For a digital artist, having a pen display as your canvas is a wonderful thing. But, finding a display that meets your needs and is affordable can be tricky. Fortunately, there are more options now than there were just a few years ago.
Recently, I had received an Artist 22HD Pen Display from XP-Pen for review and I must say that I am really impressed with it. The Artist 22HD is a 22 inch display with 1080p HD resolution and boasting 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity with the pen. It's a beautiful and sturdy unit that performs well and won't set you back that much, cost-wise.
2 rechargeable pens and charging cable
Pen stand (with extra nibs)
CD with drivers
Various cables: Power cord/adapter, HDMI, VGA, Mini-DVI adapter
I initially had a problem connecting it to my laptop, as I couldn't figure out how to access the XP-Pen display properties dialog and the pen wasn't responding. A look at the website steered me on the right course of action. From there it was all play.
There are a lot of great features to this display. First off, there is a really nice built-in stand that is quickly adjustable with a lever at the top. It's sturdy and suited me just fine, but it is compatible with a VESA mount if you are looking for another option.
Also, I really love that there are 2 pens included. They work on a charge, so it's nice to have one charging while you are working with the other. The pen has 2 buttons that can be customized. The pen doesn't have an eraser end, but you can have the eraser functionality with a pen-click, so I didn't find that to be a problem. There are no function keys on the display, so you only have the pen to customize.
The pen feels very comfortable in use, and though I'm not totally sure how long a charge will last, I have not had to recharge yet after days of use. You get a full 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity with the pen. The pen holder that comes with it also holds 8 extra nibs - very nice!
In use, the Artist 22HD works very well. The color of the display is excellent right out of the box, and the pen itself can be calibrated on the screen using 9 point calibration. There is still a little bit of parallax, but I did not find this very concerning. There was no lag, but fluidity in strokes depends on the connected machine and the software you are using. After working with it for several hours at a time, I did not notice much heat coming from this unit, which is also very nice.
The only real complaint I have is the glossiness of the screen. The included screen protector does help to cut down glare and provides a little bite to the surface to give you more of a pen-on-paper feel. But, depending on where you have it placed, glare may not be much of a problem.
I tested this display with Affinity Designer, Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, and my favorite painting app, Escape Motions' Rebelle 2 and had no problems at all. The price is currently listed at $579.00(USD) on Amazon, which is an incredible bargain for this wonderful pen display.
All the cables you could need
Attached adjustable stand
If you are looking for an excellent and affordable pen display for digital painting, I think this one could be just what you need. Be sure to check out the Artist 22HD, as well as other products on offer at the XP-Pen website.
Nick C Sorbin (Nick Charles) is a former Managing Editor of 9 years for Renderosity's CG Industry News. By day, he is a mild-mannered Certified Pharmacy Technician working in a hospital, contrasting his creative outlets as a digital artist, sculptor, musician, singer/songwriter, and Staff Writer for Renderosity Magazine. Read his articles