I made a new video about improvements, modifications, and tweaks I made to my tablets: overlay sheet (Photodon), keyboard tray (Cintweak), a real bug issue under the glasses, and a too-grainy overlay surface for the Intuos Pro Large.
I had many interesting question on the Youtube channel, and while answering to them, I thought it would be good to also copy/paste the questions here, as they were good additional information:
So, why did you change to the Wacom? Was it just the bug, or what are the advantages and disadvantages of one over the other? Seems an important part of a review, really 😀
I already prefered "non display tablet" over the last 20 years (I owned the Cintiq21UX, the Cintiq22HD, a Cintiq13HD and the XP-Pen 24 Artist Pro) and I always spent more time on the 'large' Intuos tablet (I had the Intuos 3 for a very long period, and also a Intuos 4 XL for long too), for context.
The thing I loved about the Intuos Large Pro, was something about its resolution and a sort of built-in micro path smoothing (I guess, might be placebo). The pressure curve length is also super long (too long, I have to use only the first 75%). And I like the immediate plug-n-play support with my GNU/Linux system.
It's full size active area is like 6cm width smaller than my previous custom area of comfort I set on all the too big active area of my ex - Intuos 4 XL. The thickness on the desk is really cool, it's like the thickness of a magazine and the bevel around is smooth and doesn't grab the hair of my arms. The black sort of aluminium feeling of the case remains always cold (and in September, with the high temperature here that was a relief), and the overall experience is in average easier compared to all the tweaks I was going on to get a better workflow with the XP-Pen 24 Artist Pro; or dealing with the thickness of the Intuos 4 XL and custom area calibration.
But as I said on the video: even with all these advantages, I still have the nostalgia of drawing on a screen tablet.
I am curious if you encounter any driver issues switching to the Wacom?
It was plug-and-play on my Fedora KDE 37, it was even recognised by the Plasma GUI with all feature. I decided to bypass it with a custom Xsetwacom script (I'm still on X11), to set the pressure curve, buttons, etc... I was probably lucky. libwacom does a good work at catching the new models, but it's often 3 to 6 month after their release on the market, and I was a bit afraid my model sent from Wacom America would be one of these "too new to work", fortunately, it was not.
In this video, I'll show you my experience with replacing the default overlay on a display tablet,
- adding a keyboard tray,
- a real bug I had
- and things I learnt about the too grainy overlays.
This video is of course not sponsored by any brand, I just wanted to share with you the things I learnt.
1. The Photodon overlay
So, the first useful modification I made for my XP-Pen 24 Pro was to change the default overlay. The default felt too smooth to me, too glossy and started to get many scratches.
I noticed that even on the first week on my video review of the XP Pen Artist 24 Pro.
I made my final choice on an overlay sold at Photodon.com, it was after watching the video review of the artist Robert Marzullo and it was good recommendation.
Photodon has a model for the XP-Pen, and I selected their "M X H" overlay type. It's an overlay with a subtle texture, and not super glossy. I do not regret my choice.
I wouldn't say it was easy to install, but it was doable alone. I was super anxious about bubble of air and dust, So I did the modification in the Kitchen with the range fan set to the highest level.
The result turned out great, and the surface doesn't have any scratches anymore after many artworks. And the glossyness reduced slightly.
2. The Keyboard tray
My other issue with this tablet was about its ergonomic. I wanted to get access to my Keyboard on top to type my keyboard shortcuts.
Only one company does this type of Keybaord tray: Cintweak, but they had only models for the Wacom Cintiq. Anyway, I decided to write them an email with photos and measurements of my XP-Pen tablets.
Fortunately for me, they replied and studied my request: giving me extra measurements for my DIY adaption that wasn't information available not on their website.
I then bought their model for the Cintiq X 24 Pro, and they sent it to me with extra felt pad to help me to adapt it to my tablet, along with a little graphic to help me.
The modification was perfectly stable, and I used the tablet like this on the production of my webcomic.
Recently, they came back to me to propose me to try their new 'Universal sized model'. I received this one a week ago, and it is so cool!
You can adjust all the settings:
- the thickness,
- the distance to the edge of the screen,
- and in result, the keyboard tray is even more stable and robust than the previous one.
I also love the concept: one single keyboard tray that has the possibility to adapt to all the future model of display tablet I'll own and for all the brands. A good investment.
3. The real life bug.
Unfortunately, bugs happens. And on my XP-Pen Artist Pro 24, I had one morning a "real life bug" who found their way under the glass of the screen.
To make the situation even worst, this tiny red spider who got trapped between the glass and the pixels decided to die in the middle of the screen.
I have no idea how it is possible that XP-Pen hasn't protected this area in a better way.
So, I decided to tear down the tablet, and beleive me: it was very complex. I would give this hardware an horrible repair-ability score, because I couldn't access the glasses and clean it manually!
I then mounted the device back but I was so depressed about drawing every day with the cadaver of this bug.
I had to wait two weeks of usage before the heat of the device probably dried the insect to not stick anymore to the inner part of the glass.
I tried various method to shack and remove it, but the best result I had was with an adhesive rubber band. Unfortunately, a little sticky part remains on the glass.
4. The Intuos 4 Pro
In September, Wacom contacted me to send me a gift. They were thankful for my reusing my Creative Commons illustration free of charge from my blog all these years and asked me what tablet I wanted in their catalog.
I decided to try their Intuos Pro Large, and since I received it I only use this tablet now.
The surface had too much grain at first for my taste, and I changed the nib of the stylus every 4 days at first.
But the surface became finally smooth after a month of daily usage. It took probably 8 nibs until reaching this point. I had to buy another pack of nibs on the way to reach this point. But now, I have the same nib on the tip of my stylus since the last 2 months. So, I wanted to let you know about this effect.
I still regret the XP-Pen 24 Pro precision for drawing. But my workspace size is too limited to get and the Wacom Intuos Pro and the XP-Pen 24 Pro together. To the day I'm writing this line, I'm still trying to figure how I could get advantage of both connected to a single PC. I'll keep you informed about it.
Thank you for watching.