August 16, 2018
Do you like to draw using digital technology? There are many different digital tablets that are used for drawing. The XP-Pen tablet can plug into your computer so you can draw with it using a program on your computer. But, you can draw just with the XP-Pen without a computer if you wanted to. With so many different drawing tablets out, there are many options.
Aside from my computer and Photoshop, agraphic tabletis probably the sole piece of equipment that gets used for every single image I shoot. It plays an indispensable role in processing – specifically, for precision dodging and burning, and masking and retouching on more involved images. I’ve been a big fan of the XP-Pen Star series since 2015; every one of years or so, I have to buy a new one because I wear through the surface – that should give you an idea of just how important they are in my photography. I also use them for design work and illustration, too. My Star03 has been with me since 2015 .
I did a lot of research into tablets and displays alike, trying to determine which would best suit my needs. The use of Photoshop was my primary concern. Portability and OS compatibility were further down my list, since I didn't foresee carrying a tablet around with me all the time, and I have both a Apple and Windows based computers. I looked into the Surface Pro, iPad, and XP-Pen and ultimately went with a Artist 13.3. I won't go into pros and cons of other options here, but having used the Artist for a few months now, there are definitely things I like and dislike about it.
The XP-Pen Artist 13.3 V2 is a new 13.3-inch interactive pen display. Aimed at creative professionals working in areas such as design, art and image editing, the Artist 13 HD combines a 13.3” HD screen, slim and compact design, simple setup, an adjustable stand and an improved pen for creating directly on the screen. The new XP-Pen Artist 13.3 V2 will be available for £299.99 inhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/XP-Pen-Artist13-3-Interactive-1920x1080-Battery-free/dp/B075D7NWHV.
Boasting high quality HD resolution with advanced control and comfort, the new Artist provides an immersive experience consistent with XP-Pen’s family of interactive pen displays .Aimed at creative professionals working in areas such as design, art and image editing, it combines a 13.3” HD screen, slim and compact design, simple setup, an adjustable stand and an improved pen for creating directly on the screen. Easily integrated into any environment, the Artist 13.3 is the ideal tool to support creativity and enhance productivity, offering a natural and immersive experience.
Artist13.3 V2 Technical Specifications
Screen resolution:- Full HD 1920 X 1080.
Maximum colors for the screen:- 16.7 million.
Screen Aspect Ratio:- 16:9.
Contrast Ratio:- 800:1.
Resolution: 5080 LPI
Color Gamut:-75% Adobe RGB.
Pen Tilt Sensitivity:- ±60.
Screen viewing angle (according to XP-Pen’s website):- 178°, ±89 Horizontally, ±89° Vertically.
Comes with pro, and an additional 8 nibs inside the case.
Active drawing area- 293.76×165.24 mm.
Product Dimension:- 389.0×250.7×14 mm.
Supports precision mode, which allows you to temporarily map the whole screen to a small portion of the canvas with a press of a button, which allows you to add details more easily.
Allows you to enjoy the natural creative experience of working directly on screen.
Has a passive pen doesn’t require charging.
Pressure (8192 levels) XP-Pen P03S Pen performs like traditional brushes, pencils and markers.
Easy shortcut access with our six time-saving, customizable Express Keys .
Simple set-up to PC or Mac with 3-in-1 cable. Bear in mind that you will need an adapter for Mac.
Comfortable, compact, lightweight design.
Windows compatibility:- Compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8 & Windows 10.
Mac compatibility:- Compatible with Mac OS / Mac OS X 10.8 and above.
Superior IPS glass screen in HD quality
Perfect for professionals such as artists, graphic designers and photographers, the Artist 13.3’s best-in-class screen displays 16.7m colours to ensure life-like colour quality. In addition, the wide-format HD LED display offers a wide viewing angle of 178° and a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels that is particularly beneficial for handling intricate graphics.Some artists prefer higher resolution to draw with, but that can make the icons smaller in some programs.
With the same level of pressure sensitivity 8192 Levels and 6 ExpressKeys . artists, designers, photographers and creators of all kinds can immerse themselves in the pen display's 1920x1080 pixel canvas to work intuitively, naturally and efficiently across 16.7 million colors.
The screen is so responsive. And there is a little chance you will feel any lag while drawing with it. Kudos for XP-Pen for that. The screen is bright it looks sharp and good.
Oddly though, I found drawing on the screen itself very odd – not just for the above reasons – but because my hand would often block the area I was working on. There’s still some distance between pen tip and cursor – the pressure sensitive layer has to go somewhere – and this does hamper precision slightly. I admit it felt a bit more natural to use the tablet in the normal way, The good news is that the Artist13.3 can be used both directly as a display/tablet combo – i.e. as primary display, where your pen position corresponds directly to the screen – or in the same way as the non-display tablets, where the area maps to your primary display, but the screen itself remains active and can continue to be used as a secondary display for things that don’t require pressure sensitivity – your email window, for instance.
The full Artist13.3 Usage experience
As with all XP-Pen interactive pen displays, theArtist 13.3 Graphics Drawing Monitorenables users to create directly on the screen for an immersive and seamless process that feels natural and saves time.
The new and improved cordless and battery-free P03S Pen offers advanced pen performance, superior comfort, precision and control. With 8,192 levels of pressure and tilt sensitivity, it is perfect for precision work and is ergonomically designed. The Artist 13.3 comes with a convenient case to securely store the P03S Pen and everything else an artist needs at their fingertips including spare nibs.
The more pressure sensitivity a tablet has, the more variation of pressure you could apply with the pen, which can allow to quickly draw thin or think lines, or transparent & opaque lines, depending on how much pressure you apply with the pen.Pressure sensitivity is what allows you to vary the width or opacity of your lines by applying more pressure on the tablet surface.
Offers great accuracy and is very responsive, with no lag at all. It is more accurate than any regular graphics tablet you will ever get. The same can be said about all pen displays in general.
The 6 Hot Express Keys
The Artist 13.3 offers six fully customizable ExpressKeys , users can take complete command of their favorite software by hand and by pen simultaneously.Making use of these shortcuts can save valuable time by minimising keyboard dependency.
Capable of connecting to both Mac and PC computers, users can make the most of all of their favorite software, including the Adobe Creative Suite, Manga Studio5/Clip Studio Paint, Autodesk's SketchBook Pro, Corel Painter, Pixologic's ZBrush and more.
A Versatile 3 in 1 Cable
Do you like tangled cords in your carrying case, or the narrow portability bottleneck of setting up cords? Me neither, that’s why I like the Artist 3 in 1 cable.
I’ve been struck by the urge to draw on a long commute many times, but given up due to the hassle required to even get started.
Since wireless connection is unfortunately not yet a viable option for this kind of tablet, XP-Pen tackle this issue with a clever 3 in 1 cable that handles all video and power through one slot.The USB type-C is the only cable that's connected to the pen display. The whole setup is quite clean.
There are 3 cables you have to attach to the XP-Pen Artist 13.3. USB, HDMI and Power cables. The Artist comes with a 3-in-1 cable than contains all the 3. Which makes it more convenient. But keep in mind that sometimes one of these 3 cables can gets wobbly. Which causes the screen to go all black for you. So you better be careful with that if you placed this Artist on your lap.
The XP-Pen Artist 13.3 is compatible with both Windows & Mac. If you are a Mac user, you will need to get a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable to be able to use the Artist. Or whatever is compatible with your Mac. As some older Macs comes with a mini display port instead of Thunderbolt. In that case. Mini display port to HDMI adapter will be offered by free costs.
Bear in mind that XP-Pen Artist13.3 doesn’t come with a stand. I don’t think that’s a deal breaker for many artists, you can buy XP-Pen’s stand, buy a 3rd party stand, or make your own.
Produst warranty is defined as how long the drawing tablet lasts. This is important to the product because artists want a tablet that will last a long time. The XP-Pen Artist 13.3 has a limited warranty of 1 years .
With the driver, you can change the pressure sensitivity, assign functions to the side and physical shortcut buttons, calibrate the screen to compensate for parallax offset and switch to left-handed mode if you want to.
When you're using it for the first time, there's going to be parallax. The glass is close to the screen but there's still a distance. There's parallax so you'll definitely want to calibrate the screen.
There isn't much difference between Windows and Mac drivers except that with the Windows driver, you can change the pressure curve but the Mac driver uses a pressure slider dial.
If you use dual monitors, the driver also allows you to click a button to switch between monitors to use.
My testing involved using the Artist as a second display and as a working tablet. It's a nice display but smaller than a usual desktop. Screen resolutions are limited to 1080p, 720p and 1600x1200. Default is 1080p which is nearly illegible for my eyes. I've set mine to 1600x1200 and it's ok, 720p makes a Photoshop an exercise in moving around so that doesn't work for me. I would prefer more resolution choices than are offered.
That stand is also quite annoying if you don't get the screen positioned just right, tending to fall over a lot. The price of portability I guess.
As a tablet the Artist 13.3 works very well. I found it gritty at first but more use smooths the nib out and it now rides smoothly. I got used to working on big displays so I have had to relearn zoom and move keystrokes in Photoshop to move around on images. The big deal for me is the ability to engage the pressure sensitivity as a brush function and this worked flawlessly. I was able to control filters and masks not just by drawing but also handle flow rate and such using just pen pressure. Just like you should be able to do.
If you are an illustrator or graphic artist of any sort, I think you’re going to love theXP-Pen Artist 13.3 Drawing Pen Display tabletunconditionally – unless you need a much larger monitor. If you’re a photographer and need a decent monitor and a tablet, and don’t mind the relatively small area, then you’ll love it, too. If you’re a photographer on the go, you’ll appreciate the added screen real estate and tablet-in-one; just make sure you don’t forget any of the cables or doodads, or the thing will be useless. If you’re used to a big screen…this is where I have trouble: you have to think very carefully about whether you can either live with working off a small screen for the draw-direct effect, or find a use for an extra display when you use the tablet area mapped to your primary.
In case you don’t want touch, or want to save few bucks and get the Artist series for cheaper, it may worth it to get this Artist 13.3 model. like the 8192 level of pressure sensitivity, the HD screen, the 3-to-1 cable. And the P03S Pen with 8 replacement nibs.XP-Pen Artist13.3 is one of the most affordable Cintiq alternatives out there, price-wise. It’s really a good choice if you’re cash-strapped, as long as you don’t mind drawing on a smaller screen .
Technology is just a tool, and we have to be updated with it, it is very easy to become obsolete in no time within this times, but…..without skills, knowledge and craft, they are just merely tools.
July 25, 2018
This time I want to share my experience with the display tablet XP-Pen Artist 15.6.
I bought this some weeks ago and I had some time to try it and here is my review!
The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 is a display tablet. This means you can directly draw on the display! This is cool, because I found it quite hard to draw on a tablet while looking at the display of the laptop.
This one only costs £399.99 onhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/XP-Pen-Artist15-6-1920x1080-Graphics-Battery-free/dp/B0785682VPcurrently.
Product Dimension: 443 x 280 x 12.6 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Active Area: 11.8 x 7.5 inches, 15.6 inch diagonal
Resolution: FHD 1920 x 1080 (16:9 ratio)
Display Type: IPS
Pen Type: Battery-free
Pen Buttons: 2 side buttons, no eraser
Pen Tilt Sensitivity: None
Expresskeys: 6 buttons
Pen Pressure: 8192 levels
Resolution: 5080 LPI
Display Color Gamut: 75% Adobe RGB
Visual Angle: 178°
Power Output: 5V DC, 2A (max)
Power Input: 100 to 240VAC, 50/60Hz
Other features: Can display 4K content dithered to 1080p.
1x Pen display
1x Passive pen
1x Pen Stand
1x 3 in 1 Cable
1x CD drive
1x Quick Guide
8x Replacement Pen Nibs
1x Cleaning Cloth
1x Anti-fouling Drawing Glove
1 x HDMI to Mac Adapter Cable
XP-Pen is an artist specific company which only makes artist supplies such as tablets and light pads. They are the only Wacom alternative that I have come across which offers battery-free pens consistently for all their graphic tablets. Not all of their drawing monitors use battery-free pens though.
-XP-Pen is fairly established company alongside Huion, so they are quite trustworthy.
-Their graphic tablets are all quite good and the "age” of each tablet is fairly easy to figure out as they are named in order from oldest to newest (ex. Star 03 is older than Star 04).
-Their drawing monitors are all quite respectable, but I have heard that the monitor colours are not very well calibrated out-of-the-box.
-XP-Pen is currently the only company which offers company-developed Linux drivers (still in beta testing). Wacom’s Linux drivers are community-developed, and are not actually official drivers, so XP-Pen is the first to do this.
Is XP-Pen worth looking at for drawing monitors?
Here is how the packing looks like:
When opening it, I was so surprised about all the accessoirs inside! There's nothing missing: You get a glove, a tissue, a lot of cables and adapters!
And there's already a matte screen protector on it.
I didn't find it hard to put all cables together. There is an instruction inside and if everything fails, there are many videos on Youtube.
It's great that the tablet has a USB-C connection and if your PC gives it enough power, you don't need an external power source! This means it can be quite portable!
Important: Please deinstall all old drivers (e.g. from Wacom) before installing the most current one from the XP-Pen website.
And mind that the resolution of the display tablet is the same as your display from your PC. In my case, it's 1920 x 1080.
After installing the driver and putting all together, you can adjust the tablet like the pressure sensitivity and the express keys.
Now my workplace looks like this:
Mind that there is NO stand included! But it doesn't matter because I simply bought a cheap one from Amazon. You can use any stand for a 17 inch laptop.
The pen is made of plastic, has a triangle shape and has a light weight. It can't roll away on the table.
It has 2 adjustable keys like you know from Wacom and like the Wacom one, it's a passive pen. It means you don't have to charge it ever!
Compared to Wacom's pens, it has no rubber grip and it's slimmer. Honestly, I loved the one from Wacom, but well... it's a matter of taste.
Have a comparing picture:
But the most important thing is: It works!
You can draw well on the XP-Pen Artist 15.6.
I use it with Clip Studio Paint and Paint Tool Sai and both work very smooth!
With over 8000 levels of pressure sensitivity you can work properly!
I found out that I have to put more pressure on the pen to make visible strokes or use a bigger brush, although I put it on "soft" in the settings. But it's not bad to me.
And I also noticed a slight parallax because of the thickness of the display. That's the distance between the tip of the pen and where the cursor is. The parallax is around 1mm which is not much. But you have to get used to it.
With callibration you can minimize it.
The matte screen protector is practical and good it's already on the display. We all know how hard it is to put a screen protector without any bubbles and dust! ^^;
For many artists, a matte protector is good because it is anti-glare and you get a paperlike feeling. However, because of its texture it eats the nibs quite fast!
I personally prefer clear ones, but this is also a matter of taste.
The screen colours on this tablet do not come calibrated, so I suggest that you run Windows Colour Calibration a few times to manually calibrate it, or use a colorimeter. I used a ColorMunki Display with DisplayCal to calibrate mine.
To change the monitor colours through the monitor settings, you have to go to the Color tab in the monitor settings, click Color Temperature, and scroll down to User and select that. Otherwise, the individual RGB adjustment sliders are greyed out and not adjustable. You could probably just use the sRGB mode in the monitor settings if you can’t be bothered to try calibrating it.
Turning on Gamma in the monitor settings also helps to improve the colours on screen. Gamma was turned off by default when I received it.
I mentioned this in the "How good is this tablet?” section before, but the IPS screen is not as good as it could be on the XP-Pen Artist 15.6.
The selling point of an IPS screen is that you can view the exact same colours from all viewing angles. The colours on screen should look the same whether you look at the screen from directly in front or from the side.
However, theXP-Pen Artist 15.6 Drawing Monitorscreen colours look washed out when you move your head to view the screen from fairly shallow angles despite being an IPS screen. You can see the colours getting washed out in the photo above.
I can certainly understand why it’s not perfect considering it was released around 2+ years ago, but for artists I would suggest a proper all-angle IPS screen for accurate colour reproduction, so this tablet somewhat fails in that regard.
Disregarding the somewhat aged viewing angles, this tablet has a decent colour gamut of around 92% sRGB and 70% Adobe RGB using DisplayCal and a ColorMunki colorimeter. Nothing particularly special, but certainly nothing to scoff at either.
Overall, the screen quality is not bad, but it feels like the age of this tablet is starting to show with the subpar viewing angles. Certainly use-able, but not ideal.
The tablet drivers are pretty easy to install. Just go download the latest version from xp-pen.com and remove all other tablet drivers you have on your computer before installing it.
Once you install the drivers, an icon should automatically appear in your System Tray which looks like the above. You can access the tablet settings by clicking on that. (The System Tray is the area on the taskbar by the clock.)
If the installer doesn’t automatically prompt you to restart your computer after the drivers are installed, I recommend that you do anyways to allow the Windows files to properly integrate into your system.
In the Info tab, you have the option to hide the icon in the system tray and turn on/off Digital Ink (also known as Windows Ink).
If you accidentally hide the icon, you can find the tablet settings by searching for tablet settings, or looking for the tablet settings in the Control Panel.
The Digital Ink option is usually best left off, but certain programs such as Photoshop need it turned on for pen pressure to work. If your pen pressure isn’t working in a program, the first thing to try is turning on/off the Digital Ink option.
In the Monitor Setting tab, you choose which monitor your tablet is mapped to. That’s all.
In the Button tab, you can choose which functions your pen buttons are mapped to and the speed of double clicks.
Unfortunately, the buttons cannot be mapped to anything aside from right, left, middle mouse click, and the pen/eraser toggle.
In the Pressure tab, you can change the lightness or hardness of the pen pressure and test it.
The pen pressure starts at the lightest it can be though, so you can only increase the pen pressure to require heavier presses. I had no problems with the default light setting.
In the Calibration tab, you can calibrate the cursor using 4-point or 9-point calibration.
I personally do not see the point of calibrating the cursor on a drawing monitor as I find it is simplest to understand where the cursor will be by keeping the default machine calibration, in other words, cursor 90 degrees directly under the pen.
When you calibrate the cursor, you are basically forcing yourself to only be able to work with your head in a single spot so that the cursor appears directly under the pen from that angle. If you move your head even a little bit and look from a different angle, the cursor will no longer be where you expect it to be.
On the other hand, if you get used to the default machine calibration, you can draw the same no matter where your head is in front of the screen because the location of the cursor is constant in relation to the pen.
Overall, the drivers for the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 are quite basic, but they have everything you would need for drawing on the tablet.
The drawing experience!
The drawing experience on this tablet was quite good for a tablet that was released 2+ years ago. Drawing on a smooth glass screen was not a bad experience at all, and the pen input as well as the pen pressure were smooth and predictable.
I only truly test my tablets on Clip Studio Paint because that’s all I use. You should contact XP-Pen support directly if you want to know if the tablet is compatible with the drawing program you use, but most major drawing programs should be compatible. Their customer support is also very kind so there’s no need to be afraid of contacting them directly.
You can see an extremely slight wobble in the lines I drew with a ruler on the testing page. The wobble is extremely minimal so it shouldn’t have an effect on your drawing. The pen pressure is extremely smooth as well.
There were no problems regarding the tablets performance at all.
Regarding the temperature of the tablet, no parts of the screen become even close to unbearably warm. The bottom middle area becomes slightly warm compared to the rest of the screen, but that is all.
There were no problems regarding extended use of the tablet.
Another issue I had with the tablet was that FHD resolution of 1920x1080p actually looks kind of pixelated on a 15.6-inch monitor. FHD resolution is fine on a normal 15.6-inch monitor because your face is actually quite far from the screen while typing/working/gaming. However, on a drawing monitor, your face gets really close to the screen so the pixels become quite apparent, especially on a super clear glass screen with no texture like on the XP-Pen Artist 15.6.
The reason that this was never a problem with the Wacom Cintiq 22HD (which also has FHD resolution on a 22-inch screen) is because of the texture and how it blurs the actual screen below it. Because of the blur, no one sees the pixelation in the first place so no one complains about FHD resolution being too low for the Cintiq 15.6s 15.6-inch screen!
Overall, I couldn’t actually find an issue about the drawing during my drawing.
To sum it up, there are following pros (+) and cons (-):
+ the unbeatable price of £399.99.
+ almost 16 inches, which is a good size to draw on
+ feels like it has a good quality
+ so much accessoirs like adapter, glove, tissue,...
+ Full HD resolution 1920 x 1080
+ 8192 levels of pressure sensivity
+ passive pen that doesn't need batteries or charging
+ if your PC gives enough power, you don't need an external power source
+ light and compact device
+ 6 adjustable express keys on the device and 2 on the pen
There also are things, which I don't directly consider as cons, but you have to be aware of them before buying:
- pen is light and feels a bit "cheap" compared to a Wacom pen
- slight parallax of 1mm, can be corrected by callibration, but is still there
- Sometimes the pen doesn't react on the edged below (e.g. at the task bar) immediatly. Then you have to put the pen away from the edge and then it works again.
- The matte screen protector eats the nibs so fast!! Luckily, you can buy extra nibs quite cheap.
- different colors on theXP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display tablet monitorthan on my laptop monitor, needs a bit callibration
- no included stand, but you can buy from any other brand
- NO pen tilt
- NO eraser on the pen
- just one year warranty
But all in all, you get a solid drawing device for a fair price!
I personally like this display tablet because either I can live with the cons or I don't miss them.
I didn't use a Wacom Cintiq long enough for a proper comparison, but regarding the price difference, I would have compared apples with pears.
In my opinion, this is a good drawing device for hobby or semi-professional artists! Since I'm no professional artist, I don't know if it would match their expectations.
But I also wouldn't spend over $2000 for such a gadget.
The support is nice and helpful. I contacted them before because I was afraid of getting the same experience with a bad support again. But they are very nice and understanding!
Maybe there is no "Wow" feeling like when I first touched a Wacom Cintiq, but this is a matter of mind, I guess. You don't need an expensive tool to make great art, please remember!
In the end, it's the artist behind the device or tools!
I hope, this review helps a bit!
July 10, 2018
A drawing tablet, also known as a graphics tablet, uses a pen or stylus to translate your strokes from the tablet to your computer screen with an incredible degree of precision. It’s much more natural and comfortable to use than a mouse or touchpad, whether you want to paint, illustrate, animate in 3D, create a comic, or retouch photos.
I don’t recommend pro tablets—like an iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface Pro—or graphics tablets with a screen—such as the XP-Pen Cintiq—for beginners because they’re prohibitively expensive. If you’re dipping your toes into digital art, you should try an affordable graphics tablet first to see if it meets your needs.
What do you use it for? productivity!!
This is a question that I get asked all the time when I’m telling people about XP-Pen tablets. It’s generally accepted and understood that pen tablets are great for photo editing, but many people seem surprised that I use the tablet for everything, even just browsing the internet! When you first get a tablet like this there’s a definite learning curve that lasts a day or two, but after that, the pen just feels like a faster and more natural way to move a mouse pointer around a screen. Obviously brush-based editing in Photoshop or Lightroom is much more accurate and natural with a pen tablet, but even working through all the sliders in photo editing interfaces feels more nuanced and much, much faster. It’s hard to quantify these kinds of time savings, but I’m confident in saying that everything I do with a XP-Pen tablet is faster than doing it with a mouse or laptop trackpad. If I ever have to work without one, everything just feels glacial by comparison.
The other major thing that helps with productivity is the application-based ExpressKeys on the side of the drawing area. You can set these to have global functions, or you can set them to be different for every application you use. Many people quickly customize them for use with major programs like Photoshop, but I also set up keys for things like Google Chrome and my favourite writing app, Scrivener. If you decide to get yourself an DECO 02, do yourself a favour and set aside an hour or two in your first few days to do some major customization to the ExpressKeys and the Touch Ring, it will improve your workflow immensely.
The DECO 02 tablet has superior build quality , high precision and accuracy .The DECO 02 has 8 Express Keys down the its side, and a nifty touch wheel. Its workspace is 10 x 6.25 inches. It’s only about a quarter-inch thick. It works with Mac, PC, and Linux/Ubuntu. You can use wireless mice and keyboards with this tablet. The resolution is 5080 lines per inch. The battery-free, rechargeable pen has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.
A larger, cheaper option for beginners .It sells for £109.99 , FREE Delivery in the UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/XP-PEN-Graphics-Drawing-Shortcut-Pressure/dp/B07D6MNGY3.
Large Tablet size:
Like choosing a monitor or a laptop, choosing a drawing tablet size depends on your preferences and needs. Small graphics tablets, like the XP-Pen Intuos Draw, are about the size of a mousepad (6-by-4-inch active area) and highly portable. They can fit beside your keyboard and can function as a trackpad if the tablet supports multitouch—Dickey mentions that many designers use only their tablet and ditch the mouse completely.
Medium (8-by-5-inch) and large (10-by-6-inch) drawing tablets are about as wide as a keyboard without a numberpad, so they’re better suited for dedicated graphics work.The active area is where you draw, and it’s mapped exactly to your display. That means if you click on the bottom left of the tablet, the cursor will jump to the bottom left of your screen. No matter what size your monitor is, when you move the pen on the tablet from the left edge to the right, it will move the cursor from the leftmost edge of your screen to the rightmost edge—even if you have multiple displays.
The smaller the active area, the less your hand must move to manipulate the cursor on the screen. This can mean less arm fatigue, but when working on large (or multiple) displays you may need to zoom in to work with fine details or map the active area to a portion of the screen. If you’re used to making large strokes or prefer to work fullscreen on a monitor larger than 20 inches, a larger tablet might be for you.
If you need more drawing space because you prefer making large strokes, or if you work full-screen on a monitor (or monitors) larger than 20 inches, the XP-Pen DECO 02 is the best large tablet you can get for less than $150. It has a 10 x 5.63 inch active drawing area.
Pen, Pen Functionality & Pressure Sensitivity
The XP-Pen DECO 02, uses the new Pen P06. It has a great ergonomical design that feels light in the hand. It has two programable buttons on the pen shaft and the typical eraser on the back.
It’s very responsive and allows for ease of use when doing detail work. The DECO 02 and the Pen P06 work together using EMR technology (Electromagnetic Resonance), which means the display is the active digitizer and the pen is the passive part. This is a good thing, despite some people suggesting AES is better, because here, the pen doesn’t need to be charged, it’s lighter, less expensive to replace, and unlike AES systems there is no delay in inputs so it feels immediate and natural. EMR jitter is also not a problem with this combination.
All of our experts agreed that the most important feature is pressure sensitivity. The higher the pressure sensitivity, the better you can control line weight (how thick and opaque lines are based on how hard you press down on the tablet with the pen).
The new Pro also boasts 8192 pressure levels compare to the outgoing model’s 8192, which is far more than you’ll need, and for retouching work you’d be a minority if you could really tell the difference. For 99% of photographers, the 1024 levels found in lower-end tablets of 4 years ago are fine. Animators and digital painters and so on may find this a welcome benefit though.
You may also notice that the pen base and stand has also be reworked. It’s weighted, and like the last generation, it houses the extra nibs which come in a variety of options.
Surface & Touch
The surface is mappable; you can decide how much of the tablet you want the pen to work on. The surface has a grip to it that eases drawing. It is hard plastic, not rubbery like the Wacom Bamboo. It feels not quite as slippery as glass, more like thick, smooth paper.
The surface of thisDECO 02 Painting Drawing Pen Graphics Tabletis hard plastic, less prone to scratching than Wacom Intuos, partly because the pen nibs are rounded. If you are getting scratches it may depend how you are holding the pen, some people "sharpen” nibs as they draw. It also of course depends how much pressure you apply.
Most graphic artists I know like more drag and feedback and most photographers I know like them really smooth. You can even buy a clear overlay if you want a totally smooth feeling without inputting the time to wear down the surface – and your nibs while you’re at it.
Personally, I prefer a really slick surface so I tape down a plastic transparency sheet on top of my tablet, cut to the size of how I mapped my surface. My nibs also don't wear down that way. I can retouch as fast as humanly possible without any of the drag. To me, it saves time and that brings in more $.
Accuracy and Resolution
But the accuracy of the tablet surface and the pen do feel noticeably better than the last generation, and reverting back makes it all the more obvious . This is perhaps due to a myriad of things, like the re-worked pen being slimmer, and better performance of the edge coils sending their signal back to the digitizer. But beyond that there’s the matter of resolution.
Resolution determines how many lines you can draw per inch (lpi), which translates to how much detail you can draw in the tablet’s active area.
While ‘resolution’ isn’t something we typically associate with a device without a screen, it exists in a manner of speaking. In regards to tablets, it refers to the number of lines that can be drawn per inch (LPI) on the active area, and on the XP-Pen DECO 02 it’s about 5,080 versus the 2,540 of other smaller ones.
Customizability | Express Keys
Like the outgoing model, the Express Key and Wheel orientation is a major plus compared to lower-end models, if for no other reason than if just makes sense. Some other tablets have the buttons on the top of the tablet which tends to require breaking a stream of actions in order to activate them, but a hand can be dedicated to hover over the keys on the pro without any interference of the active tablet area. And that’s either a right or left hand, because the location of the keys allows the tablet to be flipped for use by both right handed people and southpaws. Again, something that cannot be done with the others.
Suffice to say, having the buttons and wheel here just make sense of movement, as you set the buttons to an appropriate selection and then it’s just go, go, go.
There are 6 buttons to be depressed and 2 on the Pen, and lightly touching the keys but not pressing them will bring up a translucent screen that will show you what it does, if you like. But of course the touch wheel can be configured many different ways to control brush size to cycling layers, and then there’s the option of setting up a Radial menu for even more functionality.
The level to which this tablet can be customized is truly vast, and in time it tends to evolve, so it’s great that it allows the space to do so. And you can do it all from the preferences menu, in which you can make different set-ups for different applications. I’ll use something different for Photoshop, Capture One, Lightroom, and Affinity.
Driver stability, program compatibility, and input lag:
The driver affects how well the drawing tablet works with your computer, It’s super-important.Before installing the drivers, you should disable any other XP-Pen drivers and mouse drivers, then the XP-Pen, then restart. Turn off Internet and don’t turn it on again until after the tablet is connected and working, or else the computer’s plug and play driver may automatically be installed. Plug the tablet into the USB port of your computer only after you boot up the computer.
You should install as Administrator. Shut off any antivirus programs. If you’re reinstalling, delete the old drivers. Make sure to download XP-Pen’s customized driver directly from their site. Install it before plugging your tablet in for the first time.
I downloaded the latest driver on XP-Pen's website .With the tablet driver, you can change things like keyboard shortcuts to the buttons on the tablet and stylus, pressure sensitivity and mapping area of the tablet (best left at default).
The drawing tablet XP-PEN Deco 02 supports Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS versions 10.8 and above. Also compatible with many major designer software such as Photoshop, SAI, Painter, Illustrator, Clip Studio, and more.
Thinner, Lighter, and Stronger
Another size change is how thin it has become. It's about 9mm thick and more compact. It feels much lighter as well. You’ll notice with said cable that this time around XP-Pen has gone for a USB-C type port, but it does supply cables that are backwards compatible for computers without that port type. This contributes to the slimness of the device,One issue people had on the previous tablet was the connector not being resilient. The USB-C connector is really strong and doesn't budge at all. It doesn't wiggle and isn't as prone to breaking or having connection issues.
I don’t have a number of hours for battery life, but you won’t run out of juice after a full day of editing.The base also has those rubber strips at the bottom that let the tablet sit with a clean stance. It hasn't moved much no matter how aggressive I use it. I can also tell in the long run, it won't wear out easily.
Drawing experience is great.The drawing surface is around 10-by-5.63-inch size but slightly wider because it's designed for wide-screen monitors. The drawing surface is matte and when the nib is on it, there's a tactile feel to it, again very similar to XP-Pen stylus on their own tablets.
The 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity works well. The stylus is very sensitive. Strokes taper well. Basically, the stylus works as expected, except when it comes to certain applications . There's no tilt sensitivity though.
AXP-Pen DECO 02 digital graphic drawing tabletfor Mac ... is an essential item for anyone that enjoys the experience of editing their photos, or simply has to edit them in large volumes. Show off your creative abilities with the DECO 02 tablet. Compatible with your favourite creative software programs, this wireless touch tablet lets you draw, sketch, edit photos and more with the natural comfort of a pen.
The tablet is definitely very affordable when compared to Wacom Intuos Pro. The drawing surface is large and that's a comfortable size to draw on. It's priced under £120. For XP-Pen Intuos at this size (medium), they usually sell for twice the amount.
June 07, 2018
The professional-grade XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro ( £609.99 direct) carries on the company's tradition of offering the best PC- and Mac-based drawing surfaces on the planet. It's ideal for professional illustrators, cartoonists, graphic designers, and artists who prefer to sketch directly on the screen, instead of drawing on a gray tablet and having to look at a separate display while working.
The Artist 22E Pro as our Editors' Choice for interactive pen displays, thanks in part to the 22E Pro's improved LED-backlit display and wide-aspect ratio, but mainly because there's still nothing quite like a XP-Pen Artist display.
If someone was to ask me "what’s the best cheap graphics tablet in the world?” I would say "I don’t know for sure…but the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro comes pretty darn close!”
Technically I suppose it’s not really a graphics tablet, but more of a hybrid drawing pad, canvas, computer and art studio all rolled into one. Whatever it is, it’s stonkingly good!
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro 21.5 inch is a state-of-the-art sophisticated piece of equipment designed to maximize your productivity and make creating digital art easier. Boasting a large display, pen-tilt recognition, and proficient levels of pen-pressure sensitivity, the Artist 22E Pro is designed with the user experience in mind. With intuitive ExpressKeys and Touch Strips for easy shortcuts and multi-touch gestures to view your images from all angles, it’s a powerhouse in the industry.
Higher Price Point
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro 21.5 inch clocks in at the higher end of the price spectrum, but don’t let that deter you. Countless Amazon reviews have lauded the efficiency and reliability of the Artist 22E Pro and noted that while the initial sticker price shock was a little off putting, the results were fantastic. If you’re serious about your graphic art, this might be the product for you. You can find the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro in United Kingdom athttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Graphics-Drawing-Artist22E-Pressure-Sensitivity/dp/B07CP1LMHJ.
ExpressKeys, Touch Strips, and Radial Menu
Well, the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro has a solution. This model has 16 ExpressKeys that you can program to direct your keyboard shortcuts and modifiers that you use most often. That way, you’ll avoid having to stop your work entirely to perform a function. ExpressKeys are a godsend for people working on strict deadlines.
You can keep the keys you use most often right on the screen for super-easy access. In addition to ExpressKeys, the Artist 22E Pro comes equipped with Touch Strips and Touch Strip toggle buttons that allow you to zoom and scroll seamlessly. Both systems are specifically set up to increase productivity and enhance the end-user experience.
While the 21.5-inch screen of the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch is certainly the main attraction, the bezel isn't there just for show. In fact, the bezel features numerous ExpressKeys that can improve productivity.
For both the left and the right side of the bezel, there are 2 sets of 4 ExpressKeys and one ExpressKey between them. That's 9 ExpressKeys on each side, for a total of 18 ExpressKeys. This allows you to set a variety of options and hotkeys. You can also set various hotkeys and shortcuts for a specific application (remember that button in the top right labeled with an "i"? Press that). Located behind the ExpressKeys, on either side, are the touch strips. The touch strips allow you to zoom in and out with precision. Also, the middle ExpressKey acts as a toggle for the touch strips, providing you with the ability to change their function, such as from auto-scrolling to cycling layers.
While not a physical button, the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch gives you an option for a radial menu. By default, if you press three fingers on the screen at the same time, you'll get a circular menu with a variety of options. You'll be able to customize the radial menu in the XP-Pen Tablet Properties menu to fit your needs.
Widescreen Display to Accommodate All Your Applications
TheXP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Pen Display Tablet21.5 inch comes with a widescreen 21.5-inch HD display, perfect for viewing applications and programs with extensive menus. When you’re working with applications like Photoshop, Maya or Zbrush, their huge expanding menus can be unreachable on smaller screens, a constant bugbear of mine when using them on a laptop. With the Artist 22E Pro however, you won’t miss any part of the menu or application and you won’t need to scroll constantly to access the tools you need.
Previous Artist models had notably smaller screens, and became a common complaint among users, namely that although the interface was excellent, the screen was just too small. Thankfully XP-Pen has addressed the issue and this model fixes the problem.
All popular illustration, photography, design and animation applications should be easily operative from the Artist 22E Pro.
The 21.5-inch HD screen is also an ideal place on which to view the evolution of your creative work. It renders 16.7 million colours and is super sharp and crisp.
Full HD 21.5-Inch H-IPS Display
With a 16:9 aspect ratio and Full HD 1920 x 1080 native resolution, the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch can display up to 16.7 million colors. Since the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch supports a variety of inclines, the viewing angle of the display has to be considered. Fortunately, the H-IPS display supports up to 178° (89°/89° for both horizontal and vertical). The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch is not a stand-alone tablet, and requires a connection to your Mac or PC computer. For video, you'll need to connect the 29-pin DVI-I connector to your computer, while an additional USB connection is required if you want to take advantage of the multi-touch capabilities of the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch.
The display features industry-standard color presets, such the default 4000K whitepoint. The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch also has a 77％-82％ Adobe RGB color gamut.
However, the Artist 22E Pro does not have multi-touch capabilities and relies mostly on pen input. The Artist 24HD is also a pen-input-only display from XP-Pen, but it offers a larger 24.1" screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 1920 x 1080 native resolution. The 1920 x 1080 native resolution on the Artist 24HD offers more height, giving you an extra 120 lines of vertical pixels, making it ideal for multimedia applications, such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
Adjusts for a Workspace that Fits your Body
Ergonomic workspaces are increasingly important these days and for good reason! We’ve learned that everyone works differently and in order to be effective and productive, we must discover our best working position. The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro 21.5 inch is extremely versatile in this regard in that it can move and recline as an easel would and rotate to match the way you draw – in other words, it moves, not you.
The Artist 22E Pro comes with modifying options that further customize your workspace and adapt it to your specific needs. You can purchase an articulating arm to further enhance the span of movement, or simply lay it flat on your desk if that’s your preferred method of working.
A VESA-compatible desk stand is pre-installed and it’s easy to raise or lower the angle of the display to suit your preferences. Because of the compact size of the display, I found myself cradling the Artist 22E Pro in my lap rather than leaving it on the desk. If I were to keep it permanently, I would probably remove the Artist 22E Pro’s fixed stand so I could use it more comfortably on my lap.its unique design allows improved angles for both viewing as well as utilizing the multi-touch and pen input.
With or without the stand installed, the Artist 22E Pro is pretty heavyweight. Three cables for power, video and pen all connect along the left side. While this is preferable to connections along the bottom of the display that tend to get caught and tangled with the stand, the protruding connectors are a little unsightly and might come undone if you work with the display off the desk.
Calibration and edge accuracy were excellent out of the box. I didn’t have to change a thing to reach any corner targets. Parallax is also minimal while looking down at the display. From the side, the distance between the pen tip andthe cursor is no more than 1/16-inch, and I didn’t have any issues compensating for it.
The hard pen nibs tend to squeak a little bit against the glass. Fortunately, the supplied matte screen protector dulls the squeaks and provides a velvety drawing surface.
The screen protector itself is an overlay that attaches to the top edge of the display. This is very easy to apply and avoids unwanted bubbles and blemishes.
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro 21.5 inch is priced around £609.99 with the option to make monthly payments of $70 per month (if you buy directly from XP-Pen). The lofty price tag might give you pause, but this is top-of-the-line technology and the perks outweigh the negatives. If you’re serious about graphic design and taking your career to the next level, the Artist 22E Pro might be the best choice for you.
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch is compatible with both Mac and PC computers. While the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch has plug-and-play functionality, it's recommended that you install the drivers and download the manual from the included installation CD. While the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch is easy to install, it may take some time to transition from using a XP-Pen tablet off-screen to drawing on the screen itself. Take your time, to familiarize yourself with the controls and multi-touch gestures (both XP-Pen's and the operating system you're using, whether it's Mac OS X or Windows).
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch focuses on facilitating the digital workflow for professional photography, art, and design. By allowing users to draw, write, or edit directly on the screen, the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch offers a more natural way for photographers and artists to work.
In the past, users would have to sketch their designs on paper and then use a scanner to import the sketches into their computers. Only after that were they able to trace or touch up their work in Photoshop or Illustrator. With the Artist 22E Pro Touch, XP-Pen allows you to skip the unnecessary step of scanning and allows you to draw directly into your preferred application. The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch makes tracing easier and much more natural since you’re working on the image itself. Sketching also works fairly well, allowing you to draw and erase your sketches without wasting paper.
We found that long strokes worked flawlessly, but short strokes took some getting used to. It’s possible that moving from a traditional XP-Pen tablet to drawing on the Artist 22E Pro Touch may confront you with a learning curve. The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch boasts all 8192 levels of pen-pressure sensitivity, allowing for a variety of stroke depths and intensities. We also found the touch strips on the back to be quite useful, because we were able to adjust brush size on the fly, without having to go into settings. We also found that certain multi-touch gestures facilitate navigating the workspace and kept our hands on the screen, not fumbling around for the keyboard. Overall, the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch can definitely make life easier for professional photographers, graphic designers, and artists.
Downloadable Software Bundle
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch is not a stand-alone tablet, and requires a Mac or PC computer. Since it doesn't have an operating system of its own, there is no preloaded software that comes with it. Instead, it's recommended that you install the drivers and download the manual from the www.xp-pen.com
Exceptionally Designed Pen with Sensitive Tip for Fine Detail
The XP-Pen P02S is truly an innovative piece of engineering, distinguishing between 8192 different levels of pressure, making it among the most accurate instruments you will use for digital graphic design. The pen is specifically crafted to allow you to make subtle and minuscule changes to your work and by simply adjusting pen pressure or tilt angle, you can change line weight and brush size, as you would with a paintbrush.
The pen is so cutting-edge that you can actually program functions into it yourself, making the user experience unique and tailored to what you need to get done in your workspace.
Programmable Shortcuts to Streamline your Workflow
Does it irritate you to interrupt your flow with unnecessary commands and clicks?
The supplied pens have a nice size. They’re lightweight plastic and coated in a rubberized material, with just the right amount of heft. Here too I found I preferred the Yiynova pen’s contoured body and slightly longer barrel.
The pen comes equipped with a rubberized grip that makes sure you don’t have any cramps or marks after hours of use(lefties will know what I’m talking about).
The stylus almost felt like an actual pen in my hand, which is great especially for people that really like drawing with pen and paper. However, it’s the tablet’s display screen that allows the pen to move so freely that really makes it great.
The 8192 levels of pressure on the stylus really allows you to create detailed drawings with ease.
This coupled with the large drawing area and the smoothness of the display makes the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro arguably the best tablet in terms of accuracy and detail.
The company claims that the pen should last up to 100 hours on a full charge. To achieve this, the pen automatically goes into sleep mode after 20 minutes. To wake it, you tap it against the display.
The pen driver offers 4- and 9-point calibration. Neither of these reaches into the display corners, so if your device isn’t well calibrated out of the box, you may be out of luck.
There are 17 Click Sensitivity stops from Light to Heavy in the Pressure control panel. I had to set my sensitivity to one stop above lightest to get the full range of pressure. Like all the other UC Logic devices I’ve tested, the middle range of pressure is the digitizer’s biggest limitation. It’s really easy to blow past the middle levels. I also found that initial activation force was too high when I went above the third pressure notch.
In practice, pressure was very responsive in Clip Studio Paint using either Wintab or Windows Ink. I also had very good results in Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro and Sketchable.
You will also be able to purchase a Classic Pen separately, which is for users who prefer a thin pen. The Inking Pen allows you to sketch your ideas on real paper while capturing a digital likeness of your sketch that you can import to your computer via USB.
If you’d prefer to use a pen without a side switch or controls, the wide-bodied pen grip is for you. It comes with two in a pack.
Please note that while the Grip Pen is included with the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Touch, the Classic Pen, Inkling Pen, Airbrush Pen and Art Pen are all sold separately. If you’re happy with the Grip Pen, but have worn down the nib, you can purchase replacement nibs instead of having to replace the entire pen.
This pen is designed to mimic airbrushing, with systems in place to account for spray distance, angle, and application of ink.The Airbrush Pen includes a finger wheel for an additional degree of control. With the proper software support, you will be able to simulate realistic airbrushing.
The Art Pen is designed to work with a traditional felt marker and you can use it in conjunction with the standard Artist 22 marker to have a range of drawing options.
The Art Pen is a specialty tool that reports pen rotation in addition to the tip pressure, pen location, and pen tilt to the application. With proper software support, you will be able to simulate flat brushes, markers, calligraphy pens, and other natural media tools.
Professional Pen Nibs:
Chisel Felt Nibs
Use these with the Art Pen to create calligraphic masterpieces on your Artist 22E Pro .
The Stroke Nib lets you customize your brush strokes further and can be alternated with standard nibs in any pen.
Wide Bodied Pen Grip
XP-Pen Colour Manager
Intuitively calibrates your colour for cohesion in your work and less stress for you trying to match specific colours. It’s easy to use and maximizes your productivity and workflow.
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro is probably the best tablet for a professional artist that needs the most room to work with.
The tablet display resolution comes at 1920 x 1080 with an aspect ratio of 16:9, meaning that the picture will always be crystal clear. There were no pixel errors and even when running high-end games there was no lagging.
The only noticeable problems with the tablet display were the noticeable glare and the fact that it scratched fairly easily. This was easily fixed with an antiglare screen protector.
TheXP-Pen Artist 22E Pro Display Drawing Monitoralso comes equipped with 18 ExpressKeys that can be easily programmed to suit your needs.
The stylus that comes with the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro is on-par with the tablet itself. It has a fantastic rubberized grip and flows easily on the tablet allowing for great detail.
The XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro is great for professionals looking for a tablet display that has all the bells and whistles and will be a reliable tool for many years.
If you’re serious about your graphic design work, you need to seriously consider the XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro 21.5 inch . It’s a tool specifically created to boost your productivity, creativity and enhance the end product.
+ Ergonomically designed for an ideal workspace
+ Several add-ons to customize and enhance user experience
+ State of the art pen for precise and artistic drawing
+ Large screen to accommodate all applications
+ Programmable Shortcuts
+ Precise tracking with no jitter and whatsoever, 5080 lines per inch (highest in class)
+ The textured surface feels natural better than any surface I have used
+ Plenty of useable shortcut keys to speed up workflow
+ The ability to toggle between displays, this feature is so important to me
+ Touch strip which can be set to zoom, cycle layer, change brush size and rotate project
+ Information button helps you remember what shortcut keys are set to
+ Tool button brings up tablet settings quick and easy
+ Nice OSD with all monitor settings in an easy to use front facing position
+ Solid well made tablet everything feels sturdy and thoughtfully constructed
+ Stand with a swivel function
+ Stylus is well made and has an eraser function
+ The tablet recognizes tilt
+ Various nib options in a well thought out base with plenty of replacements
+ Easy removable and replaceable cables in case of damaged cables
+ USB passthrough
+ Great ventilation
- Expensive, but it’s best in class, so that is to be expected. Maybe upstarts in this field will drive this down someday.
- The textured surface scratches easily
- A huge footprint, not for every desk. Seems to me to be a lot of wasted space between the monitor and the shortcut keys
- Heavy, when I put this on my Ergotron LX arm it sags. The monitor weighs 18.8 pounds (8.5 kg) with the stand
May 31, 2018
I’d heard great things about XP-Pen’s Artist 16 Pro drawing tablet so imagine my excitement when it arrived at my doorstep.
And after some time with it I was not disappointed!
At a really reasonable price the 16 Pro packs enough punch to compete with much more expensive products on the market. It’s definitely a quality tablet for artists with lots of extra goodies to boot.
In this review I’ll cover my impressions of the tablet, what you get with it, and how well it’ll work for digital artists of all skill levels. But first let’s cover the main specs and what you get in the box.
Dimensions: 16″ W x 10″ L x 1.1″ D (without stand)
Active area: 13.5″ x 7.6″
1920 x 1080 resolution
8 Express Keys
Response Time: 14ms
What’s in the Box
Artist 16 tablet display
Mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter
2x Stylus pens
2x Pen charging cables
8x Replacement nibs
Stylus penc ase
XP-Pen drawing glove
Manual + flash drive with drivers
You can find the XP-PEN 16 Pro drawing monitor tablet on Amazon athttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Artist16-Graphics-1920x1080-pressure-Adjustable/dp/B07BLVW598
The Artist 16 Pro by XP Pen is a 1080p, 15.6" display that has a 178° viewing angle, with a color gamut that is up to 92 percent Adobe RGB accurate. It comes with two rechargeable styluses—complete with eight additional pen nibs and holder—an adjustable display stand that was pre-mounted (less work for me,) a partial glove for your working hand to keep the monitor clean, a cleaning cloth and all the requisite cables including an adapter for Mac. The kit also includes a USB thumb drive with the software driver, but the quick start manual mentions also being able to download the latest drivers via the website, which is what I did. The color of the display wasn’t quite right out of the box, so I calibrated the screen for color and contrast after installing with my X-Rite ColorMunki, and went right to work.
The Good Stuff
The screen is matte, which means I don’t have to deal with any reflections from windows or room lighting. I work in my basement, and the windows can throw some distracting reflections on my iMac screen at certain times of day. The XP Pen display handled my downstairs lighting and windows like a champ. The matte screen made a big difference.
The screen has a texture like fine-grained paper, which feels natural beneath the pen nib and allows for that little bit of ‘grab’ that stops the stylus from sliding around on the screen.
The eight customizable express keys make using the display apart from the keyboard much easier. The express keys make basic actions, like zooming in and out or changing brush size, much faster, but I still needed the keyboard close by for things like cloning.
The adjustable stand gives me room to change up the angle I’m working at, which is handy for keeping me from becoming stagnant and allows me to change things up when I adjust my desk from standing to sitting.
If I needed to look at my larger iMac screen or give my neck a break from the angle of looking down at the screen, I could treat the Artist Pro like a tablet and work from my monitor.
No lag. The pen worked in Photoshop as smoothly as anything else I’ve ever used.
Pen pressure made doing things like drawing in eyelashes or hair easy and quick. Unlike dodging and burning where I needed to see the skin beneath the nib, being able to place the pen nib exactly where I wanted to draw in a hair was helpful.
The size of the display is a nice balance between being big enough to work on, but not so big that it stresses my arm from making too many large movements.
The price point is pretty outstanding for what you get.
While XP-Pen offers two 15.6” pen displays (the Standard and the Pro), the Artist 16 Pro has a higher quality display with stronger, more vibrant colors.
It also has a custom anti-reflective coating designed to reduce glare. This means you can work easily under bright light or in direct sunlight.
The tablet boasts an HD display of 1920×1080 and comes with an improved, rechargeable pen that supports 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.
The Artist Pro 16 ships with an HDMI cable, a reachable pen in a travel case with 8 spare nibs, a USB cable, an artist’s half-glove, dust cloth, and a power brick.
There’s also a mini display adapter just in case your computer doesn’t have an HDMI port. Very convenient.
The tablet comes mounted on an adjustable stand so there’s no need for assembly.
The first thing I noticed when I pulled the XP-Pen out of the box was the weight. It’s much lighter than you would expect for a tablet of this size.
It has 8 Express Keys on the front that can be easily programmed using a drop-down menu within the Tablet software that installs with the drivers.
I found that all the defaults worked well for me, but they are super easy to change.
I rely heavily on hotkeys for digital painting and having these is a big plus. They really streamline the workflow and keep me from having to switch back and forth between the tablet and the keyboard.
The Express Keys are flush with the surface of the tablet and unobtrusive. I was worried that these buttons would feel cheap and be noisy, but that’s simply not the case.
They make almost no noise when pressed and feel good to use in a regular workflow. The two buttons in the middle have raised nibs so that your fingers can easily navigate without taking your eyes off your work.
Besides the Express Keys, the drawing tablet has a row of buttons along the side just like a normal monitor.
With these you can adjust the brightness, color, contrast, and other settings. I love this because I tend to find a lot of screens are too bright for my taste. It was easy to bring the brightness down to a comfortable level with the press of a few of buttons.
These buttons, however, do feel a little clunky. But seeing as you shouldn’t need to use them very often I don’t think it’s an issue.
The tablet is mounted on a heavy-duty adjustable stand. There’s a small lever that you pull to unlock the stand which allows you to set the tablet to any angle between 15 and 85 degrees.
What’s great are the rubber grips on the feet that keep it from sliding across the desk. I’ve heard some artists complain that the stand would slide on them as they worked, but I didn’t have this problem.
The stand is, however, quite bulky and raises the tablet a few inches from the surface of the table.
Depending on your set up this may or may not be comfortable for you.
The good news is that the stand is removable in case you want to lay it completely flat on the table. It’s held in place by a few easily removable screws.
And because the cables plug into the side of the drawing tablet you can lay it flat without a problem.
The setup process was painless.
In the box was a flash drive with instructions for downloading and installing the necessary drivers.
I noticed that XP-Pen had recently updated their drivers for this product. That’s usually good sign as it means a well-supported product that’s kept up-to-date.
I plugged in the power cord, the HDMI and USB cables, and connected the tablet to my Windows computer. I should add I’m running Windows 10.
I downloaded and installed the drivers right from the XP-Pen website.
This installed the PenTablet software that lets you calibrate the pen, adjust the sensitivity of the pressure, and program the Express Keys.
Quick Note: if you already have another tablet driver installed you will need to uninstall those drivers and restart your machine before you install the new ones. It’s at least a safety precaution to make sure it all gets installed properly.
The Drawing Pen
After installing the correct drivers I configured the resolution and calibrated the pen. I opened Photoshop to give it a test run and was pleasantly surprised to find everything worked perfectly!
The pen is very responsive and the sensitivity is fluid, but it’s hard to imagine that anyone could really sense the 8,192 levels of pressure that XP-Pen claims for this product.
The pen has two customizable buttons on the side and is battery powered. Don’t worry, the pen is quickly rechargeable with the USB cord that ships with the tablet.
There’s no indicator for how much energy is left in the pen but it can go weeks or even months without needing to be re-charged.
I’ve been using it daily for a week and the pen is still going strong.
My tablet came with two pens and two USB chargers which is super convenient.
Even if one pen does die I’ve got a backup ready to go so I don’t have to miss a beat.
The pen itself is lightweight and has a nice comfort grip. The two buttons on the pen are themselves customizable too.
By default the front button is set to right click and the back is set to toggle between the brush and eraser tools.
The Drawing Experience
Drawing on the tablet feels good. The matte coating gives a slight texture to the drawing surface which is good news because some tablets can feel too much like drawing on glass.
That little bit of resistance when you slide the pen goes a long way towards an organic drawing experience.
On the other hand, if you’re one of those artists who dislikes having the "bite” of texture when you’re drawing, don’t worry. The matte coating is removable.
It peels off easily and can even be replaced if you change your mind.
It’s easy to get consistent line widths and smooth transitions along the pressure curve with this product.
In some tablets the pressure isn’t smooth and the line width will suddenly jump unexpectedly or feel difficult to control, but the Artist 16 Pro doesn’t have that problem.
I will say that initially, the calibration was in desperate need of adjustment. It was easy to fix using the PenTablet software though. Just click "calibrate” and then tap the four corners of the drawing surface with your pen.
Also I found that the default sensitivity curve was too heavy for my taste.
I like to use a light touch with very little pressure and I found myself having to push down a little too hard to get pen to activate. Luckily it was an easy problem to fix.
There’s a sliding curve that you can adjust to change the sensitivity in the PenTablet software. Pulling that curve down a little gave me the result I was looking for.
Because the drawing surface lies slightly above the screen, there is some distance between the pen tip and the position of the cursor when you draw.
This offset is known as parallax and it’s a common issue with budget tablets.
I barely noticed it after a few minutes of work but I could see how some artist might have an issue here.
I rely on hotkeys for working digitally and so having the 8 Express Keys was a big plus to me. I spent some time customizing these to my liking. I set them to zoom in & zoom out, increase & decrease brush size, select, eye dropper, and move tools.
I had the brush and eraser tools hot-keyed to the pen itself and this meant I hardly even needed to use the keyboard. That’s exactly what I was going for.
Now this did produce some problems. First, the tablet is very lightweight and the stand only grips on the back.
When I was pushing the express keys the tablet would rock on the stand. I had to grip it from behind and use my thumb to work the express keys to prevent this from happening.
Artist16 Pro tablet on stand
Another problem with the hotkeys is that they don’t seem to register if I press and hold them.
Meaning that, for instance, If I wanted to increase my brush size I had to click the button several times instead of just pressing and holding.
This combined with the rocking problem that I described above got rather annoying. I found myself still using the keyboard for certain commands.
I worked with the display at a roughly 45-degree angle which I found very comfortable. It does make a huge difference being able to work upright. I was able to draw for hours without feeling any discomfort.
I tested the product in Photoshop, Krita, Gimp, and Aseprite. It worked well in every single program.
I also discovered that the drawing tablet will function even when the tablet monitor is off so long as the USB cable is connected. A big plus.
The Artist 16 Prodrawing tablet with screenhas a truly beautiful HD display with 92% percent color accuracy.
This is a huge bonus for illustrators and other artists looking to print their work. I was really impressed with the vibrancy and the clarity of the color.
Installation was easy.
There’s a lot of options for customization. The display has its own controls for color, contrast, gamma, brightness, etc.
The PenTablet software that installs with the drivers grants control over the sensitivity, Express Keys, and offers quick calibration options. It only took a few adjustments to get the settings I wanted.
XP-Pen offers good support for their products and updates the drivers often.
Also the stylus pen is highly responsive. There’s a smooth curve that you typically don’t find with budget tablets. The drawing experience is the most important aspect of a pen display in my opinion, and the Artist 16 Pro really shines in this area.
The tablet is lightweight and comes mounted on an easily adjustable stand making it a great addition to your permanent desktop setup.
This tablet works for both left-handed and right-handed artists too.
The parallax is not great. I got used to it and able to use menus, but I can see it being annoying to some artists who want more accuracy between the cursor and the pen tip.
The calibration gets a little off around the edges of the monitor and this is common with many tablets.
It’s not a major problem but something to watch out for.
And there’s going to be some wobble when you’re working with the tablet on the stand, even when it’s laid down flat. This is especially true if you’re using the Express Keys.
I found thePen Tablet Monitor Artist 16 Proto be a truly solid product that shines in all the right areas.
The display is vibrant with a high level of color accuracy. The drawing experience was honestly better than I had expected. The pen is responsive and the pressure curve is smooth.
With a textured drawing surface and the adjustable stand this tablet is very comfortable to work with. Installation was easy and it’s exactly what you would expect for a product like this.
The tablet itself has a very sleek design that looks as good as it feels.
Both the pen and the display are highly customizable which is something I look for in a product like this.
Because the XP Pen Artist 16 Pro works as a pen display and has the same functionality as a graphics tablet, it’s like having the best of both worlds. I can look up at my larger monitor when I need to, or work directly from the screen.
When doing fine detail work (outside of dodging and burning) or drawing on an image, the Artist 16 Pro really shines. The unit feels well-made and is simply designed. Having two pens lets one charge while I use the other, and the ability to adjust pen pressure in the software menu seems like it will make it easy save nibs in the long term. While using a laptop, having the larger display to work from makes retouching much easier.
There were some issues like pen parallax and a wobbly stand that might be a problem for some users. But if you can get used to that and if this fits within your budget then the XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro is a strong product and well worth its price tag.
30 queries taking 0.0413 seconds, 51 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.