Parblo Mast 10. A Cheaper Cintiq Alternative?
Before I start, I didn't get paid to do this and this is not a sponsored review whatsoever. I've genuinely made a review from my personal point of view about this product. Without further ado, let's begin.
When I started with digital painting I first used a mouse, crazy right? I know it's not the best way of creating digital art, but it is what I had, at the time. After a few months I heard about something called a graphic tablet which was basically a device that can digitise what you draw/paint with a stylus pen. That sounded so cool and I decided to delve deeper in the digital painting world. My very first tablet was a Genius brand. It was big, kind of ugly, but you know what? I really didn't care because I was drawing and painting digitally at last!
After that I bought my first Wacom, which I still have as a temporary replacement just in case. Something that I've missed throughout these years of working as an artist is that I was not feeling that traditional essence when I was drawing/painting, because I was just looking at the screen and synchronising my hand with my eyes to be able to paint. That's when I decided to look for a better experience of painting traditionally but digitally. And I found the amazing drawing monitors; exactly what I was exactly looking for. Since I had a good experience with Wacom I decided to look for a drawing monitor to buy.
My mouth was literally on the floor when I found out that the CHEAPEST one was over one thousand dollars. And as an adult with taxes, rent, student loans to pay (Childhood, please come back), it was a crazy amount of money to spend and I hate to get into credit where you end up paying triple the price of the product. So I decided to continue with my old and reliable friend, the Wacom. It was just a month ago when a friend of mine told me about much cheaper alternatives, he mentioned Huion, XP-Pen, Gaomon and finally Parblo. I was searching through the vast site of Amazon and found an incredible price for an actual drawing monitor called Parblo Mast 10. Before buying it, I looked at other reviews and what people thought about the product because getting a monitor of $300 almost the same size as one worth more than $1000, seemed to good to be true.
As an innately curious person I decided to give it a shot and ordered it. And I finally have it in my hands and have been working on it for about a week. The first thing I noticed when it arrived, was the beautiful and elegant black box.
It included, the drawing monitor (duh), a cool bag to store it, a bag for the pen, the pen (duh), a cool and useful two-finger glove. A pen stand with nib remover and extra nibs and of course the cables to connect it to the computer.
I'm not going to lie that I was hesitant to buy this one because according to the previous mentioned reviews from other people, setting this thing up was literally a pain in the a**. However, I just connected it to the USB port that is necessary for both, the computer to recognise it and as power supply. EASY! Yes, you don't need to connect it to a power source or anything, just the computer power is sufficient. And the other connection was the HDMI cable from the computer graphics card to the Parblo tablet. Then I just downloaded the driver from the official website and boom!, after the restart it was working like a charm. Well, not literally, you still have to tweak some things like the monitor colours, brightness, and the calibration so there's as little parallax as possible with the pen.
After everything was set up, it was time to paint! And I must confess I'm in love with this thing! Here are some Pros and Cons.
- Extremely cheap, it was just $300 which is a much more affordable price.
- It works without any kind of extra power source, you just need to connect it via USB and you're done.
- The pen is very light and has a good pressure sensitivity.
- Even after hours of working it was just slightly warmer, so you'll not have any overheat problems with this thing.
- It has express keys and can be set up for right or left handed users. (I don't really care that much about it since I use the keyboard anyway).
- Very light and elegant design.
- It has nothing to support it in case you need to work in a certain angle. I had to improvise and use it on my legs, with the computer table as support, is not very orthodox but it works.
- It has a little bit of lag when you're painting.
- The pen doesn't recognise tilt, but for the price I thing is not a big deal.
So, the most important part, is it actually worth it as a cheaper alternative? Yes, it is, no doubt about it, this thing is very good. But is it better and a Cintiq? Nope, Cintiqs are the epitome of quality to what drawing monitors is concerned. So, if you have the money to buy a Cintiq just go for it, but if you look for a pretty decent alternative then I totally recommend the Parblo Mast 10 to you. They actually have bigger monitors in case you think 10 inches is too small.
And that's how we come to the end of this happy review, I hope you guys find it useful and good luck!