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10 August 2018 - Review: XP-Pen Artist16 Pro Pen Display Drawing Monitor Tablet

XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro is a nice affordable pen display & Cintiq alternative, It supports a 8192 level of pressure sensitivity, and features a nice 15.6 inches HD screen. It supports many display types out of the box. It is a pretty much a product I recommend to anyone looking for an affordable pen display to get started with digital art, or for anyone who wants to an affordable upgrade from a regular graphics tablet.

XP-Pen started out in Japan in 2005, and since then has opened offices in Taiwan; Shenzhen, China; and the U.S. They state their concern with the environment led to them to make their pens battery-free. They were kind enough to send me this tablet to review, so I have had time to test out various art programs on it.

I have owned this graphics tablet for around a week and I now feel that I have enough information and have spent enough time with this tablet to accurately review the product. I will continue to update this review as time goes on...

The product shipped extremely fast and was very well packaged. Upon opening the box, I noticed that it came with quite a few items- two pens, two pen chargers, a pen stand (including multiple nibs), a glove, a screen protector, a screen wipe, an Apple display cable, a normal power cable for the monitor itself, a HDMI cable, and a USB extension cable.

Important specifications

Active Area: 344.16 x 193.59 mm , 15.6 inch diagonal
Resolution: FHD 1920 x 1080 (16:9 ratio)
Display Type: IPS
Pen Type: Recharging
Pen Pressure: 8192
Resolution: 5080 LPI
Expresskeys: 8 hot keys, no eraser
Multi-touch: No
Price: $489.99 Buy from https://www.xp-pen.com/goods/show/id/251.html .

The Screen

XP-Pen Artist 16 Pros screen is an IPS panel screen, a type known for having good colors & wide viewing angles. That mean that the colors wont change much when you view the picture from different angles. Unless you looked at it from a very narrow angle.

The screen size is about 15.6 inches, and has a HD resolution of 1920 X 1080. The screen is made of glass. This means two things, first, if too much light was cast on the screen, then the screen will act as a mirror, making it harder to use, this is easy to fix by placing the monitor on a place where not much amount of light falls on the screen.

You should make sure to check your own room for bright lights if you are considering this tablet, or take into consideration buying an anti-glare screen protector.

Second, it means that the drawing surface will be sleek, this can be good or a bad thing depending on your preferences. If this is the first time you use a graphics tablet or pen display, you may not mind that much.

XP-Pen Artist 16 Pros screen features no touch capabilities, so you can only interacts with it using one of the two pens it comes with.

Display Ports

At the back of the screen, you will see all sorts of display ports. Like USB,& HDMI. That means that XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro will work on your computer no matter which display port your computer has. And to make life easier for Mac users, XP-Pen included a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter for Mac users.

The XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro needs a USB cable for pen input, a video cable such as HDMI to display the screen (or an adapter if your computer has a different port from those three), and a power cable to power the display.

My power cable is the US plug type, but the power cable should be different according to your region.

Since XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro doubles as a computer display, you can use it as a second computer display when you are not drawing with it.

Drawing Capabilities

XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro Pen Dsiaplay tablet supports 8192 level of pressure sensitivity, which is typical of drawing devices nowadays. The big drawing area can make it easier to draw & have control on your lines.

Since there is a glass that separates the pen from the digitizer, a slight misalignment between the pen & the cursor on the screen is inevitable. To solve this problem, you will need to calibrate your XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro to suit the angle you work on. And for that the driver software of XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro supports two kind of calibration, 4-point & 9-point calibration. The difference between the two is the number of points you point on the screen. Bear in mind that eve after the calibration, there can still be some misalignment at the edges of the screen, but that is due to hardware limitation.

When it comes to drawing your strokes, XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro requires a more pressure to actually make the strokes appear on the screen. So if you are the kind who make a lot of light strokes, then you may not be happy with that. And unfortunately, the driver software doesnt give you anyway to adjust the sensitivity of the digitizer. So you pretty much need to get used to drawing with how it comes out.

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.

Overall, drawing performance is good. The pressure sensitivity works very well. The display is responsive and lines appear instantly as they are drawn. There's no lag.

The Po2s Pen

The P02S pen weighs 17 grams and is comfortable to hold. It doesnt have indentations or a grip, but it has a good balance in the hand. It slides quickly over the glass, since the screen is slick, though not super-slippery.

Using the screen protector slows it down somewhat. Some people like to draw on a glossy surface; others prefer a textured screen such as that on the Cintiq, or a more matte screen protector.

The pen has good tracking, with a bit of parallax due to the thickness of the screen, as does a Cintiq tablet. I did not notice any jitter.

The pen features an auto-sleep function to save battery life. It takes 1 to 2 hours to charge, which will last a couple of weeks, up to 130 hours depending on use. Because two pens are included, you can keep one charged and switch to it when needed. The pen weighs 17 grams.

Theres a blue light indicator to signal when the battery is low. The pen is rechargeable, but the battery that comes in it is not replaceable.

While charging, the pen light will be red until fully charged.

The two buttons on the pen are programmable in the driver. You can toggle it with just one click and one hand, since the button is within reach of your drawing hands fingers, so you could program one button to switch to the eraser, which could save you time.

Unlike the Wacom Pro pen, this pen does not have an eraser on the back end. The buttons can only be customized for mouse functions, such as right-click, as well as eraser.

Build and Design

The screen is made of an anti-scratch glass which seems to live up to its name as I see no scratches whatsoever from the few days I spend drawing on it.

Thankfully the buttons are not placed on the front of the monitor, and are instead on the right side . This means that they do not get in the way when drawing.

The buttons are on the right side . They are not too hard to reach because the stand lifts the tablet above the table; still, it would be nice if they were in a more convenient place.

The monitor build quality as a whole isnt as premium as Wacoms, but its solid and stable. Though there are volume controls, there are no speakers; they are for speaker support.

The device is made of rugged textured plastic with rubber on the base and bracket.

Adjustable Stand

The stand can be adjusted up and down to any angle but does not rotate (the Cintiq 22s metal stand both rotates and goes up and down) Its a good idea to replace the stand with a mounting arm .

The monitor sits on the stand above the table, making the buttons, which are on the right and along the bottom, easy to access. The ports for the cables are on the back, and a little hard to get to because of the stand. The cables can also get mixed up in the stand.

The stand is removeable and VESA-compatible; you can replace it with a mounting arm.

Compatibility

The Artist 16 Pro Drawing Monitor supports Windows 7 or later and Mac Os X 10.8 or later, and is compatible with popular creative software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Clip Studio Paint, SAI, ZBrush, MediBang Paint and Toon Boom Harmony.

PROS

+ PRICE: Compared to Wacom products, this Artist16 Pro display tablet at the time of this review is only $489.99, compared to $1,599.95 of a Wacom the same size. I honestly do not see why anyone would spend the money on a Wacom with the XP-PEN being such high quality

+ IMAGE QUALITY: The image quality is absolutely stunning- I was blown away by just how accurate the colors are and how brilliant the screen is. I have heard people complaining about non-Wacom brand tablets cause eye strain and should have breaks taken after an hour- I can say I have drawn for seven straight hours on this tablet, and I have not had a single problem.

+ PEN (x2): It is absolutely great that this product comes with two pens- one can be charging while you are using the other, or if you are like me and misplace the pen all of the time, this is a great alternative. The pen is built extremely similar to the Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch pen, which was my previous favorite tablet- it was very easy to get used to this pen. Also, I will mention this later, but there are two buttons on the lower part of the pen that you can set to be an eraser, right-click, etc. I find this is incredibly helpful because I do not have to keep going over and clicking the eraser.

+ SIZE: 15.6" screen makes this product extremely nice, like a large canvas just waiting to be drawn on.

+ ACCESSORIES: This product comes with quite a few extra accessories- a glove, a screen protector, a screen wipe, extra nibs- all things that the company does not have to include, but they do. I think that really speaks highly of XP-PEN when they could be charging for these items

+ CORDS: Every cord that you can imagine comes with this tablet, which is great. I run a Windows 8.1 on an HP Pavilion so I did not have to worry about compatibility, but all of the options that they provide in cords make this product extremely versatile. I have noticed some people saying that the cords did not match- I did not have this problem. All of the cords that I received were black and seemed high quality.

+ COMPATIBILITY: I have confirmed that this works with Paint Tool Sai, Photoshop CS5/6, Illustrator, Open Canvas, Comic Studio, ZBrush, Fire Alpaca, and Manga Studio Pro.

+ ASSEMBLY: Honestly, set-up took about five minutes. You literally just have to plug in the correct cables and you are all set. The drivers install very quickly and everything went very smoothly.

+ SHIPPING: The shipping on this product was four days without Prime, directly from Hong Kong- which is absolutely amazing when you think about it

+ CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Not only is the staff friendly, they really care about their customers. As I stated before, they do not need to include all of the extras that they do, such as extra pens or screen protectors. Also, from reading many previous reviews, they really do listen to their customer base. A large complaint while I was reading reviews was that the cords do not match- one was blue while the others were black. When I received my cords, this issue was fixed. Another problem users had was with the screen protector- it was incredibly hard to attach it without multiple air bubbles. Now, they have updated the screen protector to one that simply attaches at lays over your screen. Just the fact that they listen to their customers and actually spend the time going through the reviews speaks wonders about this company.

+ NO HEAT: I have used this for up to seven hours straight, and noticed no excessive heat. It was a little bit warm, but not freshly microwaved food warm, more like slightly warmer that its surroundings but not even close to how warm my laptop is warm.

+ VERY HIGH DEFINITION: When this says HD, it really means HD- this monitor is stunningly beautiful, not only for artwork, but doubles as a second monitor for gaming, internet browsing, movies, and any other use you could think of.

+ CALIBRATION: This product required absolutely no calibration, color or touch, out of the box. Although that is not a big deal, it is a little extra something that made the entire experience nice. Just for this review, I did re-calibrate my screen- this was a very quick and easy process.

+ RESPONSIVE: This product has increased my productivity so extremely much; it is almost amazing to me. Previously favoring my Wacom Intuos, there was always this disconnection between drawing on the tablet and it appearing on the screen- this always caused me to have to re-draw lines over, and over, and over, until they were just right. With this tablet, that takes all of the guesswork right out of it- where you draw, there will be a line. It's almost stunning how much more I get accomplished in a session.

+ SMALL PARALLAX: You do notice some parallax while drawing, but after drawing on a tablet for so long, it really does not bother me personally- I rarely noticed it at all.

+ DRIVERS: It is easiest just to download the most current drivers directly from their website, so getting the drivers from the Internet, while being my only option, went incredibly smoothly

+ LIGHT-WEIGHT: I was honestly surprised at how light this monitor was- I was actually expecting something a lot heaver. I really enjoy how this tablet is light but does not feel flimsy in the least.

+ THE STAND: I have noticed that quite a few people have commented that the stand is flimsy/awkward. I, personally, have not had this experience. I trust the stand enough to put full pressure on it and I do not worry that it will break.

CONS

- NO PEN ERASER: While there is no direct pen eraser similar to the Wacom Intuos, it does have a button on the pen that you can set to the eraser- I almost find this easier that having to flip the pen upside down and use it to erase.

- Some parallax: There is some spacing between the pen tip and where the cursor appears.

- GLOSSY SCREEN: This is probably my least favorite part of this tablet- the screen is extremely glossy. In a brightly lit room, the glare on this is pretty bad. I work in a room that is only lit by Christmas string lights, so I do not have a problem with this, but when I do turn on the overhead light, it does cause some issues.

The Verdict

Overall, I am so extremely satisfied with this Artist 16 Pro pen monitor - within a few short days; it has become my most favorite drawing device. I would honestly recommend this to any person looking to buy a tablet but not wanting to spend an ungodly amount of money. This product has the quality of a champion, and I look forward to being a customer of this company for many years to come. I was so afraid at first, because it is $489.99 , and XP-PEN is not as famous as Wacom- everyone knows Wacom. Looking back, I realize how foolish I was to wait so long on this product. If you have to take a chance on something, I would definitely take a chance on this tablet.

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