It’s been some 4 months since I purchased the Yiynova MSP19U+ tablet monitor to complete my Marooned graphic novel. I’ve put it through it’s paces, and this is my review and recommendation of the display.
The Yiynova is a direct competitor to the Cintiq tablets by Wacom. Probably the key issue with the Cintiq tablets is their price. For the large tablets, Wacom’s Cintiq runs from $2000 – $2500. The Yiynova comes in significantly less at $600. Let’s face it, that is a tremendous savings. And if artists face one challenge almost all the time, it’s the cost of materials and equipment.
I had been working on a Cintiq 24HD at my previous job, doing my drawing at lunch or before/after hours. It’s an amazing piece of equipment, but I could not afford $2,500 for one – and I needed to finish my graphic novel. So a tablet that was $1,900 cheaper was very appealing, and I pulled the trigger after reading some positive reviews.
I’m going to give you the bottom line up front: The Yiynova does the job, but it is no Cintiq. To friends I’ve often put it this way: The Yiynova is a Chevrolet, but the Cintiq is a Rolls Royce. Here’s why.
- Resolution: The Yiynova ships at 1440 x 900. The Cintiq 24HD is at 1920 x 1200 – significantly higher. I didn’t initially think this would be a big deal, but it turns out that it really affects how much you want to zoom in, and it affects how much you can see. The Yiynova gives you a much more cramped working area. I really miss being able to see more of the page, and being able to see more of what I am working on without having to zoom out. It has definitely affected the way I work.
- Viewing Angle: The Yiynova’s H:85°/85°, V: 80°/80° is substantially worse than the Cintiq’s 178° / 178°. This means you really need to be right on top of the tablet to see properly. This is especially a problem with color, because it really affects how color looks off-angle.
- Enclosure/Build: The Yiynova feels $1,900 cheaper. Does this mean it’s going to fall apart, or not work properly? No, I’ve not had any problems of that sort. On the other hand, you can move the thing around with the weight of your arm if you are not careful – so you have to be careful. On the Cinitiq you tend to forget you are doing anything but drawing. On the Yiynova, you are always aware that you are on a device.
- Comfort: This might be one of the biggest issues I have. The Yiynova isn’t very comfortable to work on. Partially because of the lighter weight, and definitely because it’s just not as adjustable as the Cintiq. Particularly the Cintiq 24HD is more like a drafting table that you can lean on and go to town. It’s very tricky to find a comfortable position on the Yiynova.
- Sensitivity: The two devices both have 2048 levels of sensitivity. But the Cintiq feels better, draws better. It’s hard for me to say exactly what it is that makes it feel that way, but it just does.
- Pen: The pen works fine generally, although the rubber slip cover around the button has come off for some reason. Again, it doesn’t quite feel as substantial.
- Controls: One last big downside of the Yiynova is that it lacks onboard hotkeys/controls. This is a big plus of the Cintiq, which has customizable controls that really helps workflow. Yiynova has an updated version that does have a row of buttons on the top, so I would definitely look at that one.
It’s not that I cannot get work done on the Yiynova, because I certainly can. I’m doing all my Rock & Tin pages with it, and it’s working just fine. But I long for the days when I had access to the Cintiq 24HD. There really is a large gap in quality, fit and finish and functionality between the two.
If you can save the money for a Cintiq, I would go that route. You could look at the Wacom Companion with the smaller amount of memory which runs for $1,800. (Review by Krishna). And you could be mobile. But for a couple hundred bucks more, you could have the Cintiq 22HD. I still personally think the 24HD is the best of the best. My hope is to maybe pick up a used one in the future.
Yiynova is doing a great job giving arists an alternative in a space where Wacom has practically no competition, and thus no pressure to lower prices. But they do need to improve their products to be more comparable – even if they need to raise the prices a bit. Only a more comparable product will make Wacom feel any pressure.