I’ve written here a number of times extolling the virtues of all things XP-Pen. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re familiar with the XP-Pen line of products. I’ve been using XP-Pen Artist 15.6 (interactive pen displays) since 2017 or so, and frankly don’t know how I’d finish the majority of ad or magazine jobs I do on time without them. If you’re not familiar, Read more about them here…

XP-Pen release new products often. What I like about them is they release something new when the technology is there and they’ve perfected it. Case in point, I’ve had the Artist15.6 art tablet with screen for something like 2 years. It’s been that long since a comparable device has been unveiled. They did release a 21.5″ device Artist 22E Pro a few months ago, and I bought one to upgrade. This is a sturdy desktop device .

Now, they’ve just released the latest iteration of the product Artist 15.6 , the Artist 15.6 Pro . Eventually I’ll get around to doing a video review of that, but in the meantime, I thought I’d write about a new review that goes along with this new drawing monitor .

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is the newer model of the Artist 15.6 , but with pen tilt Support , The tilt function ensures that the accuracy of the pen remains the same when tilted, offering a real and natural drawing experience.

Artist 15.6 Pro has been used 120% sRGB ( 85% adobe rgb color accuracy) in the device to give you more vivid, clear and sharp color quality that also enhances the accuracy of any image. the Artist 15.6 display tablet is 75% adobe rgb color accuracy .

It has greatly improved on parallax, New optical bonding process that greatly reduces parallax , becuse of new Technology their has No Air Gap.

Compared to the Artist 15.6,the Artist 15.6 Pro features 8 fully customizable shortcut keys and 1 Red Roller Wheel which puts more customization options at your fingertips to suit you preferred work style, allowing you to capture and express your ideas easier and faster for optimized workflow.

In case you don’t want Pen tilt function, or want to save few bucks and get the Screen drawing tablet for cheaper, it may worth it to check out the previous Artist 15.6 model. Which have similar features, like the 8192 level of pressure sensitivity, the HD screen, the 3-to-1 cable. And the pro pen with 8 replacement nibs.

Where can I buy a XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is an ideal choice among professional artists who love drawing and painting. This device is the best way to step into the digital canvas world as it mainly focused the professionals and allow them to give their best in whichever environment they are. Now you don’t have to worry about colors, brushes, sheets, and pencil anymore, just pick this piece, keep it in your bag and move ahead to the world of art.

Artist 15.6 Pro Screen Drawing Tablet is available in XP-Pen Globe official Store https://www.storexppen.com/buy/artist-15_6pro.html on January 25, 2019. The sale starts from January 25 , you can use coupons & promo code SuperBowl (10% off) to get one till February 04, 2019 .

Notable specifications:

Display Size: 15.6″
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Product Dimension: 443 x 280 x 12.6 mm
Active Area: 344.16 x 193.59 mm
Shortcutkeys: 8
Roller Wheel: 1
Color Gamut: 88% NTSC (covers 120% sRGB color gamut)
Display Colors: 16.7 Million
Viewing Angle: 178°
Pressure Levels : 8192
Report Rate: 266 RPS
Pen Tilt Sensitivity:– ±60
Supports Multitouch: no
Resolution: 5080 lpi
Response Rate: 25ms
More details: https://www.xp-pen.com/goods/show/id/394.html

What’s in the box?

The tablet comes in a nice looking white box with a unique design. There isn’t anything particularly important on the back of the box aside from a repeat of the specifications.

The things that come in the box:

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro tablet
XP-Pen P06 battery-free pen
Pen case
Combined cable (USB type-C to USB type-A, HDMI, and USB type-A for power)
USB type-A extension cable (for power)
USB power adapter
Outlet adapters for international power outlets
HDMI to Mini-DisplayPort adapter
Pen nib replacements x8
Anti-fouling glove
Screen cleaning cloth
User manual
Warranty policy and warranty card
“Thank you” card
AC 41 Stand

Design

The tablet comes in a nice looking white box with a unique design. There isn’t anything particularly important on the back of the box aside from a repeat of the specifications.The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro sports a fairly simple design overall.The tablet comes with a pre-applied screen protector which has a very minimal amount of texture.

This tablet has 3 buttons along the side which are for power, brightness up, and brightness down. The tablet itself does not have an OSD settings button, but you can change the screen colours through the XP-Pen driver software.

The power button will glow with a dark blue light to indicate that the tablet is powered on.

The IPS Screen

The new XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro has a 15.6-inch IPS display with full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080) . It can produce 88 per cent of the NTSC colour palette (85% Adobe RGB colour gamut or 120% sRGB colour gamu ) with 16.7 million colors which means more colour accuracy, you can do photo or image-editing at a pro level, you’ll need this more pro version.

Virtually No Parallax : The display has been outfitted with full laminated technology that seamlessly mingles protective glass and screen glass, giving better picture quality.

The space between the glass and the screen (which was noticeable but manageable on earlier Cintiqs) is virtually nonexistent now. It no longer feels like I’m drawing on top of a monitor on top of my artwork. For the first time ever, there’s no separation between my pen and my artwork, and it’s an amazing feeling. I would say that it matches the iPad Pro’s accuracy in terms of pen-to-screen distance.

The screen is awesome, clarity and colors look nice. Using the default plastic nib works great on this new surface, and feels more like a traditional pencil on paper to me. I hope that XP-Pen sticks with this surface for their future products, it is brilliant.

The Stylus

XP-Pen is offering an ultimate pen with this device that enlightens the inner creativity of any individual. A very big thanks to the new elastic pen nib! This nib actually enhances your creativity by eliminating parallax of broken lines on the stunning display of the tablet.

With the pressure of 8192 levels, 5080 LPI and 10mm sensing height- the pen is very sleek and makes your drawing natural on the screen as it intensely senses and analyzes every movement.

The tilt by the P05R as it tilts 60 degrees ensuring better drawing quality and user experience. With smoothing drawing experience on this tablet enhances your productivity, skills and ensures that you stay ahead of your competitors.

What’s more, it’s a battery-free device and the lag, even with large complex Photoshop brushes or sculpting with high res stamps in 3D, is minimal to the point of non-existence.

Improved Pen Design : The pen P05R keeps all the great features of the P05, namely the rubber grip ( makes it more comfortable to hold ) , and the two toggle buttons, which I use constantly, and really find myself missing when I use the Apple Pencil.

Just like the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 , there is no lag or slow-down when you are drawing lines. A lot of this may be more dependent on your hardware (I’m using a iMac), but I think it’s worth mentioning. The rendering of the pixels themselves is incredibly sharp and smooth. It rendered the lines as fast as I could throw them .

To touch or not to touch?

IMHO, I would say no touch is better because of the additional cost. But if you have a child and want him/her to try drawing on your expensive Cintiq, you can consider getting a touch.

The Adjustable Stand

Well, XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is also eliminating the pain of holding the tablet because holding it and drawing on it can make things complex. Therefore, it has introduced an adjustable stand that is viable and powerful. You can set your tablet on that stand and enjoy your drawing without worrying about holding, falling of device from your hand and a lot more.

The 3-to-1 Cable

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro has a USB type-C port on it to connect to the combined USB/HDMI/power cable. The included cable is a combined cable which goes from USB type-C on the tablet to USB type-A and HDMI on the computer. The tablet can be powered solely by the computer if the USB port can provide enough power, but if it can’t, the extra red USB type-A connector will need to be connected to another USB port on your computer, or a power outlet using the included power outlet to USB adapter.

The Roller wheel and 8 express buttons

There are 8 programmable buttons and a Roller wheel. which are magical. These are available at your fingertips enabling you to roll on, zoom in, and a lot more- saving your time to accomplish your delicate design in no time.

The buttons are amazing, as with all Artist series . the round ring in the middle, The scroll wheel can be programmed to control three different parameters (such as zoom, brush size, etc). And the customize-able physical buttons have nice tactile feel. You get spoiled with this buttons, and it’s sometimes hard to go without them.

the buttons are completely customize-able to whatever hot key you want, and with the conjunction with custom on screen buttons, you’ll be able to work comfortably without a keyboard….. at least with programs that are designed to be simple for tablets, like Sketchbook or Painter. Even with these keys, I don’t think you can get away using Photoshop, or zbrush etc. I think some programs are just too frustrating without a keyboard.

Tablet drivers

The XP-Pen tablet drivers are extremely easy to install. Just go download the latest version directly from XP-Pen’s site and remove all other tablet drivers you have on your computer before installing it.

Once you’ve installed the driver and plugged in your tablet, the XP-Pen driver icon should appear in the system tray in the bottom right. You can access the tablet settings by clicking on that.

If the installer doesn’t prompt you to restart your computer after it finishes, I wholeheartedly suggest restarting your computer anyways to allow Windows to properly update the files necessary for the driver to run smoothly.

The XP-Pen driver is a simple one page driver with all the important settings in just one window. Here you can set the pen buttons and pen pressure, and choose which monitor the tablet maps to.

I did not need to change any of the default settings as the tablet worked very well with the defaults. I also did not need to calibrate the pen because the cursor properly appeared directly under the pen by default (which surprisingly isn’t the case for some tablets).

To date, the updated drivers have worked fine with the programs I use most: Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint. This was actually a pleasant surprise for a product this new – I hope this continues.

Drawing Experience

Artist 15.6 Pro was fantastic. It occupies less desk space and the colours were slightly closer to my macbook display. Although smaller, the screen had good resolution and good enough for Manga Studio EX (program that I use to draw comics). It was also very portable so I could bring it with me to libraries and give demonstrations. I was also very happy with it until I gradually suffered from stiff shoulders and neck.

The pen’s sensitivity is buttery smooth . I’m not sure how many people noticed, care, or can justify the difference between 2048 levels of pressure vs 8192 levels, but I do. I particularly notice the low end levels of pressure. Don’t get me wrong, 2048 levels is more than enough to work with, I’m just spoiled by 8192 of the Artist 15.6 Pro . It is mostly because I have a very light hand when it comes to sketching, and notice the ultra low end levels. Even at the lowest level of a 2048 level stylus, it just doesn’t feel light enough, once you get used to a Artist 15.6 Pro . If you have a heavy hand, I don’t think this level difference will make any difference to you. The differences are minor, and it’s more of a “feel”, maybe I’m the only person who care….. but it does make a difference for me.

On Photoshop , the program recognizes stylus tilt. This allowing you to vary opacity with pressure, but line thickness with pressure tilt. It took me a good hour to get used to using it, it’s a bit different than using a real pencil, but I now love it. The line weights, and the look of the pencil lines, makes it feel more like traditional pencil and paper. In fact, as I was trying to get used to drawing with the Photoshop pencil, I would instinctively worry about smearing the pencil lines under my hand, before remembering that I was working digitally.

Conclusion

Finally, I’d like to talk about one of the main reasons behind switching to a smaller display: portability. The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is overall physical dimensions are 443 x 280 x 12.6 mm , which makes it ideal for being carried back and forth between company and my studio at home. It fits in a carry-on bag just fine, even with the machine zipped in its soft case. Although, keeping in mind the above-mentioned connectivity issues, I wouldn’t go as far as recommending taking it to the field.

it is a fair statement to make that the Artist 15.6 Pro is the best compromise in XP-Pen’s current display line regarding size and portability. While the price of the 16-inch Artist 15.6 Pro takes some serious commitment, you can be sure that your purchase will be a largely satisfying one, with the added confidence that you are acquiring a high-quality professional level tool that will be there with you for a long time coming.

What can be the most important conclusion for epigraphers/artists working on the Artist 15.6 Pro is that it removes most of the psychological barrier between artist and machine, resulting in a more natural drawing experience, the closest I’ve encountered to pencil on paper so far.

I highly recommend the Artist 15.6 Pro 15.6″Screen Drawing Tablet to any professional illustrator, animator, or graphic designer. It’s the best digital drawing tool I’ve used by far.

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