Review: Veikk VK1200 11.6-inch pen display with tilt sensitivity

The Veikk VK1200 is a 11.6-inch pen display for digital artists that supports pressure and tilt sensitivity. With this release (late 2020), Veikk now has a line up of small (VK1200), medium (VK1560 Pro) and large (VK2200) pen displays.

The unit I have is a review unit provided by Veikk.


I'll just present my findings to you and you can decide whether it's worth the US $249 price tag (currently on Amazon and also on Lazada.sg (S$299)).


These are the items included in the box.

  • Quick start guide
  • Artist glove
  • Cleaning cloth
  • 2x pen and case
  • Pen stand
  • Many replacement nibs
  • USB data cable
  • Micro HDMI to HDMI cable


This is the 2-to-1 USB cable. One end has two USB type A ports (go to computer) and the other end has USB type C that goes to the pen display.

The red USB connector is not needed if your computer's USB port can supply enough power to the pen display.


The cable's connectors are designed specifically to the pen display's ports. So in even that the cable becomes faulty, a replacement cable has to be purchased from Veikk unless it's within the 1 year warranty period. The cable looks thick and durable though.


Lots of replacement pen nibs are provided.


The pen case included is the thick felt-like material.


The pen is well made, has good build quality, weight. It does not require charging because there's no battery in it.


The pen supports tilt sensitivity and up to 8192 levels of pressure.


The grip section is matte and nice to hold. There are two side buttons there.


The pen stand only allows the pen to stand vertically.


Replacement nibs can be stored inside the pen stand.


On the back of the pen stand is the nib remover.


Build quality of the Veikk VK1200 pen display is excellent. It has a nice weight to it, heavier than I expected which gives it a slightly more premium feel. The unit feels dense.


There are six physical shortcut buttons which are customisable. These buttons are firm and have fantastic feedback when pressed.


Corners of the pen display are rounded off nicely. If you look closely, you can see the matte screen protector applied onto the display.


On the back are four rubber feet to prevent the pen display from sliding on table.

The back material is made with some metal alloy. Finishing is matte and feels great to touch.


From left to right: power button, brightness control, port for micro HDMI, port for USB-C.


This is an 11-6-inch IPS panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Colours and contrast of the pen display looks great out of the box.


The pen display does not have OSD menu. With the Windows driver, you can adjust the colour temperature, RGB, brightness and contrast.


To adjust the colour settings on a Mac, you have to go into System Preferences -> Display and choose to calibrate.


This will perform basic colour calibration for the pen display. This is not meant to match the colours of this pen display to another monitor.


Limitation here is you can adjust the brightness but not the contrast because the pen display doesn't have adjustments for contrast. Thankfully, the Veikk VK1200's contrast is good to begin with.


On MacOS you can also adjust the colour temperature.


I measured support for 99% sRGB, 77% NTSC, 76% AdobeRGB and 71% P3. Colour accuracy is reasonably good.

Maximum brightness was measured at 201 nits, sufficient for bright indoor use.


Viewing angles on this IPS panel are great. Colours don't shift much when you view the display from the side.

Only issue is the anti-glare can create white haze when reflecting light. It's not a big issue. I work with the pen display with huge windows on my side and the white haze is minimal, and the display is bright enough for the colours to shine through.

The visual quality of the display is very good.


Even thought the display is laminated, there's still a tiny gap between the pen tip and the screen. From normal sitting position, that gap should not be noticeable.


There is slight misalignment when the cursor is at the extreme left and right edge of the display. Photo shown above is my right-handed usage.


So when you want to click on things on the extreme edge, you have to do so slower so that your cursor can click on the correct thing. It's a minor issue as I'm still able to click on what I want, just that I have to be more careful at the edges.

I've seen the misalignment issue on big and small pen displays so it's not specific to Veikk.


The matte surface is really nice to draw on. It does affect image quality slight, all matte screen protectors do, but it provides a nice tactile experience when drawing.

There's no touch gesture support since this is not a touchscreen. The 11.6-inch size is quite similar to some iPads and Android tablet so I find myself doing some finger gestures unconsciously.


I highly recommend getting some sort of laptop or tablet stand to elevate the pen display for a better drawing experience. Laying the pen display on the table and hunching over to draw is not good for posture. It's not enough to get a stand that can be deployed at different angles. Get one where you can actually adjust the height. The stand shown in the photo is called NexStand K2 that I bought on Lazada Singapore.

Driver

Driver has to be downloaded from Veikk's website.

The drivers I've tested are Mac driver 2.0.1.1 and Windows driver 2.0.1.


After driver installation, the driver will appear within MacOS System Preferences.


This is where you can adjust the pressure curve and customise the pen's two side buttons.


If for some reason there's misalignment with the pen tip and cursor, you can calibrate the pen to the display here.

Left handers can change the rotation here so that the physical shortcut buttons can go to the right side.


You can customise specific keyboard shortcuts to the six physical shortcut buttons.


Customising the shortcut buttons is straightforward: just enter them into the box.


Under the Tablet functionality, you can choose these four options:

  • Accurate Mode: Allows the cursor to move much slower to give you more precision
  • Pen/Erase: Toggle between the pen and eraser in most graphic drawing apps
  • Monitor Switch: Allows the mouse cursor to jump from one screen to another screen in dual monitor mode
  • Dial Function Switch: No applicable here as there's no dial

Drawing performance on Mac

Drawing performance is pretty good for the most part.


The pen is sensitive and I was able to get the lines to come out just the way I want them. Performance is predictable and consistent.


Photoshop CC 2021 (Mac) works fine with pressure and tilt.


Medibang Paint Pro (Mac) works fine.


Clip Studio Paint (Mac) works fine.



There was an issue with upside-down strokes for tilt brushes with Mac driver v2.0.1 but that seems to have been fixed with Mac driver v2.0.1.1.

However, I did see some issues with tilt brush stroke transition. You can see the gap as the pen changes direction from a totally vertical or horizontal position to another side.

Drawing performance on Windows


Tilt and pressure sensitivity works fine with Krita (Windows). So for some reason tilt sensitivity just does not work well on Krita (Mac).


When drawing curves with Medibang Paint Pro (Windows), there may be stray strokes that appear, or the curves may appear angular.

When you see this problem, you have to toggle Windows Ink on or off from the driver. Enabling Windows Ink seem to make the lines smoother. However, if you draw real fast, sometimes the angular lines or jagged edges to the strokes may still appear. The consolation here is when drawing at normal speed, the line quality seems alright, the lines are smooth and pressure works fine. However, lines don't taper as nicely compared to Medibang Paint Pro (Mac) and other drawing apps.

I've also tested Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Affinity Design, Adobe Illustrator on Windows and those software work alright.

Conclusion

I like the design and build quality of the Veikk VK1200.

The colours look better than I expected. The matte screen protector is nice to draw on. Brightness could be higher though but it's not considered dim in anyway.

Overall drawing performance is good with most of the drawing software I've tested except for the stray stroke & angular line issue with Medibang Paint Pro (Win) and tilt sensitivity issue with Krita (Mac and Windows).

The other downside is the misalignment issue at the extreme left and right edges of the display. That's something to get used to but thankfully not a dealbreaker.

The main thing I couldn't get used to is the small 11.6-inch display. The actual drawing size is about 3cm wider compared to an A5 size sketchbook. For a display that's meant to be set on a table all the time, I feel like it would be nicer to work on something larger. For portable tablets, small means more portable so the compromise is between size and portability. For pen displays, they aren't meant to be transported around that often. Anyway, it's the small size that allows the price to be brought down to US $249 which is very competitive pricing.

If you are looking for a smaller pen display, or you don't have much table space, the Veikk VK1200 is worth considering. Just note the minor issues with Medibang Paint Pro (Win) and Krita (Win and Mac).

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Clean and simple design
+ Solid build quality
+ Supports tilt and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Many replacement tips included
+ 6 customisable touch shortcuts
+ Laminated display
- 11.6-inch display kinda small
+ Screen has good colour accuracy
+ Screen has good viewing angles
+ Matte screen protector nice to draw on
+ Does not heat up and can be used for long periods of time without discomfort
+ Drawing performance is good on Windows
+ Very competitive price
- Issue with tilt sensitivity with Krita (Mac and Win)
- Issues with stray strokes/angular lines with Medibang Paint (Win)
- Misalignment issues at extreme left and right edges depending on pen direction
- Colour calibration on MacOS has to be done through System Preferences, and there's no contrast adjustment

Here are direct links to Veikk VK1200 on Amazon:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.com.au | Amazon.co.jp | Lazada Singapore

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