Artisul D22-21.5″ Review A pen display with a Scroll Dial (similar to the touch ring in Wacom products)

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Artisul D22 Review In Few Words (Mini Review)

Artisul is a company I am yet to write a lot about their products, but they seem to offer many affordable Cintiq alternatives at different screen sizes. While the amount of pressure Artisul D22 supports is less than the other pen displays, it’s still more than enough, and it’s not a reason for worry here. The lack of tilt sensitivity is not a big issue either, that’s especially the case if you’re new to digital art.

There are 6 hotkeys to customize to do different shortcuts for you (the 2 sets of hot keys on each side of the screen are mirrored, so you don’t have 12 keys really). Besides the hot keys on both sides, there’s a dial ring, which works similar to the touch ring in Wacom devices.

Having cables on the side of the stand is a good way to make sure cables don’t get on the way while you adjust the stand. This is the first pen display I encounter that does that. Supporting only DVI out of the box can feel a bit limiting. Including a DVI-To-HDMI will help in a way. Depending on the ports of your computer, you may have to buy an adapter to connect it to your computer. The ability to mount a pen display is always welcome, so Artisul D22 supporting VESA mount allows you to mount it to an arm, making it really good to adjust it while you draw.

Since the latest Artisul D22 driver doesn’t support Windows 10 creative update, which may cause it not to work correctly, Included a link to solve that problem. I hope they release a new driver just in case.

The fact Artisul D22’s pen requires one AAA battery doesn’t seem like a good thing. The only way I think of this positively is that you won’t have to worry about the pen weakening over time, but even that is not a huge advantage in my opinion.

Artisul D22 costs a bit more than the other Cintiq alternatives, like Huion KAMVAS GT-191 (reviewed here), and that’s the main reason I may not recommend it to you.


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Pros Of Artisul D22

  • Having USB & display ports on the side of the stand is a smart move to avoid cable clutter.
  • Including a dial besides the hot keys is a welcome addition, something I wish more Wacom competitors to include in their products.

Cons Of Artisul D22

  • The pen requires AAA battery, rather than having a rechargeable battery.
  • Costs a bit more compared to other Cintiq alternatives (it’s still more affordable than Wacom Cintiq despite that).

Technical Specifications

  • Model number:- D22 – 21.5″.
  • Pressure sensitivity:- 2048 levels
  • Tilt sensitivity:- None.
  • Screen resolution:- 1920 x 1080.
  • Has 6 hot keys you could customize to do all sorts of shortcuts.
  • Suitable for both right-handed and left-handed people.
  • The pen requires battery, you have to buy the battery, as it’s not included.
  • Has a pen clip at the top of it to store the pen there.
  • Supports VESA mount, which makes it easy to mount it to a
  • Compatible with DVI port only, but can be connecting with computers with other ports.
  • Comes with drawing glove, which makes it easier to draw without smudging the screen.
  • Windows compatibility:- Compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
  • Mac compatibility:- Compatible with Mac OS / Mac OS X 10.8.5 or later

The Screen

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Artisul D22’s screen resolution is 1920 X 1080, which is more than enough for drawing. This is the standard resolution for Cintiq alternatives. I always stated in this blog that it’s a matter of time before we see pen displays with higher resolution than that, like 4K, since Wacom has been providing higher resolutions than 1080P for quite some time. Until then, only Wacom offers such resolutions in their pen displays

You can use Artisul D22 as the only display on your computer, or to connect it alongside your main display.

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Supported Display Ports

Artisul D22 only supports DVI port, but it comes with a DVI-To-HDMI cable, so many people will be able to connect it to their computers easily. If you have a different display port than HDMI, like Displayport, mini-Displayport or USB-C, you could purchase an adapter to convert it to HDMI or DVI.

The ports are located at the left of Artisul D22, which is a smart move to avoid cable clutters. Some of Cintiq alternatives have the cables at the bottom, which causes them to be squashed when you tilt it semi-flat. So having the cables on the side of the screen, or in the stand like in this case is much better.

No 3-In-1 Cable

Since you use separate cables to connect Artisul D22 to your computer, you can easily replace the cables in case they got damaged. You could also use longer cables if you like so too. So while I generally prefer pen displays to have a 3-in-1 cable, doing it this way is not a bad thing.

Drawing Experience

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Artisul D22 supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is more than enough to create all sorts of great artworks. While there are pen displays that support 4 times that amount (or 8192 levels), this is not a factor that makes difference. So I won’t consider the lower pressure sensitivity a bad thing for Artisul D22 (it’s a common misconception to think that more pressure sensitivity, the better. The truth is, beyond a certain amount of pressure support, you won’t be able to benefit from the additional pressure).

In case you’re not familiar with pressure sensitivity:- It’s a feature that allows you to vary the thickness or opacity of your strokes by pressing harder or lighter with the pen on the drawing surface. It works just like drawing with traditional pencils. This is an essential feature for drawing tablets & pen displays. Most drawing programs support pressure sensitivity, including many free ones.

No Tilt Sensitivity

Artisul D22 has no tilt sensitivity, which is similar to pressure sensitivity, and it allows you to tilt the brush you’re drawing with (the brush you use needs to support that). This is not a deal-breaker feature for most artists, especially if you’re new to digital art.

While tilt sensitivity is a much less important than pressure, I wonder what’s the reason that made Cintiq competitors not include it in their products. From watching the market closely, I always noticed that they did things right after Wacom does, as they tried to have their products close to Wacom’s as much as possible, and they did a good job at that at times, so why not now?

The Pen & Pen Holder

Artisul D22’s pen has two buttons on the side, which are customizable from the driver itself. To use the pen, you need one AAA battery (which is not included with Artisul D22). The last time I encountered a pen like that was in my first graphics tablet ever (Aiptek Media Tablet 14000U), and that was back in 2009. Usually pen displays that require battery are equipped with pen with rechargeable batteries.

The back of the pen has no eraser, but you could do that using one of the hot keys if you like.

The pen comes with 9 replacement nibs. It’s advisable to replace the pen nib whenever it gets pointy to avoid scratching the screen. The more you press with the pen on the screen, the more likely the nib wears down fast. This shouldn’t deter you from pressing a bit hard with the pen if your way of drawing requires so. Speaking of that, from within Artisul D22’s driver, you can set how much sensitive the pen is. When you’re ready to replace the nib, you can remove it with little remover that comes with it.

In case something happened with the pen, buying a replacement is also cheaper than replacing a Wacom pen, but it’s still more expensive than Ugee, XP-Pen & Huion pens.

The Drawing Glove

The Glove

Artisul D22 comes with a drawing glove (similar to the one in the picture above). The kind that hides the lower part of your hand. The reason it’s designed that way is to avoid smudging your drawing surface, and to make it easier to move your hand around the drawing area. At the same time, it keeps your upper fingers free to hold the pen and to use the shortcut keys in it.

Hot Keys

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Artisul D22 has 6 customizable hot keys on each side, as well as a dial for resizing brushes and more. Looking at Artisul D22, you may see 12 hot keys, but the two sets of hot keys are actually mirrored, so you only have 6 keys really. They had the keys like that so you can use them whether you’re right-handed or left-handed.

Having the dial button could explain why Artisul D22 is a bit more expensive than similar pen displays. You can define 5 different functions to use with it, like scrolling for example.

The hot keys don’t support application-specific shortcuts, but you can have multiple profiles for different usages from within the driver.

The Stand

Artisul-D22-21.5-Stand-With-USB-DVI-Ports

The stand that comes with Artisul D22 is simple, but it allows you to place it on your desk and tilt it in different angles. On the top of that, there are ridges on the back of the stand to help you prop it on the edge of your desk. As I mentioned earlier, there are USB & DVI ports on the stand itself.

VESA Mount Support

Artisul-D22-21.5-VESA-Support

If the stand wasn’t enough for you, Artisul D22 supports VESA mount, and so you could attach it to an arm. Which gives you all sorts of way to adjust its position. Besides tilting it, you could also rotate it, which can help you with drawing certain lines. Depending on the arm you pick & your height, you may be able to draw while standing up as well.

Driver Installation Tip

There’s an advice I always give when it comes to installing the driver of any graphics tablet or pen display, which is to remove any Wacom driver installed on your computer prior to installing the driver of your new device. Uninstalling drivers from other Wacom competitors is also advised. We do that to make sure there won’t be any driver conflict issues, and to test Artisul D22 for the first time you use it.

Windows 10 Driver Support

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According to Artisul’s website, the Windows 10 driver doesn’t support the creative update. So installing the driver may cause it not to work well. Disabling Windows ink (the option is called “Support Digital Ink” in the driver) can solve this, but you loss pressure sensitivity that way. If you use Photoshop and faced this issue, I wrote a post with a fix for that in case you faced this issue.

A Final Word On Artisul D22

Artisul D22 is a good pen display to get instead of Wacom Cintiq, especially if you plan to draw as a hobby. I can see some professionals also using it too. While it’s a good pen display, I don’t find much that justifies the higher price compared to the other pen displays I reviewed. It’s still more affordable than the cheapest Cintiq model out there.

I hope you liked my Artisul D22 review, and see you again in another review. ^^


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SweetMonia
I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

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