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

15 replies
  1. Alexander
    Alexander says:

    I’m a game art student going into my second year, obviously money is tight being a student so the Huion GT 185 seems like my best bet, however I am a little worried about some of the things people have been mentioning, for example dust under the screen, have you noticed anything like this or has the product been pretty much flawless? and if so would you still recommend it?

    Reply
    • LouisDyer
      LouisDyer says:

      Hi Alex, thanks for the comment! Yes I would definitely still recommend the Huion 185 GT, mine is still working perfectly.

      I have not experienced any dust under the screen yet and hope I wont in the future. The only real issue with me is that the pen squeaks sometimes when applied to the screen, but it’s not a big deal!

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  2. Manolo
    Manolo says:

    Hello Louis
    I´m just another fine artist thinking about upgrading from intuos4 to a pen display – and the price-issue keeps me from just ordering a large cintiq too.
    Can you still tell after some time if the Huion is working fine for you? Shure other people would also like to know – since the low budget alternatives seems to behave kind of buggy from time to time …
    Thanks for the review. Regards!

    Reply
    • LouisDyer
      LouisDyer says:

      Hey Manolo,

      Yes my Huion has been working perfectly for a few months now, no bugs or issues as of yet. A recent driver was released and everything still works fine as well.
      Hope that helps! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Tess
    Tess says:

    Hey Louis !

    You know for the squeaky noise you can also apply some vaseline to the tip of your pen, normally it won’t squeak after that ! It worked for me ! ^^ Hope everything is going well for you !

    Reply
  4. Emlyn
    Emlyn says:

    Hi Louis,

    Great review. I don’t know if you ever use the tablet for such, but would you recommend it for traditional animation purposes? (using Flash, TvPaint, ToonBoom etc). Thanks!

    Reply
    • LouisDyer
      LouisDyer says:

      Hello! Thank you, I have only used it for light video editing but I imagine it would work great! Especially if you need to create any sketches.

      Reply
  5. Victor
    Victor says:

    Hi Louis,

    How much did you get the HD versions for? I have only seen SD now, like you said, they no longer produce those.

    The SD version is 599 CAD, and the HD version (can only find on Aliexpress) is 850. I want know if that’s a good price now given its rarity.

    Really enjoyed your review!

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • LouisDyer
      LouisDyer says:

      Hi Victor,

      I got mine for £350 at a special price for pre-order. If it’s new for 850 it’s not bad but there are alternatives like the bigger xp pen 22hd which are also good.
      I am about to sell my HD Huion, to bad you live in Canada!

      Reply

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