Huion Pro 16 Review
We put the Huion Pro 16 drawing tablet through its paces and ask the question, “How does it compare with Wacom and other, more expensive, options out there?”
Writing a review is a difficult task. A reviewer must write a review comparing the product against their experiences with other similar products. So it’s almost worth giving an overview of what I am comparing this particular device (Huion Pro 16) to. I have spent time reviewing several Huion devices, as well as using Wacom pen displays and tablets in the past. These days I do most of my painting on an IPad Pro using Procreate. I have to admit I haven’t used a Wacom that has been produced in the last couple of years, but I am otherwise fairly well versed in graphics tablets and pen displays, and have spent many hours enjoying painting on one.
So, with that pool of experience I will begin this review by giving an overview of my thoughts on Huion. When I reviewed my first Huion device several years ago it came in a simple box with poorly written instructions and it felt like they hadn’t spent more than a few minutes thinking about their branding. The device surprised me and was great, but something about the package made me feel like it was still a budget device.
Skip forward to the present though and their website is up to date, their products are beautifully branded, and they have clearly developed their understanding of the creative and discerning audiences buying their products. There is no longer that lingering feeling that I’ve just received a budget product. You will find the device packaged in a robust box with stunning artwork on the exterior. The video and images below will give you an impression of what you should expect upon receiving your Huion device.
It struck me that Huion have really improved their build quality. It was never that bad, but this newer device is really quite beautiful, and although it features many plastic components, it does not feel at all like a cheap piece of equipment. They have also updated their stylus, meaning there is no longer a requirement to charge it which is a nice touch. This doesn’t in any way restrict its usability.
You will tell already this is a positive review, but here is the one big negative for me – the stand! It’s very slim, attractive and space saving, and I really wish it was good functionally, but it just isn’t. It has a very limited range of angles to set the device to and the most upright is still pretty reclined. Additionally the only thing that stops the display from sliding off the stand is two rubbery strips of plastic, which under a little pressure are insufficient. Huion have ironed out so many mini creases in their products, they are getting so close to something perfect. For me they need to turn their attention back to the stand and work out something more practical and versatile.
Setting up the device is a breeze. You would have thought that as the Studio Manager at a massive website like 3dtotal I would be quite tech savvy. I AM NOT. I am honestly useless and only get by at work with regular interventions from our superb developer, Tristan. However, I had this plugged in, the software downloaded and being used in about 8 minutes (and we’ve got bad internet speeds). You will not have trouble setting this up.
The screen is vibrant, easy to adjust, and crisp. As someone who is used to the IPad Pro which has a great display, I can say confidently that the quality of this is comparable. It has a very fine matte finish which means it isn’t too reflective and is nice to draw on. You will not find any fault with the screen on this device.
You will find it helps you when painting or sculpting, it is intuitive, it is comfortable and it is fun.
As I said I am a Procreate user but back in the day I was quite a fan of the traditional feel of the brushes in Painter, so I thought I would use that to test this out. The first test is simply to set a brush to pressure sensitivity that will adjust the size and opacity of the stroke. That way you can see in seconds how well the device will respond to your strokes. The video below shows my very first test scribbles.
You will take no more than a few minutes to feel entirely comfortable with the device and become confident with your strokes and mark making. It will act as you would expect it to which is comforting and helps you be confident when you work.
The very next thing I did was a super-fast scribbled pirate. I set up my brush and didn’t adjust the opacity or size throughout the drawing to gauge what is possible without needing to make changes to the brush. Every artist wants to be efficient and spend more time painting than tweaking settings, and this test allows you to get a good impression of how the device will help you with that. I was really happy with how it performed. When you realize you’re thinking more about what you’re drawing than the means to draw it, you know the device isn’t interfering with you. I was really happy and impressed.
This is a really good tablet. If you are thinking of getting one I would suggest buying one won’t disappoint you. It retails at $499 USD (with the stand) on the Huion Website, which is about £350 for all of you Brits reading. At the beginning I talked about making comparisons. Relatively this is a great price for a device of this quality, and although it seems cheap you can be confident that you are not getting a cheap piece of equipment.
I’ve given it 4 out of 5. There are two gripes. Firstly that stand, save the $30USD on the asking price and find something else to use. That stand looks okay, but it isn’t a secure way of holding the device.
Secondly the size, and this is an odd gripe. This is bigger than the IPad Pro I use, so why would I mention the size? I’ve reviewed the 19-inch, 20-inch and even the 22-inch Huion devices before and I loved them. If you have the desk space and budget, go LARGE, I don’t think you’ll regret it. This is a device that will sit in one place all the time, therefore I would maximize your working area and go for the biggest you can accommodate. That said, if this suits your budget and space needs, don’t hesitate to get one, you will love it.