Size/drawing area: 13.6 x 8.5in
Pen pressure: 8,192 levels
Express keys: 6 programmable keys
Compatible with: Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.12 or later, Android 6.0 or later, Chrome OS 88 or later
Extras included: Glove, nibs, and penholder
The Huion Inspiroy Giano is the latest addition to Huion’s Inspiroy range of drawing tablets, and offers a roomy drawing area that other, smaller tablets could only dream of.
It’s full of good smart features that help to update this model, compared to some older Huion tablets still in circulation, such as the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard and a USB-C port. With wireless use, this large tablet feels like a joy for drawing, though a relatively limited set of programmable keys may irk some more advanced users.
Huion Inspiroy Giano review: In the box and setup
Huion Inspiroy Giano is easy enough to set up – it comes with a USB-C charging cable, to help you get it juiced up before connecting over Bluetooth 5.0. (Some earlier operating systems may require a wired connection, though.)
The Giano comes with a drawing glove, alongside a stylus and vertical penholder, that gives it the appearance of an ink quill. To start using it, you’ll need to download the appropriate driver first.
Huion’s battery-free stylus has been doing the rounds for several years now, and features in a number of other Huion drawing tablets.
The latest iteration of Huion’s ‘PenTech’ is a delight, with varying pressure sensitivity, and the ability to scale the size of your strokes to how hard you’re pressing into the tablet’s surface. The two programmable keys built into the pen are highly intuitive, too, by default allowing you to hold a continuous stroke or bring in an eraser.
Inside the doughnut-shaped pen holder, you’ll find a selection of standard pen nibs, alongside five felt pen nibs – which are designed to cause more friction and better recreate the feeling of drawing on paper. It’s a thoughtful addition, causing just a hint of a scratch to the sound of your pen on the tablet, and certainly feels more like interacting with paper, or some kind of luxe material. Replacing nibs is a little fiddly, but the dedicated tweezer for removing them works well enough for the purpose.
Design and build
The Huion Inspiroy Giano is a solid piece of hardware, with a rigid construction offset by the papery surface material on which you’ll be sketching and scribbling. The underside of the tablet is a simple steel grey, with an indented Huion logo and four discrete feet to give a little grip. When in use, though, you’ll be navigating a sleek black unit, dominated by the drawing area with a thin strip of programmable keys on the left-hand side.
There are only six hard keys to speak of, which is half of what you’ll get with cheaper Inspiroy models like the H1060P. The two programmable keys on the stylus help matters a little, but it’s very clear that you’re sacrificing some element of customisation for the larger drawing area.
The buttons are also curiously bunched together in a vertical strip; it can be a little hard to differentiate between them either visually or by hand, unlike the more intuitive layout of the H1060P’s 12 hard keys, which group keys together in isolated pairs.
One lovely addition is the smart LCD screen in the top-left corner of the tablet, which shows you the remaining battery life, whether the table is charging or sleeping, and what kind of device the table is connected to. It’s a helpful way to get information on the Giano’s status at a quick glance and is discrete enough not to be distracting. If you've sat with the tablet for two hours, too, a flashing icon will remind you to get some movement.
At $199.99, the Huion Inspiroy Giano is one of the company’s pricier pen tablets, which generally come in under half that amount. It’s worth keeping in mind that a computer tablet like the Kamvas Studio (which comes with a full-on display) costs a four-figure sum, though, so the Giano’s price tag doesn’t seem unreasonable for what you get.
Should I buy the Huion Inspiroy Giano?
The Huion Inspiroy Giano is a great choice for someone after an affordable drawing tablet that doesn’t skimp on size – with a large-scale drawing area that will pair beautifully with large monitors and displays. Meanwhile, the Bluetooth 5.0 connection and variable pressure sensitivity of the stylus make it a breeze to work wirelessly while feeling in control of your strokes. The addition of felt nibs is surprisingly effective at recreating the feel of scratching a fountain pen across paper, too.
There are some trade-offs here, of course – there’s only a small handful of programmable keys, which aren’t laid out in the most intuitive way. So if you’re the kind of artist that uses a lot of complex shortcuts instead of a couple of basic functions, this might not be the best drawing tablet for you.