Wacom Intuos vs Xp Pen Deco Series Comparison: Which is better?

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wacom vs xp pen deco-01

If you are looking for a budget graphics tablet, you must have come across Wacom Intuos and the Xp Pen Deco series tablets.

These tablets are quite popular amongst artists. Their low prices and great features make them some of the best drawing tablets for beginners.

Both the tablets are very similar to each other but there are some differences that set them apart.

Wacom tablets are known for their great drawing experience whereas Xp Pen is popular for providing a lot of features at very pocket-friendly prices.

So the question is, which is a better drawing tablet and which device should you choose as your next drawing tablet? Let’s find out.

Wacom Intuos vs Xp-Pen Deco Series

Wacom Intuos comes in two versionsWacom Intuos Small and Wacom Intuos Medium.

Well on the other side, Xp Pen Deco series consist of 4 tablets namely – Deco 01, Deco 02, Deco 03, and Deco Pro(small and medium).

Now let’s have a quick look at the features and get ourselves familiar with these devices.

Wacom IntuosXp-Pen
Deco 01 v2
Deco 02
Deco 03
Deco Pro
Active Area (inches)7.9 x 6.3 /
10.4 x 7.8
10 x 6.2510 x 5.6310 x 5.629 x 5/
11 x 6
Shortcut Buttons48668
Roller wheel/ DialNoNoYesYesYes (two)
Pen pressure40968192819281928192
Tilt SupportNoYesNoNoYes
Buttons on PenTwoTwoOneTwoTwo
Eraser on penNoNoYesNoNo
Android SupportYesYesNoNoYes
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Looking at the comparison table you can notice that the Wacom Intuos has a lower pressure sensitivity as well as a smaller drawing area.

So does it means the Wacom Intuos is not as good as Xp Pen Deco Pro tablets? 

The Answer is – NO!

The quality of a drawing tablet cannot be solely determined by just comparing the features. In reality, all these tablets have their own advantages and disadvantages.

There is more to a tablet than just a larger drawing area and a pen with more pressure sensing. Therefore we highly recommend you to read the complete article before making any conclusions.

Wacom Intuos and Xp Pen Deco – Pressure differences

wacom intuos and xp pen deco 03 stylus comparison

The Wacom Intuos comes with a stylus that has a pressure range of 4096 levels whereas Xp Pen stylus has a pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels.

When we talk about the pressure sensitivity in stylus – more is always better.

When comparing the 8192 pressure levels with 4096, it definitely seems like we are missing a lot. But in real-life usage, that pressure difference is not that evident.

In most cases, you won’t even notice the difference unless you are observing it very closely.

Overall Xp Pen stylus is better in terms of pen pressure but the difference is more evident on paper than in real-life usage.

Working area and tablet size: Wacom and Xp Pen

wacom Intuos - wacom tablet for beginners Looking at the comparison table at the beginning, you may have noticed that the Wacom Intuos is available in two sizes – small and medium.

The smaller version being the smallest tablet in the list and has the least amount of drawing space.

The Medium size Wacom Intuos is comparable to Xp Pen tablets in terms of size.

But when we look at the price of the Wacom Intuos Medium, we notice that it is almost twice the price tag of the smaller version.

Plus you aren’t getting any extra features with medium size and that is why we do not recommend the Wacom Intuos Medium.

If you are someone who works on a Laptop or a small-sized monitor (around 19 inches and below), then the smaller version of Wacom Intuos is sufficient enough.

But if you work on a larger monitor or you want a larger drawing area – Go with Xp Pen tablets.

Shortcut buttons and dials

The number of shortcut buttons, type of shortcut options and their placement determines their usability.

The Wacom Intuos comes with 4 shortcut buttons and the Xp Pen Deco Series tablets come with 6 or 8 shortcut buttons along with a roller.

The newly released Deco Pro (Amazon) has a combination of physical shortcut buttons, Mechanical Dial as well as a Touchpad which really helps a lot and makes drawing on this tablet very convenient.

What are shortcut buttons?

xp pen deco 01 shortcut buttons
Buttons: Xp Pen Deco 01

Shortcut buttons are a physical button that can be programmed to any shortcut of your choice.

In drawing applications it can be used to performs tasks such as undo and redo. It minimizes the use of a keyboard and makes your workflow faster.

What are Dials and Rollers?

roller and touchpad xp pen deco pro
Xp Pen Deco Pro roller and touchpad

Dials and Rollers are a type of advanced shortcut buttons that can perform more complicated tasks such as changing the size of brush and eraser by simply rotating the dial.

Stylus – features

The Wacom Intuos comes with the Wacom’s latest stylus. The stylus has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and two buttons on the side for shortcuts.

The rear end of the stylus opens to reveal three extra pen nibs stored inside them.

All the Xp Pen stylus has a pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The Deco 02 stylus has an eraser at the back whereas Deco Pro (Amazon) and Deco 01 are the only tablets that comes with tilt support.

Stylus performance

Graphics tablets are being used for a long time and over the years they have gotten so good that it is difficult to find bad tablets.

All of the tablets mentioned in this list come with a great stylus. Their tracking is on point and pressure sensitivity fell balanced and well-calibrated.

In spite of having lower pressure sensitivity, the Wacom Intuos stylus feels equally good as the Xp Pen stylus that has a higher pressure range.

Pen holder

Tablets such as Deco 01 come with a simple pen stand that holds the stylus when it is not in use – so that it does not roll off the table.

pen holder xp pen artist 12
Pen holder Xp Pen

Other tablets such as Deco 02, Deco 03 and Deco Pro come with a cylindrical pen holder.

This one is more sturdy and fully protects the stylus. This type of pen holder can be great if you travel a lot with your tablet.

The front cap of this pen holder opens up and works as a pen stand. The rear end of these pen holder is used for storing the extra pen nibs.

Wacom Intuos pen holder
Wacom Intuos pen holder

Now with Wacom – you get no additional pen holder.

The shortcut buttons of the Wacom Intuos are curved inwards and that is where Wacom recommends us to keep the stylus. Plus as we mentioned earlier the rear end of the stylus stores the extra pen nibs.

Layout and placement

Wacom Intuos has the shortcut buttons on the top with the drawing area right below it.

Whereas the Xp pen tablets have Shortcut buttons on the left-hand side and the drawing area on the right.

Although it is a matter of personal choice, in our opinion – the layout of the Xp Pen tablets makes more sense.

An artist, drawing with the right hand will have their left hand naturally rest on the left, exactly where the shortcut buttons are located.

What about lefties

Wacom Intuos is symmetrical in design, which means no matter whether you are left or right-handed the tablet layout will feel the same for you.

left and right hand mode in drawing tablet

With Xp Pen, you have shortcut buttons on the left – which can be very inconvenient for left-handed people.

To address this, Xp Pen has the left-handed mode in the tablet settings.

It flips the mapping of your tablet after that you can simply rotate the tablet by 180° so that you have buttons on the right side instead of left.

Surface Texture and scratch resistance

The surface of the graphics tablet is made of plastic. When a pen with a plastic tip is used to write on these surfaces – the stylus glides a bit too much, to the point that it became difficult to control it.

To fix this, the surface of the tablets has small bumps called micro-textures.

These textures provide slight resistance to the pen and stop them from slipping around. Which results in you having more control over the stylus.

Now, this may seem like a small detail but it has a massive effect on the drawing experience.

After all the surface of the tablet is what we interact with most of the time for during making sketches.

All the drawing tablet mentioned in this list comes with surface texture. But after using the tablets for a while we found that that Wacom surface texture feels better to draw on.

wacom intuos vs other - scratch test
Surface tear after 8 months – Wacom(left) vs Xp Pen Deco 02 (right)

In long-tern usage, the Wacom tablets hold up better, as it is more resistant to scratches as you can see in the image above.

Wacom or Xp Pen – Which tablet should you get?

Wacom may be a little conservative about their features but what they provide in return is quality and great drawing experience.

Their tablets are very reliable with everything working smoothly without any bugs or issues.

Their drivers are updated on a regular basis and overall you will have a pleasant experience using the Wacom Intuos (Amazon).

But if you want a good tablet with a large working area and ample of shortcut options, the Xp Pen tablets are a better choice.

The Deco Pro (full review, Amazon) is one of the most promising tablets out of all the tablets on the list.

It comes in two versions and costs slightly higher than other tablets, but it is totally worth the price.


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Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh is an Adobe Certified Associate, Graphic Designer, and 3D artist. He likes to acquire new skills and explore how things work.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. armando

    Best Article i see about compare Wacom and Xp pen , Still i cant decide which one to buy . Xp Pen have more Options and better Pressure rate but as u mentioned maybe 8192 and 4096 is just a number

    1. Essential Picks

      These tablets are scratch resistant, not scratch proof. And you can buy these kinds of plastic protective films in America, Canada, Australia, Asia and most other countries as well.

      These protective films are optional and not at all necessary. The scratch-resistant coating on these tablets does a great job of protecting the drawing surface from damages.

  2. amol

    suggest which one is best , wacom one medium size or xp pen deco 02

    1. Essential Picks

      Wacom One – If you want a superior build quality – especially the quality of the drawing surface (referring to texture + scratch resistance).

      Deco 02 – If you want more features – shortcut buttons, and the Dial.

      If we have to pick one, Wacom One medium size.

  3. Maxanto

    I have an xp-pen deco 01 v2. It has an anti-scratch protector film included in the box.

  4. Kub

    Which one is better? Xp pen deco 01 v2 or deco min 7W.

    1. Essential Picks

      If you are using a laptop or a smaller monitor we would recommend you to prefer wireless connectivity (deco mini 7W) over the larger drawing area. But in case your monitor is above 24 inches, the smaller working area of deco mini 7 is not ideal, get the Deco 01 V2 instead.

  5. p2000

    i want a smooth and not glitchy experience for drawing(mostly cartoon) and sketch
    should i go for deco 01 v2 or wacom intuos medium?

    1. Essential Picks

      Both these tablets are equally good and provide a flawless and smooth drawing experience. If you work on a laptop screen, the size of Wacom Intuos small would suit you better. Or if you work on 21-inch or larger monitor Deco 01 v2 is a better pick as it has a larger drawing area.

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