Huion is hardly a household name but is seriously rivalling other graphics tablet manufacturers, such as Wacom. Indeed, the H610 represents outstanding value-for-money – a 10 inch tablet for just £49.99. At that price you get an entry level Wacom, with a much smaller size and much lower specifications.
But has the Huion got what it takes to really compete?
The Huion comes in a simple cardboard and is held securely inside by a layer of foam material. As well as the expected tablet, pen, CD and instructions booklet, you also get a pen rest, which doubles as storage for 4 replacement nibs. Instructions cover both Windows and Mac installation. The CD contains an electronic copy of the manual, drivers and software. However, I found it better to go straight to the Huion website and download the latest version from there.
The pen has two side buttons on it and the end “clicker” is the power – click it for on, click it again for off. It runs off a single AAA battery. There are a series of buttons on the tablet too – all of these buttons are programmable via the included software (more of that in a bit). A light on the tablet shows when the pen is detected against the surface, which provides a re-assuring status.
The software for Windows and Mac are similar but, whereas the Mac installs two separate pieces of software, the Windows installs just one, but with the functionality of both built-in. The primary piece of software (other than the driver) allows you to make the appropriate configuration changes. The secondary allows you to test the pen sensitivity – it launches a window on which you can try some sketching. It’s a great test bed, particularly if you’re not sure if the graphics software you’re using supports it or not. Indeed, Gimp doesn’t (well, not on the Mac, anyway) so this gave me reassurance it was just that software at fault.
One issue I did have on the Mac was that it decided that the tablet was a keyboard and wanted me to configure it (which I failed at doing). It would be nice if this was covered off in the provided instructions.
As I said, I tested this with Gimp on the Mac but, unfortunately, that doesn’t support the pressure sensitivity – 2048 levels on this device! However, switching to Windows and using PaintTool SAI, I experienced the full advantages of the Huion. Simple in use, it was a pleasure to use. Windows 10 also supports it as a pen device, which automatically activated a number of built-in features including hand-written note taking, on-screen keyboard and numerous apps, many of which support the sensitivity as well – I hadn’t appreciated just how many good pens apps there are in the Windows store!
The writing area is 8″ x 5″, which fits 16×10 aspect ratio monitors and is pretty close to 16×9 monitors, making it a good choice for those using newer laptop screens and monitors. Additionally, the tablet software allows you to lock the active area of the tablet to the screen ratio so that your drawing movements scale in proportion to what’s on the screen. Alternatively, you can specify the active area you want such as using only half of the tablet for browsing so you don’t have to move your hand as much.
The tablet itself is 1 cm thick and close to the size of a sheet of A4 paper, and feels solid but lightweight. There are rubber feet underneath and it connects via a USB cable (micro USB cable into the side of the tablet and a full-size USB connector into your computer).
The pen is chunky but no more so than, say, a fountain pen. Rubberised, it’s gripped easily in the hand. It glides easily across the tablet surface and feels reasonably well built, although the buttons are a bit “rattly”.
My daughter, currently at University on a comic-art degree course, loves her Wacom but I managed to part her from it to try this out. Although nothing made her want to switch, she was impressed with the device and certainly had no gripes about it.
Well built, this is a good quality tablet but at a fraction of the usual price. It works well, with excellent levels of resolution and pen sensitivity.
My only gripes are down to the build quality of the pen buttons and the installation issues on my Mac but they are, let’s be honest, they’re really minor points.
In my mind, if you’re considering a more expensive alternative, I’d have to question why.
Disclosure of gift - I received this product at a discounted price in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.