XP-Pen Deco Pro Review – The best drawing tablet for 2021? | Wacom vs XP-Pen
This was kind of sent to me by the folks over at xp pen, so uh shout out to summer. Thank you for sending this over to me. This is an alternative to the wacom intuos pro been with wacom. I think that’s really little, maybe even 15 16 years, but yeah. This is like a a more affordable alternative. You know: i’ve watched a couple reviews before and yeah. This looked pretty impressive, so yeah they sent me the medium one across, which is a perfect size. It’S got like an interesting spinny wheel, so all you have to do to start with is to download the driver from the website, give the mac or pc a restart and then you’re good to go really. Um connects via usbc in the side there, the the drawing areas are really quite big, um, really good size it’s, you know kind of a4 size. Really you get quite a few different things in the box. It comes with this really nice pen holder. This is really great for thought, like quite like, i feel, quite fragile about the the wacom pens, um they’re really expensive to replace, and so, when i’m popping in my bag, along with my laptop and stuff, i kind of wrap it in like a sock just so It doesn’t get damaged so having this like a protective case, it’s really quite solid and it’s kind of rubberized. In the middle there, so yeah the pen feels really really securely safe screws on it’s, pretty cool.
The other end got his spare nibs i’ve, been playing with the top for about a week now and yeah i’ve, seen like absolutely no damage to the nib at all. Yet, in contrast to the wacom nips, they do go through themselves quite quickly. I don’t know where mine is but it’s kind of got like a slanted edge on it. Um yeah, like i said some been using for a week, no damage at all, yet so that’s great that’s, the first time but you’ve got eight other spaniards just in case it comes with like a one of those soft hand, grippy things, so you can slide across The surface easily i’ve sort of i made my own out of some sort of cotton, glove used for creams and things and just sort of cut the fingers off of it and yeah. I mean it’s ridiculous, like michael jackson wearing it, you know so glad to have a replacement for that kind of, like a nice silky kind of slender material, um branded with xp pen on the bottom. There it was really well packaged, came in a great looking box. Um really protected box with lots of foam inserts in the in the top of it, so yeah it’s, a quality product it’s been really well made really well looked after it’s got some good weight to it as well, like i say, good size. This fits in my backpack got on with my laptop um, this one’s 129 pounds.
Uk. You know where the dollar conversion is i’ll pop, that down below here uh you can get a small one, which is 99 pounds or 100. I it’s 999, so yeah basically hundred pounds. The tablet comes in two sizes. You can get a medium or a slightly smaller one. I think either be great. This one certainly fits my bag really nicely and goes inside with my laptop it’s, just a bit larger than the actual laptop itself um. If you can see there the smaller one probably will work really well as well. I think i prefer this sort of like slightly larger surface area. I’Ve worked on like the wacom lodges before, and they were just too big um. This feels like a real nice inbetweeny it’s, bigger than the intuos pro okay, so you’ve got a nine by five inch work area on the small and then this one’s 11×6. So not a massive difference, but a big enough one for sure i’m, not showing you those. Yet but there’s um there’s some adapters here so i’ve got the 2013 macbook, which is all usb 3. right now. The new macbooks are usb c, so you use this thing to adapt the end of it. Um perfect, it’s, a good long, cable as well. I hadn’t quite mentioned that, but sometimes i’ve watched the studios and you’ve got your screens a lot further away and the towers underneath you so a good long, usb cable is definitely appreciated.
So let me show you this working here. We are in photoshop and you can see, reaches all the size really well, not going to lag. Setting wise so in here is pen tablet and then the pen tablet setting and you can set all your express keys so they’re on the side. Here they run through. As five k123456, seven eight in that kind of way quite spinning on the bottom there so to edit one of these, you just choose the one you want, so i think i’ve got everything pretty much the same like as setting and then seven eight i’ve customized myself. So you’ll see here, you’ve got reset custom defined. You might just have customer defined to start with, but let’s reset it, and then you just key in whatever you want to be. So. For me, new layers command shift n you’ve got an option to put in uh some of their selected functions. They’Ve got quite a few different things here. Display switch eyedropper tool. Um i use option for the eyedropper, so i can assign it to my pen, but i’ll show you that in a second but we’re just going to go command shift and pop that in there i’ll call it new layer and we okay that but as i’ve already Done this before it’s, not let me okay, k8. I think i’ve said that to be the hand um so let’s reset it i’ve chosen hand from the drop down bar here again.
Don’T do anything with that. The wheel. S1 s2 s2 is the actual like surface itself. So this is actually a mouse which is kind of interesting um and you can you can tap with it. Do all sorts. You could almost just work completely in the tablet. That’S your touch pad. You can see your function buttons and you don’t need to touch the keyboard at all, really um, because i’ve been doing it for so many years. My habit is to touch the keyboard. I guess i’ve kind of, although there’s only eight here i use a variety of different keys and stuff so i’m. Definitely a keyboard centric person, but if you’re just using the pen tool brush eraser, maybe the hand tool you can just assign it just to the the tablet. I’Ve never seen it done before. It’S fun, you see i’m, just like defaulting to the keyboard. Now but and then s1 is the the sort of the sides backwards. So i’ve got those zoom in and out they work really fine tablet area. You could adjust this if you want. I like it to be the full area, monitor you kind of you can choose. You know what part of this tablet area fits to the screen, whereas this one’s more. What area of the tablet is active? The monitor is the actual i don’t know the two were in tandem together and you’ll. Be fine, especially, is fine about it’s no much on pen uh, i adjusted the the softness curve a little bit.
I wanted it to be. If you see with the pressure here, there’s a point for me where i kind of want you know, i’ve got my pressure set and i’ve just tuned it, so that it’s sort of like there when i feel like i’m pressing hard enough or as hard as i Want to press so i’ve just pulled the center down. I think it was here. I’Ve just pulled it off just center there. You can flip it around. So you can have this on the other side, if you’re left handed disable the bits and bobs you can see here, i’ve got again the custom defined i’ve put option there, that’s how i can eyedrop a tool so important. For me, i was using a huion a couple years ago. I couldn’t do that it just sort of like made the pen freeze so i’m really glad to see with xc pens versions that they’re quite sorted and then the first button is my right click, so yeah it’s a good light pen. I don’t think i’ve quite mentioned that yet feels nice, so i mean here’s the the wacom pen um. The two are like really really similar um the wacom wacom pen is a good. Looking pen, xp pen looks exactly the same. Um, you know got the rubber on the end there, but myself. I don’t personally use that so yeah looks great great looking pen to this uh. If you’ve got multiple pens, i’m sure you could find those in there export your config thing.
That’S always worth doing you just back it up in case you’re, going to move or have a macbook crash. Mine died almost the other day i had to replace the battery. You can import it in again, keep all things the same, so yep all good. This is a good uh good customizable thing, so we are going to kill that back into here. Let’S do some testing of the pen so let’s play with these functions here, press them in and out big fan, small pen and this one zoom in zoom out zoom in again smaller larger here you zoom in and zoom out, and does it in stages this one Is over to the brush tool over to the eraser tool new layer handle, so there you go right, so you can see i’ve got it at 300, pixels 25 centimeters about 84 size, no it’s, not it’s more money for it’s a you know. This is kind of like the size i paint at normally, because it’s super responsive, um press. This is working. I press hard to get the full thing. One thing you want to test with the pressure sensitivity, it’s something called shoelacing and it can look a bit like um a thin bit to start with, and it just jumps you’ll get these kinds of ends so i’d found on occasion. It done it but yeah there. You go there’s. One you’ve got to really do some random marks, trying to get that to work and um, which is a good thing.
You don’t want that really happening. So the fact that i’m getting a really good pressure, sensitive curve all the way across you know all in the corners here, it’s great i’m, really impressed and we’re going to test for sort of some jitter. Sometimes, on some of the tablets, you can get a bit of a jitter as it’s kind of trying to guess where the pen is all the time. Okay, and this one passes all these tests here – is a straight line. If we zoom in so yeah, i think it passes that test as well. I mean it’s a complete steal, for i think i must have paid 300 or so for my wacom, and this is definitely as good as it and it’s. Only 129. xp pen are definitely giving away common run for their money. This is uh it’ll, be very interesting to see what happens next, like i was trying to think like. How could i improve this um? I think there’s there isn’t a thing. The intuos pro is: it works it’s, wireless and bluetooth um. I found that the the button positioning on the wacom one is really annoying, and so it would like turn itself on all the time and then itself out of battery. This hasn’t got the the bluetooth or the wireless as far as i know, um so yeah i’m, going to worry about that. I don’t personally use the bluetooth too often i always kind of like to hardwire my things in i kind of don’t know i just i just feel more secure i’ve got the idea that maybe bluetooth might just drop out now and then hardwiring’s not going to drop Out so i don’t think i’d wish that they added it.
You could add it as a bit of functionality, but um i mean i don’t think it’d be worth another 150 pounds to justify the wake on price like once like quite a lot. Smaller i’ve got the medium. I mean i’ve got this cintiq as well the drawer on screen that’s just sitting over there. I never use it it’s too big and bulky um. I think i’m. Definitely a tablet person, so this will definitely have a place in my in my home unless i got ta send it back. I forget one thing: i try and do is i’ll try and catch them out and like spin too fast and just go nuts see what happens. Does it do anything stabilizes that’s, a good sign as well? Again i had the huey on i’d spin, whatever their spinny wheel, was it just made the whole thing go nuts and like have all these functions, sort of try and program these guys it stops. When i stop, which is nice, i like that it’s for me, it tells me it’s a really well made product so i’m very content. This pen’s also got the tilt support, so let’s give that a test shape dynamics, get this one onto pen, pressure and i’m going to do angle jitter as the pen tilt and then make this kind of like a wedge shape. And then you can see here as i’m sort of tilting the pen we’re getting some angles yeah.
This is brilliant let’s do something i would do real world, so a bit of sort of airbrushing or something yeah. Let’S borrow this woman’s face so pop it in here scale this up, and i mean i would never do this normally, but let’s just remove this. This girl’s moles, and so you just come around and just fill these in works very similar to the paintbrush so i’m. Not really testing too much with this, but just to say that the tablet really works. New layer, we’ll call this smoothing skin i’ve got this button here, set to be my eye dropper, and what i want to be able to do is with a very, relatively soft brush, quite a big size. A 10 flow pick, this kind of color paint it in paint over here i don’t want you to do turn off the shade. I max now just get like a big flat brush great working really well. This is definitely cool, yeah, fantastic job xp. This is really impressive: uh that’s, pretty cool, really enjoyed testing it out. Had it not been sent this, i could happily bought this and absolutely been amazed by it it’s, just so good i’ve included links below. If you wanted to grab your own. I think, as i said, i’d recommend the medium. I think that’s the right size, really the small looks to be a couple inches shorter and it may well work well for you. I think one thing i’d not been able to test was the fact that this could also can work in your android phone i’ve got android, so i can’t test that function now, but brad has got a another good review of this he’s able to test out the Android functions, so you can see that working over on his channel but yeah.
As i say, all the links are down below um. I recommend checking out hp pens actual website, though there’s a lot more information on the on the actual tablet there yeah. I can absolutely recommend this uh if you’re in the market for a drawing tablet, yeah go with this one. I think this will be a great introduction if you’ve got any questions or want me to test anything out. Then let me know in the comments below my name is chris i’m, an artist and designer and videographer. I generally like create content or social media stuff for people and brands and businesses.