Morris Wang, the man behind Yiynova tablets
Most people, like myself, wonder about Yiynova as a company. Do they have my best interest at heart? Who are they? Are they a company worth investing in? What experience do they have in the monitor tablet arena?
These are all valid questions. In a world that’s dominated by the Wacom monopoly, it’s great to know that there are alternatives out there. It’s also helpful to learn more about our new choices for tablet monitors, like Yiynova.
I bought the MSP19U model last year. So far I’ve been impressed with the tablet monitor and how engaged Yiynova is with it’s users. The company thrives on user feedback. They even donated tablets to Linux developers so that existing drivers would work with their hardware.
This month I got the chance to sit down and chat with Yiynova founder, Morris Wang. We talked about his history with monitors, how Yiynova formed, and what their plans are for 2015.
How did Yiynova start?
In the early 1980’s, I was the first generation of Taiwan monitor design engineers, starting with the Apple II black and white monitor, amber, green, and paper white. I have been deeply involved in the display industry for past 30 years from a R&D engineer to management. I was forced to become a global operation’s businessman for Proview and eventually became their president in 1997.
Subsequently in 2000, I became the president of CTX, and president of MAG in 2002—both display companies. Later in 2002, I went back to Proview as their president, consolidating MAG/CTX/Proview under one company. It was amazing to play a major role in restructuring the display industry. My focus at Proview was engineering, product development, and marketing until 2008 when I left Proview to establish my own company, “Yiynova”. Yiynova’s name is derived from our slogan, “You innovate you.”
Almost my entire life has been dedicated to thinking about what the next generation monitor should be. In 2002 I established the I-PAD name, “Internet Personal Accesses Device.” It was a thin client PC with integrated display. Apple paid 60 million USD to Proview to settle the patent issue in 2013.
Actually in 2004, Proview already developed a tablet monitor called “Visboard” which was later renamed “Yiynova” in 2008.
What do you mean when you say that you were “forced” into becoming a global operation’s businessman?
Engineers have a certain style that make it difficult for them to transition into businessmen. So, I say that I posed as a businessman. We’ve joked about it. Actually after time, it became easier to catch the product and market requirements, thinking about how to implement [changes] into the products. My engineering background has helped but I don’t really like being a businessman.
What was Yiynova’s first product?
Our first tablet monitor was the MSP19. It was a 19″ monitor that debuted in the United States in 2011. About 8 months after being on the market, the New York Times wrote an announcement and review. Ever since then, business has been growing and moving rapidly.
The MSP19 (the first model) did not use UC Logic digitizers. The later models like MSP19U use UC’s technology.
Is Yiynova rebranded UC-Logic hardware?
No, Yiynova is very good at creating monitor displays with backlight design integration. UC Logic are experts at developing digitizers. So Yiynova incorporated UC Logic’s digitizer to create an outstanding pen tablet monitor. Yiynova and UC Logic have become partners and we support each other.
Yiynova is not a big company now but we’re moving very fast, fostering connections with end users, listening intently to user requests, and responding quickly to their expectations.
Whats’s your best seller so far?
The 19″ and 22″ have been our biggest sellers. Quantity-wise, the MSP19U+ has been our top selling unit by far, accounting for 70% of our sales. The 22″ model sales are growing by the month and takes up almost the remaining 30%. We think that’s because the user feedback has been very strong for the 22″, encouraging sales.
What’s the relationship between The Panda City, Yiynova USA, Yiynova EU, Yiynova Japan, Yiynova Taiwan, Yiynova CSA, Yiynova CIS, and Yiynova SEA .
They are all my direct subsidiaries, processing internet sales and customer support to end users, providing the highest standard of service.
Yiynova stock is spread globally to these subsidiaries for fast delivery, service, and the collection of user feedback.
What is Yiynova’s marketing strategy?
Our main marketing relies on professional user reviews. Many users demo our products and relay their experience throughout online artist communities—from blogs or Facebook to YouTube…
We are still a small company, and we think that word of mouth is essential. The subsidiaries have their own Facebook, Twitter, and other social media options to help get the word out. Some territories partner with artists to create work. It all depends on each individual territory.
What’s different about Yiynova?
All Yiynova products start from new concept designs—a very simplistic and stable pen-drawing monitor that’s flexible and user assignable. All designs adopt the most up-to-date display technology. Designs incorporate features like high saturation LED back light technology or very low power consumption.
Yiynova is unique. We have redefined the display structure, creating a tablet monitor that’s very compact and light weight with a full glass front bezel. They are completely flat and have a slim profile with simple cable connections. All other manufacturers are using very old, traditional monitor designs with a common chassis, old toolings, and similar video boards.
Power consumption for Yiynova models are much lower than Wacom Cintiqs. The weight is much lighter. And the actual product footprint is smaller than Wacom. Based on user experience, people find Yiynova’s pen pressure to be as good as or surpass Wacom. We currently don’t have the tilt function but we are developing that as well.
I can confidently say that the monitor’s engineering and structure are better than Wacom. The wide-view angle, color saturation, resolution, and newer chipsets are all on par or better than Wacom.
Wacom touts a 2560 x 1440 pixel screen on their higher-end models. Do you think Yiynova will start adopting these higher-resolution screens sooner than later?
Yes. All of the new models have HD resolution. We’ll continue to improve the user experience.
On your website I noticed a tablet monitor (NP10D) that have a stand alone operating systems. Currently this model is not sold in the US. Are you looking to compete with the Wacom Companion?
No, combining the tablet with the PC isn’t our focus any longer. When I started the company, I introduced the 19″ all-in-one PC. Later we included pen and touch. I lost too much money in that venture because the PC changes too fast and I learned that I shouldn’t tie the hardware to the operating system. We developed the world’s first viewer touch tablet—before Apple—but I gave up combining the PC because it just changes too fast. Artist want high performance tools. Having the tablet monitor tied to the hardware narrows the user’s options for upgrading their equipment. So now, we’re solely focusing on tablet monitors because they’re the best decision for us and ultimately our users.
Are you planning to make more robust drivers for the Mac OS which include options for customization?
Yes. We’re constantly updating drivers, like Windows’ versions 8, 8.1, and now 10. There’s always something to fix or tweak. We are also working a lot on the Mac drivers. Hot key functions will be implemented and improved for both Mac and PC, making it possible for users to customize and program the hot keys they need. Tilt is something in development that we hope to include the feature in future drivers.
What products can we expect to see in 2015?
All products are moving to full digital instead of VGA. New products for 2015 will include the 13.3″ , 20″, and 27″. All products will have full HD with a wide-viewing angle. The new tablet monitors will also include a customizable hot-key remote. The remote can be placed anywhere on the screen with the use of suction cups.
The 20″ will debut in the next quarter while the 27″ will most likely be coming later in the year. The 13.3″ is the UC logic branded device. Right now both Yiynova USA and Panda City are selling the UC Logic 10″ and they will soon will have the 13.3″ available.
We have been testing the market and watching the feedback for the 10″, noting criticisms, and implementing changes for the 13.3″ model. Once the 13.3″ model is perfected, we’ll make upgrades to the current 10″ model. This is our first attempt at a batteryless pen. Eventually, we’ll be incorporating this pen into our larger models. Wacom used to be the only manufacturer with a batteryless pen and now we’re able to bring that same technology to market.
Where do you see the tablet market going?
It will grow but there will be more of an emphasis on artists rather than consumers. Pen digitizers will be incoprated in tablets, making the stylus input standard.
What would you like people to know about Yiynova?
We are a trust-worthy friend for creative artists, offering affordable outstanding tablet monitors to help create and innovate in order to realize a wonderful world.
“You innovate you.” A new you. A new world.
I have one Yiynova 22HD and I can say after one year using my monitor tablet that Yiynova is a good tablet. I hope they can improve and low prices.
Im so happy to see competition for wacom after so long being the only brand for this market. Competition is always good for the consumer, hopefully the price point for this technology finally goes down.
Go Yiynova! Incredibly excited for the new models. They’re doing great things for artists.
I look forward to seeing more products from Yiynova. It’s time that Wacom gets competition due to the fact that they have been a monopoly for far too long. Not everybody has the money to afford the expensive prices for Wacom’s products.
I totally agree. Wacom just slightly reduced the price of their 27″ model to $2,299.99. They removed the stand as a basic feature, lowering the price from $2,799. That’s less than their 24″. The stand itself is $400—making your savings $100. It looks like they’re trying to compete or at least look more appealing price-wise. I can’t remember this ever happening before in the history of Wacom. It’ll be great to see what’s to come in the next year!
That’s great news to hear about Wacom lowering their prices. It’s what the power of competition does in business, after all. Prices decrease, yet quality increases. It’s very wise of Yiynova’s founder to accept that they are best at producing tablet monitors. At least we can be assured that they will not spread themselves too thin by releasing terrible products to please everybody. I also look forward to other competitors releasing alternatives to compete with the Wacom Companion because I would really love to start drawing on the go. We are definitely living in an interesting time period for the development of new art tablets.
Can we have more accurate release dates like Summer 2015 or Fall 2015?
Hi Kysi! I spoke with Yiynova Europe last week. They are looking to have the 13″ model in June. The larger models will be out later in the year. I can ask for more details and let you know what I find. [UPDATE] Here’s what I found: 20″ this summer and 27″ Q4
Nice, I hold off till Winter.