coast22 parblo tablet

Review: Parblo Coast22 21.5″ Display Graphics Tablet

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If you’re looking for a pro-level display drawing tablet then the Parblo Coast22 is an incredible investment. The tablet is huge spanning 23.3″ wide and 21.5″ across. It’s one of the few larger tablets coupled with a battery-free pen.

If you want a tablet for making high-quality work that’ll stand the test of time then you can’t go wrong with a Coast22. It can be a pricey investment for newbies with little art experience. But even as a newbie you can build your skills and grind on this thing for years to come.

Plus you get extras like a sweet screen protector and an anti-fouling glove complements of Parblo.

Overview

You can save a lot by grabbing this over a Cintiq. The Parblo Coast22 tablet spans a lofty 23.3″ wide by 16.8″ long. Definitely a respectable size for creating professional digital art.

However compared to a Cintiq 22HD the Coast22 is actually a bit thicker. This tablet’s depth measures just over 6″ but you won’t notice while it’s seated on your desk. It’s also 15lbs which seems heavy but this is actually lighter than a Cintiq.

Everything you can do with a Cintiq is possible with this tablet. You get 178° of rotation which lets you easily draw from any angle. And the pen can even tilt as far as 45° either way and still draw with surprising accuracy. You can get pretty damn flexible!

The screen resolution measures 1920×1080 which is pretty standard for widescreen monitors. Colors are fantastic and the color settings should easily mimic your original monitor.

Some artists use this as a second or third monitor and it’s certainly large enough to fill that job.

parblo coast22 dark tablet

The back legs are very handy and they feel firm in any position. You can get a reliable tilt without worrying about breaking anything or having the legs give way to your weight.

And best of all the tablet comes with everything you need to start painting. Here’s a list of everything you get in the box:

  • Parblo Coast22 tablet
  • Battery-free pen with 6 replacement nibs
  • Pen holder
  • Power cord
  • HDMI cable
  • VGA cable
  • USB cable
  • Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter
  • Bonus goodies: lens cloth, screen protector, anti-fouling glove

With both a VGA and HDMI cable you should have no problem connecting this to any computer. Most video cards support both inputs and most laptops like MacBook pros have at least one HDMI port.

I’ve used a few battery-free pens before and this is one of the best. Parblo has great craftsmanship and while their brand may not hold a candle to the Wacom name, it’s still a trustworthy alternative in my book.

The pen does have a button to work as the right-click key instead of using your mouse. Unfortunately the tablet does not have any hotkeys but for everything else that comes with this sucker I’m pretty OK with that.

All the marks I made were incredibly accurate both in location and pressure. This offers one of the smoothest digital drawing experiences and it ranks with some the best premium graphics tablets.

I can’t say if this is better than a Wacom on drawing accuracy but I can say they’re both in the same league.

Pros

  • Huge screen that’s easy to tilt for any angle
  • Exceptional accuracy everywhere on the screen
  • Super lightweight battery-free pen with eraser
  • Comes with extra goodies like an artist’s glove and screen protector

Cons

  • Manual & help guides are hard to read
  • No default factory warranty
  • No tablet hotkeys

So with all that said let’s dive into the brief setup process and look over some pros & cons in greater detail.

Device Setup

Most installation instructions from Parblo come in broken English so they won’t help you much. But the install is super easy and it shouldn’t take you long to get everything running.

This tablet should run on every major version of Windows or Mac. You can get this working on computers ranging from WinXP to Win10. Mac users have support from OS X 10.6 and newer.

To get started run the install disc or download the drivers right from Parblo’s support page. I actually recommend downloading from the website because you’ll get the latest version.

There are separate links for the Windows and Mac drivers and they both come in a .zip file. Unzip the drivers and find whichever drivers you need(32-bit or 64-bit if applicable).

coast22 whats in the box

If you have previous Parbo drivers installed you might need to remove those before installing the Coast22 drivers. I didn’t have any issues myself but this is a common issue with many conflicting graphics tablets. Better safe than sorry.

Once you run the driver install then you should be prompted to connect your Coast22 at some point.

Make sure you plug in the power cord first just to be sure it powers on. Now when connecting the USB cable to the computer it’ll already have a power source and should work right away.

You do not need the HDMI/VGA cable until you calibrate settings, but it’s worth connecting this at the same time.

Everything else is guided by the install wizard. Once you calibrate and customize settings you should be good to go. If you have trouble you can try consulting the guide, although sadly the broken English may do more harm than good.

You can also try contacting Parblo support but they might not be much help. Thankfully the Coast22 should be one of the easiest tablets to install so you likely won’t need any support.

Top Features

There’s so many to say about this bad boy, although #1 has to be the display. It’s huge and for the price this is one of the best display tablets you can buy.

Seriously the depth of color and brightness outshine(excuse the pun) all of the competition. Except maybe Wacom. But you’ll spend a lot more money if you go that route.

The Coast22 stylus pen has an eraser, a programmable button, supports a 45° tilt in any direction and runs without batteries.

This is easily one of the better stylus’ you’ll find with any new tablet. The grip actually feels a tad awkward on first use, but over time it gets better.

coast22 back view

All the extra goodies are a big plus and they really make a difference. The glove and screen protector are both really cool. I actually had a bit of trouble with the screen protector’s surface, but it’s nothing that deterred me away from this tablet. It’s just a free extra and you don’t need to use the screen protector if you don’t like it.

Honestly the drawing experience is what really sells me on this model, as it should be with any tablet.

The setup is surprisingly simple and once you get it going there’s little-to-no adjusting needed. The display feels enormous and for the price you really are getting a premium product.

Both the stylus nib and eraser make accurate marks and feel very natural while drawing. With such a bright backlight display it’s also super easy to see what I’m doing regardless of the room’s lighting conditions.

Upon first setting up the tablet I was hesitant to try the back stand. Some tablets can’t support as much weight while drawing and I didn’t want the stand to snap closed or fall out of place.

But the Coast22 stand felt incredibly firm at all times. Even when the stand was extended very wide it still never felt like it was gonna collapse. This made drawing easy and fun from any angle.

Combine that with everything else about the drawing experience and you have one hell of a tablet.

Since it’s so large this tablet can work as a serious professional tablet for paid work in concept art, animation, illustration, or digital design. The display quality and size both feel like a Cintiq without paying the Wacom price tag.

Overall this tablet feels like a pro tablet for a mid-range budget and you’ll love the experience regardless of skill level.

coast22 angled back legs

Downsides

I can’t think of many big issues to complain about here. Yes there are small nuances that I can prattle on about, and I certainly will do so.

But let me say the positives far outweigh the negatives with this tablet. You really do get what you’re paying for and a little extra.

One thing I don’t like is the screen protector’s texture while drawing. It drags on the stylus and I feel a little constricted while drawing. This may not be the case for everyone but I had to remove the screen protector to get the most from drawing.

The actual Coast22 screen is super comfy and the anti-fouling glove makes drawing even more comfortable.

It took me a while to get used to the stylus because of how it’s built. The stylus button feels a little too big so while holding it I find myself bumping up against the button frequently. But this wasn’t a huge issue and with time the stylus grip gets much more comfortable.

If this is your very first tablet you might be surprised at how weird the stylus feels. This comes from the grip and from the fact that you’ve never used one before! But don’t fret, you’ll get over it quickly. It just takes some time to adjust.

Thankfully the stylus is totally battery-free so it doesn’t have much weight and it doesn’t force your hand anywhere.

The lack of install directions and lack of support can be frustrating for many people. This might be my largest gripe and the worst offender as a whole. But bottom line the tablet’s physical construction and behavior as a drawing medium rate an easy A+.

To Summarize

This is one of the most professional-feeling tablets I’ve seen outside of a Cintiq. I’m blown away by the screen’s depth and clarity. I also like the back stand both in quality and flexibility.

The tablet itself feels very smooth while drawing and the setup should be a breeze for any operating system. Also you can’t hate the extra Coast22 goodies like the screen cleaner, screen protector, and the anti-fouling glove.

I would highly recommend the Parblo Coast22 tablet for any artist with enough scratch to grab one. It’ll last you a long time and it’ll be a treasure for inexperienced artists as they improve and slowly learn the value of a 22″ screen.

If you’re looking for smaller version of this tablet check out the Coast10. I actually did a full review of that tablet as well if you’re looking for more details.