UGEE UE12 PLUS
| Drawing Monitor / Pen Display | Full HD 1080p | 11.9″ | 147% sRGB |
UGEE UE12 PLUS, the newest drawing monitor/pen display from UGEE.
The UGEE UE12 PLUS is the upper class model of the brand new UE12 series.
These new models are the very first drawing monitors from UGEE including express-keys; a smart move from the brand to offer a more professional product line capable of challenging mainstream competitors.
The UGEE UE12 PLUS joins the market with remarkably capable specs but with affordable price.
We will see during out UGEE UE12 PLUS review how this budget-friendly pen display performs.
The UGEE UE12 PLUS is available in 2 color variants: black color and orange color.
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UGEE UE12 PLUS Review
Tests & Scores
UGEE UE12 PLUS Scores
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ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING
The unit comes inside a box containing inside:
• Digital pen
• USB-C to USB-C cable
• USB-A to USB-C cable
• Nib extractor
• 10 extra nibs
The UGEE UE12 PLUS has a nice modern design with many aesthetic design details across the case, giving it a more polished feel.
As we mentioned during the intro, the UGEE UE12 PLUS are the very first drawing monitor from the brand to come with express keys; these buttons are placed on the left section of the device. In total you will find 8 buttons and a dial/wheel – on the top edge there are 3 additional buttons that are not express keys but correspond to the power and brightness buttons.
The general design of the UGEE UE12 PLUS makes use of a bit too much of bezel space (a typical issue seen on the design of pen displays), which makes the drawing monitor bigger that it could had been if it had slimmer bezels.
On the other hand, the full lamination and quality of the screen allows a truly seamless integration with the case and overall device. As a matter of fact, until you turn on the screen you will not recognize where the display finishes and where the non-screen space starts.
On the bottom edge of the case you might have noticed a UGEE logo on a fabric loop, this is a functional piece that acts a pen holder to transport the unit without risking of forgetting the pen.
The bottom of the case is equipped with large silicone-alike rubberized strips/feet that provide a solid, slippery-free placement on any surface.
The exact dimensions of the UGEE UE12 PLUS are: 224 x 355 x 12 mm.
The display of the UGEE UE12 PLUS is an IPS type that has a resolution of 1080p, running at 60Hz with a diagonal size of 11.9 inches.
Regarding color gamut and coverage, the UGEE UE12 PLUS is able to offer a whopping 147% coverage of sRGB. Despite the very affordable price, the UE12 PLUS also offer the possibility to switch the color space of it’s display (including sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 and user customized), a feature that is not even seen on many premium drawing monitors. This feature also made a major difference when we were calibrating the display to match our main editing monitor; and offered better color-matching and visual coherence than every other pen display that we have tested so far.
Contrast and saturation of colors were pristinely delivered and reproduced by the display while the definition of fonts, shapes and elements were always sharp without showing fuzziness.
Moreover, from our tests we noticed that the angle of visibility was remarkably good without showing significant loss of contrast nor color variation, at any given angle.
The finish of the screen has a paper-alike feel but the textured intensity is less pronounced as other pen displays that we have tested, allowing a smoother flow of your pen which we also noticed that resulted in a faster pen tracing and general use.
On top of that, the screen has an anti-glare design that does an excellent job keeping away light sources and reflections, thus not interfering with the visibility on the display; while the max. brightness of 200 cd/㎡ (and contrast ratio of 1000:1) is able to combat strong lit rooms.
The pen used on the UGEE UE12 PLUS uses EMR technology that allows it to work without any batteries, therefore resulting a very light-weighted kind of pen (also, the body is entirely made of plastic). The pen offers both pen pressure and tilt sensitivity.
The pen is equipped with 2 buttons that come pre-configured as “E/B” and “right mouse click” (you can remap them via software)
Having a cylindrical shape all across the pen without ergonomic curves or rubberized sections, the UGEE pen might be less “pro” shape-wise but the pen hides beneath a more advanced and sensitive sensor that doubles the standards in all mid and pro-level graphic monitors; reaching a whopping 16.384 pressure sensitivity levels – also the slimmer design makes it easier to transport.
By the shape of the back end of the pen you might think that this is an eraser but it is not, this back end has no function.
Unfortunately, the 2 buttons of the pen are a bit too flat and lack sufficient tactile feedback for our taste, mostly if you compare it with other pens that we have tested.
Most of the smaller graphic pen displays on the market have a multi-cable design that results in a complete mess and the need of a power supply connected to a wall outlet. These design flaws completely obliterate the purpose of getting a smaller model over a bigger one, which is supposed to be portability and ease of use for an artist on-the-go. With the UGEE UE12 PLUS, the brand offers a transport-friendly graphic pen display with a single USB-C cable connection that takes care of both power and I/O communication making it a true portable drawing monitor – and without sacrificing neither usability nor performance.
Moreover, the cables of the UGEE have angled connectors on the cable end and recessed ports on the drawing monitor – both design elements that oddly is not that easy to find on most other competitors.
An important note on the single USB-C connection, you have to have a modern PC/Mac that can provide video signal and sufficient power through the USB-C connection as to work on a single cable. If your computer cannot provide sufficient power and video signal on the USB port, then you will need to buy and plug the 3-in-1 cable connection. To use with a smartphone/tablet that support video out through USB you have to connect both USB cables, the main to the phone and the 2nd USB-C cable to a USB power outlet – this applies to smartphones and tablets, as their USB-C connector does not provide the needed power to feed and run the drawing monitor.
The UGEE UE12 PLUS has some details that make it seem more like a high-tier drawing monitor than a budget-friendly one. For example, one of these fine-details are the express-keys design that have a different shape and top design to make them differentiable without having to look at them – you will find 4 rounded buttons, 4 divided in 2 halved pill-alike ones where the left half has a concave top while the right ones have a convex top shape. The only detail left out is that the dial has the space and perfect design to have a central button but this section is not a button in this case – this is usually a button placement many drawing monitors to allow a quick switch of the function of the dial; nonetheless, you can remap any of the other 8 buttons to do this function (we did it as a permanent remapping on the K5 button)
The incorporation of these 8 uniquely designed buttons and the addition of a dial/wheel provides a great advantage over models without express keys or with equally shaped ones.
Moreover, all the keys are placed in a symmetrical vertical alignment that allows a smooth transition into a fully rotated use for left-handed people – even better, the UE12 PLUS will automatically remap the express keys in a coherent way that matches the orientation setting.
Graphics design students and enthusiasts that have a limited desktop space will find a great companion with the UGEE UE12 PLUS without having to sacrifice performance nor high-quality specs.
The UGEE UE12 PLUS is simply the best drawing monitor that we have tested so far for mobile portable use thanks to the single USB connection that can power and enable the device.
Combined with the smaller 12 inches and express keys (including a dial) you get a full package with excellent portability and usability.
As with any drawing monitor below 16 inches 4K or 20 inches, for professional commercial photographers that need pin point precision tracing and detecting very small particles such as dust spots or dead pixels, a 12 inches 1080p display will not make it the simplest task. On the other hand, you can always use your bigger 4K monitor to double check or make use of the zoom/pan options to search for these minuscule details.
For general purpose photographers, hobbyists or even professional photographer on-the-go, the UGEE UE12 PLUS offers outstanding specs and performance like:
• Wide color gamut coverage
• Color spaces switching
• Precise pen performance
• No messy multi-cable connection
DRAWING / SKETCHING / 3D DESIGN
The UGEE UE12 PLUS has every feature and spec to be a superior drawing monitor for sketching and 3D design on a compact and affordable package.
In fact, many of the tech-specs offered by this smaller but powerful pen display are not even offered by more pro-grade and bigger models from other competitors.
If you work around 1920×1080 videos, the UGEE UE12 PLUS can be a proficient companion to ease up your workflow or even as a extending secondary monitor without taking too much of the (already crammed) space of video editors and music composers.
OFFICE / NOTE TAKING
The smaller/slimmer form factor, single USB connection and excellent display clarity can make the UGEE UE12 PLUS a well-crafted pen display for note taking.
Pressure & Tilt
With the surprisingly 16K pressure levels and 60 degrees of tilt, the UGEE UE12 PLUS was packed with an unexpectedly pro-level feature, hidden below a cheap retail price.
When tested, both pressure and tilt were immediately recognized and available to use on every major compatible graphic, photo, video and sketching software that we tested; no need to fiddle and struggle with complicated settings or manual intervention were needed – resulting in a more user-friendly and plug & play experience than with other competitors.
Throughout our tests, we noticed that the pressure response was much more responsive and sensitive than all other models that we have reviewed so far. For our type of use we had to either use one of the “slower” pressure preset curves or to customize to be less sensitive on low pressure.
As with every other pen display/drawing monitor and even graphic tablet, some visible lag can be perceived if you slide around the screen like a maniac but in real life scenario, this lag does not affect neither the use nor the naturalness of the workflow.
With a physical ruler with found a slight amount of jitter that was only present on steep diagonal tracing lines but to be honest the amount was marginal and will not be noticed by most users – as you can see (or not see) from our tests images in this review. As a drawing monitor aimed for new users and not for high-caliber engineers/architects, the amount of jitter and situations where it shows is negligible for hobbyists or artists entering the pen display world.
With straight horizontal lines and on every other situation besides the ruler/diagonal combo, the UE12 PLUS was perfectly clean and free of any jitter traces.
Tracking / Parallax
Inline with the results of most other tests in our review, the UGEE UE12 PLUS exceled in the tracking and parallax department without any issue at all regarding precision or misalignment – even at the most extreme edges of the screen the UE12 PLUS was impeccable with tracking.
In fact, the tracking/parallax performance of the UGEE UE12 PLUS was even better than nearly all other pen displays/drawing monitors that we have tested and did not need any type of manual calibration to achieve this level of precision.
Tests of pressure, jitter, delay, parallax, opacity with pressure and tilt
In comparison to the GAOMON PD1161, the UGEE UE12 PLUS makes the GAOMON look dated in both design, aesthetics, hot-keys, screen lamination, parallax and, mostly, over the single USB-C connection design that ditches the mess of multi-cable connectivity.
When compared to Microsoft Surface Pro notebook/tablets and Apple iPad, the UGEE vastly surpasses Microsoft’s and Apple’s precision, smoothness and overall working experience. Also as you can see from the photos, the UGEE has complete anti-glare control while the Surface Pro and the Apple iPad act almost like mirrors to all reflections and light sources.
The UGEE software looks and feel much better finished and rich-featured than what we have seen from other competitors, with easier access to options and configuration details.
Among the better implemented software settings we found:
• 7 pressure curve presets fine-tailored by UGEE to access a quick customization of your pressure settings or as starting point to fine tune it
• Dedicated switches to activate/deactivate Pen Pressure, Tilt and Windows Ink on the fly (also the option to switch to mouse mode in the same way)
• Basic access to quick display calibration, color temperature and brightness/contrast
• Selection of monitor pen work area by monitor or assignable by a portion of a specific area on either the main monitor or on the UGEE drawing monitor
• Status messages on-display for pen’s function switch when pressing a button and when switching the mode of the dial – and unlike what was seen on VEIKK models, the UGEE shows you the messages on the current monitor were you are working on
Also as any mid and upper-tier drawing monitor, all express keys are remappable and the full customization of the unit can be saved independent profiles per software/app.
Dedicated drivers are available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux covering .deb and .rpm distros.
UGEE UE12 PLUS Pen Display Technical Specifications
11.9 inch (263.2*148.1mm)
Color Space Switch
Support (sRGB/Adobe RGB/DCI-P3)
1920 x 1080
200 cd/㎡ (typ.)
224 x 355 x 12 mm
USB-C*2 (the all-in-one USB-C port and the 3-in-1 USB-C port)
Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.10 or later, Android 9.0 or later (USB3.1 DP1.2), Chrome OS 88 or later, Harmony 2 or later, and Linux
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