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Best pen displays in 2022 for digital artists

Best pen displays in 2022 for digital artists

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Here’s a list of recommended pen displays for drawing and for artists based on the reviews I’ve created on my blog and Youtube channel.

The pen displays are arranged according to size. This list is actually the condensed version of the detailed reviews I’ve written for each product. To read the full reviews, just visit the links I’ve provided, and to see all the pen displays I’ve reviewed, just visit this page. To know what I look for when testing pen displays, see this article.

Disclaimer #1: Most products I’ve reviewed are provided by the companies. I’ve not reviewed any Wacom Cintiq pen displays recently, so they are not this list although I’m pretty sure they will have fantastic drawing performance, albeit at a higher price.

Disclaimer #2: If you have intention of buying any pen displays, consider using the affiliate links I’ve provided on this page to make your purchase. I earn some commission at no extra cost to you. The money earned helps maintain this blog and enables me to make more reviews.

Disclaimer #3: I’ve not reviewed Wacom products for a long time so no Wacom products are mentioned. I can only recommend what I’ve personally tested.

24 inch


Huion Kamvas Pro 24 (4K) (review) is the best 24-inch pen display. This is an easy choice.

Huion actually released three 24-inch pen displays in 2021, namely Kamvas 24 (QHD), Kamvas 24 Plus (QHD) and Kamvas Pro 24 (4K), priced at US $799, $899 and $1299 respectively. Below’s the table comparison between the three models.


The main difference is whether the screen is laminated, matte textured and the resolution.

The 4K model is the best due to the 4K resolution which makes everything look sharp and detailed. The display is also bright and colour accurate. However, it’s also significantly more expensive at $1299. By the way, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 (4K) is US $2499.

While the 4K model is the best, the one with the best value is actually Kamvas 24 Plus with 1440P resolution. That’s because you will be working with the 1440P workspace (with or without UI scaling) regardless of whether the display has 1440P or 4K resolution. 4K is sharper than 1440P, but 1440P is still a fantastic resolution to work with.

Note that 4K resolution requires more graphics power from your computer. So while your computer can run 4K, whether it can run 4K smoothly is the important question you need to have the answer for.

So my overall recommendation is this. If you have the budget and a powerful computer, go with the Kamvas 24 (4K), otherwise the Kamvas 24 Plus is the better choice and provides more value for money.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Design looks good
+ Solid build quality
+ 4K UHD makes everything looks sharp and detailed
+ Good colour support: 100% sRGB, 95% Adobe RGB
+ Good viewing angles
+ Anti-glare not that aggressive
+ Matte drawing surface has nice texture to draw on
+ Laminated display with no gap between drawing surface and LCD
+ Matte drawing surface is glass and not a screen protector
+ USB-C connection possible to reduce cable clutter
+ Can be used as USB hub
+ 10 replacement nibs included
+ Pen does not require charging
+ Pen supports tilt and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Initial activation force is minimal
+ Good drawing performance
+ No major glitches with drawing software on both Mac and Windows
+ Does not produce much heat
– No stand included
– Matte surface introduces grain/colour noise
– Cables coming out from the top don’t look good
– No physical shortcut buttons
– USB-C cable is short. Just 1m
– User experience with Android is not optimal (Android’s fault)
– Pricey

20 to 22-inch


The Huion Kamvas 22 Plus (review) was released in 2020 is still one of the best pen display at the 20-22 inch category. Price is US $549. The main selling point is the matte textured laminated display which has good AdobeRGB coverage and high brightness. The main downside is there’s noticeable pixelation since the resolution is 1080P on such a big display. 1080P is still a very usable resolution.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good design
+ Good build quality
+ 21.5-inch display is massive to draw on
+ Good colour accuracy. 97% AdobeRGB measured
+ Maximum brightness of 314 nits measured
+ Matte drawing surface has nice texture to draw on
+ Laminated display with no gap between pen and cursor
+ Matte drawing surface is glass and not a screen protector
+ 10 replacement nibs included
+ Pen does not require charging
+ Pen supports tilt and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Initial activation force is mininal
+ Stand can be deployed at various angles.
+ Stand is stable at all angles.
+ Can be VESA mounted (7.5cm)
+ Does not produce much heat
+ Excellent drawing performance
+ No major glitches with drawing software on both Mac and Windows
– No physical shortcut buttons
– Display has to be powered by the 3-to-1 cable provided. Can’t use other USB-C cable for power.
– Support for drawing apps on Android is a mixed bag.

15 to 16-inch


I’ve two recommendations and they are the XP-Pen Artist Pro 16 (2021) (review) and Huion Kamvas Pro 16 (2.5K) (review), priced at US $449 and $599 respectively. The Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 (2021) is US $1499.

The XP-Pen Artist Pro 16 may have slightly better pen performance due to this new X3 Elite Plus pen. The Huion pen performance is really good too. You’ll have to do a side by side comparison to be able to feel the difference.

The main difference between the two is the Huion has 1440P resolution which makes the visuals look sharper and more detailed compared to 1080P resolution.

Both are worth the money. Between the two, I suggest choosing based on your budget.

13 inch


There are many options for 13-inch pen displays and it’s not easy for me to just pick a single best.

For 13-inch pen displays, you can consider Wacom One ($399), Gaomon PD1320 (US $319), Huion Kamvas 13 (US $239).

Just visit the reviews to see the full list of pros and cons.

12 inch


I usually recommend getting at least a 13-inch over 12-inch pen display because the price difference usually isn’t that significant, and the larger pen display will provide a much better user experience.

The best 12-inch pen display currently is probably the XP-Pen Artist 12 (2nd gen) (review) which uses the new X3 Elite Plus pen. Price is US $249.

The main selling point of 12-inch pen displays is the price. These are small and hence more affordable compared to bigger pen displays.

Pro and cons at a glance
+ Excellent build quality
+ Beautiful design
+ 1.2cm thin
+ USB-C support
+ Pen does not require battery
+ Pen supports 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ There’s tilt sensitivity
+ Pen has very low initial activation force
+ Cursor tracking is excellent right up to the extreme edges
+ 10 replacement tips included
+ Artist glove included
+ 8 shortcut buttons
+ Matte anti-glare screen protector nice to draw on
+ 1920 x 1080 resolution adequate for a 11.9-inch display
+ IPS panel colour support is good. 99% sRGB, 93% AdobeRGB
+ Viewing angles are good
+ Laminated display with no parallax
+ Does not produce much heat. Can be used for long periods of time without discomfort
+ Fantastic drawing performance on Mac and Windows
+ Support for Linux, Android and Chrome OS too
+ Competitive pricing
+ 18 months of warranty
– Maximum brightness at 151 nits
– No stand included
– USB-C cable sold separately

Best value pen display in 2022

The pen display that gives you the most value is the UGEE U1600 (review). The usual price is US 259 and it’s often discounted further on Amazon. For that price with other brands you’ll usually get a 13-incher but the UGEE U1600 is a 15.4-incher. There isn’t many features but drawing performance and colour support are good. There are several MacOS driver glitches though.

Pro and cons at a glance
+ Solid build quality
+ Clean and simple display
+ Incredibly competitive pricing for a 15-inch pen display
+ 99% sRGB, 92% AdobeRGB colour support
+ Pen has tilt and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Pen has two side buttons and eraser button
+ Pen is not powered by battery
+ Good drawing performance
+ Matte screen protector applied
+ Anti-glare is not aggressive and doesn’t affect image quality much
+ Has Windows, MacOS and Linux driver support
– There are dead areas for tilt on the left and right edge
– Maximum brightness 201 nits is alright
– Protrusions beneath the pen display is in contact with table
– No physical short buttons
– Numerous MacOS glitches
– Pressure does not work with Adobe Illustrator on MacOS
– USB-C to USB-C cable not included
– Your own USB-C cable may not fit the small holes of the USB-C ports
– No tablet stand included
– No pen stand included

Conclusion

So these are the pen displays that come to my mine instantly when I’m asked for recommendations.

Once again, I recommend you check out the individual reviews I’ve made for all these products to get a better idea of the actual performance, pros and cons, and quirks.

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