Review: Huion Inspiroy Giano Graphics Tablet – A Mighty Tool for Digital Creativity

The large format wireless tablet that exceeds expectations

I may have mentioned in previous reviews that I might be as old as the hills, which means I have encountered a lot of hardware in my time. I’ve had a few graphic tablets before, in fact, the first one I ever owned plugged into a joystick port of an Atari 8-bit computer. It had a minuscule drawing area and was excruciatingly low rez, but I loved it. Now you may ask what this has to do with anything. It’s true that even though we’ve made significant advancements in technology over the years, there are still challenges associated with converting an ancient analog process (a human drawing on a surface) into a digital image on a screen. However, as digital artists of today, we have access to tools and techniques that allow us to create stunning works of art using our devices.So today we are looking at The Inspiroy Giano. A sleek large format graphics tablet that competes with the likes of Wacom in the digital painting marketplace. It is fully compatible with Windows and MacOS, so no one gets left out. And it’s perfectly at home in creative software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, and Clip Studio Paint. Let’s give it a tryout!

Looks good, feels great

It’s hard to ignore, but the Huion Inspiroy Giano is a bit of a beast, measuring 354.4 x 215.9mm (13.8 x 8.6 inches), if you have a small area to work on, or are thinking of balancing it on your lap, you might struggle with space. Despite being such a wide slab, it’s surprisingly thin at 9mm with excellent build quality, supported in no uncertain terms by the steel back plate which prevents much of the wobbliness and flex that many other plastic tablets seem to suffer from. Combined with 4 rubberised feet this device isn’t going anywhere!

The wide top ‘working’ surface has a lovely, smooth matte papery feel to it, which provides the perfect amount of friction for precise drawing and painting. This is situated next to a glossy strip running down the left edge which houses six recessed programmable buttons can be assigned to commonly used functions like zooming, erasing, or switching between brush types. On the left edge of the device you’ll find a sleep/on/off button, a USB-C port and very unexpectedly, a tiny LCD screen. 

I saw a screen and I liked it

So if you were paying attention, you must have gotten confused when I mentioned a screen. The Inspiroy Giano doesn’t have a screen to draw on (you’ll have to look at some of Huion’s other offerings for that) but it does have a small 15mm x 25mm LCD screen in the top left-hand corner of the device. It’s basically a tiny dashboard used to display battery life, USB/phone connection, Bluetooth connection and sleep mode indicator. The device will even suggest you should get up and walk around after 2 hours of use. It’s kind of unnecessary but it’s a lovely, fun, useful feature to have.

Where we’re going, we don’t need wires!

One of the key selling features apart from the size is the Inspiroy Giano’s wireless connectivity, enabling artists and designers to work freely without being restricted by cables. The tablet comes with Bluetooth 5.0 built-in and I found it connected very easily and reliably to my Mac and PC with no drama or head-scratching. As soon as the connection is made, the stylus takes on mousing duties immediately. Of course, if you’re using Bluetooth this must mean the Inspiroy Giano must be battery-powered. And what a battery. Weighing in at 2500 mAh, Huion states you’ll get up to 18 hours of continuous use on a single 4.5 hour charge. I haven’t got as far as 18 hours but I must have used the tablet for around 12 hours so far without a problem. If you are generally working on a laptop, this is the device for you! Once you are out of battery or you don’t happen to have Bluetooth, you can just plug in the supplied USB-C cable and you are good to go again.

Stylish Stylus

In the box you’ll find the tapered battery-free PenTech 3.0+ electromagnetic resonance pen with 5,080 lines per inch of resolution and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. It supports tilt and has a really natural feel as you scribe across the tablet’s surface. The lower portion of the pen has a rubberised grip to stop you from flinging it accidentally across the room if you scribble a little too hard and 2 customisable buttons. You also get the now traditional doughnut-shaped pen holder which allows you to place the pen horizontally on its side or vertically upright. Inside the pen holder also is a set of replacement nibs and a circular tool to remove them. 

Huion also sent me a second pen, the PW550S which is probably a lot closer to a biro in shape and thickness. Again it comes with all the benefits of the Pentech 3.0+ tech but is a little smaller and lighter and has replaceable nibs (and the tool to replace them with). Personally, I prefer the chunkier, slightly heavier pen but it’s nice to have the option.

So sensitive…

Now I’ve never been a fan of using a tablet instead of a mouse, I still find it awkward to use and I have too many years of muscle memory to change that. But, I do use a tablet for specific tasks like painting, sketching or digital sculpting so I spent a large chunk of time working with the Inspiroy Giano in Photoshop. It definitely surpassed my expectations in comparison to devices from more famous manufacturers! In use, you’ll notice its exceptional responsiveness, performance and sensitivity. I am told the tablet supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, ensuring that every brush stroke is accurately captured. The tablet also features a report rate of over 300PPS, resulting in minimal latency which means an improved drawing experience with no lag of any kind. Now, I can’t really say if I felt every one of the 8192 levels of sensitivity but the Inspiroy Giano seemed to allow fine and expressive control over the digital art I was working on and is more than adept at far more technical artwork needs like cutouts and subtle UI adjustments.

Software without the bugs

As is standard nowadays you’ll get full performance from the device if you install the driver software which you can grab from the Huion Website. Find the model of tablet you have, download and the software installs with zero drama.

Open the HuionTablet app and you can easily and simply adjust the pressure sensitivity, play around with customisable keys, and even tinker with the pen buttons. The interface is extremely user-friendly, both the tablet keys and pen buttons offer endless customization features, so you can make the device your own.

But in case you need even more flexibility, the HuionTablet app lets you create special customizations for specific programs. Create sets of shortcuts for Photoshop and different ones for Illustrator or Clip Studio and they’re all accessible via a dropdown menu. There are pressure sensitivity curves, left or right-handedness and a whole lot more settings to play with so you can get a setup that suits you perfectly.

Take the tablet…

Without a doubt, The Huion Inspiroy Giano graphics tablet is a super powerful device that allows artists to unleash their creative potential. Personally, it won’t replace my mouse as I prefer to draw while seeing the results under my hand. But I know many designers and artists who use nothing else, and I can wholeheartedly say it is one of the best devices in this class I have used. The classy design, large drawing area, excellent performance, and wireless connectivity make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a natural digital drawing experience. Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, this graphics tablet is a valuable addition to any artist’s toolkit.

The Huion Inspiroy Giano graphics tablet is available direct from the Huion website, here. Or you can check out the Huion Shop on Amazon here.

About Author
Born into a family of restauranteurs, Ricardo Pirroni didn't want to join the family business. His talents extended beyond the kitchen and he has spent the last 20 years honing his skills in various creative pursuits. From making things from scratch, 3d sculpting, drawing, designing graphics, art directing to brainstorming concepts. His work is not only functional, but also thought-provoking and entertaining. In addition to being a recognised authority on cake, his diverse range of talents and love of all things tech, makes him a versatile writer, capable of crafting stories that are both engaging and visually compelling.
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