Monoprice

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I got a new Monoprice tablet for my (early) birthday from Mom, and I am in love. I’ve been using a tiny Wacom Bamboo Craft tablet for the last couple of years, and I figured it was okay - but this 9x12 beast of a thing has the most incredible pressure sensitivity. I can actually draw on the surface and it reflects exactly on my monitor. It astounds me!

And it was only $90. $130 with shipping to Canada. We ordered it on a Monday afternoon and it showed up Wednesday morning.

It was a little hard to set up - I needed at PC to update the firmware and had to borrow a friend’s - but once it worked, it floored me. I did this in 15 minutes!

Would I love a Cintiq? Sure, but it’s out of my price range for now. This little angel is a fine substitute, since I can actually draw on it. I could only use my Bamboo for editing. I’m happy.

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i feel like people seem to be under the impression that i am spending hundreds of dollars on the tablets in the giveaway

THAT IS NOT THE CASE, MONOPRICE TABLETS ARE CHEAP!! If you are short on money and want a decent drawing tablet, I greatly recommend buying a Monoprice tablet instead of a Wacom one!

So far, from my personal experience, Monoprice tablets are far better for drawing than the Bamboo tablet, which is around the same price (if not even more expensive).

I would only suggest investing in an Intuos or a Cintiq if you either 1) have the extra money lying around or 2) plan on doing art as a career since I DO think they are more refined than Monoprice tablets as far as registering pressure sensitivity and pen strokes.

STILL Monoprice does a great job, especially given its incredibly low price. Great for beginners or people who just draw as a hobby! I bought it because I wanted a nice small tablet good for travel purposes and bringing to class, which this fulfills wonderfully!

I might even check out their Cintiq-ese Interactive Pen Display since seriously, under $400 as opposed to the $2000+ for a Cintiq? And 19 inches at that!

Monoprice's 19" Tablet Monitor Enters the Fray, a History

In April of 2012, I wrote a review of Monoprice’s graphic tablets that went a bit viral. After being picked up by Drawn!, it was reblogged over 40,000 times.

I loved that little punk rock tablet so much that it inspired me to start ordering other relatively obscure hardware for review. There were undiscovered gems like the Monoprice tablets out there and I wanted to find them.

I’ve reviewed dozens of graphics tablets and tablet monitors in the time since and found that Monoprice’s tablet used UC-Logic digitizers. I tracked down other vendors selling UC-Logic-alike hardware such as Yiynova and Huion.

When reviewing the Yiynova MSP19U (the third Yiynova I purchased that year and the first to abandon its previous, terrible Waltop digitizer internals for UC-Logic tech), the dream of a cheap Cintiq alternative had come true.

Since, Yiynova has stumbled a bit. Their tech uses outdated VGA connections and their prices have raised significantly concurrent with their higher profile in the art community as result of the reviews.

With that history in mind, I’m happy to say that Monoprice is releasing a new, incredibly affordable 19" tablet monitor. Where other Cintiq alternatives in the category cost $700, this new monitor starts at around $390.

I’ve been in contact with Monoprice and hope to receive a review unit.

These alternatives were made possible by the vigilance and curiosity of the art community as a whole. So good on us.

Monoprice Tablet

Ok, I got mine in the mail finally!!!  For those of you seriously confused, I ordered a monoprice tablet a couple of days ago due to some surprisingly excellent reviews and people raving about how it’s much better than a wacom intuos, bla bla.

And yes, monoprice tablets are those random cheaper ‘knock-off’ brand sort of tablets.

BUT, I love it (so far).  The reason for this post is the ONE con I can think of - installing the driver software.  If you don’t do it right, and don’t take the necessary steps to prepare your PC before even plugging the thing in, it won’t work like it should.

Before I continue, I’m working on a homebuilt pc (amd athlon II quad-core processor (3 Ghz), 4 gigs of RAM, and nvidia geforce 550, running Windows 7 as 32bit, OK OK TMI, BUT I LOVE MY PC).

So here’s what I did (for those who have also heard of monoprice and are interested, or having trouble):

1. Don’t plug in anything tablet-related, don’t even put in the Monoprice Installation CD, JUST DON’T.

2. Hit your Start Menu and type in the search bar “change device installation settings.”  It should pop up as an option, so then you click it.

3. Select the “No, let me” option, and then select “Never install driver software from Windows Update.”

Windows Update actually does have a tendency to select drivers that aren’t the best match or most compatible.  Also, most things you plug into your PC have drivers available and easy to find online.

4. Next, go to Control Panel > Programs & Features

5. Uninstall ANYTHING TABLET RELATED.  This means your Wacom tablet program and drivers and all that.  Windows may prompt you to restart after each driver/feature you uninstall, but I usually select “restart later” until I’ve gotten to the last one.  Then I restart.

I’m pretty sure the Monoprice Tablet driver fights with other drivers, or just is ignored if Wacom drivers are installed as well.  ALSO, now that you’ve insured Windows Update won’t automatically find 'newer’ drivers for your Monoprice, you can be sure that the driver you install from the CD will be the one it’s using, and the most compatible one.

6. Once your PC has restarted and is awake again, insert the Monoprice Installation CD.  DO NOT PLUG IN YOUR TABLET.

7. Follow the instructions to install the Driver(s).  You’re also going to have to restart your system again once it’s finished installing.

8. NOW you can plug in your tablet, and it should work with both Photoshop CS6 and Paint Tool SAI.

Hope that helps anyone having trouble.  c:

THIS TABLET, YOU GUYS. THIS TABLET.

I believe some people wanted a review, SOooo….

My 6x10 Monoprice tablet arrived today. Took A BILLION YEARS TO INSTALL THE DRIVERS AND FIX THE BUGS but it was WORTH IT.

I’d recommend the UC Logic drivers if you have Windows 7, or any recent system.

I gave my intuos3 to my sister because it’s nothinggggg compared to this!

I’m noticing things in this tablet that I didn’t have to deal with with the wacom:

Really, if you’re low on cash and need a tablet, do NOT listen to the many wacom users who never used a monoprice tablet, try it yourself. It’s only $50, and if you don’t like it, you can just get a refund. I’ve seen people recommend a Graphire 3x5 just because they put wacom on such a high pedestal. Do you realize how small that is. That is smaller than my hand and I have pretty tiny hands. This tablet actually allows DRAWING SPACE. My wrists can move and the lines don’t re-shape and shrink and derp about when I’m drawing something in FLASH.

Now that wacom has some real competition, I think they’ll mostly rely on brand names. Like Lucky Jeans. 

Any way, this was my stupid review. Now if you’ll excuse me, I HAVE THIGNS TO DRAWR

Huion H610, K58, and W58 Tablet Review Round-up

With the H610, K58, and W58, Huion’s industrial design leapfrogs Monoprice’s tablets and begs for comparison to Wacom’s offerings. While the Monoprice tablets I reviewed previously were the best bang for your drawing buck at the time, these new Huion tablets offer a significant bump in specifications and fit and finish without a huge leap in price.

Huion’s line of tablets use the same UC-Logic pen digitizer technology as Monoprice’s tablets. Monoprice’s hotkeys felt flimsy and the stylus was serviceable and utilitarian. No one would call the Monoprice tablets things of beauty, but it was easy to overlook these shortcomings given their price. At around ten percent of the cost of comparable Wacom tablets, with equal or better performance in many regards, the Monoprice line of tablets was my punk-rock drawing tool of choice when not using tablet monitors on my desktops.

Perfect for throwing into a laptop bag, and cheap enough to not have to worry about destroying during travel, the Monoprice filled a niche. Since that initial purchase, I’ve acquired more than two dozen additional UC-Logic based tablets and monitors for testing and possible review.

Aside from Yiynova’s U-designated line of graphics tablet monitors, few of those purchases have been noteworthy enough to warrant additional spotlight. I’m pleased to say that the Huion tablets reviewed here replaced my Monoprice tablets as my go-to, portable drawing solutions. You’d still have to pry my Note II or Yiynova MSP19U from my cold, dead hands, but, in the graphics tablet space, Huion’s tablet line won me over.

Hardware Specifications

The H610, K58, and W58 all have a digitizer with 2048 levels of pressure, 5080 LPI, and a report rate of 233 reports per second. All tablets have detachable mini-USB cable connections and come with battery operated styli.

The H610 includes eight user-programmable hotkeys and has a 10” x 6” active working area.

The K58 and W58 have a smaller, hotkey-less active area of 8” x 5.” In the case of the W58, an internal Li-Ion battery claims 30 hours of use before needing to be charged via it’s included mini-USB cable. The W58 can be used as a wired tablet while charging via your systems USB port.

The P80 is a rechargeable stylus with an internal Li-Ion battery that comes bundled with the K58. It claims 800 hours of continuous use before needing a recharge. In practice, I found the stylus held a charge for a few days at a time. Recharging is done via a USB cable that has a proprietary connector on one end that plugs into the stylus.

The P80 can be used with the other Huion tablets, but must be purchased separately.

Installation and Setup for the H610 and K58

Like all the other UC-Logic hardware I’ve tested, the biggest obstacle is neither price nor drawing capability, but initial setup. Make sure to download Huion’s customized UC-Logic driver directly from their site. Install it before plugging your tablet in for the first time.

In OS X, the tablet can behave strangely if you have third party mouse-steering apps installed. Logitech drivers and USB Overdrive are repeat offenders. An engineer at Adobe contacted me when his UC-Logic tablet’s cursor stuck to the top left corner of his screen and, after a few days of painstaking processes of elimination, we determined that his third party mouse app had stymied the tablet.

In Windows, be sure to install the drivers before plugging the tablet in. Windows has insidious default tablet drivers it will install otherwise. They don’t work well and you’ll swear there’s something wrong with your hardware. There isn’t. Deleting your HID stack in Device Manager is the only help here and even it may not work. You may have to reinstall a fresh copy of the OS. Additionally, in Windows 7 at least, disable Tablet PC services from the services menu. Uninstall Tablet PC components. Uncheck “Support Tablet PC Features” from the tablet driver icon in the system tray. Minimally, disable Pen Flicks. All of these things impact drawing performance. I haven’t tested any of these devices on Windows 8 as yet.

One side effect of doing these reviews is that I’ve become defacto technical support on a whole host of common problems associated with nearly all graphics tablets. I can’t help everyone, but I do try. Please take my advice. Install the drivers before plugging the tablet in. Don’t use third party mouse mods. Graphics tablets everywhere will thank you. And so will I.

Installation and Setup of the W58

The wireless capability of the W58 is unique. The tablet works in both wired and wireless modes, but the initial setup is the same as its corded brethren. Aside from being finicky about software-before-hardware installation order, I encountered no installation issues in Windows.

In OS X, I was completely unable to get the W58 to work. When drawing a stroke, the beginning and ends would blob out to full pressure regardless of how light I pressed. While in wireless mode, attempting to open the PenTablet driver app in Applications would result in system freezes and application crashes. I tested the W58 on three MacPro towers with OSes ranging from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion, a 2012 MacBook Air, and a new Mac Mini with the same results.

I wrote Huion asking for advice and they sent a second piece of hardware along. During testing, they said to try and use the tablet without any drivers installed. Despite this sounding entirely counterintuitive, I gave it a shot. No dice. The same problem occurred. Strokes blobbed out at their beginning and ends while appearing to respond accurately in the middle of their marks.

As it stands, I cannot recommend the W58 for OS X users. It’s a shame. The hardware was small and light enough that tossing it into my laptop bag as my default, laptop-centric graphics tablet solution would’ve been a no-brainer otherwise.

Performance in Graphics Applications

The H610 and K58 performed well in both Windows and OS X. Slow, deliberate strokes showed some jitter and diagonal lines drawn at near 45 degrees seem to exacerbate the issue. This is a behavior common to all the UC-Logic hardware I’ve tested.

Post OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3, some Mac users reported jitter issues with UC-Logic hardware. I found that installing Smooth Mouse to disable the cursor acceleration and alleviate the lag present in how the operating system handles mouse movement seemed to help. I personally haven’t had issues with jitter as I tend to draw fast and loose with long, sweeping strokes. I seldom hover slowly and deliberately while mark-making a single line. If you are a hesitant line-maker, bear this possible caveat in mind.

The bundled, AAA-powered stylus is a bit stiff out of the box. I’ve owned over seven of these Huion styli and a stiff pressure curve has been consistent among them all. The harder pressure curve is a welcome change from the mushy, easy-to-blow-out pressure curve of Wacom hardware, though is a smidge stiffer than I would like.

The Li-Ion, rechargeable, aftermarket P80 stylus has a pressure curve unique to any other UC-Logic styli I’ve tested. It feels in-hand like a Wacom stylus and has a pressure curve to match. Light strokes blow-out to full pressure without much effort. If their goal was to replicate a Wacom feel, warts and all, they’ve done it. The light pressure being so touchy is not a preference of mine and I didn’t use the rechargeable stylus much as a result. I’ve owned three of these rechargeable styli and all exhibited this behavior.

For the W58, performance in Windows was good. An occasional jitter or wonky mouse movement occurred with long use. I suspect those rare hiccups had to do with the 2.4ghz, wireless nature of the device. I enjoyed being less tethered to my workstation. I’m a big fan of workspace minimalism and the W58 appeals to the lizard cortex of my brain. If I’d managed to get the W58 working in OS X, I’d have been ecstatic.

Closing Thoughts

The H610 has lived in my laptop bag for six months. Its hotkeys feel firmer than the Monoprice 10” x 6.25.” It boasts 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. The report rate of the digitizer is higher. The LPI is better. It has a detachable mini-USB cable. The industrial design of the stylus and tablet surface is akin to the Wacom tablets I cut my teeth on. The overall fit and finish feels high-end and not at all indicative of the sub-$60 price tag.

In all measures save for price, the Huion H610 and K58 could be placed on a shelf next to Wacom tablets and the average on-looker would guess they were equals. If you’re in the market for a budget Wacom-alternative, the Huion H610 is now the one I’d recommend.

My contacts at Huion tell me they’re working on a new tablet monitor and, after spending half a year using their products daily, I’m very excited to see what they do next.

As per usual, shopping on Amazon using my referral link helps support my efforts to review digital art hardware.

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Huion H610 Unboxing

Cintiq 13HD… Reboxing?

it’s a new era in tablets for me

as soon as I got it to work (2 days after) I’m liking it a lot

as you can see I’ve been sketching with it a lot lately so YEAH I WOULD SUGGEST IT though if you have one I’d suggest trying everything the internet tells you to do to install it as well as everything it doesn’t

monoprice.com
I feel like I should tell you about this or else I wouldn't be a good friend

I’m the type of guy that uses my cell phone for everything. Because of that, I need it to have a charge at all times. To make sure this is a reality, I like to buy extra charging cables to have with me at all times…but not the $20 or $30 ones you can buy from the AT&T/Verizon/etc stores. I buy from Monoprice! Because they’re so cheap, I’ll buy a 10 ft for next to my bed, a 3 ft for the car, a 6 ft for my laptop backpack and a 3 ft for the office.

Want to know how cheap they are? I just bought a 6 ft and a 10 ft for my crummy new phone for a total of $4.85. Yes, that includes shipping and handling. NEVER buy the cables at a store–the mark-up on them is ridiculous. Monoprice.com also has cheap HDMI cables, A/V cables, networking cables…you name it. For cheap. Check it out.

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Cheap, Cheap, Cheap…

I highly recommend buying from this website!

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An exclusive, early unboxing of the Monoprice 19" Tablet Monitor.

It’s lighter and smaller than the MSP19U with a better fit and finish to boot.

hello and greetings! this is made to be rebloggable in case anyone would like to keep it for future reference. i am by no means a tablet expert but i have played with a few different models of tablet. as a hobbyist, i look more for items that are easy to work with and have the least amount of hassle at a decent price (ion is a bargain-hunter!!). so here are some tablet models that i have worked with over the years: (Note: all items were tested on a Windows PC between XP and windows 7)

ion tablet reviews (with pictures!)

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Monoprice tablet (10x6.25" widescreen w/ hotkeys) REVIEW — with comparison to Wacom Intuos 3

DISCLAIMER: I was not paid to write this review.

Additional apologies for the size dimension mistake in the graphic above and below: it’s 10x6.25", not 10x6.5".

As many of you have seen the hype for the Monoprice tablets going around on Tumblr not too long ago, I was also extremely intrigued and purchased the widescreen 10x6.5" tablet with hotkeys for myself at an amazing price of $49.60 plus shipping. The tablet itself arrived within two days and I was eager to try it out. For reference, I run Windows 7 on a PC with Photoshop CS4 and occasionally work in Paint Tool SAI.

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