The XP Pen 22HD tablet video review

The XP Pen 22HD tablet video review

The XP Pen HD 22inch Video Review

Here is my video review on the Xp Pen HD 22inch graphics tablet! It’s an awesome piece of kit.

The 22HD XP Pen Graphics Tablet Review

TABLET REVIEW

Today I am reviewing the Artist display 22inch HD tablet from XP Pen.

Like a lot of digital artists I had always dreamt of owning a Wacom Cintiq tablet, but their very high price makes this goal unacheivable for most. Fortunately there are companys that offer alternatives to the Cintiq range, such as XP Pen and their 22 inch HD Artist display tablet.

This tablet offers an on-screen painting experience at an affordable price.

Throughout my career as a digital artist I have used a number of tablets and I have to say that out of all of them this tablet is my current favourite, so lets take a closer look and find out why!

Shipping

My tablet shipped from Hong Kong and was delivered very quickly by Fed Ex. For those who are not aware you will most likely have to pay customs tax when it arrives, in my case I got a letter about 2 weeks later asking for payment.

First impressions

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The tablets packaging in terms of design was minimal but it’s what is inside the box that counts!

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Mine contained the following: the tablet, a hand glove, 2 stylus pens with stand and extra nibs, power and connectivity wires, instructions and the drivers on a CD. Also packaged was a screen wiper and a make up style brush to clean fingerprints and marks from the screen. These are great additions!

So my first impressions of the tablet were very good, it was large, beautiful and the material of all the products in the box felt high in quality.

The tablet

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This tablet has a large 22inch HD IPS screen which I would say is the greatest feature of this tablet, when I first plugged it in I was amazed by the quality of the display. The colours were vibrant, the contrast was just right and the brightness was even better than my laptop screen. My artwork is very colourful and vibrant so viewing it on this tablet’s screen was a joy!

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The screen has a glossy finish but has minimal glare in most lighting conditions due to the brightness of the display. The glass is smooth and allows for your hand to glide across the screen with ease, the packaged hand glove also helps remove and prevent any fingerprints that can occur.

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The adjustable stand at the back is strong and can be used to change the viewing angle of the tablet, I noticed that when I would lift the tablet sometimes the wires would move underneath the stand so I had to keep poking them backwards when adjusting the viewing angle. I did not find this a bother though as with a tablet this size your not really going to be moving it around a lot.

Although the tablet is fairly large you can actually work with it on your lap, when I first recieved this tablet I was staying in a small room with no desk, so I had to test it on my lap and with hours of use I was still comfortable.

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The power and menu buttons are placed underneath the tablet which could be a pain to access if you had to keep tweaking your settings, but for me this was not an issue, the screen looked perfect on it’s first start up so I have not had to tweak any settings.

The Stylus

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The pens are comfortable to hold and it took no time at all to get used to, in terms of design they actually have a similar weight and shape as my Wacom Intuos 4 pen.

This tablet offers 2048 level of pressure sensitvity which allows for realistic brush strokes, however the pens do not support tilt or rotation sensitivity features unlike some Cintiq tablets.

I was not expecting this tablet to ship with two pens so that was a great bonus, it’s really useful to have the spare one to use when the other is being charged.

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Also I was really glad to see that the pens have led lights in them to indicate when they are charging or low on battery.

Drivers & installation

Installing the tablet took no time at all, the set up was really easy, I avoided the packaged CD driver and went to the website to download the latest ones.

Overall the drivers have been really great in comparison with other tablets, these drivers have been compatible with my wacom drivers which is great because I need to travel a lot and now I can switch between the two tablets without having to unistal and re-install the drivers each time.

Downsides

My experience with this tablet has been very positive I have not encountered any downsides yet, but if I were to nit pick there are two things that could possibly be improved.

The first is that usb connectivity cable is coloured blue which some people could find annoying as most of their cables are probably black, but to be honest my desk is a mess of black cables and having a blue cable really stands out which makes it easier to find and unplug when needed.

As I mentioned before the postion of the cables and menu buttons is not great, if the cables connected from either the right or left side and the menu placed on top of the tablet it would make more sense. But these small issues have not affected the perfomance or my overal impression of this tablet.

Performance and value

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The tablet has been perfect for digital drawing, painting, 3d sculpting, video editing and general web browsing. It has met all of my needs in my day to day client and personal projects.

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It’s performance with my work has been very responsive and as said before just makes everything look beautiful on the 22 inch IPS screen.

This tablet is fairly basic when compared to some other tablets that can offer touch capabilities or express keys but for the majority of people it would certainly meet their needs.
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This tablet currently sells for roughly £400 or $600 dollars which is a very reasonable price especially when you compare it with the 22 inch Wacom Cintiq which are normally at least £1000. With this tablet you are really getting you value for your money.

Conclusion

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The 22HD XP Pen display tablet certainly met and exceeded my expectations, having used other tablets in the past I was impressed with how this one compared and like I said at the start it’s currently my favourite tablet. If you are looking at purchasing a display tablet at a fair price then the XP Pen 22HD Artist tablet would be an excellent choice!

If you have any questions about the tablet feel free leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

You can purchase yours through the links below!

Buy at Amazon.co.uk

Buy on Amazon.com

Thank you for reading.

DISCLAIMER:

I received this tablet for free in return of an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of this tablet, I approached this review as if I had purchased this tablet with my hard earned money.

huion gt 185 hd review

Huion GT-185HD Review | By Louis Dyer

huion gt 185 hd review

Huion GT-185HD Review – First Impressions

I have owned a number of graphics tablets during my career as a digital artist. I started with a cheap £20 tablet, then a Wacom Bamboo and finally a Wacom Intuous 4 which has been my trusty tablet for the past 4 years, it has never let me down.

I was looking to upgrade again and was initially attracted to the Wacom Cintiq range for an on-screen painting experience. The problem was they are very expensive, luckily a number of companies have created much cheaper alternatives to the Cintiq models. After a lot of research I decided that the Huion GT-185 HD would suit me best due to it’s large 18.5 inch screen, HD resolution, 2048 pressure sensitivity levels and low price point.

So I went ahead and purchased the tablet as a pre-order for £350, saving myself about £50. The tablet took about a week to arrive & for those who are unaware, you will have to pay import taxes when it arrives. For myself in the UK it was £58.60

So in total my tablet came to just over £400 which is still cheaper than the smallest Cintiq model.

First impressions

The tablet arrived safely in a well packaged box, I was informed my tablet would be shipped with a UK plug adapter which it was, so I was very happy with that.

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How the tablet arrived.

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Huion Pen with holder which contains 8 spare nibs.

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Hot keys!

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The tablet!

The tablet itself is beautiful, the quality of material is very high and neither looks or feels cheap. From other videos I had felt that the Huion pens looked flimsy compared to the Wacom pens, but this was not the case, it certainly is lighter but it still feels and more importantly performs great.

The only thing I did not like was the attached screen protector, it just looked bad in my opinion, so I removed mine.

Installation

Installing the drivers was super easy, for some reason my tablet did not come with an installation CD so I had to download the drivers from the website. I had to uninstall all of my Wacom drivers because I encountered an error during the first installation attempt.
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Using the Huion 185 tablet for the first time

Using the Huion 185 tablet for the first time

But once I did it took about 5 minutes to get everything set up and then I was ready to go. I had to re-calibrate my display colour settings a few times both with the tablet monitor and with the windows calibration test, I still have not got things exactly how I like it, but for now it’s not a problem.

Performance

The transition from a traditional graphics tablet to a on-screen experience was strange at first, I felt a little uneasy resting my hand against the screen, the packaged glove helped as it allowed my hand to glide across much easier. The tablet has not heated up at all, I have it on for at least 8 hours a day and it has been fine. When working in Photoshop I have experienced no pen lag, the brush strokes have been super smooth and have been excellent for digital painting, line art, photo editing and even for other tasks such as video editing and general web browsing.

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Line art exercise with the Huion 185HD

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Digitally painting with the Huion 185 HD

The screen size is perfect for my desk, I was going to purchase a Wacom Cintiq 13HD but am glad I didn’t now as I would think it would have been far to small.

The express keys are a nice addition and I am sure some people will enjoy them, I however still prefer to use a keyboard when working so mine will not be getting much use.

Overall the tablet has been a joy to work with, here are some examples of artworks I have created with this tablet so far!
Crystal-piece radiant-illumination sketch-piece

Issues

I have had no real issues so far, sometimes there will be a squeaking noise when the pen interacts with the screen, I think this is due to the tablet being new, maybe this will happen less often with time. Also the tablet rarely picks up pressure on the very far right of the screen which can be annoying when trying to use a scroll bar, I have yet to experiment with the calibration settings so maybe this can be fixed with some tweaks.

So would I recommend this tablet?

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Absolutely, after two full weeks of use I am now completely comfortable using this tablet and would not go back. I am keeping my old Wacom for when I need to travel but otherwise I will be using the Huion from here on out.

I was uneasy about moving away from Wacom, but Huion’s customer service and high quality product has proven to me there are Wacom alternatives out there that are worth your attention.

So Whether this is your first tablet or an upgrade like in my case, the Huion 185HD is an amazing graphics tablet.

I would be excited to see if Huion make a tablet to compete with the Wacom 27 inch Cintiq, but for now I am content with this one. You can purchase the tablet from Huion’s website here

Thanks for reading!

UPDATE* 22/03/16

This tablet has not been available online for a few weeks now, I emailed Huion for answers and it seems they have simply sold out! There seems to be a shortage in raw materials to produce more HD models so they plan to release a SD version. Below is the exact email I received.

“Dear customer,

Thank you for your contact.

There is no display for GT-185HD on our online shop.

Kindly to inform you that our GT-185HD was sold out, and it is off the product shelves. There will not have GT-185HD production because of shortage of raw material. We will release a different version of GT-185, it is SD version.

Hope you can understand.”

If you are interested in learning how to digitally paint I have a number of e-courses available linked below!

essentials-of-digital-painting-ecourse-2advance-course-2 Master-class-course

Applydea mini maglus stylus video review

 

A short and sweet video review of the Applydea Mini Maglus Stylus. Check out the written review here

You can purchase the maglus stylus and save 10% here

To learn how to paint on the ipad click here

 

The applydea mini maglus stylus review| A digital artists experience

The applydea mini maglus stylus review| A digital artists experience

mini maglus review

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In the past I had reviewed two models of the original applydea maglus stylus. applydea have just released a new variation called the ‘mini’ maglus. The maglus styluses have been my tool of choice when creating digital paintings on the iPad, so how does this new stylus shape up?

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First Impressions

The stylus arrives in this beautiful black box with a magnetic flap and foam insert, if you compare this to the packaging of the original stylus, you can see there really is a big step up in presentation. The actual stylus itself looks sleek and feels great to hold.

mini maglus box

 

Contents

So Inside the packaging you will find the stylus, a magnetic sticker and a key chain that contains an extra nib inside. the magnetic sticker is great for people who have iPad covers that block the styluses magnetic connection.
With the sticker you are able to attach the stylus firmly to any surface you like. I have actually placed mine on my desk because I mostly paint at home and that way I always know where to find it.

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Performance

The mini maglus is clearly designed for those who own the mini ipad and small tablet devices. I however still own a regular sized ipad and have found the stylus performs identically to the original. The stylus nib grips the screen nicely allowing me to create accurate brush strokes while painting and I never get hand cramps because the stylus feels comfortable to hold.

When comparing the mini maglus to the original I actually prefer the mini maglus simply because it tucks into pockets easier if I am traveling. It also feels better to hold when painting, as it is lighter than the original, I don’t have the biggest  hands so the mini maglus is a great size for me.

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A current piece I am working on with the mini maglus!

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Painting created with the mini maglus

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Painting created with the original maglus

 

It’s a joy to use the mini maglus for activities such as browsing the internet and gaming but as some of you may know I primarily use the maglus as a digital painting tool. I have created many pieces with the maglus styluses over the years and plan to create many more in future!
Being able to paint on the iPad really gives a sense of freedom, I can still be creative and explore new painting when away from my studio.

Now that the applydea stylus includes a nib replacement feature I would be interested to see if applydea will create nibs specifically for painting.

Conclusion
The mini maglus is a great stylus to own and at only £27.99 it’s a steal, I still use my applydea maglus styluses daily. I would definitely recommend this stylus to anyone because of its high quality build & all-round amazing performance.

Thank you for reading, you can purchase the applydea mini maglus stylus on their official website here. Click the image below to get 10% of your order!

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 code will be revealed once you click the image above

 

 

Enfold theme review | my experience

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Enfold theme review

As a graphic designer I have always loved visually creating websites, but always felt uneasy when I tried approaching the coding side of web design.I had experimented with Adobe muse for a while which enabled me to build basic sites without coding, but they seriously lacked many basic features…so I moved to wordpress. WordPress is an amazing platform for beginners to start getting comfortable with editing HTML and CSS to alter the visual appearance of a website. WordPress has many free themes that enable a user to set up a basic website or blog, but for people who are looking to stand out from their competition, they need to develop or buy a professional theme.

I have used several themes in the past on a number of web design projects for my clients, but none have came close to the simplicity and power of Enfold. It has more features than any theme I have used and they are so easy to implement giving me total control over my website design and usability.

Fully customizable
The theme offers high customizability of layouts with a very intuitive drag and drop feature that lets you build your pages easily. Once you have the basic structure of your pages decided you simply drag and drop the media/content you wish to host on your page. The theme is also responsive meaning it is optimized to fit any screen size such as tablet and mobile devices.

E-commerce
The theme offers e-commerce which was perfect for me as I sell physical and downloadable digital content from my website. It’s also SEO ready which is very handy!

Amazing support
I have yet to come across a theme with better support, every time I wondered how to change something I simply searched in the support forum and found the solutions every time.

Other features
Retina display ready
2 minute set up
2D-3D layerslider (worth $15)
Shortcodes

 

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I have yet to unlock the full potential of this theme as I am still learning and experimenting, but it’s enabled me to set up a professional website in a matter of days. I highly recommend this theme to anyone who is slightly new to wordpress and web design in general, you wont find a more intuitive,cleaner, professional theme than this!

Feel free to check out the demo on theme forest here!

You can check out the website I have built with enfold here

PURCHASE THE THEME FOR JUST $58

I will write a more detailed review in the future once I have more explored this theme further, thanks for reading.
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The Applydea Maglus stylus | an extended review.

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I had written a review on an older model of the Applydea Maglus stylus in the past, but the stylus has gone through a few changes since then, this review covers a newer model of the stylus and its new features.

The guys at Applydea were generous enough to send me a new shiny Applydea Maglus stylus as a Christmas present last year. I had reviewed an older model of their stylus in the past, which had gotten a lot of use as my trusty stylus for digital painting on the iPad. Once again I was very impressed with the stylus and after a few months of use I have decided to inform everyone on my experience with the newer model of the stylus.

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So what’s new?

The newer Applydea Maglus stylus looks and functions pretty much the same as before (which isn’t a bad thing!) but has a few extra features worth noting that really boosts its current value, meaning you get more for your money now than you did before!

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The tips

The most notable new feature of the stylus is its removable tip function, you can chose between two styles of tips, a microfiber style and the classic rubber style which is great if you are looking for a different feel or simply need to renew a worn tip. The new tip looks like metal, but is probably the same material as the Truglide stylus which is actually a really a soft microfiber material. I have really enjoyed using the microfiber tip over the classic rubber because it has less resistance on the iPad screen, which I found easier to paint with.

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The Packaging

There have been very small but notable changes to the packaging, the package typographic information is brighter making it much easier to read than before and the lid of the packaging now has a sponge in the inside to protect the stylus, these are small but great improvements as it shows Applydea care about their products.

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Accessories

The stylus again comes with a very handy screen cleaning cloth that works very well, its refreshing to clean the grubby finger marks on your iPad from time to time. A new accessory to the stylus package is a key chain storage container which is a great idea if you plan on being away from home for a considerable time, you can store a replacement tip in this smart-looking ‘bullet-esque’ container.

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Conclusion

The Applydea Maglus stylus now offers more features than before and each of them is a welcome edition to what was already an amazing stylus. I still use my stylus daily for digital paintings on the iPad and the new microfiber tip makes that more enjoyable than ever. At £20 the stylus is still a very reasonably priced and you get more for your money now than you did before.

Thank you for reading, you can purchase the applydea maglus stylus on their official website here. Click the image below to get 10% of your order!

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(please note the microfiber tip may not be currently available)

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Check out some of my paintings created with the iPad here

 

Applydea maglus stylus review by a digital artist

Applydea maglus stylus review

As a digital painter I was ecstatic to find out I could paint on the go with my Apple iPad; finger painting is fun but lacks the accuracy that a stylus provides, not to mention soon makes your screen really grubby. So looking for a solution to this, I found the minefield that is the world of styluses. There are so many styluses out there, some replicating the look and feel of an actual paintbrush (Nomad stylus), others are like a more traditional pen and pencil (ButterFox stylus ), and some keep it plain and simple (Wacom Bamboo Solo Stylus – Black).  As this was going to be my first stylus purchase I felt like keeping it straightforward. After some research I found the Applydea Maglus stylus to be a popular choice as a great all-rounder. So I took the dive and received it as a birthday gift from my girlfriend.

It arrives in a simple card tube containing the stylus and a screen cloth (helped clean off the previous finger painting sessions!) My first impressions were that it had a nice weight; the aluminium was cool and nice to hold, the sort of feelings you associate with a quality product. I was itching to test it, so I immediately grabbed my iPad and opened the Sketchbook Pro app.

As an experienced Wacom Tablet user, I am used to the luxury of pressure sensitivity with my painting tools. But this stylus and iPad screen interaction does not offer pressure sensitivity. So I had to get used to the fact that applying a softer stroke will not paint a lighter mark or adjust the size of the mark on the digital canvas.
This is obviously no fault of this stylus; it is currently just a feature that most styluses and touch screens can not yet effectively provide (although Pogo connect seems to be a step in the right direction!).

So keep in mind if you are used to your Wacom tablet, there may be a small learning curve. After a few speedpaintings I really started to get to grips with how to produce similar results to my Wacom and Photoshop set up, the stylus glides across the screen with just enough friction to produce very accurate results thanks to its unique rubber tip. The tip is both squishy yet firm enough to produce exact strokes, for this reason it acts more like a pen compared to a paintbrush.

The main reason why I chose this stylus is because of its strong magnetic properties. I imagined that with my job I would be travelling a lot with my iPad and wanted to paint while on the train or bus, but I didn’t want to worry about losing my stylus. The Maglus stylus has a very cool magnetic feature that means the stylus can stick to your iPad or iPad case and not get misplaced or left behind.

However this is something that my iPad case could not provide, due to the locations of the magnets inside my case, my stylus can only attach to the very far corners which means my stylus, although securely fixed, sticks out of the case and looks very strange. I feel more comfortable keeping the stylus in my jacket pocket than on my iPad which is a shame.

Despite these minor set-backs, the Applydea Maglus performs brilliantly and is everything I was looking for in my first stylus. At £20 it’s reasonably priced product for what you get. With this stylus I really enjoy and look forward to painting on my iPad, nothing beats the luxury of being able to paint where ever you like! I would definitely recommend this as an introductory stylus because of its simple yet professional look, feel and all-round performance.

As my first and currently only stylus I am excited to one day test out the Nomad paintbrush stylus as well as the pogo connect pressure stylus. Perhaps in the future when I have them I can create a comparison review to see how the Maglus holds up.

Thank you for reading, you can purchase the applydea maglus stylus on their official website here. Click the image below to get 10% of your order!

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Pogo Connect bluetooth 4.0 pressure sensitive stylus review by a digital artist

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Pogo connect bluetooth 4.0 stylus review
In the past I had reviewed the applydea maglus stylus, it was my first iPad stylus bought primarily for painting. It has been a brilliant stylus and has served me very well over the past year as you can see from my many iPad paintings on my website! But the fact is I knew there were styluses out there that were catered for digital artists by providing pressure sensitive functionality, so I felt it was time I tested a new stylus. I decided to go for the pogo connect stylus as my first pressure sensitive stylus although there were other alternatives such as the adonit touch pro. The only thing that turned me off the adonit touch stylus for now was the fact that it was more expensive and I would possibly need a screen protector to avoid scratching my screen due to the styluses tip.

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First impressions

The packaging of my stylus felt slightly cheap for a £55 product, I wasn’t expecting anything overly flashy but in comparison to the maglus stylus which is much cheaper, it just didn’t feel very high quality. Packaging aside the actual stylus was surprising lite but once the battery was inserted it became a much nicer weight to hold. Setting up the pogo connect was very easy,  I simply had to download a free pairing app and the stylus then connected to my iPad via bluetooth.

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The good

So here are some of my first sketches made with the pogo connect, I was really just testing out the pressure sensitivity and could instantly see the difference. It was awesome watching the lines react to my actions similar to my wacom tablet. It took a a bit of configuration in the settings of the Pro Create app, but once the brushes were sorted my paintings were really showing an improvement.

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The overall feel and design of the stylus is very attractive, it feels smooth and the side buttons are a great addition you can map them to perform actions such as undo,redo,change brushes etc. Seeing the light on the side change colour depending on what I am painting is a very nice touch, it’s these little charms that made me instantly like the pogo connect.

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The main draw back of this stylus for me is the fact that it is AAA battery powered, I don’t think I have bought a battery for at least 5 years! It’s a little niggle that I can get over… and thankfully the pro create app informs you of how much battery the stylus has so you should have plenty of warning to buy new ones. I haven’t yet experienced the stylus disconnect but sometimes the sensitivity is not quite there, but I would say for 90% of the time it does exactly as I expect.

I see other people have complained about the ‘no palm rejection’ not working, I personally don’t understand the no palm rejection cries of other users, I have just naturally adopted a stance for painting on the iPad as it never felt right to rest my palm on the iPad screen anyway.

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pogo connect pic 1c

Radiant illumination

Radiant illumination

Conclusion

The Pogo Connect stylus has performed as expected, it’s not yet given me an alternative to a Wacom Cintiq…but its a sweet glimpse of what it would be like to have one.
My paintings have seen an improvement compared to a non pressure sensitive stylus thanks to the refinement of lines and opacity control. I did instantly feel a difference with the Pogo Connect even though it’s not always perfect. The Pogo Connect stylus would be a great addition to any digital artists tool set, especially if you are looking to paint on the go and have more control of your creative process.

Thank you for reading, you can purchase the Pogo Connect Stylus on the official TenOneDesign website, but if your from the UK the cheapest place I have found to purchase it is HERE on Amazon.

If you would like to learn how to paint on the iPad take a look at my online courses here!

If you have a product that you would like me to test and review please get in touch, my email is below.

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Louis Dyer digital visionary artist |  www.louisdyer.com/ | louis@louisdyer.com