parblo a610 tablet
Parblo A610 tablet

Review: Parblo A610 10″x6″ Graphics Tablet

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If you’re looking for a cheap mid-level drawing tablet that compares to a smaller Intuos Pro then you’ll be thrilled with the Parblo A610. It comes with a large drawing area, 8 shortcut keys, a three-command stylus pen and it runs solely off USB power.

Traveling with a tablet can be a pain in the butt. Since the A610 only needs one cable it’s much lighter and more compact to plug in from any location.

And since the price is cheap this might be the perfect drawing tablet for a beginner who’s just getting started with digital drawing/painting. I’ll share my experiences with the A610 giving you a full overview of the product specs, handling, and pros/cons when compared to similar tablets.

Overview

My favorite thing about the A610 is the sleek drawing pad design. Everything feels very natural when moving the stylus over the surface. It gives the sense that you’re in control at all times, which is definitely a good thing for non-display drawing tablets.

The drawing pad is 10” wide by 6” tall but the entire tablet is a bit larger. In full the tablet measures 16” wide by 11” tall. It weighs about 3lbs which is not too shabby for this size tablet(the Intuos Pro weighs 2.2lbs so it’s within the same range).

parblo a610 tablet design

Drawing sensitivity is on the higher side with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. This metric is important and 2048 is a great number. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a mid-level tablet.

Another metric I consider is the report rate measured in RPS(reports per second). This measures how many “signals” are passed through the USB port every second to relay where the stylus is positioned. The Parblo A610 runs at 230 RPS which is definitely good. Anything above 200 RPS is generally preferred for drawing tablets.

Power consumption is low and I’m able to get a couple hours of drawing on my Dell Inspiron laptop without needing to recharge my battery.

Since everything is powered by USB you may be concerned that this might limit your movement. But the provided USB cable is very long. It measures just under 5 feet which should be more than enough room for any laptop or desktop configuration.

Also the stylus operates without battery replacements. Whenever the stylus is getting low on power it’ll flash a red light on the side of the pen. You’ll also notice your marks will drop off in quality when the battery dips below 10%.

To recharge the pen you simply plug it into the USB cable connected to your computer. Couldn’t be easier!

This particular model comes with eight replacement nibs for the stylus. It also comes with a small dusting brush you can use to clean the surface and remove particles, sort of like the square cloth accessories they sell for cleaning monitors.

Here’s a list of everything you get in the box:

  • Parblo A610 tablet
  • Stylus drawing pen
  • Replacement nibs(x8)
  • USB cable
  • Drivers CD
  • Installation manual
  • Anti-fouling glove
  • Cleaning brush

For the price this A610 offers some of the best specs on the market. You also get an anti-fouling glove absolutely free which will keep the tablet’s surface clear of sweat and natural oils.

package contents a610 parblo tablet

I was immediately impressed when taking this tablet out of the box. It feels small yet sturdy. It’s portable but not so light that you’re afraid of breaking it.

Also the pressure sensitivity is incredible. If this is your first very tablet you’ll be starting with a quality design and luxurious responsiveness at a fraction of the cost.

Device Setup

The setup should be very easy if you have a CD drive. The A610 comes with a drivers CD containing drivers for both Windows and Mac OS X. But Win10 users should be very cautious about this device.

I installed mine on a Windows 7 machine but other users have reported lots of problems with Windows 10. I don’t use Win10 and I never plan to, so I can’t really comment on these problems.

But if you are using Win10 I will advise to use caution before purchasing. You may not be able to get this up and running on Win10 until Parblo releases new stable drivers.

This actually isn’t surprising because the A610 webpage only lists support for Windows XP, Vista, and Win7/Win8. This includes 32-bit and 64-bit systems but does not explicitly state support for Windows 10.

Some users have had trouble with sensitivity dropping after 10-30 minutes of use. Others have had issues with specific programs like PaintTool SAI and GIMP. But the single common factor for all these complaints is the Windows 10 operating system.

It’s fair to blame Parblo for this oversight. If their drivers don’t support Windows 10 it should be labeled as such. But it’s strange how the Parblo drivers page has Win10 listed as being fully supported.

Since I don’t have first-hand experience with Win10 I can’t state anything. But based on others experiences I would avoid this tablet if you’re using a Win10 machine.

However OS X users can get it working on v10.5 or higher so that should be no problem.

On my Win7 machine I just popped in the drivers CD, followed the instructions and was good to go in minutes.

Unfortunately the installation manual is written in very poor English, so I didn’t even bother following those directions. It leads me to believe the Parblo support staff may not be much help either.

If you’re not super technical then you may have a tough installation process. It’s generally recommended that you uninstall other tablet drivers before installing the new one. This way you won’t get any conflicting driver issues.

Getting this to work may genuinely be a struggle. I personally had no problems. This is the case with some users, yet others have had difficulty getting this setup and working properly.

The Parblo A610 is great for the price but may not be worth the hassle if you’re tech-illiterate. In this scenario I’d recommend a stable alternative like the Wacom Intuos Pro, although it would cost a considerable amount more.

If you’re willing to give it a shot the A610 is honestly great once you get it working. Parblo does have a contact page if you run into issues, but the page is flimsy with information. You may not even get a response which could be frustrating for first time users.

My overall thoughts on the setup process are that this tablet can go either way. Some people have major issues, others get through the setup no problem.

parblo a610 artsy tablet

Top Features

Ultimately I’m thrilled with the quality of pressure sensitivity and pen recognition. It’s very easy to make small, medium, and large lines by alternating pressure points on the tablet.

Adjusting the sensitivity requires fiddling around in the control panel but it’s not too hard. The manual shows you how to do this but the instructions are not written in proper English.

I also really like the look and feel of the tablet. Having a full set of 8 hotkeys is glorious. Since you can pick this up for a bargain it feels like the hotkeys are a huge bonus.

The stylus also has three buttons which can be tied to commands for pen/mouse mode and drawing/eraser mode(among other settings).

Battery life is great even when you’re not plugged in. I got just about 2 hours of continuous drawing on my Inspiron which isn’t known for long battery life. I’d imagine this could run for 3-4 hours or more on a beastly MacBook Pro.

The A610 is one of the cheapest portable tablets you’ll find. Although it does measure fairly wide, it’s not heavy at all. You can definitely fit this in with a laptop bag and bring it with you for drawing on-the-go.

In the package you’ll get a few goodies, some more common than others. The eight replacement nibs are fairly standard for most tablets. The anti-fouling glove is also relatively common. But the cleaning cloth isn’t something I’ve seen before. It’s made of very nice material and it’s a nice bonus to have lying around the house.

When you put together the pressure sensitivity, the high-quality stylus, default hotkeys and the handful of extra goodies this seems like a surefire deal.

Downsides

Obviously the first negative I have to mention is the installation & driver support. This device works great once you get it installed. But some people simply cannot get it working. And what good is a non-functional tablet?

Windows 10 users might want to steer clear of this entirely. While the drivers page does say it supports Windows 10, user experiences seem to differ greatly.

If Win10 users are looking for a similar tablet I’d recommend the Ugee M708. This has many of the same specs and it’s basically the same tablet under a different name. I’m not certain if the M708 drivers are compatible with the A610, but it’s something to keep in mind.

What seems to happen is that Win10 users can get the drivers installed successfully. The tablet is fully calibrated and seems to work for a bit, then just craps out. I don’t think this is a technical issue because it seems like a software/driver issue.

Again I did not have any problems on my Win7 machine. But this issue may be risky enough to push away all Windows users completely. Not to mention the customer support page looks incredibly generic and sleezy. Plus the user manual is written in broken English so you may not be able to rely on customer support at all.

The shoddy drivers and poor Parblo support are the two largest complaints I have about this device. If you end up having issues with the A610 outside of the return window you may be out of luck. I don’t know of any manufacturer’s warranty so if you get this and can’t return it then it may be money down the drain.

However if you can get it working this tablet will definitely be a pleasure. Ultimately it’s up to you if the A610 is worth the risk.

parblo a610 tablet

To Summarize

Everything physically about the Parblo A610 tablet is glorious. The 8 hotkey buttons are easy to press and easy to program on your computer. The stylus has its own buttons for hotkeys too. It’s battery-free so the pen is lightweight and pressure sensitivity is fantastic.

Windows 10 users should probably avoid this altogether and go with an alternative like the Intuos Pro. It would cost a lot more but it’s guaranteed to work and will give you even better features in pressure sensitivity and hotkeys.

Another cheap alternative that’s highly recommended is the Huion H610. It’s not much more than the A610 and it comes with a similar sized drawing pad, side hotkeys, and an anti-fouling glove.

I would only recommend the Parblo A610 to artists who are somewhat technically savvy. You may get lucky and have no trouble with the installation. However it may require a good deal of effort to get this working, and you’re unlikely to get any help from Parblo with the setup.

For the price you definitely get a lot of higher-end features if you can get it working properly. But the old adage “you get what you pay for” seems to ring true for the A610. Certainly a fun tablet to use but it may not be the best choice for everyone.