Review: Huion 1060 PLUS graphics tablet

Update: An upgraded model is now available and is called the NEW HUION 1060PLUS. Review is available at http://www.parkablogs.com/content/review-new-huion-1060plus-graphics-tab...

Huion

Huion is a company from China that makes graphic related products, specifically graphic tablets, tablet monitors and light boxes.

Selling point of many of their products is their attractive pricing compared to other products in the market, especially to the tablets from Wacom.

Huion 1060 PLUS

The Huion 1060 PLUS is one of the many tablets sold by Huion. It's the newer version of the 1060 PRO. Main difference is the 1060 PLUS can now use all the 12 physical Expresskeys instead of just 8 on the 1060 PRO, and the included storage has increased to 8GB from 4GB.

Another very close model to take note of is the Huion H610 Pro which has the same size working area but with different design to its ExpressKeys and lack of internal storage.


For this review, I had borrowed a Huion 1060 PLUS from my friend to test it out. I've used this on a Mac running OS 10.10.5 and Windows 7 Professional so I'll give you my thoughts on using the tablet on these two systems.

IMPORTANT: Before you plug in the tablet, uninstall any other tablet drivers so as not to conflict with the Huion drivers. Windows will try to install its own version of the tablet driver which will be incompatible with the 1060 PLUS. You have to go into Advanced System Settings to disable Window's auto driver update. On Mac, just uninstall other tablet drivers first. Straightforward. It's best to download the latest tablet drivers from Huion's website.


Back of the front box cover has a nice foam to protect the tablet.


These are the items inside the box.

  • Tablet
  • USB cable
  • Stylus
  • USB charging cable for stylus
  • Manual and Driver disc


The build quality is good. It's not right up compared to Wacom but it's definitely not far behind. I've nothing bad to say about the construction when the price is half of that compared to Wacom tablets of the same size.

The tablet comes with 12 ExpressKeys that act as shortcuts to preset functions. The buttons has a noticeable indent to them when pressed.

In addition, there are 16 SoftKeys on the drawing surface that you can access with the stylus.


You can set the ExpressKeys and SoftKeys to other keys on the keyboard.


Here's the side of the tablet featuring the USB port. It's those standard USB ports. There's also a small slot for a removable 8GB MicroSD card. You can replace the MicroSD card with one that has 64GB capacity. The internal storage allows you to use this tablet as a USB flash drive as well. For example, you can save files at home onto the tablet and bring the tablet to the office if you want to.


Position of the USB port on the tablet wasn't very well thought out. By placing that port at the middle, when I use the ExpressKeys, my hands are over the wire most of the time. It's not a big deal nor is it uncomfortable. It's just the way that it is, strange. A more sensible place to have the wires should be at the top left or right.

Stylus


The stylus is well built, feels light but not too light. It does feel slightly hollow. There's a slight texture on the stylus to make sure it does not slip.

There are two shortcut buttons that you can customize to keyboard presses, mouse clicks or other functions.


There's no eraser at the back because there's a charging port there. This is a wireless stylus and it's battery powered. Charging time is stated to be 2 hours for a 3 month usage period. You can use the stylus while it's charging. I find that you can charge it for a few minutes to get hours of use. I'm not sure of the durability of the stylus but a replacement stylus is cheap.


The stylus holder allows you to place the stylus in a horizontal position. Personally, I prefer to put the stylus in upright position like you do with Wacom stylus holders.


Inside the stylus holder are four replaceable nibs and the nib remover.

Drivers


This is the driver screen.

I've no problem installing the drivers though but unfortunately, drivers for this Huion 1060 PLUS can be a bit iffy at times. Let me explain.

On Mac, it works mostly well except the driver cannot detect the Option key. For example, when I try to set Cmd+Option+Z to one of the ExpressKeys, when pressing the button, I only get Cmd+Z. Another issue is when you move the stylus to the bottom of the screen, it can disappear pass the edge. Once it disappears, you can't use it to show the Auto-hide dock. Solution is to make the dock visible at all times. Overall, the strokes come out as expected, smoothly and pressure sensitivity works well.

On Windows, it's more troublesome.


With the latest Windows driver (11.0.0.5) installed, while using Photoshop CS5.1, I experienced jitter in the stroke when drawing at Zoom size 100% and smaller. For some strange reason, when zooming to 200% and larger, the strokes are smooth without jitter.

I contacted Huion on Facebook and they sent me a new driver (which is actually an old version 9 driver) and that removed the jitter problem. I was then able to draw smooth lines at any zoom sizes. However, that driver doesn't give me the option to customise the ExpressKeys nor SoftKeys. As I use keyboard for my shortcuts, it's not a big deal for me. But the tablet was advertised with 12 ExpressKeys and 16 SoftKeys and I was unable to use them. If you are buying this tablet for those shortcut buttons, take note of this.

Also sometimes when I minimise applications, e.g. Photoshop, in Windows. I find that the stylus stops being detected, cursor freezes. I have to Alt+Tab to switch to other apps to get the stylus to be detected again. It's an annoyance. Also in Ctrl+Alt+Delete Task Manager mode, the cursor also freezes (you'll really need a mouse there).

I've contacted Huion on these issues and they say they are working on these bugs.

Performance


The default level of sensitivity works very well. It's no different from any Wacom tablets I've used.

You can get the tapered strokes at the start, thick strokes, and tapered ends easily. The stylus is able to detect the slightest of contact on the surface. It supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity but not tilt.


These are some hatching lines drawn very quickly with the stylus.


A close up on those hatching lines shows that they are smooth. No jitter at all.

The strokes also come out without any lag.

Conclusion

The drawing functionality is more than satisfactory, very good.

However to get that excellent drawing functionality (for Windows at least), you need the correct driver installed. And it may take a few tries to find the correct driver. Even after that, there could be some issues, like not being able to customise the shortcut buttons. Argh!

For Mac users, I can still recommend this tablet because the only major issue is the driver not being able to detect the Option key. For those who use only keyboard for shortcuts, go ahead and get this tablet.

On Windows, if you want to get this tablet, just assume you're not going to get the shortcut buttons to work. If that's the case, maybe it might be better off getting other tablets instead.

If you are using this tablet and have issues, I would love to hear about them. Post them in the comments section, or maybe post some workarounds to help others.

Availability

It's quite a popular tablet. Check out more reviews on Amazon with the affiliate links below.

Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

Check out other graphics tablet reviews at http://www.parkablogs.com/tags/drawing-tablet-reviews

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