Hi folks! Jose here with another tablet monitor review, this time from Huion who were kind enough to send me a Huion KAMVAS GT-191. I’ve read seen a lot of positive reviews for this tablet and I was really looking forward to trying it out myself. As with all the other reviews this will be a completely unbiased and honest with the artist’s perspective in mind.
The Huion KAMVAS GT-191 is a sleek 19.5 full HD IPS display with a 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution. It supports a whooping 8192 levels of pen pressure. That's the same pressure levels the new Cintiq Pros have and is the highest among all the Cintiq alternatives I have tried.
Out of the box, the pen worked great without the need of an external pressure curve editor which was a first for me. It comes with a stand which can also be detached if you’d like to use a monitor arm via VESA mount. It comes pre-attached with a screen protector which has a nice matte paper feel. This device is available at US $499.00 which is not the cheapest among the tablet monitors I have tried but it is one of the better quality ones so far. It's value for money, considering that it is a third of the cost of a top of the line but much smaller Cintiq Pro 16. I personally love this screen size. Its excellent for displaying all my UI elements comfortably in Photoshop, Zbrush and Keyshot.
Here's what's in the box
They were even nice enough to include a screwdriver! This was perfect because I usually need to remove the stand and attach it to my ergotron arm.
Build quality is sleek and sturdy with a smooth plastic finish. It is a minimalist setup with no extra buttons for shortcuts which is fine for me as I am used to using the keyboard.
There is also a rubber pad below the monitor which I assume is for gripping the surface and to provide a cushion when using the provided stand.
The image setting buttons are located at the bottom right with labels in front making it easy to know what you are pressing.
The stand provided works pretty much the same as the ones that come with the larger Ugee, XP-Pen, and Parblo tablets. The stand can lock firmly in many angles (much more versatile than the ones that come with the Cintiq 13HD and the companions).
It weighs about 13lbs (5.9kg) which makes it light enough to mount on an Ergotron arm which works well for me as it frees up my desk space and allows me to keep my keyboard underneath.
The screen is a 19.5 inch IPS display that comes in a 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution. It comes with a 72% NTSC color gamut, 3000:1 contrast ratio which and can display 16.7 million colors. The screen comes pre-attached with a matte screen protector which reduces glare, and gives the surface a paper feel, allowing you to glide your hands smoothly on the screen when you work. The screen protector is attached with just 4 adhesive tapes so you do sometimes notice the presence of rainbow air pockets which can sometimes be annoying. For long term use I would recommend buying an actual screen protector from an electronics shop and have them attach it on the screen for you so that you won’t see any rainbow artifacting in some areas when you press too hard.
This tablet monitor is compatible with multiple interface types which is great.
Huion’s tablet settings app is so far the most robust I have seen compared to the other non-Wacom brands which were pretty much just re-skins of each other. I like how Huion has actually spent the time to invest in this area. On top of the usual pressure and screen calibration tools you can also save or load all your settings.
Buttons can be mapped to mouse buttons or a combination of keystrokes (up to 16 keys including modifiers like ctrl, alt, shift, and win). Another great thing is the availability of the “switch display” shortcut to move your cursor from one monitor to the other. It's a common but necessary function if you don’t want to always switch from pen to mouse. So far of all the brands I have tried only Wacom had this. Nice job on this one Huion!!
The pen performance
It is stated that the Huion Kamvas GT 191 pen comes with 8192 levels of pressure, that's the same amount Wacom is promising with their latest Cintiq models. It comes with a 233PPS report rate and 5081LPI resolution, all of which supposedly give faster recognition and less lag. While the IAF (initial activation force) is not as sensitive to light touches as the Wacom Cintiqs but it does match up pretty well with the competitor brands out there.
Huion provides two pens so that one can charge while you work which makes it easy to charge one pen while the other one is being used. I have never had the battery ever run out on me while working before. I usually switch pens and charge the other about 3 days after using one just in case.
The pen comes with two buttons as expected and they have worked well with the shortcuts I have assigned them to (middle and right mouse click) and they have a nice quality feel to them which is better than some of the other pens I have tried. One thing you will notice about the pen is it is slightly longer and thinner at the back and is flat around the centers of both sides. It's not the usual Wacom-like shape so it will take a bit of time to get but this doesn’t really affect me since i am usually just holding the area near the buttons.
I’m not sure if it's due to the 8192 levels of pressure but it did feel like the transition between light to hard strokes were much smoother compared to other non-Wacom tablet monitors I have tried. And so far the initial activation force has matched that of the best performing alternatives that I have tried such as the XP-Pen and Ugee devices. Overall I am very happy with how the Kamvas GT 191 pen has performed.
Here are some line tests in different apps.
Photoshop worked well throughout the test. Not much jittering and smooth transitions from light to hard pressure as well.
There's no jittering in Sketchbook Pro also. There was some heavy tapering in Sketchbook Pro I am not sure if it was a because of the brush or tablet (sorry I don’t use Sketchbook much).
The tablet performed just as well in Medibang as it did in Photoshop. Not much jittering and smooth transitions from light to hard pressure.
The tablet performed great with Krita. Smooth lines and transitions.
There were issues with Paint Tool Sai, the tablet did not seem compatible with it.
This sketch was done in photoshop.
Here's a quick test with Zbrush and Keyshot. No issues with the tablet working with those programs.
I have tried numerous Wacom Cintiqs, Surface Pros, and other tablet monitor brands. And I feel the Kamvas GT 191 holds its own among the top models out there in terms of build quality and pen performance.
While I’m not sure how to verify the 8192 levels of pressure I can confidently say that the pen performs really well allowing me to achieve smooth transitions between various pressure ranges without the need of third party apps Like Lazy Nezumi to tweak the curves manually. While the initial activation force is still not as light as Wacom models, I do think that it performs pretty close. If you have used a Cintiq before you will notice a slight difference, but if you have never used a tablet screen before I’m pretty sure you’re going to love the feeling of drawing directly on the screen (there's no going back from it).
The 19.5” screen is relatively large and allows for a lot of screen real estate to work comfortably in 3D or 2D using apps like Zbrush and Photoshop. Priced at USD $499, its an amazing deal offering you both quality and screen size all without breaking the bank. I’m really happy with what Huion has done with the Kamvas GT 191. I feel they have made very little compromises to give us a great tablet monitor at a great price and I look forward to trying more devices from them in the future.
Here's a summary of the pros and cons:
+ Nice build quality
+ Really nice and sturdy stand (stays firmly at numerous angles)
+ Plenty of screen real estate (displays all UI elements with minimal clutter)
+ Easy to setup and install drivers
+ Robust settings app (keystroke as well as mouse button mapping)
+ Toggle monitor switch!! (Ugee, Xp-Pen, Parblo, devices do not have it)
+ Stand easily detached if you would like to use a monitor arm
+ Pre-attached matte screen protector for papery feel
+ IPS panel with good viewing angles
+ 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Low initial activation force (not as low as a Cintiq but better than a Surface pro)
+ Pressure curve settings are almost cintiq-like out of the box
+ Jitter is non existent or very little
+ Works well with Photoshop, Zbrush
+ Amazing value (Price is one third the price of a smaller Cintiq Pro 16)
- Cables connect at the middle bottom which can get away when propping stand at very low angles
- Parallax is quite evident (but still bearable)
- Pre attached matte screen protector is grainier than usual (suggest attaching your own)
- Lack of express keys if you require them