XP-Pen Star03 Review

The XP-Pen Star03 is a tablet by XP-Pen aimed at beginners and seasoned art veterans looking for a tablet with many customization options at a fair price.

Let's see if this really is a good option or if maybe another tablet in this price-range would be a better fit.

XP-Pen Star03 Specifications

TypePressure-sensitive, battery-free
Minimum System RequirementsWindows XP or OS X 1.6.x
Model NumberStar03
Size15.0 x 9.5 in
Active Area10.0 x 6.0 in
Express KeysYes, 8
Spare Nibs8
Pressure Levels2048
Wireless SupportNo
Resolution5080 lpi
Pen Reading Speed230 rps
Warranty1 year

Initial Impressions

The XP-Pen Star03 came packaged with the tablet itself, stylus, USB cable, pen holder and tablet documentation.

The setup for the tablet was very easy but I should mention something fairly importXP-Pen Star03ant.

Other buyers have noted that the drivers for the XP-Pen Star03 are incompatible with drivers from other tablets. This means that if you've installed drivers from other tablets onto your computer then you'll need to uninstall them before you set this tablet up or you could run into issues.

Don't say I didn't warn you! Let's get into the review.

The Tablet

The XP-Pen Star03 comes with an active area of 10.0 x 6.0 inches, which I think is a pretty good size and enough for most people.

The tablet surfaXP-Pen Star03ce is a little rougher than some tablets and the plastic has a cheap-ish to it, but these things are common in tablets in this price-range.

The tablet also has a nice simplified port system with just one microUSB connection needed to be plugged in order to begin using the tablet.

The XP-Pen Star03 came with 8 programmable express keys for you to use for whatever you need. This is the perfect amount of express keys for me personally and they wXP-Pen Star03ere very easy to set up and reach while drawing. I'd say this was a healthy tablet option for tablet users who feel that express keys are a necessity for them. You won't be disappointed with these.

This review of the XP-Pen Star03 wouldn't be complete if I just reviewed the tablet, though.

Let's see what the stylus included with the XP-Pen Star03 has to offer.

The Stylus

The stylus that came with the XP-Pen Star03 was for the most part nice to work with.

You can easily tell that this pen has 2048 levels of pressure when you first put it down. The liXP-Pen Star03ne variety is great!

I did notice, however that sometimes there was an issue with the pen suddenly not responding when a line was being drawn. This meant that there would sometimes be spaces between lines and I'd end up with two line segments instead of one continuous line.

I tried tweaking both the tablet settings and the settings of the programs I was using the tablet on but nothing seemed to help mitigate this problem.

Something that was really great to see was that XP-Pen seems have taken a note from Wacom and made this stylus battery-free. This means that you can set thXP-Pen Star03is pen down and go to sleep knowing that you won't have to worry about your stylus being out of battery when you go to draw with it in the morning. I'm getting teared up just thinking about it.

Lastly, the stylus has two programmable buttons that can be used to execute certain commands while drawing. These were easy to set up like the express keys and I experienced no problems when trying to use them.

Art's Assessment

The XP-Pen Star03 really surprised me with how much it truly had to offer.

The active area on the tablet is a good 10.0 x 6.0 inches, which I think is a drawing area that works for most people. The tablet also came with 8 programmable express keys. ThXP-Pen Star03ese were easy to program and were very helpful when drawing.

The stylus that came with the XP-Pen Star03 had good pressure sensitivity. You can feel those 2048 levels. It does, however sometimes "skip" lines when drawing, meaning you'll have to draw over certain lines sometimes.

The XP-Pen Star03 has some great customization options and a good drawing space, with only a few quirks to worry about. This is definitely a good option if you're looking for a tablet that's reliable without having to break the bank.

4.2 out of 5.0 – Fantastic

5 thoughts on “XP-Pen Star03 Review”

  1. Vakar says:


    I saw your reviews on both XP-Pen Star 03 and Ugee m708. Even though, you were very thorough with your review I still can’t decide which one should I go for. Since you have tried the both and I know my choice is going to be either o the two, I would be very thankful if you could suggest between these two.
    I’m a beginner and am looking to get to into digital art.

    Thanks Again!

    1. Art says:

      Hello Vakar,

      It’s a tough choice! Both tablets are very similar in most regards. I think the deciding factor would probably be in the pens. While the pen included with the XP-Pen Star03 is not terrible, it does have some issues with occasional instances of lag. During my time reviewing the Ugee M708 I did not have these issues with the stylus included with that tablet. For that reason I would recommend the Ugee M708 over the XP-Pen Star03. Just make sure you have some AAA batteries lying around since the tablet does not come with batteries and the stylus require them to work.

      If you found my reviews helpful I’d appreciate it if when you make your decision you use the “Buy It Now” button at the end of the review when making your purchase. It really helps me out and does not change the price of the tablet!

      Good luck with your journey into digital art!

      – Art

  2. Clarisse says:

    HI your review’s really great which is why i decided to buy it. Now I am pretty much techy and good with computers but i cant seem to have this tablet up and working. i made sure that firewall and antiviruses are disabled. then no pen and tab softwares still installed.so hooked up the pen and tab then, put in the disc and install.it asked me to reboot. i did.after that i dont know what to do its not working. 🙁 can you help me on this?

    1. Art says:

      Hi Clarisse,

      There is a common problem with graphics tablet manufacturers including outdated tablet drivers with their tablets. Manufacturers usually post updated drivers on their sites, however, and these drivers may help solve any problems encountered during setup.

      The updated drivers for the XP-Pen Star03 can be found here. Hopefully they help you with the issues you’ve been having.

      Glad you found the review to be helpful.

      – Art

  3. John L says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I was having difficulty getting the pressure sensitivity to work with some programs, but your advice (in the comments) about downloading the latest driver did the trick.

    Really appreciate it; I’ll check back for future reviews.

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