This review was contributed by Jose Cua
Hi folks! Jose here with yet another tablet monitor review. Huion emailed me a few months ago about a new line of tablets they were going to release. What they were sending me was the Huion Kamvas Pro 22, and when they highlighted its key specs I could not be more excited to receive it! I’ve always wanted to try their 22” line and was very excited to test the tablet. Disclaimer -- as with all my other reviews this is completely unbiased and honest from an artist perspective.
The Huion Kamvas Pro 22 is part of an upgraded line of tablets from the Kamvas series. The Kamvas Pro 22 is the upgraded version of Huion Kamvas GT-221 Pro. While their appearance and some specs may look the same, there are some key upgrades to the device. Starting with the similarities, both come in a Full HD 1920 x 1080 display, a 178° viewing angle and supports 100% sRGB color gamut. They both come with 10 customizable hotkeys and a touch bar on each side. The bundled stand seems like the same one as well.
The key upgrades are in the screen and the pen technology. The screen is now made of anti-glare etched glass, which reduces the need to paste your own matte screen protector. The pen technology has been revamped as well. The new pen has the same 8192 levels of pressure and 5080LPI, but the Report Rate Speed (RPS) has been upgraded from 233 to 266 which apparently is the highest in the industry so far. The pen is now also battery free, and has tilt capability as well (will elaborate more in the detailed review below) which is a huge deal in both aspects. Based on the months that I have tested the device it performed really well and has a nice build quality. These combination of specs and features bridge the gap closer to top of the line Cintiqs, making this device one of the best Wacom alternatives I have tested to date. And for the price of $900.99 USD on Amazon (at the time of this review), this is just a steal of a deal!
Here's what came in the box.
Build quality felt great. Love the clean and sleek look to the monitor. It has a nice matte black frosted texture which doesn’t stick to the touch or retain fingerprints. While the pen has 20 hotkeys total, only 10 are customiseable. The left side buttons and slider are customisable in the settings app and the buttons in the right side will simply mirror what is mapped on the left. This is not really an issue as I feel we will only need one side while the other arm holds the pen at all times. 10 keys on each side is more than sufficient to map your favorite shortcut keys so they are always within reach. The sliding bars felt great too when mapped to increase brush size or zoom inside of Photoshop. Although I don’t use shortcut keys much, I did test them for a while and they had a nice feedback with each press.
The Kamvas Pro 22 comes with an adjustable stand which I believe is the same as the stands used in Kamvas line and other Cintiq alternatives. The stand can be set to a preferred 20-80 degrees. It's really sturdy, easy to adjust, and really locks into place. These are a lot better quality and are much more usable than the ones provided by the Wacom MobileStudio Pro’s or the Cintiq Companions which offer very limited angles.
HDMI, DVI, VGA, AC adaptor, and USB ports are on the right side of the tablet (this is a good location because if you are using the stand the cables will not be in the way of you setting it at the lowest angle)
Display Setting buttons are located at the top of the monitor for ease of access. There are some nice presets to adjust the temperature between cool, warm on the fly.
Thankfully the tablet is Vesa compatible so I am able to mount it on a monitor arm as a preferred setup. The tablet weights 14.9lbs or 6.75kg which is light enough to use with the Ergotron LX.
Like its predecessor the Huion Kamvas Pro 22 comes with a 21.5 inch IPS panel and a full HD display resolution of 1920 x 1080. The color gamuts are labelled differently but they are equivalent to the past model an sRGB color gamut of 100%. I do not own a color calibrator to test this but just by looking at it Huion has always delivered nice screens even in their previous models and the colors do look pretty good and are comparable to my dell screen.
The glass has been upgraded to a anti-glare etched glass which is great! With previous devices I’ve tested I’ve always found the need to buy and paste on a matte screen protector to reduce glare and improve the texture of the drawing surface. But with the Kamvas Pro 22 I didn’t really find the need to do so anymore. The new screen greatly reduces glare, and allows for a smooth and satisfying feel when gliding your hand around while using the pen. Its still not as paper-like as if you would attach your own matte screen protector but it feels a lot smoother and less sticky than a glass iPadscreen. Its very comparable to my old Cintiq 24hd which also uses etched glass. Overall its a pretty solid screen with some welcome upgrades from the older version.
The pen comes with 8192 levels of pressure which seems to be the new standard for tablets and tablet monitors. The highlight in this new pen is the fact that it is now battery-free. This is a huge deal, as I believe it is one of the few large format tablet monitors to finally have this (there is also the parblo Coast 22 but I wasn’t able to test it for long due to a hardware fault). Say goodbye to stopping to charge your pen, and say hello to endless hours of painting and drawing! It just makes the pen a lot more practical to work with overall.
It has a low initial activation force which is great! Much better than a Surface Pro, and almost as close as the Wacom ones. Jitter was also minimal in most apps.
The pen has the usual two customisable buttons which can be set to a variety of functions like (switch screen, right click, middle click, or even a combination of hotkeys). The buttons have a good clicky feel when pressing them compared to some other tablet monitors I have tried. It comes with with a silicone grip which provides a good amount of comfort when gripping the pen.
The pen comes with an improved sensing height of 12mm compared to 10mm of the previous model which allows you to hover your pen cursor from a further distance. Parallax between the pen and the screen is minimal and can be improved using the calibration settings.
Another surprise is tilt support! This was not originally advertised or included in the drivers but Huion contacted me if I wanted test their beta firmware that activates a tilt in the Pen. I was skeptical at first but it performs as they described and comparably to the Wacom line. I am not sure when the official release for this feature will be but keep in mind that it is in the works!
*If you want to upgrade your firmware and use the tilt recognition function, please contact Huion's customer service team at email@example.com for more instructions.
As with most tablet monitors the Kamvas Pro 22 comes with a pen holder which stores all your extra nibs (10x in total) and a metal nib clip ease the process. They’ve decided to change things up a bit and give it a donut-like shape rather than the traditional cones that Wacom and other alternatives have been using. It holds the pen both horizontally and vertically. It also has a good grip underneath which keeps it in place.
App Line tests
Here are some line tests in different apps.
Photoshop worked well throughout the test. Not much jittering and smooth transitions from light to hard pressure as well.
Sketchbook Pro worked well as too. Again like my previous tests there is some tapering but I think it is due to the brush setting not the tablet.
The tablet performed just as well in Medibang, not much jittering but there were some jumps in pressure when trying to achieve transparent to opaque compared to Photoshop.
It worked well with Clip Studio, there were some pressure differences with using photoshop but I think that might be due to the app pressure settings.
The tablet performed well in Paint Tool Sai. Lines and transitions came out smooth.
There were some jumps in pressure when working with Krita, maybe it is in the settings but I have not much experience working with this program.
I originally did this sketch on my iPadbut I repainted it using the Huion for testing purposes. Painting felt good without any need for an external pressure curve editor like Lazy Nezumi as with the previous Kamvas GT 191 I had tested previously.
Below's was a sculpt I did from start to finish on the Kamvas Pro 22. Love sculpting on this screen. There were a few glitches in Zbrush but that was solved by updating to the latest drivers.
All in all after months of testing, I feel the Kamvas Pro 22 is a very solid tablet. I’ve always felt that Huion is always leading the pack when it comes to Wacom alternatives. And with this new device they delivered yet again. The pen being the most significant upgrade of all really does help to bridge the gap closer to the top of the line Wacom Cintiqs for those who are budget conscious.
Priced at US $899.00 it is on the higher end compared to alternatives out there but you are paying for better quality and more future proofing when it comes to the technology. In the end you are still paying US $600 less for a much smaller 16 inch Cintiq Pro which gives it really good value for the price. Here are more specs for comparison
Kamvas Pro 22 specs
- Price - $899.00
- Screen - 21.5”
- Resolution - 1920 x 1080
- Anti Glare Screen
- 100% sRGB
- Battery-free Pen
- 8192 levels of pressure
- Stand set to 20-80 degrees
- Non-Touch Screen
- 10 customizable hotkeys
Cintiq pro 16 specs
- Price - $1,496.76
- Screen - 16”
- Resolution - 3840 x 2160
- Anti Glare Screen
- 72% NTSC/94% Adobe RGB
- Battery-free Pen
- 8192 levels of pressure
- Stand set to 20 degrees
- Touch Screen
- No custom hotkeys
Here are a summary of the pros and cons for the Kamvas Pro 22
+ Finally a Battery-free Pen!!!
+ 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Improved latency of 266pps
+ Jitter is non existent or very little
+ Tilt capable pen! through software update (available to public in near future)
+ Low initial activation force (not as low as a Cintiq but much better than a Surface pro)
+ Plenty of screen real estate (displays all UI elements with minimal clutter)
+ Nice improvements to Screen Texture for Drawing
+ Lots of customizable hotkeys, and a very useful sliding bar
+ Nice build quality
+ Good quality stand
+ Vesa Compatible for monitor arm
+ Easy to setup and install drivers
+ Robust settings app (keystroke as well as mouse button mapping)
+ Stand easily detached if you would like to use a monitor arm
+ IPS panel with good viewing angles
+ Cables connect at the sides (much better than middle bottom area, in some models)
+ Works well with Photoshop, Zbrush
+ Price (Much cheaper than smaller cintiq 16 pro)
- Parallax is quite evident (but still bearable)
- Custom hotkeys on both sides are mirrored rather than individually set
- Pressure jumps in Krita (will most likely be fixed in driver update)
You can find the Huion Kamvas 22 Pro on Amazon and Huion's web store. Direct inks (affiliate) below: