Huion 1060PLUS Review – Revolutionary or Gimmicky?
Are you looking for a large graphics tablet at a good price point? Wacom’s Intuos line is very good on both function and aesthetics, but maybe you just don’t have the money to spend on one right now. Here’s your chance to experience Wacom-like performance at a quarter of the price of an Intuos Pro.
The tablet looks remarkably like the older Intuos models, mostly like an Intuos 4 without the touch ring. It’s made of textured hard plastic and has a slightly textured active area too. Huion has been making inexpensive alternatives to the Wacom tablets at all levels: entry, mid and pricy for years now, and it seems like they’ve learned a lot about what customers really want in their tablets. They previously came out with the H610, which I reviewed as a pretty good beginners tablet, but I prefer this new 1060PLUS more as many things have been improved.
Also, Huion finally came out with a nice looking box! No more el-cheapo cardboard boxes with graphics that look like they were printed down the street. They spent some money and started taking aesthetics into consideration. While not quite as artsy-fartsy as Wacom’s whimsical boxes, they took a little bit of that Apple aesthetic and made it theirs in a matte, solid white package. Looks really great, and feels really great to unbox too. There’s something about the surface of the box that feels different than cheaper packaging, it’s not slippery and smooth or rough, but just the perfect amount for grip with a tiny bit of gloss. It definitely feels like the company cares about their image.
Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Mac 10.7.4 or higher. Works with software like CorelDraw, Corel Painter, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Macromedia Flash, Manga Studio, Stratos3D Max, AutoDesk Maya and ZBrush, just like the Wacom tablets, but expect some minor issues. Ignore the drivers in the CD and download the newest ones HERE.
Controls and Functionality
The Huion 1060PLUS is constructed a lot like the Intuos Pro. The 1060PLUS has a 10 in x 6.25 in active area and the smallest Intuos Pro has an active area of 12.6 in x 8.2 in. The non-active surface and casing are made out of a hard textured plastic where the Intuos 5 was covered in a gummy rubber material. The Intuos Pro has 8 expresskeys and a touch ring, plus all the gestures you can program on it with your finger swipe combos. The 1060PLUS has 12 hotkeys, plus 16 soft expresskeys that are numbers printed on the active area of the tablet and can be programmed with any keyboard combination or turned off to make the soft expresskey area a normal stylus area.
The surface of both the Intuos Pro and the 1060PLUS is textured for that nice paper feeling. This does wear down your nib faster, but it is a lot better than the slick surface of the older Intuos tablets. My hand used to sweat lots onto the surface of the drawing area and the edge of my palm would stick to it. The textured area keeps your hand flowing easily over your workspace.
The first thing I tested was the most important: level of sensitivity. The 1060PLUS has every bit of the 2048 levels of sensitivity that it claims to have. I tested this side by side with my Intuos Pro, and the pressure I exerted at various different levels (low, medium, hard) made the same size lines, which is the least it should do. The 1060PLUS worked pretty well with Photoshop, and I actually liked the firm feeling of the nib better than the wacom, which has a lot of up and down spring action in the nib to sense pressure inputs. One issue I did find with the 1060PLUS is that it didn’t mesh 100% with Photoshop. Photoshop would show me that I had set the pen size jitter to pressure, but it would not update the preview to show that pressure was activated. The 1060PLUS also does not have tilt sensitivity. The manufacturer doesn’t say if they support tilt sensitivity or not, but I wasn’t able to get it to activate when using this tablet.
The other major issue with the 1060PLUS is its lack of a touch ring. There are 12 expresskeys which can be programmed with any key combination you want. Well… almost. Some of them are frustrating, as the options will lump stuff like } and ] together so you can’t specify which key to use for a particular expresskey. I’m left handed so I had to turn the tablet upside down to push the hotkeys with my right hand. This turns the soft expresskeys (1-16 numbers) upside down, which isn’t a deal breaker but, also causes another issue. When you turn it upside down, the programming for the hard expresskey buttons don’t turn upside down with the tablet, so you have to reverse the order of the keys in the driver menu (the topmost one becomes the most bottom key, etc). Some users complained that even though it had 12 hard hotkeys, they were only able to program 4 commands in it. This has apparently since been fixed, because I was able to program 12 commands in it within the restrictions I mentioned above. The Wacom buttons are silent when you push them and have a firm resistance, while the Huion ones are easy to push and are fitted looser in the casing holes. They wiggle a little bit and make a clicking sound when pressed. I’ve never accidentally hit an expresskey on the 1060PLUS though.
The lack of a touch ring is disappointing, the touch ring allows you to zoom in and out incrementally to check your work close up and far for stuff like details, value, composition, etc. You can program the 1060PLUS with a zoom in and out function on two hotkeys but all it will do is zoom in real close and zoom out all the way, which is kind of useless. You’ll need to use your mouse or keyboard combos to zoom properly.
The pen also has two programmable buttons, one of them is left click and the other is eraser by default. This is because, unlike the Wacom styluses, Huion pens do not have an eraser on the opposite end of the nib. They are also lacking a rubber grip for ergonomics and simply have a molded plastic section near the grip that looks like a rubber grip in photos, but it’s not. None of their styluses as of this point have rubber grips. When clicking the button for the eraser, it doesn’t switch back to draw mode if you click the button again. Besides that, it’s a pretty good pen that does the job. It comes with a cord that you can plug in to your stylus to recharge it. My stylus had a low charge out of the box, so I drew with the power cord attached for a while and took it off. I charged it later to a full charge and it’s been going for a long time without recharge. Compared to this, the Wacom pens do not require batteries or a charge.
One thing that Wacom does not offer that Huion does is a transparent tracing pad. When I opened my kit I was pleasantly surprised to find two extras in there! One is a pad with a surface that looks exactly like the drawing area. You’re supposed to stick it over the active area so that when you scratch it or it wears down as you draw, you can tear it off and replace it with a new surface. This is super nice to have, as every tablet user always leaves tons of scratches when drawing. You just get so into it you don’t realize that after hours of drawing, your nib wears down to a point and you’re gouging your $500 tablet… The other extra is the tracing pad. It has a line of adhesive on the top, which secures it to the non-active area right above the drawing area, the other 3 sides don’t have adhesive, so it forms like a sleeve that you can stick your paper drawings in. You then proceed to trace over your pencil and paper lines with your stylus and VIOLA! Your drawings are instantly transformed into a semi-clean rough that you can ink easily on the computer. The tracing pad is even textured too! Just like drawing on the regular tablet surface.
For all that Wacom’s tablets are worth their hefty price tag, I can’t believe they didn’t think to include something as simple and useful as a tracing pad. Kudos to Huion for thinking of it!
This tablet has no wireless capability, but that’s fine since many painting softwares get laggy when you’re working in wireless. For me painter always gets a little slow if I’m not wired. The new thing about the 1060PLUS that I haven’t seen in any tablet yet is the inclusion of a 8GB microSD card. With the card you can store your paintings natively on your tablet so that you can hook it up and draw on any computer, provided the computers you use have the same program. It’s a cool idea, kind of like what Cintiq does, except without the direct-draw capability. Some people may call it gimmicky, but it works as advertised and comes in handy too.
What’s in the Bundle?
Comes with tablet, USB cord, stylus, stylus power cord (USB charging cord), pen holder with 4 nibs inside, more black and white nibs in plastic baggies, nib changing tool, welcome pack with driver CD, extra drawing pad/active area protection pad, and a transparent tracing pad.
- serious hobbyists
- daily studies/practice
- art students who can’t afford a Wacom
- realistic painting
- people who want to store and transfer their art easily
- photo editing
Click HERE to learn about our grading criteria.
While the tablet is not without flaws, it’s still pretty good for a fraction of the price of a Wacom. I did a 30 minute test sketch and it looked like a sketch that I’ve been able to do with my Intuos Pro in the past. The 1060PLUS may not work for you if you’re looking for high dpi, print-ready paintings… like a poster size where people can scrutinize your every brush stroke. But if you’re looking to do such detailed work, you should be investing in a better tablet anyway as a professional. Overall, this tablet does the job just fine for realistic painting. If you’re a serious hobbyist or art student who’s not ready to get a big boy/ big girl tablet just yet, this is pretty good for daily use. I can confirm that you can use it for realism studies and capture every single detail. I gave it an A- because the issues aren’t too bad, the performance is solid enough, and most of all, the price is very, very good.