XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Review- Affordable Wide Gamut Pen Display

by birtanpublished on April 15, 2021

This is Lisa from mobile tech review and man it is good time for budding artists and artists on a budget these days recently we reviewed the Wacom Cintiq 16 which is their first so-called affordable 16 inch pen display that one sells for 649 but XP pen is fighting back with the new XP pen artist 15.6 pro they have a lot of models it can be a little confusing but this new pro model is different because it has a wide gamut display it has their new battery free pen so you know to charge a pen anymore they've added the little red jog wheel that you can see there between the express keys that's pretty exciting

Stuff and it's you know the build quality on it is pretty good and it's thin and it's light look twelve point six millimeters 11 millimeters at the thinnest spot and is light but in a good way it doesn't feel cheap and it feels like so you really could use in your lap which you know say that's fifteen point six inches you just might want to do that we're gonna look at it now so here's a good news it's four hundred and thirty nine dollars this is a lot of nice tablet for the price pen monitor whatever you want to call this thing so this is a full HD 1920 by 1080 IPS

Display yes you can use it just as a monitor too if you want and that means the viewing angles are good on this now it doesn't have h glass and we don't expect edge glass for the price it has what they say is a removable and replaceable film though it's on there so well that I couldn't tell that it was removable but they've done a good job with this instead of some of the previous mat films that I've just ripped off right away despite the fact that I hate Claire and I like to phone the screen so the pen doesn't skate they didn't look good this one it looks just

Fine it looks almost as good as edge glass it's not overly grainy and it doesn't horribly reduce the contrast it's also a laminated display otherwise known as bond of glass that means that unlike some of the affordable budget pen monitors we've reviewed in the past that had glass layer considerably above the display layer underneath you don't see that big air gap anymore so that reduces the sense of parallax greatly parallax is where you're drawing here and you see where your pen tip is physically but where your drawing actually shows up someplace

A little bit off from that spot on screen no more from this pen it has 8192 pressure levels which is the thing for 2018 going into 2019 for a higher and pen display so that sort of thing so that's pretty much par for the course adjustable pressure curves as you would expect in the control panel software that's provided it's good it also supports tilt which is new and different for these displays now it works fine for Windows ink programs like if you're using the Windows sketch pad program great tilt right there if you're

Using Photoshop and usually said legacy brushes which is what XP pen advises because with the modern brushes if you try to turn on the say the tilt functionality to control line width or anything like that it just says not supported anyway the legacy brushes you can see on screen then it's showing some tilts not as much as you see when the traditional Wacom aor like a Cintiq the pen is the usual belt pen shapes or torpedo-shaped it has a nice rubbery grip that feels pretty good on it it feels really light maybe the absence of that rechargeable battery in the inside

I'd like a little bit more weight on it but that's just not the end of the world it has two buttons on the side and those are programmable inside of the little XP pen control panel there is no eraser on the butt end this is also I guess that a wide gamut display so instead of getting nearly full srgb maybe 75% of Adobe RGB our color Rimmer measured it we use a spider v cholera meter which is a piece of hardware that you use with software and it measured 84 percent of Adobe RGB which is the wider gamut standards so that's pretty darn good and in this price range this isn't something you

Would usually see the Wacom Cintiq 16 just does the usual around 75% of Adobe RGB but be careful what you wish for it something has to give in the budget price range so while the gamut on this is pretty wide you can see on screen the color accuracy where longer bars are worse is pretty poor on this and the white point is off no it's a it's a typical monitor so they have software settings instead of hardware buttons now to getting to that so if I set it to 65 hundred degrees Kelvin it measures seventy seven hundred degrees Kelvin much cooler so you have to play around

With those settings to get something that's fairly color accurate now if you're just doing this for hobby purposes who cares but if you're one of those starving artists out there who's looking for the best pen monitor they can get and you can't spend much money be aware of this that you're going to really want to calibrate this and keep an eye on color shifts and also also be mindful of the fact that if you're doing content for the web where srgb is the standard that white Adobe might feel a little bit and what you're doing looks so wild and cool and

Saturated might like a little funny under standard laptop screen so this has eight Express keys on the side and for those of you Mon about look at them big bezels art monitors are supposed to have them so we have a place to rest our hands and also as a place for those express keys new is the little red jog dial in the middle and you can use that for things like zooming in Photoshop which is pretty handy since this doesn't have a touchscreen a quick way to zoom is always a nice thing and yes you can't rotate the display if you want for example I'm left-handed even though I'm

Demoing this in right hand mode and the the joong-dal is actually very sensitive it's already Express keys and every time I touched one by accident things happen I didn't want to have happen so yeah if you're lefty like me you can flip it the other way sort of like when Wacom has been doing with their single cable solution it's not really thoroughly signaled this is not USB C to USB C on your laptop but it's a three-in-one sort of cable that's good news and worrisome news but we'll go with the good news aspect mostly it's good news because there's one single

Connection on the back on the side of the monitor so the way the three-in-one cable works it's a little bit weird because the pigtail connector with the three wires coming out is actually coming from the HDMI connector that you're going to plug into your laptop or your PC and from that you have a USB egg cable that you'll also stick into your PC and another USB a sort of looking connector well really is that's for the charger and that one's in red and in smart plug in charger and then finally the USB C termination plugs into the tablet don't get too excited I did test

A straight-through USBC cable and it with with our anywhere and 15and with another laptop and it didn't work I don't think it's getting enough power so it seems to actually need to have that charging brick cable connected the bad news is that's a proprietary cable if it dies on you you'll have to source another one from XP pen and things have improved but with some of these budget pen monitors that we reviewed I've often gotten bad cables with them in the past when it's just a straight HDMI cable or USB cable and the problem just I've got a bin of those so

This way you got to worry about that but then again in the last year or so they've been reviewing these things the quality control to the cables has improved so it should be okay something you get here that you sort of get with a Wacom Cintiq 16 they're welcome Cintiq 16 as it a little slip out legs that function like a stand this comes with a plastic stand that is not going to inspire a world of confidence when you look at it you handle it but it actually does the job this is not a very heavy pendant but there is only one angle which is not

So different from actually the Cintiq sixteens angle so you're gonna be hunching over the desk which I often tend to do and then an hour later I wish I hadn't been doing it so you're probably gonna want to figure out some other stand there's no visa mounting on this because it's a pretty small pen display so no visa mount on this but you get the idea there's tablet stands all sorts of things out there that you can come up with to stand it up inside the box you get the monitor you get one pen and you get a cute little holder that they use

That also doubles as a stand when you unscrew it and eight replacement nibs unlike Wacom there's no felt nib or alternative kind of tips to choose from there's just one black plastic there but the resistance on it is fairly good it doesn't skate around it does make a little bit of it don't you try on the display though you also get an art glove which is nice so you don't have to wear gloves with the fingers cut off like I used to do until y'all made fun of my poverty gloves you get a little wipey thing and the drivers you'll download from their

Website let's talk about the drivers because those are often a problem with some of these budget pen displays the drivers so far is nice it's intuitive it's full-featured they actually do a much better job and say huion when it comes to that you look at it you understand how to use it but there are some quirks I tested this with both Windows and Mac we're demoing it on Windows connected to an alienware 15m if you're wondering works fine with Nvidia graphics cards no problems with that but there are some quirks there granted this is a new product and they do come

Out with updated drivers all the time for example calibration didn't work when I tried to right usually I would just get the top left point and then no more would appear on screen so I couldn't finish calibration so that little bit of pen tip offset that I had maybe I could have fixed that if I couldn't actually run the calibration on it again this doesn't go with the hardware buttons and those OSD menus that are so antiquated I always hated those you press the little buttons forever to try to get to your white point your damnit all that kind of

Stuff this one doesn't on screen there are brightness controls on the side but it's so not bright that you're probably not max brightness but I welcome the fact that they're doing on-screen stuff a lot like Wacom does so you can set your white point inaccurate though it may be for example your brightness and your contrast so in terms of testing this as an artist I tested this with W Photoshop CC 2019 with Corel Painter 2019 and also with clip studio paint and it worked it was compatible with all those the only thing I found with clip studio

Paint and this is not surprising is you definitely don't want to use the tablet PC input if you try to use the wind tab input your your input is off about three inches to on side so yeah not so much you don't want to do that so there's all the techie details and all that sort of thing how do I like it as an artist for those of you who watch my videos you know I'm a tech reviewer by day and I do digital art at night coming from the background of oil painting pastels and charcoal sketching I like it a lot actually like I said the reduced parallax on this is good I'm seeing some

Line leg and that certainly isn't the fault of the Alienware 15m which is an incredibly powerful PC and I'm doing very small brushes when it happens I think that they'll probably address that they can be a little bit distracting the pen tip offset you know I'm an anti-parallel person so if you don't care it's pretty good so I like it in that way now the tilts part obviously a work in progress but I can live without the till – I've actually in the end really enjoyed drawing with it I don't find it quite as fluid and quite as responsive as a Wacom Cintiq but hey

It's also several hundred dollars less and welcomes cheapest new so-called budget offering and I've spent a lot of time doing it in fact the landscape painting that you're looking at took me five days do not watch Michael James Smith on YouTube because you know get into this realism rabbit hole and yeah so five nights I spent drawing with this thing every little tree every little leaf and it was very responsive and I found it very enjoyable to do that sort of thing and that's a fairly complex kind of painting style

So overall thumbs up I have to say that XP pen has done a very good job of stepping up their game in from four hundred and thirty nine dollars there is a lot to like here I'm Lisa for mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more cool tech videos including tech for artists and the thumbs up if you like this vid

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