Review unit provided by Veikk
Veikk makes pen tablets and pen displays for digital artists. The company was founded in 2009 so they have been around for a long time. And I have reviewed several Veikk products in the past before and their products work quite well.
The new 21.5-inch Veikk Studio VK2200 Pro pen display has several upgrades over the previous model Veikk VK2200 from 2020. There's now support for USB-C to USB-C connection, better colour accuracy, the pen is no longer powered by battery and there are more customisable shortcut buttons, including two dials.
Official retail price is USD $469.99 on Veikk website, and it's also available on Amazon. The pricing is competitive compared to similar sized pen displays from other companies. When you consider the 95% AdobeRGB coverage, the pricing is very good.
These are the items included in the box:
- Pen display
- USB-A to USB-C cable
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- Full-size HDMI to full-size HDMI cable
- Power cable
- Power adapter
- Two pens
- Two pen pouch
- Pen stand with 8 replacement nibs
- Nib remover and 15x replacement nibs
- Micro fiber cleaning cloth
- Artist glove
- Quick start guide
- Driver download card
The pen display comes with a glossy protective film which has to be removed.
The surface of the display is matte textured glass. The anti-glare is rather aggressive with reflections it creates this white "haze" that affects colours and contrast.
As long as there are no reflections on the display, you can get good image quality. Slight glare from side windows is fine, but curtains will help a lot.
Colours will shift slightly when viewed from the side. Note the lighter skin tone in the photo above.
Colours are richer when the pen display is viewed directly from the front. Viewing angles is not a big issue unless you're always viewing from the side.
You'll get the best visual quality when viewing the pen display directly from the front.
Colours on the display look fantastic out of the box.
Colour accuracy is pretty good. I measured colour support for 99% sRGB, 95% AdobeRGB, 91% P3 and 90% NTSC with my colour calibrator. It's good to see such high AdobeRGB coverage on this pen display.
I measured a maximum brightness of 193 nites which is sufficient for use in a bright room environment. I usually use my displays at 150 nits and that's about 75% brightness with this pen display.
There is noticeable pixelation with the 1920 x 1080 resolution on a 21.5-inch display as the pixel density is just 102 PPI.
The resolution together with the graininess of the matte textured surface can make the visuals look slightly fuzzy. This is the compromise with matte textured surfaces. The texture on this matte glass surface is really nice to draw on. However, more texture provides the tactile drawing experience, but there will be more grain and aggressive anti-glare. If there is less texture, image quality is better but the tactile drawing experience isn't as good.
The laminated display has almost no gap between the line and the pen tip.
On my review unit, I spotted an issue with the display lamination at the bottom left corner but thankfully it's not visible when the display is powered on. However, I went over to Veikk's website and couldn't find any dead pixel policy. Anyway, most pen display manufacturers don't have dead pixel policy. Sometimes the companies just pay you some money for dead pixels rather than exchange the whole unit, or if it's really serious enough then an exchange is possible.
Another issue I discovered is there's ghosting effect. When images move too fast, e.g. panning or zooming, you can see slight ghosting. In the photo above you can see the palettes and my hands are sharp but the image is still trying to move into position. The ghosting effect doesn't affect drawing performance but of course it would be better if there's no ghosting effect.
The company has told me that the ghosting effect is an hardware issue that should not happen, and if your unit has this problem, you can get a replacement unit.
Ghosting effect is different from latency. This pen display has the usual latency found on most pen displays. There's a slight gap as the line is trying to catch up with the pen tip. Not a big deal for me when drawing at normal speed.
A 21.5-inch display is a big, comfortable and satisfying size to work with for drawing. You can have palettes on the left and right side and still get an A4-sized canvas to work with.
The back of the pen display comes with an adjustable stand with four rubber feet.
This is the most upright position.
You can adjust the deployment angle easily with the latch located behind at the top.
The lowest angle is one to avoid as the two rubber feet at the base will lift off the table, which means the metal frame of the stand can scratch the table. Anyway, the lowest angle isn't ideal for drawing as it's quite flat.
This is a much better angle to draw with.
The stand can be removed for VESA mounting. VESA dimensions are 10 x 10cm.
The pen display has a flat profile and is just slightly thicker than the thickest part of the pen.
Ports are located on the right side of the pen display. The ports are for full-sized HDMI, power and USB-C.
Buttons for the power and OSD are located at the bottom right side.
Thankfully my slim fingers are able to go underneath to reach the power and OSD buttons behind. Those with fatter fingers may find it challenging to reach the buttons.
The pen display has eight customisable shortcut buttons and two dials on the left side.
If you're a left handed user, you can fix the stand behind upside down so that the buttons go to the right side.
There aren't many options for adjusting visuals, just brightness, contrast, gamma and colour temperature. You can adjust these settings from inside the Windows driver too.
Shown above is the USB-C to USB-C connection to my Macbook Air. If you use USB-C connection, you only need the power cable and USB-C cable. HDMI connection requires three cable: HDMI, USB and power.
The battery icon shows that it's charging the laptop but the pen displays doesn't provide enough power for proper charging.
The Mac and Windows drivers I've tested are version 188.8.131.52 (15 March 2022) and Windows driver version 184.108.40.206 (7 May 2022).
The Mac and Windows drivers have almost similar functionality. Windows driver has the additional Windows Ink function which you may have to toggle on or off for troubleshooting when pressure sensitivity isn't working as expected.
The pen pressure curve has three adjustable control points.
Since I use dual display setup, I always set one of the pen's side buttons to Switch Display, and it works well.
Left handed users can change the orientation of the pen display to 180 degrees.
The eight shortcut buttons can be customised with your preferred keyboard shortcuts.
You can set up to four functions for each dial, and switch between them using the button in the middle of the dial.
Tilt sensitivity works with Krita on Windows, but the cursor doesn't follow the direction of where the hovering pen. The cursor only follows direction of the pen after you lay down the brush stroke.
Tilt sensitivity works fine with Krita on MacOS. Cursor was able to follow the direction of the hovering pen.
Tilt can work right up to the edge of the pen display.
When using Photoshop with Windows in extended desktop mode, there's significant cursor offset with Photoshop. This problem does not happen with other drawing software.
Photoshop works fine if you're just using the pen display as your main and only display, but problem comes back when using extended desktop mode.
Pressure sensitivity did not work by default with Photoshop on Windows for me. Toggling Windows Ink did not fix the problem. What solved the problem was to create a PSUserConfig file as detailed here and save it into a Photoshop folder and pressure sensitivity worked after that.
Drawing performance is fantastic as the pen is sensitive and accurate.
These are line tests created with Medibang Paint Pro on MacOS.
1. The pen has minimal initial activation force. You can draw thin lines by applying no pressure as long as the pen tip touches the pen display.
2. Lines are able to taper smoothly.
3. Pressure sensitivity works great. Lines can transition from thin to thick and back easily.
4. Consistent line widths can be drawn by maintaining consistent pressure.
5. Dots can be drawn by tapping the pen.
I've tested the pen display with various drawing software on Windows and MacOS such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Krita, Medibang Paint Pro, Clip Studio, Concepts, Sketchbook Pro, Sketchable and they mostly work fine except for glitches with some apps, Krita tilt cursor with Windows and Photoshop with extended desktop mode.
This was drawn with Medibang Paint Pro on MacOS.
My drawing experience is positive and satisfactory. Lines come out just the way I expect. There are no surprises. Performance is consistent and predictable.
The minimal initial activation force and sensitive pressure control are great for comic artists who require higher level of accuracy with line art.
This was drawn with Clip Studio Paint on MacOS.
This was drawn with Affinity Photo on MacOS.
The Veikk Studio VK2200 Pro is a beautiful pen display with solid build quality. It has good drawing performance and fantastic colour accuracy. My drawing experience is positive and satisfactory.
There are some downsides such as the aggressive anti-glare which affects image quality. 1080P on a 21.5-inch display has pixelation but higher resolution displays are more expensive. A potential deal breaker is Photoshop does not work when using extended desktop mode with Windows (driver v220.127.116.11 & v18.104.22.168), but works fine with single display mode. And there's the ghosting issue which the company said is a hardware defect and eligible for a replacement.
The pricing of US $469.99 is competitive with similar sized pen displays from other brands, and the price may be lower on Amazon USA. In terms of value for money, I would say it's worth the money, but you can decide for yourself based on the findings I have presented.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good build quality
+ Beautiful design
+ 8 shortcut buttons and 2 dials
+ Large 21.5-inch display
+ Laminated display
+ 95% AdobeRGB coverage
+ Matte textured drawing surface
+ USB-C to USB-C connection supported
+ Adjustable stand included
+ VESA mount supported
+ Suitable for left handed users
+ 2 pens included
+ Pens do not use battery
+ Accurate cursor tracking
+ Tilt and 8192 levels of pressure supported
+ Good drawing performance
+ Many replacement pen nibs included
+ OSD is easy to navigate
+ Competitive pricing
- Pixelation noticeable with 1080P resolution
- Ghosting effect with display when moving fast
- Viewing angles affected by anti-glare
- Photoshop does not work with extended desktop mode in Windows
- Pressure does not work with Illustrator on MacOS
- Pressure did not work by default with Photoshop on Windows, but simple fix is available
- Tilt works but cursor direction does not follow hovering pen in Windows
- Matte texture surface aggressive anti-glare and adds graininess to image quality
The Veikk Studio VK2200 Pro pen display can be purchased from Veikk online store.
Amazon 5% off coupon code: VK2200TEOH
If you have intention to buy the pen display, consider using the Amazon affiliate links I have for you. I earn some commission through each purchase at no extra cost to you, and it helps support my blog and Youtube channel.