What it’s like going from Wacom to Huion

There was a time when Wacom’s graphic’s tablets were the only ones worth buying, and because of this monopoly, they could charge whatever they wanted. They still do to be honest, but…spoiler alert…they’re in for a rude awakening.

When I eventually upgraded from my ancient Monoprice tablet to a Wacom Intuos S (all I could afford), I immediately realised what I’d been missing. Apart from it being a little smallish and not having tilt support, the thing is amazing. Wacom deserves its reputation. It feels better than physical drawing and painting, and cheaper in the long run because there’s no art supplies to worry about.

So, as a Wacom fangirl, I’ve been suspicious of all these claims lately that brands like Huion, Gaomon and XP Pen are all comparable now…but hopeful at the same time, because I really wanted a bigger tablet with tilt support, and the Wacom Intuos M Pro (what I would have upgraded to) is just so damn expensive.

After a fair bit of comparative research on different models, and watching a whole bunch of review videos, I decided to chance it and bought myself a Huion Inspiroy 1060p, and here are my honest thoughts:

The Price

The Wacom Intuos Medium Pro goes for around $350, whereas the Huion Inspiroy 1060 Plus goes for around $80.

The Wacom is 4 times the price of the Huion. Just something to keep in mind at all times while comparing other areas…

The Build Quality

I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality of the Huion tablet. Being a quarter of the price of the Wacom, I was expecting it to feel cheap, but it actually feels quite luxurious and well built.

The pen of the wacom feels ever so slightly better in the hand, and the end of the nib feels more solid. The Huion pen nib has a slight play which I’ll talk about more under the drawing/painting experience heading below.

At first I thought there might be an issue with the L shaped C type cable on the Huion because the driver wasn’t picking up the tablet, but it resolved after a restart and a jiggle. Now a couple months later, I can attest that it’s still solid and the cable hasn’t given any issues.

I would say the Wacom build quality is marginally better. Not really noticeable – definitely not 4 times as good.

The Design

The Huion has a few more buttons than the Wacom counterpart, and the nice thing is that they’re arranged in pairs, which is ideal for things like zooming in and out, undoing and redoing, and of course increasing and decreasing the brush size. With so many buttons, I’ve actually had to do some cheat cards to help me remember what buttons do what.

It’s a pity the buttons all feel the same. In future, I hope Huion adds some sort of ‘braille bumps’ (for lack of a better phrase), like the Wacom has, so that you don’t have to look down to see what button you’re on.

Wacom vs huion buttons

The Driver

The Huion software seems better in functionality, stability, and is better laid out, though it doesn’t support different profiles for different programs, whereas Wacom’s does.

If you only use one drawing/painting program, this isn’t an issue. I thought this would be a problem for me because I do use multiple programs, and I had a few different profiles with my Wacom, but I solved the issue for myself. The way I got around it is if I wanted to map a function to a tablet button, and the shortcut was different in two different programs (for example Corel Painter & PaintStorm Studio), I just remapped the shortcut key in one of the programs to match the other. With all shortcuts being the same, you only need one profile.

The Drawing/Painting Experience

My Wacom Intuos S only had 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. I thought that was enough until I tried the Huion. As someone who has a light touch, I really appreciate the significantly higher (8192) pressure sensitivity range of the Huion. It’s immediately apparent. I believe the Pro version of the Wacom also has 8192 pressure sensitivity levels, but honestly at 4 times the price, they had better at least be on par.

Where Wacom is clearly better is with techniques like stippling. The Huion (and I’ve heard the same of Gaomon and XP Pen) has a slight vertical wobble on the pen nib. It’s not easy to describe, but I’ll attempt it:

Where the Wacom nib feels like it is solidly part of the pen, the Huion nib feels like a separate part that retreats inside the pen by half a mm when you press it onto the tablet. I don’t notice this when I’m painting, and it hasn’t been a problem when I’m drawing either, but if I try stippling (making quick dots), I find that it only about a third of the dots actually register.

As I almost never use techniques like that, I can get by just fine with the pen as is, but of course, if that’s your thing, this tablet is going to be trash for you. I do hope that Huion dedicates some R&D into improving this in the future.

The Accessories

Both the Wacom Intuos Medium Pro and the Huion Inspiroy 1060 Plus come with a pen holder and extra nibs.

Neither comes with a stand or sleeve.

My Huion came with a drawing glove. My small Wacom didn’t, and I don’t believe the Medium Pro does either.

Drawing gloves are necessary if you have a graphics display tablet like a Wacom Cintiq / Huioin Kamvas. It’s purpose it to prevent the oils from your hand from leaving residue on your screen. It also helps your hand to glide nicely across the surface, even on screenless tablets.

It’s not something I found necessary on my small Wacom because it was too small for my hand to glide across it anyway, but I do find it necessary with the medium – especially on hot summer days when my hand is a bit sweaty.

The problem is that the glove is a bit small. It cuts off circulation a bit. Me being a small lady, I can only imagine how uncomfortable it would be for big man hands. How I’ve gotten around it, is I don’t actually put the glove on, I just drop the glove on the surface and it’s silky enough that if I rest my hand on it, I can still glide around the surface smoothly.

Drawing Glove Circulation

So, not great that the Huion glove is so small but at least they give you one… Looking at you Wacom.

So in summary, I can say confidently that the Huion is comparable with the Wacom, and a fraction of the cost. If Wacom don’t drastically lower their prices, I feel it’s only going to be the ignorant few that keep supporting them.

I would love to hear your experiences with various tablets in the comments.

I’ll end off the post with a close up of my first painting with the Huion:

Bayou Alligator in Murky Water
See full painting