Huion Kamvas Pro 16: a Drawing Tablet for Artists

This is a canvas pro 16 the latest drawing display from Huion. And it’s made some big jumps forward from last year’s version.

Overview

The canvas pros 16 is a drawing display of what that means is. You have to plug it into windows or a mac computer and you can draw on it using the included pen. A common question I get in these reviews is will it work on its own without a computer? The answer to that is no it needs to be plugged into a computer to work. It’s a second monitor and a pen, it’s not a full-blown computer.

Unboxing

Let’s take a look at what comes in the box. There’s the display itself safely packaged to prevent scratches. You get the power cord, you get a 3-way cable one port for the power adapter, a USB and HDMI input and the other side is a USB c port. There’s a pen and also a little donut that you can set the pen in or on. And if you open up the donut there are some extra pen nibs inside when your current ones wear out. There’s also a drawing glove great for us sweaty folks whose hands would otherwise stick to the screen. And of course things like the manual warranty card. They even included some stickers so you can label your hotkeys if you’re so inclined.

Laminated Display

The big update here is the screen it is a laminated display. This is quickly becoming the standard with drawing tablets in this industry and it is a big jump in quality from older displays. A laminated display reduces the amount of space between the glass and the screen below it. On those older two plays, there was a gap so when your pen touched the glass. There was some separation between where your pen tip was on that glass and where you saw the cursor on the screen below it. And by removing that gap it gives you a lot more accuracy. It helps when you’re closing a shape or going back to add an extra line or retracing something, it’s just more accurate.

When I first got the display plugged it in set it up my cursor was offset from the pen tip by maybe four or five pixels. So I just jumped in recalibrated and in a minute or two, the cursor was exactly where I wanted it to be. When moving the cursor around the screen I find it’s pretty accurate even when I’m moving around to the edge of the screen.

Screen

The screen is HD that’s 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels. It looks pretty good a lot of screens are going to the higher density displays like the Wacom Cintiq pro 16 which is full 4k. The Cintiq alternatives haven’t gotten there yet they’re still keeping their lower-res screen and I think mostly that’s to keep the price down. And on a 15.6-inch screen like this one it does look ok, it’s good, not amazing but ok and acceptable at this price point. I love the 16-inch display size for drawing, the 13-inch version is fine but the 16 inch gives you so much more room without being cumbersome or taking up all the space on your desk. Anything bigger and you have to rearrange your workspace to fit it in. This thing

They also bumped up the color spectrum to the display to 120 percent srgb or 92 percent Adobe RGB. I’m really bad it’s settling the differences between colors, I thought the colors were good on the last version. I think they look good on this one too. Now the screen isn’t glossy, it has an anti-glare coating on it. I’m not sure if it’s a coating or if it’s etched glass, Huion site calls a chemically etched anti-glare glass. That sounds like edge glass but I’m not sure if it is maybe this is just a semantics thing. Maybe it is an etched glass and I just can’t tell. What I do know is it feels pretty good to draw on also the coating they’re using on it lets the screen colors come through without diffracting them in any way.

Build and Design

The build of the display itself feels premium, this is something I never thought I would say about a Huion product. But here we are it’s really thin it weighs about three pounds. So it feels substantial it’s not light but it’s not heavy either. The back is a brushed aluminum which just feels better than plastic it feels more premium. It’s got rubber grips so it doesn’t slide around while it’s sitting on your desk. It just feels good I’ve used a lot of cheap tablets this doesn’t feel like a cheap tablet.

It also feels very comfortable if you pull it off your desk and set it on your lap. I wouldn’t call it portable necessarily because you need to take your laptop with you and all the cords. And remember the pen and it’s also wider than most laptop bags even though the screen itself is 16 inches. There’s a lot of extra space on the sides and along the top of the bottom. But at the same time, it’s not super cumbersome either. If you had a bag wide enough you could take it with you. One thing to keep in mind is it doesn’t come with a stand there are some cheap ones over on amazon that’ll fit this pretty well.

Pen

Let’s talk about this pen the lines they look really good. When Huion released his first generation of their pen last year around. This time maybe a little bit later in the summer there were issues with it. So it’s good to see that those have been cleaned up. They’ve been cleaned up dramatically one thing you may have noticed is as I draw a line. You’re gonna see some lag behind it that’s not necessarily because of the tablet. It probably has more to do with the fact that I’m using an older laptop to test. And also that I’m drawing primarily in photoshop which is not the fastest and snappiest drawing program in the world.

Pen Specs

Pressure flows smoothly it’s very easy to maintain and control. I always felt like I was in complete control of the pen it was never like blowing out on the high end or doing something weird here and there. I’m used to drawing on a Cintiq pro and it felt very very similar to me. The pen itself has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity which is pretty standard nowadays. And also I should point out the pen is now battery-free.

Old Huion pens had batteries even though those batteries lasted a really long time. It’s still nice not to ever have to worry about that. The one thing that took some time to adjust to was that the nib of the pen moves just a little bit. Every time I set it down on the screen it just feels a little bit jumpy, a little less natural. And to be honest this is nitpicking and it’s something that I got used to.

There’s also tilt and rotation in this pen I don’t use tilt in my work but from what I’ve seen others say it’s not as good as Wacom’s but it is here. And that’s noteworthy because that’s pretty new to Huion displays. The pen itself looks and feels almost identical to Wacom pens. The same rubber grip feels the same button placement, same weight. I mentioned the doughnut earlier you can set your pen across it or you can set your pen inside of it and of course, it houses 10 extra nibs. So when you wear down after drawing for a long period, you’ve got lots of replacements.

Conclusion

This drawing tablet is for those who are trying to enter the digital art market. But that doesn’t mean it’s only for beginners. Beginners can use it but only a pro artist will make full use of features that Huion provides. And the price it comes at is what gives Huion an edge over Wacom.