Offering a range of graphics tablets at a range of prices, Hanvon’s Art Master III is at the higher end of the company’s lineup in terms of quality. The tablet has many appealing features for artists interested in outward appearances as well as overall performance.
Plastic but sturdy, the graphics tablet has a professional style and finish. There’s a clear distinction between its matte working area and its glossy outside edge, and its simple aesthetics and dark colouring aren’t too dissimilar from those of the Wacom Intuos4 tablets – Hanvon’s globally established rival. But when it comes to price, there’s not much in it between the two companies.
The Art Master III comes supplied with two stylus pens, featuring replaceable nibs that are stored inside its weighty pen holder. Each stylus has a different feel with different shapes and weights, suiting either precise graphics editing or free-flowing painting. Both come with erasers on one end for gently rubbing out unwanted strokes, as well as dual buttons giving you both left and right-click shortcut keys to quickly change brush settings or open menus, for example.
The tablet features 2,048 levels of pressure, which means that painting requires little effort to get a reaction from its working area. The tablet is so sensitive in fact that the weight of the pen alone is enough to see results. When using the Brush tool, additional pressure quickly increases the thickness of the tip; combined with its 5,080lpi resolution the Art Master III is a great tool to make the most out of Photoshop’s Brushes palette and pen pressure features.
On the tablet itself, there’s a Touch Ring that zooms, rotates and spins the canvas. Either side of this there are eight Express Keys that can be set as shortcuts to certain commands. That could be opening a new application, a pop-up menu, or to control mouse clicks; all of which reduce the contact made with your mouse and keyboard and therefore the time it takes to edit and paint work. If you’re after wireless technology, then unfortunately you won’t find this in the Art Master III. But Hanvon has a dedicated wireless-enabled tablet (£150/US$244 from Colour Confidence): although more affordable than the Art Master III, it’s not as powerful.
Not being the biggest name in the industry, Hanvon still produces tablets worthy of recognition and ticking the important boxes under style, performance and price. Compared to brands such as Genius and Wacom, Hanvon is an attractive compromise.
Visit Hanvon for more information on the Art Master III and all of its other tablets. Prices for each size (from Colour Confidence) are £200/US$326 (6 X 4″), £275/US$448 (9 x 6″), £350/US$570 (13 x 8″).
Pressure sensitivity: 2,048 levels
Number of programmable keys: 8
Platform: Mac and Windows