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Digital has a relatively short history compared to traditional technologies. Throughout this recent epic, the Holy Grail has been to reproduce traditional approaches as faithfully as possible. Thus, the first digital cameras were far from producing images comparable to those of film. And then the student came to go beyond the model. Likewise, digitally reproducing the sound of a grand piano took many years.
In terms of drawing, the challenge was to be able to give the feeling of drawing using pencils or charcoal on a sheet of paper. Although the first graphic tablets for microcomputers appeared in 1984, they were then very rudimentary. And then they offered higher and higher pressure levels for the stylus, along with ever finer resolution. New to the arena, the XPPen Artist Pro 16 (2e generation) displays unparalleled capabilities to date.
In fact, if you are a graphic artist, you have had to test a large number of touch-sensitive graphics tablets, and each one has been able to seduce you with its abilities of precision of the line, of the modulation of the pressure on the screen , the fluidity of the line. The Artist Pro 16 pushes the boundaries.
16,000 levels of pressure!
As its name suggests, the Pro 16 has a screen close to 16 inches (15.6 to be exact), a generous surface, facilitating a comfortable drawing, especially since the resolution of 2560 x 1600 px offers a luxury of details.
Above all, the tablet is supported by the X3 Pro Smart Chip stylus which manages 16,000 levels of pressure. Yes… The barrier of 8,192 levels of pressure is well and truly pulverized. In addition, the response time has been reduced to 90 ms; 1.5 times faster than previous XPPen models. Accuracy, for its part, has been improved by 20%.
A high-end approach down to the details
As soon as you open the box, it appears that XPPen has taken care to design a “packaging” at the height of the tablet that sits on top, a bit like how an Apple company takes care of the smallest details, which includes the presentation of the object and its accessories.
In addition to the required USB-C connectors, you have mains adapters provided for several countries, including France. You are also entitled to a case containing the aforementioned stylus with a dozen spare tips, enough to see coming. A small external platform with buttons and a wheel will be used to use (or define) “shortcuts”.
Like on paper…
The tablet itself has been designed so that applying the stylus feels like drawing on paper and the feel is great. We are entitled to a display of beautiful definition and therefore precise. In use, the ability to vary the pressure of the stylus to obtain a more or less thick line gives rise to a sensitivity unknown to date.
In addition to two USB-C inputs, the Artist Pro 16 has a power button and another to adjust the contrast, which is the union minimum required.
The usual graphics software is recognized and for beginners – at the cost of a few settings that are not always easy – it is possible to use the tablet independently, with its own drawing software. In fact, we would have liked XPPen to provide a more detailed getting started booklet.
Not a featherweight!
Be aware, the Pro 16 is a bit heavy, so if you are willing to travel, carrying it in addition to your laptop will not be easy. Once you have overcome the ordeal, it will be easy to sit on a café terrace and reproduce the contours of a fountain or capture the atmosphere of a colorful square. Some will point out that the painters who transport their easels and other equipment to the heights of Montmartre are not left out, far from it!
The new benchmark
In the end, we have here a tablet that sets a new standard of quality and which, at the time of writing, has no real competition in terms of performance and price ratio. Many artists could therefore be tempted by the trappings of this tablet capable of giving wings to the most creative.
Article written in partnership with XPPen