Monoprice Graphic Drawing Tablet Review

So first off this is my first graphic tablet so I won't try to compare it to others on the market.  I will however compare some of the specs and give you my overall opinion on the build, performance, and features.

I've been very interested in picking up a tablet for quite some time to edit my photos.  I've heard good things about them but I've always backed off due to the hefty price tags.  I saw a post on twitter a few weeks ago for the monoprice graphics tablet that was claiming it to be every bit as good as the Wacom line for roughly $60 plus shipping.  I was very curious if this could really be true; so I did some research and decided to take a shot.  After all to buy a Wacom Intuos in a comparable size it would cost $300+ and Monoprice offers a full 30 day money back guarantee with no restocking fee.  How can you go wrong with that?

I received it about 3 weeks ago and I wanted to really play with it before I wrote this since it is my first experience with a graphic tablet.  It came in simple but good packaging.  In the box was the tablet, pen, pen holder, replacement tips for the pen, AAA battery and the driver disc.  The tablet is light weight but built well. It doesn't seem like you'll ever have any issues with its durability as long as you treat it like any other electronic device.  The pen however seems pretty cheap.  You pull it apart to put the battery in and the battery holder is pretty flimsy.  I was careful not to bend or break it and slid the pen back together.  Monoprice does offer an upgrade pen for $10 if you feel like grabbing one.  I did end up ordering the replacement pen and it is a much better build then the original. The pen holder is very light and the pen doesn't really go all the way into it so it tips over pretty easily.  I just lay the pen down so it's not a huge deal for me.  Installing was extremely simple and fast!  I put the disc in my Mac, installed, plugged in the tablet via USB and started using it in less than 3 min. 

Features

This tablet has a 10 x 6.25 active drawing area which is a good size for photo editing.  It's a comfortable size and doesn't feel cramped for space at all.  It has 8 hot keys and 16 function tabs which come preprogrammed but they do allow you to customize all of them to what you want.  They are prelabeled so changing them could be confusing.  The hot keys run down along the side of the tablet and do things like cut, paste, zoom in/out, etc.  The function tabs run along the top of the tablet just above the drawing area and give you 1 touch access to your mail, web browser, folders,  and print to name a few.  The pen has a 10mm reading height which means your cursor will show up as you move your pen slightly above the tablets surface.  The pen has 1024 pressure sensitivity levels.  That is only half of what the more expensive tablets offer but for me it's not an issue.  I am able to draw pretty fine lines and increase the size nicely with added pressure.

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Maybe a designer would prefer more levels for greater detail but that's not me.  The pen also has 2 buttons on the side for left click, right-click, double-click, and you can choose what you want them to do too.

Performance

After 3 weeks this tablet has blown away my expectations!  I have used it to edit a variety of photo styles to get a good feel for the possibilities.  The cursor moves seamlessly with the movement of the pen.  I haven't experienced any lag or jumping with it.  It is a very comfortable and fluid way to work.  The accuracy is simply amazing!  I have cut several people out from backgrounds using it and it is much easier and faster than working with a mouse.  The time and headaches it saves is priceless!

Summary

The Monoprice graphic drawing tablet is an amazing tool for amateurs and professional photographers.  It offers a lot of features and operates very smoothly.  It's not an item that is good for the price, it's an absolute steal for the price.  In an industry where almost every piece of equipment has a high price tag; this is a refreshing change.  If you have been thinking about buying or trying a graphic tablet I recommend that you give the Monoprice a try.  If you want to check it out use the link below.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10841&cs_id=1084102&p_id=6814&seq=1&format=2

Until next time