Quick Look: Veikk Studio VK1200 Graphics Tablet

Introduction

Veikk was founded in 2009 with the goal of establishing a leading presence in the field of graphics and pen-based drawing tablets. In the years since, the company has been granted over 60 patents worldwide and sells its products in over 100 countries as of today. The primary applications of its products range from productivity such as signing forms and confidential documents to creativity in the form of drawing and content creation, and even entertainment with gaming and learning alike. I have used a graphics tablet for the first set of use cases for a while now and estimate ~4-5 hours of use each week on my XP Pen Artist 12 bought with my own money. I was aware of Veikk at the time too, and always was left wondering whether I made the correct purchasing decision. As it turns out, with Veikk having provided a test sample to TechPowerUp, I do not have to guess anymore!

The image above helps illustrate what a typical graphics tablet in 2022 looks like. There are three versions in general—those without any display, those with an integrated display but no standalone computing, and those with a full-fledged operating system along with the display. These versions increase in cost as you go up the feature set, and the middle set ends up being a good balance for most people in that you effectively treat this as a second monitor but then use the pen as if it were a standalone system anyway— just one connected to the actual PC via cables. The Veikk VK1200 is the subject of this article and it has a 12″ (11.6″ really) display that acts as the active area itself. There’s a lot to unpack and go through here, so let’s begin with a look at the product specifications in the table below.

Veikk Studio VK1200 Graphics Tablet
Dimension:318 (L) x 189 (W) x 12 (H) mm
Display Type:IPS (178° viewing angle), full laminated
Display Parameters:1920×1080 resolution, 230 cd/m² max brightness, 700:1 contrast ratio, 16.7 M colors. 25ms response time
Interface:Micro HDMI + USB Type-C
Pin Parameters:Battery free, 5080 LPI resolution
Pen Pressure:8192 levels
Reading Height:10mm typical, 12mm maximum
Additional keys:six
OS Support:Windows 7 or later; Mac 10.12 or later; Linux
Warranty:18 months

Packaging and Accessories

The Veikk Studio VK1200 tablet ships in a sturdy, thick cardboard box that employs a white base allowing the design to contrast better against. On the front is the Veikk logo in a multi-color version, and then we see a render of the tablet itself with the product name at the bottom. A look from the sides reveals a two-piece construction with the top lid held in place via two large seals, and product specs are found on the back. Opening the box, we see a foam liner on the inside of the lid to add further protection to the tablet that is placed inside a wax paper wrap. A single drawing glove is found on top, and the other accessories are placed in the compartment below neatly inside a plastic blister inlay. I appreciate Veikk providing two pens in matching pen cases, and this alone makes the VK1200 stand out from its contemporaries. There is also a branded microfiber cloth to help clean the display, paperwork in the form of a driver download reminder and a quick start guide (full product manual available online here). We also get plenty of replacement pen nibs as well as a nib extraction tool itself.

There is a nib-holder base which also comes with the Veikk VK1200, and this comes with even more nibs placed in stands as seen above. The pen has a soft touch texture, is very comfortable in the hands, and has two buttons closer to the active end. It can be placed into the stand which also goes over the nib-holder itself to become a combination pen and nib holder tool. Rounding off the unboxing section are the two necessary cables to get the tablet working with one for the display in the form of a full-size HDMI to micro HDMI cable, and a USB Type-C to dual USB Type-A cable for power.

Closer Look

Having used another 11.6″ graphics tablet for weeks now, I was pleasantly surprised at how small the Veikk Studio VK1200 is! The overall dimensions are 318 (L) x 189 (W) x 12 (H) mm, and the entire thing is also built very well owing to the use of a metal casing. This compact nature is primarily the result of much smaller bezels, with the left side hosting extra buttons before we get to the active area itself that takes up 256.3 x144.2 mm of space for the promised 11.6″ (~285 mm) diagonal display size here. These buttons are effectively shortcut keys that use low profile tactile switches and are split into two sets of three each separated by a Veikk-branded spacer. I would have rather seen this be a touch pad oriented vertically, but I get that most people would rather take the smaller footprint. Veikk has a 1920×1080 resolution IPS display here in the VK1200, which is very likely a common part shared by many other such products. Indeed, the max brightness (230 cd/m²), contrast ratio (700:1), and the 25 ms response time are not going to win any awards, but are plenty fine in my books. There’s an anti-glare film pre-applied over the active area that I recommend keeping on since it will help cut down on reflections more so that removing it helping with pen pressure or display contrast.

Examining the Veikk VK1200 on the back shows the metal body in closer detail, and this provides for a sense of premium build quality and comfort over the mostly plastic body tablets in the price range this operates in. It won’t really do much practically, but never underestimate the power of the mind when it comes to such factors. There is also a gentle curve all around the sides to make it easy to hold the tablet in one hand, and Veikk also has four anti-slip rubber pads applied here for when you will have the tablet resting on a desk. There is no stand or case provided here to help raise it at the top, although Veikk does sell one for $26 as an optional accessory that you may want to strongly consider.

On the right side of the tablet is where you will see the expected Type-C and micro HDMI ports for the provided cables, and these are placed in deep insets making it hard to judge compatibility with aftermarket cables. The stock cables are a perfect fit with the housing going in snugly and having the Veikk logo facing upward for additional-but-subtle branding. Alongside are brightness up/down switches and a power button. There is a status indicator LED integrated into the power button which turns blue when the tablet is powered on and connected. Both cables have to be plugged in to get the tablet running, with the HDMI cable providing the display signal and the USB cable for data and power. You could get away with the black-colored USB Type-A cable alone but if you notice the tablet not responding properly—the display may turn off although you can still use it as a blind pad—then you will need to use the red USB connector on the daisy chain cable too. Veikk suggests using an AC mains to USB adapter but does not provide one in the box, and I found using two standard USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) ports on my laptop/PC to easily suffice.

Before I talk about using the Veikk Studio VK1200, I wanted to better illustrate how compact it really is compared to the other tablet I use in the form of the XP Pen Artist 12. In some ways I get the added space making it easier to hold the tablet, but also you are supposed to use the provided gloves anyway to rest the palms on the display itself. The active area (and display) is pretty much the same in both cases making the Veikk VK1200 easier to take along while also making it a stronger candidate to use with one hand and hold with the other.

User Experience

The Veikk website can be occasionally frustrating to navigate given the menu header bar is aggressive in coming down and covering options below, so just go directly to the downloads page linked here and type VK1200 to get the relevant drivers for your OS. Veikk recommends removing all other graphics/drawing tablet drivers off your system first, and I found the generic Windows drivers did not cause any issues. The Veikk drivers for Windows are over an year old at this point but that in itself is a non-issue given the functionality is established entirely. The install process is simple, the program takes 31 MB of space, and runs light on system resources too. Once installed, it would only show working options if the tablet is connected and powered on. Here we find remapping options for the shortcut keys that effectively make them macro keys on a keyboard, for example. There is also the expected pen calibration tool and pressure sensitivity slider, and I also appreciated the monitor settings that allows it easy to rotate the display for left-handed users, as an example. The buttons on the pen can be re-mapped too, and the display itself can be further calibrated which is very nice indeed. Note that the program needs to be running in the background for most of these changes from the default configuration.

Seen above are just two ways I use graphics tablets, and the Veikk Studio VK1200 slotted in nicely. The obvious use case is with any content editing program, with the Windows Ink compatibility allowing it to work directly with Adobe Creative Suite and Lightroom in particular. Indeed, seen above is an example of me using the tablet to edit one of the very photos that went into this article! The glove is handy to prevent palm recognition, which admittedly the tablet is very good at already, and the shortcut keys are handy too in allowing quick zooms, changing brush sizes, and also hotkeys for white balance and alignment. I set the display to duplicate my primary monitor itself and it’s large enough to allow the pen to be used for easy editing compared to, say, a mouse. It won’t replace more dedicated tools as previously covered, but is also far more universal in use. Another example is simply using the pen to take notes using calls and editing text, such as my own reviews here where I sometimes go through the draft and make comments as needed prior to publication. I also use the pen and tablet combination in online calls to draw attention to something akin to a pointer or even use a virtual whiteboard too.

The Veikk Studio VK1200 did not exhibit any noticeable latency in use, and there was also a zero-gap use between the nib and the cursor itself. These are two of the basic minimum things I look for in such devices, and having a bright and vibrant display to duplicate your monitor’s contents helps. You can also extend the display to here and have a makeshift second monitor or simply have the primary display showing something else of relevance—say if you are drawing something and want the object/inspiration to always be present. The 8000+ pressure levels worked beautifully when I tried some sketching in GIMP and Sketchup, but I will spare you the horrors of my drawing skills—or lack thereof!

There’s a lot to like here if you are in the market for a graphics tablet, not the least of which is the compact size, build quality, and good software customization too. The Veikk Studio VK1200 sells for $169.99 in the USA as of the date of this article, but do consider ponying up extra for the stand accessory too. This would make for a compelling accessory that rivals many which cost much more, including from more established brands such as Wacom and XP Pen.