This review unit is sponsored by Parblo.
The Parblo A610 Pro is a 10 x 6.25 inch graphics drawing tablet from Parblo, a company that makes graphic tablets and pen displays.
Main selling features here are the 8 physical shortcut buttons, scroll wheel, 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and the ability to work with Android devices.
These are all things included in the box:
- USB type A cable
- Quick start guide
- Cleaning cloth
- Pen stand with 8 replacement nibs
- USB-A to USB-C adapter
- USB-A to microUSB adapter
- Artist glove
The data cable has USB-A on one side, and USB-C on the other.
These are the USB adapters for microUSB and USB-C that are used by Android phones.
Build quality for the pen and stand is solid and has a good weight to it. The pen stand allows the pen to rest vertically or horizontal.
The pen has a huge matte hard surface rubber grip that's comfortable to hold. It's not powered by battery so no charging required.
There are two side buttons on the pen that are customisable to different shortcuts using the driver. Button clicks are firm.
The pen supports up to 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity but there's no tilt sensitivity.
The 8 replacement nibs are hidden inside the pen stand.
The nib remover is beneath the pen stand.
The 10 x 6.25 inch active area is a good size to work with when drawing. That's the size I usually recommend regardless of the monitor size you pair with.
Aspect ratio is actually 16:10 instead of the more common monitor 16:9. You can choose to map the active area to your monitor aspect ratio. 16:10 doesn't differ too much from 16:9 so the extra skew is not that noticeable.
On the back are four rubber feet that are effective at preventing slipping.
There are eight physical shortcut buttons, aka Express Keys, which are customisable to specific keyboard shortcuts or pre-defined functions. The buttons are firm and have audible clicks and feedback.
The scroll wheel comes with a button in the centre that allows the functionality of the scroll to be changed. I typically have the scroll wheel change brush size. More functions can be additionally assigned to the wheel.
The tablet is thin and overall design looks clean and sleek. The matte drawing surface feels nice.
No driver disc is included so you've to download it from Parblo's website.
The Mac driver I'm using here is version 2.1.5. The driver works perfectly. The only issue is driver installation on MacOS may not be straightforward if you're using MacOS Mojave 10.14 or newer.
With MacOS 10.14 or newer, you may see this dialog box. Basically, besides installing the driver, you also need to give permissions to the driver so that it can work. Otherwise you can see the cursor, but the cursor won't move.
Driver installation on Windows is straightfoward.
Functionality of the Mac and Windows drivers is similar, except on Windows there's this extra Windows INK feature which you may have to turn on or off if your pen pressure is not working right.
Here's where you can customise the pen's side buttons to various mouse clicks or keyboard shortcuts. Pressure curve can be manual adjusted by moving the curve. If you're left-handed user, you can change the orientation of the tablet here.
The active area aspect ratio is 16:10. If you want to match it to your 16:9 monitor, you can do so here.
Here's where you can customise the Express Keys.
These are the pre-defined functions for the Express Keys. To use a specific keyboard shortcut, just click "Reset Customer Defined".
You can assign the buttons to launch applications, keyboard shortcuts, open webpages and mouse clicks. To assign keyboard shortcuts, you just enter the keys you want, and save.
These are additional pre-defined functions you can choose for the Express Keys. Many of those functions are specific to Photoshop functions and tools. If you use dual displays, you'll definitely need Display Switch.
Drawing performance on Mac and Windows
Overall drawing performance is fantastic. I did not notice any issues. The drivers I've tested are Windows driver 1.6.1 and Mac driver 2.1.5.
Pressure sensitivity works well. Pen is accurate. Lines taper and turn smoothly, and transition from various thickness is smooth. Maintaining consistent pressure is also easy so there's no line thickness wobble. In short, the lines come out just the way I expect them to. Performance is consistent and predictable.
There's no tilt sensitivity though.
Photoshop (Win) has input lag. The animation of the line appearing is choppy and there's a gap trailing behind the pen tip while drawing. It's not as noticeable when drawing short strokes. Photoshop (Mac) by comparison has much smoother performance. Pressure sensitivity also did not work by default and you have to turn on Windows Ink to get it working. Photoshop (Win) is the only software with (these) issues among all the drawing apps I've tested on Mac and Windows.
Illustrator CC 2020 (Mac)
Drawing performance on Android
No driver is needed for the tablet to work with Android devices. However, not all Android devices may show the cursor. I've tried the tablet on my XiaoMi Mi Max 2 phone and Samsung Tab S6 tablet and both showed cursors.
When used with Android devices, it's best that both the device and the tablet are in portrait format.
To work in landscape orientation, you have to lock the orientation before you rotate the Android device. Then rotate the tablet to horizontal position to match. The icons on the Android device will not be rotated and will point to the side, but the cursor will go exactly where the pen goes on the tablet.
If you don't lock the orientation before you rotate the Android device to landscape, the icons will rotate properly, but the orientation within the tablet will also rotate. This means for the cursor to track in the correct direction, the Android device is horizontal, but the tablet has to be vertical, and part of the active area is cropped off too.
This is confusing yes, so it's best to use the tablet with Android devices in both in portrait orientation.
The other downside is pressure sensitivity does not work well. For the Android devices I used, there's a tendency to draw thick lines. Thin lines are extremely difficult to draw. Even if you apply light pressure, lines will be thick. You have to apply the lightest of the lightest pressure to get thin lines. It's not easy.
While you can use the tablet to draw on Android devices, just know that pressure sensitivity does not work well.
Overall, it's a well built and nice looking tablet that has fantastic drawing performance on Mac and Windows, except for the lack of responsiveness on Photoshop (Win). I won't recommend this for drawing on Android unless you don't mind the lack of pressure sensitivity, and there's the orientation issue.
Where to buy
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