In this article, I give you my XP-Pen Artist 22R Pro review with specs included.
This is the XP pen artist 22r Pro. Yeah, I know long name there. But what it is is their latest 22-inch pen monitor for artists. So this is a monitor with pen input. No touch and no it’s not a computer. You need to plug this into a computer.
In this particular case that can deal with the constrained spacer I’m actually using a Lenovo tiny PC that we recently reviewed. You can plug it into a lot of top a desktop you get the idea mac and windows compatible. Like I said it’s their highest and offering it.
So what does that mean what are the new improvements here for something that is $6.99 cause $700. In the budget pond pen monitor lineup. That’s not kind of expensive but certainly more affordable than the Wacom Cintiq 22 which is 1199. So what they’ve done is they’ve gone with a single USBC connection solution.
Don’t worry you still get the old fashioned way of doing it to. The USB and the HDMI cables are in the box as well. But particularly for those who using something like a MacBook pro a single USB-C cable to a maxim only has USB C is nice.
And it will work with Windows computers too or like this little Windows mini desktop. Now with Windows folks out there you need to have USB C that supports display out. Mellisa of them do but there are a few that don’t. For that to work otherwise is a fallback to the older style of cables.
So yeah well the cables are in the box that’s cool. Also the color gamut has improved and we’ll talk about the color gamut specs in a while. But it’s nice it’s a bit better than the Cintiq 22s not gonna complain.
Still, it’s not laminated glass. What does that mean. There’s a little bit of an air gap that you can see. Now I’ve seen a lot worse and on these the budget pen monitors are getting better and better but you can still see that there’s a glass layer over the actual display or digitizer it’s not the nice laminated look like you’d see with the Cintiq pro which is considerably more money.
Or even with something like a surface pro 7 or something like that. Your laptops and convertibles these days all have laminate display is so you don’t see that gap. It has an anti-glare film on top of the display. I don’t have any issues with it other than the fact that boy does the pen squeak.
You have seen this before but this one is super squeaky. Will they wear down maybe. Well the pen there’s a little option a little holder here that is included. You can screw it in to either side. Comes with a mini screwdriver to do them. You get two pins in the box which they often do that’s nice.
And it takes only one kind of nib. So this isn’t like the Cintiq line where you can choose felt nibs alternative kind of nibs. But you do get this nifty pen holder right here. So you get eight spare nibs when you unscrew the top here and the other end is a pen holder for your desk as well. It supports over 8,000 pressure levels which is nice it’s right up there with Wacom and the best that you can get.
Also sixty degrees of tilt support and unlike huion whose drivers are still a little bit more iffy than XP pens it actually pretty much worked it was turnkey. Even when using something like Corel Painter seven essentials. The wind tab option was on by default and it works.
So that’s interesting you wouldn’t think of this as being a wind tab device it’s not Wacom EMR. It’s most likely a UC logic digitizer. Now the pressure curves on this are getting better. But they’re still not exactly where I’d like. If you have a light touch with the pen no matter how far you adjusted in their app you’re not gonna really get what you want if you have a really light touch.
Pressure curves have improved but it’s still a little severe. It goes from that kind of light touch to boom heavy a little quicker than I would like. So if you’re doing a real subtle site airbrushing to kind of put shading in in some of these chin or something like that sometimes I get a little whoopsie there and you’ll make them quite dark.
The pen has two buttons on it there is no eraser on the button and you can assign the buttons to do whatever you want. Now you do this inside of their XP pen app and under windows I found it was a little bit flaky. Ie I would assign it to be alt for a sampling and Photoshop for one and undo for the other.
And sometimes nothing would happen. It actually would ignore that or sometimes it would stick but over the next reboot no more. Also there’s no per application settings which some of you might miss. They are operating from a really old Cintiq or something like that.
Feature that you used to have but you know the old thing so you want to get something newer but not too expensive you can’t do that. So you can’t have separate button settings and Express key settings for Photoshop versus Corel Painter versus clip studio paint.
Speaking of the Express keys obviously, we have Express keys on each side with a jog wheel. And they’re on both sides in case your left or right-handed. So that’s nice and you can program those using the app. Yep also handles things like contrast brightness and your color temperature as well.
Now you can do that using the touch-sensitive slightly annoying OSD buttons here to control it as well. But I’d much rather actually do it in the application because you know these kind of button menus are a little bit fidgety.
Alright so one of the selling points is obviously is a little bit higher color gamut than say the more expensive Cintiq 22. How good is the display on this. Yeah, there’s a good and there’s bad on this. If you leave it this is odd actually.
If you put it at 100% brightness and leave it at the default 50% contrast which is where you want to leave most monitors so you don’t start to see distortions then brightness is you know in the low 200s for nits. Not so good. If you increase the contrast from 50 to 65 percent then the brightness goes up to a little above 300 as we measured 311 it’s.
But the black levels are abysmal to worse on that so. If at the 50% contrast level black levels 1.53 with the contrast increase it goes up 2186. Black levels something we usually measure as 0.28 or 0.4 4. So that means your blacks are not going to get very black here.
And that means the contrast levels are not very good. You can use the dynamic contrast ratio setting which a lot of monitors has including this but all’s it did was make the whites of kind of dingy too and it didn’t really seem to do the job. So I wouldn’t go with that option.
Especially if you can care something about color accuracy if you’re doing art. This would be a pen display more for artists I would say. Because photo editors typically care about color accuracy a lot. And this monitor doesn’t have that in spades nor does it have great contrast.
So your images are gonna look a little more washed out than they really would on most other nice laptop displays these days for example. In terms of drawing experience well it’s mostly all good. Like I said and the pressure curve still could take a little tweaking but there’s no fishhooking of lines of diagonal line jitter is just about zip on this.
And drawing curved lines very smooth. Yeah, it’s really quite nice. But it doesn’t have the natural feel of a Wacom Cintiq. Even the budget Wacom Cintiq. So there’s that. Me in the end I always want the most natural most responsive pen experience possible.
And I’ll give up on other things like cable connection convenience a little extra gamut all that sort of thing. But it’s still really good and if you’re looking at something at all Wacom Cintiq 22 HD which is what 10 years old now and they don’t really I don’t think sell them anymore then you look at the price of this and you say it’s pretty darn amazing what you get.
It is a great starter big-screen monitor for those who want to get into drawing and have the space to actually work large. This comes with the robust and adjustable stand by the way very sturdy and it’s pre attached to the monitor for those who hate screwdrivers and things like that.
So versus the Cintiq 22 obviously this has a few things going for it including the fact that you get the USBC single cable connection. You have to go to a Cintiq Pro to get that. The display quality I would still say overall the Cintiq s– a little better in terms of things like black levels and accuracy but this one does have a little bit wider gamut. But the Cintiq s– a lot more money.
And of course you’re getting the best pen experience on the Cintiq. Versus the helium canvas 22 pro model well that one used to be pretty expensive like $900 when it came out but now it’s down about 550. So it is cheaper but it doesn’t have the USBC single cable connection. It does have the battery list pen like this though.
By hugh eons drivers typically a little bit more of a headache than even XP pens. So that’s the XP pen artist 22r pro. And if you’re a budding artist looking for a big-screen drawing experience and you don’t have a lot of money to spend not that $700 is exactly cheap but you know what I mean compared to a Cintiq then you could certainly do a lot worse than this.
The pen response on it not perfect but pretty good. The parallax on this just about nothing despite the fact that this doesn’t have bonded glass. There was the line quality on this is really nice. They are getting better and getting better quickly
XP-Pen Artist 22R Pro