Wacom Cintiq alternatives - A closer look

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

  1. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Today my Gaomon 156 pro finally arrived. It came in one piece, doesn't burn up when I plug power in, and work fine with the English driver for the Amazon model :D. So every thing Gaomon support warned about was false alarm.

    It's sleek and thin ( thinner than the UM16) , came with an extra pen, a stand with various height adjustment, a pretty good packback that is big enough to put the monitor, all accessories and a laptop. It's the best bonus package I have gotten from Chinese monitor so far so I will forgive previous problem.

    The first thing I notice is the IAF is very low. Even the faintest stroke that is lighter than the pen own weight can make a mark. It's really close to the graphic tablet SN540 I mentioned in earlier post. The second thing I notice is that the pressure curve is pretty close to Wacom, with brush size blow out faster with lighter stroke (which I prefer but some might not). Stroke follow pen tip with little delay and jitters on slow line is almost nonexistent. Pen accuracy is pretty good out of the box, but I only test in the maximum range canvas on CSP can reach, though I can reach buttons in corner and edge well without problem. So far, first impression is very good, I'm pretty satisfied with the initial performance of this thing.

    Here is a video ( the quality is poor and shaky hand because I use one hand to take video). At the first part I tried to stroke as light as possible and it all make full mark. I tried the same thing with XP-Pen and it either not make a line at all or just make half a line ( accidentally stopped recording when I move to test the XP-Pen and only notice after I have already put it away )


    In term of driver, Gaomon is not as flexible as XP-Pen. You only have a slider between soft and hard without the curve adjustment graph. You can't make express key profile for each program like XP-Pen. The rolling wheel option is limited by to brush size, zoom in out,and mouse roll. You can't add extra function like in XP-Pen. Thankfully I can map rotate function to mouse roll in CSP.

    I'm happy with the pen setting out of the box, but someone prefer different pressure curve might not be satisfied with just the slider (@Marty ?). The lower IAF is much more important to me though, it is on the Apple Pencil and Samsung phone level from what I can see.

    Another thing I notice is the express key button feel kind of cheap with louder click than the XP-Pen. The wheel also doesn't feel as robust or have as many click level as the XP pen red ring. The plus is that the wheel function switching button is in the middle of the wheel that is easier to reach, but it's kind of flush in the middle of the wheel.

    The cable looks robust and is L shaped at the USB-C port connect to the monitor and feel more secure than the straight cable of the XP-Pen. The cable extend to an USB-A and HDMI end. There is an usb extend cable that output to one black USB end ( that connect to the PC) and one Red USB ( that connect to power plug). I'm not using the Usb extending cable and only use one usb end for both data and power.
     
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  2. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    How many of these lesser known alternatives offer spare parts after the initial buzz of release?

    One of my students bought an Ugee hk1560 and the pen died after a year - he cannot get a genuine spare stylus to work with it. He's bought and sent back all sorts of fakes - posting back costs him every time.
    I'm a huge fan of alternatives to Wacom and happy to knock Wacom when I can but at least spares are available for a few years after the product is replaced on the website. At the moment I would only be prepared to go Huion / Xp-Pen but even then - Huion especially have a confusing range of bespoke styli for different tablet. I do like Wacom's limited range which are compatible across different ranges (pro / Hobbyist etc).
     
  3. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If I remember right, the HK 1560 use the older battery pen tech, and most Chinese companies had moved to battery-free EMR tech for the last 2-3 years. They are selling pen for battery-free EMR tech more and older tech less. For example the XP-PEN 16 pro use battery pen tech, and the newer XP-PEN 15.6 Pro use battery-free tech. They sell both pen branded XP-PEN so you would have to check which is which.
    Did all the fake pen your student bought have battery at all? They doesn't work at all or just doesn't work well with offset and wiggle? Maybe those third-party pen have rechargeable battery that died after laying around without usage for years?
     
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  4. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yeah I think the HK1560 uses a battery in the pen but your point about batteries lying dead makes sense... I'll pass that on.
     
  5. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The problem with the HK1560 is that not only it years passed warranty but also use obsoleted tech. Since most Chinese companies stopped producing battery powered pen for 2-3 years already, even if you get a working rechargeable pen, the battery might have deteriorated considerably.

    I happen to have an ugee battery pen that appear to work on my Yiynova, so it's possible that Yiynova pen works on the HK1560 as well. Yiynova is the only company still use battery pen tech and still selling pen on Amazon. Their pen use replacement AAA battery so you might be able to get a longer life out of it than the rechargeable pen. Yiynova pen is kind of expensive though, and it's only my speculation that it work on the Ugee, so check your return option.

    Photo: top Yiynova pen, bottom Ugee pen
     

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  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks for that - I'll pass it on.
     
  7. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    So Brad Colbow reviewed the Artist 24 and is overall more positive than Aaron Rutten, choosing it above the Cintiq 22 (on value).

    But he did note a few pen quirks @9:20 (pressure inconsistency, some stray marks):



    Jitter seems a bit higher than the smaller XP-Pen/UGEE tablets... @7:37

    [​IMG]

    He says he's going to get the Kamvas Pro 24 in July, so we should be finally getting that direct head-to-head.
     
  8. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    If you cut Rutten, he bleeds "Wacom."
    I've never seen him say anything positive about anything that didn't come from Wacom.
     
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  9. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    We still can't deny that Wacom still take the lead on pen performance though.

    The Gaomon was pretty close with improved IAF, but so far alternative haven't resolved the problem of cursor moving around pen tip when rotate pen barrel. Which is understandable as even older Wacom UD tablet PC in 2013-2014 era had that problem. I found my Gaomon perform better than all the UD device that is not Samsung actually. Pretty happy with the purchase.

    BTW, Gaomon PD1560Pro pen is not cross compatible with Gaomon graphic tablet or any other brand pen for that matter. All other pen can't even make the cursor show up on the Gaomon. That is pretty different from XP-PEN/ UGEE which I pretty sure can be cross compatible across all monitor / graphic tablet of their own brand.

    I would pick a cheaper QHD 24" monitor over a more expensive FHD 22" though.
     
  10. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    True but how many poor young students can afford a 27inch Wacom Pro for their first graphic screen? The point I'm making is that he never has anything good to say about anything non-Wacom.

    A young illustrator starting out can still make great art using a cheaper alternative but if they went by his videos they would sit waiting until they could afford one - which could be never. Better a young kid gets what they can afford, make their name and then they can swap to Wacom if they want - his videos will never encourage that path.
     
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