Big thanks to Gaomon for sending over the M106K Pro for this review. Gaomon makes pen tablets and pen displays for digital artists.
I've reviewed the previous model Gaomon M106K in 2017. This new Pro model has several improvements, namely increase of pressure sensitivity to 8,192 levels, it now has tilt sensitivity, the battery-less pen no longer requires charging and it supports Android.
Retail price, at the time of this review, is less than US $60 on AliExpress, with free shipping to selected countries.
Just to give you the bottom line straightaway, the tablet performs well with all the drawing apps I've tested on Mac and Windows. Pressure and tilt sensitivity works consistently and predictably.
Packaging design is simple.
These are all the accessories included:
- Warranty manual
- Quickstart guide
- Card with driver download link location
- Pen case
- Pen nib case
- microUSB to USB-A adaptor
- USB-C to USB-A adaptor
- Artist glove
- Carrying case
- 8 replacement nibs and nib remover
- Data cable for tablet (mini USB to USB-A)
The pen case and accessory carrying case are made of some thick felt material.
These eight replacement pen nibs should last you for a long time.
This tablet supports Android. These are the connecting adaptors provided to connect to Android phones or tablets using microUSB or USB C.
The pen is comfortable to hold with its large rubber grip. It's lightweight and has a solid feel to it.
The two side buttons can be customised to various mouse clicks or keyboard shortcuts.
The carrying case for the tablet is made of soft cloth and comes with draw strings.
Design of the tablet looks clean and simple. The design is similar to the previous M106K model actually.
The tablet is thin. Top and bottom of the tablet are curved while the sides have angular edges.
Build quality is solid.
There's a little cloth pen holder on the side of the tablet.
The 12 physical shortcut buttons have firm feedback, and can be customised to any keyboard shortcuts.
There are 16 soft keys for additional keyboard shortcuts. These can be accessed by tapping on the numbers.
On the back are four rubber feet to prevent the tablet for sliding around on the table.
If you're left handed, you can change the orientation of the tablet with the driver. The L-shaped data cable will be pointing downwards because the mini-USB port can't be reversed like USB-C.
The drivers I've tested are Windows driver v188.8.131.527_beta (9 June 2020) and Mac driver v184.108.40.206311 (27 May 2020). I did not experience any glitches.
Windows and Mac drivers have similar functionality except with Windows driver there's the additional Windows Ink feature.
The driver will show that it's connected when there's a tablet connected.
Pressure sensitivity is changed with the slider. You can also use the tablet as in mouse mode, aka pushing the cursor around.
This is where you can customise the 12 Express Keys or 16 Soft Keys. You can also choose not to use them but switching the functionality off.
You can enter your own keyboard shortcuts for the shortcut buttons. Display Switch functionality is there for those who use multiple monitors.
Mapping allows you to map a portion of the tablet to your display. It should be left as default unless you're using a monitor with unusual aspect ratio.
Left handed users can change the orientation here.
Driver installation with Mac OS 10.14 or newer is not as straightforward as on Windows. After installation, when you click on the driver, this dialogue box may pop up. You're to open Mac OS System Preferences and give permission to the driver to work.
Just go to Security & Privacy - Privacy - Accessibility, and add TabletDriverAgent and Gaomon Tablet (located in Applications folder).
If you don't see TabletDriverAgent, uninstall the driver and try to click around the Mac driver.
Drawing performance is excellent. Pressure and tilt sensitivity works well and predictably with the various drawing software that I've tested on Windows and Mac.
Because the drawing performance is similar on Mac and Windows, I'm just showing the drawing performance on Windows below.
Lines taper nicely, pressure transition between thin and thick is smooth, and the pen is able to maintain consistent pressure when needed.
You can expect the same sort of performance with other drawing apps.
Pressure sensitivity works fine with Adobe Illustrator CC.
Performance on Android devices varies depending on the device.
Shown above is the Samsung Tab S6. The whole surface area of the Gaomon tablet is mapped to that squarish area on the Samsung tablet. So basically, a wide drawing area is mapped to a less wide area which means the proportion is off. Also note that the are to the right side of the square is cannot be accessed.
The horizontal surface area of the Gaomon tablet is now mapped to the vertical orientation fo the Samsung tablet. Again, the proportion is off.
Surprisingly, the proportion is 1:1 with my XiaoMi Mi Max 2 phone. It's a vertical drawing area mapped to the vertical format phone.
There's no driver for Android so you won't be able to change any settings, eg you can't change the mapping area or pressure sensitivity.
Overall drawing performance is excellent with the various drawing apps I've tested on Windows and MacOS. For US $60, the lowest price I was able to find on AliExpress, it's really worth the money. If you are working with Windows and MacOS, go ahead.
I won't recommend getting this primarily for working with Android because the performance varies with Android devices.
Prices will vary depending on promotion and seller. Amazon prices are much higher than AliExpress because of higher seller fees.
Official website: https://www.gaomon.net/store/