It’s almost Christmas and if you’re thinking of buying a Christmas gift for yourself or for a digital artist friend, read on. XPPen is having a Christmas Sale and have asked me to share some recommendations with you.
By the way, I’ve reviewed most of the XPPen products listed below so feel free to ask me any questions or specific recommendations.
How to choose a gift for a digital artist
First you’ve got to decide how much budget you have. If you have limited budget under US $100, you can consider pen tablets and if you can spend more and want to get something fancier there are pen displays.
Pen tablets are drawing tablets that do not have displays, and pen displays are actually monitors you can draw on. Pen tablets are significantly more affordable compared to pen displays and are good for beginners. Both pen tablets and pen displays have to be connected to computers so that you can use the drawing software on your computer.
Although I said pen tablets are good for beginners, it’s perfectly fine for beginners to go with pen displays too. You can get one that’s between $200 to $300. With the explosion of popularity with mobile tablets, it may feel more intuitive to draw on a display where you can see the line come out from directly beneath the pen tip.
The thing is, pen tablets and pen displays can be for beginners as well as for professional digital artists. The reasons for choosing a pen tablet could be because you don’t actually need another display, or it’s more ergonomic to use a pen tablet as you can sit with your back straighter, or because they are just more affordable than pen displays.
Before you buy for a friend
It’s good to do some research first on the various products before you buy. You may also want to ask your friend what they are currently using to create their art. For example, if they are already using a pen tablet, you may want to get a pen display for them instead of another pen tablet.
All the prices below are listed as a range because they can vary depending on whether there’s any promotion.
XPPen Artist 12 (2nd gen) | Price from $199 to $249
The XPPen Artist 12 (2nd gen) is one of the more affordable pen display from the company. It’s small size means it’s easy to store this away when not in use. The display has colour support for 100% sRGB and 90%+ AdobeRGB. The pen uses the new X3 Smart Chip with improved sensitivity. And there’s USB-C video support.
The inexpensive price makes it a good choice for beginners at the start of their artistic career.
These larger pen displays are more suited to intermediate, advanced and professional artists. When it comes to recommending pen displays, I usually recommend getting something that’s at least 13-inches or larger because it’s just a more comfortable size to work with.
The main features of the XPPen Artist Pro models are the red rotating dial that can be used to quickly adjust brush size or whatever settings you want because it’s customisable. The pen comes in a pretty cool case and there’s a stand included for the price. Do note that these do not support USB-C video so you’ll have to use HDMI (cables are provided obviously).
Artist 24 Pro | Price from US $629 to $899
The XPPen Artist 24 Pro is huge so make sure you have enough table space for it. This is the best pen display from XPPen if you think of best as in biggest, having higher resolution and more shortcut buttons.
This pen display has a 23.8-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. The 1440P resolution is the main selling point here since it provides more desktop space while making all the visuals look sharp. 1440P is a huge improvement over 1080P for productivity. Colour support is over 90% AdobeRGB. The display comes with a built-in stand and supports USB-C video. The XPPen Artist 24 Pro basically has all the features you may want in a pen display.
The official retail price is US $899 and it’s now US $629 as I’m writing. $899 is a reasonable price. $629 is an incredible deal.
Deco Pro | Price from US $74 to $129
If you don’t want to spend that much, consider the XPPen Deco Pro. This most beautiful pen tablet from XPPen. It’s not just beautiful of course, the drawing performance is fantastic. There are customisable shortcut buttons and dial, and there are wired and Bluetooth models to choose from.
Drawing surface areas for the Small and Medium sizes are 9 x 5 inches and 11 x 6 inches respectively. For pen displays, I usually recommend you get at least 10 by 6 inches. 9 by 5 inches isn’t too small so that’s also a good size and is cheaper should you have limited budget.
XPPen also sells accessories that go with their pen tablets and pen displays such as
Artist Anti-fouling Glove SE | US $9.99
This is not the usual black artist glove. This Special Edition comes with artwork from Ainars aka DailyPurrr.
ACS05 Portable Stand | US $39.99
A stand is an essential accessory for a pen display. If your pen display does not come with a stand, you can consider the XPPen ACS05 portable stand. This stand has a smart design that can fold down to the size of a pencil case!
Tablet Case | US $39.99
Should you need to bring your pen display around often, consider getting a tablet case. XPPen’s tablet case is compatible with Artist 13.3 Pro, Artist 15.6, Artist 15.6 Pro, Innovator 16, Artist Pro 16TP and Artist Pro 16.
Desk Pad | US $11.99 to $26.99
That on my table is the XPPen Desk Pad which provides a nice padding for keyboard, mouse and phone. This desk pad is available in six colours and three sizes: Small (60 x 30cm), Medium (90 x 45cm) and Large (100 x 50). I actually wished there were more sizes.
Markers | US $19.99 to $99
I have no idea that XPPen sells alcohol markers until today. They do now. The markers are sold in sets of 24, 36 and 80 and come in containers that allow you to pick colours easily. Pricing is extremely competitive when compared to Copic markers.
Replacement Felt Nibs | US $14.99 for 20 pieces
These felt nibs will give you the tactile paper-like drawing experience that artists appreciate. $14.99 for 20 nibs is a good price.
Don’t miss out the deals during XPPen’s Christmas 2022 sale.
Tags: xp pen, buying guide, sponsored post