As digital drawing has become the norm for many artistic mediums, there are more reasons than ever to look into a drawing tablet to bring creations to life. There are many on the market, and it can often be daunting to select the best one to fit your needs. We recently got a chance to look at the Huion Kamvas 16 2021, a tablet with a 15.6-inch screen, that offers a good balance of features, price, and design.
For this review, we decided to do things a little differently. Normally, we look firsthand at each device we get to cover. Taking the time to assess all the features, strengths and weaknesses, and if it is worth the cost for anyone looking to invest. Due to the nature of this tablet, we enlisted the help of artist Kas Lockwood to have him take the tablet for a test, use it for an actual piece and see how the process all went. This way, we get the best take on the use, and if an artist finds the features on offer useful or more smoke and mirrors.
The tablet looked great when it was first unpacked. The Huion Kamvas 16 2021has all the cables anyone would need to get their new tablet up and running. The instructions are useful and offer enough to get a sense of what is needed, how to get things set up. The full setup once everything was unpacked took less than 10 minutes, quickly being found by the computer, and all the software that we planned to use.
As a new piece of technology, the Huion Kamvas 16 2021 felt very well-designed, with clean lines, an easy-to-use stylus, and a sharp, vibrant screen. When using the device, there was minimal glare, making it easy to use without lights or the studio getting in the way of the artistic process. The stand that Huion included in the package felt solid and made enough adjustments to make it great to work with.
With Kas being left-handed, he ran into a few issues orienting everything for his use. After some work, things were sorted, but one point of note is that it did not save his settings after it was unplugged, forcing him to set everything up a second time. Also, there were issues with the way the hotkeys set up are not working as intuitively as he would have liked when using it like this, so it’s something that should be noted for software updates going forward.
Using it for art was good once all the tablet settings were adjusted to his liking. Out of the box, there were some adjustments needed for the pen pressure, but once this was sorted, the tablet felt very natural and fun to use. The matte screen was a great touch when using the tablet, it gave a much more traditional artist’s experience, especially compared to the gloss glass finish most tablets employ. There were some issues with jittery lines when using the Huion Kamvas 16 2021. Thankfully, this was easily rectified with software, making things smooth and an overall great experience.
The hotkeys were another highlight of the experience, giving plenty of easy access buttons when you are diving into a piece of work. They can be customized to your liking, giving a range of flexibility to get the Kamvas 16 2021working just how you like it. The tablet offers 10 programmable buttons to suit your needs. With shortcuts ranging from key combinations, mouse clicks, switching of brushes, or many other computer tasks to make fit your style of work and setup.
“If that were not all, the Huion Kamvas 16 2021 also supports Android.”
On the pen front, the included stylus offers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, offers 5080 LPI Pen Resolution, does not need a battery, and allows up to a 60-degree tilt. It also feels good in the hands, making it a pen you can use for longer projects without fearing for your hands or how different it is from standard art tools.
If that were not all, the Huion Kamvas 16 2021 also supports Android. Provided you have a compatible device, you can plug the tablet in via USB-C and draw directly within an app on your phone. It is surprisingly easy to do, and as long as you have an app you can dive into, it is a feature that makes drawing while travelling an incredibly easy experience.
The Kamvas 16 2021 also gives two ways to use it, acting as a monitor for direct manipulation of your art on the screen, or in pen tablet mode that lets you use it as a standard tablet, using your computer screen for the art. Both work well, and it just depends on how you want to tackle the project.
“…the Huion Kamvas 16 2021 is a great offering that should meet most artists’ needs.”
The Kamvas 16 2021, despite its size, was very portable, only weighing 1.26Kg, and only 12 mm thick. This makes it very easy to get to and from work, class, or anywhere you travel. There are plenty of accessories, so while the tablet is very portable, you will need to ensure you bring all the needed cables, adapters etc. While not unwieldy, it is worth noting if you do want to travel daily with this tablet.
With a well-rounded experience, all the accessories you could ask for, and an overall, fantastically designed tablet, the Huion Kamvas 16 2021is a great offering that should meet most artists’ needs. The fact it is one of the more versatile offerings, with plenty of ways to dive into a new creative project, makes this an amazing value proposition. Hopefully, the minor software gripes can be ironed out, because beyond those issues, the Kamvas 16 2021 is an easy recommendation, especially if you are on a budget.