Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle Review 2 scaled

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In the world of digital art and design, having the right tools can make all the difference. Xencelabs, a relatively new player in the graphics tablet market, aims to provide artists with a high-quality and affordable option.

The Xencelabs Pen Tablet is an excellent option for digital artists looking for a high-quality graphics tablet without the premium price tag. This bundle includes the medium-sized Pen Tablet along with two battery-free stylus pens, a Quick Keys remote, and other accessories to provide a complete drawing experience. With 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support, and a premium build, the Xencelabs tablet aims to rival more expensive Wacom models.

Xencelabs Brand Introduction

Xencelabs is a relatively new player in the pen tablet space, having been founded in 2019 by a team with roots at Wacom and Microsoft.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Xencelabs aims to deliver high-end pen tablets that are accessible and customizable for creators.

Their tablets feature many of the same technologies found in Wacom’s Intuos Pro line, including EMR pen technology and advanced pressure sensitivity, but at a more affordable price point.

Xencelabs is focused on the needs of digital artists and designers, emphasizing natural drawing experiences, extensive customisation options, and cross-software compatibility. With experience from industry leaders, Xencelabs is positioning itself as a premium but affordable alternative to established graphics tablet brands.

Specs / Features

  • Product Dimensions: 12.61 x 9.16 x 0.3 in / 320.5 x 232.85 x 8mm
  • Active Area Size: 10.3×5.8 in / 262.4×147.4 mm
  • Battery-free pen with 8,192 pressure levels and 60 degrees of tilt
  • Pen case for two stylus pens – 3 button and thin pen
  • 8 fully customisable Express Keys on the Quick Keys remote
  • OLED display on Quick Keys for shortcuts
  • 5080 LPI resolution
  • 266 RPS report rate
  • Textured surface for tactile feel
  • Windows and Mac compatible
  • Bundled with glove, drawing case, extra nibs, and cables

Xencelabs Pen Tablet vs Wacom

The Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium is most comparable to Wacom’s Intuos Pro Medium, which retails for around £330 for the tablet and pen by itself.

The Xencelabs bundle adds tremendous value by including the Quick Keys remote and accessories for about the same price as Wacom’s tablet. In terms of drawing performance, the Xencelabs Pen Tablet delivers comparable quality and features to Wacom at a more affordable price point. Both tablets offer over 8,000 levels of pressure sensitivity, battery-free pens, and tilt support.

The nibs, surface textures, and overall feel in the hand are also similar. Customisation options like Express Keys and radial menus are robust on both tablets. The main advantages of the Xencelabs bundle are the included Quick Keys remote providing Express Keys, the variety of accessories like extra nibs and gloves, and competitive pricing. For artists seeking a premium drawing experience without paying premium prices, the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle is an excellent alternative to comparable Wacom models.

Xencelabs Pen Tablet: Design and Build

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The Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium is crafted with a high-quality textured plastic casing that looks and feels durable. The curved edges and rounded corners make the tablet comfortable to rest your hand on during long drawing sessions. At 8mm thick, it maintains a slim, portable profile. The active drawing area provides ample room for sketching and drawing without feeling overly spacious. The tablet maintains a neutral grey colour that fits well on any desk. The subtle Xencelabs branding on the bottom front gives it a clean, professional aesthetic. The tablet surface has a finely textured finish that provides a nice balance between smooth gliding and tactile resistance. The surface mimics the feel of paper just enough to deliver that natural drawing sensation but without excessive friction. The build quality is sturdy and rigid, with no flexing or creaking. Overall, the design focuses on delivering an ergonomic, durable, and aesthetically pleasing drawing surface.

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Xencelabs Pen Tablet: Quick Key Remote

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The Quick Key Remote is a standout feature of the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle. This separate device acts as a remote control with an OLED display and nine customisable buttons, as well as a physical wheel dial. It allows for the quick and convenient customisation of shortcuts, making it easy to access frequently used functions while working. With the ability to configure different sets of shortcuts and assign colours to each set, the Quick Key Remote enhances productivity and streamlines the creative process.

Configuring the Quick Key Remote is a straightforward process, thanks to Xencelabs’ user-friendly approach. Artists can assign different functions to each button, customise dial sequences for tasks like scrolling, zooming, and changing brush sizes, and easily switch between different configurations using the OLED display. The Quick Key Remote adds an extra layer of convenience and customisation to the overall drawing experience.

Xencelabs: Stylus/Pen

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The Xencelabs stylus pen provides an excellent drawing experience. The pen feels well-balanced and comfortable to hold thanks to the curved ergonomic grip. With 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60 degrees of tilt support, the pen delivers precise control over your strokes. The tip has just the right amount of drag to simulate the feel of traditional drawing. The pen is battery-free, using EMR (electromagnetic resonance) technology to wirelessly transmit pen data to the tablet. Xencelabs includes two stylus pens in the bundle – the 3 button pen and the slimmer Thin Pen. The 3 button pen has two customisable side buttons plus the eraser end button. The pen tips are firm but not overly hard, providing a nice “tick” sound when making strokes. The pen tips have just enough friction to mimic traditional drawing. The pen case conveniently holds both pens as well as the extra nibs and nib removal tool. With excellent pressure sensitivity, tilt support, low-latency, and a comfortable design, the Xencelabs stylus pens enable you to draw naturally and accurately.

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Performance

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In real-world use, the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium delivers excellent performance for drawing, photo editing, digital painting, and other creative work. The 5080 lines per inch resolution and 266 reports per second rate result in precise, fluid pen control with virtually no lag. Pen strokes translate instantly with impressive accuracy in applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Clip Studio Paint. The pressure sensitivity allows you to create tapered strokes and vary line weight just as you would with traditional media. The tilt support enables you to easily control angle-dependent brushes. Quick Keys provides efficient access to shortcuts and modifiers right at your fingertips. The tablet is comfortable enough for longer drawing sessions thanks to the slim, lightweight design. Connectivity is seamless with the included cables and adapters. For creative professionals and aspiring artists alike, the Xencelabs tablet has the performance capabilities to keep up with demanding workloads. The level of speed, accuracy, and customisation rivals premium Wacom tablets.

Price and Alternative Options

The Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle is available on Amazon for £290, or the Bundle SE which is £340. The only difference I can see with the SE is the Nebula White colourway.

The Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium without the Quick Keys is sold for £250.

You can buy the Xencelabs Quick Keys separately for £95.

The pens that are included with the tablet retail for:

  • Xencelabs 3 Button Pen – £44.90
  • Xencelabs Thin Pen – £33.90

Wacom has an extensive range of options with many more affordable and basic tablets in comparison to the Xencelabs Pen Tablet.

The closest product is the Wacom Intuos Pro medium, which retails for £330 but is regularly discounted to £300. This only has one pen, and no Quick Keys.

Wacom sells an ExpressKey Remote Accessory, which lacks an OLED display, for £90. This would, therefore, bring the RRP of the Wacom Intuos Pro medium + ExpressKey to £420 vs £290 of the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle.

Wacom also sells the Loupedeck Live S for £150, which is more of an Elgato Stream Deck alternative but can be used for graphic design.

Additional Wacom Pens cost:

  • Wacom Pro Pen slim – £80
  • Wacom Pro Pen 2 – £80

Overall

For digital artists and creatives seeking a premium drawing tablet at a more affordable price point, the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle hits the sweet spot.

You get excellent build quality, intuitive design, and professional drawing responsiveness. The textured surface provides just the right amount of friction for a natural feel. The battery-free stylus mirrors the control of traditional media with its 8,192 pressure levels and tilt support.

The Quick Keys remote adds efficiency by putting shortcuts and modifiers at your fingertips.

The bundle includes everything you need to start creating. While not the cheapest option, the Xencelabs tablet justifies its price with premium construction, accessories, and performance that lives up to more expensive Wacom models.

For artists seeking versatility and customisation in a graphics tablet, the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle provides incredible value. With its well-built hardware and intuitive software, the Xencelabs tablet is an excellent choice for taking your digital art to the next level.

Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle Review - with Xencelabs Quick Keys

Summary

For artists seeking versatility and customisation in a graphics tablet, the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle provides incredible value. With its well-built hardware and intuitive software, the Xencelabs tablet is an excellent choice for taking your digital art to the next level.

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Pros

  • Affordable alternative to Wacom Intuos Pro medium
  • Includes Quick Keys

Cons

  • No legs to angle the tablet to be more ergonomic 

Last update on 2024-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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