Delving into the heady world of graphics tablets could not have come at a better time for myself. A graphics tablet such as the Huion 610 Pro is an obvious choice for those who regularly do graphic design, photo retouching, or straight up artwork.
In my case, retouching wedding photos with a mouse just doesn’t cut it anymore, so some sort of graphics tablet was needed. Why? Pressure sensitivity for applying edits and the natural feel of a pen in the hand.
Which brings us to the choices on the market. Wacom used to rule the roost, but now cheaper brands are providing the majority of the functionality you can find elsewhere. In this regard, the Huion 610 Pro looked like an ideal solution, so we will dig in and see what it can and can’t do.
Huion may not be a familiar brand in the graphics tablet realm, but on initial inspection, it has a lot of features you would expect from a pro tablet. These coming in a variety of sizes from small to replace-your-monitor size.
In this case, the active area is 10 x 6.25 inches, just bigger than an A5 piece of paper. A reasonable size to perform small retouching edits, while not being too big.
The package itself comes with the graphics tablet, rechargeable pen, mini USB cable, charging cable, pen holder with spare nibs, installation CD, and manual. There’s a lot of similarities with the Wacom Intuos Pro in terms of design and this new version gives you a bigger drawing area, a micro USB port, and higher resolution.
Being a cheaper unit than something from Wacom, the Huion 610 Pro is solid and sturdy but doesn’t feel like it’s built to the same level of quality. That being said, unless you’re really abusing your tablet, you wouldn’t know the difference in daily use. The frame surrounding the tablet is thin, but it slopes off to give a comfortable feel to the hand.
The drawing surface itself feels very smooth with a slightly matte finish. The pen nib glides effortlessly across the surface with no resistance and feels great over a long period of time.
If you’re used to a Wacom tablet, the sensation may feel a little different, but it’s just as workable. You don’t get things like shortcut gestures or fingerpainting here, but that’s really dependent on if you need those facilities anyway.
As this is the pro version, you get eight express keys, but no addition of a ring or touch scroll. Each button is recessed and can be configured to any function you like. 16 softkeys can also be set for your own keyboard shortcuts, which can also be disabled.
As for the pen, it feels light but nicely balanced in the hand with two buttons and 2048 pressure levels. The nib also has a little bit of give for producing more natural strokes.
There’s no eraser on the end of the pen, but instead a charging port. The pen can work when charging and comes with its own holder, but it would be far more convenient without having to be constantly recharged.
As for installing the tablet, it’s a simple case of installing the drivers, configuring the function buttons and off you go. You can also set how much of the screen is used on the tablet, especially good if you have more than one monitor and the pen sensitivity can be easily tweaked.
Huion 610 Pro in Use
Once the tablet is set up, it’s straightaway usable in the most popular bits of software such as the Adobe Suite and Corel Painter. I use the tablet with Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, so cannot say at this point how well it works with 3-D programs or other graphic software. Presumably, just as well.
I set up the pen so the bottom button, when clicked, triggered ‘Alt’ and a right-click so that when I was in Lightroom or Photoshop I could change the size and hardness of the brush very quickly. This made for a very quick way to alter brush sizes and get more natural strokes.
Hovering the pen over the tablet was quick and responsive and it took no time at all to get used to how the pen glided across the screen, only needing about a half-inch hover above the tablet to work.
Everything on the tablet worked seamlessly straight out of the box and with the addition of the function buttons, I could set up things like ‘Cntrl+Z’ to quickly go back in the history and forwards. Basically, just speeding up the workflow.
I didn’t miss any of the more advanced functions that you would find on a Wacom as my needs were simpler. If you really need functionality like hand gestures, you may have to look elsewhere. However, on the whole, the Huion 610 Pro does exactly what it says it will, in an efficient manner, and was a joy to use.
How Does It Compare?
But, there are other brands on the market depending on your needs. Top of the heap is the Wacom Intuos Pro, which does cost the most, but also has the most functionality.
The Wacom range has a higher build quality than the Huion, a more functional pen, and has touch functionality. If you’re using a graphics tablet day in and day out, then the Wacom is a hard choice to ignore.
Another brand that is aimed at a more cost-effective version of the Wacom is the Ugee M708. It has a lot in common with the Huion but feels slightly cheaper. There are also no softkeys and the general overall feel isn’t as good as the Huion. However, if you’re on a very tight budget, this one could be an option.
|Huion 610 Pro||Wacom Intuos Pro|
The Huion 610 Pro does everything you need in a graphics tablet and at a reasonable price. It would be far better to have a pen that you didn’t have to charge all the time, but apart from that, it definitely covered all the bases for retouching work. Definitely worth the money and a joy to use.
The Huion may not be ultimately in the same class as a Wacom, but it does all the basics just as well and costs less. What’s not to like.