Hello everyone,I’m an Illustrator user,Iusually use the Adobe Illustrator. Evernote. Dropbox software and tasks. Mostly Illustrator on my display drawing tablet.
I know there are a lot of people who are looking for cintiq alternatives as Wacom’s tablets are expensive. I had been wanting a cintiq for years but never really thought they were worth all that money. However, after I had a chance of using Cintiq 22HD for a few days, I came to realize that drawing on a display tablet is far quicker and more enjoyable than doing it on non-display tablets.
SO, NOW I WANTED A DISPLAY TABLET TOO FOR TWO REASONS:
1.Drawing on a display tablet was far more enjoyable than drawing with graphic tablets (like my Deco 01).
It felt like I was actually drawing on paper.
2.The higher precision and accuracy = I noticed I wasn’t using the “undo” on cintiq 22HD as much = less hours spent per painting.
CINTIQ 22HD WAS GOOD BUT IS IT WORTH $1600?
Although the drawing experience was really good (feels like Intuos but more precise!) on Cintiq 22HD, I still didn’t think it was worth $1600. It’s a 2012 model and the display was nothing spectacular considering the price. If the display was a higher quality and the tablet was slimmer, I would be dreaming of having one myself even at that price point. Anyways, I looked into cintiq alternatives and the closest thing seemed to be XP-Pen’s newest model, Artist 22E Pro.
XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro
I ordered and had XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro display tablet for a day.
It’s been only a day but I already have a love and hate relationship with it…
Here are the Pros and Cons
1.More affordable than Cintiq 22HD (although it’s still not that cheap $899 / $799 until May 31)
2.Screen temperature stays REALLY COOL (OMG I LOVE) vs Cintiq 22HD gets a little warm
3.IPS Panel (wide view angles) and anti-glare coating’s really good. (cintiq 22HD’s is grainy)
4.almost no lagging felt when drawing (14ms = same as Cintiq 22HD)
5.Slimmer and smaller than Cintiq but has 21.5 inch screen (same as Cintiq 22HD)
6.Parallax better than or similar to Cintiq 22HD
7.pen accuracy, sensitivity on point (except for the area close to the edges)
8.easy to use and install
9.sharp, good colors
CON’s: [UPDATE: I am told that these two issues are solved with recent XP-Pen drivers update]
1.Display is not sharp (texts, image edges, lines are soft when they need to be sharp and clear)
2.Lower pressure sensitivity levels (1%-20%) I feel like are not that accurate. I needed to put a little more force for the nib to register anything and that results in e.g. 20% opacity when I wanted 10%.
3.Pen Batteries: You need to recharge pens. Not really a huge con for me because they give you two pens.
4.No tilt on pen: not a big deal for me. Just mentioning for information as some people do care about this function.
Other notable info:
1.Color Gamut: standard (advertised as an “amazing” display). It covers 72%~78% sRGB. Just a standard. It’s not really a con or a pro I guess.
2.No pen stand: their site says they give you a pen stand. I only found a pen case.
3.Adj. buttons on the display are stiff but you don’t need to use them often once everything’s set.
4.Something about the way the pen nib works: related to the con I mentioned; I just didn’t like the way it felt. The nib’s a little bulky and doesn’t feel good
when doing detailed, light strokes. Depending on what kind of drawing you do, you may not even notice this.
*I wrote no pen calibration in the image but the driver does have it I just missed it. However, that doesn’t change my opinion on the lower pen pressure levels!
SO, MY CONCLUSION IS:
XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro display tablet is a pretty good alternative to a Cintiq with some better aspects (thin bezels, better parallax, 21.5 inch screen etc.)
BUT! There are two major issues that made me return it. The pressure sensitivity was not up to my expectations. Maybe I am just used to Wacom pens but I felt like it’s a little awkward when I needed precise strokes for details. Secondly, the display is not sharp (it’s too blurry. It could be because of the anti-glare coating).
Therefore this is a great display tablet for:
-people who have never experienced higher end Wacom tablets
-people who have not had good quality IPS monitors
-people looking for a Cintiq-like display without breaking their bank
Wouldn’t recommend it to:
-people who have used Wacom tablets (Intuos and above) and are used to them
-professional users / serious artists
*Note: if you intend to use two tablets from two different brands (e.g. wacom intuos and a XP-Pen display tablet) on one PC, keep in mind that there can be only ONE installed driver. You need to uninstall Wacom driver if you are using the XP-Pen tablet and vice versa.