Turcom TS-6580 Review – The Cheapest Entry Level Drawing Tablet
|Drawing Area:||8 in x 5 in|
|Price Range:||Under $100|
|Recommended for Experience Level:||Non-artist - Beginner|
|Features:||wired tablet, AAA battery powered stylus, 1024 levels of sensitivity, lightweight 1.9 lbs, no hotkeys, no softkeys, some issues with software compatibility|
Are you on the hunt for the best electronic drawing pad? You may have heard that Wacom makes the best graphics tablets, but there are other manufacturers out there with alternatives. The Turcom TS-6580B is Turcom’s entry level tablet for drawing. It has a sleek design that comes in black or gray, with the black model looking the best.
The Turcom TS-6580B looks remarkably like the Intuos 4/5, which is now called the Intuos Pro, only without the hotkeys. It is a wired tablet for graphic design that connects to your computer with a USB-A to USB-B cable. The design looks a bit cheaper than the Wacom, it is a little less polished which is to be expected of China-made products. It’s actually on the lower end of Chinese made tablets, as other brands like Huion are putting a lot more effort into the cornering the budget tablet market. In this respect, the TS-6580B is more like the Wacom Bamboo, an entry level tablet with small drawing area that has no extra hotkeys or professional functionality.
Let’s start with the packaging… The box it is packed in is a relatively inexpensive cardboard box with a simple graphic of their product. Nothing flashy, but not terrible either. As I have said in some of my other Turcom posts, it’s a box that an OEM car or PC component could come in. Very bare bones inside the box, the contents are basically the unit and nothing else. I’m not too disappointed though, you get what you pay for!
Compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and Mac OS X 10.3.5 or greater. Word annotate functions may not work on Windows 7 or greater. Currently, it has patchy or no compatibility with Windows 10.
Installation of the driver is slightly confusing, as with many other overseas products. Ignore the CD and download directly from their website HERE.
The manufacturer says that it works with Corel Painter, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Macromedia Flash, ComicStudio, SAI, Infinite Stratos, 3D MAX, Autodesk MAYA, Pixologic ZBrushand, and sketchbook. I got a fully functional unit when I ordered off Amazon. However, lots of other people report that they have issues getting various softwares to even recognize the pen. Among those reported are photoshop and SAI.
Controls and Functionality
The Huion looks a lot like the Intuos 4/5 (Intuos Pro) but in function it is an entry level tablet that is most like the Wacom Bamboo. It comes in a small and medium size, depending on your needs and has a pressure sensitivity of 1024 levels (the same as Wacom Bamboo). What tablet size you need depends on the size of your monitor. If you have a medium tablet on a small screen you’ll have to move your hand really far to get the cursor to the edge of your screen and give yourself wrist strain. If you have a small tablet on a big screen, you won’t get all the control out of the tablet since 1 inch of motion on the tablet will be moving your cursor really far on your monitor. You’ll be playing “how steady is your hand” every time you use it. Unless you have a magic robot hand that can move in tiny little increments, get the right tablet size for your monitor. The area on this tablet is 8 in x 5 in and is best for monitors around 15″ and below. I have a 17″ monitor, so it was really uncomfortable to use, but I used it for about 4-5 hours to test it thoroughly. I have small hands, and even small hands slide off the side of the tablet. There just isn’t enough tablet area outside of the drawing area to rest your wrist on, which gets kind of annoying.
There isn’t much to see in the way of functions. The TS-6580 doesn’t have any hotkey buttons or soft express keys like the TS-6610, their more expensive model. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend it for drawing or photo editing at all. It’s more like a signing tablet for office use, and I’ve heard of people using it to play Osu! A musical rhythm game which only utilizes its tap and slide functions. The pen is powered by a AAA battery, which I don’t like because other tablets don’t require you to put a battery in the pen. It also makes it heavier, which tires out your hand faster. Most of my drawing sessions go up to 6-8 hours. I can draw all day, and really don’t need any more weight on my wrists. Wrist inflammation takes a long time to heal, and you’ll be suspending your drawing for months if you hurt yourself. The stylus I got worked well enough for me, though some other people reported that the nib on their was stuck. The correct way a nib should fit is it should have some “give” up and down. This is what lets you control the pressure and make thin/thick lines when drawing. What was wrong with my stylus was that it was stuck on “On” all the time and draining the battery. After breaking the seal on the pen and unscrewing it, I found that there was tape wrapped around it to keep it stuck on “On.” Very poor quality control on their part! I went to research this online and read that it happened to a lot of other people too.
The sensitivity level is 1024, which is suited to vector drawing or anime drawing. Any drawing that uses a lot of flat coloring or cel shading methods will work with this tablet. To get nicer and more gradual gradation, you’ll want to get a tablet with 2048 levels.
No buttons means no issues when flipping the tablet. Why flip? Usually tablets with hotkeys are flipped for left-handed people so that they can use the hotkeys with their right hand. As there are no keys on this thing, there’s no need to flip.
The USB port in mine felt a little loose. I didn’t open it up but I’d guess that either the plastic casing didn’t fit tight enough around the port or someone cut corners when they soldered it to the board. Eventually after a few days of use, the pen started to have spotty connection. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. Same with the tablet. Had to keep plugging and unplugging it to get it to recognize on my computer.
The pen holder is similar to the Wacom one and exactly the same as the Huion one. It has some notches in the top rim so you can lay the pen down horizontally, but doesn’t have an option for you to put it in vertically. It unscrews into two halves to reveal the inside, a foam stand with holes for nib storage and a center divot to store the ring tool that you use to pull the old nibs out of your pen.
What’s in the Bundle?
Comes with its drivers in a CD, a USB cable, the stylus, a holder with 4 extra nibs and a nib replacement tool.
- people who want to doodle (not serious about painting)
- vectors or flat shading only
- signing pad
- Playing games like Osu!
Click HERE to learn about our grading criteria.
A good choice for those looking to buy their first tablet for not a lot of money. Solid 1024 levels of sensitivity, good for certain kinds of art that only require flat shading and not too many gradients (like in realism). Beware the quality issues though, many units come with one defect or another. Instead of this one, I would go for the Huion 580. It’s around the same price range, but is made by a company that cares more about their products.