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Ugee U1200 / U1600 Review:- A small, cute & affordable pen display to take anywhere

Ugee U1200 Review In Few Words (Mini Review)

I received Ugee U1200 from Ugee to review it & give my opinion on it, and overall, I ended up quite liking it. The small screen along with the 3-in-1 cable makes it very convenient to move around while drawing. It’s small enough that I can place it in my laptop bag if I needed to. The small size may be small for some, but for that reason, there’s a 15.6 option that’s identical to it, but has a bigger screen, called Ugee U1600.

I didn’t encounter many problems during installation. At least not something I wouldn’t expect while installing similar devices. I found the drawing surface to be pleasant. The IAF is quite decent, but I don’t claim it’s the best ever. It won’t stop you from creating good artworks like some of the other graphics tablets I reviewed in the past.

Having two options to connect Ugee U1200 to your computer is a big plus. You can either use the 3-in-1 cable that comes with it, or buy a separate USB-C to USB-C to connect it to your computer, but be aware that your USB-C port & cable need to support that.

Ugee U1200 has no lack of support for the various operating systems, it supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, as well as ChromeOS. The only common & open operating system they didn’t list is the Raspberry Pi OS, but I won’t be surprised if it worked with it, since it’s essentially an ARM version of Linux.

Ugee U1200 comes with the PH12 pen, which is battery-free that requires no charging. It has an eraser at the back, as well as two buttons on the side. Both the eraser & the buttons can be programmed in the driver program, and they are the only kind of hot keys you will get out of the box.

You can buy & the check the price of Ugee U1200 from the following affiliate links:-
Ugee U1200 :-
Buy Ugee U1200 From Ugee Official Store
#CommissionsEarned

Ugee U1600:-
Buy Ugee U1600 From Ugee Official Store
#CommissionsEarned

Pros Of Ugee U1200

  • Provides a good drawing experience for the price.
  • The drawing surface is pleasant to draw on.
  • Having more options to connect it to your computers is a plus.

Cons Of Ugee U1200

  • The IAF is considered good, but it could have been better.
  • Not all USB-C cables can be connecting easily to it.

Technical Specifications

  • Screen Color Gamut:- 90% NTSC (sRGB127%)
  • Screen size:- 11.9 Inch
  • Screen drawing angle:- 178°
  • Active drawing area:- 263.2 X 148.1mm
  • Can be connected via the 3-in-1 cable that comes with it, or via USB-C to USB-C cable (This requires USB-C port & cable that support external displays).
  • Supports Windows 7 or later, Mac 10.10 or later, Chrome OS 88 or later, as well Android devices with USB 3.1 port that supports DisplayPort 1.2. It also works on many Linux distros:- Ubuntu, Centos, Fedora, Red Hat, Manjaro, Arch, Debian, OpenSUSE, elementary OS, Mint, ezgo Linux, Pop!_OS, Mageia, According to Ugee’s website ( There’s a good chance it will work on other distros).
  • Comes with the PH12 passive pen, a battery-free pen with eraser at the back
  • The pen comes with 10 replacement pen nibs
  • Pressure sensitivity:- 8192 levels
  • Tilt Sensitivity:- ±60 degrees
  • Has no programmable hot keys

Unboxing & Setting Up

What’s In The Box?

Once I received Ugee U1200 I unboxed it. It came with the following stuff out of the box:-

    • Ugee U1200 itself
    • The drawing pen.
    • 11 spare nibs + nibs removal tools (It’s supposed to come with 10, I guess I was lucky).
    • The 3-in-1 cable
    • USB-A extension cable.
    • Screen cleaning cloth
    • Drawing glove

It doesn’t come with an AC adapter in case you’re wondering about that. You’re going to use it on PC, you will less likely need it.

Connecting Ugee U1200 To Your Computer:- 3-In-1 Cable Or USB-C

You connect Ugee U1200 to your computer using the 3-in-1 cable that comes with it. The cable has USB-C on one end (to connect it to the pen display itself), while the other end has HDMI, USB for data, as well as another USB for power. Ugee U1200 takes power from your computer itself, eliminating the need for a power adapter. This makes it even more suitable as an option for traveling. The cable is thin, and makes it easy to move Ugee U1200 around, like placing it aside when you’re not using it, or rotating the whole device instead on rotating the canvas on your drawing program. The cable is long enough for that, but I always find myself thinking of ways to extending it so that I could use it to draw in more than one place in my room, which is something I actually did.

Besides the 3-in-1 cable, you can connect Ugee U1200 to your computer via a USB-C to USB-C cable (sold separately). For that to work, both the USB-C port & cable needs to support connecting external display, not all the USB-C ports support that, but I expect that to become more common in the future. You also need to connect the cable to the dedicated port for that on the U1200 (The one to the left while you face the screen). I tried to connect the display using my own USB-C to USB-C cables, but that didn’t work. I tried that multiple times, using more than one cable. Both the two computers I used for testing (Lenovo E580 & Mac Mini 2018), had USB-C ports that support external displays, and I managed to connect them to similar devices in the past using these cables. Ugee representative assured me that it actually works, and that you don’t need Ugee’s own USB-C cable. So I ordered a Phone Planet cable that supports 10 GB/S, only to discover that the USB-C port on the Ugee U1200 only supports thin USB-C cable ends (because the USB-C ports are inside an alcove). I was like “What a pain!!!”. For the sake of testing the cable, I actually disassembled the display & connected the cable, and it worked! It would be better if the cable actually plugged in without the need to disassembly. I will personally try to find a way to get around this later.

Remember when I talked about extending the 3-in-1 cable? I faced the same problem I did with the USB-C cable, but since I already disassembled the display, I tested extending it using a 10 GB/S extension cable (Not the Phone Planet one), and it did not work. Another way to extend the 3-in-1 cable via the HDMI & USB-A ports, and it will likely work, since I did it with other pen displays, but that’s not as a clean & elegant way as extending the USB-C part, a port I really came to appreciate when it comes to drawing pen display. One of the reasons I care about USB-C cable connectivity is that it could provide you with cheap alternative in case the 3-in-1 cable broke, and you it saves you from having to buy a proprietary cable.

To make this review comprehensive, I tried to connect a USB-C drive to the second port, and it didn’t work.

Connecting Ugee U1200 To An Android Phone

From what I can see, Ugee U1200 supports Android, and to make it work, you will need a separate power adapter for the U1200 to get power from (using the other USB-C port on the U1200), as well as a USB 3.1 port on the phone that supports DisplayPort 1.2. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a modern Android device with a suitable USB-C, so I couldn’t get to test that on my own. It would be interesting to see if it’s possible to power Ugee U1200 up using a power bank or something. If that worked, it would instantaneously turn it into a portable drawing device.

Installing The Driver & Configuring It

Now I had connected Ugee U1200 to my computer & got it going. It was time to install the driver. If you have another graphics tablet or pen display driver installed on your computer, it’s advisable you uninstall it to avoid getting into problems with Ugee’s drivers. I downloaded the latest driver from Ugee’s website (It’s the only version available if you’re curious about that). After installation, I had to tweak a few common things to get it to work properly. The first was to disable Windows Ink, since that usually gets in the way & causes issues in many drawing programs. Also, I made sure that both the driver & the drawing program are on the same elevation level (both are run as administrator or as normal user), I am throwing this one here in case you encountered some weird issues, like getting straight lines while drawing or the tablet stop responding intermittingly. I also disabled the messages that appear every time you press any of the hot keys on the pen, since I personally find them annoying. Once you adjust your settings, don’t forget to click on the OK button to ensure the settings are saved. If you didn’t do that, everything will work, but the next time you reboot or start the driver again, you will have to readjust the settings again.

If you’re a Photoshop user, you may need to restart the program for pressure sensitivity to work (in case you had it open while disabling Windows Ink or changing other settings).

The Screen

Ugee U1200 has a 11.9 inch display, making it a small pen display. The kind I would recommend if you want a pen display to take around you, or in case you want an affordable pen display to draw directly on the screen, but can’t buy some of the more expensive ones. In case you think the screen is too small to your liking, there’s a 15.6 version of it called Ugee U1600. It has identical specifications to the U1200, except for the larger screen size. I included a link to it in the affiliate buying links of this review if you’re interested in it.

The screen has anti-glare coating, so it doesn’t reflect light like the glassy screens do. This makes it better suited for outdoor use. I personally prefer this kind of screens overall. The screen has some visible texture on it. At first, this texture will give you the impression that the screen is blurry, but that’s not really the case. You may want to calibrate the colors to make it match your main screen (The color gamut of the screen is 90% NTSC (sRGB127%).

Drawing Experience

Now is the time to judge Ugee U1200 as a drawing pen display. For a starter, let’s start by talking about the drawing surface. Because of the texture on it, you feel some friction when you drag the pen on it while drawing, but it still feels smooth to a degree. This is the kind of friction I call smooth friction. It’s a term I use to describe drawing on surfaces that are smooth, yet has some friction to make drawing easier & more accurate. If I am to try to describe it accurately, I will say I feel 60% friction 40% smoothness whenever I drag the pen on it.

To quickly go through the main specifications, Ugee U1200 supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. It also supports ±60 levels of tilt sensitivity. Pressure sensitivity tends to be one of the things drawing devices do well, so I was expecting it to be good here. It’s the other aspect of the drawing experience, and particularly the IAF that I tend to worry about. IAF stands for “Initial Activation Force”, or the amount of pressure you need to apply for strokes to appear, which can make or break a graphics tablet in my opinion. The IAF in the U1200 is considered good. You will need to press slightly for the strokes to appear. You can’t lightly drag the pen over the display & expect strokes to appear just from the weight of the pen. If you used similar pen displays from companies like Huion, XP-Pen or the others, then you will know what I mean. Some artists may not like this, and would rather have the strokes appear from the slightest amount of pressure. Other than that, you get used to it after around 10 minutes of drawing, since the IAF is low enough for that. The only time I found it problematic is when I drew in quick strokes. The strokes looked very good, but I found it harder to control where they start, which could cause the lines to appear disconnected sometimes. Drawing the flicks a bit slower made things a bit easier.

Here is how the quick strokes looked like:-

I quickly tested the tilt sensitivity using a Photoshop brush that supports it, and it worked too.

For more information about pressure sensitivity, you can check my dedicated article about it here

Here’s a quick drawing I did of my Lolita Caramel character, Lolita de Calémia:-

Since the 3-in-1 cable is thin, it’s possible to move it around it around as long as the cable length allows. Just make sure the USB-C end of the 3-in-1 cable is firmly inserted, or else the screen will turn off for few seconds every time you move it.

As expected, there was a parallax that’s noticeable while you draw (Parallax is an issue where the cursor on the screen appears slightly away from where you place the pen on the display). It’s minimal at the center of the screen, but very noticeable around the edges. If Ugee U1200 is your first pen display, you will be quite confused about it, but you will likely get used to it after some time. I don’t count having parallax like this an issue, since it’s so common even in the more expensive pen displays. Very few devices like the iPad Pro offer a parallax-free drawing experience anyway.

You can read more about Parallax here:- What is parallax? And is it really bad in a pen display like Cintiq or Kamvas?

The small screen size didn’t annoy me one a bit. Maybe that’s because I already draw on a 9.7-Inch iPad pro, which is the smallest drawing device I have. But I will tell you this out of caution, if you think the screen is too small for you, go for the larger model. You can always draw on part of the screen in case it turned out larger than you need, but you can’t do that on a smaller screen.

Overall, giving the decent drawing experience with Ugee U1200, I consider making it the pen display I take with me whenever I travel. Instead of the Huion Kamvas GT-156HDV2 I have (a very decent pen display, if you could ignore the terrible 3-in-1 cable, which is the only option you could use with it).

There are no hot keys to program here, so you will have to use a keyboard to enter your shortcuts. Some artists prefer that, but I usually prefer to have the option for when I do some light drawing. Having them can be also a good opportunity to try them out if never had a drawing device with them.

Tablet Mode

Ugee U1200 supports tablet mode, which makes it work just like a regular graphics tablet. To enter that mode, simply press & hold the power button for 3 seconds, and the screen will turn black, while power led will alternate between blue & yellow, indicating that the tablet mode is on. After that, simply draw with it just like a regular graphics tablet. To exit from the tablet mode, just press & hold the power button again for 3 seconds, and you will return to the pen display mode.

The PH12 Pen

Ugee U1200 comes with the PH12 pen. The pen has the two standard buttons on the side, which you can program in the driver settings. The buttons are kinda flush with the pen itself, so they are not the easiest to press, but are very usable. I may also attach some foam pieces to make them even better. The pen is battery-free, meaning that you won’t need a battery or to recharge it to make it work, which is convenient. I noticed that became the norm in Graphics Tablet & Pen Displays in the recent years.

The pen has an eraser at the back, so you could erase with it just like a regular pencil. If you came from the world of traditional art, then you will appreciate having this feature. Although I find that compared to using a shortcut key, it takes time to flip the pen every time you want to erase, specially if you do that a lot. The driver software gives you the ability to customize the eraser function if you want it to do something else, which works better for moi.

The pen comes with 10 spare nibs in case the nib wore down & you needed to switch it out. It also comes with a nibs remover tool for that purpose. You can also buy a pack of 20 nibs from Ugee’s website if you needed more.

You can read generation information about nibs & how much they last here:- How much Wacom nibs lasts? And how to make your graphics tablet nibs last longer

You can buy & the check the price of Ugee U1200 from the following affiliate links:-
Ugee U1200 :-
Buy Ugee U1200 From Ugee Official Store
#CommissionsEarned

Ugee U1600:-
Buy Ugee U1600 From Ugee Official Store
#CommissionsEarned

And Finally

For an affordable pen display, I find Ugee U1200 to be pleasant to draw with. It may not be the best option ever, but it’s quite decent for the price. I say as long as you don’t require low IAF & don’t mind drawing on a small screen, then it can be a good option for you.

I hope you liked my Ugee U1200 review, and see you again in another review.

You can buy & the check the price of Ugee U1200 from the following affiliate links:-
Ugee U1200 :-
Buy Ugee U1200 From Ugee Official Store
#CommissionsEarned

Ugee U1600:-
Buy Ugee U1600 From Ugee Official Store
#CommissionsEarned

See Also:-

SweetMonia
I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

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