Review: Huion Kamvas Slate 10 – More than a Blank Canvas!

Slate Expectations? The Huion Kamvas Slate 10 Draws the Line

I must admit at the outset, the brand Huion (or to give its full name, – Shenzhen Huion Animation Technology Limited) isn’t one I’ve come across before. In a marketplace that seems saturated yet ironically ever-growing, I was keen to scratch beneath the surface of this drawing tablet to discover whether it met with my expectations or not…

Kamvas Slate 10: Drawing on the Go

The Kamvas Slate 10 is a relatively new entrant in the arena of portable drawing tablets. With the rate at which new products are released, it might be considered an “oldie” by the time you read this! The Kamvas Slate 10 is a compact design and comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus. My first impressions were mixed though. Looking at the box, it feels like it is aimed at younger audiences with colourful graphics and minimal copy. As it would be bought by adults, I’d have liked more specific information regarding what was inside the box. The words Canvas and Slate and a couple of vague lines, “All in one” and “The World is in Your Hands” are the only indications as to what lay inside the box. However, looking past this, it was natural to surmise that the tablet looks to cater to artists and creatives on the move.

 

Right out of the box

The Slate 10 impresses with its sleek and lightweight design. It feels comfortable to hold, and its slim profile makes it perfect for tossing in a backpack or satchel. The tablet is fixed in its textured sleeve which also doubles as a stand and is home to the stylus. Pressing the on/off button instantly imbues life into the device as the opening chime fills the ears with a noise that demonstrates the power of the dual speakers that are located on either side of the device. The 10.1-inch display offers a resolution of 1920 x 1200 (16:10) ratio which gives ample drawing space without feeling bulky.

Setting Up: It was Ok but not a walk in the park

The Kamvas Slate 10 comes with Huion’s capacitive stylus, USB-C  to USB-A charging cable, power adaptor, case/sleeve, an extra pen nib, TF Card Eject Tool and a “Quick Start” Guide.

The stylus fits snugly into the slot along the inside seam of the case. It also magnetically snaps onto the side of the tablet, a neat touch that prevents frustrating stylus misplacements. The Slate comes with some apps preloaded so I couldn’t resist the urge to try out the pressure sensitive stylus pen. I launched one of the apps which I presumed was for using the stylus as it had a stylus icon. I haven’t used a stylus in such a long time so I was filled with anticipation as I put stylus to screen…Nothing happened. I thought that perhaps I needed to turn the pen on or activate it in the app. I tried various methods but my scrawls on the screen didn’t result in anything. I tried the tip of my finger and Wow. I had made my mark. I made several marks in quick succession and wondered why the stylus wasn’t working. It was then that I noticed a USB charging port on the stylus’ body. I let out a groan as I connected the stylus to the power adaptor with the charging cable and saw the indicator light turn on at the side of the pen. A bit disappointed that the Kamvas Slate 10 wasn’t Plug-n-Play as I had expected, I returned some time later to recommence my test.

Display: A Vibrant Canvas

The Slate 10’s display boasts a crisp 1920 x 1200 resolution, offering sharp visuals and top-notch clarity for detailed illustrations. Colors appear vivid and accurate, thanks to an impressive 87% Adobe RGB colour gamut. Although, as I am not making a like-for-like comparison, it isn’t possible to say with any degree of accuracy how good the hues, saturation and brightness are. The screen does have adaptive brightness but I find that it becomes far too dim even in normal light, so I kept it switched off. The flip side of this was that I have to compromise on battery charge. With a polished, glass display, the Slate 10 is available with an anti-glare film which comes as an optional extra when you buy it from Huion, although you could quite easily purchase a generic one and cut it to size yourself.

While the display isn’t laminated, there’s minimal parallax between the pen tip and the cursor, ensuring a near-natural drawing experience. Brightness levels are sufficient for most indoor environments, but outdoor use might be hampered by excessive glare.

 

Pen Performance: Pressure Makes Perfect

For me, the pressure-sensitive stylus is the heart of the Slate 10 experience. According to the marketing spiel, it delivers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for nuanced lines and strokes that mimic the feel of traditional drawing on paper. My initial impression was that it was ok with minimal lag between pen strokes and on-screen actions. However, some may have to grapple with a learning curve to get used to the weight and responsiveness of the stylus. This will of course depend on which of the many drawing apps you choose. It took me a while to learn how to select different colours and brush sizes and how to apply variable weights to a brush stroke to create a desired painting effect. So, I didn’t find it intuitive enough but that’s subjective. The Active Capacitive Stylus is also equipped with two side keys which look nice but it’s not clear what they do or how to use them!

 

Cameras for Snapping

The Kamvas Slate 10 features two cameras. Front: 5.0MP and Rear: 13.0MP. While these specs are ok for online meetings and random snaps, I think this might fail to excite serious photographers.

Software Compatibility: A Mixed Bag

The Slate 10 is an Android device so it’s sure to work on apps downloaded from Google’s Playstore. As one of the arty-farty crowd, I particularly found Krita quite nice to work with although I’m sure the Kamvas Slate 10 will support other, popular art programs like Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint. However, some apps do require a lot of RAM so the user should bear in mind that the Slate 10 comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage which can be expanded to a maximum 512GB with a TF card.

Connectivity: Wired for Now

The Slate 10 relies on a USB-C cable (which is provided) for connection and charging. There is also a 3mm headphone jack for all you audiophiles. Equipped with Bluetooth, you can also connect to other wireless devices like earbuds. The sound quality is average in my opinion. The dual speaker setup is fine if you’re indoors and you’re not too fussed about sound. Although, if you’ll be watching a lot of movies, you may be left wanting. I feel that having two speakers will undoubtedly give a more satisfactory experience than a single speaker which you may currently have on a phone.

Battery Life: A Marathon Session

The Slate 10 boasts an impressive battery life with 3.85V, 6000mAh capacity. This should last up to 8 hours on a single charge. This makes it ideal for extended drawing sessions without the worry of your tablet dying mid-flow. The battery’s longevity will depend on the number of apps you are running simultaneously and how processor-intensive the nature of your work is.

The Verdict: A Capable Companion for Mobile Artists

The Kamvas Slate 10 is a solid choice for artists who crave an introduction to portable drawing devices. We all know that Inspiration, creative ideas and Eureka! moments can come at unexpected times so the slate’s lightweight design, vibrant display, and pressure-sensitive stylus make it a compelling option for sketching, illustrating, and creating on the go.

Who Should Buy It?

It’s not very clear who the Slate 10 is marketed for. The packaging graphics suggest it’s for young kids but I wouldn’t limit its appeal to just tiny tots.

  • Freelance artists and illustrators who need a portable drawing tablet.
  • Hobbyists who enjoy sketching and drawing digitally.
  • Students enrolled in art programs that require digital drawing skills.

These would all benefit from such a device. However, there is an argument for the diehard traditional drawing and painting enthusiasts who would never relinquish the visceral, tactile sensation of applying pencil to paper or mixing their own paints and marking their canvas.

Summing up

The Kamvas Slate 10 is a budget, entry-level device at $249.00, so professionals who demand the most advanced features may wish to steer clear.

Cramming technology into a device and packaging seems a haphazard way to launch a product. I feel Huion have missed a trick here. They need to invest in their brand by creating a community of users/ followers to bolster their brand. As a first-time user, I’d like to have had help on how I can make the most of its features, which apps work best with the Slate 10, how others are using the product and real-life case studies of the product is being used by real people. I feel that, if a customer sees the product in action, they would be more inclined to make a purchasing decision.

Overall, the Kamvas Slate 10 offers a compelling blend of portability, performance, and affordability. While not perfect, it’s a well-rounded tablet that punches above its weight, making it a great choice for artists who value mobility and want to unleash their creativity on the go.

About Author
Chetan is a London-based designer by profession. He is passionate about the role design plays in everyday life whether it's graphic, digital, fashion, product or environmental design. Motivated by aesthetic design, function and the User Experience of emerging and new technologies, products and platforms, he is ever keen to learn, discover and innovate. Although he doesn't consider himself a nerd or a geek, he is a big movie fan and lists Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Shawshank Redemption and… Brewsters Millions among his favourites! Chetan is also an aspiring author and is currently working on his first novel.