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Drawing tablets have never been so affordable. It is kind of surprising the quality of drawing tablet that you can get these days, this was not possible a few years back.
With that said not all tablets are made equal and there are a number of not so good tablets that you should avoid.
Most of these budget tablets make major compromises with the features to bring down the price. But, that is not the case with the Xp Pen Deco 01.
In this Deco 01 review, we will explore all the features this tablet has to offer and figure out whether Deco 01 is the right tablet for you.
Xp Pen Deco 01 Features
Before we move on to further details, here are some of 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 tablet with a very slim form factor.
On the front, you have a massive drawing area with shortcut buttons on the left. The four arrows on the corners indicate the active drawing area and glow with the help of LED lights.
Having the button on the left allows the Artists to press them with their left hand while drawing with the right one.
The base of the tablet is pretty simple with nothing but 4 rubber pads on the back.
Build Quality and portability
Unlike other cheap tablets, Deco 01 has high-quality plastic construction with everything well put together. The buttons feel sturdy and give a nice click sound when pressed.
The tablet has a slim profile making it easier to fit in a backpack without taking up much space. The plastic body also helps in making the tablet lightweight.
Deco 01 has an active drawing area of 10″ x 6.25″ inches which is actually very large giving you enough room to freely move your hands around the surface without feeling cramped.
The drawing surface is made of scratch-resistant material that does not get scratched by the pointed tip of the stylus.
Drawing on a plastic surface with a plastic pen tip makes the stylus glide too much, making the stylus sometimes feels out of control. To counter this the surface of these tablets comes with a textured finish.
This textured surface provides slight resistance that makes the stylus feel in control. It makes the drawing experience much more satisfying.
The textured surface of the tablet is well balanced, it is neither too aggressive nor too subtle.
Xp pen P05 Stylus
The stylus is the most important part of a drawing tablet, some even consider it 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 to use.
Pressure and Tilt sensitivity
Xp pen P05 is a relatively new stylus from the Xp pen. It has a pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels with tilt detection up to ±60°. The pressure sensitivity on the stylus works flawlessly. It has a very balanced feel with no inconsistent pressure bumps and or pen jitter (wavy lines).
Like pressure sensitivity, tilt detection also works fine. It helps you to shade by tilting the stylus just like a real pencil.
It is important to know that not all brushes are compatible with shade mode. The shading mode only works with some special brushes.
There are two buttons on the side of the stylus with no eraser at the back. The buttons are programmable and can be set to perform any action.
Shape and Design of Stylus
The shape of the stylus can have a huge impact on how comfortable the stylus feel on long drawing sessions. To reduce hand fatigue and make the stylus comfortable to hold the stylus has a very ergonomic design.
The tip of the stylus is wider than the rest of the body, which slowly tapers down towards the back. The body of the pen is made of high-quality plastic with a matte finish.
Charging the stylus (Passive pen)
Xp Pen P05 is a passive stylus – meaning it has no batteries inside and does not needs to be charged. It works by wireless transfer of electric energy from the table using EMR. This is a similar technology that is used by Wacom Pens.
You can know more about EMR (electromagnetic resonance) by clicking here.
Expresskeys also called the “Shortcut buttons” are an essential part of a drawing tablet. Not having to reach to the keyboard for frequently used shortcuts such as Undo-Redo can be a huge time saver.
The Xp Pen Deco 01 comes with a total of 8 Shortcut Buttons which are arranged in two groups with four-button each.
The placement of the button is also good as you can draw with one hand and press the buttons with your other hand without having to pause your work.
The buttons itself are circular with raised dots and dashes to identify them without looking. This can be helpful in dark drawing environments. These buttons make a distinct click sound when pressed which good feedback that feels good.
All the 8 buttons are fully programmable and can be set to any shortcut of your choice in the tablet settings. You can also assign application-specific shortcuts that automatically change the buttons according to the application you are using.
Pen Stand and Extra Pentips
One of the great things about Xp Pen tablets is they do not shy away from quality accessories even on a budget tablet. This pattern can be seen in Deco 01 too.
The Xp pen Deco 01 comes with a very function pen holder. The main task of the pen holder is to securely hold the stylus when they are not in use. Otherwise, they would roll off the tablet.
The Pen holder stored the stylus in an upright or flat position. The holder is made of plastic with a matte finish on it.
Other than holding the stylus the pen holder also works as a storage space. Opening the top cover of the pen holder reveals a storage space for the extra pen nibs.
The Deco 01 comes with a total of 8 replaceable pen nibs. These are safely stored in a padded compartment. The Oen holer also has a simple nib remover tool.
Changin the pen nibs is fairly easy and simple. The nibs easily last a couple of months on heavy uses before needing to be replaced.
Xp pen Deco 01 connects to the tablet with the help of a USB-C connector. Other than connecting the cable you also need to install the driver which is free to download and support Windows and Mac devices. The cable included in the box is of high quality and fairly long.
Xp Pen Deco 01 Driver
A driver is a software that 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.
Other than communicating with the computer, the driver also manages some other important tasks.
Starting off 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 buttons on the pen can also be programmed in with the help of the driver.
The second generation of the Xp Pen Deco 01 tablet has the support for Android devices, this is a new feature and was not present in the First Gen Deco 01 tablet.
You can simply connect the tablet with your Android smartphone or tablet with the help of included USB adapter and start drawing. There are some really good drawing apps that are available for Android devices that you can use.
The tablet works natively with Android devices with no need to install any external drivers.
Xp Pen Deco 01 comes with a lot of accessories. Other than the tablet you also get the stylus, USB cable, pen holder, extra Pentips, USB adapters, cleaning cloth and Drawing gloves.
The drawing glove could be really helpful as it reduces the friction from your hand. It has a soft fabric which feels very comfortable.
Summary – Should you Buy the Xp Pen Deco 01
The Xp pen Deco 01 was already a great tablet but the upgrades and improvements in the second iteration of Deco 01, cemented the fact that it is one of the best tablets in the budget range.
This tablet has everything that you can expect from a good drawing tablet. Good build quality, large drawing area, shortcut buttons, a very capable stylus, and stable drivers.
In a nutshell, if you are looking for a budget drawing tablet – you should definitely go with this one.