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Thread: A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

  1. #1

    A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    I have noticed that several people here were editing with graphics tablets. I started researching them, and even went to the local stored to try one out. (no store in the area has a display model) So last week I got a Monoprice Graphics Tablet. I decided to get this 1. it was cheap, 53$ shipped, to further that, I didnt want to be into a graphics tablet that cost 400-500$ If I could not learn to use it. 2. I wanted a large working surface, this model comes with a 10x6.25 work area. 3. Hotkeys to eliminate having to reach over to the keyboard. 4. It needed to be ambidextrous, as I am a southpaw (left handed) 5. If I couldnt learn to use it I could pass it to my kids and let them play with it. (perhaps keep them from scribbling on the walls)

    The tablet came nicely packaged, and has a solid feel. It has a metal base with sticky feet that keep it from moving around. The top is plastic but has a nice texture to it. The hotkeys are a nice size but feel cheap and click loudly. The pen is slightly larger than a standard writing pen, but nothing uncontrollable. So the first night I set up the tablet, fired up PS and played around with the settings and getting a general feel for its abilities. Wow did I not like this thing the first night, better put I was ready after less than an hour to throw it out. To be fair, I am a southpaw, but all my editing in the past has been with my right hand on a mouse. There is a steep learning curve jumping from a mouse to a tablet. The mouse moves in increments scaled to the size of your screen. The pen moves in a scaled manner, but it is more precise to the location. I am not sure if I explained that correctly, but I had some serious frustrations that first night. One other frustration to note, there is a left click right click button on the pen that is pretty sensitive, it is placed low enough that if you grip the pen in just the wrong way you will bump it.

    Round 2, the next night when I returned from work, I again fired up PS to play around with the tablet. This time(hind site should have done this first) I just opened a new project with a white backdrop. Then I proceeded to draw, and explore the buttons and how the tablet operated. After seeing how the pen operated, flaring with more pressure. That I could jump directly to the smudge tool, change colors, just by knowing that where it is on the screen it will be on the tablet. (on a mouse you have to move to that location) After hours of exploring I felt confident to start editing pictures.

    Day 3 I got the chance to get out and shoot some pics of the family down in Atlantic City, this was a combined effort of mouse/tablet, but more on towards the tablet.

    A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    You may notice the grass in the upper left has some dark halo's that are from me not having the brush size buttons mapped to my keyboard. I was still working out the pressure sensitivity. Basically on the pen the harder you press the larger area is covered by the brush, but that is limited by your brush size.

    Moving on to Day 4, after figuring out which keys need to be hot keys on the Tablet I downloaded and installed Autohotkey An opensource program. After reading some how to's on the site, I scripted my hotkeys. Now that I had things in order, I re-edited the last one:

    A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    Here are two from day 5/6 all done using only the tablet:

    A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    Notice in the LLC I have also been able to watermark/sign these photos. Kinda cool and easy with a tablet.

    The only function I wish I had is the abitlity to move from screen to screen. (current setup 2x23" monitors) Normally when I am editing I am watching tv, surfing the web, or listening to music, and I use the second monitor for that. And I have to keep the mouse handy to switch. It works fine when there is not an editing program open, but once there is the tablet is locked to the editing program.

    Final thoughts, I don't know how I missed out on this hardware. It is simply intuitive. If you are sitting on the fence or haven't heard of a graphics tablet (like me), get a cheap one and try it out.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    Thanks
    Ryo

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Greece (ex UK)
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    Real Name
    Russell

    Re: A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    Hi, Sorry don't have a question, but!! I moved from a mouse to the GT and would not go back. I would say that as always that you only get what you pay for in life and this also applies to the GT, I started with the Wacom Pen & Touch and also looked for instruction online on the best work practices with the GT and soon realised that if you want all the bells and whistles you have to pay for them. As you no Wacom GT's range from around $80/90 upto over a thousand $/. I now have the Intuos 4 and yes you can set a hot key to jump from screen to screen and a lot more in between for seperate applications.
    I'll bet that you will upgrade in the not to distant future.
    Russ

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Grand Cayman, GT
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    Graham Heron

    Re: A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    Hi Ryo,
    Like many on the board, I love the graphics tablet as well. Now into my 14th year using one. Currently a Wacom Graphire (6 years old, out of production and still serving me well).
    I agree about the learning curve, give one a try for a week. Give it a decent try, then try and do the same things at the end of that time with the mouse (even something as simple as writing your name).
    AFAIK most people convert to the tablet after a short time.

    Graham

  4. #4
    orlcam88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    NY
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    Real Name
    Orlando

    Re: A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    I just got my monoprice 10x6.25 and I love it. Once you understand that the board matches the screen position it becomes a breeze. At first I tried to use it like a mouse by lifting it so that I can reposition but that doesn't work. I think that's where most people have to get use to.

    I've been using it with LR and it works pretty well. 2 issues I encountered though. moving levels goes a bit crazy so I use the mouse for that. The other is that LR lags a lot. I had this issue with the mouse before I got the tablet so it's a known issue for me. But with the tablet it's even more of a lag. So I have to wait until the software catches up. I need to upgrade my computer for this. It was a spare computer that I use for photo's.

    The plus side is that I know can get a more accurate adjustment. I've only used it in LR but I'm keeping it for sure. For $50 this was a great investment. I recommend it.

  5. #5

    Re: A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    It does seem your experience matches that of most people I know who have a tablet. Initially don't feel comfortable for a few days but then move through that and couldn't ever live without it.

    Planning to get a new computer/monitor when I get home and a tablet to go with it.

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: A week with Monoprice Graphics Tablet

    For any serious graphics work a tablet is a must. A mouse is just to "clunky" for making accurate work.

    I've been using a Wacom Intuous 3 for years (which is now a couple of generation's ago model) and still use it for all but the most basic editing work. Once you get used to it, there is no going back and using a mouse feels like trying to draw with a pencil that has been taped to your hand.

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