Review: Parblo Mast22 Pen Display

Update: 6 Feb 2019
Parblo Mast22 Pen Display - 01

Today's review is for a product that's not out in the market yet. It's the new pen display from Parblo. This is the Parblo Mast22, a 21.5-inch pen display, a monitor you can draw on, a Cintiq alternative.

The review unit that I have is still a prototype but it's working pretty well hence this review. The drivers are still currently under development though, and as such has limited functionality.

Since the unit I have is a prototype, expect updates to this review in the future.

The Parblo Mast22 looks sleeker compared to many of the 19 to 22 inch pen displays that I have reviewed before. The screen is now significantly thinner.

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This display feels like a large tablet with feet. The side profile is barely the width of the nail on my thumb.

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For some unknown reason, there are two sets of feet installed onto the stand. In the photo above, one set is right beneath the bottom of the monitor base (left). The other is on the right.

The feet beneath the monitor base is not locked down and is movable. Because it's moveable, sometimes when I move the monitor, the feel would deploy in a position I did not want. I've seen pen displays with two set of feet too, but they have one locked while the other is adjustable.

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Here's another photo with that feet flipped to the back.

The monitor base feet doesn't adjust the angle of the monitor, the back feet does.

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In the photo above, the monitor base feet can be seen. If you flip that feet back, the monitor will be resting on its bottom edge.

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That's the movable feet I'm referring to. Having the rubber attached to the monitor base would be better.

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The back of the monitor is flat throughout except where the stand is protruding out.

I'm not sure what material the body is made of but it is extremely solid. It feels as hard as metal but when I tap my fingers on it, it feels a bit hollow. The surface is matte and the finishing is excellent on the front and back.

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The ports are on the left and the cables come out from that side. This is a great improvement over cables that come out from the bottom.

Speaking of cables, these are all the things included in the box

  • Pen display
  • HDMI cable
  • USB cable for display-computer
  • 2x USB charging cable for pen
  • 2x pen
  • Pen stand
  • Power cable and adapter
  • 8 replacement nibs and nib remover
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Artist glove
  • Travel adaptor for the power cable

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The matte screen protector that's already applied has a nice texture to draw on. It's an anti-glare screen protector so it diffuses reflected light that you see. Note the nice rounded corner.

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The screen protector is not pasted perfectly though. There are some little gaps where it does not stick to the screen properly. I'm just nitpicking here. I notice at the top, the screen protector protrudes slightly so be extremely careful when handling that part when adjusting the angle of the display. You do not want to peel off the screen protector accidentally.

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The bezels are big and uniform on all sides. You can rest your hands on that area while drawing. The thick black bezel also frames the screen nicely.

Resolution of the display is 1920 x 1080. The pixel density is certainly not as high compared to 1440P screens but it's not a deal breaker. You can definitely see pixelation in fonts and user interface. I'm not too bothered by it. It's still a decent resolution to work with.

There's some issue with the screen that's not apparent when you are looking at it straight.

When the display is tilted, I noticed some shadowy effects at three places along to the edge of the lit screen. I suspect it has got something to do with the backlight electronics. Not a deal breaker again. It is what it is.

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The menu control buttons are located behind the display at the bottom right. It's actually not easy to get to the buttons even with my thin fingers because the feet doesn't lift the monitor's base high enough. Best way to get more space for your fingers is to lay the display down.

One of the buttons is menu/enter, there's a left and right, an exit and the power button. Navigating though the menu is not easy but thankfully you just have to do it once.

In the display menu, there are two settings that control the brightness, namely Backlight and Brightness. The one you want to use to change the brightness is Backlight. If you adjust the brightness, it actually blows out the contrast. Before I colour calibrated my screen, I set Backlight to 100% and left Brightness and Contrast at default 50%. You can also choose the gamma and colour temperature.

That green power light is quite bright but it's facing the back. Whew.

The Spyder5Pro colour calibrator I used measured 100% sRGB, 75% NTSC and 81% Adobe RGB. Colour accuracy is quite good. When I messed up the Backlight settings, I was only able to get 93% sRGB and the colours looked weird.

The default colour profile should look fine so you may not need additional colour calibration.

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That's the pen and the stand. The rubber grip is huge so no matter how you hold the pen, you'll be holding the grip. Build quality is solid enough and the weight of the pen is just nice.

The pen display supports up to 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

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This pen requires charging because there's built in battery. The good thing is two pens are provided. So while you're charging up one, you can use the other pen.

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Hidden within the pen stand are 8 replacement nibs and the metallic nib remover.


As mentioned earlier, the driver is still in development stage so there's not a lot of features.

You can adjust the pressure sensitivity and assign some functions to the side buttons. That's all.

If you use dual monitors, you can assign a Toggle Display function to switch the cursor to the screen you want.

This pen display has cursor misalignment issues. For some reason, the cursor will stray from beneath the tip when it's near the top, at least that's the case for my unit. When the pen is in the middle or bottom of the screen, the cursor is always directly beneath the tip. And because there's no monitor calibration yet, this parallax issue cannot be fixed at the time of this review.

I refer to this problem as a misalignment rather than parallax because it's not really parallax. The glass surface is very close to the actual screen so parallax is minimal.

Having said that, I did not have any problems drawing though. As for accuracy, as long as you can see the cursor, you can still control it so it's not a big problem. I can still join my lines perfectly, just that I have to be more careful, that's all.

Graphic app performance

Here's the Mast22 performs with different graphic apps

Photoshop (Mac) works well. There's pressure sensitivity and the strokes taper well.

Medibang Paint Pro (Mac) works fine.

Krita (Mac) works fine.

Clip Studio Paint (Mac) works fine.

Pressure sensitivity does not work with Adobe Illustrator. When I install Wacom driver to get the pressure working, the pen would stop working.

Overall performance of the pen display is quite good. I could get the strokes to appear the way I want them to. Pressure sensitivity is good. There's non of the micro-jitter when drawing lines, unless you're drawing really slow.

On Windows, pressure sensitivity works fine with Photoshop, Illustrator, Krita, Medibang Paint Pro, and Clip Studio. The only problematic apps are Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer where the pen just fails to work – the cursor won't move.


My experience working and drawing with this pen display is satisfactory despite some downsides which can probably be fixed by driver updates.

After using the pen display for hours, it does feel a bit warm throughout. It's about as warm as a mobile phone while it's being charged up.

The price at the time of this review is US $559.

The Parblo Mast22 is one of the nicest looking pen displays I've reviewed in a long time. If you want something that works great and looks good on your table, this is something to consider.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good build quality
+ Nice looking pen display
+ Matte screen protector already applied
+ Good drawing performance with most apps
+ Pressure sensitivity works well
+ Two pens included
+ 100% sRGB and adequately bright screen
+ 8 replacement tips included
- There's an unnecessary set of moveable feet included
- Pen needs charging but can still be used while charging
- Pressure doesn't work with Adobe Illustrator (Mac)
- Pen doesn't work with Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer


Check out more details of the Parblo Mast22 at

It's priced at US$559 at the time of this review.



Hy! I think, the thing with

Hy! I think, the thing with the stand is... if the front foot is flipped back it could be easier to let the display hang over the edge of your desk, like with the cintiq 24 hd stand. (the wacom ergo stand.) It seems to be more comfortable to work that way.

Thank you fro the review!

Hey, I love your reviews and

Hey, I love your reviews and they are so helpful, I was just wondering if you reviewed this product with finished updated drivers, and also how would you compare this to the Coast 16. Thank you so much, your reviews are amazing.

I've ordered this directly

I've ordered this directly from Parblo for $ 500 and it arrived within a week (I’m in Germany). I must say I am not 100% happy so far. For one, the distance between the nib and the tool is really quite off and rather annoying and there is no way to calibrate that. (I use the Mac OSX version, maybe the Windows version has additional drivers or features.) Even my little Wacom Bamboo from ten years ago has a more accurate pen. Currently, the Parblo is a pain to use in Photoshop (I have yet to try it with Manga Studio, which I rarely use).

The next thing that irks me is the navigation interface of the buttons on the back. You already said it's good one only has to set it up once, but I am still fighting this interface after a week. It doesn’t really help that there is – as of today – still no user documentation or handbook on the Parblo website to download. Its calibration is trial and error, not very professional.

I was super annoyed by the screen protector, it took away a lot from the experience, so I ripped it off. Much better!

Also, no second pen in my package, you probably really got a prototype package or they gave you one extra since you’re a renowned reviewer. Then again there's no second pen mentioned in the packaging list, so I wasn't expecting one. Missing from the package list is the CD with the drivers, but since I would always go to a manufacturer's sit to download the latest version, I wouldn’t have used it anyway.

I had a few initial questions in order to set the tablet up properly, and support from Joy was quick and helpful and friendly, so that was a pleasant suprise.

Overall, you get what you pay for. The 22" Wacom Cintiq costs more than triple the Parblo Mast22’s $ 500 and while I haven't used that specific Wacom, I'm willing to bet its accuracy is a lot better than the Parblo's, judging from my previous Wacom tablets (Intuous, Bamboo and a Cintiq 16).
Is it $1,200 better? Probably not. But when you're a professional illustrator, your time is valuable and you can’t really compromise. I’ll wait a few more weeks for an updated driver and a user manual, but maybe I'll sell it, bite the bullet and get a proper Wacom instead.

A quick update: A few weeks

A quick update: A few weeks later I have managed – with the help from Parblos’s very friendly support – to calibrate the pen and screen with my Mac and it now works like a charm. So I would definitely recommend buying it, I’d buy it again, even though the initial setup took longer than it should have. (Memo to self: Don’t write grumpy reviews on new gear when you’re in the middle of the Christmas season and the deadlines are staring you down …)

Oh, I didn't realize you had

Oh, I didn't realize you had contributing reviews. What's the closest you think the pen is like? The laminated glass and high brightness makes the Mast22 sound really appealing, but I'm a little concerned about their weak presence in the US compared to the others like XP-pen and Huion. A good pen would be worth taking the risk though

So I stupidly removed the

So I stupidly removed the matte screen protector (the entire edge was peeling off when I opened) and I'm wondering if anyone has any leads on where I can get a new one, or find a 3rd party site that has something similar!

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