The XP-Pen Star04 is a tablet by XP-Pen that aims to give artists an affordable tablet with the performance and responsiveness of a higher-end model.
Let's see if XP-Pen can delivers on these things or not.
XP-Pen Star04 Specifications
|Minimum System Requirements||Windows Vista or OS X|
|Size||14.0 x 9.6 in|
|Active Area||9.0 x 6.0 in|
|Express Keys||Yes, scroll wheel|
|Pen Reading Speed||230 rps|
The XP-Pen Star04 came packaged with the tablet itself, battery-free stylus, USB cable, pen holder and tablet documentation.
XP-Pen has also included an artist glove for use when drawing so your hand slides more smoothly over the tablet surface.
Setup was fairly simple but I found that the drivers did not work out of the box. This sometimes happens with tablet drivers, the solution is usually just to download the drivers from the manufacturer's site.
I easily found the drivers on XP-Pen's site and after a quick download and setup I was all ready to go.
Alright, let's get onto the review.
The XP-Pen Star04 came with an active area of 9.0 x 6.0 inches, which allowed for decent room when drawing.
It won't give you the maximum amount of room to draw as possible but it'll definitely give most people enough room to draw comfortably.
XP-Pen has also included a memory card slot in this tablet as well as an 8GB memory card for use as storage. This can be helpful for storing your work but I don't see myself using this memory card very much day-to-day.
An interesting feature that came with this tablet was the "rotary wheel" that came attached to the left side of the tablet. This serves as a different type of express key; instead of pressing an individual button for a shortcut you click a certain part of the wheel. I found using shortcuts this way took longer than with standard express keys, but after getting used to it it wasn't so bad.
It's safe to say that the rotary wheel is an acquired taste.
The stylus that came with the XP-Pen Star04 was fairly responsive with 2048 levels of pressure available.
XP-Pen has been shipping these pens out with many of their newer models and I have to say I really love them.
As I said before they're very responsive and have a "smooth" quality to their lines. Just calibrate your tablet before you begin drawing and you should be fine with this stylus.
A great thing about this stylus is that it is "passive", which is XP-Pen's way of saying the pen has no internal battery. This means you won't have to charge the stylus to use it. No more worrying if your pen has enough charge left to draw. The exclusion of a battery also means that the pen is a bit lighter, which may or may not be a plus depending on your personal preference.
If you've ever owned a Wacom tablet you may be in for a little déjà-vu as this pen holder is very similar to theirs.
As with most manufacturers XP-Pen has packaged the extra pen nibs and nib-remover in the pen holder itself for easy storage. The pen holder holds the pen vertically which is my personal preference but there are also slits that allow the pen to be laid down horizontally if you'd prefer.
The XP-Pen Star04 seems like a great choice in most ways for the average user.
The tablet came with an active area of 9.0 x 6.0 inches, which gave a decent amount of room to draw on. The tablet also came with an 8GB memory card that can be used as storage. The "rotary wheel" that came in place of classic express keys took a bit longer to use and I would have preferred regular buttons.
The stylus that came with the XP-Pen Star04 was fairly responsive with 2048 levels of pressure. The stylus was battery free meaning you won't have to remember to charge it before use. The pen holder was fairly good and was similar to pen holders made by Wacom.
The XP-Pen Star04 is an improvement from XP-Pen's Star03 in every way except the express keys and is a great choice for artists looking for an affordable tablet.
4.5 out of 5.0 – Fantastic