The XP-PEN Deco Pro SW It is a graphic tablet with an affordable price and the necessary features to earn it not one, but two design awards, having won the Reddot Award of 2019 and the Good Design Award of 2018, which makes us understand that we are not dealing with any tablet of cheap drawing, but one of the best that we can obtain in its respective range. As if that were not enough, the version of the XP-PEN Deco Pro that we will be reviewing in this post is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and an internal battery, which means that we can use it wirelessly for even more convenience.
However, if you prefer a graphic tablet with a screen, this is not the option for you, but perhaps the XP-Pen Artist 12 from the same manufacturer is the solution you are looking for.
Technical specifications of the Deco Pro SW
|DECO PRO SW|
|Technology||Passive electromagnetic resonance|
|screen type||no screen|
|active area||9” x 5”|
|Pen pressure levels||8192 levels|
|Ports and video interface||usb type c|
|wireless connectivity||Yes, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Battery||900mAh for 10 hours of use|
|Supported operating systems||Windows 7/8/10, Mac OS X10.10 (or later), Android 6.0 (or later), Chrome OS 88 (or later), and Linux|
|pen hotkeys||8 programmable keys and 1 mechanical wheel|
A design worthy of an award or two
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the XP-PEN Deco Pro SW is worthy of two major industrial design awards, so a very well-made quality device awaits us.
Deco Pro variants come in two sizes, the medium 11 by 6 inches and the small 9 by 5 inches. In both versions it is comfortable to draw, but obviously the larger variants have the advantage.
With that said, the design of the tablet looks elegant with its rounded edges. The silver parts are metal and the drawing area has a nice matte texture for drawing. The back is fully metal and here we find two long rubber strips to prevent the tablet from moving on the table. The tablet is quite thin and gets a bit thicker where the buttons are, but it’s still only 7mm thick.
Speaking of buttons, there are 8 configurable keys, which have a good response and click when pressed. Right in the middle there is a silver mechanical wheel it rotates very smoothly. The black part in the middle is the call virtual Wheel, which can be customized to function as a touchpad that controls the mouse, or as a wheel that can be turned clockwise or counterclockwise to change settings. Additionally, touching the virtual wheel is registered as a mouse click and the edges emit a light when the device is active.
Another element that we must praise is its connection port, which is a Reversible USB Type-C conveniently positioned.
Drawing area and digital pen
This XP-PEN Deco Pro series model is only available with a 9-inch by 5-inch work area, so it is not the most generous tablet in this aspect, but for the price we could hardly expect better; after all, we are dealing with an entry-level drawing tablet that we can only recommend to beginning designers or users who do not plan to use it very demanding or professional.
However, the XP-PEN Deco Pro SW works great with most popular drawing applications like Photoshop where the line quality is excellent and this is the same line quality that we can expect with all other drawing applications. In this vein, the thin and thick transition is smooth, the lines taper gradually, and the curves can be turned smoothly without looking angular.
Equally commendable is the PA1 battery-free digital pen, which supports 60° tilt and 8,192 levels of sensitivity. This digital pen can achieve delicate brush lines to capture every minute detail. Additionally, it exhibits a non-slip design equipped with two keys that function as left and right click.
The pen case can be opened at one end to reveal the nib extractor and 8 spare nibs. Here we can also put it to rest if we want.
Software and compatibility
The XP-PEN Deco Pro SW has the advantage of working not only with windows and macOS, but also works with android devices, although yes, in vertical mode and with a more limited number of applications.
However, not everything can be rosy, since some users report issues with the drivers on Windows and macOS. Some report situations where tablet settings are ignored, while others report pressure sensitivity not working properly. This last problem can be solved by disabling the Windows Ink functionality if we are on a PC.
Another problem is the software, which feels a bit archaic and poorly integrated with the operating system, especially on the Mac, where it runs like an app rather than a control panel. That said, we’ll need it to configure things like the pressure sensitivity curve and what the keys do, so we can’t overlook it.
It is also worth mentioning that having Bluetooth 5.0, the XP-PEN Deco Pro SW can connect wirelessly and works well within a range of 3 to 5 meters. This is a great advantage when it comes to organizing our workspace as it eliminates the need for cables.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that a 900mAh internal battery it can power the XP-PEN Deco Pro SW if we decide to go completely wireless. She has a duration of 10 hours and charges in a total of 2 hours via USB-C.
Availability and price of the XP-PEN Deco Pro SW
The XP-PEN Deco Pro SW is available for purchase via Amazon.com, where it enjoys a good price and positive reviews. Alternatively we can purchase from Geekbuying.com for a similar price and the same can be said of the fnac online store.
- Excellent price-quality ratio
- The digital wheel is responsive and useful
- USB port and Bluetooth connectivity
- 10 hours of autonomy
- Very thin
- Software not well integrated (especially on Mac)
- sensitive mouse pad