Tablet history log


iIllustration: Beta-testing Krita in 2012 with four Wacom tablets


Welcome to this article about my experience with my graphic tablets, sorted under the form of a timeline.
The article starts with a little F.A.Q.

( Note: this article will continuously receives update. Creation date in May 2015, latest update: June 2017 )

F.A.Q:

What is the best tablet to start digital-painting with?
I think a A5 sized regular tablet (medium as Huion H610 Pro or Wacom Intuos Medium). Avoid the A6 size (10x15cm), they are too small to draw or paint.

Why do you have many tablets?
Ask to a professional guitarist why he has so many guitars. Same answer here :-)

Why tablets are so expensive?
Another analogy to musicians here: tablets are not expensive compare to a piano, a saxophone or a good instrument.

I'm a tablet company, would you like to test our tablets? I can send you a device for free to appear on this page.
Yes, but I'll test it on a GNU/Linux system and I'm not promising to say only good things about it.
Also, I'll always write if a device review is sponsored or not. Email me for getting my address.

Why do you use Linux to use your tablets ?
That's another topic, and you can read here about it.

Timeline:

2000 : No tablet

Context: I started being a professional illustrator with traditional painting on canvas. At this time, I used Internet mostly as a communication tool to send scan of my artworks to publishers.


Working on a H.P. Lovecraft illustration for a RPG book.

2002: Wacom Graphire 3

Context: First tablet, I made my first online portfolio and first years of freelancer "digital" with it.
Specification:  Medium sized A5, ultra smooth Plexiglas overlay sheet, 4/3 ratio.
Used with: a 4/3 CRT monitor 1280x1080px, Photoshop Element 2.0 (bundled with the tablet).
Pro: Good precision, got a slot to clip the stylus when traveling, thin stylus with good shape.
Con: Mouse was useless, Plexiglas overlay sheet get easily visible scratches.


2006: Intuos 3 A4

Context: Switching to 100% digital-painting in my daily work. Previous tablet felt a bit too small.
Specification: A4 large active area, 4:3 ratio. Perfect overlay sheet in my opinion ( a bit fragile, I changed it 3 times until expired in Wacom shop )
Used with: 1280x1024 4/3 monitor, and discovering first Linux distro in 2007 with it.
Pro: Super robust, super standard on every Linux (plug'n'play). I painted more on this tablet between 2006 to 2016 than all other combined.
Con: Wacom eshop don't sell parts or overlay sheet for it anymore. I can't use it; stylus spring for pressure is too tired after dozen of Pepper&Carrot episodes.



2007: Cintiq 12WX

Context: First Cintiq, was a dream to try to "draw on screen". The fashion of "wide" ratio screen started.
Specification: 1280x720px, same stylus and technology as Intuos3.
Used with: Second monitor , 1680x1024 16/10 monitor.
Pro: Draw on the screen.
Con: Mini size, too dark to be color calibrated correctly, very pricey, big padding on the border, too hot and big cable and power unit. The tablet took a scratch 1 year after getting it because of a solid dust in the air getting stuck between the stylus nib and screen during drawing. Also, it was a paint to setup with Xorg on my first years of 100% GNU/Linux. I sold it before Sintel.



2008: Bamboo fun A5

Context: I was needing a A5 tablet to do work while traveling and do conferences and demonstrations.
Specification: A5, 16:10 ratio, 4 buttons and one circular touch ring.
Used with: Small laptop.
Pro: The design. Small size, good stylus ergonomic. Still alive.
Con: Placement of the button on top. Bad overlay sheet ; I replaced with a Intuos3 overlay. Sticky coating of the stylus after years. I had to peel it manually.


2010: Intuos 4 M

Context: Working outside of my studio started to be something more frequent with all projects at Blender Foundation in Amsterdam. I decided to upgrade my tablet.
Specification: A5, 16:10 ratio, 8 buttons with mini black and white display, and a ring touch with a central button.
Used with: 15'' laptop to 24'' professional monitor.
Pro: Design with OLED buttons, More precise than the Bamboo-fun for similar active area.
Con: Issue with overlay sheet at release of Intuos4 : too grainy. Wacom fixed it in 2012 after a petition signed by many artists, meanwhile I adapted a Intuos3 overlay sheet. Larger and heavier than the Bamboo-fun. "peach skin" coating plastic on the stylus, I had to peel this one too.



2011: Cintiq 21UX

Context: I wanted to try (again) drawing on screen.
Specification:  10Kg, 1200x1600px, Intuos3 technology for stylus and similar button layout.
Used with: mapped to the built-in screen with always an external screen aside.
Pro: Resolved a long thirsty to get one day this type of model, thanks the efficient marketing of Wacom. Good device to detail digital painting.
Con: Too heavy, dark reddish screen impossible to calibrate color properly, big pixels for a device where your eyes are in a close distance. Very hot I had to built-in a custom system of fan. Smudgy overlay and fragile back-light ; the device "died" at a point. I was able to repair it with soldering electronic component manually. The device also take all the room on the desk; I tried to fix this in any possible manner: hacking a gamepad for additional buttons, putting the Cintiq on ergotron arm and more. I used on Pepper&Carrot the stylus of the Cintiq to offer a 10th life to my compatible Intuos3 A4. The surface got scratched: I had to peel it. Also, I opened the Cintiq completely to remove small insect between the pixels and the glass. This device can have real bugs. I finally archived this device I totally used to the last stroke. I plan to give it to a local Fablab or a group of hardware hacker.



2016: Cintiq 22HD

Context: During Pepper&Carrot production, Cintiq21ux died at episode 6 and my old Intuos 3 started to give sign of end-of-life. I wanted to test how Wacom fixed newer Cintiqs.
Specification:  1920x1080px ; 9 key layout on both side.
Used with: Built-in screen , and other 1080p screens aside.
Pro: 16:9 , 1080p ratio , very standard. General design. Screen colors and luminosity is good, possible to calibrate decently the device. Heat issue is acceptable. Not heavy and pretty thin compared to the 21UX ( but not flat at all ).
Con: The plastic around the active area is all made of this "Peach skin" coating. I expect epic peeling party and bad looking device after 4 years. The tablet still takes all the desktop and it's hard to switch between tasks. I sold the tablet after three weeks of production on episode 16, almost new, because my productivity was decreasing.



2017: Cintiq 13HD

Context: Intuos3 was definitely end-of-life, I was urged to buy a new tablet for episode 21 of Pepper&Carrot. I decided to try "Intuos 5 Pro Large" but the active size area was similar to a Cintiq13HD and price tag not so far.
Specification: 1920x1080pixels, Intuos5 technology, 13'' screen.
Used with: monitor cloned exactly to a 1920x1080pixels screen.
Pro: Possible to do Hybrid workflow ; half regular large tablet, half Cintiq. Good screen luminosity, color good enough to be calibrated. With 1080p in 13'' the resolution is good to the eyes on low distance. The parallax (distance of glass and pixel on screen) is much better than on 22HD or 21UX, you can almost use it without calibration. Heat issue is acceptable. Stylus is really better than Intuos4 and Intuos3 : buttons doesn't jump, plastic doesn't move. The case of the stylus delivered with the tablet is really good design. Also, I need to mention the price 750€ here, almost half price of the Cintiq12WX bought in 2007.
Con: The big fat and rigid cable going out of this model is really bad design. So bad you can't see it on any marketing picture. The Wacom team responsible for this part was really drank that day. Other point; If like me you are a hairy monkey; the plastic bevel around the active area act as a perfect device to remove the hair of your arm because they always get stuck with gesture inside. Little relief on the middle of the buttons are painful when pressed often. Also: "peach coating" over all the part where the tablet has button , like on the Cintiq 22HD. I guess I 'll have the period where it become sticky and the period where I 'll need to waste the design by peeling all this coating...



2017: Huion WH1409

Context: My house has been robbed. My Cintiq13HD has been robbed after only  three little month of usage. I was needing a new tablet. My curiosity lead me to try the Huion WH1409, to find maybe a successor to my ideal ex-Intuos3 large...
Specification:  Wireless, large active area, stylus with battery, 12 buttons between 16:9 and 16:10.
Used with:
Pro: The price, 1/3 less than Wacom similar model. Good design ; this black square looks good on a desk. Almost similar coating of the active area than Intuos3 but a bit smoother. The wireless is good. Battery life is good and also all works when connected/charging so no panic in case of emergency work to do and running out of battery. The buttons are easy to press and feels better than Wacom's one. A very good regular large tablet.
Con: No official GNU/Linux driver but possible to instal (but not all the features: eg,  9 buttons working on 12 available ) I had various small issue with middle click actions. Built-in curve of pressure of the stylus: this one quickly jump to high-pressure in my opinion, it's hard to get middle-pressure strokes for my habit, but surely something you can get used to do quickly with a bit of training and adaptation. Stylus tip diameter doesn't fit perfectly the socket to insert it ; the tip dance in the cavity adding a little feeling of inaccuracy when doing precise task as inking ( note: it's a issue easy to fix manually with adding a little 2mm large adhesive rubber band to thicken by 0.1mm the diameter of the nib, don't do it too much or the nib spring will get difficulty to restore initial position if there is too much contact ).  The plastic of the nib of the stylus is also glossy and then slide too quickly on the overlay sheet for my taste. You can sand paper it gently to increase the contact of the plastic with the overlay sheet. The last pack of 4 buttons on the bottom of the tablet are sensitive: if you put your arm on it to access a keyboard as I place mine in the photo under, you'll get accidental key-press done by your arm.




2017: Cintiq 13HD (the return)

Context: My previous Cintiq13HD has been robbed and it's sort of a psychological need for me to restore "my things" as they were before (or almost). I was also satisfied to paint with this model. So I bought it again, and that's what I'm using now in production. For Specification/Pro/Con please read two chapter above the Cintiq13HD , it's exactly the same device with same dumb cable, but also same lovely hybrid workflow.


I was missing too much the Linux Mint "Matrix" screensaver effect , on Cintiq13HD plus dual screen.

And you ?
What's your story with tablet?
Do you have different opinion on the model I described?
What's your favorite model?
Please share it in the comments :)

44 comments

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  Adrienne Gaye Thompson - Reply

David, do you get the feel of drawing on paper with the Huion or does it feel like you're drawing on glass?

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Hi, Huion ( for the WH1409 , I never tested the other one ) has a smooth overlay. It's very far from a paper texture. It's not smooth as glass; but it is sort of non-glossy plastic smooth. Mostly feeling like mate-aluminium smooth. You can hear a very subtle "Shhhhhh" when sliding finger on it , not similar effect than doing same thing with glass or glossy plastic and getting rubber-scream sounds.

If I had to make a chart for smoothness of overlay, I'll do something like that:

Ultra smooth => Glass screen tablets/smartphone
Glass smooth => Cintiq 21UX with peeled plastic overlay
Very smooth => All cintiqs in general with default overlay
Smooth => Huion WH1409 default overlay
Ideal smooth (for me) => Intuos 3 default overlay
Soft grain => coating of non-glossy LCD monitors most of the time ( too bad I can't draw on it)
Grainy => Intuos 4 default overlay
Ultra grainy => Intuos 4 Extra large transparent plastic overlay

After a very small week at home, the Huion WH1409 feels already slightly too smooth. I trimmed a little bit the tip of the stylus with sand paper (gently, subtle, not a full flat ) ; with this I added more surface and contact between the tip and the overlay of tablet. It improves the feeling a bit.

I hope my answer will help you!

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  Adrienne Gaye Thompson - Reply

Thank you David, that did help. I think I'll try the Huion WH1409. Got lots of artwork planned down the road. I've seen some postings that recommend the Huion over the Cintiq - and not just because of price.

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Good to see Huion getting serious. It might shake a bit Wacom to finally have a competitor after 20 years of monopoly on professional tablets. It will boost them to keep innovations on prices and be less tempted to play the planned obsolescence on their product , or part of their product. Eg. with Intuos4 in 2008 ; where this new tablet model was eating nibs and overlay surface like mad. Wacom finally changed the overlay of original Intuos4 (from 2008) in 2010 with this message: http://www.wacom.com/en-co/support/faqs … nib%20wear , ending the petition.

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  Adrienne Gaye Thompson - Reply

I have the impression that your favourite was the Intuos4. What made you switch to the Huion?

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

My favorite is the Intuos3 large A4. But I couldn't fix it anymore: Wacom removed from their e-shop the overlay and stylus.
An Intuos3 stylus is almost 100€ now (and not new). I had to replace the stylus: the string for the pressure system started to be tired, and the pressure was very flat. Also, all soft rubber parts started to be old and broken. My Intuos 3 overlay had too many scratch. I tried many DIY overlays: with acrylic plastic home sanded, or decorative adhesive plastic bought in DIY shops. But it wasn't good enough.
I saw the Intuos4 had the same treatment: overlay disapearing from the Wacom shop, stylus getting sticky plastic, and price growing to change parts. Intuos Pro large cost 529€ here ( ref: http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00222205.html ) and needs a very recent distribution for the GNU/Linux driver to work ( I'm not even sure it's ported already). Also, as you can see on the picture of the product : the overlay of the tablet is now something you can't remove. If you have a scratch , you need to change all the tablet. Of course, they claim to get a new material, aluminium-like ; put in my years with tablet I know every material always end with a scratch. Cintiqs, Intuos, or even smartphone/tablet. The active surface is also smaller than the Huion : 31,1cm large.
The Intuos Pro has a very low difference of price with the Cintiq 13HD ( 749€ , ref: http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00145543.html ) . For 220€ more you get same size ( active width) and a screen built-inside. So I bought this one. Cintiq 13HD works fine, and I used it in Hybrid mode: flat as a tablet , mapped to my 1080p screen in clone. So I could use it as a tablet, or look on the desk and use it as a Cintiq. But 90% of time, I was looking at my screen. In April, my house had a burglary ( https://www.peppercarrot.com/en/article … een-robbed ) and they stole the 13HD on my desk , thinking it was probably a Android tablet... So, I had to buy something new.
With lower budget this time, knowledge I'm not needing Cintiq ; I turned to test the Huion ; risking the GNU/Linux driver to be non-existent. I'm also planning to buy again the Cintiq13HD soon, but this is more a symbolic thing after the burglary ; A deep part of me still wants to recover "my" objects. I'll see when a second-hand one will get a lower price, and when I'll have the budget :-)
That's all why I have this Huion WH1409 now.

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  Piotr Adamowicz - Reply

I still actively use my Intuos 3 A4 after many years. Since I can't replace the overlay, I've taken to just putting a piece of semi-glossy, thick paper on top, secured with a bit of duct tape and changed every so often. Works surprisingly well for me, even if it looks totally ghetto :D
... I should really look into that Huion. I just don't like the Intuos 4 series very much.

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

About the overlay ; I'll try something: purchasing a overlay sheet of Huion WH1409 ( large) to see how it behaves on my old Intuos3 A4 ( from this eshop page https://www.huiontablet.com/all-product … rface.html ) . It might give another life to my Intuos3 but also to my Intuos4Medium ; the overlay also start to get scratches.

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  Adrienne Gaye Thompson - Reply

So sorry to hear about the robbery. I'll be watching to see how your Huion matches up with the Cintiq. I'm busy working on budgets too. Best of luck David!

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  David Revoy - Reply

Hey Adrienne, I was motivated to update the article. Now there is my complete feedback about the Huion WH1409. It's a very honest tablet after quick workaround for the stylus tip. I'll keep it, but I'll probably be not really active with it: I decided to buy back the Cintiq13HD and continue my experimentation with the hybrid workflow (putting it flat on desktop and using it as a regular device and a Cintiq too).

I already saw Wacom new Cintiq model with a promise of very reduced parallax. Promising! I also plan to write one day an article about my "ideal tablet" design. I'm almost certain now my inventions, article are read by factory/engineers. ( eg. http://www.davidrevoy.com/article83/gam … cintiq21ux , this external pad I made ; a wireless version of this thing is now on Cintiq newer model )

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  Adrienne Gaye Thompson - Reply

David, any thoughts on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Studio?

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

I never tried them. But I know there is a couple of artist owning this on the Krita forum. It's probably a good place to ask about that.

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  Adrienne Thompson - Reply

I've seen on the web where some artists seem to really like the Microsoft tablet PCs. I was just wondering whether they could be hacked to install GNU/Linux. :)

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  Cat - Reply

Sorry to hear what happened, and very glad to hear you've got the new Cintiq and enjoy that. I use a Ugee 2150 and find it wonderful. I already had it plugged in ready, when I installed Linux (Mint Cinnamon 18.1) about a month ago, and it just worked straight away. I need to mirror the screens, but that means the pressure sensitivity and calibration are excellent. If ever you want to use a larger screen to directly draw on, I can recommend it 100%, and it doesn't have a big bevel or grab hairs, although, as a girl, I'm not a hairy monkey, lol. I got mine on Amazon, pn-boo. I wanted to also thank you very much for the lovely brushes/palette downloads, and say your art is wonderful.

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  David Revoy - Reply

Thanks about the brushes :) You are a girl? I thought you were a cat =^.^=
Oh, good to know for the Ugee 2150 in Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.1 ( I'm also using it ).
I saw the review here https://youtu.be/Kz52DPdJwUE to look at the hardware ; I like the design, the 21'' inch ; ISP screen ; frameless glass on over all. It looks really good. But it looks really glossy-glass feeling and distance between pen-nib and glass looks really big ( also why the designer put the button controler on the bottom of the device? xD ). I'll be happy to test it if this model cross my way ; but for around 700€ it will be hard for me to add it to my curiosity list as I did for the Huion or in start 2017 for the RaspberryPi3 :P . Did you compared the Ugee 2150 to another tablet?

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  Cat - Reply

Thanks, and, yes, an actual cat; hard to type with the paws, lol. :-)

Great review; I watched this one before buying ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH2LmJG8tKI. I use a screen protector, which is very thick (lasts a long time), and squeaky when it first goes on, lol, but wiping your hands all over it gets some grease on there and no more squeaks. Iris compares various tablets and talks about the screen and all aspects in the video; she says that you can get better screen protectors, that have a rough texture. A little bit expensive though (I haven't tried them, and am happy with the cheaper £10 one from pnboo tech ... only seller I think, and might do product testing too ... https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?merchant=AN4 … lThrough=1. If you contact them any time, I hope you can get to try one. :-) If you want to see Iris's review you can scroll down (she just has her name as 'Iris') here ... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ugee-UG2150-Re … =ugee+2150. You can ask her any questions in the comments, and she's really nice about responding to people, there and on youtube. I've just seen someone's done a great comment about Linux and Krita, right at the top in the questions, funny enough!

I honestly don't find the pen-nib distance an issue; maybe 1-2 mm out. Not enough to bother me or get in the way. I haven't understood the calibration utility properly yet in Linux (such a newbie, lol) but I noticed you wrote about it, so will study it properly.

The furthest right Ugee button is the power on/off. I never use the other 3 now, to be honest; only at the start when calibrating the colour, so they might not be an issue. If you're used to the buttons all being very visible, I can see how them being underneath would be odd, but they don't need using for drawing.

I've used the Huion 1060 Pro briefly, which was great, but I couldn't get used to not drawing directly. I had a very brief try of the Cintiq 27hd, but just couldn't get away with all the buttons and extras, desk space taken up, and that big bezel is definitely silly! I have the ipad pro 12.9, with the slippiest screen protector you could ever imagine on it, lol. Maybe with years of drawing on something that feels like an ice rink, the Ugee feels a bit 'rougher' to me, but I can fully understand if you're used to a rougher surface the Ugee could feel very slippy.

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  Cat - Reply

oops, just to add that none of the other devices I mention have I used on Linux, only the Ugee. :-)

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  David Revoy - Reply

Wow, thank you for the video review link of Iris ; I really like it: she give pros and cons , solution and tutorial to apply them. I can understand how the Ugee can be a really good device after the overlay fixed. The reference of the screen protector is a really good idea. I'll try to purchase one of this overlay for ensuring a long life to the Cintiq13HD and avoid my scratch experience I had in the past with the 21UX (I had to peel the default overlay totally at the end) or the 12WX. Thanks again for your tips and reviews.

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  Cat - Reply

You're very welcome, David. Glad to share about it, and, yes, she does a great video. That's great that her links mean you can get a great overlay for your Cintiq! :-)

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  Akelun - Reply

As for me, I began to make digital creations with Flash animations (with Flash Macromedia 8, the latest version before Adobe bought the software) and Adobe Flash CS4.

At first (in 2009), I bought a graphic tablet "" Genius G-Pen M712 "" and tryed it on Windows XP and later on Windows 7. It was a really nice tablet to begin with.
I can't judge about the pressure because I didn't want to use pressure on my brush to draw (I was a beginner and didn't care about the lineart thickness), but for the some moments when I was using it, I found it precise enough for my level.
The tablet format was like a A4 paper and the pros of this tablet was that there was A LOT of customizable shortcuts (34 buttons + 2 scrolls + 5 buttons to decide what the scrolls are doing). That's probably the only thing I regret now that I'm using Wacom (even if 34 buttons are a bit too much however. I was using at best a dozen of these shortcuts).
The only con of this tablet, compared to the Wacom ones, are the fact that the stylus needs a battery to work. But knowing that I managed to use frequently this tablet for more than 1 year without changing the batteries even once, I'd say it's not a big deal.
Ah, and also, I don't think it can be used correctly on Linux, but I never tryed or searched to know about it, so I can't really tell. ^^'

In December 2010, I bought my first Wacom. And it was a Cintiq. The "" Wacom Cintiq 12wx "". And like you, David, I noticed the problem of the too small screen and resolution and of a too dark screen. Though, I found that drawing on a screen is really an improvement, and as I didn't find a way to save enough money to buy a better monitor tablet, I kept drawing with this tablet for more than 6 years (from December 2010 to April 2017).
I guess that I don't have to precise the pro and con as you already did it, but despite all of its... problems, I really loved this tablet.

In the end of 2012 - beginning of 2013, I bought a "" Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch "" for the same reason than when you bought the Intuos 4M: to work outside. It was a small format (A5), but it did its job and... even if I wasn't always fan of the pen & touch fonction, I found it good to do what I had to do for my school.
Pro: Very light and easy to travel with. The Pen & Touch can be really useful sometimes. Low Price (less than 100 €)
Con: Small screen (acceptable, but small). The tip of the stylus is worn out fast and needs to be changed after less than a half-year with frequent use.

In the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, I bought 2 "" Wacom Cintiq 13hd "". Why 2? Because when I received the first one, I noticed some unwanted white light escaping from the low part of the screen. So, I sent it back to wacom and asked another with the hope that it was just a problem with this tablet and that it won't happen with the second one, as wacom certified it to me... And I was wrong. Second tablet received, second tablet with a problem of white light escaping from the low part of the screen.
Plus, I noticed that with the Cintiq 13HD, compared to the Cintiq 12wx, the screen feels like it's more granular, which made me worried that the tip of the stylus would wear out as fast as the one of the Bamboo pen & touch.
So, the result is that I sent back the 2 Wacom Cintiq 13 hd and decided to save more money and to wait for the Cintiq pro 16, as I intended to do at first when I learnt about this new tablet Wacom was working on.

And then, finally, in April 2017, I bought the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16. And I can say it, FINALLY, I found what is, in my point of view, the perfect tablet.
Pro:
- No need to calibrate (by default, the stylus is already far more precise with this Cintiq).
- The screen doesn't feel too granular (it feels like the Cintiq 12wx screen in fact) and seems really robust.
- The pressure is perfect, at least for me.
- The screen resolution is 16:9 in 1440p by default (I switched it in 1080p though because I find it better that way with Krita).
- The cables are neither too short nor too bulky as the cables and box of the Cintiq 12wx
- It has a Pen & Touch fonction
- Perfect screen size. Neither too small nor too bulky. Ideal for a 1080p resolution.
Con:
- No more shortcut buttons for this tablet, so, I have to use my keyboard... which is not really comfy.
- Wacom talked about the "express key remote" to replace these shortcut buttons, but it costs almost 100 € and is not included, of course.
- If you don't have a Mac or a recent PC with at least a display-port or better again a mini-display port and you just have a HDMI, it's apparently really painful to make the screen work because Wacom judged for this model that HDMI is too outmoded and not needed any more (so, you have to buy an adapter, BUT the problem is that apparently, ONLY a few and expensive adapters are working). As I was lucky and bought a new computer in March 2016, I didn't meet this problem, but I was pretty sure some people would be disappointed by it, and from the french amazon comments, I guess I was definitely right about it. Probably the biggest mistake of Wacom for this model.

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So, right now, I'm definitely installed with my new and favourite Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 tablet. For the moment, as I'm really busy, I just made one drawing from A to Z with it. But I intend to make more and, why not, to start a comic and / or a freelance job with it. ^^

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Also, I just learnt with that article that you were victim of robbery recently. I'm sorry to hear that. I hope that didn't make you in a too uncomfortable situation.

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  David Revoy - Reply

Oh Flash (by Macromedia) ? I loved it too ! ( pss pss, very old work in my first years : http://www.cantinlevoyageur.com/ENFANTS … ISTERS.htm )

True about the battery in stylus ; I discovered with the Huion it wasn't a big deal too. It's probably mainly Wacom propaganda to underline their battery-less system too much and this way they put in brain the idea battery was a issue while in real-life usage it's not. Many device nowaday has battery: mouse, keyboard, gamepad, etc... without a lot of issue.

Good to know we join opinion on the 12WX. 6 years is really decent for a tablet life, bravo, that's cool. ( I sold the 12WX mainly because it was a deep pain to configure on Linux at my 100% open-source switch, but it was a good model ; I had really good time with it and MangaStudio Ex3 , I drew all artwork of http://www.davidrevoy.com/article207/bo … cron-games with it )

Thanks for the review of the Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch ; I don't know this model, and it sounds a good for a travel tablet ( and even for a first tablet for beginner ).

I agree for the Cintiq13HD about the slightly more grainy/textured screen ; I like it because the texture increase the control to draw ( but it's a slow-down to speedpaint ; I guess it's always the same difference than in traditional with medium like a pencil scratching a surface compare to another medium like a brush sliding without contact feeling. ) But I agree, I also started to consume 1 nib with the previous model ( the one robbed ). A luck : during the robbery of house, they forgot to take the stylus box , so I have the previous one with extra nibs. Too bad they took also the stylus xD The backlight issue is something I don't have here. Wacom probably fixed it ( they are known to fix hardware "on the way" , as they did with an update for the 21UX and Intuos4 ).

Lucky you for the Cintiq 16 Pro ! I considered it and studied it. I'm really curious to test the very low paralax ( not a surprise it doesn't need calibration, way to go) , the active area+frame without bevel ( for hair of my arms :P ) , the large 16'' and even the remote control ( I still think they stole the idea from my gamepad hack ) ; but 1 599€ ... they doubled the price of the Cintiq13HD ... Also, I had a quick look at driver development on GNU/Linux ; not ready yet for long term support distro. Wacom is certainly on the right track with this new models.

Thanks for your feedback!

a

  Akelun - Reply

Oh nice! I didn't know you used Flash macromedia as well!
Well, me, I was using it more for stickmen animations. Fastest animations and in a curious but interesting style. I was a lot inspired by Xiao xiao 3 animation and by the Terkoiz's animations at that time. ^^
Though, I feel too ashamed of these oldies to share them.
Or maybe just this one I started in late 2009 and continued it a bit some years later: http://sta.sh/01chaxi758o7 , which makes me think... that the abuse of copyrights from music groups was really a source of lack of motivation for a lot of animators. This animation I'm sharing could probably never be uploaded on YouTube.

About the batteries, I agree that it can be a propaganda. Though, because of the natural loss of energy capacity, I always prefer to avoid batteries components. My keyboard, mouse and gamepad are all wired.

Concerning the Cintiq 12wx, that's weird, cause I mostly used it with Linux Mint... I even tryed it on Crunchband (a now dead distribution based from Debian with an openbox desktop environment) and... it really was a pain to configure the calibration. I always needed to open the calibration programm with the terminal, make the calibration, copy the numbers which appears in the terminal, then open a notepad like software (gedit, geany or pluma?), paste some lines with the numbers copied from the terminal, save the file as a .conf, make it executable and double click on the file to execute it and apply the calibration. (Happily, it was a lot easier in Mint. I just didn't find a way to make the buttons work correctly, so... as with the Cintiq pro 16 right now, I used my keyboard for all the shortcuts).

For the Bamboo Pen & Touch, it is definitely good to travel and to begin with. Though, Bamboo tablets are known to be apparently far less precise than Intuos (Precise enough for me and my drawing style though). So... if you're more demanding than me about precision (which can be the case because you're far more skilled and experienced than me), maybe you'd still prefer your Intuos to use for travels. Plus, Wacom still has products under the name "bamboo", but they don't buy the real graphic tablets "bamboo" serie I bought on their website any more, even if you can still find it on amazon and probably on other websites: https://www.amazon.fr/101045-Housse-Cre … +%26+touch .

Also, I don't really... dislike a grainy texture to draw, but... as for me, I really feel I draw better on a smooth screen. And to have more control, I can still zoom in, so, it's fine. Especially that zoom in / out, move and rotate the canvas is really fast and easy in Krita.
Though, that's really the fact that I'm afraid about the nib's wear. Each time I was drawing in the 13 hd, I was feeling the light scratching and was afraid for my brand new screen and nib. Plus, I told that I never had to change a nib even after 6 years of use with my 12wx, but you just said that you already started to consume one nib on your first 13hd, so... even if you are far more active on your tablets than me because you're a freelance artist, it kind of confirmed my suspicions about the effect of granular screen on nibs.

And about the backlight issue, I don't think it's an issue that Wacom could have fixed. I think more that it must be an important manufacturing defect and that I was VERY unlucky. Who knows, maybe if I let a third chance to this tablet, I would have gotten a perfect 13 hd with no backlight, but I definitely not regret my choice to stay patient and wait for the pro 16 in the end.

By the way, talking of the Cintiq pro 16, I don't know it it's well supported on Linux, but one thing I know (and maybe you know it if you read my Tumblr article you liked on Twitter), is that it's not compatible with not too recent PC, whatever the power of your computer is. The best if you want to use this tablet is to have a mini-display port (but my PC bought in March 2016 with a Ge-Force 980ti doesn't have it) or at least have a classic display port and to buy a cable like this one: https://www.amazon.fr/StarTech-com-Câbl … splay+port . Otherwise, if you only have HDMI, Wacom recommends you an adapter which costs 62 € ( https://www.amazon.fr/StarTech-com-HD2D … tech+hd2dp ) and tells you that not all the adapters are working to help you to get the image on your screen from an HDMI port. Some people already complained about this tablet just because of this cable's choice from Wacom. I don't even understand this choice myself. Maybe they have their reasons.

Oh, and I don't know if they stole your idea for the remote control, but one thing for sure is that this remote is not included in the tablet of 1600 €. You have to buy it separately as well, almost 100 €.

Though, this tablet has by default the pen & touch functions... which is probably what explains why it's more expensive (the Cintiq 13hd pen & touch is some hundreds more expensive than the classic 13hd). ^^

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Yep, the Cintiq 13HD had two models, afaik: DTK-1300 and DTK-1301. The later correct a lot of display issue of the first ( the flicker a lot complains about the 13HD, luminosity and bad colors. ) and also how solid was the cable entry, etc... But DTK-1301 are recent and suffered from the bad press of DTK-1300, with same name. They are end-of-life ( I have the DTK-1301 here, non touch ).

About the Cintiq XX Pro series, I read your Tumblr entry, and also the one of Tyson Tan ; https://twitter.com/TysonTanX/status/879023381894623234 . Very cool.

For unix compatibility , Jason Gerecke , a Wacom dev replied here: https://twitter.com/jigpu/status/879725712223096832
"Nice review! Need input-wacom 0.35 / Linux 4.12 for this device if you aren't already using. Touch on/off and tablet button should work then"

:-)

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  Akelun - Reply

Wh... Wait WHAT!!? Seriously? There are TWO models of Cintiq 13hd!!? O.O
Damn! I didn't know about it! ><
Well, that could explain a lot of things, because I bought the only 13hd proposed on Amazon fr and the model is the "DTK-1300-2" ( https://www.amazon.fr/Wacom-Cintiq-13HD … intiq+13hd ). Though, there is the "-2" at the end which makes me wonder if that's the same than "DTK-1301" or if this is still a previous model. If that's the second option, that could explain a lot of things. XD

I should edit my tumblr post.

By the way, I searched directly in the Wacom fr website... and the only model of Cintiq 13hd I saw is the "DTK-1300". Where did you get this "DTK-1301"? O.O

Oh, and also, sorry for the repetition about the Cintiq pro 16 problems. I was convinced that I listed these problems only in my tumblr post but I did it in my first comment in your article as well, so, I repeated myself like a silly. XD

And thank's for the links about the wacom cintiq pro review in Linux. As I'm still thinking about adding a Linux Solus in my computer (because yeah, I tryed Linux Solus, Mate edition in my old laptop to find a light but powerful OS to keep using my laptop for travels, and I really loved it. I find it lighter and more powerful than Mint, and it's a rolling release distribution), this is really interesting!

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Mine(s) 679,00 € from Darty xD Yes, I guess there is even more model than two 13HD . First model was launched in 2013 , and a revision happen with the 'touch' model post February 2015 as far as I read on the 13HD touch articles. The "basic 13HD non-touch" version was updated at the same time ; probably to avoid more feedback for repair cable or surface at after-sale or just to unify the production. I don't think it's a huge update, but just little improvement here and there. It was the same with the Cintiq 21UX ; this model had probably 3 revisions. I guess there is still on the market stock of unsold 13HD 1st gen. 13HD is often flagged "end-of-life" now, because the "Cintiq Pro" generation is filling the market.

Solus looks good. I like the energy of the maintainer, for sure it's a good O.S.

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  Johnny D. Wicked - Reply

Love your graphic tablet/display timeline article! I'm glad that you were able to get a non Wacom brand graphic tablet to work with Linux. You inspire me to the point of switching full time using Linux Mint and free open source such as Krita, Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, Blender, Kdenlive, Natron (currently testing), etc. I do admit, there are challenges when working on Linux and with free open source softwares because the softwares are constantly developing and prone to have bugs and stability issues especially compared to more developing and stable programs like the commercial Adobe Creative Suites for example; but the free open source community is constantly improving the technology. If I were rich, I would definitely fund them. I hope in the near future, that third party other than Wacom would also work just fine with Linux and free open source software. Thanks again, David, for the insight and inspiration.

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  David Revoy - Reply

Hey Johnny D. Wicked,
Thank you for the feedback! Sure, your point of view is totally valid about the current situation of GNU/Linux : you are right, it has up and down , unstability and suddently period of stability. It still feels a bit too experimental sometime. eg. Linux Mint 18.1 push a security fix with new Kernel ; new Kernel works better with newer Nvidia driver ; newer Nvidia driver breaks the distro's version of ArgyllCMS and all color calibration suddently refuse to work ; in reality ; this is even not shown to end-user, just a system update and a major feature for graphist ( but considered very minor by developper because they always break it ) is removed. The good thing: there is always a workaround. ( but it takes time... )
:-)

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  Yalyn - Reply

I find your history rather interesting.

I'll make it short.
I have:
5 Graphic Tablets (only one of them is Wacom)
4 Tablet PCs
4 Slate PCs
and 1 Smartphone that uses Wacom's digitizer, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (I think it's dead, haven't touched it in a long time.)

My first tablet I've ever got (was 12 years old when I got it. It still works in Linux to this day.):
My first major tablet PC that I've used more than 3 plus years finally got dead pixels weeks ago (HP Elitebook 2730p): Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai4WjYI6rG8

What I use the most is the Huion H610PRO and the Thinkpad x220t since the HP Elitebook now have dead pixels.

What I don't own, is a Tablet Monitor. My father really wants to buy me one and as much as I am interested in it, I don't think I deserve it yet. Not to mention I didn't have the time to research and see
what is good out there. I feel that the Huion GT-220 being the only choice that I see for Linux that'll work out of the box. Maybe someday I'll get one.

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  Yalyn - Reply

<.> I didn't expect the pictures to show. I just wanted them as links.

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  David Revoy - Reply

Hey Yalyn ;)
Thank you for the feedback ( and no problem with the picture, it looks good on your comment ).

I know the Krita artist RJQuiraltæ ( on G+ https://plus.google.com/+CriolloakaRJQuiralt%C3%A6 ) using the Huion GT-220 and being happy about it. Feel free to poke him if you need more feedback about this model ; he use Arch+KDE and he is very friendly.

I heard a lot of good things about the Huion H610 PRO , and from the photos I saw of this device, I guess it has similar technology than the WH1409 model I bought. It's a A5 tablet I would recommend for a first tablet. (I'll probably edit the FAQ ). So it's good quality ; I could totally work with this model ( and that's what I did on the first week of June, I made a bit of Freelance works with it ). From the comment of "Cat" here on this article , it sounds like the Ugee 2150 is also a good pen display.

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  Erkhyan - Reply

My very first tablet, sometime in 2004 or 2005, was a Genius EasyPen. Serial port, cable, no pressure sensitivity. Barely better than a simple mouse.

My current tablet is a Wacom Graphire 4, acquired in June 2007. I realize that it’s 10 years old now, wow. It still works as a charm, though. I never had to change any part of it.

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  David Revoy - Reply

Thanks for the feedback Erkhyan!

I have also to precise something in my article; I paint a lot of hours almost daily (rarely the week-end) but on a Pepper&Carrot episode I already painted 40h continuously, and 12h session are frequent ; that's why a tablet and a stylus in my hands doesn't last for long and that's why I'm happy when I cross the 3 or 4 years with a tablet running full time and with only need to replace a plastic on the stylus or a overlay-sheet. Even my own fingers rarely resist production and bleed even if the skin in contact with stylus is almost as hard as a nail with time, but I still often need to wrap them with plaster... So I think it's good to also define the type of usage. Too bad tablets doesn't have a counter of stroke like on the car, a kilometer counter :-)

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  Saphire - Reply

Linux user here. I am not an artist, merely occasionly trying to draw, and my first and only tablet is "Huion New 1060Plus", and yes, that's an official and full name of it, though I didn't wrote it in all-caps like it should be.
I choose it primarily for its size, and it feels very comfortable to use. I have a standard 1920x1080 screen, so something tiny like most low-end Wacom models wouldn't do, but I was limited in funds. As for support on linux... Well, let's say that you need to install bunch of things and cross your fingers to make it work. Got buttons to work only once, but with keyboard right next to me, they are not that needed. Any software that supports XInput should work perfectly fine with pressure sensitivity. Drawing feels good, like if you have an awesome pen that glides over paper with ease and follows every movement. Though, there's no tilt or anything, but it seems that Wacom is the only one that can have it. Of course, drawing on this table takes some time to get used to, to not press too hard or too soft, and you might sometimes get accidental touches and presses if you are holding stylus too close. Basically, needs some practice to use.
So, for a first tablet I ever have, I can't say anything too bad about it, except for maybe the buttons support.

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  Joe - Reply

How do you like the Cintiq13HD tablet? How does it compare to an iPad?

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

I never owned a Apple product because of their condition and terms regarding privacy and how they treat their customers as money-wallet only ; so I can't compare. The 13HD I own is "OK" ; I see many point were Wacom could improve it. When I see the new Cintiq 13inch, they don't go in the direction I like. The real weak point is the design of the cable/connector... It was really made by the drunkard of the Wacom design team.

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  Joerg - Reply

Hehe, I have the exact same Bamboo, and it had the exact same issue with the peach skin finish on the stylus turning all to sticky goo. Had to scrape the surface layer off with a knife. Other than that, though, the Bamboo is surprisingly reliable and easy to handle (I'm not a professional artist, so I should add 'for my purposes, anyway'...).
I only switched to the Bamboo because there was no more X11 support for the serial port connection of my former Intuos 1 A5, which was an awesome tablet.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your insights on your tablet history, it was an interesting read!

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Thank you Joerg to share and confirm this goo issue ; so it's not only on my tablet ; but potentially on all the production. Yes, it's a good tablet ; I still have it in my little collection. Very thin and compact !

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  anoroth - Reply

Great article! Here is my story :)

At first I owned small Genius tablet and it was good for a start, when I started to draw more I bought Wacom Bamboo Pen&Touch. Used it for ~3-4 years. It was a good tablet, but when I developed my skills I felt disappointed with pen pressure. I felt like the tablet isn't following my strokes how I would like it to do. Also I hated the touch thing - it only frustrated me. I always had it turned off, well, at least I tried to. Sometimes I turned it on by accident by hitting the express key button with my left arm. Touch was giving misleading informtion to computer when I drew - it didn't work well and detcted my palm.

After Bamboo I invested in Wacom Intuos Pro M and oh boy, what an upgrade it was! It had 2 times bigger pen pressure and I really felt the difference. (1024 vs 2048). I liked it, I used it for 3 years. It filled all my needs except one - I'm a traditional-based artist and I just couldn't get used to looking away from my hand. My effectiveness was very low, and drawing lineart was just awful. It also had this pen&touch, but finally the palm detection was improved. I kept touch shutted down anyway as I never found it useful. Also the express keyes were never useful for me. I use a lot of shortcuts in PS and I use them on my keyboard. The buttons were pissing me off on Intuos, as they were touch-detected and if I putted my arm on them accidentally I'd trigger them.

Another problem I had with Intuos was chronic palm pain. When i drew on tablet laying plainly on desk my hand would hurt after a 1-2 hours of work and it made me crazy, I tried to lift it by putting books under it, but it always slipped off.

In the end I decided to invest in a screen tablet as soon as possible. I couldn't afford Wacom as it's screen tablets are super overpriced. My friend stumbled upon Tojo The Thief's review of XP-Pen Artist 16 by accident and I decided to give it a try.

the tablet: http://www.xp-pen.com/goods/show/id/187.html

I'm using it for a few months now and I'm very happy with it! It has very nice quality, drivers never break (on Wacoms it was a great nuisance)

PROS
- the price! 500 euro, in which you get ALL the gadgets and cables. The glove, cables of all sorts, protector screen, TWO styluses (!) and two screen cleaning clothes (for Wacom you need to buy everything separately and the tablet alone costs 1600$)
- the resolution is 1080p, screen has 15,6'', just like my laptops screen so it's very comfy for me, also my graphic card would choke on 4k resolution (which seems pointless to me)
- very solid stand, which you can adjust in many angles.
- great and responsive support, which respond very fast and was very helpful to me
- express buttons, which I finally don't click by an accident
- great screen quality
- no lags, good callibration
- 2048 pen sensitivity just like on Intuos

CONS
- stylus pens are chargable and don't have eraser, but it isn't really a con for me as I never used eraser and the batter lasts for a very very long time. (my first pen charging happened after 2 months of everyday use)
- no scrollable ring button. the only "express key" I used on my Intuos was this ring thing and I really miss it, theres a remote controller tho that you can buy separately - http://www.xp-pen.com/goods/show/id/171.html . I own it and it's very good, can't rotate the canvas with it tho
- protector screen gives this rainbowing effect on the screen and it made me crazy, so I peeled the protector off. Screen has a very good glass tho and support said the protector isn't needed as screen is made to withstand drawing on it (no scratches yet after a few months of drawing everyday)
- CABLES. I hate cables and this on has three of them (power supply, hdmi and usb). Unfortunately even on Intuos and bamboo cables made me go crazy, so this con applies to all of them. Only solution to get rid of them for me would be to buy a standalone tablet :c

In summary, buying this tablet was a leap of faith for me and I regret nothing. Wacom isn't the tablet god anymore. I made a big research with my friend later and there are many good screen tablet with reasonable prices (like Huion, Yiyinova or Ugee). When I get the money I plan to buy a bigger (22'') tablet and it be definietly not Wacom. It's great not to have to reinstall drivers all the time XD

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  William Monsalve Fontal - Reply

I have to say, i'm very confortable with my intuos4 and intuos3.
I have with my intuos4 for more than 5 years and has not given me the first problem, every day I clean it if possible and keep it out of trouble on the circuits (experience of damaging two tablets, has made you know how take care more with my intuos4). I must also say, I don't know how to live without it (intuos4). Is simply easy to draw on it (i test before with the cintiq series and alternatives and none liked me, I must also say as in my country there are not many versions of wacom tablets, I buy this to a guy who brought it from the United States, so leads More years than I have used it). I also love to draw on my intuos3, I do not love these old models that were more precise in my opinion. I used in a short time (when i damage the pen of my wacom). The Huion 1060 Plus, is very good, but they still lack a lot.

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  CydoniaOS - Reply

i have one tablet, and that's a intuos pen and touch m.
Frankly, I dont see a need to upgrade, it's a nice tool for me and I've got use to the screen-tablet thing pretty quickly. Plus I like how it feels.

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  William Monsalve Fontal - Reply

I must say since the last time I wrote, I decided to change my workspace drastically. I completely changed it with open-source software. Now I install my two wacom intuos ubuntu 16.04 LTS with desktop mate (which modifies so that it looks more like xfce than mate jajajaj). I must say since I did this I'm happier with everything about it, also the speed is too noticeable. I'm glad to be on the Linux side.

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

:-) Ubuntu Mate is a very, *very* good 'buntu desktop. Good choice!

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  Eve Barbeau - Reply

I use a laptop for my digital drawing and it doesn't have the best processor. Because Krita in Windows takes way to long to load, I've installed Ubuntu 17.04 so that I can use the Krita AppImage because it is faster. I would love to get a drawing monitor like the Cintiq 13HD, but the cost in Canada is pretty high. Does Huoin work better with Linux than it used too? I'm thinking of the Huoin GT 191 IPS HD because it gets good reviews and is about $400 cheaper.

I want to thank you, too, for your brushes! Thank you.

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  David REVOY OP , - Reply

Hey! Thanks. Very cool for reporting a Ubuntu 17.04 + app-image has better performance on your hardware.
Huion does no effort on GNU/Linux and the maintainer of the Digimend kernel module is not active now. So, no, Huion driver on GNU/Linux are borderline abandonware ; while Wacom driver are maintained and Wacom has an employee working on that. Yes, I know the Cintiq series is expensive, here too... Maybe you can search for a used/second-hand around your area ? The 13HD is now not so new.

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