There are a number of tablet devices for artists and designers available on the market. The days of requiring paper and pencils are almost done, and trading pens, pencils, and brushes for a single stylus certainly is appealing.
Taking a step towards the digital revolution doesn’t have to be expensive. With products like the Huion Kamvas 13, you can take the plunge without too much risk or expense. However, being such an affordable tool, does it stack up?
Let’s go through our in-depth Huion Kamvas 13 review to see if a budget tablet for artists and designers is just a gimmick, or is it the real deal?
- 1 Design
- 2 The PW 517 Stylus
- 3 Features
- 4 Accessories
- 5 Huion Kamvas 13 Review Pros and Cons
- 6 Want to read about other superb tablets?
- 7 Huion Kamvas 13 Review – Our Verdict
Huion has presented an attractive, slim, minimalist design for their 12-inch tablet. Measuring only 0.46 in thick (11.8 mm) and weighing only 2.1 lbs (980 g), it is both light and small enough to bring with you wherever you go.
The layout follows a pretty much standard design when it comes to these tablets. Taking up most of the space is the screen, while on the left, there are eight shortcut buttons. Six singular round buttons, with an oval dual button, are positioned in the middle.
Strong and durable…
It would obviously have been nicer to have a metal body for the device, but given its budget price, we can’t complain. Instead, a high-quality plastic has been used in the construction, which feels like it can take the abuse daily life will throw at it.
Each of the corners is rounded, giving the device a softer look, and it also helps if you want to rotate it to a more convenient angle. On the underside are four rubber pads that stop the device from sliding around, especially on smooth desktops.
When you look carefully, you’ll notice that the glass panel that covers the screen extends just beyond the borders. We like this as it means you can get the stylus right to the edge without running off the smooth surface.
Then, one important factor when moving from paper to a glass screen is the texture. Due to the glass being incredibly smooth, it can feel strange without that natural resistance. Huion uses a clever way to make the feeling more comfortable and familiar.
Just like the real thing…
Covering the Kamvas screen is a textured coating with tiny microscopic bumps that mimic the feeling of paper. It might not feel precisely the same, but it feels much closer to the experience you are used to.
Most creative stylus tablets use this texture coating to give a more authentic feel. Some offer more resistance than others, and the Kamvas is well-balanced. It still provides noticeable resistance but also feels smooth to the touch.
The PW 517 Stylus
Almost as important as the tablet itself is the stylus. After all, you will spend most of your time using it. A decent stylus needs to be comfortable to hold, accurate, responsive, and it helps if it looks good too.
Even at this price range, the Kamvas includes the PW 517 Stylus. It’s no afterthought to get you by either; this thing is the real deal. We would be pleased to receive a stylus like this with a much more expensive tablet.
There are 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity when using the PW 517 stylus, which is up with top-end models. In addition to the sensitivity, there is also 60° tilt support, meaning you can truly replicate the experience of using a real pencil.
Completing detailed work is made possible with a 5,080 LPI (Lines Per Inch) pen resolution. What that means is that for every inch of screen space, there are 5,080 digital lines that the stylus can recognize as it passes by.
No need for charging…
A massive advantage of this stylus is that it doesn’t require any charging because it is battery-free. Even without a battery, you will be pleasantly surprised by the response times, with a lag time of almost zero.
There are two programmable buttons located towards the front of the stylus that are easily accessible using your index finger. You can set these two buttons to do whatever you prefer, for example, swapping between pencil and eraser or as a right-click.
Hold this for me…
You’ll also receive a sweet little round stylus holder included in the pack. You can lay the stylus either flat or standing up when it’s not in use. It’s a cool little accessory that not only provides a storage solution but protects the tip as well.
What’s really cool is that if you flip the holder over, you will find an additional storage area for your spare tips and removal tool. The tips are full, too, as there are ten spares that come included with the initial purchase.
We mentioned the eight shortcut buttons earlier that are along the left side of the tablet. Every button is programmable and fully customizable. So you can set them to perform whatever function is most convenient for you.
You can even set them to perform various functions, depending on what application you are using. For example, you may want different shortcuts in Photoshop to when you are browsing the web or watching a movie on YouTube.
By connecting your tablet to your PC, you can use it as a drawing pad with the image only showing on your PC’s screen. This is an excellent way to save your battery and also expands creative possibilities.
If you do prefer to scribble on the display of the tablet itself, it comes with an anti-glare protective film. Even when using this tablet outdoors, the film does an excellent job of reducing glare, keeping your screen bright and clear.
Huion uses a Full HD 13 inch IPS panel with 1920 x 1080p resolution. Images are realistic, vivid, and detailed, offering a viewing angle of 178° for an optimal viewing experience. Once again, we were extremely impressed with the image quality considering it’s a budget device.
As far as color accuracy goes, the Kamvas has a 120% sRGB color gamut. This is well above the average 95% offered by most other devices. That means completing work that requires extremely accurate color more efficiently.
No matter if you have a PC, Mac, or even Android device, the Huion Kamvas comes with a 3 in 1 cable. Now you don’t need to carry multiple cables around with you. If you’d like to show off your portfolio, you’re always ready to go on any platform.
The tablet drivers are easy to install from the website, well-designed, and easy to navigate. Once installed, there are multiple ways to customize your tablet. Configure express keys, set your stylus buttons, set your work area, and more.
There are a few accessories available that will enhance your experience with the Huion Kamvas. We particularly liked the stand, which will still work with any tablet universally. You can adjust the angle easily, and it is sturdy to work from.
If you suffer from your hand resting against the screen, interfering with your work, Huion has a solution. They have designed what they call an artist glove that covers only your pinky, ring finger, and outer palm.
Huion Kamvas 13 Review Pros and Cons
- Affordable option.
- Great for both students and professionals.
- Vivid screen with accurate colors.
- Great stylus included.
- Pressure and tilt recognition.
- Customizable buttons on both tablet and stylus.
- Dual screen and PC pad modes.
- 3 in 1 cable connects to almost any device.
- Stand is separately purchased.
- Photoshop can be unstable with Mac systems.
- Plastic covering over screen glass.
- No advanced shortcut options.
Want to read about other superb tablets?
In fact, we have a bunch of artist-specific gear worth looking into! Please read our Best Desk for Artists Review, our Best Drawing Boards Review, and our Best Verticle Mouse Reviews! And architects, don’t miss our reviews of the Best Mouse for Architects currently on the market!
Commercial designers may want to check out our Best Large Format Scanner Review, our Best Scanner for Artwork Review, our Top 5 Best Touch Screen Monitors Review, and the Best Printers for Art Prints for your money in 2023.
OK, back to today’s review…
Huion Kamvas 13 Review – Our Verdict
There are some budget tablets out there with some fancier features and better marketing. However, Huion has managed to put its focus into the areas that count when it comes to choosing a tablet for artistic uses.
The two primary focus areas are the screen and the stylus, and the Kamvas delivers on both. The screen is super sharp with accurate colors, and the stylus feels great with fast input, pressure sensitivity, and tilt recognition.
Overall the Huion Kamvas 13 went above our expectations, and we can happily recommend it for both amateurs and professionals.