Xencelabs, a manufacturer of graphic hardware, has unveiled the pen Display 24 Studio Series. This new tablet is designed for creative professionals. This 24-inch tablet is the first to have a built-in display and joins Xencelabs’ range of standard pen tablets. It also features features that rival Wacom’s Cintiq series.
Xencelabs’ biggest advantage over Wacom is its affordability. The Pen Display 24 costs $1,899 and is significantly less than the $3500 Wacom Cintiq PRO 27. It also includes accessories such as a stand or a shortcut remote, which Wacom does not include.
The Xencelabs Pen Display 24 is a Cintiq Pro 27-like device. It features edge-to–edge tempered glass with etched friction to create a natural drawing experience. To reduce parallax (the gap between the pen nibs and cursor), the glass screen is bonded to sensor. There are also three buttons with customizable LED backlighting on the tablet’s otherwise unadorned surface. Each button can be programmed to access settings such as pen sensitivity.
It has a resolution of 3840×2160 and a refresh rate of 60Hz. The screen also features 330 nits brightness. The screen can deliver up to 1.07 million colors with 99 percent Adobe RGB coverage and 93 percent DCI–P3 color gamut coverage. This is comparable to the Wacom Cintiq Pro27 and would be a good alternative for those on a budget. Some creatives may be able to use the color accuracy and Pantone support without the need for a dedicated reference monitor. The Xencelabs Pen Display 24, like the Cintiq Pro 27 is also approved for Pantone SkinTone and Pantone Colors for reproducing Pantone colors.
Although the large bezels surrounding the display may not look as elegant as those on modern standalone reference monitors (or even modern standalone reference monitors), they provide a useful function. They allow users to attach the QuickKeys accessory, which is Xencelabs alternative to Wacom ExpressKey Remote, to any side of their tablet, without covering the workspace. Quick Keys accessory — a specialized, removable macropad that features an OLED screen, eight programmable keys and a scrollable dial that allows for 40 shortcuts in creative apps.Quick Keys is included free of charge with the Pro Display 24. You can also purchase it separately for $99.99.Image by Xencelabs
To support different hand sizes or drawing preferences, there are two pens in the box: the “3 button pen v2”, which resembles Wacom Pro pen and the “Thin Pen v2”, which has a slimmer design that is closer to an Apple Pencil. Each pen has an eraser built in to the end and 8192 levels pressure sensitivity. The initial activation pressure can also be adjusted as low as three grams.
The Pen Display 24 has a fanless design, is relatively light (13 lbs versus the Cintiq Pro 27 at 16 lbs), and includes a tilt stand that can single-handedly be adjusted between 16 and 72 degrees. The tablet can be mounted on a standard VESA arm. Xencelabs stated that a multi-axis stand, which can be used to orient the tablet horizontally or vertically, will also be available for purchase (though there has not been any price or release date). The rear port includes both HDMI and DisplayPort connections. Windows, Mac and Linux drivers are available. The Xencelabs multi axis stand can be purchased separately. It can be used to position the tablet in any orientation you choose.
Nothing is particularly innovative. The Xencelabs Pen Display 24 shares many features with the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27, and Wacom has been the industry leader in display graphics tablets since the release of the Cintiq series. Since then, competitors have tried to match Wacom’s quality. They are usually less expensive but not as reliable and feature-packed.
Xencelabs is definitely worth your attention. The company’s standard pen drawing tablets were very well received and it is worth keeping an eye on. The Xencelabs Pen Display24 is $1,899 and available for preorder now. Full availability and shipping are expected to occur in the second quarter 2023.