Review: Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 pen display

First of all, big thanks to Huion for providing KAMVAS Pro 16 and KAMVAS 16 review units so that I'm able to share with you guys the drawing performance and functionality of these pen displays.

The Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 and KAMVAS 16 join the huge family of Huion pen displays currently available. These are technically 15.6 inches and they are considered mid size pen displays. Other sizes available range from 12 to 22 inches.

This review will focus on the KAMVAS Pro 16 while I have another review that focus on the KAMVAS 16.


KAMVAS Pro 16 design looks clean and simple with rounded corners and beveled edges all around.


The screen comes with a protective plastic film pasted which has to be removed.


This is not a screen protector.


The actual screen is a matte surface screen with a nice textured surface to draw on.


There are 6 physical shortcut buttons and a touch strip.


The top button is for the power and the bottom is for the on-screen menu. So that leaves 6 shortcut buttons that you can configure. The buttons have a firm feedback to them when clicked.


This pen display is quite thin. It's just slightly thicker compared to my phone, and most certainly thinner compared to most laptops.


On the back there are two huge long strips of rubber for grip on the table. The matte surface full metal back is what contributes significantly to the premium feel and build quality of this product. I was actually quite surprised at this high level of build quality. Huion has definitely come a very long way since the days of making those somewhat generic looking pen displays.


A stand is not included but offered as an optional purchase on the ordering page. The stand cost US $30. For some reason, the KAMVAS 16 stand is only $20. That's $10 cheaper. It's the same stand but the price is different.

This stand is mostly metal with bits of plastic at certain parts where the hand would go.

I do recommend using a stand with the pen display because it's good for ergonomics. It doesn't have to be the Huion stand. It could be a laptop stand too. Having a stand improves ergonomics and makes it more comfortable to view the screen and draw on it. The alternative is to hunch over your table which is obviously not healthy.


These are the two big pieces of metal that you can rotate out to form the stand.


The highest angle is probably around 45 degrees.


This is the lowest angle.


Those metal pieces will slot into one of few slots on the base. This gives you slightly more adjustment to the angle of deployment.


These are all the paper-things included. There's the warranty card, driver download location card, manual, thank you card, stand deployment instructions and a sheet of stickers.


These are keyboard stickers for common functions.


An artist glove is provided, and a micro-fiber cleaning cloth for the display.


You can choose which head you want for the wall power plug on the ordering page.


This is the data and power connection cable. On one side there are the HDMI, power and USB type A. On the other side it's the USB-C which goes to the pen display.

This cable will connect to the power plug for power. Unlike some other pen displays, it seems like USB power is not enough to power this screen.


The pen included does not run on battery so no charging is required.


Build quality of the pen is decent. Weight is just right. It has a huge rubber grip that's comfortable to hold.


The pen and display support 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. There is also tilt support.


The pen stand included can be twisted open to reveal 10 replacement nibs and the metal nib remover.


The pen can be placed horizontally or vertical with the pen stand.

Screen

The screen for the KAMVAS Pro 16 is better than the KAMVAS 16 in many ways.


First, the sRGB support, as measured with a Spyder5Pro is 96% sRGB. I could already tell that the colour accuracy is quite good straight out of the box.

The brightness is also higher at 180+ nits vs the 150 nits on the KAMVAS 16.

Lastly, there is no gap between the glass drawing surface and the actual LCD screen beneath. So there's almost no parallax at all. When looking at the display, it really does seem like the image is on the surface, just like a typical PC monitors.

The only thing similar to the KAMVAS 16 is the matte texture surface screen is still as nice for drawing.

Driver

The Mac and Windows drivers I've used for this review are the ones from 24 June 2019.


If you're using Mac OS 10.14 Mojave, there are extra steps to the installation that you have to go through in order to get the pen display to work. Basically, you need to go into Mac OS System Preference to give permission to the Huion driver. If you don't do that, your cursor may not move, or it may move but you may not be able to click anything. The instructions to install the driver in Mac OS Mojave are provided on Huion's website.


The pressure sensitivity curve of the pen is controlled by the slider. The two side buttons can be customised here.


These are the available customisation available for the pen side buttons, physical shortcut buttons and the slider. Unfortunately at the time of this review, the Mac driver wasn't able to configure the slider, which defaults to scrolling up and down. Even after I've set the slider to change brush size, the slider will go back to scrolling. The Windows driver has no such problem.

So with the driver, you can input whatever keyboard shortcut you want. Those work well. If you're using dual monitors, you can set Switch Display to one of the buttons so that the cursor can jump from one display to another.


The KAMVAS Pro 16 actually has only 6 customisable physical shortcut buttons, less than the 14 from the KAMVAS 16. The top power button and the bottom display-menu button can't be customised.


For left handed users, this is where you can rotate the orientation 180 degrees. Monitor calibration is still available to remove any parallax.


There may be no gap between the glass and the actual LCD, but since the glass still has thickness, there's still that tiny bit of parallax especially when the cursor is close to the edge of the display.

Drawing performance

I've tested the pen display with both Mac and Windows version of Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity Photo, Medibang Paint Pro, Krita and Clip Studio Paint. Overall drawing performance is fantastic. Pressure and tilt sensitivity function predictably and consistently. Transition from thin to thick and back is smooth, curves turn smoothly, and lines taper gradually. I did not face any problems when it comes to drawing.


Photoshop (Mac) works great. Lines are smooth even with 0% smoothing.


Pressure sensitivity works by default with Illustrator (Mac).


Medibang Paint Pro (Mac) works well.


Clip Studio Paint (Mac) works great.


Krita (Mac) works well. Tilt sensitivity works too.


Affinity Photo (Mac) works fine.


Photoshop (Win) works great.


Pressure sensitivity works by default with Illustrator (Win).


Affinity Photo (Win) works fine.


Medibang Paint Pro (Win) works fine.


Krita (Win) works fine.


Clip Studio Paint (Win) works great.

Glitches

These are the glitches I've discovered.

When trying to customise the slider shortcut with the Mac driver, the driver will go back to the default function.

In Windows, for some reason when I place the cursor over the edge of a browser, the dual arrow does not appear so I can't re-size the browser window.

Video review

Conclusion

The KAMVAS Pro 16 is a professional looking, well build pen display that has fantastic drawing performance. The pressure sensitivity works great. Lines come out just the way I expect.

The official retail price is US $469. The stand cost another $20. Just for comparison, the Wacom Cintiq 16 is US $649. When you consider the look, feel and performance of the KAMVAS Pro 16, at that price, it's actually quite a good deal.

The main difference between the KAMVAS Pro 16 and $379 KAMVAS 16 is the screen. The Pro 16 screen just better in so many aspects. The downside is there are only 6 shortcut buttons vs 14 on the KAMVAS 16.


I'm lucky to have the opportunity to test both pen displays. Knowing what I know now, I personally would spend a bit more to go with the Pro model for the better screen. If you prefer more physical shortcut buttons, maybe the KAMVAS 16 then.

If you're looking for a pen display, the KAMVAS Pro 16 is one you should definitely consider. I've reviewed many pen displays on my blog, this is one of the better ones. I can recommend this easily.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good build quality with premium feel
+ Design looks good
+ 15.6-inch is a good size for drawing
+ 1080P resolution is sufficient for a 15.6-inch screen
+ Matte surface drawing screen
+ Laminated screen with little to no parallax
+ Good drawing performance with most apps
+ sRGB colour support is good
+ 10 replacement tips included
+ Pen does not use battery
+ Up to 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Initial activation force is very mininal
+ Tilt sensitivity support
+ 6 physical shortcut buttons
+ 180 nights brightness is adequate
- Stand sold separately
- Slider shortcut can't be configured with the Mac driver.
- Sometimes my Mac has issues detecting the pen display

Availability

The Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 is available for purchase on Huion's website and Amazon. Direct links (affiliate) below.

Huion online store | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

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9 Comments

Hi Teoh, I’m tempted to buy

Hi Teoh, I’m tempted to buy this model, but seems Huion has stil some problems with Mac drivers , and I am a Mac user. Regarding the slider problem, I think I can solve using the Wacom remote, while I’m quite worried by the disconnection problem you mentioned in your review: could you tell us how many times per working hour you expirienced the disconnection and how you solved it? Thanks in andvance

Hello, I am looking for Huion

Hello, I am looking for Huion Pro 16 , XP-Pen 15.6 and Gaomon PD1560. I will use it essentially for Zbrush. Do you know if they are all compatible (pressure, ...) ? Do youy have a recommendation ?
And thanks for your clear reviews !

Seems like the best choice

Seems like the best choice would be to get a HUION tablet and XP-PEN AC19 expresskey. Now you get the best of both worlds, with touch-bar to modulate the brush thickness/zoom, whereas the dial that comes with XP-PEN AC19 gives you access to control the canvas orientation :D

I just got my huion 16 pro

I just got my huion 16 pro and installed everything. I cant seem to find where i go to actually draw. Thia is my firat time using any kind of tablet for drawing. Am i suppose to download photoshop in able to use this tablet? I was hoping it was plug and play.

The tablet is only the

The tablet is only the hardware (think of it as a pencil), you still need the software (paper) to be able to draw on it. There are many programs besides PS, like CSP, Paint Tool SAI, Medibang, Krita, Gimp, and more. Usually free programs (Gimp, Krita) are not as polished as the programs you have to pay for.

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