With the rise of popular tablets like the Apple iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab series, and the Microsoft Surface lines giving artists access on the go, is there still a place for pen display tablets?
The answer is a little more muddy than 'yes or no', but there's a migrate of reasons for that.
The Veikk VK1200 hopes to clear up those muddy waters, and in a lot of ways it succeeds.
**The VEIKK VK1200 was reviewed using hardware provided and sent to us by Veikk, but in no way influenced the review.
The VK1200 is an 11.6-inch pen display tablet, with an IPS panel sporting a 1920 x 1080 resolution. It's not 4K, but it's very crisp, and on a display of this size, it looks fantastic.
The tablet itself is very slim - a lot of pen display monitors are somewhat bulky, and perhaps part of that is the built in stand most pen displays have - the VK1200 does not have a stand built in, or included with the box.
This is in my opinion, somewhat of an oversight. I've been a digital artist for many, many years, and not once have I opted to hunch over my desk to draw or design. As an artist, I like to be comfortable for what could potentially be long design sessions. I picked up the Gritin Tablet Stand from Amazon, and it does a great job (it's adjustable, extendable, and also folds up when not in use), but there are a heap of great stands you could choose from to compliment the VK1200.
As with the previous Veikk drawing tablet we looked at, the VK1200 comes with a wealth of included goodies:
VK1200 Pen Display
Quick start guide
2x pen and case
USB C to A power/data cable
Micro HDMI to HDMI cable
That's a very generous amount of extras in the box, although it's worth noting both the USB C and Micro HDMI cables are proprietary, so any issues means you'll need to purchase new ones - no using one from the drawer of random cables you all have.
The proprietary cables are a double edge sword, on one hand, it's increasingly annoying when companies do this, as it forces your hand on what cables you can purchase either as spares or replacements. But then, as is the case with the VK1200, the proprietary cables allow a much firmer connection because they go further into the port - this, in theory, could mean they last longer, and you should have no issues with loose connections - no problems as of now, but longevity remains to be seen.
The VK1200 comes with two pens, both identical, but they are very comfortable to hold. The pens supports tilt sensitivity and up to 8192 levels of pressure, and they are both battery free. The grip and texture on the pens are comfortable, and towards the bottom (when holding the pen) there are two customisable buttons.
Moving on to the VK1200 itself, the set up was relatively painless, although I did have to reboot both my PC and the VK1200 after setup - but I do think this could have been a Windows issue - regardless, once up and running, it's a breeze using the VK1200. My first port of call was Photoshop, and I can honestly say it's a genuinely great experience.
The 11.6-inch screen, whilst not the biggest, is a joy to work on, and the six customisable hotkeys are excellent, and for Photoshop, most of the keys I would have set up are already there (zoom in/out, pen size, pan) so it was as simple as plugging in and starting work.
The pen responds and works well, and there's no 'squeaks' as there is when working on a tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, and the pen far exceeds what Samsung are currently offering.
The trade off for this, is portability. The VK1200 and all other pen displays of it's kind, require a PC/Laptop, or Mac/Macbook to work - they wont function without one, whereas something like the Galaxy Tab or iPad Pro series can be used anywhere.
I personally feel there is plenty of room for both - VK1200 for office and more professional use, portable tablets for when out and about - content on the move.
There's also the fact the VK1200 has the benefit of being as good as the computer it's connected to. I use a PC with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and RTX 2070 Super with 32GB of RAM, so the VK1200 has a great deal of power to run sophisticated programs - full editing suites, and even AAA games if you wanted to use it as a secondary/third monitor.
I absolutely love the VK1200, my only criticism being the 11.6-inch screen being a tad small compared to bigger display tablets, such as Veikk's own beautiful VK2200, a 21.5-inch pen display tablet, but the VK1200 certainly holds it's own. The VK1200 is a brilliant piece of kit, and if you're looking for a pen display, or looking to upgrade to something more sleek, the VK1200 is absolutely worth the jump.
You can learn more and buy the VK1200 from any of the following: