From the long list of graphic display tablets, the XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) is one of our top picks. But why is this? Before buying the tablet, I was consistently looking at the many reviews about it and found most of them to be a good listing of the tablet’s features, but very few explained the features and how they would work for an artist like myself.
For this reason, I have prepared this review after using and extensively testing this tablet to help you decide whether it is your ideal tablet or if a cheaper option would be best for you.
This review will explain the good, bad, and unavailable features and aspects of the tablet as per my personal experience with it to help you make an informed decision.
Key Specifications for the XP-Pen Artist 13 – (2nd Gen)
- Overall Size: 378 x 225 x 11.99 mm
- The working area in mm: 293.76 x 165.24 mm
- Tablet Body Shortcut Keys: 9 Programmable Keys
- Material: Sturdy Plastic material
- Color Variations: Black, Green, Blue, Pink
XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) is a graphic tablet. This means that it comes with an inbuilt screen but no computer. You will have to connect it to a computer to act as a host for the software that you intend to use.
This tablet comes with an overall size of 378 x 225 x 11.99 mm. This size plus a lightweight plastic build makes it easy to carry around and work outside the office.
The plastic used to make the tablet is light but equally sturdy and does not easily break. This ensures that the tablet is strong and does not easily break.
You will get 4 different Color Variations to pick from that is Black, Green, Blue, and Pink. On the tablet’s body, you will have 9 Programmable Keys that you can set to your favorite quick go-to functions.
These customizable keys come in handy when properly implemented and will save you a lot of time.
Screen and Display
- Screen Size: 13.3 inches
- Resolution: 1080 p, 1920 x 1080 Pixels
- Matte Textured, Fully Laminated Screen with protective antiglare film
- Brightness Levels: 220 cd/m2
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Color Accuracy: 30% sRGB, 96% Adobe RGB and 92% NTSC
For many artists and tablet users, the screen is one of the most important aspects of a tablet.
This tablet is cheap but comes with a slightly larger screen than even the professional-level and more expensive iPad Pro which easily tops most of our reviews.
The XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) has a comfortable to use and easily portable 13.3-inch screen size.
This tablet is considered average sized with its size falling in between the larger screen size XP Pen 15.6 from the same brand and XP Pen 12. If you prefer a larger or slightly smaller option these 2 are great alternatives from the same brand.
However, I found the Xp-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) had the most comfortable balance between portability and comfort compared to the 2.
Another great feature of the screen is its high 1080 p 1920 x1080 Full HD pixels resolution that is crisp and clear displaying rich and vivid colors.
Additionally, color accuracy is great with a 30% sRGB, 96% Adobe RGB, and 92% NTSC color gamut. With 100% sRGB being standard, a wider color accuracy at 130% sRGB makes this tablet stand out displaying a rich array of colors.
The screen is bright and clear with 220 cd/m2 brightness levels and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. This screen will not disappoint.
Contrast refers to the difference between the bright and dull-lit areas of the screen. The higher the ratio, the better the view.
220 cd/m2 brightness levels were bright enough to view in medium light intensity areas of the house but were not the best for outdoor bright light conditions.
As mentioned earlier, this tablet comes with a screen which I found to be quite good.
Despite its low price range, it is one of the few tablets under 300$, that come with a fully laminated, textured screen with protective anti-glare film.
A fully laminated screen is made of 3 layers fused to make it strong and still maintain a clear display. The fused screen layers eradicate light reflection and parallax that may affect your view.
Older non-laminated screens have an air space that captures particles between the screens affecting the display. Additionally, a wide viewing angle of up to 178 degrees ensures you can easily view the screen at multiple angles.
XP-Pen Artist 13 Stylus, Pen X3 Elite
- Pen Pressure Levels:8192 levels
- Pen Tilt Recognition: +- 60 degree tilt
- Pen Programmable Keys: 2 on Pen
- 5080 lpi Resolution
- Battery free Stylus
Just like the screen, the Pen can also make or break your drawing experience. Luckily, the XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd gen) comes with a standard Pen – X3 Elite that is perfect for art.
First, it features 5080 Lpi pen resolution and 8192 levels Pen Pressure Levels that are the standard for an art pen.
LPI stands for lines per inch. It is used to the clarity of lines a stylus pen can draw. It is measured by the number of lines within a square inch. This is similar to the DPI or dots per inch used to measure an image’s resolution only that you use lines instead of dots.
5080 is ok though slightly less Lpi resolution would still work. The Pen is also battery-free and you do not have to connect to your tablet or power source to charge. It automatically charges as you work using EMR (Electromagnetic resonance) technology.
We mentioned that you have 9 programmable keys on your tablet that are useful to speed up your work. You will have an additional 2 buttons on your pen so in total you will have a total of 11 buttons which are far more than you need.
Tilt tolerance helps you draw different line thicknesses and create different shades of art. To aid in this the Pen has a + or – 60 tilt angle recognition similar to many expensive pens in the industry.
Finally, for a very good price range, you will get a free X3 Elite Stylus with 10 free replacement nibs plus Nib remover tool. Although you will get a lot of freebies on purchase, you will unfortunately not get a free stand which would have been perfect. Here is a list of some free stuff you will get on purchase.
What you get In the Box
- 1 XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd gen) tablet
- Free Stylus – X3 Elite Stylus
- Nib remover plus 10 free nibs
- Free Drawing glove and a Cleaning cloth
- 3 in 1 cable and USB A extension cable
- Quick Start Guide
Is the XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) compatible with MAC computers?
Yes, the XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) is compatible with MAC computer systems, it provides a seamless drawing experience on the MAC operating system.
Can the XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) work with Android devices?
Yes, the XP-Pen Artist 13 (2nd Gen) is compatible with Android systems, it provides a seamless drawing experience on all Android operating systems.
Written by: Denis Maina
I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.