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Old Jan 14, 2011, 09:49 AM   #1
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Quick review: Monoprice 10x6.25" Graphic Tablet

I have never used a graphics tablet before but I have been wanting to experiment with one for quite some time. My needs are driven by photography, and my primary use would be with the adjustment brush in Lightroom. I am also a Photoshop user and use with that product with retouching and layering/masking tools would be a secondary use. Wacom tablets, even the Bamboo line, are not inexpensive and their prices have deterred me from taking the plunge. I ran across some favorable anecdotal reviews of Monoprice graphics tablets recently. The Monoprice tablets range in price from $19 to $84 with a roughly A5-sized tablet priced at $40. At that price point, the buying decision became a lot easier. I received this tablet last evening: product link.

To give you a sense of its size, here is a thumbnailed photo of it positioned in front of my 30" monitor.

Thumb resize.

The tablet is manufactured by UC Logic and newer drivers than what were packaged with the product are available for download from their web site. Installation was simple, just install the drivers, plug the tablet into a USB port, and install the supplied AAA battery into the pen. The installation routine adds the pen driver to the login items for the current account. The configuration utility is not added as a preference pane but rather as a separate application accessed from the /Applications/PenTabletSetting folder. It permits the configuration of the pen buttons, the pen area on the tablet, hot cells that appear as a row across the top of the pen area, and pressure sensitivity.

I am still learning how to use a tablet. Using it to draw masks with the adjustment brush is much more intuitive than using a mouse and the control is better. I am still getting a feel for using it to manipulate the many sliders in LR's develop panel and it is definitely different than using a mouse. Lifting the pen away from the tablet seems to be the most effective way to disengage the pen from the control that currently has focus. It is different from what I am used to and will require some learning on my part.

I quickly tried it in Photoshop using it to do something simple like signing my name. The brush width was sensitive to pressure, so that aspect of the driver works. Again, with experience I am sure my skills will improve.

The equivalent Wacom tablet is the Bamboo Fun. The Wacom's pen area is a bit smaller that the Monoprice tablet: 8.5x5.4" compared with 10 x 6.25". The Wacom pad comes with some bundled software while the Monoprice pad does not, but the software bundled with the Wacom is not compelling to me. Especially when you factor in the price difference: $169 from Amazon for the Wacom tablet versus $40 for the Monoprice tablet.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 06:43 PM   #2
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My favorite part.
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Old Jan 14, 2011, 07:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jared_kipe View Post
My favorite part.
Ha! Affinity marketing at its finest. I am running various ad blockers so I didn't see the ads.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 09:05 AM   #4
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The only problem with cheap tablets is this: 1x - AAA battery for pen. This makes the pen thick and heavy. Wacom does not use a battery, the tablet feeds the pen (electromagnetic induction). That makes it a lot more comfortable to use. Wacom tablets also seem to perform better, movement seems to be smoother than on cheap tablets in my experience. Another big plus is the support you get with Wacom. If you still have a Graphire 1 tablet and you need a new pen or new nibs you can still get them from Wacom. Most of the cheaper tablets don't have this (you need to buy a new tablet).

As for price, well most "cheap" tablets are somewhere around $20 or $50. The Wacom Bamboo Pen is also around $50~60. It doesn't differ that much since the Bamboo series. And since you can still buy nibs, pen, etc. when the tablet is like 5 years old this puts the Wacom tablets on par imo.
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 12:42 PM   #5
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Hi Cliff3,

Thanks for the review of our product! We like to here user inputs from time to time so it is much appreciated even if its quick one .

Thank you! I use these tablets myself and I love it .

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Old Dec 10, 2012, 04:39 PM   #6
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Anyone able to install usably with Mt Lion? No luck here, pointer goes to 0.0 upper left corner no matter what. I see the Ubuntu folks wrestled with it and got it working with much effort.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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Works with Mountain Lion (10.8.4)

Downloaded the UC Logic drivers (http://www.uc-logic.com/en/index.php?ParentMenuID=4) it it worked perfectly. I was actually able to use the tablet before the driver install, but the software allows you to configure the pen buttons and tablet quick keys. Since I am not a graphics designer the $40 tablet is perfect for my needs. I agree the Wacom product has it's advantages but you need to weigh your usage of the device against the price. For my screen manipulation, photo editing and minor touch-up tasks, this is working fine.
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