I received Huion Note from Huion to review it & give my opinion on it. It was a very interesting niche product. It allows you to write notes & draw on real paper, then transfer them to your Phone for further editing. It also made it possible to edit the notes on the fly using the notebook itself when it’s connecting to the app, where it works similar to a regular graphics tablet.. The app itself provides many options for editing the notes, including resizing, removing & moving any of the strokes you made.
Huion Note can also be used as a graphics tablet when connected to PC. It provides a unique way to draw on paper & still have the drawing on your PC without having to scan the paper.
The way it creates a new page automatically in offline mode may confuse you a bit, but I think you will get used to it after some time. It’s an option for those who prefer to write notes the traditional way, but don’t want to write notes directly on a PC or tablet, and still wants to share these notes with others or have a backup of them. It truly straddles the line between old & new note-taking.
You can buy & check the price of Huion Notes from the folllowing affiliate links:-
Quickly go to:-
- Has a long battery life.
- Very fun to draw with, as the feeling of drawing on paper was never fully replaced by graphics tablets in my opinion.
- You can’t use the app without creating an account & sharing your precise location.
- You can’t open the files your upload via the cloud on PC (But you can still transfer them as JPG images).
Once you open up the box, you can start using it in offline mode right away. Even without connecting it to your phone or any other device. As long as the device is on & in offline mode (where the led at the corner turns green. The same green led turns off every time the pen touch the notebook), you can write with it just like you do with any regular notebook. The pen itself doesn’t feel any different from a regular pen.
The notebook comes with a small leather sleeve to keep pen in. The sleeve attaches to the notebook with a magnet:-
The device can store 50 pages in offline mode. That’s also the number of pages the A5 notebook that comes with it has. Since we all carry our phones with us, you can always offload the notes to the app whenever you get the chance to. Even without that, I don’t think I ever wrote over 50 pages of notes of classes in one day, but that may be different for some people.
To create a new page, you press the new page button located to the left of the led, as Huion Note cannot detect that you turned the page on its own. You can press the button & continue to draw on the same physical page, but the notes will end up being two separate pages when you sync them later on. Huion Note goes to sleep after 15 minutes to save the battery, in case you forgot to close the notebook.
Since connecting Huion Note to your phone is required to get the most out of it, we will talk about this in details.
To connect Huion Note to my phone, I downloaded Huion Note from the Play Store. There’s a version for iOS for the app, as well. Before I was able to pair the device to the Huion Note, the app required me to create a Huion account. It also required permission to know my precise location too. I am not sure why that should be the case, but I went on with that. According to the iOS app page, the app doesn’t collect data.. The Android version does collect some data, but doesn’t share them with 3rd parties, according to the Play Store page. So there’s that:-
Once the account is set up & logged in to it. I paired Huion Note to my phone using the bar code (you can also do the pairing via Bluetooth). After that, tapping on the device icon on the toolbar showed me the option to sync any new pages I created, or to bind the new pages you create to a virtual notebook inside the app. Keep in mind that you have to create a virtual notebook and bind it to the device in order to be able to sync your pages.
For each virtual notebook, you can pick a unique cover & page style, which is neat. The page styles include many common styles, such as Blank, Squares, Four-line paper & more.
Once the pages are synced to the notebook, you can then browse them & edit them to your heart content before sharing them with others. The app provides few tools for that, which I will take about later.
The app makes it possible to do live editing on the notebook, where you see anything you write or draw appear on the notebook on your phone, just like how you do with a regular graphics tablet. I found the line thickness similar between the app & the actual notebook. You can undo your mistakes using the undo button in the app, but doing so will only do that to the stroke on the screen, and not on the actual notebook, obviously~
In case you’re wondering, you don’t need to use the A5 notebook that comes with Huion Note for it to register your notes. You can use any paper, as the digitizer inside the cover is what matters. However, you have to use the pen that comes with it. Using any regular pen or pencil won’t work here.
Huion Note comes with 7 nibs (including the one that’s already inside the pen), along with the nib removing tool. If each nib would last the same as regular ink pen, then the 7 nibs could last you for quite some time.
Let’s take a look at the Huion Note app & some of what it can do. There are two modes in the app, The first one is browsing mode, where you can simply browse your pages. as well as the editing mode, where you can edit & manipulate the pages before sharing them with others. You can toggle between the two using the brush/hand icon on the toolbar.
The edit mode allows you to move around the various strokes of your notes or drawing. You can remove the parts you think are unnecessary, or resize them & even add images on your own. The undo/redo buttons are your friends in case you made a mistake.
Now, you may be wondering, what happens if you synced your notes to the app, then you used Huion note away from your phone? Based on my experience. The new notes are added as new pages. Even if you never turned the page using the new page button.
One really nifty feature the app has allows you to play back all the strokes you made in order, and see your notes or sketches materialize in front of you. You could even export that as a video. If you moved part of the handwriting or drawing before that, it will be drawn in the new location without any issue. That’s because all the strokes are stored as vector graphics, which makes them easier to manipulate without degrading their quality. The app also gives you the ability to import PDF files from your phone & add your annotations on them. You can’t, however, edit the PDF pages themselves. The app also supports audio notes. Up to 5 hours for each virtual notebook.
You can backup all your notes to the cloud so you won’t ever lose them. The app gives you two options for that:- Google Drive & Huawei. I tried the Google Drive option, since I don’t have a Huawei account, and I managed to back up the notes I created & transfer them to my PC. The files are in .ahn format, and as far as I know, there’s no software to open the files with. They are just there as backup. You can still share your notes as JPG files & work on them afterward. The app gives you the option to export the pages with or without the paper style.
Even though I couldn’t open the .ahn files I transferred via the cloud. Huion Note can still be connected to a PC & be used as a regular graphics tablet. It’s compatible with Huion’s tablet driver, so it worked right away on my test computer. Setting it up was exactly the same too. You could map the notebook page to any of your screens (if you have multiple), or to a portion of the screen. You also have the option to enable Windows Ink, and so on. The led at the corner of the Huion Note turns cyan while connected to PC.
I used Paint Tool Sai for the drawing test. At first, I am wasn’t sure if I should look at the screen or the paper I am actually drawing on. Looking at the notebooks itself was more fun, and it allowed me to draw more naturally. At first, I noticed the lines on the screen were much thicker, since drawing programs allow lines to get so big based on the brush size, but using a smaller brush easily fixed that problem.
While I kept using the A5 notebook during my test. Huion Note comes with a cardboard you could have in place of it. Since you can select the type paper to draw on, you get the amount of friction you like. This is kinda similar to placing a paper on the top of a regular graphic tablet. I wish I could use regular pencils with Huion Note though.
Because the aspect ratio between the screen & the A5 paper is different, not the whole physical paper is mapped to the screen. You can change that in the driver program if you like, but I wouldn’t personally do it.
Huion Note supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, as well as tilt ±60° of tilt. For more information about pressure sensitivity, you can read my post about it here:-
I actually liked drawing with real paper while seeing the drawing appears on screen. It kinda gave me the pen display experience, but without having to buy an expensive one, all while still drawing on an actual paper. While you can’t erase your lines on the actual paper. You can still use this set up for practicing, since a common advice is to avoid erasing your mistakes when you practice, and to go on with them. Again, I wish we could have used any pen or pencil of our choice, that way, I would have used my trusty mechanical pencil, the one I spent countless hours using back when I mainly drew on paper.
I tested some of the other Huion Pens with the Huion Note. Both Huion Inspiroy 2 L & Huion Inspiroy 2 Dial’s wireless pens worked with it. The older Huion pens that require charging didn’t work at all.
The short answer is yes. If you care about both writing notes traditionally & drawing with the tablet mode, then you may end up liking Huion Note quite a lot. If you just want a regular graphics tablet, then there are many other options that gives you more features, like a dial & hot keys, not to mention a larger drawing area.
It can be a viable options for sketching on the go then transferring them to PC. Specially if you are more into traditional art, as long as you don’t mind drawing with the pen.
To be honest, Huion Note straddles the line of oddware & innovative product. It was fun trying something like it. I think it can be a great product if you could make use of all its features. For most artists, It may not be a full replacement graphics tablets, but I say it’s a nice niche product, for both notes-taking & drawing. If you care about taking notes on an actual paper & preserving them, then it could provide a great value to you.
You can buy & check the price of Huion Notes from the folllowing affiliate links:-
- My Drawing And Digital Art Books
- Getting started with Wacom graphics tablet and Digital Painting With Photoshop: Learn Digital Art & Paintings On Good Fundamentals
- How to find a pen replacement for your Wacom Pen or stylus (Intuos, Cintiq, Intuos Pro, Mobilestudio Pro)
- Getting Started In Digital Art (or digital painting) for beginners, and what you need to know from the start
- 8 Tips On How To Create Smooth Lines with your graphics tablet (or pen display)
- How to avoid stiff poses and drawings?
- Introduction to drawing proportions, and how to get it right (With practical example).
- Best Affordable Pen displays and Cintiq Alternatives to buy in 2018 – Including Huion, Ugee, XP-Pen, Monoprice & other brands
- Drawing Series- Introduction of drawing in perspective, and how to draw in things in perspective