Jun 25, 2015

YIYNOVA’s MVP 22U+ RH Review


Welcome to my review of YIYNOVA’s MVP 22U+ RH that I recieved for testing thanks to the courtesy of YIYNOVA Europe. I’d also like to mention that this is an unbiased review and I’m not by any way sponsored by  the company YIYNOVA.

So what is this  MVP 22U+ RH and what’s YINOVA you might ask?

Well, YIYNOVA is a company from Taiwan that’s been on the market for a while now and it It makes graphic tablets for professional/hobbyst/amateur artists, designers, photographers or basicly anyone who needs precision while working on their digital creation. Their motto is „ You Innovate You’’ hence YIY-Nova.

The unit that I recieved is the fourth itteration, the main difference between the MVP 22U+RH and MVP 22U+ V3 is the fact that they have dropped the express keys located on top of the display in fovour of the new hot key remote, we’ll get to the remote later. The company also offers smaller screen devices and a new 27’’ tablet monitor that’s coming later this year.

However let’s focus on something else for now:



The Design

This tablet’s design is very simple yet ellegant ( in my opinion ) In the front we have a 21.5” display that is hidden behind scratch free „Gorilla Glass”, so that you never have to worry about leaving a nasty scratch on your display. There are white borders surrounding the display and a small light located in the center of the bottom border, it indicates whether the device is on ( blue light ) or stand by mode ( orange light ). In the back we have a stand and a hinge for adjusting the desired  angle in which the unit can be set. From my test I can happily report that the angle adjustment range is really good it can be layed almost flat or set to stand at a 90 degree angle. The stand is really sturdy and it doesn’t move easily thanks to rubberized feet. This device is also very light, so light that you can put it on your lap without any problem and work like that for hours without the need to set it aside. You can also mount it on any standart VESA arm which can be  attatched to the back of the device after removing the stand.

There are OSD control buttons located on the right and two cords coming out o the left side. One being the power and the other the 2 in1-DVI and USB connection. There’s also one USB slot on the right side of the device which is being used stricly for connecting the included Hot Key Remote, although you can leave it empty for whatever reason if you so wish.

Although this combination works fine I’d personally redesign it a bit, moving the OSD control buttons to  either  middle or top and the cables to to center of it’s back, similiar  to how Wacom did it with their latest Cintiq 27. That would give us nearly perfect cable managment and the risk of accidentaly pressing an OSD button with your leg while having the tablet lay flat  on your lap would be significantly reduced.

That being said those are only minor things that do not have any real impact on your workflow these just are  quality of life things.













Let’s now move on to:


The Display 

This device is equipped with 21.5’’ IPS panel that sports Full HD resolution ( 1920x1080 ). 250 cd/m2 luminosity and a pixel response time of 14 ms. It is LED backlit and thanks to it being an IPS panel it has wide viewing angles of approximately 178 degrees both vertically and horizontally. It’s displayed colour range is 98% sRGB and 79% Adobe RGB, so those of you that work on color critical work using Adobe RGB’s space will still need a wide gamut refference monitor, to fine tune your projects. Nevertheless most of the  digital stuff we see  nowadays is done using  sRGB colour space  which is the snadard colour range for many industries .

Right out of the box the monitor displays way too much greens, which thankfully can be adjusted really easy using the OSD ( on screen display ), the buttons to access it are loceted on the back of the device to the right hand side. You can have some basic control like brightness, contrast , blue, red, green colour  and such but you can also choose an sRGB, 6500k or 9300k setting,you can even adjust the gamma or sharpness from there  as well. Overall the OSD has all that you really need.

The picture is sharp and  fairly accurate,  and like I’ve already pointed out it can be tuned manually using the device’s controls although if you  do own a monitor calibration tool ( like a spyder or color munki ) you can always benefit from using that.

For all those of you that are wondering if the screen get’s hot or not, well the bottom white border does get a bit warm. That’s where most of the tablet’s electronics are most likely located. It never bothered me in any way and to be honest I rarely even lay my hand on there, the rest of the screen is fairly cool and it shouldn’t get your  hand more sweaty than it usually gets.


The Tablet

( It should be mentioned that beofre installing the drivers for this tablet you should completely remove the previous ones from other companies if you were using one. In my case I had to completely clear the wacom drivers  using the wacom tablet utility  on a mac. )

The technology used in YIYNOVA tablets is acually designed by UC Logic and this unit sports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, resolution of 4000 LPI and 200 pps tracking speed.  Unfortunately this technology does not support  the tilt  recognition as of yet, so If you really need it for whatever reason  ( for example you love the effects of some of Corel Painter’s natural brushes when you tilt your pen to the side ) you’re out of luck.  However for most of you out there this is no big deal at all, especially for a lot  of you who are working mainly in photoshop as PS’s brushes that  do read tilt are quite rubbish and can lag a lot even on powerful machines. Bah I can  even safely assume that some people do not even know of tilt recognition and were doing wonderful artwork without it for years. 

I work on a mac and it’s performance under OSX ( osx Yosemite ) was my main focus, although I did some brief testing on the Windows  ( Win 8.1 ) side of things and can say  that it it behaves great ( assuming you have completely cleaned your computer out of any previous drivers from other manufacturers, just  like I’ve mentioned it before that is . )
I suggest you get the latest drivers from YIYNOVA’s websites rather  than installing the ones that come on the included CD. By the time you get your tablet and/or  even read this review there may be a new version already available, and you always want the most recent drivers for best performance and features.

MVP 22U+ line comes pre calibrated, but I advise you go through the calibration process anyway, I mean why not? It is as simple as clicking 5 points on the screen using the stylus. This is also recommended every time you switch the tilt of the device dramatically as the parallax changes how you percieve the position of everything locacted on the screen. Speaking of parallax there is a slight gap between the glass surface and the display itself, in my judgement it’s about 4-5 mm. If you’ve never used a tablet monitor before  whether be it Wacom’s Cintiq or YIYNOVA’s  one, this may put you off for the first couple of minutes but trust me, you’ll get used to it in no time!

Speaking of Wacom and it’s Cintiq line it’s no doubt that most of you are probably going to compare the MVP22U+ to the competition’s Cintiq 22 yes? Well let me tell you where Yiynova’s   tablet technology really shines and makes a huge difference is  in the actual pressure sensitivity. Even though both companies products support 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity   using YIYNOVA’s tablet it kind of  feels like you have more at your disposal. 

What do I mean by that? Well you can actually do razor sharp and ultra thin lines that can be barely visible if you chose to make them that way, it’s almost exactly like using a 0 or 1 kolinsky sable brush and I know that all those traditional inkers   reading this DO know what I’m talking about. In comparison using wacom’s tablet you feel like there is a certain jump somewhere in the lower midrange of the pressure sensitivity, you simply can't get that kind of range out of intuos/cintiq as from YIYNOVA’s tablet, and I’m talking from experience. So all of you who do a lot of line art and inking will most likely enjoy drawing on this tablet. 

Another difference is the fact that YIYNOVA uses a pure glass surface instead of a textured layer like Wacom’s Cintiqs. While the texture certaianly does a better job of immitating the feeling of drawing on a paper surface it makes the screen less sharp and grainy in comparison, on top of that it does scratch,  and replacing it will cost you a small fortune. Besides you can always buy a third party textured screen protector just for that enhanced natural feel, and simply peel it of and get a new one when the old one’s all used up/scratched. That's way faster, easier, and CHEAPER.

I did several tests that will be presented on the pictures and you can see that the strokes are fluid, without any jittery lines. The only time that you get a jittery line  is when doing a slow  straight diagonal stroke, but this really happens ONLY when you go SLOW. When you go  with a  normal speed or do a fast stroke this is not present at all.  I mean I don’t get when would you need be drawing that slowly, besides if you want a perfectly straight line digitally you simple use the shify key modifier or go get a line tool. 

One more important question. Does the cursor go bonkers near the edges of the display? The answer is yes and no. The ONLY edge that makes the cursor jump a bit is the bottom, that’s where most of the eletronics are located. This technology does use electro magnetic resonance to work and given the fact that all of the electronic devices emmit a magnetic field there is some interference when you get the pen down to the bottom. However don’t let that put you off ,  although this is clearly visible it is not so bad that it would really get in your way of using this tablet. Like I’ve mentioned I’m using a mac and I really noticed that when I was going to press my dock icons that which I have located on the bottom, but they are all big enough for that little jitter to not interfere too much.



I’ve performed tests in the following software:

Adobre Photoshop CC ( works fine )
























Corel Painter 2015 ( works fine )






















Manga / Clip studio 5   ( works fine )
























Unfortunately I could not test it in Z Brush as I’m not using it myself and unlike the software mentioned above Pixologic does not offer a trial of its application as of the time of this review. Nonetheless I assume it should work fine, given that all other applications  that I’ve tested work flawlessly.




The Accesories:


The Pen

You get two of them, they are labeled as P2X and are covered with nice soft rubbery plastic. These pens come in cases that can also be used as pen holders or even rulers, maximum efficency huh? You bet! There are 2 white plastic replacement nibs for each pen so you have 6 in total,  that’s plenty for my taste. The pen itself has to be powered by 1  AAA battery, the ones that most of the tv remotes nowadays are using. I assume that it will last about 6+ months, on one battery run, just like my remote keyboard or mouse. Now despite having to put a battery in, the weight is  actually perfect in my opinion, it’s still light and has nice grip. There are two programmamble buttons and  talking about them we get to one gripe that I have about  the experience of using the pen. You can only set those buttons to pre set functions, you can’t map them to anything you like as of the time of this review. However this is just a software thing, that can be easily changed with the next driver update for example.




The Remote:


This is the biggest change from the previous model, the V3. This remote has 6 programmable keys that unlike the pen keys can be mapped to anything you want, be it a single key or a combination of up to 5 pressed at once. Plus  you can  map one of the keyes  ( the ring one  is default ) to change the ring functions, for example from zoom in /zoom out to undo/redo, layer up/layer down etc.

That  being said this is an honest review and I must say that I have mixed feelings about this remote, on one side it  just does what it’s meant to do and unlike  wacom’s remote you can place it anywhere you like. It will stick thanks to suction caps located on it’s back. On the other hand it  feels really cheap. The remote uses  plastic materials, the wheel is not touch sensitive it is a scroll wheel and when you scroll really fast it will get confused and simply stops or works backwards for a split second. I’m a tall person and have rather large hands, but even that does not help with reaching all of the buttons witch your thumb comfortably, you will still have to slide the remote to either get to press the top or the bottom button. This could be easily avoided by putting the buttons in two rows next to each other  instead of doing one longer row. 

On top of that, pressing most of them does not feel so nice, I don’t like the click sound some of them are making and the amount of pressure needed for them to regiester could be more gentle in my opinion, the only exception  is the ring button. They all should’ve work just like that one  does. 

Last but not least the remote is tethered, it has to be plugged in the USB slot located on the right side of the device. While the cable is certainly long enough for seome setups it would be great to have it wireless, even if it would use a small dongle just like most wireless mice or keyboard do. So overall this is kind of rushed and medicore accessory that can be improved a lot in the future.





Gloves

Yiynova is so kind that it includes 2  really nice artist gloves, one for right and one for left handed users. The glove helps to glide your hand over the display nicely without leaving any skin oils and sweat on the surface. I really advise using these when you work on he tablet as it makes a world of a difference.























 Rest of the accesories:


Power supply, not much to say about it, just a standard power brick.

Pen stand, you can rest your pen or even a phone or a teblet on it.

Adapter set, it contains DVI to VGA, DVI to HDMI and DVI to Display Port  adapters, it’s all you’ll ever need to hook it up to your computer be it a PC or a MAC, so you don’t need to buy any other  equipment.




User Guide- it’s funny but that one time in your life please do read the manual first, it’s short but actually useful. Plus it may even put a smile on your face as some sentences are written in wonky english ;)

Driver CD


Conclusion

I bet that most of those reading this review will be or maybe already are considering getting a tablet monitor to improve the precision in their digital workflow. Some of you are looking for a cheaper alternative to a Cintiq and simply are wondering if this device and YIYNOVA can get both your trust and your money. As Wacom has been industry’s leader for many years a lot of people all around the world were desperately hoping for a cheaper  yet a solid and reliable alternative that they could get, yet for many years there simply was no product that could deliver.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls the wait is finally over, this is not a Cintiq killer, but this definitely is a solid and reliable alternative. With it’s sharp IPS panel, great viewing angles awesome pressure sensitivity read,  accuracy, light weight and the fact  that it is half the price of a 22" Cintiq this is a bargain.  
Unless you  really need that tilt recognition for whatever purpose I see no reason of paying twice as much for a device that esentially does the same thing, it helps you turn you dreams and ideas into reality, and that's all that really matters.

If I were to  rate the tablet by itself I’d give it 9/10  as it really is a great device, however we are rating an entire package and the icluded hot key remote brings the score down a notch.  

YiYNOVA MVP 22U+RH gets 8/10 from me.



I’d like  to thank  Yiynova Europe that has made this review possible and the staff that have answered all of the questions I had promptly.


You can buy it in europe:


Panda City in the USA

( soon )






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