Wacom Cintiq alternatives - A closer look

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by whazzup, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. crazycat

    crazycat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm still using the EZpad, below is the setup with all cord connected to the tablet. the USB cord is quite short so you have to make sure your HDMI port is close to an USB port or have a hub/extender. My Ugee came with an USB extending cord but it only works with the power line ( I'm using it to reach the USB port on the other side, what a mess)
    [​IMG]
    My 7 year old laptop (the only other device I own with HDMI connector) died recently, which is so bad because It's my only device without any digitizer built in. I have noticed some quirk with the UM-16 when connected to the EZpad that have Wacom built in:

    -Connected without driver: MS install its own driver that make drawing at 0% stab jitter (it's really small jitter that is prominent when drawing zoomed out.) I'm pretty sure it's a driver issue because drawing on the Wacom screen give off same effect (before that, it draw really smoothly just like any Wacom EMR should), probably because they use similar tech but the device doesn't know which frequency to follow. The jitter completely go away with CSP stabilizer level from 6 and up.

    -With UGEE driver installed: Drawing in in Wintab mode is really smooth, almost on par Wacom EMR even at 0% stabilizer. Other program like fire Aplace and Open Canvas also draw really smoothly, sometime better than the Wacom display (on program with less efficient brush engine, Wacom is quite taxing and often produce lag on Atom chip, it doesn't happen on full core laptop).However It become quirky with more jitter when you enable Windows Ink mode, probably same reason as above.

    Also, Sai 1 worked the first time driver is installed, but after a reboot it become unresponsive just like the Yiynova. It's really weird. Sai 2 work OK.

    I will try to fix my laptop to see if 0% stability jitter still happen with windows ink on non Wacom device.

    Fun fact: Ugee pen is recognized on Wacom display but can't produce line. Wacom pen doesn't make any effect on Ugee monitor however.
     
  2. Neve

    Neve Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Figured I'd bring these up!

    Looks like it's coming out next week, but XP-Pen has a new 15.6 display tablet (XP-Pen Artist 15.6): https://www.amazon.com/Artist15-6-D...F8&qid=1511856001&sr=8-2&keywords=xp-pen+15.6

    Battery free, 8192 pressure levels, 1920 x 1080 res with 4K driver support (?), 6 express keys, can toggle brightness. No stand though and for some reason the pen button allows you toggle between brush and eraser, but the pen itself also has an eraser end so I'm confused. Any clarification with this? The price is excellent at 360 USD for a 15.6 inch display wow!

    Huion also has a new 15.6 inch tablet (Huion GT-156 HD V2): https://www.amazon.com/Huion-HD-V2-...1853788&sr=1-17&keywords=drawing+monitor+15.6

    Battery pen, 8192 pressure levels, 1920 x 1080 res, 14 express keys plus touch strip, comes with Wacom-ish stand, 72% NTSC for 479 USD.

    I'm super tempted by that new XP-Pen Artist, but I'm worried about the pen performance (jitters, IAF, etc.). From just browsing around, looks like Gaomon, Parblo Coast, and Artisul may be best in this category? Any other additional information about this would be great. Or any recs at all.

    Newb question but: With the way these plug in, if I only have one HDMI port that is being occupied by monitor, would I need to get an adapter for this or something?
     
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  3. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The new XP-Pen looks exactly like the UGEE UM16...is XP-Pen the international arm of UGEE? Or are they separate companies?

    I'm going to be testing the UGEE version with just a single USB-C cable (for display+data+power). If it works then you can use it without occupying your HDMI port. Unfortunately, it will be around Christmas before I can test it, but I'll definitely let you know.
     
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  4. Neve

    Neve Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I remember a long time ago that anything marketed by Deleter usually was a re-brand of something else. Like OpenCanvas was CJ Illust and XP-Pen was just UC Logic. XP-Pen I think was marketed in Japan with that name, so, maybe UGEE is something elsewhere? Maybe Chinese?

    Thank you so much! The USB-C cable connection really grabs my attention too. Take your time! But I definitely appreciate it. ^^ I'm curious to see if it has jitter issues since one review mentions it on the 13.3 size.

    What about some of these other alternatives? I'm looking at the Gaomon and I'm worried I might need an HDMI port. Thanks again for the help!

    Edit: Yep, need another HDMI, just got the confirmation. I actually went ahead and bit the bullet on the Gaomon. The customer service is outstanding, I was blown away. They offered me a deal I couldn't refuse. Hopefully, it works out well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  5. crazycat

    crazycat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Tested XP-Pen driver, it worked and looked exactly like Ugee driver, rebranding confirmed. I attempted to install Artisul D16 driver but it didn't allow me to install without proper hardware plugged. I'm still convinced they use the same tech, the timing is to close to be a concidence.

    Also Artisul is planning for the arrival of a 21.5" device, hopefully it would be at least a 2k5 resolution. the stand and back design looks strangely similar to those on the back of Yiynova display :eek:

    @Marty If you still didn't order UM-16 yet, here is some bad news:
    -Ugee driver doesn't works with Windows 7 at all. Not only that, installing the driver on windows 7 makes the cursor disappear. Without driver it can move the cursor normally and can draw with pressure sensitive on tablet PC mode in CSP, but windows ink on windows 7 make shaky, jittery lines with the Ugee at 0% stabilizer, you would need to crank up stabilizer to 15% on CSP to draw normally. (tested on my old laptop )
    -You can adjust pressure curve on Ugee driver but that setting will reset after a reboot or monitor removal.
    -You cannot use the pen button switch to temporary change tool by press and drag at the same time to, but you can program any key combination to it. The side button on the monitor can change tool temporary however.

    Also, may be you should consider the 1199 model for an extra pen(the 1299 doesn't offer the pen, just the stand) You can find some interesting stand for much cheaper if you shop around.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  6. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @crazycat just unpacked my UGEE UM16 to try out (I ordered the 1299 yuan version with stand a few days ago :p). The stand is nice actually, made of 3mm thick aluminum instead of the cheap plastic which was a nice surprise, so I'm actually pretty happy with the extra 100 yuan price. ;)

    So trying out the tablet itself, I can confirm a lot of your first impressions. Colors are nice out of box (but nowhere near the 95% Adobe RGB gamut of my Z Canvas screen) and balanced saturation and white point under "sRGB profile".

    The diagonal jitter in "Windows Ink" mode is actually comparable to my Z Canvas. In Wintab mode ("Windows Ink" unchecked in driver settings), the line jitter is quite minor. In CSP "Tablet PC" mode, I find a line stabilization of around "10" brings the wobble to roughly even to Wintab mode with no stabilization.

    Pen cursor offset at the corners without calibration was up to 3mm for me, but after calibration, I could bring it to <0.5mm with fixed viewing angle, so pretty much equal to my Cintiq 22HD.

    I find I need to really amplify the pressure curve, otherwise I have to push unreasonably hard in CSP to get full line width. Here are my settings in the UGEE control panel:
    [​IMG]


    There are a few differences in driver setup I noticed. First, the XP-Pen driver did not work, I had to use the UGEE drivers. Curiously, installing the XP-Pen drivers produced exactly the disappearing cursor as you described in your Windows 7 test with UGEE drivers: :confused:

    So my theory is you probably had the UGEE drivers already installed then installed the XP-Pen driver on top? The executable installers are very different in size:
    • (Windows)Pentablet_UGEE_1.4.1.171108.exe 19.9MB
    • XP-PenWin(20171117).exe 10.5MB
    so these may not be as interchangeable as we first thought...

    Also I was wondering if you could answer these two small questions:

    • Were you able to restore the dot cursor for pen input after installing the UGEE drivers? I found after the UGEE service loads (shortly after login), the OS switches the pen dot cursor to the mouse pointer arrow which is slightly annoying...
    • Were you able to adjust right-click with the pen to require touch down, instead of allowing hover right-click? The default behavior is similar to Wacom's "hover click" enabled and this behavior messes with some AutoHotkey gestures I use.

    Fun Fact #2: If you connect the usb cable without the HDMI plugged in, you can use the UM16 like an Intuos tablet, even without installing the UGEE drivers. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  7. crazycat

    crazycat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @Marty
    -I did not have any cursor arrow with or without Ugee driver, it had always been a dot cursor to me on both windows 10 and windows 7.

    -As far as I know, the pen switch button and pen tip can never press and click simultaneously. That's why it's impossible to map the button to change tool temporary. if you try to press and right click at the same time, it will do a short right click and then a left click(single pen press). That pen button limitation was also on my Yiynova, so I think it's something we have to live with on non-Wacom product until those companies figure things out.

    About XP-pen driver, I had also noticed my driver on Windows 10 got messed up after a restart(cursor disappear). It worked the first time probably because of residual installation of Ugee driver (after uninstall Ugee driver I did not restart and installed XP-pen driver right away as you said). I had to uninstall, restart, install Ugee driver again, restart again to make it work normally.

    However, the windows 7 issue is truly an Ugee problems, I tried clean install Ugee driver again, still no dice, or cursor.But the intergrated graphic on this old thing wasn't supported on Windows 10 so I can't project to another monitor on Windows 10. It's time to upgrade to a (slightly) newer PC:oops:.

    Fun fact #2 plus: you only have to attach the single black usb to use the monitor as a graphic tablet, not even the red usb and power on button is necessary.

    Fun fact #3: hot swap power source is supported, the monitor can keep running for a few minutes after you unplug the red usb to plug it into another power source.

    BTW nice pressure curve setting, I'm copying you.Let us know if usb c to usb c works ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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  8. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @crazycat so some more anecdotes from my testing and setup...

    The UM16 can be powered via a the USB output port on my battery pack. I'm using the Vinsic 20000mah battery pack, which conveniently has a digital capacity readout, so I can check the discharge rate. It seems it does not draw much power at all...it took roughly 5 minutes to drop 1 percent, so I estimate about solid 7 hours on a charge, plenty of time for good drawing session. :thumbsup:

    That is wild...I haven't tried this (cuz I'm paranoid of hot-swapping active peripherals :p), but nice catch!

    Hmm, I see no reason why there should be such a limitation in hardware...I wonder if it's possible to use AutoHotkey to detect the pen button states as software workaround, like for the Surface Pen. This might take some time to get the correct device ID hooks, but it's something to look into for the future.

    Speaking of which, I think I might know the reason...my machine has an N-Trig digitizer, so I think this might be a conflict with the UGEE drivers with the MS drivers. I wonder if anyone else with a Surface (or other N-Trig device) could test?

    So I tested the drivers on a non-touch PC, and I'm still getting the arrow cursor replacing the dot cursor. :(

    Maybe I'm using a different driver version? @crazycat, could you look at the filename for the UGEE driver installer that you used? Is it "(Windows)Pentablet_UGEE_UM16_1.4.1.171108.exe". If not, could you upload the version you are using? Thanks a lot.


    I think between us, we must have set the record for fastest documentation of a new Cintiq alternative after release. I'm pretty sure even the early-bird reviewers of the XP-Pen version don't know this stuff. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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  9. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I recommend avoiding pen display drivers and using Windows Ink when attached to devices with their own pen inputs. Every driver I've tested tends to conflict with the native drivers and is difficult to remove once installed. The pen display driver should ideally be used only on non-touch systems.
     
  10. crazycat

    crazycat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @Marty My driver name is exactly the same... But I think I found the reason. My pen cursor is dot but it had been losing pressure sensitive a lot and the only thing to bring it back is replug USB. I was using the red usb plugged to the device and I noticed the area around that port uncomfortably hot.Plug the red USB to the power brick and pressure become consistent again, AND the cursor turned into an arrow. So I believe the arrow is what it's supposed to looks like normally.The red USB were taking its toll on the Atom tabletPC apparently... remind me to never do that again:(

    I suppose our (mis)adventure would be quite a good experience for future adopter. Especially me who did a lot of things wrong for people to avoid lol:p

    @surfaceproartist I know installing other driver on a penabled device is asking for trouble :p. Strangely, the EMR system seem unaffected by the alien driver. As long as the other monitor is detached, the driver never shown up and drawing with Wacom on windows ink is as smooth as ever. The Ugee on the other hand seem to really hate windows Ink and line is jitter on both display when device is connected.:oops:
     
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