There are a number of drawing tablets which claims to be the best or the cheapest in the market. Most of these budget tablet make major compromises with the features to bring down the price of their drawing tablets. Sometimes the shortcut buttons would be missing and other times you will realize the drawing area is way too small.
At the end, we will give our opinion to whether it is worth it or not.
Xp Pen Deco 01 Features
Before we move further and discuss everything in detail, here are its main features…
|Xp-Pen deco 01|
|Active Area||10 x 6.25 inches|
|Pen Pressure||8192 levels|
|Pen Battery Needed||No|
|Buttons on Pen||2|
|Buttons on Tablet||Eight|
|Tablet Resolution||5080 LPI|
|Report Rate||266 RPS|
|OS Support||Windows, Mac|
Design – layout and button placement
Starting off with the first look and the basic design – Xp Pen is a modern-minimalist looking drawing tablet which also happens to be one of slimmest tablets in the market. On the top, we have all the buttons placed at the left-hand side with the drawing area on the right.
This layout is more suited as you can use your left hand to press shortcut keys while drawing with the right hand at the same time. In case you are left handed, you can simply rotate the device and carry on. There is also an option to change the tablet from right handed to left handed mode in the settings.
Now flipping the device over and looking at the back you find big rubber pads on all the four sides of the tablet. Xp Pen Deco 01 is a budget tablet so it does not come with wireless connectivity but that is not really a big deal as you can connect the device using the USB cable. The cable itself is very long and everything is easy to set up.
Build Quality and portability
Unlike other cheap tablets, Deco 01 has high-quality plastic construction with everything well put together. The buttons feel sharp and sturdy and give a nice click sound when pressed. The tablet can easily fit into a backpack and due to its slim profile does not takes much space. The plastic body also helps with making the tablet light.
Pen/Stylus review- Overall look, performance and technology used
The stylus is the most important part of a drawing tablet, maybe more important than the tablet itself. A good stylus can take your drawing experience to the next level at the same time a bad stylus can be very annoying.
It is a lot common to get an underperforming inaccurate stylus at the cheaper price level. There are a lot of things which can go wrong with a stylus – from inconsistent strokes to pen wobble issues. Xp Pen Deco 01 comes with a robust well balanced and very accurate stylus.
Pressure levels and consistency
It has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity with a smooth and accurate pressure curve. The pressure and sensitivity can be further customized as per your liking in the settings. The pen is a Passive stylus – which is a fancy way of saying it does not has a battery inside. So the pen does not need any charging, ever.
It gets its power wirelessly from the tablet itself with the help of EMR (electromagnetic resonance). It is very interesting pen technology and more and more tablets are adopting it.
Look and feel of the stylus
In terms of design, the whole body has toughened plastic with a glossy finish at the surface. It is super light and weighs just 10 grams which makes it easy to hold and work for prolonged periods. The pen is well balanced from the center which makes it more comfortable.
The pen has two buttons at its sides which work as left and right click. These buttons can also be customized to any shortcut of your choice in the pen settings. The buttons feel clicky and very easy to access as they stick out of the surface of the pen.
Xp pen Deco 01 Shortcut Keys
The Xp Pen Deco 01 comes with a number of shortcut keys. There are a total of eight shortcut buttons arranged in two groups of four. Some drawing tablets have the position of the shortcut key at the top which is very inconvenient to use and most of the people end up using their keyboard instead.
With Deco 01 your shortcut buttons are present at the left-hand side which is the correct position as it is the natural position to rest. Another advantage of having the eight buttons is you will almost never have to touch the keyboard for the shortcut as eight buttons are sufficient for all your shortcut needs.
All the eight buttons are made of plastic but have a nice feedback and treble on clicking. The buttons sit flush to the tablet surface and do not wobble, giving them a satisfying feel. The buttons have patterns made on them which makes it easier to recognize them. With the help of the driver, you can change the buttons to any shortcut of your choice.
Pen Stand (holder)
One of the best thing about the Xp Pen is the number of accessories you get in the box – no matter which tablet you buy. They make sure you have everything to get started without needing to purchase any third party accessories.
There are pen tablets in the market which costs twice the amount of this one but still does not come with a pen holder.
The Deco 01 comes with a nice looking pen holder which also functions as a storage compartment. The top shell is made of plastic while the base has metal to keep it heavy. You can keep the pen in an upright position or lay it flat on the pen stand.
The bottom base plate opens up to reveal the hidden storage compartment for the pen nibs. It stores eight extra pentips organized neatly in padded shelves.
The Deco 01 comes with a massive 10 x 6.25 inches drawing surface. Almost all the drawing tablets coat their top surface with some special material. These special coating helps with scratch resistant and keeps your tablet in good condition over a long time. These textures surface also provides resistance while drawing and makes a bit of pleasant sound which makes you feel you are drawing on paper.
Many tablets use some cheap quality coating on the surface which ends up wearing up. Xp-Pen Deco 01 uses a high-quality material which lasts for a long time. The texture and sound are well balanced and is neither too aggressive nor too subtle. In practical, uses it was very satisfying to draw on this surface.
One very unique feature of the Deco 01 which you would not find in any other tablet. The four corners which indicate active drawing area lights up to show the boundary. It looks very cool and futuristic, especially in dark.
Xp Pen Deco 01 connects to your computer with the help of a USB cable. The cable is quite long and seems to be of high quality. Other than the cable you also need Driver which is easy to set up.
Xp Pen Deco 01 Driver
A driver is a software which allows the drawing tablet to communicate with the computer. It helps your computer to better understand pen pressure data which improves the performance of the pen tablet.
The official driver is free to get and easy to install. It is available for both the Windows and Mac devices. You can download the Driver for Deco 01 from the official Xp-Pen website.
Other than communicating with the computer, there are a lot of other tasks which the driver can perform. Starting with the shortcut buttons. The driver allows you to change the default shortcut to any other shortcut of your choice. You can also personalize the pressure sensitivity of the pen depending on how hard or soft you press while using the pen. The two expresskeys on the pen can also perform other tasks.
Xp Pen Deco 01 comes with a lot of accessories. Other than the tablet you also get the stylus, USB cable, pen holder and a Drawing glove. The drawing glove could be really helpful as it reduces the friction from your hand. It has a soft fabric which feels very comfortable.
This tablet could be a great choice if you are looking for something which costs less and gives more. You would be having a really nice drawing experience with this.
you can also check our list of top beginner drawing tablets.
Summary – To buy or not to buy
After looking at all the features in detail it is pretty easy to say that Xp Pen Deco 01 is one of the best budget tablets in the market. It has 10 x 6.25 inches of active drawing area which is largest in the price range. Along with that, you get all the necessary features like shortcut buttons and a very capable stylus.
In a nutshell, if you are looking for a tablet – you should definitely go with this one.