LincStudio S1 (artist review): Worthy Surface Pro alternative

Review unit provided by LincPlus

LincPlus is a company that sells laptops, tablets and computer accessories.

LincStudio S1 is a 13-inch Windows tablet is the most premium product that the company has ever released considering most of their products are in the budget category.

This tablet is clearly targeted at digital artist because the tablet comes with hotkeys and sliders by both sides. And there's pen support that uses Wacom EMR tech. You can think of this as an alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro but it has more features.

At the time of review, the LincStudio S1 is available through Indiegogo with pricing from USD 1200 - 1300. The crowdfunding campaign will end on 12 April 2024.

Bottom line: Overall performance of the 11th gen Intel processor from 2021 is smooth and lag-free for general usage and drawing purposes. Display has good colour support and is bright. Port selection is good for a tablet, and that includes a microSD card slot. Hotkeys and sliders are useful. Drawing performance is really good. Downsides? The keyboard case feels cheap. Battery life is not ideal, which is unfortunate but not surprising for Windows tablets.

By the way, if you have any questions for the company, you can ask on this Facebook page LincPlus has created.

Video review


  • Processor: 11th gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 (4-core)
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
  • Display: 13-inch IPS LCD, matte texture
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1440, 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Ports: USB 2.0 type A, 3.5mm audio, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt
  • Speakers: 2x
  • Camera: 8MP + 13MP
  • Battery: 42:75Wh that supports USB-C PD65W charging
  • Kickstand: Yes
  • Hotkeys: 12
  • Pen: Wacom EMR tech with support for tilt, 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Latency: 10ms
  • Reporting rate: 450 PPS
  • Keyboard: Detachable
  • OS: Windows 11
  • Weight: 1.1kg

The specs look alright.

There will always be people who will ask why isn't the latest 13th gen Intel chip used. And the answer is the older chip is cheaper and still powerful enough to provide lag-free performance while drawing.

Things included

  • Tablet
  • Stand
  • Pen
  • Pen case
  • 4 replacement nibs
  • Nib remover
  • 60W USB-C charger
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Keyboard case
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Artist glove
  • User guide


Design of the tablet looks good and the build quality is solid. It does look quite similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro. Even the sides are tilted at an angle to let you lift the tablet up easily.

This tablet does not have biometric unlock. The camera does not support face unlock and there's no fingerprint scanner. To unlock, you'll always have to enter your pin.

There's a total of 12 hotkeys and 2 sliders that are all customisable with the pre-installed driver. You get six hotkeys and one slider on each side.

The hotkeys are useful when used with desktop drawing apps, e.g. Photoshop, Krita, CSP, Corel Painter.

That's the kickstand on the back. Hinge is stiff to hold the tablet at various angles, but not stiff enough to press against while drawing unless at the lowest angle.

Behind the kickstand you will have access to the 2280 M.2 NVMe SSD and the microSD card slot.

The tablet comes with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. You can expand storage easily and storage is so cheap nowadays. For USD 100, you can get a 2TB NVMe SSD or 1TB microSD card. Or for USD 200, you can get 4TB NVMe SSD.

Transfer speed of the microSD card slot is quite slow at 18 MB/s write and 18 MB/s read, tested with CPDT app using Sandisk Extreme Pro (200 MB/s read, 140 MB/s write). In other words, it's best to upgrade the storage by replacing the NVMe SSD.

On the right side, there's the latch for the kickstart, a speaker, a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, and a USB-3 type A port.

On the left side, there's the power button, lock for the hotkeys, a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, a speaker and a 3.5mm audio jack.

This tablet is quite thin. I actually wish the tablet is thicker to include a bigger battery. Slim is nice but longer battery life is more useful.

The stand is made with metal and has solid build quality.

The stand can only be deployed at three angles. And the stand sits on the tablet which can be low for some people.

If you need the tablet higher, you'll have to get one of those elevated laptop stands which is more ergonomic, and can be used as a display stand as well. Such stands are less than USD 30.

The included keyboard case has a fabric back and the keys feel plasticky and cheap.

Magnets that attach to the bottom of the tablet could be stronger. And there's no way to prop up the keyboard.

Keyboard size is standard and the keys are well spaced. It will take some time to get used to the Delete, Home, PageUp, PageDown, End keys column on the extreme ride, and the shorter right Shift.

For a more enjoyable typing experience at home, I recommend you get a proper keyboard.

Touchpad has a bit more input lag that I prefer but still usable.

And the keys have no backlight.


The display is matte textured and the anti-glare works well in the sense diffused reflections do not turn the display completely white. The drawing surface is still quite smooth though and lacks the more tactile feedback when compared to other pen displays.

It will take some time to get used to drawing on the smooth surface.

13-inch display is a good size to draw on. There's enough canvas space leftover even with palettes by the left and right. You can always assign a hotkey to hide and show the palettes.

The display is laminated so there's no gap between the pen tip and the line beneath. The pen is tapered at the front so it's easy to see the pen tip.

Resolution of the display is 2160 x 1440 and aspect ratio is 3:2. The display looks sharp with no pixelation from one arms length away.

I measured colour support for 83% sRGB, 57% NTSC, 61% AdobeRGB and 61% P3 and a maximum brightness of 216 nits. Colour support is not the best but the colours do not look bad. Colours look good out of the box but obviously the colour support will not be good enough for colour critical work.

Touchscreen and palm rejection work fine. There aren't many drawing apps that support finger gestures beyond pan, zoom and rotate.

If there are any conflicts with finger gestures from drawing apps and Windows OS, you'll have to choose which to disable.


The pen case is made with plastic and feels cheap but that doesn't matter. There are four replacement pen nibs included and a nib remover.

The pen is made with plastic and build quality is solid enough. It's a comfortable pen to hold, and the matte textured surface provides enough grip.

The design is almost cylindrical except for a flat side that serves no purpose because it cannot be attached magnetically to the side of the tablet.

The pen uses Wacom EMR tech and supports tilt, 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. The pen is not powered by battery so no charging is required.

The pen has no side button for right-click. In most cases the right-click action can be replaced by tap-and-hold but in some apps without the right click you cannot show the contextual menu. And since this tablet is targeted at artists, not having a side button on the pen is a downside.

Thankfully, if you really need the right click, you can also use other pens that support Wacom EMR but that will mean spending extra money. Pens with side buttons include the Wacom One, Lamy AL-Star EMR, S Pen Creator Edition. I would probably recommend the Wacom One because it's cheap and good and comfortable to hold and draw with.

While other Wacom EMR pens can be used on the LincStudio S1. The LincStudio S1 pen cannot be used on the Samsung Tab S9 Ultra that I have.

The pen has an eraser at the back.


The LincStudio S1 uses the 11th gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 (4-core) from 2021 and comes with 16GB of RAM.

The processor may not be the latest but overall performance is still smooth and lag-free. The tablet is fast to startup, and switching between apps is fast.

The processor is more than powerful enough to run drawing apps smoothly.

Transfer speed of the internal NVMe SSD is 3.3GB/s read and 2.8GB/s write.

The GPU is Intel Iris Xe which can handle basic 3D modeling but for more serious 3D work obviously a computer with proper graphic card is recommended.

Vs iPad Pro and Samsung tablets

The tablet is wider than the iPad Pro 12.9 inch. Note the LincStudio S1 is not in the correct orientation? That's because this tablet does not have auto-rotation for orientation. I actually use portrait orientation often (not for drawing) and the lack of auto-rotation is a big downside. BUT you can install Screen Rotate app (free) from the Microsoft Store to get that quick rotate feature.

Comparing the LincStudio S1 with iPad Pro and Samsung tablets is pointless because the main selling point of LincStudio S1 is it runs Windows OS.

If you just want to draw and don't really need Windows, you can go with the iPad Pro or Samsung tablets which have much longer battery life, e.g. 8 hours or more.

Windows allows you to run desktop apps. You can livestream, connect a scanner, colour calibrate the display, or even an external display without using those wireless display apps that have lag.

Or you can use wireless display apps. Windows OS is extremely versatile.

If you want to compare LincStudio S1 with other drawing tablets, you have to compare it with other Windows tablets such as the Huion Kamvas Studio 16 (USD 1699), Microsoft Surface Pro, Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360, Wacom MobileStudio Pro among others.

Even those this 13-inch display is smaller than the 15.8-inch Huion Kamvas Studio 16, I do prefer this smaller display simply because of the 3:2 aspect ratio.

It is possible to buy the Surface Pro 8 (2021) with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage but the pen and keyboard case are sold separately. The LincStudio advantage here is you also get hotkeys, USB 3 type A and microSD card slot. And you can replace the Wacom EMR pen easily without much cost in the future if needed.


The driver is pre-installed and launches automatically upon startup.

The driver app isn't listed in the Start menu or on the desktop, and is located in C:\Windows\SilKey.

For some reason, when you close the driver, you can't open it again until you restart the tablet.

The driver only allows for customisation of the hotkeys and slider, and does not provide pen pressure adjustment.

Not being able to customise the pen pressure could be an issue if you're using a drawing app that does not have pen pressure customisation.

Line tests

Below are two sets of line tests from Medibang Paint Pro. The top set (red) is from the LincStudio pen and the second set (blue) is from the Samsung S Pen Creator Edition. I have used the brush with same line width for both.

1. Initial activation force is low. There's slight line jitter and wobble but it's minimal.

2. Line taper looks sharper with the LincStudio S1 pen, and smoother with the Samsung pen.

3. Line transition from thin to thick and back is smooth. This is also a diagonal line and there's no noticeable jitter and wobble. The pen is sensitive enough to draw thin lines after thick lines.

4. Consistent line width can be drawn easily by maintaining consistent pressure.

5. Dots can be drawn easily.

6. There's no misalignment when joining lines. The difficult to joining lines comes down to how smooth the pen glides on the glass.

The LincStudio pen is sensitive and accurate enough. The Samsung S Pen can detect a wider range of pressure especially heavier pressure for drawing thicker lines, and hence can produce a wider variety of line width more easily.

Below are line tests from Clip Studio Paint with the two pens. CSP with default settings has more natural looking line performance compared to Medibang Paint Pro. With CSP, there's also the option to tweak the pressure curve of the pen. Brush used is Bit Husky without stabilisation.

With CSP, both pens are able to detect minimal pressure more easily, hence the lines can taper more sharply (less abruptly). Lines drawn in CSP look more expressive thanks to the extra sensitivity of the pen which probably comes down to the software.

There is no noticeable line jitter or wobble with CSP.

Here's a crab drawn with Sketchable Plus. I didn't really experience any issues except for how smooth the pen glides on the glass. I wish there was more texture with the pen tip but this is probably something that one can get used to.

This was drawn with Affinity Photo v2 with Brush Pen brush without Stablizer enabled. The line quality is fantastic. The pen is sensitive and precise. I did not notice any diagonal line wobble or jitter. The pen performance is definitely good enough for creating comics.

I was able to create really thin lines on the face by applying minimal pressure.

Tilt brushes work fine. Cursor is able to follow the direction of the pen.

This was drawn with Photoshop. Line quality is great, just like other apps.

The hotkeys are definitely helpful when used together with drawing apps that aren't designed for touchscreens, e.g. Photoshop, Krita, CSP, Corel Painter. The hotkeys make it possible to access certain functions without having to go into the menu system.

This was drawn with Concepts. This app doesn't really have good support for pressure sensitivity especially when drawing with minimal pressure, so it doesn't work that great with a pen that performs better with light than heavy pressure. The Samsung S Pen works better on the tablet.

Concepts supports 2, 3, 4 finger shortcuts but you will have to disable Windows 3, 4 finger shortcuts (under Bluetooth & devices - Touch) so that the shortcuts can work properly.

This was also drawn with Concepts.

Battery life

Battery life is around 4 to 4.5 hours, which of course depends on the brightness and what you're doing.

Battery life is not ideal and I'm not surprised because Windows tablets with good battery life are rare.

If you have to use the tablet outdoors often, I recommend you get a laptop power bang.

I also noticed battery drain with overnight sleep is more than 10%. So it's best to shut down the tablet at night.

I have a Windows tablet that can shut down automatically after extended period of sleep but I've not figured out how to setup this tablet with that power settings.


It's always great to have another Windows tablet in the market with pen support for drawing.

I'm happy to say that this tablet and pen have good drawing performance, and all that is thanks to the use of Wacom EMR. There are two downsides that relate to drawing. First is the driver does not have pressure sensitivity customisation, and second the pen has no side button.

Pressure sensitivity of the pen is good, however I find that the Samsung S Pen has better, wider range of pressure support.

Overall performance of the tablet is smooth and lag-free. Only downside is battery life isn't that great compared to iPads or Android tablets that can all last 8 hours or more easily.

The lack of auto rotation is certainly inconvenient but thankfully you can install an app to fix that.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful design
+ Solid build quality
+ Stand, keyboard case and pen are included
+ 13-inch 3:2 display is a good size to draw on
+ 2160 x 1440 resolution has no pixelation
+ Matte textured surface has good anti-glare
+ Smooth and lag-free performance
+ Hotkeys and sliders are useful for desktop drawing apps
+ Kickstand included
+ Has 2 USB-C Thunderbolt and one USB 3 type A ports
+ Internal 2280 NVMe SSD is user replaceble
+ Microsd card slot is included
+ Other Wacom EMR pen can be used
- Colour support could be better
- Speakers sound hollow
- Driver does not provide pen pressure adjustment
- 4 to 4.5 battery life
- Battery drain excessive with overnight sleep
- Keyboard case feels cheap
- Pen does not have side button
- No biometric unlock
- No auto rotation
- Keyboard case has no backlight


You can get the tablet on Indiegogo. The crowdfunding campaign will end on 12 April 2024.


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