Digital art is a vast world of many possibilities, and there is a plethora of tools and technologies that digital artists can use to create beautiful works of art. This variety is both a blessing and a curse, as anyone that’s tried to shop for a drawing tablet will gladly tell you.
That’s why we’re always looking out for the latest tablets on the market. When we come across something notable, we make sure to write a thorough review so you, our dear reader, can be better off for it, making more informed decisions about your next (or even first) drawing tablet.
The XP-Pen deco Fun review looks at yet another offering from one of the best tablet brands on the market: XP-Pen. Fasten your seatbelt, settle in, and get ready for a fun ride!
The XP-Pen Deco Fun S is part of the Deco Fun series recently released by XP-Pen. There are three available sizes in the series: the L, the S, and the XS, which are large, small, and extra small, respectively.
This graphics tablet was built to be as versatile as possible and has found applications in everything from writing to remote learning. It also lends itself very well to sketching, painting, and other forms of digital art, which our audience will be glad to hear.
It comes with a virtually unlimited collection of brushes and colors, lots of options, and an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. The pen has 8192 levels of pressure and support tilt functionality, giving artists fine control over the quality of their strokes.
It also interfaces well with Windows, Mac, and Android devices, making it accessible to a wide audience. Whatever you want to do with this drawing tablet, you’re bound to enjoy it!
We particularly love how the tablet looks. It has nice pastel colors in four different color options with interesting names: Space Blue, Carmine Red, Apple Green, and Classic Black.
We got the Carmine Red for the review, and the color was refreshing, to say the least. There seems to be a trend among device manufacturers to release pastel color options lately. Maybe they’re following Apple’s lead here.
Whatever the reason, we aren’t complaining.
In the box, you get the Deco Fun tablet, the USB-C table for charging and interfacing with devices, 10 spare nibs, as well as the one that comes in the pen, bringing the total to 11, a nibs removal tools, the user manual, and a quick start guide.
It’s pretty much no-frills, which makes sense considering the price.
Dimensions: 210.5mm X 159.8mm X 12.9mm | Display Area (Active Area): 6.3 inches X 4 inches | Item Weight: 15.9 oz. | Display Resolution: 5080LPI | RGB Gamma Ray: | Response Time (Report Rate): 220RPS | Connectivity Type: USB-C | Supported Software: Windows/MacOS/Android | Battery Power: N/A | Multi-Touch: No | Pen Pressure Level: 8192 | Express Keys: N/A | Customizable Express Keys: N/A
Who is this for?
The XP-Pen Deco Fun series is built to fit comfortably in many different use cases. It’s great for sketching, painting, taking notes, and whiteboarding.
If you’re looking for a versatile tool that will interface with virtually any machine you’re using while providing an intuitive interface, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Why we like it
For starters, we love the colors. The different color options are lighthearted and endearing, making the tablet fun to have around and use. If you’d rather not have a color that stands out, you can always opt for the Classic Black option.
It’s simple yet elegant and can hold its own in class, art class, or a business meeting.
We also love the pen. No matter which size you choose, the Deco Fun comes with the P01 stylus, which features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity.
This is well in line with what is offered by premium styluses in the market today, so you won’t be missing out on anything by buying something a little more affordable.
We particularly love how the pen feels in the hand. It’s pretty light, so you won’t get tired from hours of drawing. It’s also battery-free, meaning you could go on working with it potentially forever in a single sitting.
The user interface is very nice looking and easy to use. It interfaces well with Windows, MacOS, and Android devices. Unfortunately, iPhone users will not be able to use this tablet, but at least it connects to the MacOS.
At any rate, iPhones are known to be very selective with the drawing interfaces they interface with. They’ve been known to be selective with pretty much anything they interface with, so that should be taken into consideration.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
While the Deco Fun is a great line of drawing tablets, there are some glaring limitations to the tablets that you should at least know about.
For one, these tablets do not have shortcut keys. Shortcut keys are included on almost every drawing tablet in the market, so many artists have got used to them. They will be missed here.
On the other hand, you may configure keyboard shortcuts in the settings if you want to. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.
A keyboard has way more potential shortcut buttons than any tablet could provide, which means you can do way more with it. On the other, it’s a little clumsier to use keyboard keys for shortcut buttons.
The silver lining here is that at least the stylus comes with the customary shortcut buttons, so you can set those to your most important tasks, triggering them from the stylus itself. The rest you would have to set on the keyboard.
The next one isn’t a flaw on the Deco Fun S specifically, but it’s worth talking about.
The smallest Deco Fun, the Fun XS, does not feature tilt functionality. Apart from the small active area that comes with that tablet, you’ll also have to contend with the lack of tilt support. The other two sizes both feature 60-degree tilt functionality.
This is part of the reason we decided to pick the Deco Fun S for our review. It has all the features the L has, is cheaper, and has a reasonable size on which to work.
- Great build quality and design
- Four different colors to choose from
- Tilt functionality
- Batter-free pen
- 10 extra nibs
- Can interface with most of the major operating systems
- No shortcut buttons
- Does not work with iOS
XP-Pen Deco Fun features and benefits
Design & build quality
The Deco Fun S is made of quality plastic that feels sturdy in the hand. Just about everything about this tablet screams stylish, from the box that it comes in, to the tablet itself and its accessories. It comes in a white box with a cartoon of the tablet. Inside is the tablet itself, of course.
The drawing area is clearly marked with 4 ‘corners’. Atop it is a 1-inch strip with a faint light that comes on whenever the pen is close to the surface and the tablet is reading it. Underneath are 4 rubber feet to keep the tablet steady when on a flat surface.
And that’s pretty much it! Overall, it’s a simple design but highly versatile.
All XP-Pen Deco Fun drawing tablets come with the P01 stylus, which is one of the best styluses to come from XP-Pen. The mix of pen and tablet jacks up the sensitivity a serious amount. The tablet will register the presence of the pen as long as it’s within 10mm, making it highly responsive.
The pen itself is very light and easy to handle. It comes with 2 buttons. You can configure right-click functionality, as well as the toggle between pen and eraser mode, making these buttons handy for quick, useful shortcuts.
As mentioned earlier, the pen has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, which puts it on par with most styluses on the market today. For the Deco Fun L and S, it also has 60-degree tilt functionality.
Resolution comes in at a neat 5080 LPI, and the report rate is greater than or equal to 220RPS at any given moment – both industry standards.
The pen comes with a nib attached out of the box, as well as 10 spare nibs, which means it will likely be a very long time before you have to go shopping for nibs. There’s also a nib removal tool in the box for when you’re swapping them.
We noticed that the nib has a bit of a give to it when pressed against the drawing surface, but it doesn’t really affect the drawing performance.
Performance and Cool Features
Before you can start using your XP-Pen Deco Fun S, you’ll have to plug it in. Before doing that, however, you’ll also need to update software drivers on your device. To do this, delete older drivers and then download the latest drivers from the XP-Pen website.
Once you’ve installed them, you can simply plug your tablet in via the USB-C and start working straight away.
After plugging your device in for the first time, you may want to fiddle around with the settings and find settings that work for you. Depending on how hard you press down when you work, you can alter the pressure sensitivity.
You can also map the monitor to the screen you use most often for your work, especially if you have multiple monitors in your setup.
In terms of performance, this tablet works perfectly well with just about any software you can think of. We work a lot with Adobe Illustrator on Windows PC and we didn’t experience any issues.
The pressure sensitivity was on-point, and we could produce lines of varying thickness and intensity. Correcting mistakes was easy as a quick click on the shortcut button on my stylus.
The selection of brushes is virtually infinite. You can use the ones that come out of the box and also create your own by changing the settings up. We have created quite a few that work perfectly for us.
Something else that we really loved in this drawing tablet was its ability to interface with Android devices. That opens it up to a world of many possibilities.
The USB adaptor that comes in the box is more than enough for hooking it up to your smartphone or tablet and start drawing straight away. iOS users don’t get to enjoy this feature, unfortunately, as it doesn’t interface with those devices.
If that’s a dealbreaker, you may have to get a device that can interface with an iOS.
Huion Inspiroy H640P
The Huion Inspiroy H640P is another affordable tablet in the same ballpark as the XP-Pen Deco Fun S. They have roughly the same dimensions and other features. Both have styluses with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity.
That said, the Inspiroy 640P does not have tilt sensitivity, losing out to the Deco Fun S. This is balanced with the fact that the Inspiroy 640P has 6 shortcut keys. They both interface with Windows and MacOS, but the Inspiroy H640P does not work with Android devices.
This particular device seems more geared to beginning digital artists who don’t mind the lack of tilt functionality or Android connectivity. On the other hand, if shortcut buttons are something important to you, then it’s definitely a worthy buy.
The Gaomon s620 features shortcut buttons and a complimentary artist’s glove, so it starts ahead right out the box. It also has an attractive price tag under $50, which is very hard to find in the world of quality drawing tablets.
That said, the stylus doesn’t feature tilt support. It also comes with 8 replacement nibs – 2 fewer than what you’d get with the Deco Fun S.
You also won’t be able to connect it to Android devices. We would recommend this tablet only if anything over $50 is beyond your budget. Otherwise, we believe the extra investment is worth making to get a more full-featured tablet.
Conclusion… Should you buy it?
The XP-Pen Deco Fun S is an excellent drawing tablet with a lot of versatility to it. We love that it comes with a full-featured pen and Android compatibility. It’s also quite affordable!
We miss the shortcut buttons, but it’s not a dealbreaker for us. If it’s not for you either, then this drawing tablet is worth having.