Review: Huion Kamvas pro 13 – English

Hi there! I wanted to test properly first my Huion Kamvas 13 pro before sharing my opinion about this device.

Picture from Huion

Since my shoulder, back and arm got worse, my painting motion got limited and required a smaller and more comfortable surface to work on digital art. I was looking for smaller monitor tablets, and I found that perhaps the Huion 13 pro could work. Also, I wanted a more portable device along my new MSI laptop for traveling, after my deceiving experience with the Cintiq Companion 2 . You can read my previous Huion Kamvas GT- 191 review HERE.

I jumped from my trustable Huion Kamvas GT- 191 (a 19 inches display monitor) to 13 and the change was quite noticeable. And sometimes for the better. Much expected improvements happened in Huion that make a much more delightful experience to work on the 13 pro. It was about damn time!

SIZE, WEIGHT AND PORTABILITY

After unboxing the tablet, you can see the Kamvas 13 pro is lighter and thinner than her bigger sisters, wich I’m so grateful of. The monitor has a size of 388 x 219 x 11mm, and weights 910g. The first thing I though was “AAW YISS it’s so thin I’ll finally be able to carry it on with me”.

It came with a stylus holder with extra nibs and a drawing glove, wich comes, badum tss, so handy.

The size, thickness and weight makes the Kamvas pro 13 a more portable device in spite of not being wireles (wich is something I hope Huion works on). I already tried it carrying this beauty away and fits inside a regular 13-15-19” laptop bag (along the laptop) or a big messenger bag.

A single connection straight to the device

A VERY remarkable improvement to make this device more portable and to keep a cleaner desk is the 3 to 1 cable-wire that gather in a single cable the HDMI, USB and power connections.

The 3-to-1 cable
Power connection, USB and HDMI

THE INSTALLATION

The installation went smooth and easy. I downloaded the latest drivers from Huion’s website to get everything right. Remember: In order to get your tablet monitor running you’ll have to pick screen through the Huion driver like this.


Pick wich display is your tablet monitor in the upper scroll down menu, apply the changes.

It works well on Photoshop CS6 and Clip Studio Paint pro. I had installed Photoshop CC but strangely, the whole painting experience lagged sooooo much, it was almost impossible to work on. I noticed this issue keep happening to a lot of users with different tablet monitor brands so it wasn’t a problem of the Huion monitor. I readed what responses Photoshop staff gave in the Adobe forums and they always blamed the users screen drivers, wich is insane, no matter that people told them that everything went smooth in previous PS versions and their drivers were up to date.

So I downgraded my CC to Photoshop CS6… and Surprise! Everything worked fast again. I hope Adobe address this issue soon.

Remember to remove previous Huion, Wacom or other drivers from your computer before installing the drivers to avoid problems.

I noticed some massive offset cursor problem at first with Clip Studio that I didn’t had before. Also, it was a common issue with some display tablets. A solution I tried:

  • Enter “PREFERENCES” in Clip Studio and click on “TABLET”. Then on Using Tablet Service, click “WINTAB” instead Tablet PC.
  • Some solutions also includes to select “Set able operation area with application”. Not my case, just saying.
Pic of english version by Hakokoto user in Clip Studio forums
Spanish version by me

Something that Adobe isn’t addressing properly yet: While Clip Studio interface adapts to all screen types with a reasonable distribution of windows and tools, Photoshop keeps showing way too small. It has an option to scalate IU (at least the CC version) but it makes almost no difference. You can see what I’m talking about on the pictures.

Clip Studio adapted to show a reasonable size for words and tools
“What is this, a photoshop for ants?!” Zoolander

THE SCREEN

The screen now looks soft and laminated

Another HUGE improvement that made my day: Now the Huion pro screens come pre-laminated instead of having a crystal surface alone with a plastic screen saver apart (that ends un-sticking from screen and plenty of bubbles). I really enjoyed the ultra smooth crystal screen since I was used to work on it. But this is really comfortable and gets a closer feeling to paper (or to Wacom more expensive devices). It also helps to give a better sense of control.

I can swear that you can work professionally in these 13 inches as I do since January without regrets, but it feels a bit short sometimes. I miss one or two inches more, specially coming from 19 inches. Now I’m used to it but I want to try the 16” pro because I have the feel that one may fit my requirements of small tablet to avoid back pain and enough surface to work on.

Less glare, more fun

The colors look vibrant and clear, (the color gamut is upgraded to 120%sRGB, with 16.7 million colors, following their description) and there’s not much distortion on them. Anyways I encourage you to compare screen captures while you’re working on different screens (even in your cell phone!) to get an idea of what you get (it’s what I do). The angle views are better now.

Also, the new anti-glare glass is a great improvement to avoid tired sight and headaches (glass surfaces are awesome, like Ipad Pro BUT they catch all the lights and mess with our eyes)

The finish of the 13 pro is elegant, with round corners, soft touch and a metal back with two anti slippery rubber bands. I like it so much.

THE STYLUS

First, some improvements: The stylus is now BATTERY FREE! You don’t have to recharge it again and again. And they added a soft rubber surface so it doesn’t slips between your fingers while working. I really missed the rubber grab over the stylus. The plastic one from my Kamvas GT-191 was a bit uncomfortable to use and looked cheap.

It has 8192 pressure levels, and the 60º tilt is something I noticed for the first time using the Huion 13 pro.

It comes with a set of extra nibs (hidden on the stylus stand), but I still didn’t had the need to replace it after many months of use. The nib is resistent and it keeps its shape for a long time.

However, there’s still room for improvement here. The nib behaves funny sometimes, like if it was too loose. Its supposed to be “flexible” but it feels off sometimes. With time you get used to it but it would be awesome if they watch that. Not sure if that’s the reason why sometimes it jumps weirdly in Photoshop (again, that’s something that doesn’t happens in Clip Studio)

THE STAND

Pic from Huion

The Kamvas 13 pro box comes with a folding stand. In spite of being a very simple design, I feel like it suits the Huion Kamvas pro 13 very well as a very dinamic piece. I mean, the display tablet is light and thin. You don’t need a complicated stand for it, but a thin one that makes easy to take away and can be easily adjustable. At first I was “mm not sure about this” but then I tried it and YES, I dig it. I dig it way better than VESA stands.

The stand being ninja

Easy to move, adjust the tablet screen, lift, detach the screen, store. Its really useful for tiny workspaces, portable and has several adjustment angles to play with.

THE CUSTOMIZABLE BUTTON PANEL

Pic by Huion

I’m not a button panel woman, but I do appreciate it. In fact this is the first time I’m using express keys on my tablet screen. I prefer to keep my shortcuts on the keyboard… bust I must reckon that it comes handy to have the sacred “SAVE” or “UNDO” shortcuts on the screen. Also, I can’t stop using the touch bar to just zoom in zoom out. I mean, I don’t want to love it because I don’t want to rely on it, but I DO. It’s the fastest way and with such a small screen I have to zoom in and zoom out all the time.

THE PERFORMANCE

As I said before, It may feel a bit short in size to work on a daily basis, but if you lack of workspace and need to take it away all the time, those 13 ” are for you. I had to keep the Windows toolbar in my main screen, removing it from the Huion pro 13 screen to gain more room for work.

I have no complaint using it on almost daily basis since January 2019. I just miss a couple of inches larger sometimes -without going as far as 19”, my shoulder can’t take it anymore-, when toolbars and setting windows crowd the screen.

The parallax (the distance between the cursor on screen and the stylus nib) isn’t too big, not very different from other devices, but it’s showing, specially at some angles. Once you start calibrating the tablet screen on the drivers settings, you can improve it by clicking a bit up or down the setting points to play with accuracy.

One of my works done with Huion Kamvas 13 pro

I stopped inking in Photoshop long time ago because every time I tried to make steady strokes they were always wobbly. That’s no longer a problem with the Pro 13, and I was surprised because I assumed that it wouldn’t work. I’m still more comfortable and in control inking in Clip Studio, but I can edit now some of my inks in Photoshop without difference. I even did some sketches straight in PS like this one without feeling like all the lineart is messed up

The flow is good, I don’t notice an unpleasant lag working on my larger files (not at least from the tablet but my new MSI laptop, wich I have the feel that it isn’t as powerful as I expected the upgrade should be). The only thing I noticed is Photoshop sometimes behaving funny with the stylus nib, and not sure if it’s for the weird motion on the nib of if PS jumps the stroke because it’s an asshole. To date, that weird behaviour looks gone or unnoticeable. Not sure if some Windows or PS update was crashing on it or what.

Stroke in Clip Studio Paint Pro
Stroke in Photoshop CS6
Pressure appreciation post

Overall opinion: YES, I RECOMMEND IT, in the forementioned circumnstances. If you don’t aim for larger sizes, I think you can feel comfortable with it. It’s a good investment.

Well, the Huion Kamvas 13 pro really made a difference in spite I was happy with my GT-191. I appreciate the effort of the brand on offering updates for drivers and new products with much needed improvements on them. Also, the prices are reasonable for such device for professional purposes with a more than acceptable performance. Not everyone can get a Wacom tablet and it’s ok, Huion is seriously a reliable choice when you have to keep working but money is short.

See you in next reviews!

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