Check out this wireless model that offers 8192 pressure sensitivity levels, a set of shortcut keys, and more.
Last week, we discussed the XP-Pen Artist Pro 16TP display and today we'll be taking a closer look at the company's Deco PRO MW tablet. The device is a wireless Bluetooth model featuring dual wheels and eight shortcut keys to optimize workflow.
I've been using Wacom Intuos Pro for a couple of years now so I was excited to test the performance of this solution compared to my old tablet. How does it perform in ZBrush? Does it provide the needed precision?
- Dimensions: 399.7 × 227 × 16.5mm
- Active Area: 11＂× 6＂
- Bluetooth v5.0
- PA1 battery-free stylus
- 2 wheels and 8 shortcut keys
As for the tablet's pen, it has two buttons on the side but doesn't feature the eraser. I don't really the eraser as I got used to shortcuts and my main focus is 3D art. The pen comes with a nice case that can also be used as a stand, plus there is a set of nibs inside. What is more, it supports 60° tilt and 8192 pressure sensitivity levels. You get the same specs with pricier Wacom devices by the way.
The setup is pretty straightforward: there's a single USB-C to plug in the device to your rig or use a Bluetooth connection. The tablet supports Windows 7/8/10, Mac OS X10.10 (or later), Android 6.0 (or later), Chrome OS 88 (or later). The Deco Pro can also work with ibisPaint (iOS version).
There's an XP-Pen app that allows you to install new drivers and tweak the settings of the tablet: you can set up pressure sensitivity, change buttons, and more. Overall, the software is pretty minimalistic which might be good or bad depending on your needs. Personally, I can't say I needed more options to tweak.
To test the tablet, I first launched ZBrush to see how the pen and its sensitivity deals with different intricate shapes. I've decided to draw a toad butcher and mostly used standard brushes like ClayBuildup, DamStandard, and Standard brushes to add all the needed details. The trickiest part was to find the right balance for the skin and in the end, I decided to play with some basic alphas to get the desired look. The drawing was pretty much straightforward but I eventually decided to decrease sensitivity in the XP-Pen app as it felt a bit too much with the standard level.
The next step was to paint the skin and clothes in Substance 3D Painter where I mostly used the manual approach – I didn't rely too much on different generators and smart masks to test the limits of Deco Pro MW. The experience was smooth but I had to play with sensitivity again and restore the standard level in the app. I guess it all depends on individual apps so you might have to tweak settings a bit once in a while (ZBrush was the only app acting funny in my case).
I've been recently having a problem with my Wacom tablet – it doesn't let me use the middle mouse button for some reason in Substance 3D Painter. XP-Pen buttons worked perfectly out of the box so I didn't have to waste time on different drivers. I also loved the size of the working area which let me nail all the little skin details in no time. The tablet also works in Photoshop which must be the most popular app among the users of this tablet. I didn't spend much time there but everything went great with the standard sensitivity level.
Would I recommend the tablet to friends and fellow artists? Yes. The tablet is an incredible bargain featuring all the power of the pricey Wacom solutions for an amazing price of $111.99 (currently on sale). The only possible drawback is the minimalistic app without tons of options but it works great and provides the needed basic settings.
I really love how XP-Pen has been working with artists and developing its products for the last couple of years combining high quality with friendly prices which is just what the evolving 3D community needs.
What do you think about their solutions? Is there something you would like them to improve?