Getting a drawing tablet as a professional artist can cost a pretty penny these days, so searching for one that provides value is essential. GAOMON is one name in the scene that offers a range of affordable tablets for artists, one of them being the GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet.
The GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet is a medium-sized drawing tablet with some nifty features that digital artists would like, including physical shortcut keys and a Touch Ring that you can customise. Does the device offer more than what its price reflects?
When you purchase the GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet, the tablet itself isn’t the only thing you will receive. Upon unboxing the Gaomon M10K box, I was pleased with how comprehensive the accessories list was.
Here is what you get out of the box:
- Micro USB cable for tablet connectivity
- USB to USB-C adapter for versatile compatibility
- Battery-free stylus pen, featuring a comfortable rubber grip
- Drawing tablet with a convenient pen holder
- Tablet pouch for protection on the go
- Extra nibs and nib clip with a dedicated pouch for easy replacement
If you are a first-time tablet owner, you’re pretty much given what you need from the get-go. First, the decent-length Micro USB cable allows for a lot of flexibility for setting up within your workstation. The cable is also L-shaped, which helps ensure that it doesn’t get frayed easily. For those with laptop devices without a USB-A port (like me), an adapter is included so that you can immediately use the tablet.
The stylus pen comes alongside a decent amount of pen nibs that you can use for whatever the occasion calls for. GAOMON has also thoughtfully included a pouch to not only store your nibs but also make it easy to bring along should you want to use the tablet outside.
On that same note, the tablet similarly has a pouch too! It is a drawstring bag with a soft, silky material to ensure the tablet is not scratched up. However, as it is, the pouch’s opening just about fits the tablet, which can sometimes make it frustrating to get the device inside.
As a more affordable tablet option, users won’t get the most high-end build for the GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet. Still, the device holds its own.
It uses plastic for its build, but the GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet feels sturdy and durable. Notably, it also helps keep it lightweight — it is, after all, a device with a 10-inch screen, so anything that helps keep its weight down is a plus. The tablet also features tapered edges for the wrists, and underneath, there are anti-slip pads to keep it from moving around the desk while working. On the whole, using the device has been a comfortable experience.
One of the highlights of the GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet is that left-handed users aren’t ‘left’ behind. All you need to do is flip over the device to the other side and then update its orientation within the settings. Functionally, it will work the same way as for a right-handed user.
That said, since the tablet’s position has changed, so has the Micro USB wire. It will now point downwards on the L-shaped cable, so users may need to tweak their setup to accommodate the new arrangement.
As for the pen, it is very much a regular ergonomic-designed stylus with two side buttons, but it does have a thicker profile to it — something to note for artists with smaller hands. The pen operates battery-free, so there is assurance that it will be able to work whenever you need it.
The GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet works on both Windows and Mac devices, and it was the latter that I tested the tablet with. Setting it up is straightforward, and the calibration process is quick. On default, Mouse Mode is toggled on when the tablet is first plugged in, but if you are like me and are not used to it, Mouse Mode can be easily disabled in the Pen settings.
Beyond that, you can customise the controls for the express keys and the side buttons on the pen. Similarly, pen pressure sensitivity can also be adjusted. Overall, the user interface for the tablet settings is intuitive, and I’ve not had trouble tweaking whatever settings I need for my workflow.
Now, onto the performance. I’ve been using it for my projects on Adobe Photoshop, and the tablet feels precise. The tilt and pressure sensitivity provide nuanced control while I’m using it — which isn’t all that surprising given that the tablet has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. The matte surface of the tablet has also notably allowed me to create smooth lines easily, also without exhibiting any scratching sensation.
Meanwhile, the express keys at the side offer satisfying click feedback when pressed. This has also been particularly useful for my workflow, as all my frequently used commands have been calibrated to the bottom keys, which has helped with efficiency.
The touch ring, on the other hand, hasn’t enthralled me as much as the express keys. Functionally, it offers controls like page scrolling or colour picking and works as intended. My issue instead lies in the sensitivity, which does need some time to get used to.
On a last note, the GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet also works with Android devices. The great thing about this is that once you connect it to your phone or tablet, it works off the bat! However, for smartphones especially, there is quite a bit of adjustment to get used to. Phone displays are small; conversely, the tablet’s surface area is more than double that. The device has to account for the difference in size and calibrates as such, but when you are working on a project, it can be rather disorientating to use a big portion of the tablet surface and have it appear small on the phone.
It is a unique feature to have for a drawing tablet device, but ultimately, it is a niche one.
The GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet excels in both build quality and performance, which is an excellent contrast given the impression from its lower price tag. Despite its plastic build, the tablet is robust. Meanwhile, the user-friendly calibration process and customisable features are valuable tools for digital artists, offering a seamless and responsive creative experience.
However, potential users should consider its size. Yes, the device is lightweight, but it can be unwieldy to carry around frequently. It is much more suited for fixed workplace use.
To summarise, the GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet drawing tablet emerges as a commendable and versatile tool for digital artists looking for a first-time drawing tablet. Its well-constructed design, including the ergonomic stylus and intuitive express keys, contributes to a satisfying user experience. The tablet proves to be a cost-effective choice, offering impressive functionality for its price.
The GAOMON M10K Pro Pen Tablet is available to purchase from the official GAOMON website.
Photos by Leo Chia of the DANAMIC Team.