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Which is the best digital tablet or monitor to buy? Why should you buy one at all?
Gone are the days when artists used only traditional surfaces like paper or canvas. Digital tablets and monitors have emerged with the advent of digitalization.
There are various products available in the market, but Parblo’s Coast10 tablet is an excellent choice for artists looking to try a digital tablet for the first time. Coast10 offers best-in-industry features at a budget-friendly price, making it a favorite of many artists all over the world.
Parblo Coast10 Reviewed in Detail
Before we dive into all the details about the Coast10 tablet, let’s take a brief look at Parblo.
Parblo – named after Pablo Picasso, one of the most renowned artists in history – is a relatively new brand that offers drawing tablets. The company was established in 2015. In the four years of its existence, Parblo has already made a name for itself on the grounds of offering affordable products without compromising on quality.
Parblo offers graphic monitors, graphic tablets, and accessories. If you have used digital gadgets for your artistic endeavors, you must have heard of Wacom. Wacom is the market leader, but its products are not affordable for beginners and students. That’s where Parblo comes to the rescue.
Coast10 is one of the more reasonable drawing tablets available in the market, especially considering its size and features. Unlike professional artists and experts, it is aimed at students, hobbyists, and beginner-level artists looking for quality products that can fit into a modest budget. Some professionals might consider this tablet as a replacement or backup in case of emergencies.
The tablet comes with an incredible display that is fully functional — the LCD screen measures around 11.4 inches by 8.3 inches. You cannot use finger taps, as they will not be recognized. It can carry out nearly all the functions of its more expensive competitor, the Cintiq by Wacom.
We especially liked the high recognition rate and sensitivity of the Coast10 tablet, which makes it perfect for writing and drawing even the tiniest fonts and designs. The tablet works as a secondary display unit as it can only be powered on by connecting it to a computer or laptop – you get no power adapter to plug into a wall.
We have used the Coast10 tablet extensively for different projects to get a comprehensive understanding of its pros and cons. We have outlined the contents of the box and then explained the key highlights and some downsides that can be improved.
What comes in the box?
We especially liked the value for money that the Coast10 provides. If you are looking for a comprehensive set of accessories along with a digital tablet, Coast10 perfectly fits the bill.
Here is a list of everything you will get in the box:
- Coast10 Graphic Tablet Monitor
- A Battery-free Pen
- A USB Cable
- An Installation CD
- Three Replacement Nibs for the Pen
- One Portable High Speed 4 ports USB 3.0 Hub
- One Parblo PR-01 Two-Finger Anti-fouling Glove
- One Remove Ring
- One Lanyard
Now that we have talked about the Coast10 from a bird’s eye perspective and mentioned what you would receive in the box, it is time to take an in-depth look at the key highlights of this product. Each of the following characteristics of the Coast10 makes it an optimal digital tablet for you to buy.
One of the essential prerequisites for consumer electronics to be of optimal use is its design. Whether it is a cell phone, a laptop, or a digital tablet, ergonomic design ensures maximum efficiency to the user. The Coast10 features top-notch design and is equally convenient to use for both left-handed and right-handed artists.
Artists usually spend hours creating and perfecting pieces of art, whether on paper or digital medium. Coast10 recognizes the importance of comfort and allows you to use it on a desktop as well as in your lap. We especially liked the back clips on the device, which unfold to allow upright drawing.
The viewing angles are highly comfortable – horizontal 170° and vertical 170°. Irrespective of how and where you place the tablet for work, you should get a clear view of the screen. Another feature of the ergonomic design of this tablet is the housing space for the pen above the screen, significantly reducing the chances of misplacing it frequently.
One thing we can say for sure is that the designers at Parblo put in a lot of thought while creating the Coast10. You will realize the effectiveness of this tablet’s design with every project you complete using it.
The display quality is probably the most crucial element of a digital tablet. In that arena, the Coast10 tablet from Parblo fares well. The tempered glass screen is durable and has a display ratio of 16:10. The Coast10 features a TFT LCD panel measuring 10.1 inches. You get an adequate active work area that is 21.7 cm wide and 13.5 cm high.
With a sharp, bright resolution of 1280×800 pixels, the Coast10 tablet offers glorious display. If you have tried drawing on a general graphics tablet (non-display), you know that it can be frustrating looking at the computer screen repeatedly while drawing on the tablet. Display tablets are better, especially for beginners, but only if the display quality is up to the mark.
Drawing tablets can have pressure-sensitivity levels in the range of 300 to 3,000. The pressure-sensitivity level determines the thickness of the line based on the pressure you put. Basic tablets often have only 1,000 or lower pressure-sensitivity levels. You will be pleased to know that the Coast10 tablet comes equipped with a high pressure-sensitivity level of 2,048.
What was the need for digital tablets and monitors? Among others, portability was an immensely important reason that led to the popularity of these devices. Artists cannot take all of their art and craft supplies while traveling. Would it be convenient for you to pack and carry paint tubes, paint brushes, easel, canvas, and more?
Digital tablets are meant to allow artists to stay in touch with their creative sides, even when they are on the move. The Coast10 tablet measures only 0.73 inches in thickness and weighs about 630g, making it extremely compact and lightweight. Carrying the Coast10 tablet will never be a hassle for you.
We especially liked the thoughtful exclusion of a power adapter. The Coast10 functions via connectivity to a laptop or computer. If you want to use it, you can plug it into your computer instead of finding a wall socket. This added portability ensures that you can work comfortably in almost any setting and environment.
We found the drawing pen of the Coast10 tablet to be its best highlight. It is a battery-free pen, which makes it extremely lightweight. You do not have to worry about replacing the battery, battery levels, or battery leakage. The lack of weight makes using the pen very comfortable, and it smoothly glides across the screen.
One of the most frustrating things with digital tablets is the possibility of losing the stylus or pen, especially while traveling. The Coast10 features a safe and secure space at the top of the panel where you can store the drawing pen when not in use.
The pen makes up for the absence of hotkey buttons on the tablet with its clickable buttons that can replicate mouse clicks. The Coast10 tablet’s drawing pen can effectively replace your mouse.
We commend Parblo for the thoughtful inclusion of three replacement nibs for the pen. The pen is comfortable, easy-to-control, light, and sensitive – allowing you to draw the most delicate details effortlessly. The high pressure-sensitivity level is achieved with the help of this nearly flawless pen.
Value for Money
Who does not want the most bang for their buck? Parblo knows how to deliver the maximum value for money to its customers. When you buy the Coast10, you get much more than just the tablet. The drawing pen is a crucial component that comes with three replacement nibs. You also get a lanyard, a remove ring, and a USB cable.
We especially liked the thoughtful inclusion of the two-finger drawing glove. It is specially made to reduce the friction between your hand and the tablet surface, enabling comfortable drawing. The glove is made from high elastic lycra, and it features strong tensile resistance and high air permeability. It comes in a free size that can fit either hand.
Another valuable inclusion in the Coast10 box is the portable four-port USB 3.0 hub. Working with a laptop or computer usually gives you access to two USB ports. For as long as you work on the Coast10, one of those ports would be occupied. The four extra USB ports give you added flexibility and allow you to plug in multiple devices.
One of the advantages of using the Coast10 tablet is that it can be used with a wide variety of software – including CorelDraw, Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Illustrator, Comic Studio, SAI, Macromedia Flash, 3D MAX, Manga Studio and so on.
Irrespective of the computer or laptop you have, plugging in the Coast10 and using it should not be a problem. It can work with various operating systems including Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.11 or above.
Given its high sensitivity and responsiveness, you can use the Coast10 for all kinds of projects. The drawing pen and glove add significantly to the versatility factor of this device.
What can be improved?
Perfection is a myth, especially when it comes to consumer electronics. You need to know that it is not flawless, and there is some scope for improvement. However, given its price range and features, these drawbacks are not significant enough to render the Coast10 inefficient or not viable.
The display of Coast10 is top-notch, but you may face an occasional glare when you position the tablet in certain angles or under specific lights. The usual solution in case of screen glares is to adjust the brightness settings, but Coast10 does not allow you to customize its brightness, which can be frustrating. The only solution at your disposal is to avoid bright lights.
Working in a relatively dark environment is not always feasible, and some artists may find the screen glare to be a significant drawback. Another possible solution is to apply the protective cover for the screen that comes included in the box, but that may not eradicate the glare.
If only the Coast10 tablet came with an anti-glare coating, it would have featured flawless display. Maybe the pen would scrub off the coating, and that’s why it was not applied. If you can deal with this occasional hazard, this tablet is perfect for you.
The biggest hurdle you might have to overcome is the initial setup of the Coast10 tablet. The installation CD that comes included with the tablet does not use proper English and can be difficult to understand sometimes. The default setup supports Windows systems, and the CD does not have pre-loaded drivers for Mac devices.
If you are a Mac user, we advise you to follow these steps to help with the setup process:
- Download Mac drivers from the Parblo website.
- Ensure that you install the drivers in this order – “Displaylink” followed by “driver.”
Unfortunately, you cannot find a manual for Mac on the Parblo website. The manual for Windows also fails to do an optimal job of explaining the process. So take the setup process and the manual with a grain of salt – you will probably have to spend some time getting the tablet to work initially.
The calibration setup for the pen can also be a challenge for some users. If you face an issue with the calibration where only the first red target appears on the screen, you should follow these steps:
- Switch from duplicate display to extend display on your laptop or computer.
- Select monitor 2 in the tablet software.
- Calibrate again, and the red targets will appear in every corner of the screen.
- Place the pen over the screen and move it around for a couple of seconds to get the cursor to jump to the correct position.
Although the initial setup is a bit complicated and can be frustrating, once you complete it, the tablet works seamlessly.
Sensitivity Around the Edges
Coast10 boasts of very high sensitivity and responsiveness. You may experience some sensitivity issues around the edges of the display. There may a slight skew compared to the point where you place the pen. Making marks within half an inch of the sides can be challenging due to this.
For the different projects we completed using the Coast10 tablet, we only faced this sensitivity issue once or twice. You will easily accomplish most of your tasks without encountering this problem. The Windows software allows you to recalibrate the device, which may solve this issue manually. For Mac users, there is no way around this trivial problem.
One of the win-win features of any brand that has captured a significant market share is excellent customer support and after-sales service. Being a relatively new brand, Parblo suffers from a faulty customer support system. Some users have mentioned the problems they have faced while trying to get help for the issues they have faced.
Having a complicated setup process, an imperfect manual and only Windows drivers will prompt many Coast10 customers to contact the Parblo support team. If you are not good with troubleshooting or cannot find the steps to overcome setup problems, you may be left with no solutions.
We hope that Parblo will improve its customer support services very soon. It has the potential to capture a significant market share with its affordable products and distinct features – the only thing it needs to focus on is enhancing customer satisfaction to retain them.
Take nothing away from the Coast10 – it is an excellent product with enough features to qualify as a must-buy for beginner and intermediate-level artists. Parblo was started not too long ago, and it has the potential to be a market leader in the graphic tablets industry.
The Coast10 tablet’s benefits and features outweigh its few downsides. There is no other digital tablet in the market that offers the same features at the same price. If you are an expert who is willing to spend a significant amount or you are looking for a bigger screen or a premium branded product, this is not the perfect option for you.
Till next time, keep drawing!