This review is written by guest artist Joel Watson.
BIG improvement over the previous version. Great for the traveling digital artist, but still has room for improvement.
About Yiynova and the MVP10UHD+IPS+IPS
Yiynova is a Chinese manufacturer of budget-minded tablet monitors. They are most know for their 19” model, the MSP19U which, in my opinion, was the first real competitor to the Wacom Cintiq line of products. The MVP10UHD+IPS is 4th version of Yiynova’s 10.1” USB powered, portable tablet monitor.
- 10.1" USB Tablet Digitizer/LED Monitor
- IPS panel
- USB powered, no VGA Input, no DC Power
- Mode Switch Between Digitizer and Monitor
- Active display/drawing area (H x V): 216.96 (W)X135.6 (H) mm (10.1" diagonal)
- 8 Hot Key
- Digitizer:Tablet resolution at 4000 LPI
- Tracking speed at 200 PPS
- Pen pressure sensitivity at 2048 levels
- LCD:16.7M Colors,1280x800 Resolution, View angle: H:160°(80°/80°), V: 160°(80°/80°) ( CR >=10 ), 0.1695(H)X0.1695(V) mm Pixel pitch, 650:1 Contrast
- Warranty: 1 Year with The Panda City (Warranty will be voided if the prodcuts are used outside USA)
- Support OS:Win8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS 10.4.x-10.10.x.
Initial Impressions and Build Quality
The MVP10UHD+IPS is a little longer than a full sized iPad and a little shorter. If you’re used to holding Apple, Android or Kindle tablets, it’s quite thick. Of course this device doesn’t do what those items do and isn’t intended to compete with them, but it does feel bulky by today’s electronics standards. It’s both powered and received its video/input signal from a dual ended USB Y cable. It has white bezel around it’s modest screen which hold 8 user programable hotkeys. There’s an adjustable stylus holder on the side opposite the buttons. The back of the unit has 3 flip out feet, controls for monitor brightness and a power switch.
Unfortunately, the overall build quality is sub par. It's very plastic-y and creaks and flexes when you hold it. The hotkey buttons do have a nice solid click, but the housing seems like it needs more bracing between the screen surface and the outer shell. There is nothing sleek or stylish about the utilitarian design. It’s well made, but not EXTREMELY well made. The MVP10UHD+IPS looks and feels like a prototype that was made from off the shelf components.
The detachable USB cable can be routed to either the left or the right of the device through channels in the back of the case which makes keeping it out of your way much easier than if it were in a fixed position. The fact that the cable is detachable is also nice, considering the USB cable is typically the first thing to go bad in a tablet from repeated bends, winding and being taken in and out of a carry bag.
The left and right flip out feet on the back allow the tablet to rest on a desk at a comfortable drawing angle. They're tall enough that I can get my left hand under the tablet while still operating the hot keys with my thumb. There's a 3rd flip out foot on the back of the device, in the center. If you try to use this to stand up the tablet while drawing, it will just fall over. Perhaps it's for displaying the tablet like a picture frame, or if you are just using it as a secondary monitor.
Connectivity and Driver Setup
As I mentioned, the MVP10UHD+IPS connects to your computer via a single USB Y cable. One end of the cable transmits video and tablet input signal, and the other supplies the unit with an extra 5v of power. On some of the computers I tested it with everything seemed to function fine with only one end of the cable plugged in. This was not the case on my primary testing computer, an 11” Macbook Air. Since that computer only has 1 USB port on each side, I had to purchase a 1ft USB extension cable to connect the tablet.
Two drivers are required to get the MVP10UHD+IPS up and running: one DisplayLink driver to run the USB video, and one from Yiynova for tablet functionality. I had no issues installing either driver (again, all of these tests were performed on a Mac under OSX and do not necessarily reflect what potential performance on a Windows PC would be like), and I was able to get the computer to recognize the tablet as a tablet and monitor relatively easily, save for occasionally having to unplug/replug the USB Y cable. It seemed like my Macbook Air was particular about which half of the device (tablet or monitor) was recognized first.
I was using the earlier (non-IPS display) version of the MVP10UHD for a few months before I replaced it with this updated version. The difference in screen quality is astounding. This is less of a testament to the quality of the current version (which is high), and more of an admonishment of the previous version. The non IPS display had the most minimal viable viewing angle of any monitor of any size that I've ever used. You had to get exactly in the right spot when working on it. Any deviation to the right, left, top or bottom and the colors would shift until they became inverted. I was able to pencil and ink with the old one, but color work was impossible due to the color accuracy being non existent.
I am happy to say that the new IPS version has solved essentially all of these problems. The image and resolution is MUCH sharper, the viewing angles are respectable, and the color accuracy is workable. I can't speak for those that need custom color profiles, but I am able to do color work in my illustrations and comics using my predefined color palettes with no issues. The screen could be brighter, but I assume the brightness is a power limitation of the USB cable connection to provide sufficient power for a truly bright screen. I’m also happy to see there was little to no parallax effect when drawing.
The 1280x800px screen is about 2" to 3" too small to really make this a killer device. I would love to see a 12" or 13" version of this tablet in a 4:3 aspect ration instead of 16:9, so I didn't feel so cramped when I had all of my Photoshop tools and menus on the screen. Even compared to a full sized iPad, the 16x9 aspect ration makes the usable space feel minimal.
The MVP10UHD+IPS comes with a full sized stylus, comparably sized to a Wacom Cintiq or Intuos stylus. It’s glossy plastic, but has a rubber grip surrounding the two rocker switches. These switches can be programmed to perform right or left clicks and a few other predefined commands, but are not user assignable to any keyboard presses or macros. The stylus is battery powered, but the battery is said to last for 4 months. In the several months I was testing the unit, I never had to replace the battery. There is no eraser tip on the opposite end of the stylus, as this feature still seems to be a Wacom exclusive. It comes with a hard plastic tip and a couple of extra replacement tips.
Cursor tracking, lag, overall responsiveness are all on par with your typical Wacom tablet product. More accurately, they are identical to every Yiynova tablet I’ve ever used (or any other tablet that uses UC Logic internal hardware, such as Huion made tablets). If you are used to Wacom products, there is a difference in “feel” but not function. You will notice that the pressure curve is looser than expected, even after adjusting the brush firmness in the drivers. You blow past the first 50% of the pressure curve with little to no applied pressure, then the real variation is in the upper half of the curve. The specs claim 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, but that number is rather arbitrary when there seems to be a discrepancy between the settings you choose in the drivers and the actual performance of the device. It takes some getting used to, but didn’t impair my ability to get a decent range or brush stroke widths with varying pen pressure.
An unexpected and positive feature of the MVP10uHD+IPS was the dual tablet mode. With the power switch in the “on” position, it functions as a tablet monitor. With the switch in the “off” position, it functions as a stand drawing tablet where you draw on the blank screen and view your work on your laptop or computer monitor. I found this useful for color work since my laptop screen was a little bigger and I could see more of my image at once.
The 8 hotkeys are great for speeding up your workflow. They are user assignable to basically any key or key combination you could think of. There is, however, some difficulty in setting them up. The hot keys are not "in numerical order" in the drivers. Going down the side of the device, from top to bottom, the keys are actually labeled 7,1,2,5,6,4,3,8 as far as the drivers and set up software are concerned. This means if you are in the drivers and you tell it to make button 1 perform an “undo,” you are actually assigning this function to the second button from the top. This issue is further complicated by the fact that the buttons are permanently labeled with little graphics of what they expect you to use them for (zoom in, zoom out, enter, etc.). I actually ran a strip of white electrical tape down the device next to the buttons so I could label their number and their intended function with a Sharpie.
There's also a driver issue that after you press a hotkey, you lose stylus connectivity for a half a second or longer. If you are someone like me who uses "space" and "undo" constantly while drawing, this requires a bit of an adjustment. I usually have to pick the stylus up from the monitor while pressing a hotkey to negate this effect. Yiynova confirmed both of these driver issues to me and said they hoped to fix them in a future release. Since I only tested on a Mac, I do not know if these issues exist when using the tablet on a PC.
The placement of the hotkeys at the very edge of the case was a bit of an issue for me. Holding the tablet in my left hand meant my thumb naturally fell about a half inch to the right of the buttons. I had to strain to both hold the tablet and keep my thumb above the buttons. After an hour or so, this caused some fatigue in my left hand.
I didn’t care for the included draw string carry bag. It's not form fitting, and the material is very rough to the touch. I replaced it with a neoprene generic tablet zip case with a pocket on the front to hold the stylus and cable. It had more padding, and storage and it holds the device much more securely. I paid about $20 for it.
In order to fit the tablet into the new case, I had to remove the stylus holder from the right side. It seemed like an unnecessary and bulky protrusion at first, but once I removed it I missed having somewhere easy and convenient to store the stylus.
Since the device is USB powered there’s no power brick required. This is a big plus for portability. Everything needed to use this tablet (the tablet itself, the stylus and the USB Y cable) fit in the iPad sized carrying case I bought.
If you are a traveling digital artist and you need a set up for working in a hotel, an airplane or a coffee shop (and you don't want to put up $1000-$2500 for a Surface Pro 3 or a Cintiq Companion... ESPECIALLY if you are a Mac user like me), it's hard to argue with the utility and capability of the MVP10UHD+IPS. I take my 11" Macbook pro and this tablet in a tiny bag and I can literally do my job from anywhere in the world. There is certainly room for improvement, but if you need a light, portable, very functional tablet monitor for digital art WITH MINIMAL CABLES, I can definitely recommend this tablet. When it’s available (it is almost always sold out on Amazon), it sells for $399.
I would note that if you are just looking for a digital tablet monitor for art and you DO NOT intend to travel, I do not consider this a stepping stone towards larger tablet monitors. Save your money for a Yiynova 19" or 22" stationary model. The MVP10uHD+IPS really only makes sense for the traveling artist, or someone that is more comfortable working in their lap as opposed to a desk.
Read more reviews at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KRWOJF8?tag=artprdus-20