(image credit: HUION)
After giving the Huion H610 V2 a rather poor score of 2/5 after I found it was horrible to use as a left handed person after it died a painful death, things were bleak. Would I be able to draw ever again?
Well, after I bought the Wacom Intuos M CTL6100WL for the low, low price of $200 (ouch), it was time to put this to the test.
This tablet comes with a pen that's wirelessly powered, and this tablet has a small sleeve on the top to hold the pen when not in use. However, unlike the Huion H610, it only has four buttons, not eight. Except, also unlike the Huion H610, the buttons are on the top, not on the left side. That means I can use the tablet without rotating it! It also has the USB port on the top instead of the side - far away from my hand. Lastly, it supports Bluetooth connectivity, but you can use the USB cable for devices that do not support Bluetooth, as it doubles as a data cable. Size-wise, it's a bit smaller, but really, it's still fine for a 2560x1440 display.
Is it a good drawing tablet? Heck yes.
Setup - 5/5
The software for the tablet was easy to set up on Windows. Linux, on the other hand, natively supported it without any additional installation. Just plug it in, and most Linux distributions (even Arch Linux) will support it provided they have a recent version of Linux.
Configuring it is also pretty easy. On Windows, you can use the software to configure which button does what. On Linux, you can use xsetwacom to configure things.
Usability - 5/5
It works and using it is great whether you are left or right handed. Because the buttons are on the top, you can use your non-dominant hand to press those while using your dominant hand for drawing. Left handed users will get the same exact experience as right handed users. Good for me!
Durability - 3/5
This thing is pretty durable. Except there is one thing that really bothers me: the paper surface. Continuous usage of the tablet will wear this away very quickly, and it will wear away the nib on your pen, resulting in a smooth surface (or part of it being smooth and the unused part not being papery). Also, the nibs on the pen wear away when used on the papery surface, where once it's smooth, they don't wear away nearly as much. It comes with three spare nibs for what it's worth, but you're going to be using two or three of the nibs before the surface is so smooth that it no longer wears down the last nib.
This isn't a huge problem, but I'd much rather the tablet just be smooth rather than having it eventually wear away to a smooth surface, as it'd provide some consistency here.
Value - 4/5
For $200, there are tablets with more buttons. There are also bigger tablets. And there are tablets that do not have the aforementioned problem with the surface. The Huion H610 I had before was all of these, and it's only $60.
Overall - 4/5
Overall, this is a good tablet. This tablet is extremely easy to use on Linux (and Windows of course!), and it provides a good, overall experience. It's not flawless, however! Were it not for the issue I had with the surface being inconsistent with usage (and my pen nibs being worn away within weeks -.-), this would be very much a 5/5 review.
But the Huion H610 was also well on its way to being a 4/5 or 5/5, were it not for the fact that I am left-handed and my experience was awful (and, of course, that it died one year later). The Wacom Intuos M CTL6100WL, however, is still very much alive and works fine, especially for left-handed artists or otherwise left handed people who just enjoy drawing (like myself)!
- Ambidextrous button placement
- Decently sized drawing area
- Easy to set up on Linux
- Works well with drawing software like Krita
- Wireless Bluetooth support
- The drawing surface changes over time
- Pen nibs wear away pretty quickly (until the drawing surface is smooth)