SEE AGAIN – For eons (in computing time), Wacom has dominated the graphics and display tablet market. However, in the last few years the competition has intensified and this is good for the industry and especially for the customers. XP-Pen is a tablet company that strives to become Wacom’s David of the Goliath by offering tablets at lower prices. The Artist 22 Display Tablet (2nd Generation) is the last stone in their scarf, so to speak.
XP-Pen has also launched a line of super affordable (screenless) graphics tablets to compete with One by Wacom graphics tablets.
The question is: can they beat Wacom at their own game?
What is that?
The XP-Pen Artist 22 Display Tablet (2nd Generation) is a 21.5 inch display tablet designed for digital artists and designers, both professional and hobbyist. It has a high resolution 1080 screen with Adobe 90% color accuracy. It connects to a computer with a single USB-C or HDMI cord, no adapters needed with later computers and laptops. The Artist 22 requires a computer — that’s do not a stand-alone tablet (like an iPad). The XP-Pen has 8,192 pressure sensitivity levels with a 60 ° tilt. A built-in mount is included but can be removed to add a VESA mount.
The DECO line of affordable graphics tablets are designed for beginning digital artists or students who can benefit from a small tablet with a stylus. DECO tablets do not have a screen, the stylus works like a mouse. You have to watch the computer screen.
Specifications: Artist 22
- Dimensions: 21 ” x 13 ” x 1 ” (WxHxD)
- Active area: 18.7 in x 10.5 in.
- Display resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Color Gamut: 86% NTSC, Adobe® RGB90%, sRGB≥122%
- Pressure sensitivity: 8192 levels
- Contrast: 800: 1
- Supported interfaces: USB-C, HDMI, power jack, headphone jack
- Adjustable bracket: 16-90 °
- VESA mount
- Compatibility: Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS X 10.10 (and above) and Linux
Specifications: Deco Fun
- Dimensions: 7 × 5.2 × 0.5 in (XS); 8.2 × 6.3 × 0.5 in (S); 12.4 × 8.7 × 0.5 in (L)
- Colors: black, carmine red, apple green, space blue
- Stylus tilt: 60 ° (L & S); Tilt not supported (XS)
What’s in the box: The Artist 22
- 22 inch display tablet
- Cleaning cloth
- HDMI cable
- Stylus without battery
- Pen holder with additional tips
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- Power cord
- USB A to USB-C cable
- AC adapter
What’s in the box: Fun Deco
- Fun Deco Tablet
- USB-C to USB A cable
- Stylus without battery
Design and features: The Artist 22
When I review a different version of a tech gadget that I have previously reviewed, I try to move up the scale, so to speak. From time to time however, I am asked to review a “lower” version. It’s hard not to compare this new article with its supposedly better sibling. That said, the XP-Pen Artist 22 (2nd Generation) display tablet stands out from the better and more expensive XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro display tablet as well as the Wacom tablet. a lot Cintiq 22 more expensive.
Let’s start with the basics. The Artist 22 (2nd generation) is a large screen tablet that can also double as a second monitor. It comes with a stylus (pen) that you hold. You draw directly on the tablet using the computer software. Although my day job is an art director for a major children’s publisher, I am not an illustrator. But I am a Photoshop expert and use a graphics tablet every day for my work. I have been using different tablets for years and know their pros and cons intimately.
Calling the Artist 22 (2nd Generation) display tablet a stripped-down Artist 24 pro might seem like a fair statement, but there are plenty of other factors to consider. Artist 22 is $ 500. It might sound like a lot of money for a tablet, but it isn’t. XP-Pen kept the important elements while dropping some of its “pro” features (for example, you again place the stylus in its protective tube with a bunch of extra tips).
If you directly compare the Artist 22 display tablet (2nd generation) to the larger Artist 24 Pro, you will immediately notice that there are no shortcut keys on the Artist 22 (the shortcut keys can help you save time during work). It’s a compromise if you like hot keys. However, I consider the lack of hotkeys to be a plus for two reasons. Hotkeys can clutter the bezel area of a tablet with countless buttons and dials, making the tablet bigger than it should be. Furthermore, I never use the included hotkeys and always turn them off. Why? I’m old school using tablets even before there were any shortcut keys and learned to use a keyboard for all of my shortcuts. I still prefer this method (note that XP-Pen makes an optional portable shortcut key remote). The only buttons on the Artist 22 are On / off, settings, and volume (for the headphone port).
The cleaner bezel minus the shortcut keys gives the Artist 22 a sleeker, cleaner look. There is still enough scope on the tablet providing a place to rest your left or right hand while drawing.
Connecting the Artist 22 is a no-brainer if you have a newer computer or laptop with a USB-C port such as my 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro with its 4 USB-C ports. You can also use an HDMI or USB A adapter connector if USB-C is not available. All cables connect in a neat row on the back of the tablet covered with a removable plastic protective cover. There is also a headphone port if you want audio.
The Artist 22 comes with a removable stand that allows it to be adjusted anywhere between 16 and 90 ° viewing and drawing angle. You don’t know how much you need a support until you don’t. The stand is easy to adjust and feels rock solid from any angle. It can also be removed if you prefer a VESA mount for an ergonomic arm.
The resolution on the Artist 22 screen is 1920 x 1080p. Technically it’s called high resolution, but with 2K (XP-Pen) and 4K (Wacom) now available, 1080 is considered just average. When I packed the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro (2560 X 1440) 2K Display Tablet to review this one, I thought I would dread the Artist 22 Display because it was lower in resolution than the Artist 24 Pro and smaller. Although I noticed the difference, it was not off-putting. I kept working on high resolution photos in Photoshop without missing a beat. It was a pleasant surprise.
There’s a nasty little secret about display tablets and graphics tablets, and it’s software drivers. Basically the drivers tell your computer, “Hey! There is a tablet and a stylus connected. Do with it! ”Drivers can make the experience of using a tablet great or awful. With XP-Pen, it was a bit of both. I have yet to get an XP- tablet to work. Pen seamlessly, and the Artist 22 is no exception.
Installing the drivers was the easy part. Then I ran into some calibration issues. I couldn’t align the pen tip with the on-screen cursor, rendering the tablet useless. Only after going back and forth with my employer IT Dep’t. and XP-Pen support resolved the issues. I also found out that the Mac “Pen Tablet” app must be activated at all times – something I had never said before and something that I had never needed to do with a previous tablet, than this either XP-Pen or Wacom. However, once I leave the app on, it’s fine.
Drawing and designing on the Artist 22 is as easy and precise as the Artist 24 Pro and like any Wacom display tablet I have owned and used once you set the drivers. The stylus works great and all of my Adobe apps work well with this tablet. With my left hand holding the pen and my right hand on my keyboard, I can do whatever I want to do without thinking. i can just job.
Will I keep the XP-Pen Artist 22 (2nd Generation) graphics tablet connected after this review is complete? No, and it’s not that the Artist 22 isn’t a good tablet. In fact, I would say it’s awesome. Here’s the problem: it’s just not an Artist 24 Pro tablet. Despite their cheesy and unnecessary (for me) shortcut keys, the Artist 24 Pro’s screen won me over. However, if I had to choose, from scratch, either the Artist 22 or the 24 Pro with my wallet, I would choose the Artist 22. That’s almost half the price and that’s a big deal.
Design and functions: DECO Fun tablets
XP-Pen not only makes reasonably priced display tablets, but they also do madly Affordable graphics tablets. They sent me three Deco Fun tablets that range in size and price from the Deco XS at $ 30 (4.8 x 3 ”) to the Deco S at $ 35 (6.3 x 4 ”) at the Deco L at $ 45 (10 x 6.27 in.). Now, anyone who wants to get into digital art or just wants to use a pen instead of a mouse can afford a graphics tablet.
Using these tablets reminded me of my Wacom Intuous days where I watched the computer screen while my hand drew on a separate tablet. Ah, those were the good old days …
Connection is made with a USB-C to USB A cable for maximum compatibility with many computers / laptops. And the driver software installed without any problem and the tablet worked immediately, a first! I could do whatever I wanted – the tablets even support over 8,000 levels of sensitivity! Note that the Deco L and S support tilting the stylus at 60 °. The XS does not.
The Deco line is available in four colors: black, carmine red, apple green and space blue. Overall, any tablet in the Deco line is a great beginner’s tablet for anyone old enough to use a computer.
Turn Ons: Artist 22
- Great price
- Precise screen
- Easy to use stylus
What i would change
Turn Ons: Deco XS, S, L
- Incredibly attractive prices
- Pleasure factor
- Small to tiny sizes
- Perfect for beginners
What i would change
There’s a lot to love about the XP-Pen Artist 22 (2nd Generation) display tablet. It’s big, easy to use, and affordable for a graphics tablet. It would be my daily driver if I didn’t already have the best (and most expensive) Artist 24 Pro tablet. If XP-Pen can run its drivers as smoothly as Wacom drivers, there would be no reason to hesitate in recommending the Artist 22.
The Deco Fun line of graphic tablets lives up to its name. Fun colors, pro-level pen features, easy setup, and use at impulse prices. What not to like?
Price: Artist 22: US $ 499.99
Or buy: Amazon
Price: Deco XS, S, L: $ 29.99 (XS); $ 35.99 (s); $ 44.99 (L) United States
Or buy: Amazon
Source: Samples of this product were provided by XP-Pen.