Quick review: Monoprice 10x6.25" Graphic Tablet

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cliff3, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #1
    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    My favorite part.
     

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  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    Ha! Affinity marketing at its finest. I am running various ad blockers so I didn't see the ads.
     
  4. dyn
    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    #5
    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 :).

    Tech Support
    Monoprice.com
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2003
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #7
    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.
     
  8. seanoo, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    #8
    Hi All,

    I'm hoping somebody can send me a private link to the drivers? The website (http://www.uc-logic.com/en/index.php?ParentMenuID=4) appears to be down. On a new machine and can't pull the driver over myself due to data loss.

    Thanks a ton if anyone can help out.
    -S

    PS. I'm on Mavericks if that matters.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    #9
    I was looking for the exact same thing actually, let me know if you find anything please!
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2003
    #10
    this might be it

    http://www.uc-logic.com/demo/support.html

    Gave up on their main site, went to the home, got past a 404 somehow, hit this new page with promises of a LCD display touchpad tablet coming sometime in July, lots more links that don't work, finally stumbled onto that page that has a Windows and a couple of OSX drivers that can be downloaded -- newer than anything I've seen.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    Great review. I was looking a couple of months ago, and ended up with a factory refurbished Bamboo Capture off of eBay for about $18 more than the Monoprice. After reading all the Amazon and blog reviews of the Monoprice and generic it's based on, I decided that the price delta would be ok- I'd have gone with the Monprice over a new Bamboo though.

    My primary use was to try my hand at digital painting, not to edit photos, and I haven't tried any photo editing with it yet, but for my use, I doubt there'd be much difference between the two.

    Paul
     

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