Turcom Huion 8×5 Graphics Tablet Review

I will admit that I am a fan of Wacom graphics tablets and am also a believer that you definitely get what you pay for. But then, a product comes along that challenges my belief and leaves me thinking if Wacom really are that great after all?

The Turcom Huion and Tursion graphics tablets are in the sub-$100 market and are challenging other manufacturers like Genius and Monoprice when it comes to good quality, low price graphics tablets. The Turcom range, which only stretches to 2 models at the moment – a 10×6.25 inch and a 8×5 inch model are very adequate for this market, where amateurs are looking to move from using a mouse to draw or edit photographs, to a graphics tablet but are unsure enough of the technology to buy a Wacom straight away.

Active Drawing Area

The drawing area, where the pen can be used, on the Huion model is a generous 8×5 inches, which compares favorably against other more expensive tablets from Wacom.

Ideally, the bigger the active area, the better. You do find that some cheaper graphics tablets come with a larger physical size, but a small active area – but the Huion does not suffer from that at all.

Compatibility

Unlike other cheaper tablets, there is compatibility support for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.3.5 and later including Snow Leopard. As yet, there seems to be no support for Windows 8, but some people have reported that they have had some success in getting the tablet to work, although the drivers seem not to be Windows 8 compatible (despite what it says in the manual).

If you have Windows 8 (poor you 🙂 ) then please check the manufacturers website for more information before you buy.

What comes in the box?

You get the tablet itself, the battery operated pen plus a (translated) manual and the driver software.

Many people have commented that although the tablet has been designed to take on the looks of products like the Wacom Bamboo models, the box is nothing more than a box with the items inside.

For such a cheap tablet, you can expect to lose all of the additional frills and trimmings like glossy boxes. But hey – more money to spend on the product quality, right?

Software

There is no bundled software with the Turcom Huion tablet as you might expect for the price. You get the driver software, which is also available from their website but no actual drawing or painting software.

For that, you will need to rely on your own copy of Adobe Photoshop or even a copy of GIMP, the freeware alternative.

Although this point is not a deal breaker, it would have been nice to have some software included or accessible from the manufacturers website.

Dimensions

  • Weight: 885 g
  • Dimensions: 36.8 x 30.5 x 6.4 cm

Top Product Features

The tablet is very good looking and is one of the best quality products I have seen in the under $100 market. This extends to the actual physical product too, not just the way it looks. Turcom have gone all out to create a good product here.

The tablet has a good range of compatibility with different operating systems. It would be nice to see Windows 8 and Linux support out of the box, but you can’t have it all. I suspect this will come in time anyway.

The main selling point for the Huion is the price. I am sure that some people will also be swayed by it’s white colouring, which I also love too.

Pros

  • Price – great value for money.
  • Compatibility – supports many different operating systems.
  • Looks – very attractive.
  • Feel – good build quality and feels sturdy.
  • Size – good active area and not much additional plastic around the edges.
  • Sensitivity – 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity are recognised by the tablet, which is more than adequate for the majority of users.
  • Speed – the tablet has a “report rate speed” (RRS) of 200, which means it can transfer your pen strokes to the computer very quickly. As a comparison, the Wacom Bamboo Pen And Touch has the same RRS and the Monoprice 12×9 model has an RRS of 133.

Cons

  • The pen is a little flimsy and also has to use batteries, which Wacom have avoided for some time now. This is not a massive issue, but after using my Wacom for such a long time without having to worry about the battery, it’s a shame that Turcom did not opt for this type of pen.
  • There are no “quick buttons” on this tablet, which will mean you are reaching for the normal mouse or keyboard to select certain functions in your graphics package. Although these are not essential, they do save lots of time when you are used to using them.
  • There is no touch facility on this graphics tablet, something that newer Wacom models feature and is very useful if you are used to using an iPad type product for drawing or digital painting.
  • Some people have reported issues with installing the drivers.
  • The manual is obviously translated from Chinese to English and therefore suffers from a few glitches here and there.
  • The lack of bundled software is also a let down. People will have to reply on freeware tools or an expensive copy of Photoshop if they want to get the best out of the product.

Consumer Ratings

The general consensus of the reviews of this graphics tablet is that it is a good product for the price and definitely one that is worthy of buying if you are interested in getting into using a tablet for the first time.

On Amazon.com, it has been awarded a rating of 4 out of 5 stars from over 25 people, which is a pretty good indication that the Huion is a good product to buy. There are grumbles and problems of course, but they are on par with the complains you might read about a Wacom tablet.

Price

The Turcom 8×5 inch Huion model is currently around $50, which is a bargain for such a feature packed tablet that does not feel like it will snap or fall apart too soon.

If you are looking for an alternative, then there is the larger model of this tablet, the Turcom Tursion which is 10×6.5 inches in size, or the Wacom Bamboo range, which do not give you much technological benefits, but will set you back more money.

Conclusion

The Turcom Huion 8×5 inch graphics tablet is a very capable product and certainly seems to pip the other cut-price models to the post with great styling. However, you will have to sacrifice any buttons or click wheels, which are on similar products.

This is a good buy for someone who is new to graphics tablets, although you will have to get hold of some additional software such as GIMP or Photoshop to make full use of it.

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