Monoprice

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 Their tech uses outdated VGA connections and their prices have raised significantly concurrent with their higher profile in the art community as result of the reviews.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.

anonymous asked:

I recently bought a monoprice tablet to begin making digital art, and I've been searching the Internet and there aren't many sources for finding out whether an art application is compatible with monoprice tablets or not, and I was wondering if you could recommend any that are compatible? I don't know if this counts as a technical issue or if you can't answer this, sorry for any inconvenience.

Hello there, anon! Your ask actually motivated me to write up a post I’ve been meaning to for a while – so this is no inconvenience at all!

Without further ado, here are my recommendations for Monoprice-compatible art software:

freeware

[Adobe Photoshop CS2] – yes, really! Adobe took down their CS2 activation server, so for all intents and purposes, it’s free. Since this version of Photoshop is several iterations behind (and about ten years old), Adobe’s lawyers won’t be knocking on your door. Available for Windows and MacOSX.

[Krita] – open-source painting software that shows a lot of promise. Its interface resembles Photoshop’s, while its painting capabilities are reminiscent of Paint Tool SAI and Corel Painter. Available for Windows, MacOSX and Linux.

[MediBang Paint] – FireAlpaca’s successor, from what I can see – MBP was formerly called CloudAlpaca. Has comic/manga-making tools built in, somewhat like Manga Studio. Available for Windows, MacOSX, iOS, and Android.

not freeware*

[Adobe Photoshop] – any version from CS1 to CC. Hella pricey, hella powerful.

[Manga Studio // Clip Studio Paint] – most versions, as far as I know. About 50 bucks, but regularly goes on sale on Amazon.

*These are available via, uhh… alternative methods as well, but I’m here to help folks get their tablets working, not to give instructions on software piracy. Still, there are no moral judgments here.

Conversely, there are a couple programs I do NOT recommend at all with Monoprice tablets:

[Paint Tool Sai] – My feelings about this program can be summed up thusly: Eeeeeeuueueueughh. (✿ ಠ_ಠ)

If I had a dollar for every person who’s come to me asking for help with this program, I might have enough money to pay the developer enough to make it work properly. It’s a capricious little beast, to be sure. I know people make killer art with this program, but it’s such a pain in the ass to get it to work with Monoprices; for some people, it will never work, no matter how hard they bash it with a hammer.**

[GIMP] – Again, a capricious little beast. Works fine for some, and not for others. The developers seem burnt-out as well, so updates are slow.

** If you’re looking for line stabilization, I instead recommend [Lazy Nezumi] – it’s about ten bucks cheaper than SAI at current point of writing, compatible across multiple drawing programs, and under far more active development.

I hope this helps!!

2

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.

2

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!

WINDOWS 10 FAQ FOR ALT-TABLETS

If you had a problem with Windows 10 and your drivers and figured out a fix, please let me know! I can add that to my FAQ! (With credit, of course!)

This is a FAQ for Alternative to Wacom Tablets (or Alt-Tablets) Driver problems.  Only use this FAQ if you’re experiencing problems with your tablet!

While many of these tips should work for people regardless of the brand of tablet they use, DO keep in mind I own a Yiynova Monitor Tablet. I’m also not familiar with codes or how drivers actually work, I gain information through personal experience and word-of-mouth only.

DO NOT PLUG IN YOUR TABLET UNTIL AFTER INSTALLING YOUR DRIVERS. Do you hear me? DO NOT DO IT.

Step 1: DID YOU USE A WACOM TABLET PRIOR TO GETTING YOUR ALT-TABLET?

Uninstalling Wacom drivers is not enough. Those suckers loiter around on an OS and won’t be gotten rid of through conventional means. After doing a traditional uninstall and restarting your computer, search your main drive (usually C: drive) for these files: wacom.dat, wintab.dll, wintab32.dll, tablet.cpl, TabletPC.cpl, tablet.exe, tablet.dat, WacomTablet.cpl, WacomTablet.znc,TabUserW.exe

If you find any of the above, delete them. Restart.

Step 2: DID YOU USE A DIFFERENT ALT-TABLET BEFORE THIS ONE?

Sometimes people switch between alt-brands or get a new model. As with Wacom, make absolutely sure you’ve uninstalled all the bits of leftover driver. Do a traditional uninstall, restart. Then search for leftover bits. Places to search are This PC>Local Disk>Program Files (x86) and This PC>Local Disk>Windows>System32. There are probably other places too (such as the TEMP folder) but every driver is a little different. Restart.

Step 3: DID YOU IGNORE MY WARNING AND PLUG THE TABLET IN BEFORE THE DRIVERS?

OR

DID YOU DO A FREE UPGRADE FROM WIN7/8 AND NOW YOUR DRIVERS AREN’T WORKING?

Unplug your tablet’s USB cord. If you UPGRADED, uninstall the current driver, and follow step 2, restart. Once this is done, go to Start Menu>Settings>Search “Device Manager”>Tablet pointing Devices>Tablet. Right click on TABLET and check UNINSTALL.

As long as your tablet is NOT plugged in, this should permanently remove Windows drivers or left overs from prior installation.

STEP 4: DO YOU HAVE AN ANTI-VIRUS/FIREWALL?

It’s a bit surprising how often Firewalls and Anti-virus mistake these drivers for something naughty. Make Exceptions/Exclusions for your Drivers. (File locations for drivers can be found in Step 2.) Each brand of AV/F uses a different method for this, so I can’t really help you here. Search your brand of AV/F in Google with “[brand] how to make exceptions” and that should get you started. Restart your computer.

STEP 5: DRIVER CRASHING/DISAPPEARING AFTER 5 MINUTES? TRY A DIFFERENT ONE!

For instance, a Reddit User discovered the only way to get their tablet to work was by installing versions 5.02f. This is despite the fact that drivers 8.01 and 8.02 are newer and suppose to work with Windows 10. Sometimes you have to use an older driver to get things going, sometimes a newer one. To find your driver, do a Google search for “[brand of tablet] drivers”. (This tip should work with both UGEE and Yiynova brands.)

STEP 6: DO YOU HAVE DROPBOX?

Turn off auto-start in the Dropbox’s settings, exit program, restart. See if your driver is there now. I was surprised to see that my Yiynova driver would only work with Dropbox off. I have no idea why this is!

STEP 7: OTHER PROGRAMS MUCKING UP YOUR TABLET.

Most problems are driver related, and it’s mostly when the driver is being shut down by some other program. A really easy first step to figure out what’s going on is to righ-click on your taskbar and select TASK MANAGER>STARTUP and right click to disable all programs attempting to start up when you turn on your computer. Turn off everything that’s auto starting, except your Antivirus/Firewall and restart. See if that solves your problem. (If not, it might be AV/F in which case STEP 4 is your best bet.)

STEP 8: FOR STUBBORN PROGRAMS..

Sometimes it’s a specific program that’s not working with your tablet. The first thing to do is search the program for Tablet Settings. Most drawing programs have them. You need to look in there and see what’s selected, and then select something else. Because every program is different, I can’t give you specific. (But definitely mess around with the Tablet settings and see if that doesn’t.)

This happened to me with KRITA. Sometimes the solution is just simply picking a different option.

Speaking of KRITA…. If you’re unsure whether you’re experiencing a driver issue vs a program issue, download KRITA. KRITA is a free drawing program that works with just about every tablet out there. If it works with KRITA, but not the other program you’re using, you’ll know it’s program specific. If it does not work with KRITA, it’s probably a driver problem.

THE END. (For Now.)

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.

You Might Also Like

The Yiynova MSP19U Cintiq Alternative Swings for the Fences

The DP10U Portable Cintiq Alternative

The Little Monoprice Graphics Tablet that Could

The Galaxy Note II from the Perspective of a Digital Artist

Huion H610 Unboxing

Cintiq 13HD… Reboxing?

DRAWING TABLETS!

So what is a drawing tablet?

It’s a device that lets you draw digitally, but it simulates the feel of traditional media, and most digital artists use them!

They usually look similar to this:

There’s the body of the tablet, which is the “tablet” part (duh), and there’s a special pen/stylus that goes with it. More often than not, the tablet and the pen will come together, as a pair. You’d also might need a USB cord. Not all tablets are the same so make sure you check out what cable you might need before you buy the tablet. One last thing: tablets have this thing called a Driver, which is basically a kind of software that lets your tablet work on your computer. You need to download a specific driver for your specific tablet make and model. Without the driver, you can’t use your tablet on your computer at all.

Some of the fanciest ones like the Cintiq can be up to $3000, but there are plenty of tablets that are sturdy, reliable and under $70! Here’s a little list I made of some cheaper tablets I’ve heard about. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but it’ll get you started on finding the tablet that’s right for you!


This Small Wacom Bamboo is pretty much the one that I have. You can get it used for like $50. I usually wouldn’t recommend buying a used tablet, but I’ve had mine for 8 years and it’s the sturdiest piece of technology I own. It’s not anywhere near fancy but it gets the job done and bonus points for being from a reliable brand.

I’ve heard a lot about The Monoprice tablet. Apparently the driver is very difficult to install, but once you’ve got it going, it works like a dream. I’ve personally never used one but for the size and the price, it seems like a great deal.

Then there’s Turcom, another brand with a few cheaper options, around $40. The cheapest one I can find is the ts-6580, which is the same size, if not a little bigger than the small Bamboo tablet. There’s also another option with a TON of hot keys. I’ve heard from a lot of people that Turcom is a good alternative to Wacom.


Well that’s all I’ve got for ya! I’m by no means an encyclopedic source on the matter, but I hope it gave you some tips for buying a tablet!

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!)

Keep reading

youtube

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.

captaindoghaus  asked:

Hey! how are you enjoying that new tablet? Im thinking of getting one and shopping around

I love it! The particular model is a Monoprice 19-inch Interactive Pen Display, which is a spunky, efficient, and (not-so-)lil’ guy that only costs $397.58 USD. Oooh….

External image

Depending on where you look it up online, it can have some mixed reviews, but the one that won me over was by Frenden, a digital artist whose taste in equipment I’ve trusted before and not been disappointed by. Also worth noting: there are all kinds of warnings about the Monoprice’s drivers being screwed up and needing updating, but since the tablet returned to the market after being sold out, I’ve found the driver software they’ve packaged with it to be in perfect working order. Either I’m just lucky or they actually listened to complaints and updated it on the manufacturer level.

So, without rattling on and on, here’s my short-list of Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • NO LAG. I can’t stress enough how much lag bugs the crap out of me, so the fact this tablet has none at all could be the only “pro” for all I care.
  • Cheaper than your average bear. Not that the price is anything to sneeze at, but it’s a steal for this sort of equipment.
  • Easy to Position. We originally planned on getting a mounting arm to use this, but I found its attached kickstand to be perfectly handy for how I’m used to drawing.
  • Pen. The pen is lightweight without being flimsy and feels very pleasant to work with. It has two side buttons that you can program to behave like whatever mouse clicks you need, and you can easily adjust the pressure sensitivity.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t play well with others. This is our first tablet monitor, so I don’t know if this is model-specific, but it really doesn’t get along with a second monitor being turned on. Just leave that off.
  • Small viewing angle. You’re really only going to get perfect color rendering by sitting at a very certain angle. Expect to adjust the monitor or your body pretty frequently (maybe a good posture incentive?).
  • Very Minimal Buttons. Take this as a pro or a con, it’s a matter of personal preference and, again, this is my first tablet monitor so it might be perfectly ordinary. I miss having some customizable hotkeys at a finger’s reach, but it’s nothing I would kick it out of bed over.

All in all, I’m extremely happy we have this tablet monitor and don’t feel any remorse about not going with the standard Cintiq. As a last bit of insight, we previously filmed a short clip of the tablet in action, which you can find right here.

I hope that helps and good luck on your hunt for the perfect one!

anonymous asked:

What tablet(?) do you draw with?

this one.

Monoprice isn’t super well known but they’re sooooooo inexpensive compared to any other kind of tablet you could buy. And my $90 one is double the size of my old $200 wacom, and has served me just as faithfully. <3 They’ve made a customer for life out of me, for sure.

Dear SAI Lovers:

Today I was kindly referred to a modded version of Paint Tool SAI for Windows 10  [link here] reputed to work properly with Monoprice tablets. I’ve given it a spin, and holy hell, it worked for me!

Words of caution: this is technically software piracy, but I’ve got no room to chastise people on that front. 8D

And now, I’ve got some explaining to do, regarding my usual recommendation against SAI… which I will place under a cut, so it doesn’t eat dashboards.

Keep reading

Bosto Kingtee 22HD Review

The Bosto 22HD’s hardware is hit and miss with users and their customer support is awful.

I’d like to give you an indepth review of Bosto’s 22" tablet monitor. But I can’t. You can’t review something you can’t use. See, the unit I received didn’t work in OSX worth a damn and it fared even worse in Windows.

Most of the time, the tablet monitor didn’t recognize pen input. When it did, to describe the behavior of the cursor as jittery would’ve been an understatement. The cursor would leap half of the screen height randomly in either OS and shoot around like a ballet dancer in a paint mixer under the best of circumstances. It often took more than five attempts to hit menu icons or position the cursor in a fixed point with the intent of making an accurate mark. Even when it did, the results speak for themselves.

Drawing on the Bosto Kingtee 22HD was a nightmare on either OS with my unit. These were supposed to be circles.

I’ve never reviewed a single piece of art hardware that was this nonfunctional. But don’t take it from me. Take this statement from Bosto as the single best warning away from a product I’ve even seen a company release about themselves.

Bosto tells users that their units are too jittery to use for lineart.

I emailed Bosto about my issues. Anyone can get a lemon. In response, they assured me that new drivers were in development and that an update should come in about thirty days. In slogging through the dozens of angry consumer posts on Bosto’s official Facebook page (see Posts by Others there), they make this nebulous claim of driver support over and over again.

They contradict themselves often. They claim Mac support in one post only to tell another user that installing Windows on their Mac is an easy and recommended solution if you use OSX. You can’t tell consumers a product is compatible with an operating system only to pull the rug out from under them later. Subsequent promises of fictitious driver support don’t help.

New units purchased from Bosto have a fourteen day return period. If you wait for the oft-promised, but undelivered driver updates, you’re stuck with the unit. To say that this is a shady proposition is an understatement. And folks are getting stuck with units.

I emailed Bosto a number of times about my problems with the unit, but they’ve not returned a correspondence since October 16th.

In short, stay away. Even if my unit was abnormally defective, their business practices and customer support are awful. If you’re spending this much money on a piece of hardware it either needs to work without breaking or have excellent customer support in case it does. You can’t have neither and expect to take on the other players in the market.

If you’re looking to buy a tablet monitor, the MSP19U remains a great overall value and Monoprice has a 19" tablet monitor coming out in December that will sell for around $390 that I’ll be reviewing it soon.

With competent devices that work in both Windows and OSX available at the same or lower cost, why even take the chance on these units? Their official Facebook page is crowded with users complaining of unreturned emails and faulty units with half-baked, long-promised driver updates. It’s been more than a month and I’m still waiting for my return email.

Post Review Schadenfreude

There are some choice exchanges between Bosto and users or insightful complaints about the hardware and customer support below.

The drivers are coming, we promise!

We can’t support you - you should’ve bought a more expensive tablet if you expected that!

Our tablet can’t possibly be defective. You must be a scammer!

Is Bosto even going to be around to support products in the future? Their comment above is nebulous at best.

I’ve taken screens of dozens more of their awful customer support exchanges that I could post, but you get the idea.

Okay, getting into the swing of this thing~. Now that the screen is something i’m getting used to, everything is feeling much more natural and fast. It’s starting to look like my actual drawings that I would do by hand in my sketchbook, which I have always preferred over my doodles with a tablet, where I always felt I was compensating proportions. With this larger screen and tablet display, that issue is practically nonexistent.

REGARDING TURSION HUION AND MONOPRICE TABLETS AND WINDOWS 8

I’ve seen a post going around on my dash today claiming that Huion and Monoprice tablets are “pieces of shit” and “a scam.” This is simply not true, but I’m going to explain why (which I now know thanks to a helpful anon!), and in what situations you should and should not buy Huion and Monoprice tablets.

HUION AND MONOPRICE TABLETS DO NOT WORK WITH WINDOWS 8

Huion and Monoprice use the same driver software, and that driver software DOES NOT play nicely with Windows 8. I am not an expert but this is PROBABLY because Window 8 has its own native tablet drivers built in since it’s MADE for portable device use, and the Huion driver has NEVER played nicely with other tablet drivers. You’re already advised to uninstall ALL other tablet drivers BEFORE installing a Monoprice or Huion driver. 

This article has more details on the technical specifics, as well as the flaming hoops you have to jump through to get Huion drivers to play nice with Windows 8, but essentially 90% of the complaints you’re seeing are from Windows 8 users who didn’t bother to do any research and just plugged the damn thing right in without reading the manual. 

MONOPRICE AND HUION TABLETS STILL WORK JUST FINE WITH WINDOWS 7 AND WITH MACINTOSH SYSTEMS

I’ve had a 10 inch Monoprice for four years, and it works just fine. My biggest problem with it is that the pen is battery powered and a flimsy piece of garbage; it also has no “eraser” sensor like Wacom tablets do. HOWEVER, the tablet itself is MUCH more durable than a Wacom. My original Intuos crapped out after a year and I’m not even a heavy duty artist, while my Monoprice has endured just fine. Since Monoprice and Huion tablets use the same driver, this means that if you also use Windows 7, it will probably work fine. I’m also seeing no problems with Macintosh users. 

Monoprices also actually have a larger pressure sensitivity range, though it can take some fiddling to calibrate it correctly.

REGULAR MONOPRICES ARE GREAT, BUT THE MONOPRICE TABLET MONITOR IS A PIECE OF GARBAGE, DON’T BOTHER.

This is the Monoprice equivalent of a Cintiq. It’s $400. Don’t fucking bother. Its color display is garbage, its drivers suffer the same problems as all Monoprice drivers, and all around it’s actually a bad piece of hardware. If you do not make 100% of your income on art you don’t need a display tablet no matter how shiny it looks. If you do make 100% of your income on art, save up and get a goddamn Cintiq. You aren’t actually saving money or doing yourself any favors here. Here’s a review about how it works on Linux that still goes into enough about the hardware to show that it’s really just not a good device. As the guy notes, his wife’s regular vanilla non-display tablet works fine, it’s just this one that’s like, no. 

WITH THAT SAID, the non-display regular ass Monoprices are still just fine for what they are. You can get a 10 inch for $40. 

WHAT TABLET SHOULD I BUY THEN THO!??

BEGINNING ARTISTS USING WINDOWS 7 OR MAC: MONOPRICE OR HUION

If you either in high school or college, AND you are using Windows 7 or a Macintosh, GET A MONOPRICE OR A HUION. If you’re really young it’ll be much easier to convince your parents to buy one, if you’re older it’s easier on your wallet. These are great tablets for beginning artists who are just figuring out if they want a career in art.

PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS USING WINDOWS 7 OR MAC: WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT, BUT PROBABLY A WACOM

I mean it’s up to you and depends on what you do. If you’re a layout designer or web designer, like me, the Monoprice or Huion will still be fine. If you make 100% of your income on art, or plan to, you may well be better off with some sort of Wacom that suits your needs. If you are a SUPER HARDCORE ILLUSTRATION PERSON GOING FOR A DISPLAY TABLET, get a Cintiq, accept no substitutes. Plus, you can write that shit off your taxes anyway. 

ANYBODY USING WINDOWS 8

Stop using Windows 8.

Ahaha but okay seriously. If you’re a beginning artist, see if you can find a cheap used Wacom somewhere. I actually think Wacoms aren’t as good for beginning artists and they tend to break, but again, the Monoprice and Huion don’t WORK with windows 8, so you’re stuck with Wacom. If you’re a professional, buy a nice ass Wacom and write that shit off your taxes. 

So: TL;DR – Non-display Huion and Monoprice tablets are just fine for beginning artists, as long as they’re not using Windows 8. Now stop screeching about ~scams~.