If you are an illustrator who works digitally (like most these days) you have most likely been enticed by the idea of owning a tablet monitor. They allow you to actually draw, paint or vector on the actual screen you’re looking at, rather than dealing with the separation of pen and “paper” that comes with the use of the more primitive drawing tablet options without a built-in screen. One obstacle that prevents most digital artists from acquiring a tablet monitor is a simple one: price.

Wacom held the virtual monopoly on tablet monitors for what has felt like a long time, but I’m personally very excited to introduce you to Parblo, a company that is currently making tablet monitors that stand up to the quality and ease of use of Wacom’s Cintiq at a fraction of the cost.

Parblo generously donated their Coast 16 tablet monitor for us to review and the results were quite impressive.

The build quality, resolution and pen response was indistinguishable from that of a Cintiq. The Coast 16 is a 15.6″ interactive pen display with 8192 pressure sensitivity levels, a well built, sturdy feel and a matte finish to the screen that offers the artist a satisfying texture to draw or paint on.

To top it all off, the Coast 16 had a lot fewer cords to deal with than the Cintiq, making the workspace around the tablet free and clear of clutter that would otherwise get in the way of your art. It made me wonder why the Cintiq needed so many cords to connect.

In short, I would without hesitation encourage any professional or aspiring artist to consider Parblo’s Coast 16 as the main creative tool in their arsenal. At a very reasonable price of $430 USD it is shockingly more affordable than Wacom’s Cintiq (priced at $1500 USD for some reason).

Click here for more information on Parblo’s Coast 16 tablet monitor >>

(Use the above link when purchasing your Parblo product to support Illustration Age)