XP-Pen Artist 12 Review

In a market full of competition we found in our XP pen artist 12 review that sometimes it pays just to focus on your craft. As we excuse the XP artists 12 for having the same half an inch lie that we’ve seen throughout our life. You’ll have to figure out for yourself whether you can forgive another company for rounding up. A smaller screen makes it less comfortable to draw but the other features you can find make this model worth a look.

Even if you wind up spending a bit more for a larger screen the XP pen artist 12 is impressive enough to make you stop and think. With a price point hovering around $250 you won’t have to break the bank in order to get started. A solid beginner to intermediate drawing tablet read along and find out how it stacks up for you and against the new pro version.

XP Pen Artist 12 Features

Design and Build

The first thing you’ll probably notice about this drawing tablet is its smooth and sleek design. With a 10 inch, 13 inch, 16, inch, and 22-inch option this 11.6-inch model fits nicely into the lower end as a cheap option for quality. Six customizable shortcut buttons allow you to quickly navigate through your favorite programs. Sadly there’s only one pen button but we will get into that a bit more later. 

The screen gives you solid IPS visuals with a glass surface. The surface has a glossy finish instead of the matte surface you can find with some other options. This glossy feel can lead to slipping while drawing and is the most annoying part of drawing with this tablet. While it isn’t the biggest deal it could slow down your overall productivity

Despite being incredibly thin with less than a half-inch profile the XP pen artist 12 is still remarkably sturdy. The design flows smoothly from one aspect to the next with the brushed metal look around the controls adding extra flair. The only real negative in design other than an 11.6-inch drawing area is the glossy texture. The screen is still incredibly responsive across its 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Quality of Color

When you read off the statistics like a 72% NTSC color gamut 16.7 million colors everything sounds pretty great. Though at a professional level these numbers are only serviceable. The XP pen artist 12 is capable of creating professional quality art just don’t expect to see something new. Even with significant color calibration, this drawing tablet has a cooler feel.  With calibration and testing the advertised 72% NTSC really comes out to around 63% NTSC color support. Luckily we can’t differentiate between too many colors so that’s still over 90% of the spectrum. All that said, it’s still solid out of the box, but true color experts might be left wanting a bit more.

Pen Control

The XP Pen Artist 12 couldn’t possibly be a great introduction to drawing tablets if it didn’t have a nice pressure-sensitive pen to bring it all together. While it may only have one button it comes in a smooth pen holder. The matte surface texture is nice, and two rubber sides give your pen great protection. There’s grip to help it stand upright and 8 replacement nibs hidden at the top of the pen holder. 

The pen also has a matte surface for a better grip along with a solid weight that feels comfortable to hold. With EMR technology the pen can charge using the power of the tablet so you never have to stop. An extra button would help but you will find one on the side and an eraser at the end. The best part is this pen has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. Tilt support would be nice but that’s still professional quality pressure sensitivity.

XP-Pen Artist 12 Review Conclusion

The XP Pen Artist 12 checks all of the boxes for a beginner’s drawing tablet. It even has a few features that can help you make a transition to the next level. Finding all of that in a package that’s only downside is the small screen size isn’t to be underestimated. A 14 ms response time keeps your actions almost simultaneous. As long as you’re plugged in no battery is required either. It isn’t perfect but the package is pretty solid for a lower end drawing tablet. The perfectionist might be disappointed with its lacking colors and other minor flaws but there’s a lot to like. The pro has a two-button pen, matte finish, and more conservative style.

FAQs

Is the XP Pen Artist 12 portable?

The display is portable but it must be used with a computer in order to function. The XP pen artist 12 relies on a computer for power and support with programs. The small size does make it easy to move between workstations.

Does the XP Pen require a computer?

Yes, the XP pen is a second monitor for drawing purposes. You will need USB ports or an HDMI port for connection and realizing your idea.

8.6 Total Score
Good

With an 11.6 inch screen, the XP Pen Artist 12 is a drawing tablet with plenty to enjoy. At around $250 this low-end pen display has all the pieces to hang with the professionals. A hefty pressure-sensitive pen with 8,192 levels of sensitivity helps this model shine. Draw 1920 x 1080 full HD graphics with a near-instant response time of 14 ms. Every aspect of this machine is designed to help beginner artists start to learn and transition to bigger work. A glossy finish and lackluster color gamut are the main things that hold this model back on the surface. Still, there are few better entrances to the world of drawing tablets.

PROS
  • Comfortable pen with 8192 levels of sensitivity
  • Powerful hardware for the price
  • Solid beginners drawing tablet
CONS
  • Colors feel weak when compared to better monitors
  • Short release tapering issues
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