“XP-PEN Artist 22 (2nd Generation)” First Day/Week Impressions Review (Better Than Expected)

So, I recently bought a new display tablet, my second digital tablet in the whole of my drawing life, my first being a no-more-in-production years ago, 10 year old plus Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet, that is so hilariously outdated by now. (It had only 512 pressure levels, I think, for reference, everything has like 4,000 to 8,000+ levels now) I bought this tablet with the purpose of hopefully resolving the problem I always had with my Wacom Bamboo Fun which I wrote about here.

And, what better way to eek out another post than to ramble about a new purchase and pass it off as a review? I don’t expect to have many tablets sent to me to review so I will just save everyone the trouble and have no unboxing videos (I was too excited and unboxed it right away without a camera anyway because come on) and just get straight to certain issues that I had hoped the display tablet would solve and whether it solves them, some trepidations I had with purchasing it as well.

All in all, generally, quite happy and impressed with this? When I first started drawing, 1000 years ago, your only legit option for a brand was Wacom and now you have XP-PEN, Huion, you can draw on your iPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc. now even as well.

The reliance on Wacom as the high watermark standard of a drawing tablet brand was real and switching to another budget cheaper brand felt sacrilegious but the cost difference and the quality received from XP-PEN is very acceptable. Getting like a higher resolution, Wacom display tablet of around the same size would literally cost 3-4 times the price of this tablet, which is incredibly insane.

I think now in this day and age Wacom has lost its monopoly on the digital tablet market and/or has achieved the “too expensive for common folk” status that other brands truly are legit alternatives and this is from someone with the whole “Wacom is the only brand you can and should ever buy” drilled into his brain. This was one trepidation I had getting this tablet.

The first issue with my old tablet that I wanted to solve, I linked about at the start, this first issue I wanted to solve so badly because the headache from the whole parallax error/terrible hand-eye coordination problem it creates was so crippling to my productivity that I really felt for years and years that a display tablet would solve my problem and this XP-PEN display tablet I feel has. I don’t feel the headache when I draw, I feel more productive, its easier to translate what I want directly to the screen into the drawing program.

My first quick sketch on the tablet.

The second issue I was always worried about was the size, because the reason I went for the 22inch screen was because I always felt the small Wacom Cintiqs at 13-16 inches was just too small to really work on, at least for me, the screen is too small for my gargantuan hands and my terrible eyes. So with a big screen I was worried that the pixels will be very jarring to look at, since I will be up close to the screen and thankfully it isn’t so bad, the resolution of the XP-PEN Artist 22 2nd Generation is 1080p, and its still alright. Wacom Cintiqs of the same screen are 4k if not 2k but of course the price is a factor as well.

The third issue was touched upon with like oh is it going to measure up to Wacom good enough in terms of pen use, resolution, basically all the hardware issues, would they be good enough and XP-PEN still delivers that, as a budget brand still, like their most expensive tablet is still only a quarter of the cost of a Wacom equivalent, and yet delivers, I don’t have a Wacom Cintiq for reference but I think it delivers well enough, pen works fine, screen works well, colour looks alright, etc.

I am sure those that have used a Cintiq before regularly will notice more differences of colour, pen feel/lag/quality, and it would be a downgrade but as someone who has never used a modern Cintiq regularly day to day before, I don’t notice anything particularly off about it or really wrong with it.

The only problem I have is for my setup, the wires are not long enough, to be fair, my setup isn’t good and so it can be entirely blamed for that, the wires that came with it are the standard length for those kind of cables? So its really is my own setup being bad rather than the actual wires it came with.

Quick basic shapes drawn to test out the tablet.

I would definitely recommend XP-PEN, at least this tablet, I think if you can deal with smaller sized tablets, like 13 inches, 15.6 inches, etc. Then you can save even more money and buy the smaller ones that still works well. I believe that if XP-PEN can get the 22 inch version right everything else shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

I will update this post with another in the further future if I have any future possible problems after more use. If you are looking for a budget tablet, XP-PEN can definitely deliver, if you have enough money to sink into a Wacom tablet without blinking then might as well go that route. From all the video reviews I have seen, people keep saying Wacom pens are still the best so there’s that to consider, but there’s also a really hefty price tag to consider along with that as well.

Do let me know what brand of tablet you draw on or whatever brand you have drawn on before and your experience with them. It’s possible that the cheaper non-display tablets are not as good.

If you liked what you read, please consider supporting me on Patreon (monthly) or ko-fi (one time donations).

Stay safe~!
JR





3 Comments

  1. I picked up a smaller version of the XP-PEN a few years back and ended up having to replace it about 11 months into its use. I don’t want to be a downer on your post because it could have been a fault in my particular model – but I did just want to comment a warning, especially since I saw you discussing the cables.

    It worked flawlessly until three months into usage, when the cable port on my tablet became very unstable. The tablet would flicker, lose connection, turn off in mid-use and sometimes I’d have to reboot the computer or restart the tablet driver process just to get it to work again. The longer this went on, the more impossible it became to use. I looked it up online and I’m not the only one that had this issue. Again, it’s not everyone. I could have gotten a bad tablet, who knows?

    For my model, this started due to bad placement of the cable port, which was at the top left of the tablet, right where I’d put my hand to use the additional buttons. Sometimes I’d bump the cable, which was impossible to avoid given where the cable plugged in. I even went as far as to pony up $20 for a new cable to make sure it wasn’t the cable itself that went bad. The new cable did the same thing.

    So my advice to anyone who purchases an XP-PEN – treat the cables VERY carefully and if you see that you’re in a position where that cable is getting bumped/stretched often, do your best to prevent that. Keep warranty info on hand and at first sign of it flickering, disconnecting or acting up due to cable movement, I’d be contacting someone.

    Don’t wait until it’s out of warranty like I did. I ended up having to buy a whole new tablet (went back to Wacom with a Wacom One – great tablet!) in this case because I just couldn’t keep going through what I had been to simply do anything art-wise on my PC. I’m hoping your model might be built differently from mine and that you won’t have any of these issues, because aside from this one thing, the rest of the tablet was quite nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s ok! Its good to know what can possibly happen in the future, as this is really just my day 1/week 1 impressions, I don’t know what prolonged use, wear and tear that the tablet/brand’s tablets can sustain. Sorry to hear about your tablet dying like that, that sounds really frustrating especially if its just cables and not the tablet itself.

      For me, its the cables all connect on the right side of the tablet but my CPU setup is on the left so my cables go out the right and stretch/pull to the left so I am very like “man over time this is going to likely wear down fast” but with the exception of the very long power cable, the usb-c to usb-a and the hdmi cable can be easily replaced at least if and when the cables go. I don’t have a USB C port on my old PC so I have to use the hdmi cable along with the USB one.

      For this model, the cable is hidden all behind and I won’t bump the cable trying to draw and I have no buttons to press as I got the cheaper no shortcut buttons version of the tablet. However like I said just now the way my setup is, its very not optimal. The cables are not so stretched to their limit but again not optimal.

      Thanks for the advice for everyone reading! I hope mine lasts long without problems. I will update in future posts if anything happens. Ideally, every artist should have a Wacom tablet but the $$$$ issues. So yeah, have to make do with whatever one can afford.

      Like

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