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Drawing tablets are getting cheaper every day. Gone are the days when a simple entry level drawing pad costs hundreds of dollars and few selected brands had a monopoly over the price. New brands are showing up with their new drawing devices which are not only as good as premium tablets but also much cheaper.
Gaomon PD 1560 has everything you need – which includes and a great display, ample of hotkeys, connectivity options, and a great stylus. It has the perfect combination of price and features which makes it one of the most lucrative options for those looking for a good drawing tablet. In this Gaomon PD 1560 review, we would take a deep look at what makes this device a great drawing companion and whether it is worth the price or not.
Gaomon PD 1560 – Unboxing and first impression
Gaomon PD 1560 comes in a well-protected box with components neatly placed together. Inside the box, you will find everything you need to get started. Which includes – User manual, Power adapter, Tablet stand, Drawing glove, Stylus, Charger, Pen stand, Connection cable, Carrying case, Screen protector and last but not least – the tablet itself.
On holding the device for the first time it looks and feels better than expected. It has got a massive screen on the front with buttons on the left. The built quality is also on point and the tablet does not feel cheap in any way.
Features and specifications
Features often do not tell the full story of the device. So, it is not wise to judge the tablet solely based on its features. Still, it gives us the basic idea of what we are looking at. Here is the list of everything the tablet has to offer.
|Gaomon PD 1560|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Display Area||344.16 x 193.59mm (13.5*7.6 inch)|
|Resolution||5080 LPI (lines per inch)|
|Pen Type||Active (rechargeable)|
|Pen Pressure||8192 Levels|
|Connection||Wired (via 3-in-2 cable)|
|Tablet Stand||Yes (Included)|
|Price||Check on Amazon|
Pros of Gaomon PD 1560
- Large screen – more drawing space
- Very Affordable
- Pen has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Ample of shortcut keys
- 3-in-2 cable reduces clutter on the table
- Relatively portable and comes with a carrying pouch
Cons of Gaomon PD 1560
- The pen needs to be charged
- No eraser at the back of the pen
- The screen protection film is not pre-applied
- Shortcut buttons have no markings
Gaomon PD 1560 – Design and Build Quality
Gaomon Pd 1560 has gone with the classical approach with the design of the tablet. The tablet has the screen on the right side whereas the shortcut buttons lay on the left. It is an ideal design as the person drawing with their right hand will have his left hand naturally rest at the left side where the buttons are present.
It allows you to draw and make some quick settings via shortcut buttons simultaneously. This is the reason the same layout is present in many other drawing tablets. Other than the shortcut button there are other buttons located on the side edge of the tablet which helps to adjust the screen brightness, color, and contrast.
All the connectivity ports are neatly placed on the side edge of the device. The ports and the wires do not interfere with the drawing area of the tablet. The tablet is made of high-quality dense plastic which makes the tablet feel hefty and strong.
Screen and Drawing Area
A screen is one of the most important components of the drawing tablet. This is where everything happens. Gaomon PD 1560 is an entry level drawing tablet but still comes with a very impressive display. It has the resolution of 1920 x 1080p, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Some artist really likes this aspect ratio as it gives them more space around the canvas to put floating menus.
A full HD panel on a 15-inch screen looks very sharp. With display tablet like these, you have to sit really close to the screen. If the pixels on the screen are not dense enough you will start to see the individual pixels on the screen – which stresses our eyes. This tablet does not has any issues like that and feels very comfortable to work on.
The screen produces very vibrant colors and has the support for the full RGB color space with excellent dynamic range. The screen is bright enough to be clearly visible in bright indoors environment. The packaging box says the tablet has a viewing angle of 178°(degrees). In real life also the viewing angles are excellent with no color distortions when looked off angle.
As mentioned there are buttons on the left edge of the tablet to control hue, saturation, contrast and a lot of other display settings. Once you make some basic changes the tablet remembers the settings and you don’t need to adjust them after rebooting.
Tablet stand and how to install it
Gaomon PD 1560 comes with a standard tablet stand along with all the accessories to install it. There are four mounting points on the back of the tablet on which the stand can screw in. You simply screw the bolts to the tablet stand and you are ready for action.
The mounting points are the standard mounting grooves which can also mount third-party tablet stands. The provided tablet stand has plastic and metal construction making it strong. It can go from 20° to 80° without losing stability.
To stop the tablet from collapsing when applied with extended pressure the stand has a locking mechanism which holds the tablet firmly. There are rubber pads on the leg of the stand which does not let the tablet slip on the table.
The thing which was missing from the tablet is – It does not have any rubber material at the base of the tablet. Which leads to the tablet slipping on smooth surfaces.
The tablet comes with a total of 10 shortcut buttons which are arranged in “two groups of four” and “two buttons in the center”. The buttons are indented into the surface and have a soft distinct click sound which feels satisfying.
Visually the button arrangement on the left makes the tablet layout look more professional. The buttons can be fully customized to the shortcut of your choice in the tablet settings.
One of the important thing to notice here – all the buttons looks and feels exactly the same. So of the other tablets in the market comes with small dots on the buttons which helps you to recognize them in a dim environment.
The Gaomon PD 1560 does not have such patters and it is easier to accidentally press different keys. One of the ways to solve this issue is to put some sticker on the buttons.
Gaomon PD 1560 Stylus
A stylus is the most important part of a drawing tablet. No matter how good a tablet is a bad stylus can really ruin your drawing experience. It is very important for a good tablet to have a good stylus. The Gaomon PD 1560 comes with an excellent stylus which has a great build quality and very comfortable to hold.
It comes with a pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels. Now as much as the tablet manufacturers try to tell you “pressure sensitivity is all you need to know” – that is not enough to know how good the stylus perform. There are a lot of other factors which plays a key role in making a stylus accurate.
Issues like parallax, wobbly strokes and inaccurate pressure bumps can really give you a rough drawing experience. The Gaomon PD 1560 stylus has consistent and reliable performance. The lines are straight with no wobble issues in slow as well as fast speeds. The pressure curve is smooth with no inconsistent pressure bumps.
There is a slight hint of parallax in the pen, but to be honest not even the very premium Wacom tablets are 100% free from parallax. On top of that, it is not as bad as what you see in other tablets in this range. So overall it gets a pass in the parallax department.
Buttons – Shortcut at your fingertips
Gaomon stylus comes with two buttons at the sides. The buttons are raised above the surface of the tablet to make them easy to press. On pressing it has a sharp click sound which indicates high quality.
By default, the shortcut buttons act as an eraser but you can change it to other shortcuts like “alt” to pick the color or any other key of your choice.
Charging the pen
This is the only real complaint with the pen. Unlike some other tablets in the market like Xp-Pen Artist 12, the Gaomon stylus has batteries inside them. These batteries need to be charged before using. To be fair, these batteries can last weeks if not months on a single charge. Still, it is better not to charge them in the first place.
The Multipurpose Pen holder
A circular stylus is very easy to roll off the table – and fall. To stop this from happening the Gaomon PD 1560 comes with a pen holder. The pen holder is made of plastic but has a metal base which makes it stable.
You can either put your pen unright with the nib pointing down or lay it flat in the little grooves. The pen holder has a tiny hole at the back which helps to remove pen nibs at the time of the replacement. Opening the pen holder you will find extra pen tips – safely stored in tiny compartments.
How to connect your drawing tablet to the computer
Connecting the tablet from your computer is simple and straight-forward. The first thing you need to do is connect the given cable to the computer. After that download the driver from the official website and install it – and your tablet is ready to work.
The included cable comes with 3-in-2 design, where you have three cables coming out of one end and two cables from the other. There are two ports (mini-HDMI and USB-C) at the right edge of the tablet. The other three cables connect to a mini-HDMI and a full-size USB port of the computer. The third cable connects to the power adopter.
If your laptop or computer does not have all the ports required you can get a USB hub.
One of the main benefits of this kind of arrangement is – it reduces wire clutter on your desk and the cables do not intrude around your working surface. The wire itself is thick and strong and generally last a long time.
Driver – The control unit
The operating system of the computer is not that good at understanding the pen and the pressure data of the stylus. The driver is a program which communicates with the computer and helps it understand the tablet data. Without the driver, the computer will treat your tablet like an ordinary second screen.
You can change the shortcut buttons of the tablet as well as the pen to any other key of your choice. The driver also gives you control over the pressure sensitivity and allows you to change the pressure curve which controls how hard you want to press while drawing.
Accessories – What you get in the box
As mentioned at the beginning of the review, the Gaomon PD 1560 comes with a lot of accessories. There are tablets in the market like Wacom Cintiq 16 – which costs a couple of hundred dollars extra but still does not comes with the basic accessory like a tablet stand.
Along with the tablet stand the Gaomon PD 1560 comes with some other bonus accessories like drawing glove. This could be useful especially if you have a sweaty hand. There is also a basic travel pouch included in the box to store as well as travel with the tablet.
As the surface of the tablet is made of glass – it is smooth and reflective. Some artists prefer a textured surface. If you are one of those people you can apply a textured screen protector which is included in the package. This will reduce reflection/glare on the screen and give natural friction to the pen while drawing.
Portability – Can you travel with the tablet?
In short, the Gaomon PD 1560 is a semi-portable device. Why semi-portable you ask, here is why.
Most of the portable devices like iPad pro, has digitizer screen, processor, battery and everything else inside a box. Whereas a drawing tablet like this is just a digitizer screen and needs a computer to work. Even if you take the tablet to the office, the office computer still needs the driver for the tablet to work.
But if you set everything right – the tablet becomes a portable device. The tablet has a 15.6-inch screen which is big enough to feel comfortable while drawing and small enough to be portable. On top of that, the tablet itself is decently slim. Additionally, it comes with a carrying pouch which is very convenient to go out with.
Summary – Is Gaomon PD 1560 right tablet for you
From what we have learned so far from the review is there are a lot of things going on with the tablet. There are certain areas where it outshines other tablets in a similar price range such as display quality, stylus performance. And there are areas where it needs to make little improvements like differentiating the shortcut buttons(to easily identify them). And putting rubber pads at the bottom edge of the tablet.
In the end, there are some complaints too which includes – the pen still needs charging, where many other brands have already moved to charge free(battery-less) pens. But this should not be an issue as the battery generally lasts multiple weeks depending on the uses.
Is Gaomon PD 1560 right tablet for you – Coming to the basics there are three main components that make a great drawing tablet. The pen, screen, and comfort to use. The Gaomon PD 1560 proves itself a great tablet in all these three categories. In the case of comfort, the tablet comes with a tablet stand, a lot of shortcut buttons along with distraction-free cable management which makes your drawing experience better.
The Gaomon PD 1560 is easily comparable to the Wacom Cintiq 16 which costs significantly more and does not even comes with basic accessory. So – Is Gaomon PD 1560 a good investment – YES, it is.
UPDATE : At the time of writing the review, for sure the Gaomon PD 1560 was one of the best – budget drawing tablets but competition is starting to catch up slowly.