Are you a digital artist and dream about owning a shiny new Wacom Cintiq? Maybe one of those glorious 4k HD picture perfect Creative Pen Display Cintiqs?
I don’t know about you but I sure can’t afford one of those.
I’ve used Cintiqs in the past at a previous company who bought them for all the artists in the studio. It was an older model and it was fantastic. The pen was smooth. The colors were close to perfect. It was just great.
Now when I was working there I didn’t have a display tablet at home to use. I was working on personal projects at home and building my portfolio. So I decided to do some research and buy the nicest tablet I could for less than $600.
An Inexpensive Alternative
So after my research I landed on the Ugee 2150.
For the price this is a fantastic alternative. For less than $600 you can get a 21 inch display tablet at 1080p with an swiveling arm and an extra pen.
I use the Ugee 2150 every single working day. I use it in these 2d programs:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Clip Studio Paint Pro
- Affinity Photo
- Affinity Design
Since I work in 3D for my career I have also used the Ugee with this list of 3D programs:
- 3ds Max
- 3D Coat
- Substance Painter
The Ugee 2150 has been fantastic with all these programs. There are some pros and cons of the Ugee 2150. It is a great tablet but not perfect.
First of all the pros.
- Price – it is hundreds if not a thousand dollars less than a Cintiq. Imagine what you could do with those savings. Maybe buy Clip Studio Paint which is a great alternative to Photoshop for comic artists.
- The display is bright, sharp, and vivid. I was impressed with the display when I first bought the Ugee. It’s crisp and
- Replacement pens are cheap. I have needed to buy one as the plastic cracked from constant daily use over a few years. Only $17 over at Amazon for a replacement pen.
- It is lighter than the Cintiqs, at least the older Cintiq models I have used. Still not really portable, but if I needed to travel with it for work, it wouldn’t be terrible.
- The built in arm is easily adjustable. Very easy to adjust the Ugee to the perfect angle you need for drawing.
Now for the cons.
- Jitter – You’ll notice a slight jitter in your pen strokes in Photoshop. It isn’t the end of the world, but it is there. The new versions of Photoshop have a smoothing setting which negates this problem. Most of the other 2D programs I have used have a similar setting.
- Eraser – There is none. If you are the type of artists that flip your pens over to erase you won’t like the Ugee pen. I never did. I always found it easier to hit the “E” key than flip the pen over.
- Charging – The pen needs charged, but it lasts weeks on each charge and it lets you know when the battery is low.
- Buttons – There are no buttons on the side of the screen. I never used them on my work Cintiq. And went for keyboard shortcuts instead, but I know some artists love them.
- Drivers – They are functional, not fancy at all but they work. They don’t have Wacom’s level of customization but you don’t need much customization since there aren’t any buttons other then the pens buttons.
Now it looks like the cons are huge compared to the pros. But really they aren’t that bad. I just wanted to explain them further to you so you can see if any of the cons are a deal breaker.
I personally am still thrilled with my purchase after owning two of these Ugees for over three years. Yup we have two. The extra one is for my wife. With the savings from not buying a Cintiq we were able to get Dana one as well.
Another tablet alternative
If you are looking for a display tablet and need side buttons, an eraser and an even more affordable price point I’ve heard good things about the XP-PEN Artist22E Pro Drawing Pen Display
I haven’t personally used this one, but from the comments and videos I’ve watched it is a great alternative to a Cintiq as well.
Whatever route you choose, let me know your experience in the comments below!