Honest Review: Huion Kamvas 13 (After Two Months of Usage)

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At the time of writing this review, the Huion Kamvas 13 has already been out in the market for a while, and we have been getting a lot of requests to cover this tablet.

huion kamvas 13 review

So we teamed up with R-Jay Del Campo, who will share his first-hand experience of using this tablet for the last two months.

In this interview-based review of Huion Kamvas 13, you will get an unbiased opinion on each and every feature this tablet has to offer.

Since the artist has spent a fairly long time using the tablet, you will get to know about long terms usability aspects of the tablet.

How well the tablet holds up against scratches? How good is the stylus? Does the tablet heat up during long drawing sessions?

These are the types of intricate details you would be getting in this Huion Kamvas 13 review. You simply can’t find this information anywhere else.

If you are someone looking forward to buying the Huion Kamvas 13, this is the must-read article for you.

So let’s start by having a quick look at the list of all the features this tablet comes with.

Huion Kamvas 13 – Features and Specifications

 Huion Kamvas 13
huion kamvas 13 review 2
Dimension366.5 x 217.4 x 11.8mm
Display Size13.3 inch
Working Area293.76 × 165.24mm
Resolution1920 x 1080
(16:9 aspect ratio)
Color Accuracy120% sRGB
16.7M colors (8bit)
Brightness220cd/m2
Contrast1000:1
Response Time25ms
Laminated DisplayYes, fully laminated
Screen TypeMatte - Textured
Top Protective LayerRemovable plastic film
StylusPW517 - battery free
Pressure and Tilt8192 pressure levels,
60 degree tilt
Shortcut ButtonsEight (programmable)
Advanced ShortcutsNo touchbar or dial
Tablet StandYes, Included
Build Material (tablet)Plastic
Weight2.1 pounds (980 grams)
Color OptionsCosmo Black
Midnight Green
Violet Purple
PriceCheck on Amazon

With that lengthy feature list out of the way, let’s dig into details.

We started the interview by asking the artist some basic questions. Like…

How long you have been using the tablet?

– I’ve been using Huion Kamvas 13 daily for the last 2 months.

Why did you pick a 13-inch tablet? Why not go for the larger 15-inch or smaller 12-inch options?

– This 13-inch tablet is just perfect for my compact workspace. I can easily re-adjust and maneuver in any position I want.

Also, it fits in a standard laptop pouch making it very convenient for me to carry.

What made you select the Huion Kamvas 13 over other options in the market?

– After I did my research, it all came down to three options. The Huion Kamvas 13, Xp Pen Artist 13.3, and the Wacom One.

Wacom One was out pretty quickly, as it had the least amount of features in spite of costing the most.

Between Huion Kamvas 13 and Xp Pen tablet, the Huion just looks better aesthetically, and as I read in some reviews, artists were generally very happy with this tablet.

I also like the feature that lets you connect the tablet to an Android phone. It is a big plus point for on-the-go artists out there.

Also, the feature on Huion that allows you to use it as a pen tablet is pretty neat and I use it pretty often.

Huion Kamvas 13 – Design and Build Quality

design and build quality

Huion has been making tablets for quite a long time and with every iteration, they have stepped up the design of the tablet.

The latest Huion Kamvas 13 looks and feels like a well thought out tablet with a sleek, modern, and minimalist design.

The biggest design difference between the current model and the previous year’s model of the tablet comes down to the thickness. The Kamvas 13 is just 11.8 mm thick and weighs 2.1 pounds (980 grams).

Everything is well laid out on the tablet. You have a big screen at the front with shortcut buttons located at the left.

On the back, you will find four circular rubber pads the help the tablet to get a firm grip on smooth surfaces.

Do you like the design of the tablet? How does the build quality feel like?

– Yes I like the design, it is simple, functional, and compact.

I like the fact that the glass on top of the screen does not end at the edge of the screen, it extends beyond.

Plus all the edges and corners of the tablet are rounded, which combined with its slim form factor makes the tablet feel like a high-quality device.

When it comes to the build material, I would have liked – if the tablet was made of metal.

But that is not a negative point as the tablet is made of some top quality plastic which is strong and sturdy.

Holding the tablet in hand, it definitely emanates a quality feel. On top of that, the plastic also helps in reducing the weight, which is definitely a plus point.

Overall I am happy and satisfied with the design and quality I got.

Display and color accuracy

display quality and color accuracy

The screen is one of the most important parts of a drawing tablet as this is where everything happens.

A good drawing tablet needs to have a high-resolution, color-accurate display in order to provide a good drawing experience.

As of now, most of the drawing tablets in the market come with decent resolution but a tablet with good color accuracy is not that common.

Huion Kamvas 13 comes with a 1080p resolution which is good for a 13-inch screen. The screen looks sharp and you won’t be able to see individual pixels even when working up close.

We asked the artist opinion on the color accuracy of the tablet…

How is the color accuracy of the display?

– The color accuracy of the Kamvas 13 is actually really good, Its wide color gamut of 120% sRGB and 16.7 million display make the image on the screen look very natural.

Most of the display tablets in the market, including those larger-premium ones, generally come with a maximum of 100 % sRGB color accuracy. So the 120% sRGB color accuracy is very impressive indeed.

Display Brightness

Huion Kamvas 13 comes with a screen brightness of 220cd/m2, which is on par with other drawing tablets in the market.

Unlike a smartphone or a laptop, drawing tablets are mostly used indoors. For that reason, they do not require a very high level of brightness.

Is the screen is bright enough?

– Yes, the screen is sufficiently bright for my usage. I work in dark as well as bright room and most of the times, I work with brightness set to 50%.

Laminated screen on Huion Kamvas 13 and why you should care about this feature

layers on screen and laminated display

The display portion of a drawing tablet is made up of several layers, which consists of – the screen, the pen detection layer, and finally a protective glass on top.

In older generation drawing tables – all these layers are simply placed on top of each other with a small air gap in-between.

Due to this small gap, when drawing on these displays, the strokes made by the stylus appears a few millimeters away from the point where the stylus is actually touching the surface.

This is what is known as parallax.

The newer generation of drawing tablets such as the Huion Kamvas 13 comes with a laminated display.

In laminated displays, all the layers of screen are laminated together to form a single unit. This gets rid of parallax and massively improves stylus accuracy and the overall drawing performance of the tablet.

Surface texture and glossiness

Surface texture is another important feature that artists look for in a drawing tablet.

Drawing with a plastic stylus on a smooth glass screen does not feel as satisfying as drawing on paper with a pencil. The smooth glass also makes the stylus slip around a little too much.

For that reason, almost all the drawing tablet in the market comes with a textured drawing surface.

The textured surface has tiny-microscopic bumps which give the tip of the stylus a better grip over the drawing surface, resulting in a more controlled stylus movement.

Drawing on a textured screen feels kind of similar to drawing with a pencil on paper (I mean not exactly… but close).

With that said different tablets come with different levels of surface texture. On some tablets, the texture feels weak, while some are on the aggressive side.

So we asked the artist about the surface texture on Huion Kamvas 13…

How is the surface texture of Kamvas 13?

– I really liked the texture of the surface. It is neither too harsh nor too smooth. I guess the right word would be “Balanced”.

One more thing I want to share, in spite of having a textured surface, the screen stills feels smooth when gliding the hand over it.

Do you see any major scratches on the screen so far?

– Yes, it has some minor scratches which come from normal day-to-day usage. But the good news is, the scratches are not on the actual screen.

There is a thin plastic film applied on top of the drawing surface. This film is easy to replace and protects the actual glass surface from scratches.

Every once in a while, you can replace the film and get a fresh new drawing surface that looks as good as a new one.

Till now, I haven’t really replaced the film myself, but from what I can see – the current film can easily last for a year.

(On that note, the replacement film is cheap and easy to find online.)

Ok before we move on to the next topic, I want to add, the textured surface on the drawing tablet also doubles up as a matte screen.

The matte screen minimizes reflection and glares on the screen and makes the screen easier to see in a brightly lit environment, or if you are sitting next to a window.

Stylus PW 517 – features and performance

huion pw517 drawing stylus
Huion PW517 stylus

A Stylus is the most important part of a drawing tablet because – No matter how good the display is or how premium the tablet feels, without a good stylus – it is not worth considering.

The Kamvas 13 comes with Huion’s PW517 stylus that has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity along with 60 degrees of tilt detection. 

Now Huion has been perfecting their styluses for quite a while. We tested their last generation of stylist, the PW507 and we were very impressed by it.

It was a very accurate and reliable stylus with a fine-tuned pressure sensitivity. The only thing lacking was, it did not have the right initial activation force.

What is an Initial activation force in styluses?

Initial activation force is the measurement of how hard you need to press for the tablet to register a touch from the stylus. In other words, how sensitive is the stylus in registering light touches.

huion pen tech 3.0

The new PW517 stylus comes with Huion’s Pen Tech 3.0 which corrects the initial activation of the stylus and makes it one of the best styluses in the market.

We asked the artist about the performance of the stylus, here is what he had to say…

How does the stylus feel? How accurate it is?

– The stylus is very accurate and responsive. During my usage, I did not notice any tracking issues or any of those wavy line issues that so many other styluses have.

huion kamvas 13 pen performance test

It draws smooth and consistent lines with a nice taper at the ends.

My favorite feature of this stylus is pressure sensitivity because it works very well. I also have an old Microsoft Surface Stylus with me, but the pressure sensitivity on the Huion stylus is far superior.

As far as the tilt sensitivity is concerned, I have tried it at the beginning and it worked fine. But truth be told, I haven’t used this feature much in the last two months of using it.

In the end, I would say that – Thanks to the laminated screen and faster response times, when drawing with the stylus it feels as if the ink is coming out of the pen.

Buttons on the Stylus

button on huion stylus

There are two programmable buttons placed towards the front portion of the stylus.

These buttons come in very handy while drawing and can be programmed to do a variety of tasks.

You can set them to switch between brush and eraser or as a right-click button or the grab tool, they can also be used as an eyedropper tool which comes very handy during coloring and blending.

The two buttons are raised slightly above the surface which makes them easier to find without looking. The front button has a raised dot, which further helps to differentiate between the front and the back button.

Multipurpose Pen holder

huion pen stand with pen nib storage

To accompany the stylus, the Kamvas 13 comes with a circular shaped pen holder.

It is used for safely storing the stylus while it is not in use. You can keep the stylus laying flat or fully upright on top of this pen holder.

But that is not it, on the backside of the pen holder, you will find a hidden storage space. This is where the ten extra pe nibs and the nib remover tool is present.

Programmable shortcut buttons on Huion Kamvas 13

huion kamvas 13 programmable shortcut buttons

The tablet comes with a total of eight shortcut buttons that are located on the left side of the tablet.

All of the eight buttons are programmable and can be customized to do different functions like zoom, pan, switching between pen and eraser, or change the size of the brush.

The tablet also allows you to set application-specific shortcuts, where you can set different shortcuts for different applications.

For example, you can have different shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop and Krita. And the tablet is intelligent enough to automatically switch to the right settings depending on the application that is currently active.

we asked the artist about the shortcut button, here is his response…

Do you like the placement of the shortcut buttons?

– Yes, the shortcut buttons are located at right place.

Do you use them (shortcut buttons) or you prefer to use your keyboard instead?

– I use the buttons on the tablet from time to time but I personally prefer to use Keyboard as it is more convenient.

Connecting the tablet to the computer

There are two ways of connecting the tablet to your computer.

  • By using a USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Or with the help of included 3 in 1 cable

The good thing is, no matter whether you use the 3 in 1 cable or the USB-C cable – you will have minimum cable clutter as there is a single cable that needs to be plugged-in to the tablet.

Other than physically connecting the tablet, you also need to install the Kamvas 13’s driver. This is free to download software and allows you to customize your tablet and set custom shortcuts.

How user-friendly is the driver of the tablet?

– The driver of the Kamvas 13 is very easy to navigate and I was able to get everything working without much difficulty.

Android Support

support for android devices

Other than Windows and Mac, the Huion Kamvas 13 also works with Android smartphones and tablets.

This can be very handy for artists who draw on their mobile devices or wants a bigger screen without needing to buy a laptop. With that said, this only works with a few select Samsung and Huawei smartphones.

Does the tablet stand comes included with the tablet?

– Yes, a tablet stand was included with the tablet.

tablet stand

Do you like the included tablet stand?

– The included stand is kind of generic one that comes with other brands as well. But it is strong and sturdy, has multiple height adjustments. So I would say, it does its job well.

What you get in the Box (Unboxing)

All the accessories that you get in the box (unboxing)

  • Kamvas 13 tablet
  • Huion PW 517 stylus
  • Dedicated pen holder
  • 10 replacement nibs
  • Nib remover tool
  • Pen stand (optional)
  • 3-in-1 cable
  • USB extender
  • AC adapter
  • Drawing glove
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Quick start guide

What else does it offer? (Pen tablet mode)

pen tablet mode to relax your eyes

Other than all the features we have mentioned so far, the Kamvas 13 also comes with a special “pen tablet” mode.

It allows you to use the display tablet in a pen tablet mode. In this mode, the display turns off but the pen detection and tracking is still active.

It allows you to draw on your tablet while looking at your monitor (laptop screen), just like you do on a traditional graphics tablet.

This helps you relax your eyes and allows you to work in a more ergonomic position with your back straight.

Can Kamvas 13 be used by left-handed artists?

Yes, there is an option in the tablet settings that allow you to switch between left and right-hand mode.

Color Options

Unlike most of the drawing tablets in the market that are only available in boring Black color, with Kamvas 13 you get multiple color options.

  • Cosmo Black
  • Midnight Green
  • Violet Purple

Final thoughts – Should you buy the Huion Kamvas 13?

should you buy the huion kamvas 13?

A quality display and an accurate stylus are the benchmarks of a good display tablet.

So far in this review, we have seen Kamvas 13 stand tall on all these metrics.

It has a very color accurate, high-resolution screen along with all the bells and whistles such as laminated display and textured drawing surface.

The same goes for the stylus segment. As it comes with one of the most accurate and reliable stylus with a really good initial activation force.

Other than that, you get shortcut buttons, multiple connectivity options, Pen tablet mode, a convenient pen holder, extra pen nibs, a free tablet stand, a drawing glove, and the list goes on and on.

drawn on Huion Kamvas 13
Drawn on Huion Kamvas 13 (Artist: R Jay Del Campo)

In spite of coming with these great features and providing ample of accessories, the best thing about Huion Kamvas 13 is – it still manages to have a very reasonable price tag, which is very impressive.

With that said, there are definitely some missing features. There are no advanced shortcut options such as a Touch-bar or Shortcut dial, that are available with tablets in a similar price category.

Other than that we would also have loved to see an Etched glass, instead of the plastic film on the screen.

But again, it is not fair to expect these fancy add-ons, especially considering the price of the Kamvas 13. Plus some of the features present on Kamvas 13 are completely lacking in other tablet options in the market.

So overall, if you are someone looking for a quality drawing device that has everything that you need to step up your drawing skills – The Huion Kamvas 13 is the perfect choice for you.

Buy Huion Kamvas 13 onAmazonHuion e-storeAliExpress

 

co-author
RJay Del Campo (Guest)
ArtStation, Facebook
Software: Photoshop (Adobe Creative Cloud package)
OS: Windows

 

Related: Wacom One vs Huion Kamvas 13

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