I came across this particular tablet while searching for a tablet monitor to replace my old Wacom Bamboo. Besides my Bamboo, I had some experience using various models of Wacom’s Cintiq. I was looking for a cheaper alternative to the Cintiq, which is probably the most well-known and widely used tablet monitor.
After doing extensive research of various alternative tablet monitors, I decided that the MSP19U+V5 was the best option from what I had seen. I bought it on Amazon for $479, with the original price listed as $699. Since then, at the time of writing this, the price has gone down to $449. After spending several hours drawing with it, I can say that it is definitely a great alternative to the Cintiq, especially for being about a quarter of the price of the Cintiq 22 HD and over $300 cheaper than the Cintiq 13 HD.
The tablet itself is 17.9 by 14.2 inches and 9.7 pounds (4.4kg), so it is not too bulky and can fit on a fairly small desk.
The stand that it comes with is sturdy and has rubber grips on the bottom so that it doesn’t slide around. I don’t feel like I’m going to slide the tablet around or break the stand when I draw on it, even if I’m pushing down hard.
The screen is smooth glass, so it doesn’t have the same paper texture feel as the Cintiq, but after using both, I’ve found that I prefer the smoother screen of the Yiynova. The smoother screen also prevents scratching and the wearing down of the pen nibs. I don’t think a screen protector is necessary and I haven’t seen mention of any need for one in the reviews I have read. The smoother screen also has more potential for glare, but I haven’t had much of a problem with this since I don’t usually have mine close to a bright window.
There are programmable buttons for different commands on the left side of the monitor, but I haven’t really used these much. The labels for the default settings are printed on the front of the monitor, while the buttons are in the back. They seem to be in an easily accessible location, but they make loud clicks when you press them, which may be annoying to people who would use them frequently. The power button and settings buttons are on the lower right side and it took me a few minutes to figure out how to maneuver through the menus to change the colors and brightness. The menus can be difficult to navigate, but I only change display settings occasionally so I wouldn’t consider it a detraction from the tablet.
The default stand setup on the back of the monitor
The programmable buttons on the back left of the monitor and the power and settings buttons on the lower right side
The 19-inch screen has a resolution of 1440x900 and 4000 LPI.
The colors were a bit weird with the default settings, but after playing with the color settings for a while, I managed to get them fairly close to the colors on my laptop. I usually keep another window open on my laptop so that I can check the colors and make sure they look the way I intend. This also helps with the differing resolutions, since the tablet is 1440x900, while my laptop is 1920x1080. Even though the resolution of the tablet is a bit lower than that of my laptop, I usually zoom in enough while I’m drawing that I don’t notice the lower resolution much. The only time that the resolution is noticeable is when working with really fine detail, but even in those instances, the lower resolution is not too much of a problem.
There is a small amount of parallax (where the glass thickness causes a difference in the location of the pen tip and the cursor), but it’s usually not noticeable. Occasionally, if I am sitting in a much different position than I was when I calibrated the screen, I’ll have to recalibrate, but usually that’s not necessary.
The viewing angle isn’t the best because there is no IPS panel, so sometimes if I’m looking at the very top or bottom of the screen, I need to move my head a bit to make sure I’m looking at the screen as close to perpendicularly as possible. However, this probably wouldn’t be too much of a problem for most people because the most comfortable drawing position is directly in front of the monitor.
When I received the tablet, it came in a fairly sturdy box that I now use if I need to transport it somewhere. It came with the manual, a disk with the latest drivers, two drawing gloves, two pen kits, all of the necessary cords, and some adapters.
The drawing gloves are well-made and comfortable, as well as reversible, so they can be used whether you are right-handed or left-handed. Although one glove is sufficient, it is nice to have the second one as a backup in case the other gets lost or worn out. Since the tablet screen is a glossy glass, drawing with a glove can prevent smudging on the screen. It can also prevent your hand from sticking when trying to move across the screen while your hand is sweaty, but since the monitor doesn’t give off too much heat, this isn’t much of a problem anyway.
The power cord detaches from the tablet, while the DVI-I input cable does not. It comes with three adapters for HDMI, VGA, and DP++. Use of the tablet requires plugging the power cable into an outlet, one branch of the input cable into a USB port, and the other branch into an input of your choice (I use HDMI). The wires take up a lot of space, but I manage to fit my laptop and tablet on a fairly small desk along with a lamp and other desk clutter.
The box can be carried by the handle without it feeling like it’s going to fall apart.
Two of these reversible gloves came with the tablet
Starting from the left: DVI-I input, USB input, HDMI adapter (I use this one), VGA adapter, DP++ adapter
The two pen kits each consist of a P2X pen, two extra nibs (for a total of six nibs including the ones that came in the pens), a nib-remover, and a plastic case for the pen.
The pen itself is comparable to any of the other tablet pens I have used, including those of the Bamboo and Cintiq. The P2X is Yiynova’s best pen model compared to the P2H and older models. The pen has 2048 levels of sensitivity (double what my Bamboo had, but equal to the Cintiq) and does not have tilt detection, but I don’t personally need or use tilt detection, so I don’t consider this a loss.
It is battery-powered and takes one AAA battery. So far I have not had to replace the battery, and from what I have read, the pen can be used regularly for a long time (at least several months) without needing a new battery. The battery doesn’t add a very noticeable amount of weight to the pen, and the weight feels similar to the Wacom pens I have used.
The pen does not have an “eraser” on the other end, but I have not really missed it too much.
There are two programmable buttons on the side which is really my only complaint about the pen. The buttons are positioned in such a way that they are too easy to press, and I often do that accidentally while drawing and end up interrupting my stroke or switching colors unintentionally. Due to this, I often try to position my fingers on the pen differently so that I am less likely to accidentally hit the buttons. However, the buttons can be disabled in the settings menu if you don’t use them. The pen case makes a nice pen holder since it has a hole that you can stand the pen up in. It doesn’t make the best case though because the pen fits a bit too snugly and it is also really hard to pry open. The case also has a transparent ruler on the side, but I haven’t had the need to use it.
The two P2X pens showing their structure and how they open for the battery
The pen cases with extra nibs and nib remover on left and right sides of the open case respectively
Use and Drawing Experience
I use the HDMI adapter with my Dell XPS L511Z laptop running Windows 7.
Drawing is really smooth and natural and I don’t notice any lag or jitter at all.
The pressure sensitivity feels a bit different than Wacom pens, but I was able to easily get the pressure levels how I wanted them by adjusting some pen settings. There is a really nice pressure ramp and I don’t feel as though I need to press too softly or too hard in order to get the full range of pressure values that I want.
The color and resolution difference between the tablet and my laptop isn’t a problem either because I almost always have another window open on my laptop of the drawing so that I can check to make sure everything looks the way that I want it to. As I said before, as long as I calibrate the screen, I don’t have much noticeable parallax and even with a somewhat smaller viewing angle, as long as I stay close to perpendicular to the screen, I don’t need to worry about it affecting my drawing.
The tablet also stays cool for long periods of time and it hasn’t gotten uncomfortably warm, even after several hours of continual use. The tablet also makes a great second monitor, even if I’m not using it for drawing. I can have a window open for reference when using Autodesk Maya, or when using Unity, I can have the code up on one screen and the project window open on the other. Having the extra screen space can help speed things up and make things easier no matter what software I’m using. I also usually have a USB mouse plugged in when I’m using my tablet, so that I can quickly move windows between screens or just for software like Maya or Unity where a mouse is easier to use than a pen.
My setup with my laptop and the MSP19U+V5 with Clip Studio Paint open
Some of the tablet options including pen button settings and pressure sensitivity
Pen pressure sensitivity tests/demonstrations done using Clip Studio Paint
Driver Installation and Problems
I had read in some reviews that it was a good idea to make sure I had installed the tablet drivers before even plugging in the tablet, so I did so. However, I was hoping that I could at least leave my Wacom drivers on my computer so that I could use my Bamboo if I wanted to, but I was unable to get things working correctly until I uninstalled all of the Wacom drivers. This isn’t a big deal because the UC-Logic drivers for the Yiynova installed really quickly so I could uninstall and reinstall drivers in the future if for some reason I needed to use my Bamboo.
Everything was running smoothly, but when I drew with the tablet for long periods of time, the pen pressure would stop working after an hour or two and I would be unable to draw with it until I restarted my computer. This went on for a while, and I would just restart my computer every couple hours, until I finally contacted the seller, The Panda City (in the US), and emailed support. Their customer support was really helpful, responded within a day, and kept up communications until my problem was fixed.
I will talk about how I solved the problem for reference for anyone else having the same issue. Part of the problem was due to the fact that I had overlooked which version of the drivers I was using. The disk that the tablet came with contained the newest version of the drivers, which were not recommended for use with Windows 7. I downloaded and installed version 5.02 from the Panda City website, but was still having problems. It turned out that my computer was using the default Windows tablet drivers instead of the UC-Logic drivers. I ended up having to create a new administrator account on my computer and reinstall the drivers, which finally solved all of my problems. This was partially my fault for not paying attention to which driver version I needed for my operating system.
I recommend that anyone getting this tablet makes sure they follow the installation instructions located on The Panda City’s Facebook page and uninstalls all other tablet drivers and installs the correct version for their operating system before even plugging in the tablet.
I would definitely recommend the Yiynova MSP19U+V5 to anyone who is looking for a good tablet monitor. It is a great and cost effective alternative to the Wacom Cintiq, and depending on your preference, could be an even better option than the Cintiq. As an upgrade from the Wacom Bamboo, this tablet has made drawing digitally feel much more natural and has drastically sped up my workflow. Here is a quick pros and cons list of what I feel are the most important details of the tablet:
- Price (at the time of writing, $449 on Amazon)
- Very responsive and helpful customer service (at least with The Panda City)
- Minimal lag, jitter, and parallax
- Light but sturdy monitor and stand
- Stand is adjustable and doesn’t slide
- Lots of accessories: two gloves, two pens, adapters, nibs, etc.
- Programmable shortcut buttons on the side of the monitor
- Pen battery lasts a long time
- Good range of pen pressure sensitivity
- Glossy screen prevents scratching and nibs from wearing down
- Vivid colors once properly adjusted due to lack of anti-glare surface
- Small viewing angle due to having no IPS panel
- Lower resolution
- Possible difficulties with driver installation
- No eraser on pen
- No tilt detection
- Wires take up a lot of space, adapters needed
- Glossy screen more likely to cause glare
- Colors and brightness need some adjustment out of the box
Hopefully this review has provided you with some useful information that will make your tablet-buying choice easier!
Thanks for reading,