Windows Central Verdict
The VK2200 Pro is a suitable display for those on a tight budget, but more advanced artists may want to look for more feature-rich competition with better screen resolutions.
Out-of-the-box ease of use
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For many digital artists the opportunity to add a spacious drawing monitor to their workflow can feel like a pipe dream. Many of the more established brands of drawing monitors are costly, with some devices costing thousands of dollars. For parents who want to foster an interest in digital art in their children or hobbyists who do not intend to work on a professional scale, those prices can seem exuberant, regardless of what features are included. More competition has found its way to artists’ hands thanks to companies like Veikk, XP-Pen, and Huion creating collections of affordable devices for digital creative work.
While the market has improved significantly in recent years, budget graphics monitors that strive to be more affordable often lag behind their pricier counterparts in technology. There simply must be some give and take with amenities if these monitors are going to reach their price points. While I’ve had the pleasure of testing out several different drawing monitors, none have quite driven home the costliness of cutting corners the way the Veikk VK2200 Pro does.
Veikk VK2200 Pro: Price and availability
It is unlikely that most people will run into an affordable graphics monitor in the wild at their local brick and mortar store. Most of these pen displays and tablets, including comparable monitors by Huion and XP-Pen, can only be found via online retailers with third-party marketplace options. While Veikk does have its own website with a shop where you can purchase their products, most people are going to discover and purchase one of these monitors via Amazon or Newegg.
On the Veikk website, the VK2200 Pro will run you approximately $470 at MSRP. The initial pricing on Amazon is higher at first glance, hitting right at $500. However, Veikk’s pricing for its tablets and displays on Amazon often includes an easy-to-miss coupon checkbox that can take upwards of $60 or more from the price, which makes it significantly cheaper. This does put the Veikk VK 2200 Pro on the more affordable end of the budget monitor spectrum, but there are clearly some corners that had to be cut to make the monitor hit its budget price point.
Veikk VK2200 Pro: What’s good?
The Veikk VK2200 Pro is a 21.5-inch drawing monitor featuring a fully laminated screen and supporting up to 8,192 points of pressure sensitivity for its included input stylus. Drawing monitors are similar to touchscreen devices, but they do require a stylus instead of using touch and gesture input. They are most commonly used for digital drawing and sculpting but can also be used for note taking. It's important to note that drawing monitors are only a screen and require an external computing source such as a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet.
Unboxing the Veikk VK2200 Pro is a fairly standard, no-frills experience as the box is simply white with an image of the monitor on the front. Inside the monitor is packaged safely with Styrofoam and covered with a protective film on the screen’s surface. A small, nondescript brown box is tucked inside that includes the monitor’s pack-ins. In this box, users will find two stylus pens tucked inside felt protective cases, a USB-C to USB-C port, important documentation, a branded anti-fouling glove, an HDMI cable, and a small cloth for wiping the screen.
The Veikk VK2200 Pro is a surprisingly sleek and lightweight monitor, especially when compared to its competition. The front surface of the monitor is almost entirely smooth with no visible bezel and the entire display is just 17mm thick when excluding the attached stand. There is a collection of eight hot keys available on the left-hand side along with two radial dials that can all be customized via software. For left-handed artists, the display can be rotated 180 degrees and then adjusted via software to place the hot keys on the right-hand side. This does require removing and reorienting the attached monitor stand, however, so have a screwdriver handy.
The monitor stand that comes with the Veikk VK2200 Pro is well constructed and is very similar to what we see in comparable devices. It features a lever that can be pulled with one hand to raise or lower the monitor’s angle. A rubber grip is on either side of the stand’s bar to add stability to the device. The monitor’s lightweight nature makes it perfect for mounting to a monitor arm, which can easily be done by removing the stand with a few screws to reveal a VESA mount. There are only three connection ports on the back of the VK2200 Pro — one for HDMI, one for USB-C, and one for the power supply. The cable ports are all side mounted to prevent them from being damaged while changing the tilt of the monitor.
Two stylus pens are included with the VK2200 Pro, and the first impression is that they’re similar to what we see included with XP-Pen or Huion’s previous generations of devices. The pens reportedly support 8,192 points of pressure according to marketing materials; however, in the Veikk driver UI we were only able to reach 8,191 during testing. The difference is minor enough to not have any impact at the end of the day. The stylus pens also support tilt functionality; however, it is worth noting that in some software — namely Krita — the behavior of the cursor may not reflect tilt support even though it does work properly.
Each pen stylus is a nice matte black design with an anti-slip grip that feels comfortable to hold. There are two customizable buttons on the barrel that can be adjusted using the driver software. As fond as I am of whining about the need for a dedicated eraser button, I do feel its absence is at least reasonable here as this is a more budget-conscious device.
Prior to connecting the Veikk tablet to your computer, you will want to visit the manufacturer’s website and download the appropriate driver. The driver UI is almost as barebones as the VK2200 Pro’s packaging. There are a few different tabs for managing your device on the left-hand section of the UI. One tab contains options specifically related to the pen and allows the user to adjust the functionality of the two buttons, as well as the pressure curve. Another tab allows the user to customize the function of the hot keys and radial dials. Similar to the XP-Pen device driver, the Veikk driver allows you to set the hot key customizations to work universally or on a per-app basis.
Another tab allows you to switch between monitors in a multi-display setup, and also has options for calibrating your pen to your display. Interestingly enough, the Veikk VK2200 Pro has easily been one of the most responsive and pen-to-screen-accurate devices I’ve had the pleasure of testing out. For users who are gun shy about messing around with their pen display’s settings, the VK2200 Pro shines for its ease of use right out of the box.
Thanks to its fully laminated screen, the VK2200 Pro has very little parallax. When the user puts the pen down on a location to draw, it lends the experience a little more pen-to-paper realism if there is not a large gap caused by the screen’s glass lying over the digitizer. The anti-glare coating and texture of the laminated screen also enhance this.
Veikk VK2200 Pro: What’s not good?
While the VK2200 Pro is exceptionally snappy and accurate, the software itself does fall a bit short. When using the VK2200 Pro to illustrate in a variety of different programs, there were large streaks that would occasionally show up without any warning or reason. I’ve had this problem occur with other devices, namely the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro. This is often the result of an issue with the driver and compatibility with the drawing program you may be using and can often be resolved with a fresh install of the driver software. Unfortunately, this problem persisted regardless of multiple attempts to reinstall the driver.
In addition to the rogue lines showing up in artwork, the VK2200 Pro’s heavily textured laminated screen posed another concern. The texture is so prominent that it makes drawing on the screen feel less like smoother textured papers and more like a cold press watercolor paper. This causes deliberate, slowly drawn lines to show a large amount of pen jitter. It was surprisingly difficult to get a clear straight line with the VK2200 Pro, and even quickly put-down marks showed a good amount of pen wobble.
The VK2200 Pro’s anti-glare coating on the laminated screen does have an effect on the display depending on the user’s viewing angle. When viewing the screen after it has been lowered down, colors on the display appear duller and more muted. Meanwhile, the colors on the display are much brighter and clear when it is tilted upright. The display isn’t the only thing affected when the screen is laid down, as the menu and power buttons for the monitor are located along the bottom edge on the back of the display. This makes it almost impossible to toggle menu settings when the screen is not tilted at an angle or mounted to a third-party monitor arm.
Sadly, what may be the biggest strike against the Veikk VK2200 Pro is that the monitor’s display resolution is locked in at 1080p. A couple of years ago, one could look at a 1080p drawing monitor with a "budget" price point and consider that a reasonable deal. However, plenty of Veikk’s competitors have shown that 1440p and even 4K options are on the table and without breaking the bank.
Veikk VK2200 Pro: Competition
With only a 1080p resolution and stunted driver performance, there’s no danger of the VK2200 Pro being labeled a "budget Wacom," but the monitor can stand on its own against comparable budget-pen displays from the likes of Huion, XP-Pen, and Gaomon. As with any low-cost alternative device for high tech, there are reasonable expectations of what can and can’t be cut to fit the goal price. If you’re not particularly bothered by the 1080p resolution, a Huion Kamvas 22 can offer all the same functionality and actually comes in under the $400 budget price point after clipping a coupon on Amazon.
Veikk VK2200 Pro: Should you buy it?
Who it's for
- Artists looking to upgrade to their first pen display
- Student artist
- Artists with older computer systems that are limited to 1080p
Who it isn't for
- Professional artists
- Artists who want to work in 1440p or higher resolutions
While the VK2200 does have its shortcomings, it is only natural to expect trade-offs in functionality when creating an affordable device. Veikk’s competitors have opted to introduce 1440p and 4K screen resolutions, albeit with the trade of a smaller workspace for the screen in most situations. This does leave the VK2200 Pro to feel like it is lagging a generation behind when held up to scrutiny against other pen displays.
However, the common price range for a VK2200 Pro does put it on par with other pen displays in comparison to affordability and size. The increased color accuracy ratings of the VK2200 Pro are a clear step up from the previous release from Veikk, and it shows that they are putting in the work to improve their pen display offerings. There is hope that the driver could eventually see an overhaul, as well. The VK2200 Pro’s price point and ease of use out of the box make it an ideal device for a student or young artist who's on a tight budget and doesn’t mind fussing with the nuances of driver issues to stay within a certain price range.
The Veikk V2200 Pro is an affordable pen display that does well for its size. It has its shortcomings, but its price and ease of use make it a good choice for a student or young artist.
Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.