Review: Huion GT-220 V2

Huion's latest tablet monitor is modestly priced compared to competitors, but is it good value?

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Our Verdict

It's not as good as a Cintiq 22HD, but at less than half the price this is an amazing budget alternative.

For

  • Good-quality screen complete with speakers
  • Stylus has a good weight and balance

Against

  • No shortcut buttons on the screen

The GT-220 V2 is Huion's latest version of its GT-220 pen display, with the main new addition being over 8,000 levels of pressure sensitivity from its new pen, which has a soft touch rubber coating but remains rechargeable. The pen is included with the graphics tablet, which has a full retail price of $799.

The pen is the main interface between the user and the tablet, so how the tool feels in the hand is critical to the experience. Huion delivers with a lightweight yet sturdy stylus, the nibs of which are hard, but not to the point of losing good feedback levels. There are two programmable side buttons, although you might want to define one of these as an eraser, because the USB charging port is housed where other manufacturers put a dedicated eraser nib.

A full charge of the pen takes just an hour and regular daily use will see a charge lasting three weeks, so there are no worries about downtime.

The supplied stylus has a soft feel without being too rubbery

Huion GT-220 V2 screen

Although stylus feel is important, the screen itself will play the largest part in the creative process, and it's here where the GT really excels. Other manufacturers use a matte coating to enhance the feel and prevent any palm friction, but Huion has opted for a high-gloss finish. This helps deliver excellent clarity, saturation and contrast at full HD resolution and is a pleasure to look at for extended periods.

The screen's gloss finish could lead to sticky hands that smudge their way across the surface when drawing, though. Since this is a drawing tablet, after all, that would be pretty problematic. Huion's solution is to supply a drawing glove that covers your palm and little finger, which will work wonders on many devices. We found it counters any surface issues perfectly.

The bottom edge of the display has a thick, rubber strip that serves as a cushion and keeps the device in place as you lean on it

Huion GT-220 V2 build and performance

A slim silver bezel surrounds the screen, with menu buttons at the bottom right. The tilting adjustment is a one-hand operation, with slippage stopped by a thick rubber base. Heavy pressure on either upper corner can lead to a little movement, but not enough to hamper productivity.

Where the lower price is more obvious with the Huion GT is the screen menus, which are more on a par with a standard monitor of a few years ago than that of a modern designer's tool. This in no way holds back the tablet in use, and adjusting contrast, brightness and so on is still achievable, of course.

The main downside to the Huion GT-220 V2 is a lack of shortcut buttons on the device, but at this price it's a small sacrifice. Video signal can be supplied via HDMI or DVI cables, and the GT even boasts workaday speakers.

The quality on show here is very good, as is the drawing tablet's value for money. You might get a better all-round experience with Wacom's Cintiq 22HD, for example, but that costs about twice the price. Huion's screen tablet device has excellent display qualities, accuracy and a pleasing, stable feel from a stylus that, although not the best, is very useable and feels well balanced.

This article was originally published in issue 152 of ImagineFX, the world's best-selling magazine for digital artists – packed with workshops and interviews with fantasy and sci-fi artists, plus must-have kit reviews. Buy issue 152 here or subscribe to ImagineFX here.

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The Verdict

8

out of 10

Review: Huion GT-220 V2

It's not as good as a Cintiq 22HD, but at less than half the price this is an amazing budget alternative.