"If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."
Never has that memorable quote from Bambi's pal Thumper felt so appropriate.
Like most of you, I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new Monoprice Interactive Pen Display since it was released last month. Though I just got the Yiynova MVP22U, I couldn't pass up the offer of an under $400 tablet monitor with similar capabilities, especially coming from a trusted name like Monoprice from whom I've purchased many cables and thingamajigs over the years.
To add to that excitement, expert artist and trusted tablet guru Ray Frenden posted his own very positive review of the device this weekend.
So when it arrived this morning, I quickly trumpeted the fact on Twitter and set out to do my usual quick unboxing and first impressions post.
But here it is eight hours after its arrival and I'm regretting my words. I love technology. I know this stuff is almost magical. And when it doesn't work as expected or as others have led me to believe it would, I feel a deep sense of disappointment. And this tablet monitor may be the most disappointing device I've ever used.
Why? Because I know UC Logic digitizers deliver (see my Yiynova posts). Because Ray Frenden has written very highly of Huion, the Chinese manufacturer who builds the other tablets sold by Monoprice. Because it looked so good out of the box: nothing cheap or homemade about this device.
But then I had to go and power it on.
Frenden's review mentions that viewing angles are bad and even recommends using the display on a monitor arm. But in my estimation, the Interactive Pen Display only seems to have one acceptable viewing angle: head on. The slightest tilt immediately results in color and brightness shifts that are readily apparent and reproducible (see photos below).
The rest of the issues I've had are software related and I've reached out to Monoprice to see if I can access development drivers that work better than the ones shipped in the box or that are available for download on the Huion website. Suffice it to say that the Windows 8.1 experience so far has been pretty painful. I won't elaborate until I hear back and will update this post as soon as I do.
Stay tuned for hopefully more positive news...