Recently I tried out the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro and used it for a digital painting in Photoshop. In this XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro review I will share my honest opinion with you. That way you can find out if this graphic tablet is the thing for you!
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Artist 15.6 Pro – the specs
Let’s talk about the specs of this graphic tablet first, before we dive deeper into this XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro review. A pen display is basically a screen on which you can use a special pen to draw (or use as a mouse). This means that you need to connect this device to your computer or laptop and run a digital art program, like Photoshop for instance.
The name already says it, the 15.6 Pro has a 15.6″ inch screen. This gives you more than enough space to draw and it’s still small enough to carry it around easily. It’s also very light! It only weighs 1.2kg. The graphic tablet has 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity. This makes the pen display very sensitive, which is great when you want a lot of control over your strokes. The stylus that comes with the screen is battery free, so you don’t have to charge and you can just keep on working. It comes in a nice case with lots of extra nibs.
On the left side of the screen you’ll find 8 buttons and a handy dial. You can set these buttons to any feature you like, using the dial you can zoom in and out or change the size of your brush for example.
But let’s not talk about the specs too long, I want to tell you about my experience! You can find these specs anywhere, but not my opinion about it 🙂
What I like about the XP-Pen
Let’s start off with the things I really like about this pen display. First of all, it’s quite budget friendly. You can get this graphic display for about $400. All you need is a PC or laptop and painting software to get started. You can find some suggestions for digital art software in my article about getting started with digital art.
I’m also a real fan of the battery free stylus, because I think having to charge your pen is a hassle. When I’m drawing on my iPad I always feel bummed when I have to charge my Apple Pencil, when using the XP-Pen I don’t have to think about that. The pressure sensitivity of the stylus is great, you can make very smooth lines and have full control over thickness or opacity (depending on your settings of course). The pen also supports 60 degrees of tilt function.
I also like the easy stand that comes with the pen display. That way you can place your screen at an angle, which is more comfortable for your arm and your eyes.
The things I like less about the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Pen Display
There aren’t many things I don’t like about the XP-Pen actually. It was a pleasure to work with it. For some the smooth surface might be a downside, for me it’s actually something I enjoy. Moving your pen on the screen is soundless.
The thing I didn’t like, but which is a thing with most pen displays I believe, is the slight parallax. What is parallax you ask? It means that the cursor isn’t exactly aligned with the tip of your pen, so there is a slight difference. It made adding small details quite hard for me and my lines were off sometimes. I guess you can get used to it eventually. For me it is a reason I don’t like working with pen displays though.
XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro review – CONCLUSION
So, should you get an XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Pen Display? I think it is a great budget friendly pen display. If you already have a decent computer or laptop, then getting a pen display like this one is a small investment compared to getting an iPad Pro for instance. It would be a nice way to get started with digital art. Looking directly at your screen and hand at the same time, seeing what you are doing as if you are drawing on a piece of paper, makes it easy for beginners to start learning.
My personal preference goes to graphic tablets (without a screen) when I work on a computer though, since that way my hand won’t get in the way. Working on a graphic tablet like that takes more time to get the hang, but they are also a lot cheaper!
Finally, a little overview of pros and cons.
- Relatively low price
- 8192 Levels of Pen Pressure Sensitivity
- Battery free stylus
- Big screen but light weight
- Easy to use shortcut keys and dial
- Slight parallax which makes it harder to make accurate strokes