2020 year end is here and XP-Pen is running pretty good promotion on their online store. They have the 11.11 sale going into Black Friday and will end on 1st Dec 2020.
XP-Pen has redesigned some of the packaging to fit the festive season. They choose red, so much red I thought it was Chinese New Year.
In this article, I'll help you choose the right drawing tablet or pen display so that you can create digital art.
Note that this article is a sponsored article, but all the recommendations are based on the many reviews I've written on XP-Pen products.
All links in this article will go to my reviews if any, or go to the product pages for the full specifications. XP-Pen products usually come with 18 months of warranty. And all prices listed below will vary depending on whatever promotion that's ongoing.
XP-Pen online store: https://www.xp-pen.com/
Should You Get a Pen Tablet or a Pen Display?
Pen tablet, drawing tablet and graphic tablet all mean the same thing. A pen tablet is screen-less tablet you can draw on. The tablet has to be connected to a computer and thereby give you access to all your drawing software.
Pros and cons of a pen tablet
+ More affordable
+ Doesn't take up much space
+ More ergonomic because you don't have to hunch down to look
+ Easy to store away when needed
- Not as intuitive as drawing on a pen display
XP-Pen has the Star, Deco and Deco Pro series of pen tablets.
Pen displays are monitors you can draw on. And since they are monitors, they have to be connected to computers too.
Pros and cons of a pen display
+ More intuitive to draw on since the line appear beneath the pen
+ Huge selection of display sizes available, from 12 to 24-inches
- Larger pen displays take up more space on table
- Not as ergonomic but you can always get a tablet/laptop stand to prop up the display
- Not as affordable compared to pen tablets
Which one to go for really depends on several factors.
If you have limited budget, then you're limited to pen tablets since they are more affordable. The smaller the tablet, the cheaper. However, I highly recommend you get a tablet that's at least 10 x 6 inches. Drawing on a small tablet feels restrictive.
XP-Pen Star series is the most affordable.
XP-Pen Star 06 is a 10x6 inch wireless pen tablet that I've been recommending to beginners for years. No cables mean no clutter. Price range from US $70 - 85.
If you have more budget, consider the XP-Pen Deco Pro which is the most professional tablet from XP-Pen in terms of design and build quality. Price range from US $80 - $130 depending on size.
Here are other 9x6 or 10x6 inch tablets you can consider:
Go for tablets that have more shortcut buttons because those buttons are useful.
Don't feel like you're missing out because you can't get a pen display because digital artists are still using such pen tablets. I personally use pen tablets instead of pen displays because I have limited table space.
If you have limited table space, then go with the smaller pen tablets, but I still recommend getting a 10x6 inch tablet if you can.
So you've decided to get a pen display
Some of the features you should look out for when choosing a pen display are
- Colors - Those with 99% sRGB colour support have the best colours
- Brightness - This will affect how vibrant your colours are. Choose display where brightness is above 200 nits.
- Shortcut buttons - The more the better. Those with no buttons are usually more affordable
- Size - 12 inch is kinda small. 13 is alright. 15 inch is nice. Anything above 15-inch is great. The bigger the display, the more expensive
- Resolution - Most pen display resolution is 1080P. XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro is the only one with 1440P resolution
- Laminated display - Get this if you can because you won't have gaps between the line and pen tip when drawing
- Display/graphic ports - Make sure your computer has to right display port. Most will need a full-sized HDMI on your computer.
The pen displays from XP-Pen that I've reviewed are:
- XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro (US$679 - 899)
- XP-Pen Innovator 16 (US $399 - 499)
- XP-Pen Artist 12
- XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro (US $187 - $250)
- XP-Pen Artist 13.3
- XP-Pen Artist 13 Pro (US $254 - $299)
- XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro
- XP-Pen Artist 15.6 (US$299 - 399)
- XP-Pen Artist 16
All the pen displays have very good drawing performance so the main consideration when choosing will really come down to how much budget you have. All my full reviews have lists of pros and cons for quick comparison.
XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro is good for those who want something small. The diagonal dimensions is actually 11.6 so this is quite a small display to draw on. I find the drawing area to be restrictive. If you can, definitely stretch your budget and get the Artist 13.3 Pro which will give you significantly better drawing experience.
XP-Pen Artist 13.3 Pro and XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro are the two pen displays I would recommend more over the other models because they offer good value for money for the size.
I would recommend Artist 13.3 Pro over the Artist 15.6 Pro because the laminated display on the smaller pen display is better, as in the gap between the line and pen tip is noticeably smaller. So when drawing on the Artist 13.3 Pro, it really feels like the line is coming from beneath the pen tip.
The video above shows the Artist 13.3 Pro.
Artist 15.6 Pro is good too if you want a larger display that you can also use as a main monitor.
Should you spend a bit more ($50) to get the 22E model with the 16 shortcut buttons? Well, those shortcut buttons are certainly useful. However, if you want to save the $50, that's okay too because you can just use your keyboard for keyboard shortcuts.
If you want the best pen display, then go with the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro.
Main selling point is the display which has good colour accuracy and brightness, and supports a 1440P resolution is just fantastic for productivity. 1080P is a very usable resolution, but 1440P is a significant upgrade. The pen display also has 20 shortcut buttons.
The price is also much higher compared to other pen displays and comes in at US $675 (original retail US $899). This pen display is more than $200 more than the 22-inch models. The selling point here is the much higher resolution because 22 vs 24 inch size difference isn't that significant.
If you have the budget, I'm sure you will be very satisfied with the Artist 24 Pro. It's really that good. See my review.
- Fenix jigsaw puzzle
- Art print poster
- Shortcuts stickers pack
- And the person can also get the line artworks for FREE
To check out full detailed reviews, visit https://www.parkablogs.com/tags/xp-pen
To see the full specs for all XP-Pen products, visit https://www.xp-pen.com/
And these are the country/region specific online stores