I’ve posted reviews for the Cintiq and Huion GT190 before– these two tablets have vastly different prices but are trying to target the same market. Now I’d like to compare the GT190 against the MSP19U+. These two tablets are manufactured by Chinese companies trying to offer a lower-cost alternative to the Japanese-made Wacom Cintiq, while delivering the same level of performance (hopefully). The GT190 and the MSP19U+ are about the same price, so which one should you get?
Looking just at the exterior of the two tablets, it clear that they are very similar. Both the Huion GT190 and Yiynova MSP19U+ have 16:10 aspect ratio, 19″ LCD screens. From the back they’re also pretty similar, the main difference is the MSP19U+ has 8 hotkeys on the back and the Huion doesn’t. Compared to the Cintiq: 13HD size has 4 hotkeys and a rocker ring, 22HD has two touch strips and 27QHD has keys on the tablet but comes with a remote with 12 hotkeys and a touch ring.
The GT190 comes with an input for VGA, DVI-I and USB while the Yiynova only has DVI-I input, but comes with a set of adapters that let you convert to other types:
- DVI-I to HDMI
- DVI-I to DP++
- DVI-I to VGA
The box the MSP19U+ is less inspiring than the Huion box for sure, it’s a bland solid black box with the company name and the product name on it. The one I received didn’t even have a picture of the tablet on it. Some other people have received a different version of the box, a bare, cardboard colored box with lineart of a digital tablet (still no photo of the product on the box). I assume they did this to save production costs and that’s one of the reasons they can sell the tablet itself at a cost much lower than the Cintiq.
The MSP19U+ is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10; Mac OS 10.4 to 10.10x. Works with software like CorelDraw, Corel Painter, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Macromedia Flash, Manga Studio, Stratos3D Max, AutoDesk Maya and ZBrush, as well as common office software like Word, Powerpoint, excel.
I spoke to Huion’s customer service a few times after finding their contact information on their website. I also contacted Yiynova to test whether they were willing to talk to me and provide support and how long it would take for a response. I went to the Yiynova website and wrote an email to their support team. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear anything back. But their distributors on Amazon, The Panda City, did respond to my questions extremely quickly (in about 2 hours). The person I spoke to at the The Panda City was very knowledgeable about the technical specs and was able to answer all my questions. It seems that other people who purchased this tablet from them had a similar experience.
If you’re looking for the Yiynova MSP19U+ drivers, you can find it on Yiynova’s website HERE. It’s easy enough to navigate, but you can tell they didn’t spend a lot of time proofreading the site. The English is pretty horrendous. Don’t let that put you off the tablet though, their products are pretty good if you go into it with reasonable expectations.
Controls and Functionality
The active area on both the GT190 and MSP19U+ is 16 in x 10 in. Cintiq does not have a 19″ model, the closest is the 22HD, with a 22″ in screen (19.5 in x 11.5in). It’s noticeably bigger, but not enough to really justify the 4x price increase over a Huion or Yiynova.
The MSP19U+ has switch digitizers from the MSP19U. The digitizer is what enables the tablet to sense the position and pressure of your stylus. The old MSP19U used digitzers from Waltop, but the 19U+ version switched to UC Logic, which is a vastly superior digitizer. All the problems that occurred with lag, cursor jitteriness that was common with the Waltop digitizer has been eliminated because of the UC Logic digitizer.
Compared to the GT190, it’s very similar in quality and operation. The MSP19U+ stand is exactly the same as the GT190’s stand and allows you to change the vertical position and tilt of the tablet. As with the GT190, horizontally, it claims 170 degrees of viewing angle, compared to 178 degrees for a Cintiq. I’d say this is pretty accurate, as it looks pretty good when you’re offset horizontally. However, just like the GT190, the viewing angle gets a little screwy when you’re offset vertically. You have to set your working eye level perpendicular to the tablet, but this is a pretty easy fix, just get a table tall enough to match your eye level. The Yiynova MSP19U and the Cintiqs both have cables coming out of the side, while the MSP19U+ and GT190 have cables that come out of the bottom, which sometimes get in the way of you trying to tilt the tablet upwards. It definitely doesn’t go as low as it can, because it’s being blocked by your cable attachments.
The MSP19U+ has a resolution of 1440 x 900, older versions of the GT190 had 1366 x 768 resolution. However, Huion has changed their product info to say 1440 x 900, so maybe they updated their product specs. I can’t comment on this because I have the 1366 x 768 version. Here, the Cintiq is superior in it’s sheer power. The 22HD has 1920 x 1080 resolution and has about 100 PPI (pixels per inch), whereas the GT190 and MSP19U+ have about 89-90PPI. The difference between the two is noticeable, but if you don’t really need it, I would recommend you save your money and go for a Huion or Yiynova instead of a Cintiq. All three of these tablets boast 16.7 million colors on the LCD screen. The colors will be off when you receive it, but after you calibrate your screen and the MSP19U+, it looks quite good! The colors are brighter than they are on a Cintiq, and about the same saturation and brightness compared to a GT190.
The screen of the MSP19U+ is smooth, unlike a Cintiq, which is textured. You will need to wear your glove in order to not leave oils all over your screen. Some people like it, some people don’t. If you are really attached to the feeling of drawing on paper, get a Cintiq or Intuos Pro, which both have textured surfaces. Some people claim that it’s hard to draw straight lines because of the textured surface, which also distorts what’s on the LCD underneath a little bit. If that’s you, get the MSP19U+ or GT190 instead.
One thing that will affect your workflow is the presence or lack of hotkeys. As I mentioned in the First Impressions section, all Cintiq models come with hotkeys, the Yiynova has 8 hotkeys and the Huion has none. If you will be working with a setup where you have a wireless keyboard and are used to using keyboard combos to do your functions and macros, don’t worry about it, and get whichever tablet you want. If you are dead set on hotkeys, try to get a Cintiq, as they offer the most hotkeys out of all the models. The Yiynova is in second place when it comes to hotkeys, for me 8 is more than enough. These buttons are programmable with whatever key combo you want from the driver menu.
The MSP19U+ I bought functioned correctly, I didn’t really notice anything wrong with the tablet, though some other users reported that their hotkeys would stop working intermittently for no reason. My Yiynova also had a clean screen as opposed to the Huion GT190, which has some issues with dust particles being trapped behind the LCD (not all units, only some).
The 13HD and 27QHD Cintiq also come with control rings which can be used to turn your drawing. Neither the GT190 or the MSP19U+ have rotation functions, so you have to rotate it using the native rotate in your drawing software. To make it easier, you can set the key combos in the program and set the hotkeys to those combos on the MSP19U+.
The only frustrating thing about this tablet is the same thing that happens to all the other tablets made by these new companies. Sometimes they are finnicky for no reason, and require you to plug and unplug your cables to get it to recognize, it changes your screen resolution to something else after you unplug your tablet, sometimes the buttons or stylus are defective, etc. They try their best, but as far as buying an almost perfect product out of the box, you have a much better chance of getting a fully functional one if you buy a Wacom.
The MSP19U+ doesn’t come with a round pen holder/nib holder like the Huion or Wacom. Instead it includes 2 pen kits in a rectangular box that functions as a closed pen case, a pen stand, and a ruler (it has ruler marks on the edges). The pen requires a AAA battery to work, just like some Huion styluses.
However, for such a sharp price difference, the MSP19U+ is worth looking at and trying. You will need to fiddle with the settings until you get it right, but when you do, it is a great tablet at an even greater price.
What’s in the Bundle?
One tablet, one stylus, one pair of drawing gloves (to keep your oily hand from dirtying the screen and slide easier), multi-function pen box/stand/ruler, 3 adapter cables (DVI-I to HDMI, DP++ and VGA), power cables, welcome pack with driver CD.
- serious artists
- realistic painting
- anyone who wants the most intuitive experience
- people who want a real painting tablet on a budget
Click HERE to learn about our grading criteria.
Very similar to the GT190, but also an improvement over the GT190 and the older Yiynova MSP19U. Adds hotkeys, a much better digitizer and a higher resolution screen. It’s a strong contender for the Cintiq, lacking only in the touch ring and extra resolution. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on a direct-draw tablet but the Cintiq price tag makes you cringe, try out this one instead. Unless you really, really need the extra bump in resolution, this is more than enough for hobby drawing and will do just fine for realism painting.