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.
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.
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|
|Dimension||366.5 x 217.4 x 11.8mm|
|Display Size||13.3 inch|
|Working Area||293.76 × 165.24mm|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080
(16:9 aspect ratio)
|Color Accuracy||120% sRGB
16.7M colors (8bit)
|Laminated Display||Yes, fully laminated|
|Screen Type||Matte - Textured|
|Top Protective Layer||Removable plastic film|
|Stylus||PW517 - battery free|
|Pressure and Tilt||8192 pressure levels,
60 degree tilt
|Shortcut Buttons||Eight (programmable)|
|Advanced Shortcuts||No touchbar or dial|
|Tablet Stand||Yes, Included|
|Build Material (tablet)||Plastic|
|Weight||2.1 pounds (980 grams)|
|Color Options||Cosmo Black
|Price||Check 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…
Huion Kamvas 13 – 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.
Display 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…
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.
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.
Laminated screen on Huion Kamvas 13 and why you should care about this feature
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…
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
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.
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…
Buttons on the 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
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
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…
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.
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.
What else does it offer? (Pen tablet mode)
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.
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?
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.
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.
Related: Wacom One vs Huion Kamvas 13