Review unit provided by UGEE
UGEE M708 is a graphics drawing pen tablet priced around US $50 to 60 targeted at beginners to digital art.
From the name of the product, it seems like this is the third generation. The earliest Youtube review I found for this tablet was from 2014 so that could be the first version.
The items included in the box are
- Pen tablet
- MicroUSB to USB Type A cable
- Pen stand
- 8x replacement nibs
- Nib remover
- Artist glove
- Warranty info and quick start guide
Yes, this tablet still uses the microUSB connector before everyone started moving to USB-C.
The pen feels plasticky but solid enough. Weight is on the lighter side.
Body of the pen is made of plastic with a matte texture throughout. It's not powered by battery so no charging is needed.
The two side buttons are customisable with the driver.
The pen supports tilt and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. The pen tip moves slightly when drawing.
Hidden within the pen case are eight replacement nibs and the nib remover. Bottom of the pen case is rubber for grip on the table.
This tablet is considered a medium size with a 10 x 6 inch drawing area. This a good size that can be paired with monitors of any size.
The drawing surface is matte textured and provides a good tactile drawing experience.
Build quality of the tablet is plasticky with slight flex. It's not unexpected considering the entry level pricing of the tablet.
It's a thin tablet with curved sides at the top and bottom for resting your palm on it.
On the back are four rubber feet for grip.
There are eight customisable physical shortcut buttons with glossy surface finish. The click is firm and they work fine.
Near the cable connector is the light indicator which will show blue when the pen hovers near. Hovering distance is 1cm.
The drivers I've tested are Windows driver version 126.96.36.199428 (27 May 2021) and MacOS driver version (8 July 2021).
There are also drivers for the different variations of Linux, namely Ubuntu, Manjaro, Arch, Debian, elementary OS, Mint, ezgo Linux, Pop!_OS, Centos, Fedora, Red Hat, OpenSUSE and Mageia.
For the Windows driver, there's the additional Windows Ink functionality which you may have to toggle on or off if pressure is not working properly.
If you use dual displays, you can set one of the shortcuts to Switch Display.
I did not experience any glitches with the Windows and MacOS drivers, so the overall drawing experience is good.
The drawing performance is similar on Windows and MacOS so I'll only be showing the line quality samples from Windows only.
The drawing apps I've tested are Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Affinity Photo and Designer, Clip Studio Paint, Medibang Paint Pro and Krita.
The pen has low initiation activation force which means it's easy to draw thin lines with minimal pressure even when you have thick brush selected. With Photoshop (Win), the lines are not able to taper as smoothly compared to the other drawing apps I've tested. Performance with Photoshop on MacOS is better.
Line transition from thin to thick is smooth. Curves are smooth. Line consistency is good. It's easy to maintain line thickness with consistent pressure.
Pressure works fine with Adobe Illustrator
Tilt sensitivity works well with Krita
Pressure sensitivity works well with Affinity Photo and Designer.
Clip Studio Paint works well.
The original UGEE M708 is almost 7 years old at the time of this review. This is the third version and it's still a good performer. The design looks a bit dated that's all.
One area of concern is with the tapered strokes if you use Photoshop on Windows. Other than that, the line quality is pretty good with other drawing software.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good drawing performance
+ Eight physical shortcut buttons work well
+ Tilt and pressure sensitivity work well
+ Low initial activation force
+ No major driver glitches
+ Supports Linux too
- Dated design
- Strokes don't taper as smoothly with Photoshop (Win) compared to other drawing apps
- Build quality plasticky (expected) for tablet, pen and stand