Drawing Tablet

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet introduced me to pen computing. I loved it so much, that i bought a drawing tablet for my Mac too.

I was thinking Wacom tablet, but found spies on you. See Wacom Tablet Spy on You

Here's a better pen tablet, after some research, i got this one.

Huion Drawing Tablet

Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 wkwct-s
Huion H640P drawing tablet Buy at amazon
The keyboard is Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard, mouse is Logitech G502 Mouse

100×62.5 mm (6.3×3.9 inch) active area.

Highest rating on amazon.

It works great.

Works Great in Windows

On Microsoft Windows, it just works great. No driver software needed. you can use it to completely replace the mouse. When you swipe up/down with the pen on a web page, it scrolls, like finger on touch screen.

Bad on MacOS

On the Mac, you need to install driver software so that the buttons on the pen works. Without driver, the pointer works, but no click whatsoever, so it is useless. The driver software is not great. Also, Mac does not support using the pen tablet as a mouse. So, you use the tablet only for notes and drawing. If you use it as mouse, there no scroll. You need to drag the scroll bar, very painful.

Huion H640P H950P Manual


Huion HS611

Huion hs611 drawing tablet 2Gxjv-s250
Huion HS611 Drawing Tablet

Mac is Not Integrated with Pen/Note Taking

while enamoured with Surface Pro with its pen, i bought a drawing tablet for my Mac, thinking i'll be taking notes with pen on Mac too.

was very disappointed that Mac does not support pen computing like Microsoft Windows does.

Mac does not support touch screen, so it's not designed with using a digital pen. The pen just do drag and click, and there's no note taking apps builtin. (there's one called Notes, i tried but doesn't work.)

The drawing tablet on the mac is just useful when you want to draw, or write in a drawing app, such as photoshop or gimp.

But on Microsoft Windows, you can use the pen to browse web, scroll, or write notes, or write on screenshots, with several builtin apps.

Why doesn't Apple's Mac support drawing tablet like Microsoft Windows?

A little web search shows that, Apple doesn't want to merge iOS and Mac. If you want to do note taking or drawing, Apple wants you to buy Apple's tablet the iPad Buy at amazon and “Apple pencil” Buy at amazon . And besides, Apple's main mouse is the Apple “magic trackpad” Buy at amazon . Apple wants you to buy that instead.

Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 k2hs6-s-s900
Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 pxf33-s-s900

Tilt Sensitivity Not Important

In drawing tablet, there is a feature of tilt sensitivity. example: You can have thicker line when your pen is tilted more. But, according to pro artists, nobody uses that feature. However, pressure sensitivity is important.

Battery vs Batteryless Pen?

Also, there is battery vs batteryless pen. From one review, it says those with battery are just older tech. But from another article, it says battery is necessary for more advanced features. Note that Surface Pro pen requires battery.

Linguistics: Digital Pen? Pen Tablet? Pen Pad?

Note, the correct terminology of this device is Drawing Tablet. (not, for example, digital pen, pen tablet, pen pad, drawing pad, touchpad. Though, some do function as touchpad too.)

This is of linguistics interest. There are many forces at play: logic, marketing, history, convenience. “digital pen” is most logical naming, but that missed the pad part. “Tablet” or “pen tablet” won't work as its already taken to mean tablet computer. “Pen Display” is with a display.

Pen Display vs Drawing Tablet

Many professional artists prefer drawing tablet over pen display. pen display Because:

Drawing Tablet

Surface Pro 4 929a7-s1270x953-s289x217
Microsoft Surface Pro
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Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 wkwct-s-s289x217
Drawing Tablet
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Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 wkwct-s-s289x217
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