graphicstablet

Review: XP-PEN Artist 16 PRO Graphics Drawing Monitor

graphicstablet | 08 Avgust, 2018 06:20

I‘ve been a Wacom user for many many years and they make some of the best pen tablets/displays on the market today. In my entire design/development career, Wacom is my go to brand when it comes to the “design” part of my job. Started using their bamboo tablets when I was just starting out and immediately upgraded to their Intuos line after a year. After another year of working with their pen tablets, I decided to invest on their Cintiq pen display lineup which is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (and also one of the most expensive ) Right now, I currently own their Cintiq 13 HD and their latest Cintiq Pro 16 (which costed me an arm and a leg .

My “always Wacom” mindset towards pen tablets/displays began to change when the amazing people at XP-PEN sent over one of their latest products for me to test out. I’ve been hearing a lot about these 3rd party pen displays since last year (via ads and youtube videos) and honestly, I’m really skeptical if it’ll be on par with the experience I had with Wacom over the years. XP-PEN’s pen display took roughly 3 weeks to arrive and used it for roughly a month in my professional and personal projects. Does it stack up with Wacom? Let’s find out!

Please note that I will not be showing the unboxing part of this review nor will I showcase what’s inside the box. This review will focus on the actual Drawing Tablet itself, how it performs in real world situations, and if it’s something that’s viable for professional work.

purchase it via Amazon

Get XP-PEN Artist 16 PRO 1080P IPS Graphics Drawing Monitor 15.6 inch 8192 Pressure Sensitivity / 8 Shortcuts,2pcs rechargeable pen,8 nibs / Display Resolution: 1920 * 1080 Pixel / Digital Pen Display / Adjustable Stand for $459.99,flash sale,free shipping, You can also purchase it via https://www.amazon.com/Artist16-Drawing-Shortcut-Adjustable-pressure/dp/B07B1RPVLY .

Build

The overall build of the device is actually pretty good. It’s made out of high quality materials that doesn’t feel cheap. The overall dimension is also small for a 16” pen display. They made it possible by reducing the bezel thickness around the display. This is a good design choice as it doesn’t eat a lot of space in your desk. Also, upon unboxing it for the very first time, I did notice the screen has some kind of a screen protector installed. Aside from protecting the glass panel, this thin film adds texture to the drawing surface of the pen display which is pretty subjective depending on who’s going to use it. Some users want their pen display to have a smooth surface while others (like me) likes it to have some kind of texture for that pen and paper feel. Shortcut buttons installed on the left side of the display are also “clicky” and not squishy (I’m looking at you Wacom Cintiq 13 HD). It would be better though if they included another set of shortcut buttons on the right side for left handed users.

The built in stand is a bit wobbly at times depending on the angle but it’s pretty stable when you’re actually working on it.
The Artist Display 16 Pro also comes with a stand which is already pre-installed out of the box. The built in stand is flexible enough to support different angles depending on how you intend to work. It has an easy to use lever that you can pull whenever you want to change the angle of the display. The stand also has rubber feet and so far it does its job preventing the device from sliding on your desk when working.

The built in stand is a bit wobbly at times depending on the angle but it’s pretty stable when you’re actually working on it. Try to experiment with the different angles as I find some angles are much more stable compared to others. Also, it looks like the display supports the VESA mounting standard since you can unscrew the stand at the back. I haven’t tested it yet though.

Connections

Powering up this device is pretty straightforward. It comes with 3 cables that you need to “cable manage” to get the cleanest setup possible. There’s one cable for power, one HDMI cable for display, and one USB-A for data. I was actually expecting this device to have a single usb-c cable that will handle power, display, and data but maybe in the next version? (right XP-PEN?)

Screen

Let’s now talk about the screen which is the main selling point of this particular model. XP-PEN’s Artist Display 16 Pro has a full 1080p display with 92% Adobe RGB. Now, I’m not a color guy and the only way for me to check this out is by comparing the screen of the pen displays I currently own. Based on my tests, the screen of the Artist Display 16 Pro is much much better compared to my Wacom’s Cintiq 13 HD (which if I’m not mistaken, only has 72% Adobe RGB and is much more expensive to boot). Comparing it to my Wacom Cintiq 16 Pro… well… It’s not there yet but I’m not surprised since the Cintiq 16 Pro screen is 4k and costs three times the price of XP-Pen’s Artist 16 Pro.

Viewing angles are pretty good too. I tried working with some of my UI design projects using this pen display and didn’t notice any major color shifts when looking at different angles. I also love how the textured film that covers the entire display makes the screen “matte”. It does diffuse the colors quite a bit, but I’d rather have a matte screen than a reflective one since I use multiple monitors and glossy screens tend to reflect everything (including my face ).

…the screen of the Artist Display 16 Pro is much much better compared to my Wacom’s Cintiq 13 HD.

One thing I noticed when I turned it on for the first time is the screen looks already calibrated. It means you won’t have to tinker with the display settings and you can already start using the device for work out of the box. In case you’re not happy with the ones you have, the Artist Display 16 Pro has configuration buttons hidden on the right hand side of the display. From there, you can adjust the usual parameters like the brightness, contrast, sharpness, and color temps. My only comment is the configuration UI looks dated and sometimes a bit confusing to to use.
You can also adjust additional display parameters via installing the driver/software that you can download on XP-PEN’s official support page. Please don’t use the installer included on the package because there’s a chance that it’s already outdated.

Parallax

Not really good at explaining stuff but a parallax is the distance between the pen tip and your mouse cursor which is basically being separated by a glass panel that covers your pen display. The thicker the glass, the larger the space between your pen tip and cursor. This creates an annoying effect where the strokes you generate are not matching with your pen’s position and is somewhat “offset”. Parallax are sometimes a normal thing when it comes to pen displays and it all comes down to how small that spacing is between your pen tip and your mouse cursor. My Wacom Cintiq 13 HD has a mild parallax while my Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 has virtually zero parallax because the glass is as close as possible to the actual drawing surface – but it’s also much more expensive.

XP-PEN’s Artist Display 16 Pro does have parallax and it’s not that bad in my opinion. You will only see it if you try to look for it.
XP-PEN’s Artist Display 16 Pro does have parallax and it’s not that bad in my opinion. You will only see it if you try to look for it. It’s more obvious if you check it at certain angles, but if you’re actively working and have consistent strokes, you won’t really notice it. I’m used to my Wacom Cintiq 16 Pro which have virtually zero parallax and though I immediately noticed some parallax when I switched to XP-PEN’s Artist Display 16 Pro, it didn’t really affected my overall drawing experience. For the price your paying for this device, a bit of parallax is something I can live with.

Pen

XP-PEN’s Artist Display 16 Pro includes 2 pens which is not very common for pen displays. The second pen is marked as a “gift” so I’m not really sure if it’s the same for other people. The pen is also battery powered (yeah you have to charge it). So far, I’ve been using it for like a month now and I haven’t charge the pen yet. The pen is also very comfortable to hold because of the soft rubbery grip. It’s very similar to Wacom’s pen design in terms of overall looks :P I sometimes get confused when picking up the pen on my desk because they look almost the same. Unfortunately, the pen lacks tilt support and it can be a deal breaker for some.

It has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity (same with Cintiq 16 Pro). My Wacom Cintiq 13 HD has 2048. Could you tell the difference? In my opinion, yes you can.

 

I’ve been using the pen for a month now and I haven’t charge it yet.

It has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity (same with Cintiq 16 Pro). My Wacom Cintiq 13 HD has 2048. Could you tell the difference? In my opinion, yes you can. The pressure sensivity is evident specially if you’re a light sketcher like me. It’s easy to get thin controlled lines and pen activation requires the least amount of force on the display’s drawing surface. The increased pen sensitivity allows you to create more controlled strokes without having to mess with the pen pressure settings using the the software.

There’s some slight “wobble” in my diagonal lines specially if I draw it slowly. It disappears if you do it quickly though.

I tested the pen further by drawing diagonal lines (using a ruler) and I did notice some slight wobble. The wobble will only appear if you try to draw your diagonal lines slowly and disappears when you try to do it quickly. I think this is one of the drawbacks of battery powered pens compared to the non-powered ones. I draw fast so this isn’t really an issue for me.

XP-PEN included a very nice cylindrical carying case for your pen which also contains your extra pen nibs. The left part of the case is where your pen is located. The cap that covers it also functions as a pen stand. On the far right side is where your extra pen nibs are being kept. There are 8 extra pen nibs and the cap that covers it also has a pen nib remover built in. I haven’t changed pen nibs even with my old pen displays, but extra pen nibs are always welcome.

Drawing Experience

Using the pen display on actual work is not really that different compared to my Wacom pen displays. It works wonderful on both Windows and macOS. I was able to churn out and finish the same type of work I do with my Wacom. The textured drawing surface also makes sketching much more enjoyable because it feels like real paper. Be careful though as the film gets easily scratched by sharp objects – and nope, it doesn’t get scratched when using the pen. For the best possible experience, make sure to to calibrate your pen using the driver/software before using the device. The calibration is straightforward and very similar to Wacom where you need to click (via pen) crosshairs that appears on the screen.

It works wonderful on both Windows and macOS.
There’s one minor issue I experienced when I’m using the device. Sometimes the cursor “jumps” if you try to hover/point it to one of the display’s four corners. This usually happens when I have to click something that is located on the bottom left or bottom right of the screen or if a window is maximized and i have to close it. Doesn’t really happen every time but I just thought I’d mention.

Verdict

XP-PEN’s Artist 16 Pro Pen Display is a great alternative if you’re looking to improve your current drawing work flow. The build is great and the display’s not-so-thick bezels improves the pen display’s overall aesthetics. It has a small footprint for a 16” pen display so you won’t have any problems making it fit in your work desk. The drawing experience is almost identical to the more expensive Wacom though it has a few shortcomings like the pen’s lack of tilt support which might be a deal breaker for some people.

Overall, if you’re looking for a great pen display but is on a budget, I highly recommend XP-PEN. I was really skeptical at first with these 3rd party brands since I’ve been using Wacom for many years. Turns out, they deliver the same experience for like a third of Wacom’s price! Yes, it does not have the same premium feel and 4k screen like Wacom’s latest offering, but if you’re goal is create amazing artworks without breaking the bank, then the Artist 16 pro Drawing Monitor will not disappoint you. Deadpool approves!

For more information about this particular model, you can visit their official website.

XP-Pen Artist 13.3 IPS Drawing Pen Display Graphics Drawing Monitor with Battery-free Stylus

graphicstablet | 29 Maj, 2018 05:59

Most of the Drawing Monitor XP-Pen Artist 13.3 functions such as sketch, paint, design and edit can be executed directly from the tablet screen, work naturally and intuitively .

13.3″ 1920*1080 IPS 16:9 Display with 178°visual angle delivers even more lifelike colors, greater contrast, and sharper, more vivid images. The custom-designed anti-reflective coating reduces glare by 56 percent, more bright and beautiful, even if it’s bright out .
The latest Passive Pen Stylus technology with 2048 levels of instant Pen Pressure Sensitivity- Providing you with groundbreaking control and fluidity to expand your creative output and does not require charging, designed to have a big impact on user’s creativity .

The absence of a battery-powered stylus also prevents malfunctions occurring to the pen that are imaginable with using a battery such as potential hardware leakage and a limited life span. The Stylus does not require charging and highlights your honorable environmental awareness.

Artist 13.3 Spec:

Product Dimension: 389.0 x 250.7 x 14 mm
Active Area: 293.76 x 165.24 mm
Thickness: 6 mm
Pen: P03S Battery-free Pen
DPI: 1920 x 1080
Pen Pressure: 2048 levels
Data Cable: 3-in-1 cable
Display Color Gamut: 75% Adobe RGB
Resolution: 5080 LPI
Visual Angle: 178°
Power Output: 5V DC, 2.3A (max)
Power Input: 100 to 240VAC, 50/60Hz

Package includes:

1 x Pen Display
1 x Passive Pen
8 x Replacement Nibs
1 x New Pen Holder
1 x USB Cable
1 x USB flash drive( as a substitute of previous CD driver)
1 x Manual
1 x Anti-fouling Drawing Glove
1 x Cleaning Cloth
1 x HDMI to Mac Adapter Cable
Among the functions such as sketch, paint, design and edit can also be executed directly from the tablet screen, work naturally and intuitively .
13.3″ 1920*1080 IPS 16:9 Display with 178°visual angle delivers even more lifelike colors, greater contrast, and sharper, more vivid images. The custom-designed anti-reflective coating reduces glare by 56 percent, more bright and beautiful, despite the fact that it’s bright out .
The Artist 13.3 contemporary Passive Pen Stylus technology with 2048 levels of instant Pen Pressure Sensitivity- Providing you with groundbreaking regulate and fluidity to expand your creative output and does not require charging, designed to have a big have an effect on on user’s creativity .
6 fully customizable express keys create a highly ergonomic and convenient work surface. One-click toggle lets you switch the function between Pen and Eraser instantly .
New Artist 13.3 has key upgrades over the Artist10S. Features a 6mm thin design; included 3 in 1 cable, and a new Brightness adjust button .

The main highlights for me are the matte screen, battery-less pen and pressure sensitivity support at 8,192 levels.
Instead of a power brick, a wall charger is included with interchangeable power plugs for different socket types.You can install the driver from the USB storage included. But it's always best to download the latest driver from XP-PEN's website.

I appreciate that a mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adaptor has been included. Lots of graphics card and laptops are using the mini-DisplayPort.

This is the HDMI and data cable. The HDMI head is split to three different cables: the data USB, the red coloured power USB and the USB type-C.

The data USB (black) connects to the computer so that the pen can be recognised. The red power USB goes to the power outlet. If your USB port provides sufficient power to the black USB, you may not need to use the red power USB or wall charger. The USB type-C is the only cable that's connected to the pen display. The whole setup is quite clean.

You may not need the USB extension cable if the HDMI and data cable is long enough.That's the pen and stand included. The pen supports 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. It does not use battery so it does not need to be charged.

There are two side buttons but no eraser.The pen stand can be opened up to reveal 8 replacement nibs. The nib remover is that tiny hole at the bottom of the pen stand.

Nib removal instructions are behind. Basically, stick the nib inside, tilt it, pull it out.You can also put the pen vertically but it's not a tight fit so it's going to wobble when you hit it accidentally.

This 13.3 inch pen display supports a 1920 x 1080 resolution. For a screen this size, which isn't too big, everything appears sharp.

When you first open up the box, the screen has a protector film over it which has to be peel off to reveal the matte screen protector. It's a nice texture to draw on. However the matte screen protector does affect the sharpness slightly but it's not really a big deal when you have a nicer surface to draw more.

I find that after each drawing session, my hand would deposit some grease on the screen protector. It doesn't affect the performance or anything but I wipe it down to make it look good. Based on my experience with matte screen protectors, it's not uncommon to see scratches after a while since they are not as hard as glass.

The Artist 13.3 used an IPS panel so colour reproduction is quite decent. Using a Spyder5PRO colour calibrator, I managed to get a readout of 89% sRGB, 68% NTSC and 70% Adobe RGB. Surprisingly, the colours on this smaller pen display is better than the Artist 15.6. When I first power on the display, I could see instantly that the colours are better.

The maximum brightness is measured at 300 cd/m2 which is a bit too bright for me. I typically work at 200 cd/m2. Over time, like all displays, the brightness will dim, but it's good to know that you can still turn up the brightness when that happens in the future. The Artist 15.6 produced only 166 cd/m2.

Six physical shortcut buttons are located on the side. They do feel a bit cheap but the click feedback is firm.On the other side, there are the power button, brightness control buttons and the USB type-C input port.

Driver
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.

Drawing performance
Drawing performance is generally fine except for some minor issues.

Let's look at the drawing apps on the Mac first.Quick strokes on Photoshop (Mac) works well. When it comes to curves, it seems like there's some wobble and the thickness varies slightly.

To get pressure working with Adobe Illustrator, Wacom Intuos driver need to be installed.Medibang Paint Pro (Mac) seems to perform similarly to Photoshop. There's some wobble for curves as well. Quick strokes are fine. When used for drawing, I don't really notice the wobble issues. Same applies to Photoshop (Mac).Mischief (Mac) works fine.Krita (Mac) works fine but there's the wobble again.

Clip Studio Paint (Mac) performs perfectly. The lines are smooth, taper well and there's none of the wobble issues seen in other apps.

And now on to Windows apps...Photoshop (Win) seems to have slight wobble with curvy lines. When used with Lazy Nezumi Pro, the lines are smoother. In the picture above, the Lazy Nezumi lines are those on the right side.

Medibang Paint Pro (Win) performs better than the Mac version. Lines are smoother and able to hold a consistent width, and when the thickness varies, it varies gradually.Krita works fine.Clip Studio Paint works fine.There is an issue with Mischief. You need to turn on Windows Ink for Mischief to work well.Windows Ink needs to be enabled for Sketchable to work well too. Without Windows Ink, there's no pressure sensitivity.

Conclusion
Overally performance is quite good but I wished that it could even be better. There's this inconsistency or the challenge of maintaining a consistently smooth line when drawing curves. When you're testing for it, it's going to show up, but when actually drawing with it, it's not that big of an issue. Out of all the apps, Clip Studio Paint works perfectly without any of the wobble or stroke issues.

If you're using Windows, the performance of the pen is better than on Mac. You get nicer looking lines.

Artist 13.3 vs 15.6
In terms of performance, it's basically similar to the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 .

The Artist 13.3 is better than the 15.6 in two aspects: Colour accuracy is better on the smaller model. I suppose they are using some better quality IPS panel here. And the 13.3 also has better brightness topping out at 300 cd/m2.

The larger size of the Artist 15.6 makes it more comfortable to work on. The sharpness and resolution of the 13.3 inch screen is good but to be able to draw on a larger screen feels more liberating. It's the same feeling as drawing on a small sheet of paper vs a larger sheet.
Pros and cons at a glance

+ Good build quality and design
+ Pen does not require battery
+ Pen is quite sensitive
+ 8 replacement tips included
+ 6 shortcut buttons are useful, but more would be great
+ Matte anti-glare screen does not have reflections
+ Nice texture on screen to draw on
+ 1080P resolution on the screen this size is sharp enough
+ Screen has decent colour accuracy and viewing angles. Better than Artist 15.6
+ Does not heat up significantly. Can be used for long periods of time without discomfort
+ Drawing performance generally good but depends on the OS and app that you use
+ Lines have little to no wobble and jitter (mostly on Windows apps)
+ You can power this display from a single powered USB port if you want to
+ HDMI-miniDisplay port adaptor included
+ Price is very competitive for a screen of this size
- Matte screen protecter affects sharpness of the screen but a good tradeoff for the texture it provides
- Some issues with the specific drawing apps mentioned in the review
- Parallax exists, corrected by calibration
- Double click issue on the Mac with certain apps (thankfully not drawing apps)
- No stand included for the display

Availability
You can find the XP-PEN Deco 03 on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/XP-Pen-Artist13-3-Interactive-1920x1080-Battery-free/dp/B075D7NWHV

 
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