I'm posting this here for anyone interested in the tablet as I was. There's not that much information about this one versus previous Artisul products so the more the merrier.
For the value you can get this tablet at ($299 w/o tax and free shipping on their site when I ordered it) it's almost a steal. The size is fantastic, the metal stand is impressive, the build quality feels solid and weighty (not too much!) and the drawing experience is great in Clip Studio Paint at least. Unfortunately, this tablet is let down by a miserable, under-featured driver suite that feels like a significant step down from the 6.0 version I used on the Artisul D10. For perspective I'm a hobbyist and not much of a professional, and this is only my second drawing monitor.
I did a decent amount of research before buying this and the most honest review I saw was Zeurel's on YouTube. His main complaints were a poor driver suite, useless RGB gimmick and poor pen performance. While my pen performance seems to be much better than his with no input drops or lagging (aside from one time CSP stopped letting me draw until I restarted it, but that might just be its own fault) I was hoping he had the older 6.2 version, but no - he had the current 7.0 (v188.8.131.526) version that's just as bad.
This driver suite suffers from significantly worse features and UE/UI than it's 6.0 predecessor, with some glaring issues including:
- no simple, pre-defined, application-based shortcuts for express/pen buttons
- missing eraser toggle for the pen buttons
- no drop-down menu for quick and easy config switching between applications
- no visual representation of pressure curve
- eighth express button cannot be rebound
- does not appear in the taskbar and for some reason doesn't appear on top of certain applications even in administrator mode
- making macros is obnoxious, requiring you to tick checkboxes for keys like CTRL or shift instead of typing in keystrokes yourself
- no on-screen popups when pressing express buttons
Like I said, this feels like a monitor that's so incredibly close to greatness. This build quality feels incredible for the price point, which is surprising. It doesn't feel plasticy or flimsy, it barely flexes at all and you could probably kill someone with the partial-aluminum stand. The pen feels a little too light for my tastes (some like that) and has a visible seam in the plastic but it does the job well.
The screen looks fantastic, sharp and properly colorful right out of the box with little to no tweaking. It's almost to the point I would want to use it as my main monitor if it was larger and I knew what it's refresh rate and response time was. It's also sufficiently large, especially coming from the 10-inch Artisul D10.
Drawing on it feels great and the matte screen protector gives it a nice paper-ish feel.
Unfortunately, this driver suite is so poor and barebones that I just can't recommend this until they update it. I've emailed their support ([email protected]
) hoping for any information on future driver updates that could fix these issues and it seems they are reading their Amazon reviews, so I hope they know about this stuff and work on bringing this tablet from a cautious recommendation to a Wacom killer. If this isn't resolved in the near future I may have to just refund this and look at an XP-Pen or Wacom alternative.
The closest you'll probably get to this is the XP-Pen 15.6 Pro, which is more expensive. The Wacom One is similar in price but has significant downsides, such as no buttons, worse cable management and is only 13 inches - minus other issues related to Wacom. Your best bet if you absolutely have to have Wacom is to score a used Cintiq off Craigslist or Ebay for cheap enough, in this price range.
Some other suggestions on improving the driver suite:
- allow for automatic, per-application config preset switching, similar to automatic game detection in Logitech Gaming Software
- let users customize the RGB wheel more, such as different colors depending on scroll wheel mode, custom gradients or colors/patterns on actions a-la iCUE
- direct editing of pressure curve
- allow user to create more dial options than just the three (seems there's no way to add the 2 more it advertises)