Wacom Cintiq alternatives - A closer look

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

  1. Yuureikun

    Yuureikun Scribbler - Standard Member

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    So I recently picked up an XP Pen Artist 22E on a lightning deal with Amazon. I figured for $530, I really couldn't lose. The tablet came in, and I have to say, it is very well built, pen input is excellent, and the express keys are great for workflow enhancement. Overall, it is an awesome tablet for the price.

    However, I have run into one issue that is bothering me, and this bothered me on the Huion GT221 Pro that I also tried and returned a little while back. I noticed that the viewing angles are extremely shallow, which seemed really odd for a product advertising an IPS panel. Upon further research, I found that it is likely that these actually have VA panels in them, rather than IPS. The colors become washed out when looking at the tablet at not so extreme angles, especially considering the wide screen nature of the monitor. Anything far to the left or right of the screen is definitely effected when you are focusing on the middle of the screen.

    Now, I am unsure of what to do. It only cost $530, so maybe it is worth dealing with. But at the same time, it was $530 and advertised as IPS, so there is the principal of the matter as well. Should I see if i could get a partial refund, or just return it entirely? Does anyone else have any input as to how they feel about using VA monitors for art?

    I am attaching an image with a photo from the front and one from the side, to help illustrate how washed out the colors (particularly dark colors and blacks) get when looked at towards the side.

    If anyone is considering the XP Pen Artist 22 or Huion GT221, definitely be advised that they may not be completely honest in having an IPS panel in them. It is likely a VA panel of some sort, as found in some of the new Yiynova tablets.
     

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  2. Yuureikun

    Yuureikun Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I contacted XP Pen customer support, they insist that it is an IPS panel and not a VA, and that the viewing angles are likely caused by the preinstalled matte screen protector which I could remove if I would like. However, I used the pattern tests found on this site: http://mediachance.com/pbrush/monitor.html and the results confirmed that it is likely a VA display. I have also never seen an IPS with color shift the way the XP Pen has.
     

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  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The moral of the story is...

    "Cheap glitter from China. Proceed with caution."

    To be fair though.., who really draws at, "Picking up my dropped pen" angle?

    How is pen jitter on this? Is it otherwise a decent drawing board?
     
  4. Yuureikun

    Yuureikun Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The color shift actually starts to happen at much shallower angles than I photographed, there is a noticeable shimmer, or glow (it is really hard to describe) especially on darker colors that my IPS monitors don't seem to have. It is more fatiguing on my eyes, maybe I am just more sensitive to it than other people though. Colors on things closer to the sides of the screen are noticeably more washed out than the content in the center, due to the poor viewing angles and wide screen nature of the display.

    The jitter isn't bad, it benefits from some stabilization in Clip Studio Paint, but overall it is way better than the Yiynova I have (which, ironically, doesn't have the same poor viewing angles as the XP Pen).

    Like I had said, it is hard to argue with the price for what you get, it is just a little disappointing that they advertise 178 degree wide viewing angles, when that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Overall, however, it is definitely a great display for the price and something that is absolutely more than usable. It is an awesome option for people who can't afford $1,700 for a Cintiq 22HD.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  5. crazycat

    crazycat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @Yuureikun That's quite an interesting insight, I haven't thought to question the manufacturer promo. However reading from the test site you mentioned,it said there is also a kind of low cost IPS called e-IPS, perhaps it's not the perfect kind of IPS that the test would expect?
    Did you try removing the screen protector like the customer service asked? Matte screen protector can obscure view at certaint angle, especially the toothy kind that chinese manufacturer pre install on their art monitor (the one i got from Yiynova have double the toothy feel of the matte one I ordered from Photodon). I understand if you don't want to remove it though, as i'm also paranol about pointy pen pressing on glass unprotected, and these film are not cheap/easy to replace.

    I saw a new driver on Yiynova site and found it improved jitter a bit. Can you try it on your 22" and let us know how you feel?

    Speaking of ,@Marty did you remove the seal layer on the UM-16? I'm still not sure if the matte surface is etched glass or plastic screen protector. I had tried to touch around but couldn't find any edge to pry.o_O

    Reading the Chinese review, I saw someone talked about a better driver dated 18-11 that can save setting after reboot, but you can only get it by contacting customer service.I tried to write them in English but no reply so far :confused:. It had only been one day though so I will wait a bit more.
     
  6. Yuureikun

    Yuureikun Scribbler - Standard Member

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    `I don't know a whole lot about LCD panels, so I suppose it is possible that it is just a low quality IPS panel. However, everything about the display seems in line with what a VA has to offer. It has higher contrast than my IPS displays, deeper blacks, and lower refresh rate and much more narrow viewing angles. I peeled back the screen protector enough to see the screen without it, and the color shift was still prevalent. It is very apparent in very dark colors. Yiynova advertises a SMVA panel on some of their newer 20 inch tablets, and in the product questions on their Amazon listings, they call the SMVA an "IPS alternative with higher contrast ratios". I really get the feeling these other companies are using the same panels and just calling them IPS. It really wouldn't bother me so much if the angles weren't so narrow, anything that isn't in the middle of the screen just has this weird color or gamma shift that causes my eyes to strain to focus.

    I didn't see the new Yiynova driver last I had checked it hadn't been updated for OSX since sometime in 2016. I will have to give it a try tonight and see if it helps. However, the cursor drift and parallax on my Yiynova are really bad, the XP Pen is so much better in that regard. I really wish I could just pluck the IPS panel out of my Yiynova and put it in the XP Pen, it would be a near perfect tablet at that point.

    How are the display panels on some of these 16 inch tablets you have been testing out? Do those seem to have actual IPS panels with 178 degree viewing angles? I am curious to know if it is only the large format displays that seem to have the wrong panel.
     
  7. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hey at @crazycat, no haven't peeled off the pre-installed screen protector yet, as I am still trying to decide if I want to use a matte screen protector like on my 22HD. Looking at the edges, I am pretty sure the the cover glass has a matte surface coating, but the glass itself not bonded to the LCD (thus why there is a large air gap).

    Is the matte coating fingerprint resistant? If not, I think I might need to actually suck it up, and actually install a screen protector (it took me literally 3 days of prep to do my 22HD without dust particles).

    As for the drivers, yeah I noticed the settings weren't sticking between reboots. But after testing, I found the UGEE service may also cause issues with the N-Trig pen in CSP (delayed stroke activation), menu glitches in Affinity Designer, and random spikes in CPU usage. Right now, I've just uninstalled the driver and using the tablet without express keys.

    The driver also seems a little...hacked together? :confused: The key mappings on the express keys and side switches, do not behave like a native hardware input device, rather they seem to be emulated through the UGEE service. This introduces a few glitches if you rapidly press combinations of keys...will report more as I continue to use/debug the device. ;)

    Screen quality-wise, I would say the UGEE UM16 is excellent; definitely IPS, and a very balanced calibration out-of-box too. Probably the best feature of the tablet, and certainly makes all the testing work worth it. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  8. Yuureikun

    Yuureikun Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Sadly, I think I will be returning the XP Pen. I’ve been going back and forth a bit with their customer service, who insists they use an IPS panel. In any case, the viewing angles are too poor for me to work through. I tried coloring a tattoo design I am working on to see if I would just adjust to the display, but my eyes continue to strain and lose focus due to the way my eyes are interpreting the slightly different color variations they see at the same time.

    It sucks, because otherwise I absolutely love this tablet. I found I really prefer the widescreen aspect ratio when it comes to such a large tablet (it gives space on the side for my tools while allowing ample drawing room in the center of the screen) and the device itself is so much lighter and less bulky than my Cintiq 21ux.

    I’d love to see these companies use a higher quality panel for their highest end pen displays with hotkeys.
     
  9. crazycat

    crazycat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    @Yuureikun I did the same monitor test on an old TN monitor, my VA panel Yiynova 20U and my 16" Ugee UM-16 IPS. The result predicted on the site is pretty on point with all three panel type I tested, so I believe the site is accurate. Given the fact you already have an IPS Yiynova to compare result, the XP-pen 22 either use a really low quality IPS or an actual VA panel. Even in China it's advertised as IPS though. It's too bad the XP-Pen doesn't work out for you, but maybe it's a chance to hold out for the Artisul D22 ? Artisul have good reputation, they use battery-less tech that got a lot of praise to be closest to Wacom, and seem to have a partnership with Yiynova . Their price is a bit steeper than competitor but seem to be better hardware too (newest 16" Artisul advertised 96% Adobe RGB), so I'm pretty sure the display quality would be good.

    @Marty The matte surface is pretty fingerprint-resistant from what I can see. It seem to be truly a coated surface instead of a stick-on protector, which worry me a bit because if I worn out the surface overtime, there won't be anyway to remove if and stick on another. Drawing on the surface feel good though.
    I'm also having problem with driver: Wintab stopped working in CSP. At the moment I'm just sucking it up and use Lazy Nezumi and CSP stabilize, but Ugee really should get their driver together. My Yiynova never has such unstability, so I guess that's where the price difference come from.

    PS: I just bought a PC with a few gen old parts (a modest third gen i3 with a gt card). It still run circle around my i5 hp 612 g1 and cost less than my UM-16 so no complaining here. I tried to use the UM-16 with Win 7 on my new PC but driver is still no go. Also, on Win 7, about 1 inch from the right edge of the monitor doesn't work with or without driver, which make it impossible to close or minimize any windows. Ugee really should just remove Win7 from their compatibility list.
     
  10. Yuureikun

    Yuureikun Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I did the same thing, I used that site to test the TN panel on my girlfriend's 2012 MacBook Pro, my 27 inch Monoprice monitor, Yiynova MVP22u, and iPad Pro, and the XP Pen. The results are all consistent across the board, I would be very surprised if the panel in the XP pen was not a VA panel.

    I have still been trying to just adjust to the XP pen, and the more I use it, the more I feel like my eyes are adjusting to it. It isn't ideal, but again, for the money I spent it is so hard to beat. The biggest issues just come with images with dark colors, as they are absolutely the most affected.

    I am definitely interested in the 22 inch Artisul coming out. I have been checking their site regularly but no new updates have been posted so far. I am really curious to see what the features and price point of that one is going to be.

    Also, crazycat, since you have a Yiynova with a VA panel, what do you think of it? Do you find that the VA panel is harder to work with and get an accurate representation of what you are working on? Does it strain your eyes more than an IPS panel does? I am just trying to figure out if it is just me that can't see to get along with the screen, or if a VA panel is a little lackluster for working up close with for art.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017 at 2:36 PM
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