GT-220 tablet mon­i­tor

dou­ble dipp er It’s a widescreen mon­i­tor. It’s a tablet de­vice. And it’s cheaper than the equiv­a­lent Cin­tiq. We find out if it’s suit­able for artists

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It’s a widescreen mon­i­tor. It’s a tablet de­vice. And it’s cheaper than a Cin­tiq. But is it good for artists?

Huion’s lat­est prod­uct is a 21.5-inch widescreen mon­i­tor that, with the help of 5,000lpi (lines per inch) digi­tiser tech­nol­ogy, turns its sur­face into a tablet you can draw and paint on us­ing its 2,048 pres­sure-level sty­lus.

The colour tem­per­a­ture on the dis­play runs on the slightly cool side, but bright­ness lev­els are good and view­ing an­gles solid. A small speck of de­bris was trapped un­der the glass of the re­view unit. This de­fect didn’t stop us from drawing on the GT-220, but marred an oth­er­wise high build qual­ity.

The recharge­able sty­lus is light in hand with a solid feel, but the lack of a ded­i­cated eraser could prove a hin­drance for some. The two side but­tons can have mouse-click ac­tions as­signed to them. The bat­tery lasted a week and a USB power ca­ble recharges the sty­lus.

The USB and dis­play con­nec­tions are lo­cated at the bot­tom-front of the mon­i­tor, near desk level. This is an odd choice be­cause you may crimp the ca­bles with the ad­justable stand.

The driv­ers make pos­si­ble cur­sor cal­i­bra­tion, hot-key re­as­sign­ment and pres­sure level ad­just­ment in Win­dows. Ap­pli­ca­tion-spe­cific set­tings and fine­tun­ing of the pres­sure curve aren’t of­fered. OS X comes out worse: there’s no cur­sor cal­i­bra­tion and fewer ac­tions are assignable to the sty­lus but­tons.

Drawing feels good in Win­dows. More jit­ter man­i­fests dur­ing slow strokes than in Wa­com’s prod­ucts, but fast, con­fi­dent strokes ren­der well. In ap­pli­ca­tions with stroke smooth­ing sup­port, you’d be hard pressed to tell the dif­fer­ence with a mark made on a more ex­pen­sive digi­tiser dis­play. Sadly, in OS X, drawing feels loose. The lack of a cur­sor cal­i­bra­tion op­tion makes for in­ac­cu­rate strokes, while the pres­sure curve blows out to max­i­mum quickly.

The GT-220 sells at a mid-tier price point that’s cheaper than Wa­com’s Cin­tiq 13HD and Yiynova’s MVP22U. If you’re af­ter a large dis­play to draw on cheaply, it’s well made and per­forms ad­e­quately in Win­dows. A pur­chase is harder to jus­tify to Mac users, where the unit’s pres­sure per­for­mance is sub­par and driv­ers less ro­bust.

The fit and fin­ish is

com­pa­ra­ble to Wa­com’s Cin­tiq.

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