The Gaomon M106K joins the rank of other budget tablets that I've reviewed over the years. Interestingly, when I looked at the Amazon product page, there are two versions, one for Windows only (cheaper), and the other is for Mac and Windows (a few dollars more). If you're a Mac user, don't get the wrong one. The unit that I'm reviewing is the Mac/Windows unit.
This is the simple packaging box that holds the tablet.
The things included are the tablet, pen with cap, pouch with nib remover and 4 replacement nibs, and not shown in the photo are two cables. There's no driver disc included so you have download from Gaomon's website.
The small pouch uses a click-on button for closing. It's made of some fabric canvas.
That's the rechargeable pen and cap. The build quality feel sturdy. It has a nice weight (14g). The grip is a hard matte surface and holds well in hand, and does not attract dust.
Since the pen is battery powered, it needs to be charged and the charging port is right at the back. Battery life is rated at 350 hours, which is like 14 days of non-stop drawing. Charging is quite fast, like half to an hour. If you run out of battery, you can quickly charge for 15 minutes to get some power back. The power saving mode kicks into effect when the pen is inactive for 3 minutes.
The pen supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. That looks like the standard nowadays. The two buttons on the pen can be customised through the driver. The cap unfortunately cannot be posted on the back.
The USB cable on the left is used to connect the tablet to the computer. The one on the right is for charging the pen.
Build quality of the tablet is decent. It feels solid, doesn't flex much. Quality is quite similar to many other budget drawing tablets I've reviewed. Behind the tablet are 4 large rubber feet to prevent it from sliding around on table. On the side is a clothed loop for holding the pen.
The tablet comes with 12 physical shortcut buttons, all customisable through the driver.
Additionally, there are also 16 customisable soft keys at the top of the 10 x 6.25 inch drawing area. For those who like lots of shortcut buttons, this could be the tablet for you. The only competitor, that I can think of now, that has this many shortcut keys is the New Huion 1060 Plus.
The drawing surface is the smooth non-glossy type, similar to the surface you see on Wacom tablets. Drawing on it with the pen feels good. There's right amount of friction and control.
This is where you can change the pressure sensitivity of the pen.
You can assign your own keyboard shortcuts to the tablet buttons.
The driver looks suspiciously similar to other drivers I've seen from other brands. In this case, even the non-translated Chinese words and layout of the driver settings are similar to that from the Huion G10T. These tablet manufacturers probably use the same tablet drivers with slight modifications.
You can change the mapping here. The 10 x 6.25 inch working area maps perfecting to a 16:9 monitor. If you're a left handed user, you can change the tablet's orientation here.
Overall drawing performance is good. Pressure sensitivity works. Strokes transition smoothly. There's little to no lag. I only had issues with Illustrator CS5 (Mac) where the tablet refuses to work. All other Mac software I've tried works well.
I did not manage to test this on a Windows computer because I don't have one at home.
Strokes in Photoshop CS5 (Mac) are smooth and they taper nicely.
With Illustrator CS5 (Mac), I could move the cursor around but when I draw with the pen, nothing comes out. Or when it does, it's usually one dot or stroke out of many that I've tried.
Medibang Paint Pro (Mac) works very well, as usual.
No issues with Mischief (Mac) too.
Tayasui Sketches Pro (Mac) works fine.
Works well with Krita (Mac) too.
Yeah, the Gaomon M106K graphics tablet performs well when it comes to drawing, except when used with Illustrator CS5 (Mac). It could be an issue with the app or the driver but I've no way to find out.
The build quality is fine, no different from other budget graphics tablet. It's solid and looks durable enough.
For those who like physical shortcut buttons, there are 12 here, in addition to 16 soft keys, so that's really convenient.
Overall, the Gaomon M106K is very competitive with other graphics tablet in terms of pricing and features.
By the way, there's a promotion running on Amazon (all) until end of September. Just use the coupon code GAOMONMK to get 30% off the Win & Mac version of the tablet.