The right tool can transform the quality of your digital art and inspire you to master your craft.
Drawing tablets have become a fundamental tool for most graphic designers, photographers, artists… They offer unmatched comfort when it comes to editing images, creating your own designs or digitizing analog content.
If you are looking for an affordablet graphics tablet, you must have come across XP-Pen tablets. Their tablets are quite popular amongst beginner artists because of the low prices and great features.
XP-Pen is one of the most recognized companies in the field of graphics tablets, so if you are deciding between some of their models, success is guaranteed.
But XP-Pen has quite a bit to choose from, so how are you to know which device to go with? What features are most important for the specific work you do?
Don’t worry, In this article, We will help you decide which is the best XP-Pen tablet for your needs and budget.
What is XP-Pen?
XP-Pen is a popular, professional and reliable brand in the field of graphic tablets, which was founded in 2005 in japan but today it is a subsidiary of Hanvon Ugee – a chinese company.
XP-Pen offers a range of affordable graphics tablets that mirror most of the features found on premium tablet brands but at price points that suit those whose pockets aren’t quite as deep.
If you’re thinking of trying out a graphics tablet for photo or video editing, or to try your hand at illustration, the XP-Pen could offer the blend of value and features you’re looking for.
Is XP-Pen better than Wacom ?
Both of these brands are well-known tablet manufacturers.
Despite the price, Wacom is a more established brand that offers fewer options but exceptional functionality and quality.
For a long time it was really the only viable brand for professionals, as no one else was making anything reliable and feature-rich enough.
Wacom has in its catalog of tablets the most expensive like cintiq pro, although they offer a higher screen resolution, the practical multi-touch function and the experience as a determining factor.
XP-Pen provides an excellent substitute for those looking for a high performance tablet with a smaller price tag. So it tends to attract newbies to the industry.
XP-Pen also have more sophisticated tablets like XP-Pen artist pro 16tp with 4K resolution, but as a rule, Wacom has that section of the public in its hands.
What is exciting about a XP-Pen tablet?
XP-Pen makes a number of versions of tablets and is all a fraction of what you would pay for a Wacom.
For drawing tablets without screen, like Star and Deco series, you can pick super-compact devices with working area as small as 4 × 3 inches to big pads with 11 × 6 inches drawing area.
Their Artist series display tablets comes with fully laminated technology, anti-glare coating, 2K or 4K resolution, excellent color accuracy, etc. You can select screen sizes from compact 10.1-inch to large 24-inch.
XP-Pen uses battery-free stylus with Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR) technology, so you don’t have to worry about charging it. The stylus also provides ultimate precision and control with virtually no lag/latency, supports highest 8192 levels of pressure and tilt recognition.
XP-Pen offers hassle-free compatibility with different operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Chromebook. They also works well with mainstream art app, whether it is Photoshop or mobile drawing app like Ibis Paint X.
To get you up and running, XP-Pen comes bundled with a range of free and free trial software designed for creatives, like Toon Boom, Explain Everything, ArtRage Lite, ArtRage 6, and openCanvas.
The customization options on the tablet, like shortcut keys and red dials, are also a plenty.
Does the XP-Pen Artist series need to be connected to a computer?
XP-Pen Artist series allows you draw or write directly on the screen, but still just an input device nonetheless.
They don’t have cpu, ram or storage components, So they still need to connect to a computer to work.
You can use the included 3-in-1 cable (HDMI+Power+USB) or single usb-c to -uab-c cable (only newest models) to connect it to your computer.
12 Best XP-Pen Drawing Tablets in 2023
These are the 12 best XP-Pen drawing tablets in 2023, and the option we’d recommend to most people to start, especially for writing, drawing, sketching, photo editing, note taking, and online teaching purpose.
1. XP-Pen Deco Mini4
XP-Pen Deco mini4 is a small, lightweight, very portable, easy to install and is an excellent device to aid your handwriting or educational purpose.
The active area takes only 4 x3 inches, a small movement with the pen will translate to a large movement on the display. meaning that you will have to use zooming a lot.
The drawing board has an all-black design. It feels solidly built, and tablet surface is smooth and scratch resistant.
There are 6 customizable buttons, very helpful for fast working. all buttons are entirely separate circular buttons, have a nice tactile feel, which makes them pleasant to use.
The Deco mini4 comes with a Battery-Free Passive Stylus P05D that lasts for long hours, allowing you to create without interruption
With up to 8,192 pressure sensitivity levels, the stylus creates natural-looking lines of various widths, allowing you to produce exquisite strokes with ease.
The tablet works on Windows, Mac, and Chromebook systems with all the usual software i.e. Photoshop, Illustrator, Krita, Microsoft Whiteboard, Zoom, OneNote etc. – in fact all software that you would work on with a mouse!
Using the OTG adapter included, you are able to plug the tablet into another compatible Android device i.e. a mobile phone or tablet and continue working
If you’re a beginner or a hobbyist looking for a small, cheap drawing tablet, or even a parent with a kid who wants to try out digital art, this is the one for sure.
If you think that Deco mini4 is a bit small, take a look at the XP-Pen deco mini7. Compare to the Deco mini4, the deco mini7 provides a wider active area of 7 x 4.37 inches and tilt recognition support with same stylus, layout and appearance.
XP-Pen Deco mini7w have same tech specs with Deco Mini7 but with additional 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, allows you to create with both speed and freedom.
The XP-Pen Star G640 is one of the cheapest and simplest models, suitable for those who are buying their first graphics tablet.
This drawing pad is slim and compact. It measures 6 x 4 inches active area and thick just 2mm. You can easily put it on your laps while painting, or use it on limited desk space, take it on a trip, etc
The tablet surface accurately captures the movements of the pen nib as it has 5080 pressure-sensitive lines into each inch of the tablet’s active area. 266RPS ensures quick and instant response to pen movements.
This pen doesn’t requires a battery to operate. It has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, which allows you to easily make variable pen strokes when drawing.
There are two buttons on the pen near where your thumb and index fingers go, which can be customized to almost anything you want.
The XP-Pen Star G640 drawing tablet is suitable for taking notes and working with documents as it’s very easy to handwrite on its surface. It also works great for sketching, drawing, photo editing and playing OSU.
The only downside is that Star G640 is an old model, so it doesn’t support connect to Android and chromebook devices, only compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS computers.
XP-Pen Star G430S has same tech specs and appearance with star 640 but comes with a smaller working area of 4 x 3 inches, which makes it more portable to carry out.
XP-Pen Deco Fun Graphic Tablet is a great looking tablet, with great drawing performance. The only downside is that there are no shortcut keys.
Deco Fun Series comes in 3 sizes— XS (4.8＂× 3＂ active area), S (6.3＂× 4＂activearea), and L (10＂× 6.27＂active area)— to suit all needs, whether it is portability or greater drawing surface size. 4 cute colors (Black, Blue, Green, and Red) to choose from and is very budget-friendly.
The included Stylus is a passive pen that works on EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) technology and does not require batteries to function.
The 220PPS data transfer rates, 5080LPI pen resolution, and 8192 levels of sensitivity to pen pressure allow getting a professional level of drawing.
Notice that the S and L version support a 60-degree tilt detection, but the XS version doesn’t. with this function, tilting your pen will produces a different stroke, with a different thickness and flow. this makes drawing feel like the real deal.
XP-pen Deco Fun model is compatible with Chrome OS, Linux, Windows, Mac and select Android devices. But the OTG USB Adapter is not included in the package. You have to purchase it separately.
For the user who is looking for the affordable solution of online learning, Virtual Teaching, note taking, playing OSU, photo editing, sketching and drawing. the Deco Fun tablet is a pretty good choice.
XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 is currently one of the most value for money drawing tablets in the market.
The tablet is available in three colors – Black, green, and pink. which not only makes the pen tablet more appealing but also offers more choices to users who pursue individuality.
It has a 10 x 6.25 inches spacious working surface, allowing you to display your artistic design across a larger area.
The drawing surface is made of scratch-resistant material that does not get scratched by the pointed tip of the stylus.
The Deco 01 V2 tablet comes with a battery-free Digital Pen and 8 extra Nib tips that you can switch out and replace.
The pen is quality build and has 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity – perfect for getting those nice variable pen strokes when creating your masterpiece!
It also supports 60 degrees of tilt so you can shade away to your hearts content just like a real pencil!
The Deco 01 V2 tablet also has 8 shortcut keys located on the left hand side of the tablet that you can customize to quickly perform a number of functions.
It is widely compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Chrome OS devices. You can easily connect the Deco 01 V2 tablet to your Android devices through the included OTG adapter, which can enable you to enjoy the outdoor drawing.
The Design and build quality of XP-Pen Deco MW is quite good! It is available in 4 colors: green, blue, pink and black, which offers more choices for users to fit their styles.
XP-Pen Deco MW comes with a medium-sized active drawing area of 8 x 5 Inches. this is the balance between beauty and practicability, allows you to freely move your hands without feeling cramped.
There are 8 fully customizable buttons on the left-hand side which can be programmed for shortcuts and hotkeys depending on what software is being run.
The Deco MW Tablet supports Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity with an 11-yard range. Its 1000mAh internal battery lasts more than 10 hours and you can use it to the max potential. The Deco L version without Bluetooth could save you a few bucks
The battery-free stylus is based on XP-Pen’s new X3 smart chip technology. Along with a lower initial activation force of 3g, the pen features a short retraction distance providing a more natural writing experience. The pen has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support.
This model works well with Windows, macOS, Chrome OS and Android. The included Android OTG adapter and 10 extra pen nibs are a bonus .
XP-Pen Deco MW is a flexible tablet that offers both space and portability. It would make a great first tablet if you’re getting started with digital drawing and painting.
The XP-Pen Deco LW is a larger bluetooth tablet designed with a working surface of 10 x 6 Inches, but other tech specs is same with Deco MW.
The XP-Pen Deco Pro stylish tablet has a similar form and functionality to a Wacom Intuos Pro, but it costs just one-third of an Intuos Pro.
The tablet is lightweight with great layout and interface. It feels and looks like a premium device with its metal back and casing.
You can use its innovative dual wheels (Touchpad+Mechanical wheel) and 8 shortcut keys to greatly improve your workflow. The touchpad allows you to scroll and pan the page.
The circular metallic wheel can be rotated left or right to perform various shortcut operations, And you can set the wheel to perform up to 5 different shortcuts.
It’s available in two sizes of active area: The Deco Pro Small features a 9×5 inches working area, while the Deco Pro Medium features an 11 x 6 inches working area. Both have spacious working space for more accuracy while you draw, works well with the large screens.
Deco Pro SW and Deco Pro MW are delicately integrated with advanced Bluetooth v5.0 for reliable wireless connections. so it’s simple to use around your workspace without being tethered to your computer.
The PA1 battery-free pen has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, 5080 LPI and tilt support. The rubber grip on the pen ensures you can use it for long hours without any fatigue.
Additionally, the Deco Pro tablet can be connected to Android mobile devices and is compatible with Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, and Linux devices.
Whether creating digital sketches, 3D sculpting or professional graphics, the Deco Pro can help.
XP-Pen Artist 12 (2nd gen) is a terrific 11.9-inch display tablet for enhancing the effectiveness of your drawing workflow because it is quick and precise.
The screen resolution measures 1920×1080 which is pretty good for such compact size. since the 94% Adobe RGB color gamut, Colors are fantastic, accurate and natural.
The screen features fully laminated technology, this gets rid of parallax and massively improves stylus accuracy and the overall drawing performance of the tablet.
The display surface has matte finish to reduce glare and light reflections. It also makes drawing and using the pen a lot more fun since it adds a little bit of resistance.
The artist 12 (2nd gen) tablet is equipped with 8 customizable express keys, which can highly speed up your workflow.
The X3 Elite pen is battery free, supports 60 degree tilt function and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. Thanks to the new X3 Smart Chip technology, Initial Activation Force (IAF) is minimal to 3g and the pen is very sensitive.
Users can now buy the artist 12 (2nd gen) tablet in green, blue, and pink, in addition to black. This tablet should run on almost all platforms of Chrome OS, Android, Linux, Windows and Mac.
There are two ways to connect the artist 12 (2nd gen) tablet to a computer. The first way is to use the included 3 in 1 Cable. The second method is to use the single USB-C to USB-C cable, which needs to be purchased separately.
The XP-Pen Artist 12 (2nd gen) is a solid drawing tablet. Despite being on the more affordable end of the spectrum, nothing about it feels cheap.
The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro offers a FHD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels in a 15.6-inch diagonal panel. For most people, this is the perfect tablet, a nice big screen but also still the right size to put it in their backpack and travel with them.
It covers 120% of the sRGB color space, capable of displaying 16.7M colors. The colors look vibrant and clear, and there’s not much distortion on them.
The matte screen protector and laminated display also makes the drawing experience really nice.
The Artist 15.6 Pro tablet has 8 clickable buttons, which can be assigned to different shortcut.
There are a unique red roller wheel, allows you to zoom, rotate, pan, scroll, and most importantly – change the size of the brush and eraser by simply rotating it.
The precise PA2 battery-fre stylus has 8192 pressure level that gives you natural writing and sketching abilities with high accuracy and efficiency.
Additional ±60° tilt function reach smooth and vivid tilt brush effect, let your expressions vibrant.
XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is a budget-friendly tablet, an ideal choice for beginner artists who love drawing and painting.
11.6-inch XP-Pen Artist 12 pro and 13.3-inch XP-Pen Artist 13.3 Proare a slightly smaller version of the Artist 15.6 Pro, designed to be lighter and more portable. But Artist 12 Pro only supports 100% sRGB color gamut.
The XP-Pen Artist Pro 16 is a well designed pen display with a colour accurate display, solid build quality and fantastic drawing performance.
The 15.4 inch Laminated display features FHD1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, Colour gamut is quite impressive at 99% Adobe RGB which ensure the most vibrant colors.
The screen has a textured matte film over it this is to give your pen more grip and improve control when drawing. It also delivers maximum protection and visibility for your Artist Pro 16 tablet.
The new X3 Elite Plus stylus comes with XP-Pen’s X3 smart chip which lowered the initial activation force of the stylus, and makes it one of the best styluses in the market.
The Shorten pen nibs and better nib firmness make the pen tip barely bounce back to improve accuracy and reduce offset.
The stylus supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt response and one exclusive feature that are not available on the regular pen: an eraser on the other end of the pen.
The XP-Pen Artist Pro 16 has a dual function wheel, which has a physical wheel on the outside and a touch wheel in the center, It is a very convenient feature to have and makes your drawing process much easier and effortless.
XP-Pen Artist pro 16 is a huge bonus for illustrators and other artists looking to print their work. The metal body makes it more durable.
The XP-Pen Artist 24 pro gives you a physically larger 23.8-inch drawing area for more comfortable, expressive arm movement while drawing.
The2k (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution is very crisp and it feels great to be up close to your artwork. 90% Adobe RGB color performance, making color matching and calibration a joy.
The matte Anti-glare film gives you a nice feel when either drawing or animating. Parallax is almost nonexistent.
It has 20 programmable shortcut buttons and two red dial wheels on either side of the screen. The spinning dials either side are best for zooming and scrolling, or for changing brush sizes.
The PA2 pen doesn’t require charging, as it draws power from the Artist 24 Pro through EMR technology, which eliminates the need for a battery.
It supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity to produce smooth and accurate lines. There’s also a 60° tilt range, so the pen acts like a pencil as it’s tilted—again, making the line thicker or thinner.
The tablet stand, attached to the back, has enough ‘heft’ to support this substantial tablet from 16 to 90 degrees, allowing you to work at an angle that suits. It also supports a 100x100mm VESA mount.
Using the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro gives you the confidence to quickly and precisely edit your photos and images. It offers excellent value for money, with everything you need to get started.
If you don’t need the programmable shortcuts and want to pay less money, you can get the XP-Pen Artist 24, which have same tech specs with Artist 24 pro.
In the world of graphic design and digital art, a graphic tablet it’s a must.
Using a XP-Pen tablet has the advantage of excellent performance and great value at a low cost. Also, the accessories are abundant.
Now that you know better, you should be able to find the best XP-Pen without going over budget.
If you’re new to creating digitally, XP-Pen Star or Deco is the perfect design for you. But if you’ve got a bit more experience and would like to use the model that professionals themselves use, the Artist series might be the right choice.
Whatever XP-Pen model you want to employ, the goal is still the same. Get out there and keep making unique digital art; don’t let the cost of materials stop you.
About the author : Clinton Kane
A technical content writer, passionate about sharing high-quality knowledge of pc technology, software, and creative workflows.