Geek Pick of the Week: XP-Pen’s Artist 12 (2nd Gen) Pen Display Tablet

I’ve recently had the chance to get my hands on XP-Pen’s latest generation model of the Artist 12 pen display, a digital drawing option great for the Christmas season!

As the Holiday season approaches, we’re bringing back our Geek Pick of the Week. Each week leading up to Christmas, we’ll be highlighting a cool product we’ve found that we feel would be the perfect gift for geeks of all kinds. Use these to help fill in your own wish list or find the perfect gift for the nerds in your life. Click HERE to read more about previous Picks of the Week!

XP-Pen was kind enough to send me their recently released Artist 12 Pen Display (2nd Gen), marking the second drawing tablet I’ve checked out from the group. I’ve gotta say, I’m only more convinced of the reason why they’re currently Wacom’s biggest competitor.

Though this tablet is a bit smaller scale than some of their other offerings, this second generation model includes some impressive updates, along with the new X3 Smart Chip pen that makes a world of different while drawing. Here, you can see me break it all down:

The Artist 12 is a solid drawing tablet. Despite being on the more affordable end of the spectrum, nothing about it feels cheap. It feels like it can stand up to plenty of use and won’t break on you as you move around. It’s a great option to take it on the go with you, especially as it has the option to use the single USB-C connection (not included). So if you want a portable option, the Artist 12 easily fills that niche as well.

The drawing aspect is super smooth and it really felt like I was working with normal paper. I think what impressed me most, however, is the new X3 Smart Chip pen. My hands have a natural shake to them. It’s small and doesn’t mess with me most of the time, but on just about all digital drawings, I have to use a program that helps auto-smooth out my lines. With this new pen (which doesn’t have a spring mechanism) I didn’t have to do that, and my lines looked like I wanted!

Combine that with the relative easy setup and this tablet is ideal for newcomers or people just getting started in the digital drawing space. It brings in a lot of the features of a higher end tablet, but keeps the price reasonable. So if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the artist in your life, this is $250 well spent and something they’ll be able to get years of use out of.

And Hell, RIGHT NOW, you can go to their site and take advantage of their ongoing Christmas Sale. You can pick up a regular version (color of your choice) for only $209, and the special GIFT Edition of the pen display for only $231.00 (normally $289) directly from their site.

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Jordan Maison
Editor-in-Chief: Writer and cartoonist who went to college for post-production, he now applies his love of drawing, movie analysis, filmmaking, video games, and martial arts into writing.