Big thanks to Huion for providing the Kamvas 22 Plus for this review. A few disclaimers first. I do not need to return the unit but this is not a paid review. I've featured many Huion products on my blog over the past few years.
Huion now has six 22-inch pen displays they are currently selling, namely:
- Kamvas 22 - US $449
- Kamvas 22 Plus - $549
- Kamvas Pro 22 (2019) - $799
- Kamvas Pro 22 (review) - $749
- GT-220 V2 - $599
- GT-221 Pro - $699
Yep, it's starting to get a bit confusing. Anyway, the GT series are the older pen displays. The recent pen displays come under the Kamvas series. The Pro models mentioned above have physical shortcut buttons while the new Kamvas 22 series don't.
Below are the differences between the Kamvas 22 and Kamvas 22 Plus.
|Kamvas 22||Kamvas 22 Plus|
|Price||US $449||US $549|
|Colour support||120% sRGB, 92% AdobeRGB||140% sRGB, 104% AdobeRGB|
|Drawing surface||Matte screen protector||Matte glass, laminated display|
|Display type||IPS LCD||IPS LCD with quantum dot technology|
|Other stuff||USB-C cable included|
Let me give you the bottom line up front. The better model is the Kamvas 22 Plus, the one that's $100 more. It has good colour accuracy (almost 100% AdobeRGB) and comes with a matte glass laminated display. The quality of this display is even better compared to the $899 Kamvas Pro 24.
Read on to find out just how good this pen display is.
Everything's well packed in the box.
The pen display is packed in this large zipped bag.
There's a protective plastic film that needs to be removed.
These are all the items included.
Micro fiber cleaning cloth, quick start guide, card with links to where you can download the driver, artist glove, thank you card with contact details for Huion support and customer service.
Power cable and brick. You get to choose the plug if you buy from Huion's online store.
The 3-in-1 cable. The USB-C goes to the pen display. HDMI and USB goes to the computer. The last one's for power.
Pen and stand.
The Huion PW517 pen supports tilt and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. The design looks good. Build quality is solid and it has a nice weight. It's not powered by battery so no charging required.
It's comfortable to hold with its large rubber grip. The two side buttons are customisable to mouse or keyboard shortcuts.
The pen can rest on the stand horizontally or vertically.
Open the pen stand and you'll find 10 replacement nibs and the nib remover.
Four screws and an allen key screw driver are included to let you fix on the display stand. You can also VESA mount the display. The VESA measurements are 7.5 x 7.5cm.
The build quality is solid. It definitely feels like a premium product.
It's just slightly thicker than my laptop.
Design on the back is quite clean. There are vent holes on the sides.
There are vents at the top too.
Buttons for the OSD are located at the top right.
Things you change with the OSD menus are backlight, brightness, contrast, colour temperature, gamma, hue and saturation.
The body is made of plastic with matte texture surface. Edges on the back are all rounded off.
The stand is very easy to screw on. Just make sure the latch is at the top.
This is the stand's lowest position.
This is a more comfortable drawing angle.
This is the most upright position but the display will not be perpendicular to the table.
The stand is very stand. The rubber feet of the stand and the two rubber feet of the display are in contact with the table at all times with all positions.
When I first powered on the pen display, I was wowed. I knew instantly the visual quality of this display is better compared to the Kamvas 24 Pro.
The colours look good out of the box. I colour calibrated the unit and measured 96% sRGB, 94% NTSC, 97% aRGB and 88% P3. Colour accuracy is very good. This can be considered an AdobeRGB display. The display uses quantum dot technology, the same technology used by Samsung to make their QLED monitors.
I measured a maximum brightness of 314 nits, significantly higher compared to the 220 nits Huion has listed. I could run the display at 60% and get 200 nits.
Resolution is just 1080P, but it's still a very usable resolution.
Viewing angles are fantastic. Colours don't shift when display is viewed from the side.
This laminated display has absolutely no gap between the line/cursor and the pen tip. The Kamvas Pro 24 is supposed to be a laminated display but there's still a tiny gap if you look for it.
If you happen to be using an IPS LCD monitor that has a matte display, you'll notice the pixels look like they are on the display. Now imagine you can draw on that monitor. That's the Kamvas 22 Pro.
The matte glass surface is also similar to the matte surface you see on LCD monitors. There is none of the visual artifacts or speckled coating you get with matte screen protectors. Even the Kamvas Pro 24's matte glass has those visual artifacts.
The result is everything looks sharp. Even though pixelation is quite noticeable since it's a 1080P display, but those individual pixels are so sharp!
The matte glass here is smoother than the matte glass on the Kamvas Pro 24. Maybe that's why there's less to no visual artifacts. So when drawing, the pen glides along more easily compared to the more tactile experience you'll get with the Kamvas Pro 24.
The anti-glare works quite well.
There's no glare even if there's a strong light source on the side when you're viewing the display from the front.
This is the holy grail of laminated displays for drawing. This is the best laminated display that I've seen on a pen display. This is even better compared to the laminated display of the iPad Pro because that's glossy and this is not.
The display also does not produce much heat so you can draw comfortably for long periods of time.
Driver functionality for Mac and Windows is similar except there's the Windows Ink feature which you may have to turn on or off if pressure is not working as expected.
I've tested both Mac and Windows driver and did not experience any glitches.
There are no physical shortcut buttons to configure. I prefer to use my keyboard for shortcuts so that's not a loss for me.
Pressure sensitivity can be adjusted by moving the pressure curve with the two control dots for more precision. Driver on Mac only has one control dot for adjusting the pressure curve.
The two side buttons on the pen are customisable. I have one button set to Switch Display because I'm using dual screens.
If for some reason the cursor is not directly beneath the pen tip, you can calibrate it here.
Drawing experience is excellent.
Lines are able to taper nice and gradually.
Line transition from thin to thick is smooth. Pressure sensitivity works great.
The pen is also able to maintain consistent pressure for a consistent line thickness.
Initial activation force is minimal. The pen is very sensitive and drawing thin lines with light pressure is easy. The sensitivity at low pressure is even better compared to the Kamvas Pro 24 which requires you to put in slightly more pressure to get better results.
The drawing experience is good with on both Mac and Windows with the various drawing software I've tested, namely Photoshop, Illustrator, Infinity Photo, Infinity Designer, Clip Studio Paint, Medibang Paint Pro and Krita.
Krita. Tilt works.
If you use an Android device that can output video signal with USB-C, you can connect it to the Kamvas 22 or Kamvas 22 Plus. The tablet I've used in the photo is the Samsung Tab S6 which has Samsung DeX desktop mode so I was able to get dual screen setup, and the desktop fills the whole pen display.
Shown above is the tablet running in mirror mode so there are black bars on the left and right on the pen display.
The drawing app above is Concepts which supports tilt and pressure sensitivity but pressure doesn't work.
If you use mirror mode with Android, you can draw on the display, and use your other hand on the Android device for navigating. This is quite convenient.
However, in Samsung DeX mode, you won't be able to use fingers for navigation because the drawing app only appears on the Huion display.
Pressure sensitivity support is a hit and miss with Android apps. Pressure sensitivity works well with Medibang Paint, works alright with Artflow, not that great with Infinite Painter, and does not work with Concepts and Autodesk Sketchbook.
The Huion Kamvas 22 Plus is one of the best pen displays I've ever used.
The drawing performance is fantastic. It works well with drawing apps on both Mac and Windows. I did not experience any major glitches with the drivers.
The main selling point here is the true laminated display with good colour accuracy and brightness. True as it there really is no gap between the line/cursor and the pen tip. I am very surprised this display is not used for the Kamvas Pro 24 which is $400 more expensive.
This laminated display is even better than the iPad Pro's because it's matte. So now it feels as if you're drawing on a 21.5-inch iPad Pro. Drawing experience is wonderful.
Downsides. There are no physical shortcut buttons but it's not a loss for me since I prefer to use keyboard for shortcuts. Maybe it would be useful to be able to use a generic USB-C cable to power the pen display instead of the 3-to-1 cable provided. And support for drawing apps on Android is a mixed bag.
Price for the Kamvas 22 is US $449 and Kamvas 22 Plus is $549. Both come with one year warranty with the option to purchase additional warranty if you buy from Huion online store.
The Kamvas 22 non-Plus doesn't use quantum dot, and I don't have a unit to test, so I can't comment on the image quality of that display. And that model does not have a laminated display. So I do feel it's worth the extra $100 to get the laminated display.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good design
+ Good build quality
+ 21.5-inch display is massive to draw on
+ Good colour accuracy. 97% AdobeRGB measured
+ Maximum brightness of 314 nits measured
+ Matte drawing surface has nice texture to draw on
+ Laminated display with no gap between pen and cursor
+ Matte drawing surface is glass and not a screen protector
+ 10 replacement nibs included
+ Pen does not require charging
+ Pen supports tilt and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Initial activation force is mininal
+ Stand can be deployed at various angles.
+ Stand is stable at all angles.
+ Can be VESA mounted (7.5cm)
+ Does not produce much heat
+ Excellent drawing performance
+ No major glitches with drawing software on both Mac and Windows
- No physical shortcut buttons
- Display has to be powered by the 3-to-1 cable provided. Can't use other USB-C cable for power.
- Support for drawing apps on Android is a mixed bag.
The pen displays will go on sale from 10 August 2020. You can get them on Amazon or from Huion's web store. Direct links (affiliate) below: