Testing Huion Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K) in ZBrush & Substance 3D Painter

Today, we'll be looking at the recently released device from Huion that mixes mobility and vibrant colors.

Last October, I published a review of Huion Kamvas Pro 24 (4K), saying it was a perfect solution for art-related tasks featuring the right color gamut, vivid 4K display, and a well-designed pen with the needed sensitivity to nail tiny strokes. Almost half a year has passed since I first started using it and it's still my number one solution for all tasks. It's not just a tablet for 3D tasks though – I also use it as a monitor for different tasks at 80 Level. 

Huion was kind enough to send us their next solution, Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K), and today we're going to be discussing whether this new pen display lives up to the high expectations after my previous review. 

The Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K) was launched along with its younger brother, Kamvas Pro 13 (2.5K), offering excellent color accuracy, a nice portable design, a professional pen that has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and more. All that power comes for $600 (Kamvas Pro 16(2.5K)) and $400 (Kamvas Pro 13(2.5K)). Let's see what's inside and how it copes with 3D tasks. 

Standard Package includes: 

  • The Kamvas pro 16 (2.5K)
  • Pen PW517
  • Pen holder PH05F
  • Standard Pen nips 5x
  • Felt Pen nips 5x
  • Pen nip clip
  • USB-C to USB-C cable(1m)
  • 3-in-2 cable (1.5m)
  • Extended Cable (1m)
  • USB Power Cable (1m)
  • Foldable Stand ST200
  • Artist glove
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Quick start guide

The package features the tablet itself, enclosed in a plastic sheath, plus protected by peel-off plastic covering the screen. The next thing you notice is the “Foldable Stand ST200,” a stand the team added that can be tweaked between 20 and 45 degrees. You will also find several boxes containing the pen with a pen holder. The pen holder also has 10 replacement nibs (five standard and five felt). What is more, the set has a drawing glove, cleaning cloth, quick-start guide, and a range of cables to plug in the tablet.

The tablet comes with a 3-in-2 cable featuring a dual USB-C connector that splits into an HDMI, plus two USB Type-A cables. The HDMI outputs video, while USB-A deals with the pen input and the power. You can always a USB-C to USB-C cable instead which combines all the outputs in a single connection. 

Compared to Huion Kamvas Pro 24 (4K), which is a heavy desktop solution, Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K) is a lightweight device that can be used on a couch or even taken to a cafe with a laptop. 

As for drawing itself, the package includes Huion’s latest PW517 battery-free pen with PenTech 3.0, which offers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, a more stable drawing experience, and lower response time. It also supports tilt and has two programmable buttons. The pen has a solid build quality which doesn't feel cheap and, after using it for a couple of weeks, I can say it's comfortable.  

Unlike Huion Kamvas Pro 24 (4K), which is a minimalistic device without additional keys, the new pen display has something missing in other high-end options: eight programmable express keys on the left side of the display. These keys can be really helpful if you're editing photos or drawing something in 2D, but as a 3D Artist, you'd probably still need a keyboard to control everything. 

There's also the ability to use the tablet in "pen tablet mode," which allows you to turn off the display and use the device as a more traditional pen tablet. Not sure about you, but I love this addition as this traditional approach feels more natural to me sometimes. 

Let's now talk about the main diamond inside the package – its Quantum Dot display that covers over 95% of both the AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts. Both new pen tablets (Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K) and Kamvas Pro 13 (2.5K)) use QLED display technology to boost color accuracy, brightness, and contrast, providing an excellent visual experience.

The display also allows you to control brightness, contrast, color temperature, and other more advanced parameters to calibrate your display. On top of that, the team included anti-glare etched glass that further enhances the experience.

To test the new device, I continued my work on a diorama based on an amazing concept by Eduardo Garcia. I should add a small disclaimer and say that I'd been working on it for a couple of months modeling different assets, but the arrival of the new tablet hit a perfect spot as I switched to sculpting smaller details and got close to texturing. 

I chose this concept to try new features introduced in ZBrush last year like Knife and Bevel brushes. The goal was to find out whether such complex dioramas with all kinds of shapes can be modeled/sculpted entirely inside the ZBrush ecosystem without relying on traditional modeling approaches. The short answer is yes – the toolkit became even more powerful with all the recent updates. 

With the new pen display, I managed to quickly add cracks and sculpt several assets like, for example, the tall statue in the main hall (called Oscar in the SubTool menu). When adding cracks I mostly mixed a manual approach with a Bevel brush which let me quickly break edges for a more stylized look. The pen was precise and I didn't have any problems with small details. 

A lot (I mean a LOT) of hours later, after cleaning meshes, preparing UVs, and exporting all the SubTools, I finally switched to Substance 3D Painter, where the grey boring room finally came to life. 

The color accuracy of your display is the most important factor when texturing as the right color palette can enhance or damage the final result. In my case, picking and tweaking colors seemed incredibly easy. I also had to paint a lot of details and break colors to add the damaged look to the whole scene so the high resolution was crucial. The top-notch pen also helped me add subtle details and tweak different maps. 

The final step was to render the diorama and tweak post-production settings to nail the original atmosphere. This was also an important moment when testing the device as you have to tweak lights, test different gamma options, examine final colors, etc. 

The experience was great. I'd say I'm more used to the older brother, Huion Kamvas Pro 24, with a bigger display and 4K resolution but the new display did the trick too. Overall, after a couple of weeks, I can say the display size was the main downside for me, but since it's a more lightweight solution meant for mobility this can also be a good side for many artists. 

The Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K) is a great deal. You get a mix of good things from two worlds: a top-notch display and a professional pen from high-end solutions, plus programmable buttons mostly presented in budget or mid-year devices. Please consider the display size – if you want to mix different tasks or just want a bigger display for a more comfortable work perhaps you should examine other available alternatives. Otherwise, the new tablet is brilliant both in terms of performance and mobility so I could definitely recommend it to fellow artists. 

You can find specs and order Kamvas Pro 16(2.5K) via the official website starting at $599 here

Below you can see the final result: 

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