My very first graphic tablet, back in 2010 was a Wacom Bamboo, one of the first small models that is not even produced anymore. Lots of new tablets and brands are now available on the market and sometimes can be hard to choose one. In this article I will review a very cheap but pretty surprising tablet: the Gaomon M106K.
I think the package itself impresses a bit at first. For such a cheap tablet, you get a nice package with a decent quality and what surprised me the most was the protective foam on the inside of the box.
Build quality, overall look and feel
The materials used for this tablet are very decent for the price. On the top side, the work area feels smooth and a bit too glossy and does not have the desired grip feeling when using the plastic nibs that come with the pen. I tried one of the nibs from my Wacom tablet and the touch of the pen and the grip improves quite a bit.
The plastic of the tablet is thinner and feels cheaper than the higher end brands but it give enough strength to the tablet. Even though it doesn’t bend easily, keep it on flat surfaces though.
The 12 express buttons on the side feel as they should and have a good pressing feel but maybe a bit noisy. There are no lights on the tablet itself which could make it difficult to work with it in darker environments. You cannot even tell if it’s plugged. The lack of light on the 16 function keys makes them pretty much useless in the the dark
Almost identical to my Intuos 5 pen but a bit lighter, too much in my opinion. You have to charge it in order to use it but it does not seem to have any charge indicators on it or on the software.
The build quality is not at the same level as the tablet. It feels like cheap thin plastic and it only has rubber on the gripping part (the bottom).
The buttons are ok, have a sturdy pressing feel and they are not loose. I found that when pressing the buttons you have to keep the tip of the pen almost touching the surface of the tablet in order for them to work which sometimes can be annoying.
The tip behaves quite well when pressing on the pen and it moves inwards a few millimeters which creates a comfortable sensation and helps to judge the pressure you’re applying.
It comes with 5 additional nibs but they are all made of plastic which doesn’t have really good grip on the surface of the tablet. I tried one of my Intuos 5 textured nibs and the grip improved.
Even so, I would say that for being a tablet under 80$ it as a good feel on the surface. The pen alone of the Intous 5 costs almost as much as this Gaomon M106K tablet.
Gaomon M106K Review
Functions and software
This graphic tablet is compatible with Windows and Mac and can be used by lefties and righties. You can download the drivers from the Gaomon site. If you’re a left hand user all you need to do is to flip the work area in the Work Area tab of the software.
You can assign any key combination to the physical buttons and even a chain of keys which will be executed when pressing the button. You can assign a maximum of 16 keys per chain. Applying actions with these configurable options is a whole lot easier.
Basically you can add a function for every action you use the most in Photoshop or your favorite software like undo, brush size, new layers, tool selection, etc…
The pen can also be customized. You can change the sensitivity of the pressure change and assign functions to the two buttons.
Configure your work area to fullscreen or only part of the screen. Also you can virtually change the orientation of the tablet depending if you’re right handed or left handed or to work in landscape or portrait mode.