For digital artists, deciding on a quality drawing tablet can be a tricky experience in a market seemingly overflowing with options. There’s so many different models of drawing pads that each have their own individual features and quirks, both as their own electronic devices as well as add-ons to your existing devices through plug-ins or Bluetooth. The wealth of choices can be a bit overwhelming to buyers at times, so it’s important to decide which aspects of a tablet are most important to you and your workspace. Whether you sketch as a hobby or graphic design is your passion, a good tablet is key to being able to make your work look more professional while your hand gets to feel more comfortable. In the end, if there’s one thing that you don’t want to get a cheap knockoff of, it’s a device as sensitive as an electronic drawing pad. One such quality option to consider is the Huion Inspiroy Keydial Model KD200, the industry’s first combination graphics tablet/keyboard. This is a device that dedicates its focus both to working well from a specs standpoint as well as in regards to efficiency. Does it live up to its promises? Let’s go over some key features.
The KD200 is a tablet that can connect to either computer or Android devices via USB or Bluetooth, with up to 18 hours of battery life and a charging time of 1.2-3 hours according to its official listing, though it did seem to charge on the faster side of this estimate for me. The entire setup includes the tablet itself, the PW517 pen, a pen holder containing 10 spare pen nibs, a nib clip, a USB-C cable, a Bluetooth receiver, and a manual. Overall, it includes many helpful items, and it was nice that the extra nibs fit secretly inside of the pen holder itself so you won’t have to worry about misplacing and having to dig them up later. As for the pen itself, it feels very sturdy yet comfortable in the hand, easily something that could be used to draw for multiple hours without getting uncomfortable. The pen is also battery-free, supports tilt function, and recognizes up to 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. Needless to say, this is a really quality pen, and works well to complement the tablet.
The tablet itself has a drawing area that measures 8.9 x 5.6 inches, as well as a minimized keyboard on the lefthand side for inputting commands. This is a welcome convenience that prevents having to reach all the way over to your traditional keyboard, which is probably nowhere near you when drawing. This saves precious time when you need to CTRL-Z to undo your mistakes often, as I and many others surely do. You also get 5 free keys that you can customize to do whatever you please. This allows you the freedom to map out your quick needs so that the device can tailor to you and your jobs specifically. In addition, you have a dial on the top leftmost corner, which are programmed to either zoom, scroll, or change brush size, depending on which setting is currently active. I found that using it to quickly change my brush size was very helpful when sketching something that I wanted to have varying stroke widths without breaking my stride as I would have to if using a drawing pad with no dial. Overall, the mini keyboard and dial were great additions that made for an excellent streamlined drawing experience.
Getting to test the KD200 was a blast, and for the most part, it exceeded my expectations in all fields. However, I will say that I did most of this testing on computer, because I quickly found that the Bluetooth connection to Androids is shoddy at best, considering that the screen size does not line up with the tablet’s dimensions and the connection was not steady (USB is not an option for mobile device connection). I didn’t run into any problems like these when using either Bluetooth or USB connection on computer though, so it seems to be just a problem with Android compatibility. For this reason, I would not recommend it for those who want a tablet solely for phone usage. If you’re looking for that, this is probably not your tablet. However, if you are looking for a drawing pad to connect to your computer that excels in efficiency, ergonomic design, and technical aspects, then the Huion Inspiroy Keydial Model KD200 may just be a good choice for you. The retail price comes in at $169, which is by no means a bad price considering all of its features and add-ons (not to mention that you can sometimes catch it on sale for less). So if this drawing tablet/keyboard hybrid seems to fit your needs just right, go ahead and see if it would be a good fit for your artistic exploits, whether professional or for fun.
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