We all love our Wacom tools and consider them a mandatory piece of hardware for any professional or aspiring professional retoucher. The Wacom Cintiq Pro line of graphic displays are coveted as the standard for high-end retouching. However, the price point of these displays remains out of reach for many who are starting out as retouchers, so a healthy demand for budget-friendly alternatives to the Cintiq Pro displays exists.
So much so, that we see poor quality knockoffs from various obscure companies on the market. As well as graphic displays from household brands such as Microsoft with the Surface Pixel Sense Displays to the Apple iPad Pro with the Apple Pen and Astropad software, which effectively convert an iPad into a graphics tablet.
Since 2013, XP Pen Technology Co. has been quietly finding its place in the North American and European mainstream markets. Today, XP Pen boasts an extensive catalog of products that can arguably be the best alternative, and a direct competitor to Wacom with most of their products at nearly half the price. Similar to the Wacom Cintiq Pro line, the XP Pen Artist Series Pen Displays come in a wide range of sizes: a 10-inch, 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch, 16-inch, and 22-inch with several configuration options.
Beyond the Artist Series Pen Displays, XP Pen also sells traditional tablets and pens similar to the Wacom Bamboo and Intuos product lines. While it’s hard to pull me away from my Wacom products, XP Pen seems to be the first viable alternative for the artists who have smaller budgets.
So if you’re a retoucher on a limited budget, then the XP Pen displays might be your option for that pen to paper experience you’ve been waiting for.