| Pen Display | 1080p | 15.6″ | 16K pressure sensitivity | 127% sRGB |
UGEE U1600, the largest pen display from UGEE.
The UGEE U1600 is part of the U series of pen displays from UGEE, next to the U1200 and part of the original generation before the UE12 series but still remains the only model from the brand with a screen bigger than 13″.
Spoiler alert: UGEE might promote this model under the slogan “Your very first drawing monitor”, yet our tests revealed that the UGEE U1600 looks simpler than other 15.6″ pen displays but beats up most of the competitors.
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UGEE U1600 Review
Tests & Scores
UGEE U1600 Scores
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ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING
The UGEE U1600 comes inside a large packaging with plastic protection inside.
Included with the device, you will get:
• Replacement nibs
• Nib extractor
• Cleaning cloth
• Power supply with regions adapters
• 3-in-1 cable
• USB cable extension
The rounded corners and more compact size than other pen displays in the 15.6″ category can make it a friendlier companion on smaller desk spaces.
At first sight you could easily mistaken the UGEE U1600 with an Android tablet or a 16″ PC monitor as the front of the U1600 has no single element besides the display.
As you might have already noticed, the UGEE U1600 does not have any express keys; this might be a turn off if express keys is an absolute must for you but if you have an external macro keypad or a keyboard to be used for key shortcuts, you can benefit from a smaller footprint on your pen display.
Of course, for graphic artists that are used to express keys, the U1600 will force you to operate it with an added keyboard/macro pad to the side or with a multi-button programmable mouse.
Unlike every other pen display that we have reviewed, the UGEE U1600 has a smarter design for the power button, being recessed, thus avoiding any accidental pressing of it which could result in an unintended power off of the device – as it sometimes happens with pen displays that do not have recessed power buttons.
Moreover, the cable system is well-thought being positioned on the top edge instead of the side edges and being an angled cable improves the fit and dimensions.
On top of that, the device is lighter than similar pen displays and offers 4 rubberized feet to keep it in place and slippery free.
The display of the UGEE U1600 is a full-laminated IPS with a resolution of 1080p running at 60Hz.
The screen diagonal size is 15.6″ with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, 220 cd/m2 brightness and a vast gamut coverage of 127% sRGB (94% Adobe RGB or 90% NTSC), offering excellent color reproduction, saturation and overall image quality.
The finish of the display/anti-glare film is less textured than seen on other pen displays. This gives the U1600 a different feel, where you will have a less rougher paper feel yet a bit stronger resistance to the pen sliding – these might be an aspect to consider depending on your preference for the “tracing/pen sensation” – this does not mean that the UGEE U1600 does not have a paper feel, it is just that it will be less grainy.
Most anti-glare films on pen displays apply an aggressive texture over it to also add a stronger paper feel but this has a detrimental effect over sharpness and definition due to a bit of fuzziness; the UGEE U1600, instead, has a substantial advantage here by its less textured finish and a lower effect over the loss of sharpness of the displays, resulting in more defined and less blurry image than many other pen displays.
On the other hand, we noticed that at very extreme angles there was some presence of contrast and brightness loss but at any normally used angle, the screen did not show any substantial degradation.
When comparing side by side the UGEE U1600 screen with all other 1080p 15.6″ pen displays that we have reviewed, the UGEE looks massively better with a level of sharpness that is nearer to what is seen in our 4K 43″ monitor.
As point of reference, in comparison to other pen displays, the UGEE U1600 looks so sharp that seems like a 2K display when doing an A/B live comparison with the models from GAOMON and VEIKK that we have reviewed.
Moreover, as a result of this, text and smaller details are much more pleasant to see and reproduced with higher precision while revealing finer detail that was lost on the competitors – you can easily use the U1600 as a full PC monitor replacement without adding any strain to the sight.
On top of that, the UGEE U1600 has a dedicated graphic tablet mode by holding the power button for 3 seconds (when the screen is turned on); this will turn off the display but not the device, acting as a classic graphics tablet for your main monitor.
The UGEE U1600 uses an EMR pen that works without the need of any batteries and offers both pressure and tilt sensitivity.
The pen of the UGEE U1600 might look very similar to the one of the UGEE UE12 PLUS but they are, actually, different pen models. The pen of the U1600 (UGEE PH12) has way better tactility on the 2 buttons and includes also a back pressure sensitive “rubber” – function that is not included nor seen on many pens of competitors with two and three times the price of the U1600.
The UGEE U1600 is compatible with the newest firmware upgrade that enables the groundbreaking 16K pressure sensitivity levels.
On top of that, both the main front nib/sensor and the back/rubber are both pressure sensitive and also both offer the same 16K of sensitivity levels.
On the other hand, the pen has a simple shape that is less ergonomic and lighter than on pens from some other competitors. The slimmer and lighter can be a positive feature if you are intending to use the UGEE U1600 as a portable companion to carry around with you.
For our personal taste, we do not care too much about the less ergonomic shape but we do find more important the tactility and feedback of the buttons.
The top edge of the device has 2 different USB-C connectors, the first one corresponds to the single full-featured USB-C cable that can transmit video, I/O signal and power while the 2nd USB-C connector is dedicated for the 3-in-1 cable that is used if your computer does not have a full-featured USB port that sends video signal.
If you are intending to use the device with Android smartphones/tablets you will need to use both connections by plugin in the full-featured USB-C to the phone/tablet and the 2nd 3-in-1 cable to an external USB power supply able to provide 5V 2A (only the red cable has to be connected)
This UGEE pen display can be a great ally for graphic designers looking for a graphics tablet with a superb display and color reproduction.
The level of sharpness and final image quality made the UGEE U1600 a pen display able to provide better fidelity when editing fine-detailed and quality-oriented prints and despite sharing the same size and resolution than other tested pen displays, its much better sharpness allowed our photo editors to detect tiny dust spots and dead pixels with less effort.
DRAWING / SKETCHING / 3D DESIGN
A large display, outstanding color and sharpness and excellent performance make the UGEE U1600 a perfect match for graphic artists.
The pen might not be as refined ergonomically but the added dedicated back pressure sensitive rubber will be a neat feature for artists used to draw with pencils.
The UGEE U1600 is compatible with Android devices and due to the smaller size in comparison with other 15.6″ pen displays, the U1600 can be better adapted for on-the-go use.
Even more, thanks to the single USB-C connection and superb image quality, you can use it as an external monitor for your phone/tablet for movie watching, playing games, etc.
If you can live without the express keys, the superior display image and snappy performance of the U1600 can provide video editors a nice piece of hardware to improve your daily workflow.
OFFICE / NOTE TAKING
Text, fonts, menu, UI and all smaller elements never looked better on any other 1080p pen display tested, the UGEE U1600 is far superior in this department, thus note taking and as a reading monitor will be greatly benefited by this tech advantage.
Pressure & Tilt
The 16K of the pressure levels of the sensors in the U1600 and pen offer a buttery smooth experience and much finer control of your pressure inputs.
Both tilt and pressure support were instantly enabled and trouble-free on any mainstream and popular software tested – for example from Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Suite up to Clip Studio, MediBang or Krita.
The pen display showed excellent lag control with no visible delay nor any sort of input/output lag.
Unfortunately, the U1600 did show jitter during some stress testing but was only present when tracing slow diagonal lines aided by a physical ruler.
If it wasn’t for the jitter presence, the UGEE U1600 would had performed impeccably in all 4 departments (pressure/tilt, lag, tracking/parallax and jitter)
Yet, to be fair, all except one of the many pen displays that we have reviewed so far showed issues handling jitter.
Tracking / Parallax
It is remarkable how well the U1600 handles tracking and parallax despite having a much more affordable price than other pen displays that we have tested.
In fact, this UGEE models has better parallax control than all other 15.6″ 1080p competitors that we have reviewed.
To be more precise, the UGEE U1600 has absolutely zero parallax issues right out-of-the-box without even having to do any custom calibration.
As well, tracking showed impeccable performance with pin point accuracy.
The same results were seen on the very extreme corners – resulting in even better precision than the +/-1.5mm of corner accuracy listed by its tech specs.
Examples of pressure response, tilt and jitter on diagonal lines
UGEE U1600 vs GAOMON PD156 PRO
The UGEE U1600 is significantly smaller but at the cost of no express keys.
Also, the U1600 has better sharpness and fine detail; mostly the same level of sharpness is unable to be reached by the GAOMON.
UGEE U1600 vs UGEE UE12 PLUS
The U1600 offers a vastly larger screen but without express keys like the UE12 PLUS, maybe in the near future UGEE could release a UGEE UE16 PLUS adding the excellent buttons, wheel and express keys from the UE12 PLUS.
UGEE U1600 Technical Specifications
341.0 x 191.8 mm
1920 x 1080
90% NTSC, 127% sRGB, 94% Adobe RGB
PH12 battery free stylus (with eraser)
±0.5 mm (center), ±1.5 mm (corner)
1 x full-featured USB-C, 1 x 3-in-1 USB-C
Mac OS X 10.10 (or later)
Chrome OS 88 (or later)
Android (USB3.1 DP1.2)
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