Huion vs Wacom – Comparison of Drawing Tablets

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Wacom have long been top of the tree when it comes to the best drawing tablets, but their dominance is now being challenged by XP Pen and Huion, two budget manufacturers that produce high quality graphics tablets.

This article will focus on the differences and similarities in Wacom vs Huion, including both graphics tablets with screens, and drawing tablets (or pen tablets) without screens.



In a rush?

My Wacom Picks

The Drawing Tablet I Use

SmallMediumLarge

Without Screen

  • The Drawing Tablet That I Use Most Frequently
  • 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity, pen tilt recognition & gesture recognition
  • The Best Drawing Accuracy of any tablet
  • User Programmable Express Keys and radial menu
  • Bluetooth for easy wireless connection
The best drawing pad for Photoshop, and an excellent drawing tablet for photo editing, with the highest level of pen sensitivity currently on the market, and widely considered to be the tablet that most accurately mimics pen and paper.
The Wacom Intuos Pro is the model I use in both Lightroom and Photoshop for my photography, and unlike some other users, I have not found pen nib wear to be an issue at all. This really is invaluable in creating photos like these, and is the tablet I most frequently turn to – this has stood the test of time.

With Screen

  • 15.6″ Full HD Display with the least parallax of any model
  • 96% sRGB Coverage for very high color accuracy
  • Fully laminated screen with paper-like texture and with premium anti-glare glass
  • Fantastic Accuracy and +/- 60 degrees tilt recognition in the pen
  • Also available as 22 inch model
The Wacom Cintiq 16 is still the best drawing tablet with screen regardless of your use. The pen accuracy is excellent, with minimal parallax, and with the addition of the screen, the user experience feels like you are using pen and paper.
The downside is the price – this is a tablet for those wanting a pro-level device and are willing to pay for it. Nonetheless, if you have the money to spare, the Wacom Cintiq would make a fantastic addition to your photography or drawing workflow – there’s a reason that professionals think this particular model is their favorite drawing tablet.

If you are not sure whether you want a tablet with screen or not, then take a look at my article on the Wacom Cintiq vs Intuos to see the pros and cons of each.

My Huion Picks

Without Screen

  • Very large drawing area for a low price
  • 8 customizable keys, plus 16 soft keys
  • Can be used with Android (excluding Samsung) and most Chromebooks
  • Easy left or right handed setup
  • Very little pen nib wear
  • Large bezel and tapered edges make drawing slightly less comfortable
There are a couple of advantages that the Huion H610 Pro V2 has over the Wacom models: a lower price; more customizable buttons; and a larger 10 x 6.25 inch drawing area.
The surface of the tablet is very good for a budget drawing pad, and is very similar to using pen and paper, and is particularly well suited to artists on a budget and those wanting a large drawing area.

Highly Recommended

With Screen

  • Fully laminated screen reduces parallax
  • Uses latest PW517 pen for better precision through reduced friction and bounce
  • Full HD display with vibrant 120% sRGB colors
  • Excellent pen pressure and tilt performance
  • Supports Android / Windows / Mac
  • Slightly lower build quality (more plastic-y)
If you are looking for the best budget drawing tablet with screen, then you would be hard-pressed to find a better cheap graphic tablet with screen than the Huion Kamvas 13.
At a little over $200, this is around half the price of the comparable Cintiq, and you get a 13.3 inch screen in an 11.8 mm thin tablet that weighs just over 2 pounds, making it suitable both for desktop use and for being carried around with a laptop.
The 120% sRGB screen looks good, and surprisingly at this price point, is fully laminated meaning reduced parallax.

Huion vs Wacom: Comprehensive Comparison

When you first start looking at Huion vs Wacom drawing tablets, it can be difficult to know which specifications you should pay attention to, and which are just for marketing.

Below, I cover the most important differences between the Inspiroy vs Intuos screenless lineup, and the Kamvas vs Cintiq graphics tablets with screens, manufactured by Huion and Wacom respectively.

1. Drawing Performance & Stylus Design

Both Huion and Wacom have a number of different styluses, most of which can only be used with a specific drawing tablet model.

Performance

Wacom Pen
My Wacom Pen

It’s widely considered that Wacom make the best stylus, in the form of the Pro Pen 2 which comes with the Cintiq and Intuos Pro lines. Although the specifications, such as pressure sensitivity levels, seem to match similar pens from the Huion lineup, like the PW517, the higher quality of the Wacom pen is evidenced in practice, with complete drawing accuracy across all parts of the tablet, including the corners.

With the Kamvas line of screened tablets from Huion, the pens are noticeably less accurate as you move towards the corners. Indeed, Huion’s stated accuracy levels are +/- 0.5mm in the center and +/-3mm in the corners for these models. Wacom does not state an accuracy level, but you can tell that it is certainly less than this in normal use.

Note that the Wacom Intuos line (not Pro) comes with the 4K pen, not the Pro Pen 2, which has half the pressure sensitivity, although most are unlikely to notice this in practice. You can also buy an optional Pro Pen 3D, with an extra button to enable you to draw and design with full 3D navigational control.

Huion’s most recent stylus, the PW517, only comes with the Kamvas line (not Pro). This has a shorter sensing distance than the older PW507 pen, and therefore delivers greater accuracy with less jitter. Note that the more expensive Kamvas Pro line actually uses this older PW507 pen, as these models are a few years old and have not yet been refreshed.

Passive vs Active

All of Wacom’s pens, even the older models, are battery-free, and work through passive inductive technology. This means the pens do not have to be charged, which is a massive benefit.

Most of Huion’s pens are now also passive, but there are a couple of models that still must be charged via USB, such as the PE and PF models. A few years ago, battery pens were common for Huion products, but this is slowly being phased out. If you buy a tablet from the Inspiroy or Kamvas lineup, you will get a battery-free, passive pen.

Design

Wacom vs Huion stylus
(Top) Huion PW517 vs Wacom Pro Pen 2 (Bottom)

I personally prefer Wacom’s stylus design for long-term use, as it sits perfectly in your fingers with an ideal not-too-heavy, not-too-light weight, and it just feels like a premium product.

The Huion pens have a cheaper feel by contrast, although they have clearly tried to copy the winning design of the Wacom pens.

Overall though, design is fairly similar between the two manufacturers.

Nib Wear

Bear in mind that the nibs of both Wacom and Huion wear over time. Both manufactures tend to provide a number of spare nibs with each tablet purchase, so you should be ok for years of occasional use, or months of long-term daily use.

Wacom drawing tablets have a rougher surface that is closer to paper than Huion. This is much better for drawing, as it gives you realistic feedback. The downside is that your pen nibs can wear more.

In my experience, the top layer of the nib wears quickly, then it stops and nib wear seems to be less of an issue. I think this initially quick nib wear can worry some people, and causes them to post less than favorable reviews, but long-term I have never found this to be a problem.

Wacom Pen nib wear
My Wacom Pen showing some nib wear (after years of use)

2. Number & Design of Programmable Buttons

Perhaps one of the largest differences between Huion and Wacom is the number and design of the progammable buttons.

Like Huion, Wacom only offers a few customizable buttons on their cheapest models of tablets, but as the price increases, each brand differentiates itself more.

For tablets without screens, the Wacom Intuos Pro has by far the best button configuration, with 6 / 8 buttons (depending on tablet size) and a central scroll wheel that can have up to four different functions (which are switched by clicking the wheel).

This scroll wheel is a fantastic invention, and really speeds up my photography workflows, but works equally well for drawing. You can quickly change brush sizes, brush hardness, zoom in or out, scroll through your files, or set the wheel to do pretty much anything you want.

By contrast, Huion’s screenless tablets do not have a scroll wheel until you get to their top-end model, the Dial Q620M, and even then it does not work as well as Wacom’s premium version.

When it comes to tablets with screens though, Huion have something of an advantage, as their Kamvas line has buttons down the side, with a touch bar added for the Kamvas Pro models.

The Wacom Cintiq line does not have any buttons on the tablet until you get to the Cintiq Pro. This makes the Huion Kamvas lineup better if you want buttons, although Wacom do have a wireless remote that adds a scroll wheel and 17 buttons to your tablet, so this can be bought as an add-on if it is important to you.

3. Fully Laminated Screen vs Non-Laminated Screen

When it comes to the screens on graphics tablets, Wacom win hands down. All of their Cintiq models have fully laminated screens with anti-glare glass.

This means that you have almost no parallax, where the cursor appears to not be under the pen nib, and a highly scratch resistant, strong surface that should last for many years.

Drawing tablet parallax example
Example of parallax – note how the cursor is not directly beneath the nib

Huion tablets run the gamut from fully laminated to non-laminated screens, the latter of which exhibit much more parallax, and from anti-glare glass in the Kamvas Pro to an anti-glare film in the Kamvas line. The anti-glare film is replaceable, but does scratch more easily and can get air bubbles trapped beneath it, unless you are very careful when replacing it.

Choosing a model without a fully laminated screen means even more parallax, although many home users are happy with the lower price point of these models.

4. Size, Weight & Portability

Portability only really comes into play if you intend to be using your tablet away from home, perhaps carrying it around with a laptop.

In this case, smaller, lighter tablets are ideal, perhaps something like the Wacom Intuos, which isn’t too pricy and can take quite a lot of abuse, and has a Bluetooth connection.

If you want a tablet with screen that you can travel with, you are in a much more difficult situation though, as these tend to be big and heavy, and require a number of cables to connect.

Wacom’s smallest Cintiq model has a 16 inch screen, which is probably too big to carry around long term (although you can get the more beginner focused Wacom One, with a 13.3 inch screen).

But if carrying your tablet is going to be a big part of your day, then the Huion Kamvas 13 (not Pro) is the ideal model, in my eyes. This is small, relatively light (around 2 lbs) and has a one cable USB-C connection option, which is not present on the older Kamvas Pro 13 model. You don’t get this on the Cintiq.

5. Warranty & Customer Support

Generally, Wacom’s customer support and warranty beats Huion’s.

With Wacom, you get a 2 year limited warranty, followed by a further 1 year on any repaired or replaced parts.

Huion only offer a 1 year warranty, and you will have to pay shipping costs for repairs when you are 30 days past your original purchase date.

6. Value for Money

Although Wacom’s products are more expensive than Huion’s, around 2x the price for comparable features, in my opinion the much higher build quality of Wacom really does justify the price, particularly if you are, or intend to, make money from your drawing or photography.

Huion make very good products if you are on a budget, but in most cases you will lose out in the long run.

Wacom Intuos Pro Drawing tablet for Photoshop

Wacom Drawing Tablets Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Highest Build Quality. All Wacom tablets feel like premium products, and are designed with users in mind. This means more premium materials and time spent on getting a good user experience.
  • Excellent Software. Wacom’s software allows you to easily customize keys according to each program that you use. This is a real benefit once you take the time to set this up. There is also far less likely to be an issue with drivers when comparing Wacom tablets vs Huion.
  • Accuracy. The Pro Pen 2 is the pinnacle of styli and is as accurate as you are likely to get.
  • Minimal Parallax on Screened Models. The full lamination of the Wacom tablets with screens really makes them seem as though you are drawing on paper.

Cons:

  • Price. Wacom tablets are expensive, and so less suitable for those on a budget.
  • Portability. The Cintiqs require lots of cables to be connected, including to a wall socket. This makes them much less portable than the Kamvas 13, with its single cable USB-C interface.

Huion Drawing Tablets Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Low Price. At around half the price of comparable Wacom tablets, the value for money of the Huion tablets are their greatest feature.
  • Extra Buttons on Screened Models. The Huion drawing tablets with screens offer more buttons than Wacom models, which is a massive benefit to pretty much every workflow.

Cons:

  • Driver Issues. Issues with the drivers to control the tablets are more common with Huion than Wacom.
  • Warranty. Warranty and customer service is more restrictive than Wacom.
  • Lower Build Quality. Huion tablets feel noticeably cheaper in use, and don’t seem to be as thoughtfully designed. You also have more cases of non-fully laminated screens, which increase parallax.

For more detail on the difference between Pro and non-Pro Huion models, take a look at the Kamvas 13 vs Pro 13 comparison article.


Which Wacom & Huion Drawing Tablets are Best for You?

Best for Beginners

Huion H610 Pro V2 vs Wacom Intuos

Cheap, Large Drawing Tablet

  • Larger drawing area than the Intuos for a lower price
  • 8 customizable keys, plus 16 soft keys, compared to 4 buttons on the Intuos
  • Can be used with Android (excluding Samsung) and most Chromebooks
  • Less user reported pen nib wear than Intuos
  • Worse software than Intuos & potential driver issues
  • Lower build quality & worse customer service
The Huion H610 Pro V2 has both a larger 10 x 6.25 inch drawing area, and less user reported pen nib wear than the Intuos, but still doesn’t quite match it in terms of overall usability and pen accuracy.
The surface of the tablet is very good for a budget pad for drawing, and is very similar to using pen and paper, but is still a bit too smooth for my liking.

Recommended

High Build Quality & Value for Money

  • Highest build quality and performance of any cheap tablet, with nearly all the features of much more expensive models
  • Compact, so is suitable for use with a laptop
  • Bluetooth connection, so no cables to deal with
  • Excellent stylus with highest accuracy outside of pro tablets
  • Very high Wacom build quality
  • A little bit more expensive than the Huion tablet
The best cheap drawing tablet is the entry level Wacom Intuos (which has superseded the Wacom Bamboo and Wacom Intuos Draw) which is fantastic value for money, offering the top-end of accuracy and durability for a budget tablet, ideally suited to most home users and those starting out with their photo editing.

If you are in the US, there is also a cheaper Wacom model available to you, the One by Wacom. Take a look at the article on One by Wacom vs Intuos for a comparison of these models.


Best for Hobby Users

Wacom One vs Huion Kamvas 13

Good First Drawing Tablet with Screen

  • Real-feel Pen, feels like using a real pen
  • 13.3″ Full HD Display
  • Integrated Stand to raise the display to 19 degrees
  • Lovely matte drawing surface shows Wacom’s high quality build
  • PC / MAC / Android compatible
  • No buttons on the tablet
  • Fairly expensive
The Wacom One has a slightly smaller screen than the Wacom Cintiq 16, but this gives you a much reduced price, putting it within the realm of beginners to graphics tablets. As with all Wacom products, the included software is first-rate, allowing you to use the tablet as a secondary display for your computer, or mirror your screen as appropriate.
But for me, the price is still too high, and means that this is not quite as value for money as the Kamvas 13.

Recommended

The Cheapest Quality Graphics Tablet with Screen

  • Single cable USB-C to USB-C connection possible (or use 3-in-1)
  • Uses latest PW517 pen for better precision through reduced friction and bounce
  • Has 8 programmable buttons
  • Supports Android / Windows / Mac
  • Cheaper price
  • Smoother drawing surface
  • Anti-glare film rather than anti-glare glass
With a fully laminated screen to reduce parallax, a single cable USB-C to USB-C connection and the latest PW517 pen for improved accuracy, the Huion Kamvas 13 is my pick out of this and Wacom One.
You get most of the advantages of the Wacom One, but in a cheaper package.
Ultimately, this comes down to value for money, and the low price of the Kamvas 13 along with all of its quality features makes this a winner.

To see why I recommend the Huion Kamvas 13 over the Kamvas Pro 13, take a look at my article that compares them both.


Best for Advanced Users

Wacom Intuos Pro vs Huion Inspiroy Dial Q620M

The Drawing Tablet I Use

The Best Drawing Tablet Overall

  • The Drawing Tablet That I Use Most Frequently
  • 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity, pen tilt recognition & gesture recognition
  • The Best Drawing Accuracy of any tablet
  • User Programmable Express Keys and radial menu
  • Bluetooth for easy wireless connection
  • Expensive for a tablet without screen
If you want a drawing tablet that most accurately mimics pen and paper, then the Intuos Pro is it. With the ability to add texture sheets and with felt nibs included, you can replicate pretty much any surface.
The Wacom Intuos Pro is the model I use in both Lightroom and Photoshop for my photography, and unlike some other users, I have not found pen nib wear to be an issue at all. This really is invaluable in creating photos like these, and is the tablet I most frequently turn to – this has stood the test of time.

Good feature set for the price

  • Cheap when compared to the Intuos Pro
  • Includes a dial (but this is not as good as Wacom’s)
  • Wireless connection to PC and Android (not Mac)
  • Large drawing surface
  • Matte surface is closest to Wacom’s excellent surface
  • Potential driver issues
Although the Huion Dial Q620M is a very good tablet, clearly designed with a feature set to compete with the Intuos Pro, for me it doesn’t quite feel like value for money.
Personally, I would rather spend more to get a higher build quality tablet with software that I know works well.

Huion Kamvas Pro 16 vs Wacom Cintiq 16

Significantly cheaper than the Cintiq

  • Anti-glare glass which is more scratch-resistant and feels better to draw on
  • Has a touch bar
  • High build quality, with an aluminum back
  • 6 programmable buttons compared to none on the Cintiq
  • Uses older PW507 stylus, which is less accurate
The Huion Kamvas Pro 16 beats the standard Kamvas 16 model in terms of build quality, including a aluminum back, and very high quality anti-glare glass, and is very close to the Cintiq.
If you are intending to use the graphics tablet every day, then then AG glass means that you will probably get a longer lasting tablet as it does not scratch as easily as the Kamvas 16, and does not get air bubbles trapped under the AG glass layer.
Although accuracy, particularly in the corners, is not quite on a par with the Cintiq, the Kamvas Pro 16 is a very good choice if you are wanting a graphics tablet with screen on a budget.

My Top Pick

The Best Drawing Tablet with Screen

  • 15.6″ Full HD Display with the least parallax of any model
  • 96% sRGB Coverage for very high color accuracy
  • Fully laminated screen with paper-like texture and with premium anti-glare glass
  • Fantastic Accuracy and +/- 60 degrees tilt recognition in the pen
  • Also available as 22 inch model
  • Expensive
The Wacom Cintiq 16 is still the best Wacom drawing tablet with screen regardless of your use. The pen accuracy is excellent, with minimal parallax, and with the addition of the screen, the user experience feels like you are using pen and paper.
The downside is the price – this is a tablet for those wanting a pro-level device and are willing to pay for it. Nonetheless, if you have the money to spare, the Wacom Cintiq would make a fantastic addition to your photography or drawing workflow – there’s a reason that professionals think this particular model is their favorite drawing tablet.

If you are not sure whether you want a tablet with screen or not, then take a look at my article on the Wacom Cintiq vs Intuos to see the pros and cons of each.


Conclusion – Is Wacom or Huion Better?

Although I would say that Wacom make the better drawing tablets in general, you can see from the comparisons above that in some cases – particularly the mid-range of tablets with screens – Huion do actually offer better value for money with their Kamvas line.

So, whether Wacom or Huion is better for you will depend on your individual use case.

Are you a beginner? Then look to the Wacom Intuos.

Are you experienced with drawing tablets, and looking to upgrade, or do you want to go straight in with a portable tablet with screen? Then look at the Huion Kamvas line.

Are you making money from your drawing or photographs, or intend to in the near future? Then the Wacom Intuos Pro or Cintiq should be your go to.


Read Related Articles:

What is the overall best drawing tablet?

What are the best drawing tablets with screens?

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