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The Veikk VK1200 is a 11.6-inch pen display for digital artists that supports pressure and tilt sensitivity. With this release (late 2020), Veikk now has a line up of small (VK1200), medium (VK1560 Pro) and large (VK2200) pen displays.
The unit I have is a review unit provided by Veikk.
These are the items included in the box.
- Quick start guide
- Artist glove
- Cleaning cloth
- 2x pen and case
- Pen stand
- Many replacement nibs
- USB data cable
- Micro HDMI to HDMI cable
This is the 2-to-1 USB cable. One end has two USB type A ports (go to computer) and the other end has USB type C that goes to the pen display.
The shape of the plastic/rubber area holding the micro HDMI connector is shaped specifically to the pen display’s port. So in even that the cable becomes faulty, a replacement cable has to be purchased from Veikk unless it’s within the 1 year warranty period. The cable looks thick and durable though.
Lots of replacement pen nibs are provided.
The pen case included is the thick felt-like material.
The pen is well made, has good build quality, weight. It does not require charging because there’s no battery in it.
The pen supports tilt sensitivity and up to 8192 levels of pressure.
The grip section is matte and nice to hold. There are two side buttons there.
The pen stand only allows the pen to stand vertically.
Replacement nibs can be stored inside the pen stand.
On the back of the pen stand is the nib remover.
Build quality of the Veikk VK1200 pen display is excellent. It has a nice weight to it, heavier than I expected which gives it a slightly more premium feel.
There are six physical shortcut buttons which are customisable. These buttons are firm and have fantastic feedback when pressed.
Corners of the pen display are rounded off nicely. If you look closely, you can see the matte screen protector applied onto the display.
On the back are four rubber feet to prevent the pen display from sliding on table.
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The body looks like metal but is actually made of plastic. Even though it’s a plastic body, the finishing is very good. The only thing that gave it away that it’s not metal is it’s not cold to the touch.
From left to right: power button, brightness control, port for micro HDMI, port for USB-C.
This is an 11-6-inch IPS panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Colours of the pen display looks great out of the box.
The pen display does not have OSD menu. With the Windows driver, you can adjust the colour temperature, RGB, brightness and contrast. With the Mac driver, there’s no such controls.
I measured support for 99% sRGB, 77% NTSC, 76% AdobeRGB and 71% P3. Colour accuracy is reasonably good.
Maximum brightness was measured at 201 nits, sufficient for bright indoor use.
Since this is an IPS panel, viewing angles are good. Colours don’t shift much when you view the display from the side.
Only issue is the anti-glare can create white haze when reflecting light off it. It’s not a big issue. I work with the pen display with huge windows on my side and the white haze is minimal, and the display is bright enough for the colours to shine through.
While I wish the brightness could be brighter, I’m very satisfied with the colour accuracy for a product at this price range.
The display is laminated so there’s almost no gap between the line and the pen tip.
Downside is there’s some misalignment, even after calibration, when the cursor is near the right and left edge of the display and when the pen tip is pointing inwards.
The photo above shows my red handed usage. The cursor seem to be always slightly lower than the pen tip on the right side, and this make clicking things right at the top right more challenging. Other than that, I have no problems clicking things like buttons or moving the scroll bar on the right. I have to rely on looking at where the cursor is rather than where the pen tip is when clicking. Cursor misalignment only happens near the edges and when the pen tip is pointing inwards, that’s why when I click near the left edge, there’s no problem because the pen tip is pointing out of the display.
The misalignment may have something to do with the tilt sensitivity. Don’t know. Just a guess.
Earlier photo was with the Mac driver calibration, and this photo above is with Windows driver calibration. The misalignment is still there but slightly better.
I notice the way the pen is held will also affect misalignment near the edges. When pen is tilted, the misalignment is bigger and when pen is more vertical, the misalignment is minimised but still visible.
The matte surface is really nice to draw on. It does affect image quality slight, all matte screen protectors do, but it provides a nice tactile experience when drawing.
There’s no touch gesture support since this is not a touchscreen. The 11.6-inch size is quite similar to some iPads and Android tablet so I find myself doing some finger gestures unconsciously.
I highly recommend getting some sort of laptop or tablet stand to elevate the pen display for a better drawing experience. Laying the pen display on the table and hunching over to draw is not good for posture. It’s not enough to get a stand that can be deployed at different angles. Get one where you can actually adjust the height. The stand shown in the photo is called NexStand K2 that I bought on Lazada Singapore.
Driver has to be downloaded from Veikk’s website.
The drivers I’ve tested are Mac driver 2.0.1 and Windows driver 2.0.1.
After driver installation, the driver will appear within MacOS System Preferences.
This is where you can adjust the pressure curve and customise the pen’s two side buttons.
If for some reason there’s misalignment with the pen tip and cursor, you can calibrate the pen to the display here.
Left handers can change the rotation here so that the physical shortcut buttons can go to the right side.
You can customise specific keyboard shortcuts to the six physical shortcut buttons.
Customising the shortcut buttons is straightforward: just enter them into the box.
Under the Tablet functionality, you can choose these four options:
- Accurate Mode: Allows the cursor to move much slower to give you more precision
- Pen/Erase: Toggle between the pen and eraser in most graphic drawing apps
- Monitor Switch: Allows the mouse cursor to jump from one screen to another screen in dual monitor mode
- Dial Function Switch: No applicable here as there’s no dial
Drawing performance on Mac
Drawing performance is pretty good for the most part.
The pen is sensitive and I was able to get the lines to come out just the way I want them. Performance is predictable and consistent.
Photoshop CC 2021 (Mac) works fine with pressure and tilt.
Medibang Paint Pro (Mac) works fine.
Clip Studio Paint (Mac) works fine.
Pressure works fine with Krita (Mac) but tilt sensitivity is a wonky. When the pen is pointing left or right, the direction of the tilt and shading is correct. When the pen is pointing up, the shading appears to fade from bottom to top (transparency). And when pen points down, opposite happens. I’ve reset Krita and this is the default behaviour with tilt brushes. I tried changing the rotation in the brush settings but that did not fix the issue. Other drawing apps with tilt sensitivity work fine though.
Drawing performance on Windows
Tilt and pressure sensitivity works fine with Krita (Windows). So for some reason tilt sensitivity just does not work well on Krita (Mac).
When drawing curves with Medibang Paint Pro (Windows), there may be stray strokes that appear, or the curves may appear angular.
Usually when there are issues with pressure sensitivity or line performance with drawing software in Windows, you can toggle Windows Ink on or off (from the driver) to troubleshoot. But Windows Ink doesn’t seem to make the stray strokes in Medibang Paint Pro (Windows) go away.
I’ve also tested Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Affinity Design, Adobe Illustrator on Windows and those software work alright.
There’s the misalignment issue when pen is at the right edge but since the main drawing area is not at the right edge, it doesn’t affect drawing.
I like the design and build quality of the Veikk VK1200.
The colours look better than I expected. The matte screen protector is nice to draw on. Brightness could be higher though but it’s not considered dim in anyway.
Drawing performance is good with most of the drawing software I’ve tested except for the stray stroke & angular line issue with Medibang Paint Pro (Win) and tilt sensitivity issue with Krita (Mac). These two issues could be deal breakers if these two are your main drawing software.
The other downside is the misalignment issue at the left and right edges of the display, and is affected by the direction of the pen. Misalignment is not good obviously but at least it doesn’t affect the whole display.
The main thing I couldn’t get used to is the small 11.6-inch display. The actual drawing size is about 3cm wider compared to an A5 size sketchbook. For a display that’s meant to be set on a table all the time, I feel like it would be nicer to work on something larger. For portable tablets, small means more portable so the compromise is between size and portability. For pen displays, they aren’t meant to be transported around that often. Anyway, it’s the small size that allows the price to be brought down to US $249 which is very competitive pricing.
This is a good product with some minor issues. Overall still worth buying.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good design and build quality
+ Supports tilt and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Many replacement tips included
+ 6 customisable touch shortcuts
+ Laminated display
– 11.6-inch display kinda small
+ Screen has good colour accuracy
+ Screen has good viewing angles
+ Matte screen protector nice to draw on
+ Does not heat up and can be used for long periods of time without discomfort
+ Drawing performance is good on Windows
+ Very competitive price
– Issue with tilt sensitivity with Krita (Mac)
– Issues with stray strokes/angular lines with Medibang Paint (Win)
– Misalignment issues at the left and right edges depending on pen direction
– No contrast, RGB and colour temperature adjustments with MacOS driver