Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet Computer VS XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Drawing Tablet Monitor

I own a XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Drawing Tablet With Screen . I recently bought a Surface Pro 6 to use as a laptop / e-book reader / sketchbook. For what I can tell, I am happy with both devices (I'm only going to be comparing the Surface Pro to the 15.6" XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro) .

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is one of the most popular 2-in-1s on the market. XP-Pen is a professional drawing tablet brand and is pretty ok, ok price plus stable driver (I'm using XP-Pen tablet), no problem software-wise so far. Color display right out of the box is good. XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is their most advanced pen display product, if you want to get into digital drawing , xp-pen provides drawing tablet for beginners ,professionals of artists , their products are friendly and of good quality , you can have a look at them .

Lets compare specs first:

Surface Pro 6 Tablet Computer:

Up to 1 TB of HDD

Up to 16GB of RAM

Integrated Graphics

12.3" screen

Mini Display port for external

1 Full size USB for USB things

N-Trig digitizers

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Drawing Tablet Monitor:

88% NTSC Color Gamut

1920x1080 FHD Resolution

Has 60 degrees tilt and 8K pressure sensitivity

Uses electromagnetic resonance

15.6" bigger screen size

Has an fully laminated IPS screen


General Comparison

The advantages of the Surface Pro are portability, and more usability outside of art stuff. Surface Pro can be used both as a laptop and a tablet. Being that it can be used as either makes it extremely convenient to those that want power on the go.

The screen looks better and I believe gets brighter. The stand also has way more variation in angle, but it also doesn't lock into any specific angle so if you push really hard it can sink lower. Most people are saying that you would have to be very heavy handed for that to matter though. With this device you're going to need to buy a keyboard and mouse separately.

N-trig pen feels like a real pen and is natural to hold. There is a top button on the pen that allows for an eraser function as well as use for a wake up function.

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is just a monitor with drawing capabilities , But you'll like the feel of working directly on your computer screen. I was never able to get fully used to using the XP-Pen Deco 03 Wireless Drawing Tablet without a screen. I could definitely get by with it alright, but I never felt like my drawing on it came naturally. The advantages of the 15.6" XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro are slightly bigger screen real estate, side buttons, and a textured screen. The edges are also thicker, so you can rest your hand on the edges a little better as well. But I believe the screen is pretty susceptible to glare, and the device is larger and significantly heavier.

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro's 16.7m color screen is capable of rendering vivid life-like images. This combines with an excellent resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 88% NTSC Color Space to make it a tool more than capable of handling the delicate and precise needs of illustrative work.

This XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro device's screen has 8192 levels of pressure and 60 Degrees tilt sensitivity. The Artist 15.6 Pro is easy to use and intuitive. Its pen feels comfortable and using it is fluid.

Drawing Experience Comparison

N-Trig has historically been less accurate then EMR. Unless they've done something about this (Which Im going to doubt they have) it doesn't matter.

NTrig digitizers are not very good compared to EMR ; even the surface studio has the problem with "hooks" at the beginning and end of a stroke because the screen detects the pen and starts the stroke before it touches the screen. Be wary of that.

The only thing that matters is accuracy, which has been always worse on N-trig. The surface is as much as a competitor as it was with the surface 2, 3 and 4. Most artist will prefer EMR .

Photoshop on mobile still sucks, the UI is not conducive to small screens or designed with touch in mind. I much prefer using procreate on the iPad that's photoshop on the surface.

With the Surface Pro you're going to get the new pen, which only has one side button, but comes with an eraser (which I believe also has a button). You'll get less pressure stages (I have heard no one can tell the difference between 4k vs 8k at this point), but less lag with this pen (the lag for both pens doesn't seem to be a big deal to artists either). But this pen requires a little more activation force than the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro pen (although it is considered much improved compared to the last Surface Pro pen). This pen also has a rubbery tip to give it a bit more resistance to make up for the fact that the Surface Pro does not have a textured surface.

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro Stylus has a lower activation force, and more pressure levels, but it has no eraser. I using this device for serious art work. Normally I work on a Artist 15.6 Pro and am very picky with pen accuracy. I am able to draw smooth line art without having to enable a stabilizer .

However, one thing you will not get with a regular Artist 15.6 Pro is portability. A surface Pro is not only a drawing tablet but also a pretty great laptop. I've seen a lot of great art from people who use surface products. It's ultimately up to you and how you plan to use it. I think the surface is absolute great as a Portable drawing tablet . Just keep in mind that if you want to work on your XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro, you'll have to bring your Laptop along.

Neither device has parallaxing and both seem to have slight jitter issues when drawing slowly. Both have tilt support. But surface Pro have an issue with the palm rejection and the pen tilt that makes the pen cursor go offset , but I was able to kinda work around that. It's a notable minus for the drawing experience either way.

Keyboard randomly freezes once in a while, but always unfreezes eventually. Surface Pro Touch screen can interfere with stylus drawing (solution: disable driver in device manager when drawing). I recommend getting an external keyboard for photoshop hotkeys and a real mouse.

The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro feels more natural to draw on. I'm not sure if surface Pro is like this, but the surface book doesn't feel as smooth to draw on. Which is a shame because the surface prowas great to draw on. surface Pro has a bit of resistance and I can never get the pressure quite right. I still enjoy it, just a bit of an inconvenience, and a little unfair as I'm comparing it to a XP-Pen , I suppose.

This is a Art Work I made by xp-pen Artist 15.6 Pro Screen Drawing Tablet -


From everything I can gather, it sounds like the drawing experiences are pretty similar. Both are professional quality, portable devices, but with the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro you'll get a slightly larger screen with a slightly better feel (and built in keys). And with the Surface Pro you'll get much more portability at a higher price with the option to expand with more accessories.

The Surface Pro 6 has good battery life especially compared to prior models. Do you travel a lot? Or commute on a bus/subway? Then a surface is definitely nice to have. If you stay more at home but like to have the freedom to move around, it's a great tablet for that. If you already have a Painting Tablet , and you just need something for quick sketching, then the Surface Pro is more practical.

XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro has a much better interaction with the stylus and screen. It has less parallax (lag or gap) with the stylus contact on the tablet surface because of fully laminated display . That you can run Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Corel, Krita, everything work with a powerful pc so much more - makes it much better value imo.

Since I do 3D work, The integrated Intel GPU's in the history of Surface Tablets have been okay for basic art needs but not powerful enough for a bit more dense/complex 3D work. Photoshop will definitely see an improvement with layers, fx, and anything using the GPU features especially with the newer Adobe products...not to mention 3D products Autodesk, Modo, Blender, etc. I also use Zbrush a lot which tends to use more of the CPU.

The new XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro is the best Wacom Cintiq alternative yet. It's a full step up from the Artist 15.6 , which was already considered a top competitor. you can get more details about this product from XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro official site :