Huion Digital Drawing Tablets

I’ve been drawing digitally for a long time (ask me how long ? well, gee, I’d say my first digital drawings where from about 1984 when I literally had to write my own program to draw digitally)

For decades the only game in town for graphic tablet displays was the Wacom Cintiq, so much so, that Cintiq became shorthand for that very grade of device – a digital screen you could draw on. Unlike a tablet (a relative johnny-come-lately to digital drawing) the Cintiq’s require a computer and even then they can be horrifically expensive.

My first Cintiq was a Wacom Cintiq 12 XW. A 12″ Display. I remember drawing my first tentative lines on it and thinking “I wonder if these will look digital?” what I found was that no-of course they don’t look digital. If anything Cintiqs (and devices like them) did tend to make you a little lazier in how you draw a line, so easy to just scribble, and scribble the wrong size. So you have to learn discipline.

My second Cintiq was a Wacom Cintiq 27″ QHD – a massive beast of a thing, 27″ of display and what seems like 12″ of border around that display. But, it’s been utterly invaluable. As my eyesight deteriorates (in that way that it will to most of us as age takes us away from ourselves little by little) the ability to zoom in on a page, and work at a higher than print quality has been great. The resolution of the 27″ is about 110dpi, for comparison the ipad pro 12″ is 260dpi (approx) and laser printers print at 300dpi(roughly) so good enough, but not as high as print, obviously.

Lately I’ve been staying with my brother as a part time carer (he doesn’t need much care, really, just company) and I needed a mobile studio setup. Having moved my desktop over to an M1 Mac Mini some time ago (it’s both tiny and utterly silent, I love it – it replaced a Mac Mini that made a lot of noise, which in turn that replaced a brute of a desktop computer that sounded like a 747 taking off – never underestimate how much silence is worth) my computer was a simple matter of bringing with me, but the 27″ attached to a legotron arm was just not gonna be lifted and fit where I needed to. So, initially I tried my ipad pro as a mobile studio – but I was having trouble with the sensor (I’ve since had it replaced) and as a stop gap I bought the Huion 16″ HD, it was listed on Amazon as £349 and I thought – well, what do I have to lose.

Let me tell you, I have never been as impressed with a piece of computer equipment as much as this in a long time (really I’d say the only things that impressed me more on first sight have been the various apple first-of-their-kind devices).

This 16″ screen (which does have a 1″ border around all sides, except the left which is about 2.5″ but includes some buttons you can program as you see fit) is about 140dpi – a marked improvement on the Cintiq 27″ and the price! THE PRICE!

I ordered this on the Saturday, it was priced at £349, on Tuesday when checking for the delivery I’d spotted the price had changed to £299 and I thought – I’m not having that. Phoned amazon support asking for the price difference, they told me to cancel and reorder, so I did.

Look, if you’re a professional comic artist and you work digitally, you’ll know how important it is to keep file backups, well, let me go one further – if you rely entirely on digital art – it’s important to have system backups. What’s your plan if the cintiq breaks?

I cannot recommend the Huion highly enough, for the price it’s a steal. The build quality is fantastic, the driver, on the mac, is pretty simple (download some software, run it and boom it works)

And if you’re not a professional and you’ve a half decent computer setup, it’s a bargain as a first digital tablet for drawing.

I would say this screen doesn’t feature touch (and frankly, touch is a pain, every device with touch I’ve tried to disable the touch aspect of it.)

The pen is battery less – previously, presumbly due to patents wacom held, Huoin pens used a battery. It lacks the eraser button that is common on the cintiq pen, but it’s largely the same look and feel.

And if you’re plugging into a M1 Mac mini you only need one cable, a USB-C.

Honestly I can’t get over it for the price.

The Huion 16″ on top of the Wacom Cintiq 27″

The quality is such that I’m genuinely thinking of just ditching the 27″ cintiq (which, tbh is so big that I have my keyboard to the left and my mouse to the right and I have to shift my body towards either device if I want to use them)

Either that, or splashing out a bit and buying the 24″ Huion 4k, which looks absolutely the bees knees.

Affiliate links on Amazon:

Huion 16″ (as of this writing the price is £330 LESS a £50 voucher, making it £280)

Huion 24″ 4k (Currently £1299)

Wacom Cintiq 27″ QHD has now been superseded, so I suppose the closest is the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Touch. Which is priced, on Wacom’s website, as £2,399.