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XP Pen vs Huion (2021): Which Wacom Alternative Is Better?

XP-Pen and Huion are the two best budget drawing tablet makers, though their range of products range well into the premium pen display categories. If you’re looking for a graphics tablet that won’t put a hole in your wallet like a Wacom would, it’s well worth considering any of the highly rated drawing tablets that Huion and XP-Pen offers. Below we compare three pairs of tablets from each brand at different price points, up to the pricier XP-Pen Artist15.6 Pro and Huion KAMVAS Pro 16, to give you a clearer idea of how well they stack up.

XP Pen vs Huion Tablet Comparison Chart

ModelXP-PEN StarG640Huion Inspiroy H640PXP-PEN Artist12Huion KAMVAS 12XP-PEN Artist15.6 ProHuion KAMVAS Pro 16
 XP-PEN StarG640 6x4 Inch Ultrathin Tablet Drawing Tablet Digital Graphics Tablet with 8192 Levels...HUION Inspiroy H640P Graphics Drawing Tablet Android Support with Battery-Free Stylus and 8192...XP-PEN Artist12 11.6 Inch FHD Drawing Monitor Pen Display Graphic Monitor with PN06 Battery-Free Pen...2021 HUION KAMVAS 12 Full Laminated Graphics Drawing Tablet with Screen Android Support Battery-Free...XP-PEN Artist15.6 Pro 15.6 Inch Drawing Pen Display Graphics Monitor Full-Laminated Technology...HUION KAMVAS Pro 16 Graphics Drawing Tablet with Screen Full-Laminated Tilt Battery-Free Stylus...
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
TypeDrawing TabletDrawing TabletPen DisplayPen DisplayPen DisplayPen Display
Active Area6″ x 4″6.3″ x 3.9″11.6″ HD IPS display11.6″ HD IPS display15.6″ HD IPS display15.6″ HD IPS display
Resolutionn/an/a1920×10801920×10801920×10801920×1080
Dimensions7.5″ x 6.5″ x 0.1″10.23″ x 5.8″ x 0.3″14.3″ x 8.6″ x 0.3″13″ x 8″ x 0.5″17.4″ x 11″ x 0.5″17.2″ x 10″ x 0.5″
Weight0.4 lb0.5 lb2 lb.1.6 lb.3.3 lb.3 lb.
Shortcut KeysNone66886
Pen ModelPN01PW100PN06PW517P05RPW507
Pen Pressure Levels819281928192819281928192
Pen Resolution2540 lpi5080 lpi5080 lpi5080 lpi5080 lpi5080 lpi
Tilt SupportNoNoNoยฑ60ยฑ60ยฑ60
Pen EraserNoNoYesNoNoNo
Replacement Nibs208810810
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, ChromeWindows, Mac, AndroidWindows, MacWindows, Mac, AndroidWindows, MacWindows, Mac, Chrome

XP-Pen StarG640 vs Huion Inspiroy H640P

XP-Pen and Huion’s affordable drawing tablets

Note that the XP-Pen StarG640 (left) is much taller than the Huion Inspiroy H640P (right) in actual size.

Novice artists will find that transitioning from pen and paper to an all-digital format is a lot easier and cheaper than they’d assume, if they look at entry-level drawing tablets from XP-Pen and Huion. The top tablets in they offer in this range are the XP-Pen StarG640 and Huion Inspiroy H640P, both of which provide 6×4 inch active areas despite their different sizes. The StarG640 boasts an ultrathin canvas, but its bulky top section offsets this and gives it a tall orientation. Meanwhile, the Inspiroy H640P is wide and uniformly flat, with a set of shortcut keys on one side.

The addition of customizable express keys on the Huion Inspiroy H640P gives it the edge over the XP-Pen StarG640 in our opinion, since it can drastically improve your workflow. With handy shortcuts for commonly used tools within easy reach of your non-pen-holding hand, you can draw more efficiently and edit quickly. You can use either one with Windows and Mac computers, but XP-Pen added Chrome OS compatibility while Huion lets you use theirs with Android devices.

Both tablets come with battery-free stylus pens along with plenty of replacement nibs. Huion once again comes ahead here, since its PW00 digital pen has 5080 lpi pen resolution while XP-Pen’s PN01 only has half of that. Moreover, Huion further provides a nifty pen holder so it’s easier to find and put away your stylus pen. You do get 20 extra pen nibs with XP-Pen though, so that’s fantastic for longevity.

Our pick: The Huion Inspiroy H640P takes this round thanks to its express keys, which are a must-have for productivity.

XP-Pen Artist12 vs Huion KAMVAS 12

Midrange graphics tablets

Both the XP-Pen Artist12 (left) and Huion KAMVAS 12 (right) have anti-glare screen film for better visibility.

Moving up to pen displays or graphics tablets is a worthy investment if you highly prefer looking directly at what you’re drawing on. Thankfully, XP-Pen and Huion have budget-friendly alternatives to the more mainstream Wacom tablets, letting you develop your digital graphics skills without punching a hole in your pocket. The XP-Pen Artist12 and Huion KAMVAS 12 are arguably the most cost-efficient choices for this, since they provide 11.6-inch anti-reflective displays with lag-free stylus pens.

With an IPS display capable of 16.7 million colors and 120% sRGB color gamut, the Huion KAMVAS 12’s screen has a slight edge over the XP-Pen Artist12, which only reaches 100% sRGB or 72% NTSC. Beside the displays, you’ll find handy shortcut keys on both tablets, 6 for the Artist12 and 8 for the KAMVAS 12. However, the middle touch bar on the XP-Pen functions similarly to the Huion’s up/down middle buttons in terms of programmability.

As for their pens, XP-Pen’s PN06 interestingly features an eraser on the opposite end of its pen tip, with a hexagonal shape for better grip. It also comes with a pen holder that can house the pen and its replacement nibs, which is convenient in a different way from the pen dock included with Huion’s PW517. You further get artist gloves with both products. As the newer model, the Huion KAMVAS 12 offers USB-C to USB-C connection without the need for an HDMI cable.

Our pick: It’s a tie. We feel the XP-Pen Artist12 and Huion KAMVAS 12 are too evenly matched here.

XP-Pen Artist15.6 Pro vs Huion KAMVAS Pro 16

Professional drawing tablets for experienced artists

Included with both Artist15.6 Pro (left) and KAMVAS Pro 16 (right) are adjustable stands for optimal drawing angles. 

If you want a bigger surface to draw on, the 16-inch displays of the XP-Pen Artist15.6 Pro and Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 are a cost-effective step up from the midrange options. Both graphics tablets feature fully laminated screens capable of 120% sRGB (88% NTSC or 92% Adobe RGB) and protected with anti-reflective glass so there’s no annoying gap between pen point and cursor.

The XP-Pen Artist15.6 Pro has two more customizable shortcut keys beside its display compared to the Huion KAMVAS Pro 16, which only has six. In between these keys are a Red Dial for the XP-Pen and a Touch Bar for the Huion. These controls perform similarly despite the difference in design, allowing you to zoom in and out, scroll up and down, adjust brush size and more. Their positioning makes them easy for your non-drawing hand to find, improving overall productivity.

Included with both pen displays are highly responsive pens with 60-degree tilt recognition which can sense your gestures to accurately interpret real brush effects. This alone makes them a big upgrade over cheaper models without tilt functionalities. Also included are adjustable stands to prevent sliding and shaking, numerous replacement nibs for the stylus, and pen holders. The XP-Pen has a slight edge in being able to function without a power adapter if your laptop can provide enough power, so that’s fewer cables to mess with.

Our pick: The XP-Pen Artist15.6 Pro narrowly snatches this matchup thanks to a few extras, though the Huion KAMVAS Pro 16 is just as impressive in terms of overall performance.

Verdict

XP-Pen and Huion are excellent Wacom alternatives.

Surprisingly, neither tablet brand stood out enough from the other to declare a unanimous winner. That’s a win for aspiring artists on a budget though, since you can freely choose from either XP-Pen or Huion if you want a more affordable drawing tablet compared to Wacom’s expensive models. You’ll get an outstanding pen display or graphics tablet either way, with responsive stylus pens that work well for creative and professional uses.

As you can see, there are impressive models in every price range which should suit your budget and preferences. While the Huion Inspiroy H640P is definitely the choice if you’re after a low cost drawing tablet, XP-Pen’s offering in the midrange and premium categories are just as competitive, especially the XP-Pen Artist12. Windows and Mac users won’t have any trouble with any of these tablets, but if you have a Chromebook or are using an Android device, double check their compatibility with OS and graphics software.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is XP-Pen better than Huion?

No, neither brand actually beats the other straight up, though some of their tablet offerings per price range have more pros than its counterpart. Overall, both XP-Pen and Huion have outstanding drawing tablets that won’t disappoint considering their value and features.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is XP-Pen good for beginners?

Yes, XP-Pen has a diverse choice of beginner-friendly drawing tablets that should make them good for novice artists to discover and develop their talents with.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are these XP-Pen and Huion models standalone tablets?

Unless specifically stated, nearly all of XP-Pen and Huion’s tablets are not standalone devices. You’ll need to connect them with a desktop, laptop or smartphone in order to be usable. As such, all of these drawing tablets come with 3-in-1 cables and power adapters for connectivity.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Wacom or Huion better?

Wacom offers a more impressive build quality and stylus performance than other tablet brands, and they have enjoyed a stellar reputation as the best when it comes to these creative devices. However, Huion’s tablets offer excellent value for their price range and can perform just as well as Wacom’s in many ways.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.