XP Pen vs Huion Drawing Tablets – Which is Better?

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jan 17, 2022 

If your budget doesn’t allow for the newest iPad Pro or Wacom tablets, which I personally prefer, and you are looking for an affordable but really high quality drawing tablet, you have probably heard of Huion and XP Pen drawing tablets.

I think that, despite their low prices, both XP Pen and Huion make surprisingly high quality drawing tablets for digital art, and both are great choices. But which of the two you should get? Find out in the article!

💡 Please note: This article may include affiliate links. When you buy through those links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Table of Contents

Today, I am going through a head-to-head comparison between Huion and XP Pen artist tablets, looking at various types and various price points, to determine who makes the best affordable pen tablets, and which one is a better choice for you and your needs.

I will try to answer the following questions:

What’s better: XP Pen or Huion?

Is XP Pen a good drawing tablet?

Is Huion a good drawing tablet?

What is the best cheap digital art tablet?

Who makes the best affordable drawing tablet?

What tablet do professional artists use?

Does XP Pen or Huion make a better pen tablet?

Does XP Pen or Huion make a better pen display tablet?

What’s the difference between a pen tablets and a pen displays?

What Types of Graphic Tablets Are There?

Speaking of you and your needs, before we get into the fierce face-off between our two middle-weight champions, let’s talk a little about the different kinds of art tablets, and maybe help you figure out exactly what you want or need.

There are three basic types of drawing tablets for artists:

Portable or Standalone Tablet

This is a standalone tablet, which has a touchscreen display and pen, and a built-in computer, so it can run by itself. Standalone Tablets offer obvious advantages, but can be pretty expensive, and in the affordable price range people often prefer a better quality Pen Display Tablet (see just below) over a lower quality Standalone Tablet.

Pen Display Tablet

This is a tablet with a touchscreen and pen, but without a built-in full-function computer, so they would need to be plugged into your computer or mobile device. In this case, you can draw and paint directly on the display, since most pen displays have a high quality laminated screen – unlike the less expensive Pen Tablets below.

Pen Tablet

This is the most basic (and least expensive) option – a tablet and pen with no integral computer and no display. These need to be plugged into a computer, and while you draw and paint onto the tablet you look at the computer’s screen.

As you can imagine, going down the list, and getting less and less functionality, lowers the price, and it also lowers somewhat the desirability and usability of the tablet – at least for some artists. It should be remembered, though, that even the lowly pen tablet, with its lack of screen or computer, is a highly advanced, precise and accurate art tool, and can be incredibly useful if you are starting out. 

That said, if you feel you really want to work directly on the art itself – that is, have the drawing, painting or other image displayed on the screen and work directly on that screen – then you will need at least a pen display tablet. These are in a different price range altogether from the basic pen tablets without touchscreen displays, and do offer a different experience, but again artists love and regularly use both types.

One more note, about the more expensive standalone pen computer tablets. XP-Pen doesn’t make a full pen computer tablet, and Huion’s computer tablet is a bit pricey, and so we won’t even consider that type in this comparison of XP-Pen and Huion art tablets. You can, though, find out more about these more expensive but nicely versatile computer/tablet combinations in another article I’ve written: Best Standalone Drawing Tablet in 2022

XP Pen vs Huion — Which Should You Choose?

So let’s get back to our comparison. It should be said that, even though we will see some clear advantages of one brand over the other, both Huion and XP-Pen make fantastic products, and any of their pen tablets or pen display tablets would be a wonderful choice.

But let’s look more closely at exactly which one would make a better choice.

Specifically, we will compare the Huion and XP Pen graphic tablets in these categories:

  1. XP Pen vs Huion Drawing Tablets w/o display: 4 Inch, 6 Inch, 10 Inch
  2. XP Pen vs Huion Drawing Tablets with touchscreen display: 12 Inch, 16 Inch, 24 Inch

We’re going to compare tablets that are, in each case, not just the same size, but also the same relative position in their respective lines and the same price – most of the time, in fact, the exact same price!

We’ll look at the specifications, and then for each comparison I will talk about my own experiences and feelings when using each, their strengths and weaknesses and which I think is better for making art.

In this way we can come to a clear and good choice between the Huion and the XP-Pen tablet in each case, even though, again, both brands make really nice, high quality and very usable art tablets, and you can’t really go wrong with either.

But let’s see how they compare nonetheless. If you are looking for your first art tablet, want to make a slight upgrade or to move into a full professional display tablet, XP-Pen and Huion are by far the best two choices for the middle price range, and now we’ll see which of them is the best of the best!

XP Pen vs Huion – Who Makes the Best Pen Tablet?

XP Pen G430S vs Huion H420 (4 Inch)

4 Inch Pen Tablet
XP-Pen G430S OSU Tablet

Ultrathin Graphic Tablet | 4 x 3 inch Digital Tablet | Drawing Pen Tablet for OSU!

8192 Levels Pressure

Technical comparison:

ModelHuion H420XP Pen G430S
Active Surface Size4″ x 2.23″4″ x 3″
Resolution4000 LPI5080 LPI
Report Rate200 RPS266 RPS
Pressure Sensitivity2048 Levels8192 Levels
Programmable Keys3 Shortcut ButtonsNone
IncludesTablet; Stylus Pen; Cable; Bag; Glove; Tips and Removal ToolTablet: Stylus Pen; Replacement Tips & Tip Clip
CompatibilityWindows; Apple; AndroidWindows; Apple; Android

These are both quite inexpensive, and both very light and small tablets, perfect for working at home or on the go – in cafes, on the bus, at school or anywhere else. They both are so light, in fact, that they can be held for a long time without thought or fatigue. The small size may be too little for some people, though, but if you like light and portable either is a great choice.

In use, the very slightly larger XP Pen active area does make a little difference, and I prefer having a tiny bit more room and flexibility. 

For the low price they both work surprisingly well – really smooth and accurate pen to surface interaction, and a great feeling when working, but again I prefer the XP Pen, which has four times the pressure sensitivity and allows a lot more control and expressivity. Higher resolution and increased response rate do actually translate to smoother and more precise lines and gestures on the XP Pen G430S, and it is a better choice for artists and for lots of other uses.

The Huion H420 does have 3 programmable keys, but that is the only real plus. I can see – it is, again, a really great and usable product, but for me the XP Pen has the clear advantage.

And the “Winner” in the 4 Inch Pen Tablet Category is: The XP Pen G430S!!!

Huion Inspiroy H640P vs XP Pen StarG640 (6 Inch)

6 Inch Pen Tablet
Huion Inspiroy H640P Graphics Drawing Tablet

Screen size: Small

Android Support with Battery-Free Stylus and 8192 Pressure Sensitivity

6 Inch Pen Tablet
XP Pen StarG640 Ultrathin Graphics Tablet

6x4 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet with 8192 Levels

Battery-Free Stylus Compatible with Chromebook-Rev B

Technical comparison:

ModelHuion Inspiroy H640PXP Pen StarG640
Active Surface Size6″ x 4″6″ x 4″
Resolution5080 LPI5080 LPI
Report Rate233 RPS266 RPS
Pressure Sensitivity8192 Levels8192 Levels
Programmable Keys6 Programmable Shortcut ButtonsNone
IncludesTablet; Stylus Pen & Holder; Cable & OTG Adaptor; Glove; Tips and Removal ToolTablet: Stylus Pen; Replacement Tips & Tip Clip
CompatibilityWindows; Apple; AndroidWindows; Apple; Android, Chromebook

XP Pen was pretty obviously the better tablet in the smaller 4 inch category, but here things are a little less clear. The Huion 640P has much more sensitivity than its little brother – a full 8,192 levels, which is pretty much the standard and the minimum a digital artist needs. In this regard the Huion and the XP Pen G640 are equal, on paper and in use.

The XP Pen does, however, have a faster response rate, and though it is a small difference I can definitely tell, and find its overall drawing experience smoother and more predictable – allowing me to fall into my own flow slightly easier. I also slightly prefer the surface of the XP Pen, which is ideally smooth but with just the right amount of feedback for great control and precision.

The Huion does have programmable function keys, which can also help an artist fall into a nice rhythm and creative flow – once you have correctly programmed and gotten used to them – but the XP Pen is my favorite in terms of the all important drawing / painting experience, and allows me to make better art, with more control, more flow and more pleasing and satisfying results.

A very slight difference, mind you, and the Huion would be totally satisfying to any artist, but I am again going to decide for the XP Pen, which is a brilliant little tablet for very little money. And if you’re a Chromebook user there’s no real choice – the XP Pen is compatible and, as of now at least, the Huion is not.

And the “Winner” in the 6 Inch Pen Tablet Category Is: The XP Pen Star G640!!!

Huion Inspiroy H610 Pro V2 vs XP Pen Deco 01 V2 (10 Inch)

10 Inch Pen Tablet
HUION H610 Pro V2 Graphic Drawing Tablet

Chromebook and Android Supported Pen Tablet | Tilt Function | Battery-Free Stylus | 8192 Pen Pressure with 8 Express Keys

10 Inch Pen Tablet
XP Pen Deco 01 V2 Drawing Tablet

10x6.25 Inch Graphics Tablet for Chromebook with Battery-Free Stylus and 8 Shortcut Keys (8192 Levels Pressure)

Technical comparison:

ModelHuion H610 Pro V2XP Pen Deco 01 V2
Active Surface Size6.25″ x 10″6.25″ x 10″
Resolution5080 LPI5080 LPI
Report Rate233 RPS200 RPS
Pressure Sensitivity8192 Levels8192 Levels
Programmable Keys8 Programmable Shortcut Buttons8 Programmable Shortcut Buttons
IncludesTablet; Stylus Pen; Cable & OTG Adaptor; Glove; Tips and Removal ToolTablet: Stylus Pen and Holder; Cable and Adaptors, Replacement Tips & Tip Clip, Glove
CompatibilityWindows; Apple; Android, ChromebookWindows; Apple; Android, Chromebook

In the larger 10 inch category you get a tablet which offers an effectively much bigger and, for so many artists, nicer and more usable working area, and yet both the Huion and XP Pen 10 inch pen tablets are very light and thin, and extremely packable and portable.

They also both offer superb and fully satisfying creative experiences, with smooth and accurate lines and gestures, full pressure sensitivity, precision and control – which, if anything, are all even more obvious and satisfying on these larger units.

While I’m usually pretty sensitive about styluses, I have to say that both the Huion and XP Pen pens feel great – not like an Apple Pencil or a Microsoft Surface Pen, but those styluses by themselves cost much more than either of these complete kits! In this regard I don’t have a real preference between the pens included with the XP Pen and Huion tablets, and would be happy to work with either.

Again, though, the XP Pen to me just feels and works better overall. The slight increase in response rate really does mean effectively smoother and more predictable (less frustrating, to put it in a more glass half-empty kind of way) drawing and painting. And just like with the smaller units, I think the XP-Pen has a better feeling physically between the pen and the active work surface – the Huion is quite nice in this regard too, but the XP Pen has that wonderfully balanced control and flow I expect from much more expensive tablets.

When you factor in the included stand, the XP Pen Deco 01 V2  is the obvious choice in the 10 inch tablet competition, although I should say that it is between ten and twenty dollars more expensive – and please know that if that increase in price is a deal-breaker, you will be incredibly happy with the less expensive Huion H610 Pro V2. They are both fantastic, premium products for the money, but the XP Pen is, in my mind, a better tablet.

And the “Winner” in the 10 Inch Pen Tablet Category Is: The XP Pen Deco 01 V2!!!

XP Pen vs Huion – Who Makes the Best Pen Display Tablet?

Huion Kamvas Pro 12 vs XP Pen Artist 12 Pro (12 Inch)

12 Inch Pen Display Tablet
HUION KAMVAS Pro 12 Graphic Tablet with Screen

Fully Laminated Screen | Tilt | 8192 Level Pressure | Battery-Free Stylus | Adjustable Stand Compatible with Windows/Mac/Chromebook

12 Inch Pen Display Tablet
XP-PEN Artist12 Pro

11.6 Inch Drawing Monitor Pen Display | Fully Laminated Screen with Tilt Function | Battery-Free Stylus and 8 Shortcut Keys (8192 Levels Pen Pressure and 72% NTSC)

Technical comparison:

ModelHuion Kamvas Pro 12XP Pen Artist 12 Pro
Touchscreen Display Size5.6″ x 10″5.6″ x 10″
Screen TypeFully Laminated Anti-Glare IPSFully Laminated Anti-Glare IPS
Resolution1920 x 1080 Pixels1920 x 1080 Pixels
Color Gamut85% NTSC / 120% SRGB72% NTSC / 100% SRGB
Report Rate226 RPS200 RPS
Pressure Sensitivity8192 Levels8192 Levels
Programmable Keys4 Programmable Shortcut Buttons & Touch Bar8 Programmable Shortcut Buttons & Red Dial
IncludesTablet, Huion Stylus and Stand, Tablet Stand, Power Adaptor, USB Cable & Extension; Cleaning Cloth, GloveTablet, XP Pen Stylus and Stand, Tablet Stand, Power Adaptor, USB Cable & Extension; Cleaning Cloth, Glove
CompatibilityWindows; AppleWindows, Chrome OS, Apple, Linux

The quality of both of these pen display tablets is pretty phenomenal, considering the fact that they are both around 250 dollars. I would never expect this level of display quality at this price, but they both have incredibly deep, rich and vibrant colors, strikingly high resolution with lots of depth and detail, and great brightness and contrast.

But while XP Pen pen tablets without displays really carried the day – winning three out of three rounds in the head-to-head comparison just above – it is exactly these brilliant displays that start tipping the scales towards Huion in the pen display category. Not just in this smaller and more expensive 12 inch category but – spoiler alert! – in all three sizes, the superb Huion touchscreen display is superior to the still wonderful XP Pen screen, and makes the Huions a better choice for artists and, maybe, anybody else.

The Kamvas Pro 12 has more vivid, saturated, subtle and accurate colors, and better brightness and life overall than the XP Pen Artist 12. And while the two tablets have the same listed resolution, I see more detail and depth on the Huion, although this is a very small difference.

Also, as far as actual art-making experience, the screen to pen interaction is more controlled, and yet with better feel, on the Huion. It also has a higher report rate, which makes lines and gestures appear more instantly and smoothly, and makes the whole process more flowing and natural.

The XP Pen Artist 12 is compatible with Chrome OS, and the Huion is not, and so if you are a Chromebook user the XP Pen is the way to go, and a brilliant product for the money. Still, for the same size and price, to me the Huion offers a superior experience when making art – more smooth and natural, easier, more precise and just nicer, and is a better choice.

And the “Winner” in the 12 Inch Pen Display Tablet Category Is: HUION Kamvas Pro 12!!!

Huion Kamvas Pro 16 vs XP Pen Artist 15.6 Pro (16 Inch)

16 Inch Pen Display Tablet
Huion KAMVAS Pro 16

Graphics Drawing Tablet with Fully Laminated Screen | Tilt | Battery-Free Stylus | Touch Bar | Adjustable Stand | Compatible with Windows, Mac and Chromebook | 15.6inch Pen Display

16 Inch Pen Display Tablet
XP-PEN Artist 15.6 Pro

15.6 Inch Drawing Pen Display Graphics Monitor Full-Laminated Technology Drawing Monitor with Tilt Function and Red Dial (8192 Levels Pen Pressure, 120% sRGB)

Technical comparison:

ModelHuion Kamvas Pro 16XP Pen Artist 15.6 Pro
Touchscreen Display Size7.5″ x 13.5″7.5″ x 13.5″
Screen TypeFully Laminated Anti-Glare IPSFully Laminated Anti-Glare IPS
Resolution1920 x 1080 Pixels1920 x 1080 Pixels
Color Gamut85% NTSC / 120% SRGB92% NTSC / 124% SRGB
Report Rate>220 RPS266 RPS
Pressure Sensitivity8192 Levels8192 Levels
Programmable Keys6 Programmable Shortcut Buttons & Touch Bar8 Programmable Shortcut Buttons & Red Dial
IncludesTablet, Huion Stylus and Stand, Tablet Stand, Power Adaptor, USB Cable & Extension; Cleaning Cloth, GloveTablet, XP Pen Stylus and Stand, Tablet Stand, Power Adaptor, USB Cable & Extension; Cleaning Cloth, Glove
CompatibilityWindows; AppleWindows, Apple, Linux

It’s becoming clear that the comparison between Huion and XP Pen display tablets is a bit more back and forth – and a bit more interesting – than the pretty one-sided pen tablet faceoff. 

I mean, in the 12 inch category Huion made a strong showing with a visibly superior screen and a nicer interface between screen and pen, but in the 16 inch range the XP Pen is a much better unit – at least much better than its 12 inch sibling. But how does it compare to the 16 inch Huion?

Well, actually it is better than the Huion as well, but by perhaps a smaller margin. The XP Pen Artist 15.6 Pro has a very slightly nicer pen to screen feel, with again a near ideal balance between smooth slide and just enough friction to maintain better control and precision. The correlation between gesture and an image appearing on the screen is more exact as well, which also leads to control and precision, but also lets me stay in the zone while working – less thinking and less frustration, more creative flow.

The Huion Kamvas Pro 12 has an absolutely incredible display screen – deep, sharp and vivid, with high color accuracy and extreme geometric correctness, and everything absolutely pops. When I’m working on it, I have the feeling that I am seeing things just as they are, and can work with real confidence. Plus, the larger screen and high resolution mean I can see better, and get both tiny details and larger effects closer to what I have in mind.

That said, the XP Pen screen is even a bit more “wow” to me, with more subtlety and range in the colors, even more depth and detail, and a sense of life that reminds me of premium screens like you find on much more expensive tablets, like the Wacom or the iPad Pro. The work is a joy, and everything looks a little better – while, at the same time, displaying a little more accurately.

If you can’t tell, I actually love both of these tablets, and think that absolutely any artist, on any level, would be happy with either. Still, I do prefer the XP Pen Artist by a somewhat more than slight margin, and when you throw in the cool and useful new Red Ring controller the scales start to tip even more toward the XP Pen. 

And the “Winner” in the 16 Inch Pen Display Tablet Category Is: The XP Pen Artist 15.6 Pro!!!

Huion Kamvas Pro 24 vs XP Pen Artist 24 Pro (24 Inch)

24 Inch Pen Display Tablet
HUION Kamvas Pro 24 Drawing Monitor

2.5K Resolution QHD Pen Display Full Laminated Screen Anti-Glare Glass 20 Express Keys with Dual Touch Bar Battery-Free Stylus 8192 Pressure Sensitivity

24 Inch Pen Display Tablet
XP Pen Artist 24 Pro

Drawing Pen Display 2K Resolution Graphics Tablet 23.8 Inch Screen Supports a USB-C to USB-C Connection (20 Customizable Shortcut Keys and Tilt Function)

Technical comparison:

ModelHuion Kamvas Pro 24XP Pen Artist 24 Pro
Touchscreen Display Size11.5″ x 20.5″11.5″ x 20.5″
Screen TypeFully Laminated Anti-Glare IPSFully Laminated Anti-Glare IPS
Resolution2560 x 1440 Pixels2560 x 1440 Pixels
Color Gamut85% NTSC / 120% SRGB94% NTSC / 127% SRGB
Report Rate>200 RPS220 RPS
Pressure Sensitivity8192 Levels8192 Levels
Programmable Keys20 Programmable Shortcut Buttons & 2 Touch Bars20 Programmable Shortcut Buttons & 2 Red Dials
IncludesTablet, Battery Free Pen and Holder, Stand, Power Cable Adaptor, USB Cable & Extension; Cleaning Cloth, GloveTablet, Battery Free Pen and Pen Stand, Stand, Power Cable Adaptor, USB Cable & Extension; Cleaning Cloth, Glove
CompatibilityWindows; AppleWindows, Apple, Linux

Well, I just said that the competition for the best pen display tablets is a little more competitive and, while that is true, I guess it still ends up being a bit one sided. While Huion won the 12 inch match pretty handily, XP Pen’s overall superior art tablet in the 16 inch category took the title, and I’m afraid it’s looking like XP Pen in the heavyweight division as well!

I keep wanting to say, though, again and again, that these are all fabulous tablets – high quality, well made, reliable, with really premium fit and finish, incredible laminated displays, very high precision interfaces and lovely creative flow. Really, any tablet in this article is a great product, and you should feel comfortable choosing any of them.

And here, in this 24 inch category, we definitely have two stunning tablets – not 4K resolution, but really beautiful 2.5K Quad High Definition displays on both, with high color accuracy and vivid, saturated colors across the range, great brightness and contrast, and an overall sense of life and energy that makes working on either the Huion or the XP Pen a fun and exciting experience. And with a big screen like these, I really get the sense that I’m seeing everything, and my work really benefits.

I do, though, feel I’m seeing more with the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro, which does have slightly more color accuracy and a brighter screen. I also prefer the screen to pen interface – the feeling on the Huion is great, but I have better control and more comfort on the XP-Pen, and there is never any lag whatsoever between what I do and what appears. This all combines to make me feel more confident and capable when working, and allows me more precision and finesse.

So, both really superb tablets for – considering their size and quality – amazingly low prices, and both very good choices for artists on any level – especially if you want a big screen, with all the detail and precision it brings. Both are clearly designed for artists by artists, and are just great products in every way – not just displays and creative experience, but overall design, fit and finish, material and build quality. I’d say, that from the tablets I mentioned, these Pro models make for the best XP pen tablet and the best Huion tablet for my fellow artists.

But at the end of the day I like making art better on the XP-Pen 24, and like the way my art looks on its beautiful screen. The greater accuracy, brightness and life make me feel more excited about what I’ve accomplished, more clear about what I need to fix or change,  and more enthusiastic the whole time.

And the “Winner” in the 24 Inch Pen Display Tablet Category Is: The XP Pen Artist 24 Pro!!!

Final Thoughts: Are the Affordable Huion and XP Pen Tablets Really That Good?

I’ve got a good feeling for how comparable Huion and XP-Pen tablets compare to each other, but I guess a question that might be on the back of several readers’ minds is:

How do Huion and XP Pen tablets compare to more expensive tablets?

For example, professional artists, illustrators, designers and animators often opt for quite expensive Wacom Cintiq Pro display tablets or Wacom Intuos Pro pen tablets. And yes, either one is a better choice – but for several times the price, are they really that much better?

Well, yes, the absolute control, precision and feel, and (with pen display tablets) the perfect display accuracy, life, depth and detail and pen accuracy you get with top-end art tablets does make them worth the money to people working at the highest levels. If you are a fine artist, a serious commercial artist, a professional photographer or anything along those lines, and at the top of the heap, you probably want the best of the best – and you can probably afford it too!

In fact, anybody who has the ability to afford a Wacom tablet, and can buy one without too much stress or worry, seems without fail to be thrilled with the purchase – not only considering it well worth the money but maybe the best and smartest investment they’ve ever made in an art tool.

But it is definitely a case of diminishing returns, where potentially many times the price may get you only a small increase in this or that specification or factor, a subtle improvement in creative interface, a slight increase in usability, reliability or overall quality. 

Huion and XP Pen, surely the champions in affordable art and drawing tablets, will give you a product, and a creative experience, so close to the top end that almost any artist, on any level, will be more than satisfied and thrilled with any of their products. Indeed, I know some truly top-level commercial and fine artists who use them and are not just satisfied, but genuinely thrilled.

Thanks so much for reading my latest article – XP Pen vs Huion Drawing Tablets – Which is Better? The Ultimate 2021 Showdown! – and please check out my website – Art Side of Life – for more buyer’s guides, articles, tutorials, artist interviews and tons of other resources for commercial artists, fine artists, art students and beginners, crafters and anybody else exploring their own creative side.

Other articles in the Drawing Tablets series:

Iva Mikles
Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, teacher, and the founder of Art Side of Life™️. I've worked as a commercial artist since 2009. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways so I’ve made it my mission to teach you everything I know, to contribute to waking up your creative genius.