To begin with
Long time ago (2012) when I lived in Berkeley, CA, I had a chance to attend an academic conference in Miami, Florida. In the evening hours, each company would have some entertaining activities at their booth. There was one booth, I still remember clearly, a gentleman was sitting on a stool near the entrance of the room. He had something like a music stand in front of him. On there it was Wacom Cintiq 13HD.
That was the very first time that I saw a pen display in person. The gentleman was drawing comic style portrait for everyone for free (I believe the company of that booth paid him). While everyone was busy lining up waiting for their turn, I was standing beside the gentleman all the time. I couldn’t move my eyes away from that drawing tablet. I never thought that I could use something like that, a fancy stylish portable pen display. Back then I was a none-paid intern and I thought I was going to use graphic tablet for the rest of my life. Obviously, I so underestimate the development of technology. I am so glad to try XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro drawing pen display. It brings my memory of that night alive.
Artist 12 Pro Installation and Appearance –>
- The 3 in 1 cord is definitely a win. I’m not so good at computer hardware so I like less cord and adapter. The power cord connection is new to me. I was thinking how I could drag my power strip closer if the cord is so short.
- Follow the instruction inside a box, I connected the pen display with my computer and power. If you have a HP computer like I do, you may need a HDMI and DP port adapter. Then install the driver which is downloaded from XP-Pen official website. Everything is smooth.
- Press and hold the power button until the blue light is on. Once the tablet is working, please take some time to configure the hot keys and display setting and so on.
- All right the cylinder shape pen case is new to me again. In the beginning I thought that is a really huge pen. How am I going to use that? But actually I have to grab it and pull it out of the case. The top part becomes a holder. 8 spare nibs are stored in the rare end of the pen case which is very thoughtful.
- Beside an artist glove and a screen cleaning fabric, there is also a stand for the tablet. Please do use that since the working tablet will generate heat. It may not be a good idea to lay it on your lap or on a pillow.
- There is a protective film on top of the screen. It is glossy but please remove that. Once the film is removed my camera wouldn’t even focus on the laminated surface. That’s why the second photo is blurry.
Pen display Performance and Comments
- First of all, I love the hot keys! I’ve mentioned before in my review of VEIKK 2200 pen display that I do not prefer touch screen style of hot keys. With actual key button, I can tell which button is which by touching because I can memorize their positions. If they are hard to remember, use a white chalk marker or sticker to label the hot key button. The dial button in the middle is the best dial button I’ve ever used. No mess up at all and I like the tiny click sound when I rotate it.
- I love the screen texture, especially which I don’t have to install a screen protector. The Huion pen displays I used always need a screen protector. The surface of their pen displays is bare glass. It is OK to put a screen protector for small size but it is extremely difficult to do it on large screen. I’m not sure if Huion changes their surface or not but a matt paper like screen is the easiest for me.
- In the beginning the screen would feel patchy. Some part is smoother for the nib than other part. But after drawing little while this feeling subsides.
- I use both Corel Painter and Photoshop. Photoshop runs smoothly with Artist 12 Pro. However Painter experiences some delay and freeze, especially when I switch between brushes or adjust brush size. I believe this happens because I didn’t connect the tablet with the fastest USB port. All my USB 3.0 ports are occupied. So please plug the tablet USB cord into the fastest USB port.
- Pressure sensor and tilt sensor are excellent. I can see different brush stroke results with changing angle of the pen. But still, each software has its own parameters. Please take time to find the best parameters that suits you.
Artist 12 Pro Overall
The XP Pen Artist 12 Pro is a surprisingly nice little fellow. It has such modern design and concept. Since it is for artist “on the go”, I’m thinking it would be great if it has a special travel organizer/bag (not the original box). With a compact bag that has place for every cord and all accessories, this budget friendly drawing pen display would be the best companion. Maybe one day I could be the one sitting in a room and drawing people portraits on site. 😀
Pen display drawing Demo
Here is a demo drawing “Rose lady with white wolf” and a short brush stroke video. Hope you enjoy it~❤
If you are interested, please don’t forget to check out their stores–>
Disclaimer: XP-Pen sent this product to me for review and demo drawing tutorial.