By Tjeerd Royaards
This review is in some ways a follow up of our review of the Kamvas 13 (which you can still win, by the way, if you send us an email before February 10). Like the Kamvas 13, the Kamvas Pro 13 (2.5K) is a portable, 13.3 inch drawing tablet that needs to be plugged to your computer with a 3-in1 cable or with just a USB-c to USB-c cable. That last option is a really great feature that not only reduces cable clutter, but also makes carrying the tablet around a lot easier. For this review, I used the tablet in combination with my MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022), but the tablet does also work with Android (so you can hook it up to some smart phones) and also has the option of being used as a regular pen tablet (with the screen off).
The Kamvas 13 currently retails for € 235 in Europe, while the Kamvas Pro 13 (2.5K) will set you back € 449. The main question for this review, then, is if the Kamvas Pro 13 is worth the extra money? As with all our reviews, we received the pen display from Huion for free to review, but they do not exert any other type of control over this review.
Let's talk about the difference in specs first. The Kamvas 13 has a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 (16:9), while the Pro has 2560 x 1600 (16:10). The Pro screen also has 226 pixels per inch (PPI) instead of 166 PPI, which the regular has. Some other color and contrast specs are also increased on the Pro. The pen and pressure technology, however, is the same with both tablets.
Like its cheaper counterpart, the Pro also features some buttons on the side which you can personalize as hot keys for your most used editing functions. Many people must like them, because most tablets feature buttons, but I personally tend to use my computer keyboard and/or click the function I need in Photoshop with the pen, so I don't really need extra buttons, and I actually prefer my Wacom Cintiq, which hasn't got any.
Working on the Pro is very nice. It does have the same parallax issue as the Kamvas 13 (where the the distance between the cursor and the pen nib is fine on most of the screen surface, but tends to get worse towards the edges of the screen, noticeably so when you are trying to select an icon at the top/bottom of the screen or on the side), but it is overall a superior experience to the Kamvas 13.
This better experience is of course partly because of the better screen resolution and color display, but also (and this might be subjective) also because of the way the screen feels. The Kamvas 13 has a Anti-glare Matte Film screen finish while the Pro has a Anti-glare Etched Glass finish. I really like the feel of this as I worked.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not the Pro is worth the extra money is something you'll have to decide for yourself, depending on the type of work you make and your budget. A bonus with the Pro is that it comes standard with a USB-c to USB-c cable; with the regular Kamvas13, this is something you'll have to order separately for € 20. So that's something you can deduct from the price difference.
To be honest, for the type of cartoons I make, I could make do with the regular Kamvas 13, but I can imagine if you make more detailed work it would be worth it to spend a little bit extra. Another factor in making a decision would be if you're looking for a portable display, or if a bigger fixed display is also an option. If I was on a budget, I would probably favor something like the Gaomon PD2200 (currently € 459) which might not give you the same resolution and color intensity, but gives you way more screen real estate instead.
In conclusion, I would say the Kamvas Pro 13 is a good quality product and worth the money you pay for it. That said, the Kamvas 13 isn't bad either, so the choice of what to go for should primarily be decided by your own needs as an artist.