Editorial: political cartoonists versus Meta
New cartoonist: Robbie Meriales

Review of the Huion Note

By Tjeerd Royaards

Huion Note


I have to admit I might not be the most suitable person to review the Huion Note. I have been working digitally since purchasing my first Wacom Cintiq in 2014 and I have never looked back since. The Huion Note, instead, is a notebook that allows you to write or draw on paper while what you do is digitally recorded with an app on your phone. My forays into drawing on paper have been mostly limited to drawing with my kids. So please consider the sketches I did as examples of what the Note can do, nothing more.

That said, I was excited when Huion contacted us after the review of the Kamvas 13 to ask if we were interested in testing another one of their products, especially one that felt novel and seemed to have potential for paper-loving artists. For the sake of full transparency: Huion sent us the Note at no charge, but we are not influenced in any way as to our review of the product.

While the Note is also designed for taking notes, I was more interested in how it would work for drawing and sketching out ideas. Many artists claim they miss the feel of paper when they switch to digital drawing, so the Note might be suitable for them, offering the benefits of drawing on paper with none of the hassle of having to scan and enhance the image to get a suitable digital version. As the notebook is modestly sized, the focus of my review is not so much see how the Note would work for making fully finished cartoons (depending on your style, that would be problematic, as we’ll see later on), but how and if it would work for sketching on the go, and for live drawing outside or at events.


Huion drawing 1


The review

Let’s start with the upsides. First of all, it’s a sophisticated looking notebook with a nice look and feel. The pen also looks and feels solid. After installation and connecting the notebook to your phone book things are pretty easy. If you open notebook and the app on your phone they will link automatically.

I was impressed with the sensitivity of the notebook. Although not perfect, even slight pressures do get picked up and translated to the digital version, allowing for fine cross-hatching and subtle lines. The app on your phone allows for some rudimentary clean-up, and you can easily export the file as a JPG or PDF. The paper in the Note is replaceable by any standard notebook; so once you run out, you're not forced to buy new paper from Huion. Instead, you can buy a notebook from your local store and it will fit. New nibs will have to be ordered in the Huion shop. I am not sure how long the ink nibs last, buying new ones will cost you 17 euros for five new nibs.

A nice feature is the ability to work in different colors. While the five supplied nibs come only in black (+ 2 without ink, that you can use to draw digital only), you can draw in different colors on the digital version. Also quite useful when doing graphic reporting, the app allows you to integrate photos into the digital version.

The battery life is another plus; Huion claims is has 18 hours of battery time and although I didn't fully test this, the battery does seem to last a long time.



Moving on to some downsides. Setting things up could be easier (at least, for an almost boomer like me). The process is simple: just download the app on your smartphone, make a Bluetooth connection to the Note and you're all set. That said, it would be nice to have a big connect button in the app, as it took me a while (and a YouTube tutorial) to get the connection to work. Also, it wasn't immediately clear to me that while the Note can be connected to your computer, it will only work as a simple pen tablet in that case. Most his could be solved by making the Quick Start Guide just a bit more comprehensive.


Exporting the files as a JPG they come out rather small. Output size is 1080 X 1432 pixels at 72 dpi. Suitable for online use, but not for printing. This can be circumvented by exporting as a PDF, but to be really useful as a drawing tool, it would be nice to get a broader range of output sizes in JPG and other formats. Even better would be the option of exporting it is a .PNG or .PSD with a transparent background.

Here the limitations of the Note do show. While it's a wonderful invention for loose sketching, it's not really designed to take these sketches any further. It would be great if you could directly link up the note to other graphic software like Photoshop or Procreate, allowing you to start on paper and move on seamlessly to the digital version. I think the technology will progress to make this possible in the future; Huion or another manufacturer might even come up with a true sketchbook version (A4 or similar sized, landscape oriented). Another drawback is that the available brushes are quite limited in the app. I would be great to get a pencil brush.


For now, I can totally imagine this is great for artists with an affinity for paper that like to make sketches when traveling and/or do live drawing events if they want to post these works online quickly and easily. I can also imagine the use for comics journalism, taking the Note to locations (e.g. a refugee camp or protest) to record the scene or to use while interviewing people to simultaneously take down quotes and faces. The Note might even be a bit more sturdy in dusty and wet environment than, say, an iPad Pro. It's definitely cheaper.

The Huion Note is available for €95 (on sale until September 15, normal price €125)


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Ramsés Morales

I found this small tablet is a good and cheaper option for cartoonists. His graphics qualities are quite decent and allows draw cartoons with a good standard.

Cartoon Movement

Thanks for sharing the tip!


Necessary information for the professionals !



does the application have to be turned on all the time? Can notes be saved on the phone without the application running?

Cartoon Movement

Hi Luk,

It only records your notes when the app is running and when the Note is plugged into your phone. If it's not plugged in, it's just a regular notebook.

G S Arora

It can record even if app is not running.
You can write on 50 pages offline once you are online and connected to the app the app automatically synchronises.
A5 Note book you can buy anywhere and pen refills are available in red blue green black very cheap.

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