaking out against what you think are unfair terms.

My Experience

I once reviewed a drawing monitor with the following conditions:

  1. Finish a review within 2 weeks of receiving the tablet.
  2. Allow them to troubleshoot all issues I encounter before publishing the review.
  3. Make a drawing specifically for the company to use in marketing/promotion/etc within 2 weeks of receiving the tablet.

Since it was a drawing monitor (which is fairly expensive), I felt this was a fair trade and agreed to this offer.

However, the next offer I received from this company was to review a screen-less tablet with the exact same conditions I received for the drawing monitor review despite this screen-less tablet being 1/4th the price of the drawing monitor.
Obviously, I felt that these terms were not fair for me for a tablet worth 1/4th the price, so I argued to them why I logically felt that I could not accept these terms.

They accepted my logical arguments and readjusted the terms to:

  1. Finish a review within 2 weeks of receiving the tablet.
  2. Allow them to troubleshoot all issues I encounter before publishing my review.

The removal of the company specific drawing made this a much fairer agreement, so I accepted these new terms.

What This Means

What I am trying to demonstrate with my example is that, you as the reviewer are the one with the responsibility to argue any terms which you logically feel are not fair.

  • If Aaron and Brad felt that it wasn’t fair to show their review to the company before they published it, they should have argued against that term with a logical reason before they agreed to it.
  • If Crowne Prince felt that 1 week was too short a deadline, then she should have argued for a longer deadline with why she logically needed a longer deadline.

In both cases, if the company doesn’t accept the proposed changes to the terms, then it’s completely up to the reviewer whether they accept or reject the terms that they feel are unfair for them.

Obviously, if you don’t have a logical reason to reject a term, then the tablet company will not be willing to accommodate your request to change the terms. But in the case that a company won’t give you fair terms, why should you feel any need to agree to work with such a company?
Please do not be so desperate to get free products that you agree to terms that you feel are unfair. This will just make your future dealings with that company difficult as this will just make a track record of you being very “generous” with your time and effort, so your future agreements will most likely be with similar unfair terms.


Reviewers Being Used As Testers

One very true fact which is brought up by these Youtubers is the fact that reviewers are being unfairly used as testers a lot of the time, and this is a problem which affects all types of reviews, not just tablet reviews in particular.
However, I do not completely agree with them even about this.

Testing is an inherent part of reviewing, and I think that we as reviewers need to be pseudo-testers who test a tablet thoroughly enough to be able to inform our viewers about all the pros and cons of a tablet.
Unfortunately, we can’t test the nitty-gritty details which we don’t understand such as the inner electronics and wiring, but if we do not test a tablet beyond what is on the product page, then we are just influencers or advertising agents. We would no longer be the reviewers we pride ourselves to be.

The Value of Time

There are certainly many cases where the amount of issues you run into and the troubleshooting you have to do is beyond what you were “paid” when you received the tablet. However, this is a very grey area which changes based on the subjective value each person puts on their time.

In my case, I do not receive any money for my reviews because this is just a hobby of mine. The only “payment” I receive for my work is the tablet itself. Because of this, it is fairly easy to calculate what I feel is fair or unfair when it comes to tablet review agreements.

In the case of decently accomplished Youtube reviewers, it is probably much harder to calculate this because they also receive “payment” through Youtube ad revenue in addition to the tablet itself.
As Youtube reviewers receive some monetary benefit from being given the chance to review a tablet, and also get the benefit of having more content to post, I feel that at least some troubleshooting can be justified as “part of the job description”. At least, up to a point.

Honestly, the problem here is the same as the last section. It’s the reviewers responsibility to make sure that they only agree to terms and conditions which they think are fair for them.

You can’t tell if a tablet is going to give you more trouble than it’s worth before receiving it, but if it does, you should bring it up with the company and tell them that you are not getting value worth your time. You should try to convince them that what you were given is not worth the amount of troubleshooting which you are having to go through, and that you would like to request reimbursement for the “overtime” which you have had to work.

In the case that the company does not agree to pay you, you have the choice and responsibility to choose whether you will continue working with them or not.
If you decide to stop working for them, they are the ones losing the tablet they sent you, and you are only losing a partner who will not “pay” you properly for your time. You are not losing anything here. As a matter fact, you would just be hurting yourself wasting your time with a company who does not value your time.

Small Blurb About Review Offers For Pre-Release Tablets

The value talk in the previous section only includes testing a product which is already released. Pre-release testing is a whole different story and it should not be called a review offer. Period. 

This is because pre-release tablets will often have many bugs and issues, so what you will mainly be doing is beta testing. It is completely possible that the hardware will be changed before the official release based on your input, rendering the model you have on hand obsolete for review.
This means that you can no longer review the tablet properly because your model does not reflect the performance of the actual consumer model. Well, unless the company is will to send you the newer model as well, of course.


Conclusion

The many situations which these three Youtubers give in their videos are most likely true, and a lot of what they say is true about how these tablet companies will sometimes overreach to try and get the positive reactions they are looking for.
However, they are trying to throw too much of their own responsibilities as reviewers onto the tablet companies they agreed to work with.

The terms and conditions are negotiable if you have good reason to refute them. A lot of their complaints stem from the fact that they as reviewers avoided their responsibility to properly consider and revise the terms and conditions before they agreed to them.

If the terms and conditions are something that you read and agreed to, it is, without a doubt, improper business practice to break those terms and conditions willy-nilly.
It is your responsibility to follow through with what you agreed to unless there is good reason not to. A reason like “oh, I realized I don’t really like these terms after all” after the fact is extraordinarily irresponsible of you, and it is almost certain that the company will stop working with such an irresponsible individual afterwards.

Even in Brad’s case where he was asked to change parts of his review after he published it, aside from the fact that he forgot to fulfill his part of the agreement, there was most likely no clause in his review agreement which said that he couldn’t just outright reject the changes suggested to him.
Sure, the company might not like it that much that he won’t take out those points, but he just needs to logically explain to them why he can’t leave those parts out so that they can accept it. Then they might actually work on fixing those issues instead of getting angry about how Brad didn’t follow the agreement.

I often try my best to convince the companies I work with to fix all the issues I find, and I always make sure to give them proper reasons as to why I believe it’s important to fix them.
A lot of little issues are left untouched simply because the company thought it was unimportant to the general user. They are more than willing to fix these issues if you give them a good enough reason why they should fix it. They’re not going to get mad at you for criticizing something that you have good reason to criticize.

And again, if the company is unreasonable and won’t listen to logic, then you’re really not losing anything by losing them as a partner. Their products probably won’t improve since they won’t listen to criticism, so you’ll just be saved from the effort of reviewing more of their crappy products.

Perhaps I’m just biased because I’m not a Youtuber who has to “keep all the partners happy”, but I’ve honestly been as critical as I can of all the tablets I get to review and I still get review offers from these companies, so I really can’t understand why so many people agree with these Youtubers about this.
Many of these tablet companies are very reasonable, so just tell them what you don’t like about the review agreement, and if you have a valid, logical reason, they will try to work out terms that you can accept.
(Just note that it’s a bit harder to get your point across if your contact can’t speak decent English, which is the case with some lesser known companies.)



If you read the entirety of this post all the way to the bottom, hats off to you. Thanks for reading.

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.

20 thoughts on ““The Painful Truth About Drawing Tablet Reviews” – My Opinion”

  1. I do not want offend you, but since the fiasco that I had with the Huion H950p, tablet that I purchased ’cause I saw the Jazza’s review video on youtube, I do not trust anymore in youtubers.

    I’m still follow your blog but your last reviews only tells me that all Wacom alternatives are bad. In special, Huion.
    I’m not a Wacom-fan, but aparently, no one company can beat Wacom, yet.

    Like

    1. Hey there,

      Sorry, but I don’t understand how you came to the conclusion of “your last reviews only tells me that all Wacom alternatives are bad. In special, Huion.”

      My most recent Huion reviews have been the Huion H640P ReReview 2019, Huion H950P Review, and Huion Kamvas Pro 13 Review, all of which have been quite positive, especially after they received firmware updates fixing their biggest problems.
      If you are talking about the “Why I Do Not Recommend The Huion HS610” post, it should be noted that that tablet is just a single Huion tablet which is “bad”. “Bad” is in quotation marks because it’s not even that bad since you can still draw with it quite well in most normal use cases, and it doesn’t have the other horrible issues the Huion H640P/H950P used to have such as bad tap sensitivity and extremely wobbly lines.

      I certainly disliked the VEIKK A50, and didn’t particularly love the GAOMON S620, but these are just two tablets out of the many I reviewed recently. These are also from two companies which are not well established like Huion and XP-Pen, so it was completely within expectations that the tablets I reviewed from them are somewhat disappointing.

      I sincerely cannot see how these posts of mine led you to the conclusion of Wacom alternatives (and Huion in particular) being bad.

      -Nikage

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      1. The problem that I see with Huion is that a lot of their products have issues that they have to fix with successive firmware updates.
        It’s not nice when you buy a tablet for use the same day but due to the factory lack quality control, you have to wait until they release the firmware update to use their product properly.

        My critic it’s only for Huion. I will take the risk and I will buy the XP-Pen Artist 22e Pro. Could you give me your opinion about this product?

        Like

      2. Hey again,

        Ah, I see, so you were just exaggerating when you said “your last reviews only tells me that all Wacom alternatives are bad” in your last comment.

        Although I can understand your sentiment towards Huion, what you have pointed out doesn’t say that Huion’s tablets are bad. All their tablets which I reviewed are now good after they received their respective firmware updates.
        Also, these issues which need firmware updates to fix are not caused by factories lacking quality control. Instead, they are caused by lack of proper in-house testing of firmware/software.
        -Firmware/software issues are something you can fix at home if you are sent updates.
        -Hardware defects (from bad factory quality control) are something you cannot fix without sending the whole tablet back to the company.
        All the issues with these Huion tablets are software issues which have nothing to do with factory quality control, and all the issues I’ve seen have been fixed with software updates sent to me over the internet.

        Huion releasing new tablets which have software issues just means that we should warn people not to buy Huion’s newest tablets until they are reviewed. It does not mean that Huion’s tablets are bad.

        With regards to XP-Pen, my only criticism for XP-Pen in general right now is the small pen tapering issue which I noted in my reviews for the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro, XP-Pen Artist 12, and XP-Pen Deco 03.
        As far as I can see, it appears to only affect devices using XP-Pen’s newer drivers, however, I’ve never tried the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro myself so I can’t accurately say if it will have the same problem. It’s completely possible that the pen tapering issue only affects XP-Pen’s battery-free pens and not their recharging pens.
        Quite frankly, I can’t say anything about the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro because I haven’t tried it myself.

        If I recall correctly, don’t you have a used Wacom Intuos Pro tablet which you were fairly happy with?
        You should keep in mind that buying new tablets won’t improve your art. Practicing does. If you are not having major problems with your Wacom Intuos Pro, I would suggest just concentrating on practicing your art on it instead of thinking about buying a new tablet.
        However, if you really want to try a drawing monitor, maybe you should try out the Wacom Cintiq 16 since it’s fairly cheap?

        -Nikage

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  2. Could you write a review for the ‘One by Wacom’?

    *Can you review it in a short time? (I hope you can in a week)

    Like

    1. Sorry, but I will not be reviewing the One by Wacom in that time frame because I don’t own it, and I will not be getting one any time soon as far as I know.

      -Nikage

      Like

  3. Hey there. Glad to see your answer on these. I sincerely hope the trend of these videos won’t let people lose trust on these reviewers and tablet companies.

    I especially agree with the first point, just because the tablet is sending free tablets for reviews doesn’t mean it’s bad. In a market where Wacom is the monopoly (or an oligopoly by now?), you need more marketing promotion than the usual advertisement and discounts. If none of these were done, then nobody would consider these brands as competitors and they’ll still merely brushed off as a knockoff, when clearly Huion and XP-PEN proved that artists don’t need to spend an arm and leg to be able to draw digitally! I hate that people tend to look in a pessimist way of these companies trying to bribe, drawing tablets are a difficult market to step in because it’s a quite niche target audience compared to phones or computers, therefore why these companies needs to send these free tablets to gain more exposure. Just because Wacom didn’t need to do it, doesn’t mean it’s a sneaky and manipulative thing in order to compete in the market.

    I also agree with your point that they don’t lose anything if they rejected the offer. That’s my main concern regarding these videos. I could get if small artists could feel pressured by these rules since they only get these offers in probably once in a blue moon, but in the end, you’re not obliged to do it, there’s no payment or fees, yet people complain about these strict rules. I could see why some could get a bit ridiculous (which is also a part of the marketing, whether you like it or not) but as you proved, you can always decline it.

    On the topic of “test subject”…I personally don’t see it as a bad thing either. I rather have a reviewer that received the unit for free, noticing the flaws of the units/products first before actual customers that bought the actual products with their money, only to get a flawed tablet. At the very least, for receiving the free tablet, I assume companies may listen to these kinda “sponsored” reviewers more in terms of flaws since they were the one that requested the review, which will help before they release it to actual customers. The only bad practice for this “test subject” if the companies were to send a different unit to reviewers and sell a completely different thing to customers, which I hope doesn’t happen much, if not at all.

    Overall, this is why you’re a very trustworthy reviewer and if not one of the few active tablet reviewers that looks for the good parts of “Wacom alternatives”.

    Like

    1. Hey there, thanks for your input!

      Agreed. You can’t get your name out if you don’t market yourself, so it’s a really odd expectation to expect these companies to become trusted without pushing themselves out with many advertisements and discounts.
      Most of what the Youtubers called “shady practices” are just the companies pushing a bit too far for that marketing. If the reviewer knows it’s illegal or breaks rules (like fake Amazon reviews), then they really should be telling the company to stop it, or just decline to work with them.
      All these Youtubers did was break the terms they agreed to, and it sounds like they didn’t even try to reason with the companies they worked with before breaking those terms, which is, as I stress a lot in my post, very irresponsible of them as reviewers.

      Yes, I completely agree with you that small artists will probably feel pressured to accept these offers because they haven’t experienced a review offer before, but like you also mentioned, the Youtubers in question are people who have experienced numerous review offers. They’re pretty big Youtubers, so their words probably have quite a bit of weight, yet they agree to what they feel are “unfair” terms, seemingly just so they can complain about it behind the companies backs.

      Ah, yes, pre-release testing is certainly not a bad practice, but I feel that it’s mislabeled by tablet companies a lot as a “review” offer.
      Compared to an after-release review offer, pre-release testing requires a lot more time and work to test, find, report, and bugfix the many issues present, so I actually agree with Crowne Prince that it should involve a bit more payment than just receiving the (beta version) tablet.
      I personally haven’t had a situation yet where I’ve been sent a beta version tablet that’s completely different from the public consumer version, so I really just said it as a possibility.

      I was worried that maybe I was the odd one out for this topic because those Youtube videos seemed to get a lot of comments saying they felt the same way (even from other Youtube reviewers I’ve seen), so I’m really glad to hear your input about these topics.
      Thanks for reading the whole way through!

      -Nikage

      Like

  4. Hi there.

    I’m looking into buying my first graphics tablet ever and I was wondering, if you could maybe share some insight on the two candidates I have in mind. Maybe you’ve already compared them both to each other.

    The first one is the XP-PEN DECO 03, which you’ve reviewed. The second one is the HUION INSPIROY Q11K V2. I don’t think you’ve reviewed the V2 over the V1 HUION, but maybe you have still heard certain things, or you know of advantages the V2 has over the V1… and how that compares to the XP-PEN DECO 03.

    Thank you for any kind of information you can provide!

    (Also, I should probably note that I could get a used XP-PEN DECO 03 for 70 euros, while the Q11K V2 would cost me 130 euros new (no used ones available)). That’s quite a big difference, so maybe you think that should factor into my decision.

    Again, thank you!

    Like

    1. Hey there,

      Personally, I have always considered the Huion Q11K V2 to be an unappealing offer unless you specifically need the wireless mode. If you don’t need the wireless mode, then I would very much recommend going with the cheaper (but just as good) Huion H1060P, well, assuming it’s offered in your region for cheaper of course.
      I say this because the only difference between the Huion Q11K V2 and the Huion H1060P is the drawing area size (and wireless feature, but that’s not really necessary for drawing), and I’ve noticed that a 11×7 inch area vs a 10×6.25 inch area are extremely similar. If you move from a small size tablet of 6×3.7 inches to 10×6.25 inches, you feel a very noticeable difference, but 10×6.25 and 11×7 doesn’t feel different enough to call the bigger size of the Huion Q11K V2 an advantage.

      Anyways, if we ignore other options and just talk about the two tablets you brought up, the differences that I can think of are:

      –Wireless quality–
      As I note in my XP-Pen Deco 03 review, the wireless on it noticeably choppy, especially when doing quick curves. My review was done quite a while ago, but I really doubt they fixed that.
      On the other hand, my Huion Q11K V1 had very smooth wireless which felt almost exactly like using the tablet connected by cable. As you said, I haven’t tried the Huion Q11K V2, but I don’t think they would make the wireless electronics significantly worse in the second version.
      If the wireless is an important feature for you, then the Huion Q11K V2 is probably the better choice.

      –Surface Texture–
      The XP-Pen Deco 03 has a rough “paper-like” texture, whereas the Huion Q11K V2 has a fairly smooth texture. However, as I noted in my XP-Pen Deco 03 review, the texture on the XP-Pen Deco 03 starts wearing out almost immediately, so I doubt it will last very long.
      Personally, I think smooth textures are better because that’s where all rough textures end up after continuous use anyways. Smooth textures also avoid the whole pen nib wear situation.
      In this case, it’s mostly preference, but I personally think the Huion Q11K V2 texture is better just because the XP-Pen Deco 03 texture wears out so fast.

      –Pen tilt–
      The Huion Q11K V2 has pen tilt functionality, whereas the XP-Pen Deco 03 does not.
      Pen tilt isn’t a “necessity” for art, unless you can think of specific situations in your art workflow where you would use it. I still haven’t been able to include it in my workflow despite having it available to me on my tablet, so unless you can think of specific situations that you would always use it, it’s probably not very important to consider.
      Well, it doesn’t hurt to have it in case you want to play with it later, so the Huion Q11K V2 is better in this case as well.

      –XP-Pen’s pen taper issue–
      The XP-Pen Deco 03 has the pen taper issue which I have found present in all XP-Pen tablets which use the new drivers. It’s not a massive issue, but it’s sometimes noticeable when doing strokes from 100% to 0% pen pressure. I’ve been pushing XP-Pen to fix this, but they still haven’t been able to fix it yet.
      On the other hand, most of Huion’s tablets do not have any pen pressure issues that I can see. There are exceptions like the Huion HS610 which has some issues with its pen pressure, so I can’t deny that “maybe” the Huion Q11K V2 has issues too, but most of Huion’s tablets don’t have pen pressure issues.
      In this case, both options could have small pen pressure issues, but the XP-Pen Deco 03 is guaranteed to have that issue, whereas the Huion Q11K V2 probably won’t. Personally, I would recommend the Huion Q11K V2 over the XP-Pen Deco 03 here.

      Uh, weird. I didn’t mean for my comparison to be a landslide victory for the Huion Q11K V2.
      Well, there you have it, if you’re willing to pay more for the Huion Q11K V2, it’s probably the better choice overall. However, the XP-Pen Deco 03 is a completely viable tablet, so just decide based on how much you’re willing to pay for your first tablet.
      (And also check out my favourite Huion H1060P as well if wireless isn’t particularly important to you.)

      I hope that helps,
      Nikage

      Like

      1. Hey there!

        First of all, thank you so much for the in-depth response! I had not expected that!

        Also thank you for the recommendation of the other tablet, the Huion H1060P. I had not considered that one at all, because I thought that the Q11K V2 was the best up to a price range of 130 euros, which I’ve set for my needs.

        It’s not necessarily about my needs, since I’m not a digital artist, but a graphic designer. And I want a graphic tablet to do more simplistic stuff, like vector portraits for example… And there I would be only using the pen tool and the pencil tool to create shapes. You don’t need something like the tilt function I’d think. But I can imagine that having good pressure sensitivity is of high use, since you do have to create lines of varying thinknesses (eye lashes for example).
        I also don’t need the wireless option. And the surface area is probably a secondary consideration as well, considering that I would be zoomed in most of the time anyway. I’m still looking for a bigger surface, since I with two monitors and I would use the pen and tablet for regular desktop usage as well.

        So the budget really isn’t that big of a deciding factor for me. It’s more about getting the best quality (durability and longlivity) and the best experience (nice no-battery-needed pen, nice surface texture, plenty of shortcut buttons) for a decent price.

        And nooow… Let me quickly read through your Huion H1060P review!
        Very good and in-depth review. Sounds like it really is a great tablet.

        And nooow… Let me look at a comparison between the Huion H1060P and the Q11K V2!
        They look fairly similar indeed. The Q11K V2 has a bigger surface area, but features much less buttons. It’s lighter though, but I don’t think that’s something which would make me pay more for it.

        Amazon offers the H1060P for 85 euros. That’s 45 euros less than the Q11K V2 and 15 euros more than the used XP-Pen Deco 03 (or the new Deco 03, if XP-Pen at eBay accepts my offer). You made it sound like the H1060P is well worth the 15 euros more than the Deco 03.

        But I do have one last question, if you don’t mind:

        I was also looking at the XP-Pen Artist 12, which you’ve reviewed as well. How is the useage of the Artist 12 compared with the H1060P? Obviously the one has the screen, which makes it appealing as a product, but how does all the rest handle?
        I feel like having a display tablet would increase my workflow, since I would directly be able to trace portraits. I’d probably be able to get the Artist 12 for aroundish 180-190 euros. There is also the Artist 15.6 for 200ish euros, but it’s not the pro version unfortunately.
        So can the Artist 12 keep up in terms of quality and experience with the H1060P, or does the display demand too many sacrificies in other areas to keep the price managable?

        Thank you!

        Like

      2. Hey again,

        As far as I know from what I’ve tried, the Huion H1060P is my favourite tablet so far so I most certainly recommend considering it.

        In terms of durability and longevity, the Huion H1060P and Huion Q11K feel very sturdy and dependable, and I don’t have any complaints about how solid they feel. The XP-Pen Deco 03 feels fairly solid too, but the buttons seem looser, the overall tablet feels a tiny bit flimsier when twisting it, and the texture just starts wearing off instantly. The texture wearing off quickly probably doesn’t really affect tablet lifespan, but it just feels less trustworthy when the texture wears so easily.

        In terms of “best experience”, the Huion H1060P feels really nice to use and is basically “perfect” (no issues that I can see) once you get used to its fairly smooth surface. The XP-Pen Deco 03 is quite good as well, but the pen tapering issue that it has just makes its pen performance objectively inferior (albeit only slightly) to the Huion H1060P.

        Basically, if you’re willing to pay the extra 15 euros, then I would recommend the Huion H1060P over the XP-Pen Deco 03. The XP-Pen Deco 03 is a “good” choice, but I personally think that the Huion H1060P is the “perfect” choice.

        With regards to the XP-Pen Artist 12, the pen performance handles very well just like the XP-Pen Deco 03. But just like the XP-Pen Deco 03, the XP-Pen Artist 12 also has the small pen tapering issue.
        If we’re talking specifically about the pen performance, then the Huion H1060P is better, but when you take into account the ease of use, the XP-Pen Artist 12 is probably a lot easier to learn how to use because it has a screen. As you may know, screen-less tablets have a fairly steep learning curve when you first start using them and can take some time to get used to.

        Personally, my biggest problem with the XP-Pen Artist 12 is that it has a very low colour gamut (meaning it can’t display all colours accurately). For instance, the light blues shown on my XP-Pen Artist 12 look much more like cyan rather than the light blue it’s supposed to be.
        If you know you will be working with colours a lot, then I can’t really recommend the XP-Pen Artist 12. However, if you know you don’t particularly need accurate colours, then the XP-Pen Artist 12 can probably be a great entry tablet into drawing monitors.

        I would recommend looking at the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 instead since it… or not. I didn’t realize that it’s a lot pricier than the XP-Pen Artist 12. I was going to point out that the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 has a much wider colour gamut, pen tilt, and a fully-laminated screen which reduces parallax (thickness of glass between pen tip and cursor), but it’s a whole 100 USD pricier than the XP-Pen Artist 12. Oh, but the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 does come with a tablet stand, whereas the XP-Pen Artist 12 doesn’t, so I guess there’s that to consider too.

        In the end, I can’t really say whether you should go with a screen-less tablet or drawing monitor. It’s really your decision.
        In the past, it was a clear cut “screen-less tablet first, then upgrade to drawing monitor later”, but since drawing monitors have become so much more affordable these days, it’s really up to you to decide whether it’s worth spending more for a drawing monitor or not.

        If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

        -Nikage

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  5. Hello there!

    Thank you so much for your time and your advice!
    Following your recommendation I have ordered the Huion 1060P and guess what: I paid 70 euros for it! My countries Amazon had a deal going on, so they reduced the price from 99 euros to 69 euros. Quite a good deal I’d say.

    I’ve already worked with a drawing tablet for 2-3 weeks half a year ago. It took me that amount of time to somewhat adjust to it. The learning curve is there, but I feel like I’ll get back easier into it than I would have if it was my first time. And I think that at work I’ll have access to a Wacom Intuos Pro Large in a few weeks, so I’ll be working with drawing tablets many hours per day.

    I do think that a screen tablet would be the most benefical for me, since that would additionally save me some time when illustrating stuff… but as you mentioned, the slightly lackluster colors on the XP-Pen Artist 12 is what has been keeping me off a little bit. Colors are very important to me, since that’s a huuuge part of graphic design. But then again, I can always finish an illustration with the screen tablet and then take it over to my regular monitor and adjust the colors with Photoshop.

    I’ll keep the XP-Pen Artist 12 in the back of my head. It’s 180-200 euros at the moment. I see a used XP-Pen Artist 15.6 for 200 euros as well. I could probably get it down to 180 euros as well. I’ve read your review for the Artist 15.6 Pro and it sounded like you’re a big fan of the tablet… but the 15.6 seems to have some issues, which the 15.6 Pro doesn’t… so I’m unsure there.

    I looked at the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 and on Amazon it’s 245 euros for the uh… non-HD version, I’d assume? Because there is another tablet with the same name and the same look for 305 euros. The only difference I see right now is an extra “HD” behind its name. Weird. I hope these are two different versions. Not that I could buy that one screen tablet for 250 euros, where it usually costs +300 euros.
    On E-Bay the tablet costs 335 euros. Too expensive
    +300 euros is a price range where I slowly start backing out. Unfortunately there is a lot of other, more important stuff I’ll have to buy in the next few months.

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    1. Hey again,

      No problem, I’m glad you could get a good deal on it and I hope you enjoy using it as much as I do.

      With regards to the XP-Pen Artist 15.6, I’ve also heard of lots of people having issues with it. In my opinion, the pen performance is probably pretty good like the Artist 12, but like the Artist 12, the Artist 15.6 probably has a somewhat lower than average colour gamut.

      Of course, I haven’t tried the Artist 15.6 myself so I can’t say for sure, but I know that Teoh Yi Chie of Parkablogs measured the colour gamut of the Artist 15.6 when he reviewed it: https://www.parkablogs.com/content/review-xp-pen-artist-156-pen-display
      “The colour gamut is 78% sRGB, 57% NTSC and 60% Adobe RGB.” is what is written in his review. This means that the Artist 15.6’s colour gamut is quite a bit lower than 100% sRGB which is what I consider the “standard” on the internet. (For reference, I measured ~87% sRGB on the Artist 12, meaning the Artist 15.6 is even lower than that. Yikes.)

      If you’re looking into getting a drawing monitor in the future, I recommend saving up for the slightly pricier ones because those are the ones with the best quality overall. The XP-Pen Artist 12 is fine as a budget model, but I would say the ones that are +300 euros are the ones which are really impressive.
      It’s the exact same situation as screen-less tablets where there are certainly decent and usable budget tablets at ~50 USD, but the best ones are at a slightly higher price.

      -Nikage

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  6. The thing that disturbs me with the videos are that companies sending product for reviews is not a “shady chinese tablet company” exclusive kind of thing.

    Companies do send review units for video games, headphones, mobile phones, makeup, health products and such. Triple A company like Nintendo may only send to trustworthy, big named journalists but smaller companies or products with niche market may have tighter contract or agreement to request reviews from such people, that’s why sending to indie reviewers and creators would give a better traction. (And you can’t say these big named reviewers/journalists have absolutely no biases, they may be professionals but they are still human.) If the company polices on what should one say in their review, that’s one thing but blaming it all on “it was sent for free that’s why its bad” just show how much people don’t know how people make a business work.

    10/10 good post.

    Like

    1. That is so true. Sending out products for review is such a common thing nowadays, so it’s sad that there’s still such a big misconception that indie reviews labelled untrustworthy when it’s about products from a so-called “shady Chinese tablet company” like you said.

      Thank you very much for reading!

      Like

  7. Hello just curious, unrelated what is your personal blurbs about people buying second hand older Wacom products in good working condition as if they suspected that Wacom had lower quality for Intuos 2015 model than previous Intuos generations to justify the price? I’ve sold already my XP-Pen Deco Pro Medium and Intuos Draw small for Intuos 4 Large in working condition because my mutual had mixed experiences with alternatives. Best regards.

    -Mekie

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