Graphics tablets allow photographers to work with precision when it comes to editing and retouching. Let’s see how a great cable-free tablet can affect your workflow and comfort.
There is no doubt that pen tablets are among the most useful photo editing and retouching tools for photographers, graphic designers and illustrators. The ability to use it as a precision tool to make specific changes in the same way we illustrate with pen and paper has irreplaceable value. Graphics tablets have been around for quite some time, and over the years they have evolved into many variations that offer unique features and benefits to the user’s workflow. Pen tablets come in a wide range of sizes that aim to accommodate individual user preferences. They’ve also evolved into tablets with built-in displays like the Huion Kamvas Pro 16 we reviewed not too long ago, and even more so, they also come as standalone tablets with computers built into one. device. However, advanced technology does not necessarily mean that it is a better option, because in creative tools, user preferences and experience are still the most important factor.
The Huion Inspiroy Giano G930L is the first in its own line of pen graphics tablets. It is currently the largest tablet in Huion’s wide range of creative tools and offers both common and unique features that can enhance your creative editing and retouching process.
Physical characteristics and design
The Huion Giano G930L is a 16.9 x 10.5 inch tablet with a thickness of 0.35 inch (9.1 mm). It weighs 1.1 kilograms and comes in the form of a very thin slate tablet. Although its size is one of its main advantages (considering the working area and the precision inputs), it can still be considered a portable device for various reasons. For one thing, the lightweight and slim body makes it easy to carry around and can slip into a laptop sleeve or compartment next to the laptop itself. Bluetooth connectivity allows the user to place it on any available surface, even a significant distance from the computer itself.
Within the above mentioned size, there is a 13.6 x 8.5 inch working area which is fully functional and responsive to pen inputs. This surface is a dark gray matte metal anti-fingerprint surface that remains dry and smudge-free even after long periods of use. The tablet comes with a digital pen that requires no batteries for use. This lightweight pen is thin on the distal end, which gradually bulges for better grip towards the tip. This pen is similar to older variants of Huion tablets and also comes with 10 extra nibs which are stored inside the pen holder. Overall, the combination of this stylus, the choice of a plastic or felt tip, and the matte surface of the tablet’s effective area provide a drawing experience very similar to that of pen and paper.
The left side contains 6 customizable buttons that can be configured and assigned to specific functions and shortcuts. Above the buttons is a 1.0 x 0.6 inch LCD screen that displays the connection status, battery status, and Huion logo. On the side is a single power button and on the adjacent corner is a single USB-C port which can be used for an alternative connection or for battery charging. Considering the size of the tablet, it would have been great to see a few more buttons for better options.
Connectivity and setup
The Huion Giano G930L is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 technology. Different classifications of Bluetooth devices offer different speeds, stability, and power requirements. Bluetooth 5.0 is the one that uses very little power, which is perfect for anything that is used for long periods of time and requires a constant connection.
Setting up the tablet is very simple. When you turn on the tablet by long pressing the lone button, it turns on and begins the pairing process. You then connect the device and pair it as you would Bluetooth keyboards and mice. Once paired, it will be automatically detected by the Huion tablet app, which is universal for all versions of Huion pen tablets and pen tablets.
Using the app is simple and allows you to define and customize the buttons as you wish. These buttons can be assigned as keyboard shortcuts and application shortcuts, navigation tools, media access, and even as shortcuts to switch between applications. The same shortcut options also apply to pen buttons. On the app, you can also set the effective area and fraction of the page affected by tablet inputs. This can be rotated 90, 180 and 270 degrees as needed and desired, which can now be done freely as there are no cables in the way.
Application and user experience
The most fundamental implication of this tablet still comes from its size. The large 13.6 x 8.5 inch working area gives the user a more realistic and proportionate sense of space when typing with the stylus. While this means larger movements when drawing or brushing something relatively large, it also means smaller movements are more precise. With the right combination of the large surface area and appropriate brush sizes, retouching becomes easier. Manually blending and brushing elements in the composite work also becomes more precise in a meticulous way without having to zoom in and change the size of the brushes as much.
Bluetooth connectivity is a great convenience. The fact that there are no cables to restrict how you use the tablet and how far from the device you use it means more freedom and more comfort potential when working with the tablet. Using the tablet for about 3-4 hours a day has allowed me to use it for over a week without having to charge the battery, and even then it can be used while charging, so it’s hardly a downside. The LCD indicator is also a very attractive feature. While it does its job of showing various indicators, it has a lot more potential for additional functionality in the future.
What I liked
- Large tablet with ample workspace
- Easy installation
- Cable-free with Bluetooth connectivity
- Convenient status LCD indicator
What can be improved:
- More custom buttons
- Maybe a touch bar or a dial