The excellent Ugee 1910b pen tablet monitor arrived at the weekend, with nice quick shipping from Amazon UK and an even nicer £50 discount. Installed on Windows 8.1, which offers excellent support for a dual monitor setup.
Here’s my “quickstart” advice, learned from experience:
1) uninstall all previous tablet drivers, after which a Windows Explorer search for anything with the word ‘wacom’ in may throw up some left-overs;
2) use something like the free IconRestorer to save (and later restore) your desktop layout;
3) follow the Ugee manual‘s cable plug-in order and setup instructions exactly;
4) in Windows Control Panel, go: Display | Adjust Resolution. Switch the main desktop back to its normal resolution. Choose “Extend these displays” | OK;
5) launch the Ugee driver settings from its new taskbar icon. “Monitor mapping” tells the system which monitor you want the pen to work with, so set that to “Monitor 2”;
6) pick the graphics software you want to use on the Ugee (SketchUp Pro 8 is perfect), and drop a shortcut to it onto the Windows taskbar, and do the same for the Windows On-Screen Keyboard;
7) install the free Dual Monitor Tools and use it to prevent your mouse cursor slipping off the right-hand edge and onto the Ugee screen (Cursor | General | Default | Cursor Movement Between Screens Is Sticky);
8) the $7 shareware JoytoKey can turn an old videogame controller, such as a wired USB XBox controller, into a configurable mini-keyboard with keyboard shortcuts mapped to it. Also look at the free standalone RadialMenu.
9) you probably won’t need to mess with the pen tracking and colour settings setup in the hardware, they’re pretty much optimised “out of the box”.
10) you may need to ‘pass’ (slide) your target software window over to the Ugee screen, but it seems this only needs to be done once. (Though Photoshop CC and later all have a persistent un-fixed bug where Photoshop ‘forgets’ which monitor it is supposed to launch on. This can be cured with a work-around — by not having a full-screen window for Photoshop on your pen monitor, but rather a ‘very nearly’ full-screen window that is still free-floating).
It takes a while to set up correctly, but the Ugee 1910d is fine and works as stated if it is set up correctly. A very nice piece of kit, considering it was only £300.
A note on the pens: it’s important set up the pen-pressure in your software so that you don’t need to press on too hard with the pens. The pens are precision instruments, not pile-drivers. After a while too much very firm pressure or jabbing may cause the tiny magnetic-ceramic bead that the nib tip moves up and down (inside a magnetic coil, up inside the pen) to get stuck up in ‘clicked’ mode. [Symptoms and partial solution here]. The same problem may arise after dropping them, especially if they go tip-downward onto a hard floor. If they’re likely to be dropped or knocked out of their holder, try to keep the pen holder behind the monitor. Personally, I made a simple pen leash for mine.