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XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro graphic pen display honest review

We take a look at the XP-Pen Artist Display 24 Pro graphics tablet; what's inside the box, how it works in use, and other features. Check out the special coupon discount code at the bottom of this review…

Introduction

This is the second XP-Pen device I have reviewed recently. The last one was a sleek, portable, light weight beauty of a device that could slide into your bag and be carried around with ease.

The XP-Pen Artist Display 24 Pro I’m reviewing today is like the opposite of that. It is enormous! I‘ve never reviewed a device this big before (23.8 inches to be precise), so before I even had my hands on the box I was pretty excited.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that I genuinely feel XP-Pen is doing a lot right at the moment. They are offering a great variety of options and making sure they have something to offer for each type of user and their diverse needs. We’re used to seeing devices in different sizes and with different price tags etc, but XP-Pen are really thinking about the user experience, so hopefully you will see elements of that as you read through the review.

Caption – XP-Pen have done a great job of identifying specific user types and targeting devices at them with their recent models

Who is this device for?

When you lift up the box for the first time it will start to sink in just how big this is. I have 2 monitors at my workstation, a large one and a smaller one. My large one all of a sudden felt very small. Obviously you know how big 24 inches is, but it feels particularly big when digital painting directly on to it. As a regular Ipad Pro user, using this device was a bit like going from a little sketchbook to a canvas on an easel.

This is a big device and heavy, so if you’re after creative space and freedom this review will be right up your street.

It’s also heavy. I will talk about the stand shortly as I’m sure that accounts for a lot of the weight. Often when reviewing technology, the inclination is to think that lighter is better, but that simply isn’t always true. In this scenario you want the device to be robust and to stand firm on your desk so it doesn’t wobble or slide about. Honestly this was one of my favourite things about this, it is rock solid and even if you lean on it a bit it doesn’t budge an inch.

So this device is for those who plan to put it on a desk and leave it there. Maybe in your studio or your desk set up at home where you create art as a hobby. It’s also for those that like to feel unrestricted when they create. The size means that you are more likely to be restricted by your movement range than you are the space on the canvas.

The packaging is good and very robust so it should arrive to you in good shape.

What's inside the box?

This box and device needed to be tackled on my large dining room table to be able to get everything out and show you the unboxing. It’s well packaged and secure in the box and you’ll find everything easily.

One thing to keep an eye on when opening the box is that there is a small adapter to make a USB-C plug into a standard USB, when you open up keep an eye out for that as you might need that as I did.

Everything is pretty straight forward and packaged well. You’ll find all the items you need easily.

Getting started

I’ve reviewed devices for all of the major tablet producers. The one thing I used to guarantee is that I would spend 2 hours chatting to support trying to set everything up. But those days have long gone and you can download the software you need in about 2 minutes and have it installed and up and running in no time.

As mentioned the USB connection is for the USB-C connection type which I currently don’t have on my PC, but XP-Pen are very thoughtful and have included an adapter in the box should you need one. The box actually comes with a couple of options for connecters, including a UK and a USA plug.

Into the device you simply need to plug the power lead, the USB lead (with the adapter) and an HDMI. Plug them all in as you would expect and you’re good to go.

Connecting up and getting started is as easy as you could possibly hope for it to be.

Also worth noting is that there are extra USB inputs, allowing you to add a mouse or charge your phone. This is a nice touch and handy for those planning to spend a long time using this. I’ve not seen that before but it is handy to have those options when you have such a huge device on your desk.

The Stand

Those of you who have read my reviews before would know that I tend to talk a lot about the stand on the devices. That’s because you’ve got to be comfortable when creating art. If you’re in an awkward position when painting you won’t enjoy it and will spend more time fidgeting around than painting.

This is the best and most versatile stand on any display device I have ever used! It is solid in its construction and is pretty weighty. The effect of this is that you can set it at an array of angles and tweak it easily throughout a painting. It sounds like such a small deal and a simple thing for people to get right, but it has been the downfall of many of the devices I’ve used before. This one is really good and robust, but easy to adjust.  As well as that you can lean on the device gently (which you kind of need to do with all that space) and it won’t slide around, wobble or slip on the desk.

In Use

I use Corel Painter when reviewing a pen display. For me the reason to use a pen display is that it feels intuitive and as much like painting on traditional media as is possible digitally. Painter is therefore a good choice, as its entire brush catalogue is set up to mimic real world brushes, pencils and other tools (a bit like Procreate on the iPad). For me what I am looking for is something that feels real.

Interestingly XP-Pen has gone for battery free pens. I’m not sure how the technology works but there is no issue with responses to the styles at all, and the great thing is you don’t have to worry about recharging. My only thought is that the pen is a bit light, I would have liked it to be a bit heavier to help with pen control, but it is still perfectly comfortable to use.

The pen is a tad on the light side for me, but comes in a really robust case with extra nibs, which is really handy to preserve longevity.

It’s good to do a few tests initially; pressure sensitivity is of course a good place to start as it demonstrates the functionality of the stylus. Response to movements is as sharp as any device I’ve used and the pressure sensitivity is good, allowing you to have a broad range of stroke opacities and sizes without needing to adjust settings.

The screen is really responsive to fine movements and the pressure sensitivity is really effective as you can see in the thick and thin lines in the video.

I should say at the beginning I am a fan of customisable buttons. Anything that makes access to tool changes easier gets the thumbs up from me. Adjusting the settings is a total breeze and customising it as you would like is easy, but that is pretty standard on these devices now.

What is less standard is two scrollable dials. I had these set to zoom and brush size, meaning with my left dial I can zoom in and out and with my right dial I could adjust the size of the brush I’m using. This doesn’t just save time and make things efficient, it means you are in the zone with what you are working on and not looking away all the time to hit CTRL-Z or any other shortcut. With 20 customisable shortcut keys available I was running out of ideas of what to set them as. That is brilliant and really helps you focus purely on being creative.

This image helps to indicate the quality of the screen, but it will of course depend on the resolution on your home pc screen.

The screen is a vibrant 2K QHD screen. QHD stands for Quad High Definition which means it is four times the resolution of a standard HD Display. This means that the screen you are painting on will no doubt be sharper and clearer than the monitor you are used to looking at. Some other vastly more expensive devices do boast a 4K display which is more resolution still, but this is still clear as day and immediately impressive in use.

This image helps to indicate the quality of the screen, but it will of course depend on the resolution on your home pc screen.

Again those of you who read my last review will know that I had to do a little research into colour gamuts. The colour gamut is basically the range of colour that can be displayed on the screen. 90% Adobe RGB is the output of this device which is really impressive and the screen is really vibrant. Some devices go higher that this though and offer up to 99% Adobe RGB, but again they would cost many times more than this device. It should be said at this point that although this doesn’t make it the display with the biggest capabilities in regards to screen colour, it does put it right into the top bracket and it looks great when in use.

The screen is incredibly vibrant and rich in colour.

Most people want to know what software it can be used with and the answer is pretty much so everything.

The XP-Pen 24 Pro will be compatible with both digital painting and 3d software.

Painting a picture

One of features of the stylus for this device is that it boasts 60 degrees of tilt functionality. What that does is give you greater control of the variety you achieve in strokes. Again this all works towards creating and intuitive creative process where the focus is on the creative tasks.

As soon as I started drawing on the screen it felt natural and comfortable.

To take this for a spin I created a sketch using a pencil in Painter. The reason I did this is that the tilt lets you dictate the flow and angle of the texture of the brush, a bit like tilting a pencil in real life to get a broader or thinner line.

The angles of tilt available added to the natural feel of using the XP-Pen 24 Pro

Coupling that feature with the hot keys and dials I was able to get straight into creating a sketch, using the massive space in front of me.

This was the result of my first 15 minutes of trying to create on the XP-Pen 24 Pro. It felt like I’d been using it for years from the very first moment.

Conclusion

When reviewing a device like this you have to not just think of yourself as a user, but the also the requirements of a variety of potential users. If you’re looking for something portable and easy to move around, this is not for you. However, if you’re looking for a device that will sit on your desk and be used heavily in location for long periods, I think this is pretty much so perfect. Perfection is a tricky word to use, because everyone’s perfect is different, but it’s size, mass of hotkeys, two dials and stability on the table make this device about the most comfortable table top device I have ever used.

The XP-Pen 24 Pro is probably the most comfortable large device I’ve used before.

It is quite liberating to use in fact. Within minutes you are dancing across the hotkeys, scrolling in and out and totally in the zone painting. With all the space you can ever add references to the screen without it feeling like you’re losing painting space.

In the UK this is retailing at £899.99 so this is a big investment. I can’t talk of its longevity and if it will work this way in a year, but the build quality is so high I would have no concern in describing it as amazing value at that price.

I am aware that Wacom make a 24 inch device which I have never used. The spec is very comparable, but the Wacom boasts a 4K screen whereas the XP-Pen has a still very impressive 2K QHD screen. However the prices are not comparable. The Wacom is an enormous £2399.99. You could nearly buy three of these devices for that. At £899.99, this is a bargain.

This device is great, it really is. If you plan to spend hours at the screen painting or sculpting this is a really great option. It’s intuitive to use and focuses on making the creative process as organic as possible. I am going to stick my neck out a bit and say, this is probably the best pen display I’ve ever used.

Gain a great discount after entering the code 3dtotal24 when purchasing (valid until October 23rd 2020)

  • NA (10% off)
  • UK (10% off)
  • EU (5% off)
  • DE (10% off)
  • AU (5% off)

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