Xencelabs Tablet Bundle – Digital art creation made easy

July 12, 2022
3 mins read


Xencelabs Tablet Bundle Review


PAT PILCHER finds his graphics sweet spot with a digitiser tablet that does it all and does it just right.

If you’re into graphic design or any other digital art creation, chances are that the gadget you most covet is a digitiser tablet. As useful as a computer mouse or touch screen is, nothing quite recreates the experience of drawing as a well-designed digitiser tablet.

Xencelabs are a new brand in the tablet space and are made up of ex-Wacom employees. So, have they got what it takes to go head-to-head with Wacom and other big brands? I got my sweaty hands on their Pen tablet to find out. Here’s how it all unfolded.


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The Xencelabs Pen Tablet unit I got was the Medium, which means it’s about the same size as an ultra-portable 13-inch notebook. This is a good thing as it’s small enough to chuck in a laptop bag and, in use, hits the goldilocks zone with relative ease, being neither too big nor too small. Xencelabs has given a lot of thought to its ergonomics and weight distribution and a slim 8mm design combined with design features such as a curved front edge, which makes it super comfy with extended use.

The tablet feels well made. An alloy underside with non-slip rubber pads gives it a premium feel. Add to this a nicely textured upper area whose drawing surface feels a lot like paper when used with one of the bundled pens and there’s little dispute that Xencelabs paid attention to detail.

Getting set up was straightforward. The tablet and remote can charge using a PC/Mac via USB and, once charged, will connect via Bluetooth (there’s also a Bluetooth dongle bundled in the pen case). Xencelabs have put a lot of effort into making the setup and customisation process as intuitive as possible. Once the tablet, pen and remote were charged, I was good to go.

The thing that struck me once I’d got the tablet set up was all the special little touches. One such feature is how LEDs define the drawing area in each corner. Their colour can be customised for different apps. It’s small, but it is nice and adds to the tablet’s usability.

At the top centre of the tablet sit three buttons. They’re customisable, and I set them up to switch from Photoshop to Paint.net. These aren’t the only shortcut options either. Xencelabs also bundle the nifty Quick Key Remote, an external OLED display with nine buttons and a dial. It is fully customisable (you can set up 40 different shortcuts). The customisation options are almost endless, and the dial proved perfect for zooming and rotating or changing brush sizes.

Adding sets of customised options should (in theory) quickly get confusing, but the remote OLED display helped me remember what button had been assigned to what task. The clever thing is that Xencelabs has made the entire process super intuitive, which is something other tablet makers should be watching and learning from.

The pens also deserve special mention. They come in a fancy pants pen case, and the pens have just the right amount of heft and reminded me of using a Mount Blanc fountain pen. Compared to the Tupperware pens often supplied with other tablets, the difference they make in use is huge. Even nicer still, you don’t just get one pen and the option to spend more to buy another slimmer pen. You get two pens – a regular three-button pen plus the slim two-button pen. They both have digital erasers on their ends. I particularly liked that I could customise how they worked. I had the slim pen set for pencil sketching and outlining, while the other got used for colouring, be it paint or pastel.

Because of this (and the remote), I could get on with drawing and not get bogged down farting about with settings menus. The pens are both pressure-sensitive and have 60 degrees of tilt sensitivity. There was no noticeable latency, and the tablet’s surface combined with the pen nibs (there are 10 extra nibs included) to provide just enough friction so that it felt like I was drawing on a piece of paper.

Checking around online revealed that the tablet can be had for $699, which is an attractive deal given what you get for the price. If you are an arty-farty type looking for a more accurate and intuitive way of crafting digital art, the Xencelabs tablet should be at the very top of your must-have gadget list.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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