So I've had a Bamboo CTH-470 for a minute, a little 6 x 4, and I've really enjoyed using it, but the time had come for it to be replaced. First, it was breaking. The mini-USB connection had gotten all loose and stupid, and had to be propped up with something for it to actually work. Second, I wanted more space to work with. I was ready for an upgrade.
I went with the Bamboo Capture for my first tablet because the price was right, and it was a Wacom. I've always heard such great things about this company's reliability. Refurbished, the CTH-470 cost me about $90USD, and I knew that if I wanted a size bigger, I was going to end up spending more money.
I don't know if you've ever looked at bigger Wacoms, but even used these things cost a pretty penny. When I discovered that the cheapest version I could find of the size I wanted was $500USD, I began looking at alternatives.
And that's how I ended up with a Huion H610PRO, in glorious 10 x 6 size.
I was nervous, worried that I'd taken some risk by buying from some Hong Kong based company instead of Wacom (whose parts are probably made in Hong Kong anyway.) and had constant anxiety-scenarios running through my head where the damn thing was broken, or just wouldn't work for whatever reason. I had taken necessary precautions, including purchasing an extra warranty for my new tablet and carefully reading all the reviews and advice, but, oh boy, I was anxious.
See, it just didn't seem right to me, because this enormous tablet cost $90USD,
just like my first (much smaller!) Wacom. Something about this, I decided, COULDN'T be right.
But the results are speaking for themselves. After a (slightly more complicated than the Wacom's) installation, I've quickly come to love my Huion tablet.Installation
Huion drivers are not for the sheeply. You can't just rip open the box and start shoving USB cords into slots like an impatient maniac. Before your Huion gets plugged in, you must go through and remove your previous tablet drivers, download the newest drivers from Huion's website, and install them. I did it right the first time, but some of the reviews had horror stories of not getting the Huion to work at all after a moment of thoughtless hurry. (A lot of reviews mentioned a language barrier problem, but I have added a bit at the bottom to address that. I think Huion has already addressed these complaints and if you bring your issues to them on platforms like Tumblr or dA rather than calling them, the language barrier ceases entirely to be an issue.) Wacom drivers are hella easy (despite the fact that your Wacom tablet uninstaller doesn't REMOVE them and you must manually hunt them down and remove them yourself) and very forgiving. The Huion is not a bad
choice, but, as I said, it requires a slightly more involved installation than the Wacom does.Surface
These things feel different. The Wacom's surface is hard and kind of slick and took some getting used to for me to sketch on. I used to have to put a piece of paper over it so I could have that tooth-feel. By contrast, the Huion surface feels almost soft, with a slight give as though you're sketching on a large pad of paper. I had gotten used to using the Wacom and had to warm up to the Huion.Buttonzzzzz
The Wacom CTH-470 has four buttons, and I only ever used one of them: Whichever one toggled off the 'touch' function. There's a lot more buttons on the Huion, but I confess that I generally only use the zooms and forget about the function ones. It's just not something I've ever been keen on using.Stylus
The Wacom's got a wireless stylus that requires no charge. One pen nib lasted me for two years. The Huion has a wireless stylus that plugs in to charge. So far, I've only had to charge it once, and I haven't noticed the nib wearing down especially fast.Missing Features
So far, the only thing I've noticed the Wacom having that the Huion doesn't is the aforementioned Touch function, where you control the mouse with your finger on the pad as opposed to the stylus. I honestly always hated this feature on the Wacom, since sometimes I would accidentally turn it on and it would make sketching hard, so I don't miss it at all, but if its something you find you really, really need, well, there you go.
In the end, I think this thing was absolutely what I wanted for the price I paid. For under a hundred dollars, I feel like I've gotten a significant upgrade in size and responsiveness.WHOA Edit to Add:
I love the way this tablet goes to sleep and wakes up. Sometimes I get distracted in the midst of a drawing and start browsing with my mouse, which I think I'm probably going to do forever. (I'm never going to be comfortable browsing websites with a tablet for some reason.) Being able to lay the pen on the tablet is wonderful. Wacoms (once again, fantastic product, just sort of spendy for my thin, thin wallet) stay awake so if you lay the pen on it, then the mouse won't work. It's a tiny thing, but one little tap of the pen wakes up the tablet, and I just absolutely love this feature.
Again, I'm sure some of these features are taken care of in higher-end Wacom tablets, but the Huion is waaaaay more in my price range.
I haven't had a problem yet with my Huion, but a friend of mine did and the response team through huion
's dA account was very fast and clear. One of the horror stories I read on Amazon was issues with English-to-Chinese language barriers during support calls, which was why I was careful to buy an extra warranty through Amazon. However, having now been exposed to their presence and public customer support on dA and Tumblr, I gotta say that the problem sounds Amazon-specific, and I must state that I believe that in the right platforms, Huion provides more personal and attentive customer support than Wacom
. That's a big deal, and while I still recommend getting an extra warranty, it seems like some of the horror stories I read in the Amazon reviews about poor customer service response have already been addressed by the Huion team.
Also, they'll like the shit out of your drawings on Tumblr. I'm always like "whoa, I got a retweet- oh, it's Huion. Man. They are on it. They looked at all my posts from that day, and they liked them all, but picked the favorite
to repost." It's stupid, but it's a personal touch. Their social media presence is friendly without being oppressive. They genuinely give the impression of being a smaller and more personal company despite language barriers. Lastly, I straight up am saying to you that the Huion has better pressure sensitivity controls than the Wacom Bamboo, and I can feel the difference.
It costs the same amount as this device. I think if you have to make a hard money choice about your purchase, go ahead and go with the Huion over the Bamboo, because you'll get a bigger size and better pressure sensitivity for the same cost, and the company is responsive and actively deals with customer support issues. I mean, if you're on a budget then it's simply the better choice. More bang for your buck.