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Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen
Large display with good resolution
Decent color gamut
Includes an extra pen
No shortcut buttons
No touch controls
Problematic cable placement
Matte screen protector doesn’t look or feel good
The Huion Kamvas GT-191 is a 19.5-inch drawing tablet that features excellent viewing angles, great color reproduction, and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. Advanced hobbyists and professionals will both find something to like here.
The Huion Kamvas GT-191 isn’t a standalone drawing tablet like you might assume at first glance. Rather, it’s a pen display, providing a more natural method of drawing or painting directly on a monitor. This is handy for graphic designers, but comes at a steep increase in price tag and require being connected to a computer. Despite the cost, we liked its sharp IPS display, excellent color reproduction, and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.
We unpacked a Huion Kamvas GT-191 and put it to the test, to see if this mid-priced pen display can really go toe to toe with more expensive models. We checked things like viewing angles, color reproduction, parallax, viewing angles, and more.
The Huion Kamvas GT-191 is constructed primarily out of black plastic, with a glossy glass surface that covers both the display and the bezel. The bezel is fairly chunky, adding a bit of size to the already large pen display, but it isn’t anything out of the ordinary for a device in this price range.
The build quality is excellent, making the GT-191 feels like a very sturdy device. It’s a little heavy to hold during use, but it does include a high quality metal stand, and you can use the VESA mounts on the back to hang it on a flexible monitor arm if you prefer.
The build quality is excellent, making the GT-191 feels like a very sturdy device.
The front of the device looks more or less like a regular monitor, as the GT-191 omits the shortcut buttons that a lot of drawing tablets and pen displays provide. The only buttons present on the device are located on the lower right edge, powering the device on and allowing you to navigate the various display options like brightness and contrast.
Overall, the Kamvas GT-191 both looks and feels like a premium product despite its mid-range price tag.
We found the setup process to be painless, and we were able to get the GT-191 working with the drivers that came on the included CD. Setup consists of removing any other drawing tablet or pen display drivers you have installed, installing the GT-191 drivers, then connecting the device to your computer via USB and the video connection of your choice. We used HDMI, and our Windows 10 test machine located the additional monitor instantly.
The front of the device looks more or less like a regular monitor, as the GT-191 omits the shortcut buttons that a lot of drawing tablets and pen displays provide.
Connectivity is iffy over some USB hubs, we had the best luck connecting the GT-191 directly to a dedicated USB port on our test machine. The only other step in the setup process is to install the included monitor stand, or mount the display on your own monitor arm if you have one.
The GT-191 features a big 19.5 inch IPS display with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution and great viewing angles. It includes a high-quality stand that allows you to adjust the angle of the display between 20 and 80 degrees, and colors remain fairly constant due to the IPS display. While the stand is very usable, a pen display of this size is much easier to handle if you mount it on a flexible monitor arm.
The screen is glass and has a glossy finish, but it comes out of the box with a pre-installed matte screen protector. The screen protector cuts down on glare, but it also introduces an unpleasant rainbow effect when drawing on the display.
Colors are vibrant, with a color gamut that is 72 percent NTSC.
There is some parallax, which refers to the visible distance between the glass the pen rests on when drawing and the actual display beneath, but it’s very minimal. During our testing, we found it to be a non-issue compared to most other mid-priced pen displays, even when holding the device at extreme angles.
Colors are vibrant, with a color gamut that is 72 percent NTSC. That’s about 99 percent sRGB, which is pretty good for a pen display in this price category, and perfectly well suited to most graphic design applications.
The GT-191 features 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, which you’ll definitely notice if you’re used to a less sensitive device. The initial actuation force, which is the amount of pressure required to get the input to register, is a bit higher than premium Wacom Cintiq products, but we didn’t find that to be much of an issue during our testing. Overall, the GT-191 performs far above and beyond its price class.
Huion also provides you with two pens, instead of just one, so you can keep a fully charged pen in reserve at all times.
The pen itself performed flawlessly during our testing. It does feel a bit plastic and cheap in the hand, but it worked quite well for us. Huion also provides you with two pens, instead of just one, so you can keep a fully charged pen in reserve at all times.
The one performance issue that we ran into was fixed very easily. The screen protector, which we mentioned in the previous section, is meant to provide a rough, paper-like texture, but it overshoots the mark by quite a bit. Drawing on the screen protector just didn’t feel good, and at times the pen would catch and drag. Removing the screen protector fixed that issue, and the glass screen is unlikely to be damaged by the pen nib anyway.
Artists stepping up from a basic drawing tablet, or a pen display with a smaller screen size, are likely to find that the Kamvas GT-191 totally alters their workflow for the better. There’s a ton of screen real estate due to the large display size and high resolution, leaving plenty of space for all the user interface elements of your drawing or painting program.
The only real usability issues are fairly minor. The first is that the GT-191 doesn’t have any function keys, which is odd for a pen display with such high build quality. What that means is instead of conveniently placed shortcut buttons, you’ll have to keep your keyboard handy.
The other issue has to do with cable placement and routing, which we’ll touch on in the next section.
Some pen displays keep things simple, but not the GT-191. Most artists will be satisfied with the included HDMI port for video connectivity, and a USB port for data, but Huion has also included a DVI port and a VGA port if your setup requires either of those. These ports are all located in a single convenient location, along with the power port, so cable management is easy.
However, we have one caveat—if you use the tablet with the included stand, you will run into an issue with cable placement and routing. The issue is that the ports are all located on the bottom of the monitor, or the edge that’s facing you when you use it. You can route them through the hole in the stand, but it’s still impossible to lower the stand into a completely flat position due to interference from the cables. This is less of an issue if you use a flexible monitor arm, or if you leave the display stand at an angle and avoid laying it totally flat.
The Kamvas GT-191 comes with drivers on a CD, and we found that they worked just fine right out of the box on our Windows 10 test machine. You can download the latest drivers for free from Huion’s official site, but we found that it wasn’t necessary.
The drivers provide a number of options to customize your experience. The most important is the work area option, which allows you to select the correct display and change the active area that picks up inputs from your pen if you choose. When first installed, the driver had the wrong display selected. The simple fix was to select the GT-191 in the driver options.
The driver options also allow you to set custom functions for the pen buttons if you don’t like the default functions. Since this pen display doesn’t have any shortcut keys, the section in the driver software that’s devoted to mapping shortcut keys isn’t of any real use.
The Huion Kamvas GT-191 typically sells at a price point between $299 to $469 depending on where you buy it, which represents a fantastic deal for any advanced hobbyist or professional artist who doesn’t have room in their budget for a more expensive product like a Cintiq. Even a 13-inch Cintiq pen display can set you back around $900, and while high-end Wacom devices do offer some additional features and better color gamut, most people will get by just fine with the less expensive GT-191.
While the GT-191 is a good deal at its price, this is a crowded field, and there are a lot of other options out there. If you don’t need a 19.5-inch screen, for instance, you can save some money and get some extra features at the same time.
The Gaomon PD1560 is one very attractive option that you can find priced at about $360. The screen is a little smaller, at 15.6 inches, but it’s still a full HD IPS display with great color gamuts and fantastic viewing angles. The PD1560 also has 10 customizable shortcut buttons, which is one big feature that the Kamvas GT-191 lacks.
The XP-PEN Artist16 Pro is another competitor, also priced at about $360, that offers a similar experience. This one also has a 15.6-inch IPS display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and even better color gamut than the GT-191. While the GT-191 display reaches 99% sRGB, the Artist16 Pro manages 120 percent sRGB, which is equivalent to about 92 percent Adobe RGB.
If you need the large display, the HUION Kamvas Pro 20 GT-192 has the same size display as the GT-191, 100 percent sRGB, and great viewing angles. It also has a number of customizable shortcut buttons and supports the pen tilt feature that the GT-191 doesn’t. It retails for around $600, so you definitely pay more for the extra features.
Worth a look if you don’t mind using your keyboard for shortcuts.
The Huion Kamvas GT-191 isn’t a direct replacement for a Cintiq, but it does a good job of delivering premium build quality and performance at a fraction of the price. Some users will miss the lack of shortcut buttons, but that’s really the only issue this tablet has. If you’re looking to upgrade from a basic drawing tablet, or a smaller pen display, and this is in your budget, it’s absolutely worth a look.