We take a look at another Wacom tablet alternative that may save you some money, putting the Huion GT-220 V2 through its paces...
Huion GT-220 V2
Product: GT-220 V2
A few weeks ago I reviewed a UGEE pen display tablet that I thought was very good. In this review I will be looking at a very similarly priced device by Huion, and will talk about how this one differs and what the benefits of this device are.
In the last review I did I talked about the benefits of a pen display device. I would like to echo some of those sentiments again. Painting or sculpting on a pen display will change the way you create. The process of moving your hand and immediately seeing your work on the screen in front of you is very natural. Therefore painting directly on the screen will always be more intuitive than looking up at a screen separate from your tablet. As long as this device works well, it will no doubt improve the quality and speed of your work.
Here you can see the Huion in position on my desk at home
It's important again that I speak about price. This device offers a vast saving on an equivalent Wacom device. It is currently retailing at £470 on Amazon.co.uk and $660 on Amazon.com. This is a huge saving compared to a Wacom, but is ever so slightly more expensive than the UGEE I recently reviewed.
The Huion is very affordable and easily available
Unlike the UGEE, when your Huion arrives it will come in a branded box with nicely printed and organized documents. I know this doesn't necessarily improve the quality of the device, but it does fill you with a little confidence about how well it will work.
The Huion comes really well packaged and presented
You will need to attach the stand to the back of the device, but it is really easy and is solid as a rock once it is done. They even provide the screwdriver to help you do this. I had my drivers installed, plugged in and running in a few minutes. Remember to check the plug listed when you buy your device as you may need a US to UK adapter as I did. You will need a plug socket to power your device, a USB and either a VGA or HDMI socket free to get everything connected up.
You will find all of this in the box when it arrives
The device feels very well made and sturdy. The components feel a little more high quality than the equivalent parts on the UGEE device. There no escaping a bit of plastic though. In fact I would say that in your hands this will feel just as good as a Wacom Cintiq.
My background is in illustration and I have been a very satisfied user of Corel Painter for many years. I opened up the software to check out the pressure sensitivity. The UGEE device had immediately seemed very natural to me; however this device was less so initially. The screen protector is annoying so I removed that and things began to improve. The pen did still feel a bit scratchy to start with, but after using it for 5 minutes everything felt great. Perhaps the pen was just a bit stiff as it was new. Having used it for about 10 hours now I can confidently say this was a temporary issue and now I am enjoying using it very much.
One more comment on pressure sensitivity. The UGEE device I reviewed feature 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, however this Huion device has 8192. In practical terms I would say that the difference is actually not as noticeable as you would think, but once I had my arm warmed up and my confidence with the device was growing I did find that this device was very responsive to the pressure I applied.
Great pressure sensitivity
The display on this is fantastic. The colors are richer than they are on my Samsung monitor. Also they better reflect the colors I would see when looking at my art on alternative devices like my iphone or MacBook.
The screen is very good and the colors are rich
Anyone who has used a tablet will tell you that there is a slight delay when you move the pen. This is always going to be the case and this was probably the thing I was most concerned about before reviewing this device, as a long delay could be a deal breaker. However the delay is not in any way a problem. In fact (exactly like the UGEE) I considered it to be very responsive.
Testing how fast the device responds to movement
So then it was time to really put it through its paces. I always struggled to sketch directly in Painter using my Wacom, it never really felt natural to me. Painting onto the screen of the Huion was so much fun. Not only that, but everything responds exactly as you would want it to. It will feel very natural to you when you use one. If you are finding the transfer from traditional to digital art tricky, I would highly recommend using one of these.
Some of the progress image from my first painting using the Huion
So what's the verdict? Much like the UGEE this devise is an absolute bargain! It will help you loosen up when being creative and will insert some freedom and expression into your process. I do think that this device will help you progress as a digital artist and you'll find it very hard to put the pen down.
It is very similar to the UGEE device I reviewed. When I first used the Huion I thought I was going to prefer the UGEE, but once things had softened up a little I was finding it every bit as intuitive as the UGEE device. I would suggest that the pen and tablet are both slightly better made on the Huion and I find it much easier to find online support for the Huion than I did for the UGEE. I would also suggest that the Huion is a slightly more attractive device to sit on your desk. But in reality it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. These are both excellent and affordable devices and if you can justify buying one I would highly recommend it.
This is my entry for the Character Design challenge which I did on the Huion
If you're thinking about getting one of these but hesitated because you weren't sure about how good they are, I can tell you that you won't be disappointed. If you are currently using a regular tablet and are looking for something to help you take that next artistic step forward this really could be what you are looking for. This Huion device can be bought with confidence. With the addition of some hot keys and a little tightening here or there this device would easily compete with the Wacom Cintiq but for a fraction of the price. If you asked me if I would buy one, the answer would be – absolutely.
The Huion device on Amazon.com
You can also find it on Amazon.co.uk
Our review for the UGEE