XP-Pen Deco Fun Review In Few Words
I received the Deco Fun L from XP-Pen to write a review for, and so I am sharing my impressions on it based on that. The tablet looks beautiful with it soft colors. Besides some minor issues, I didn’t have problems installing it & using it to draw in various drawing programs. It lacks hot keys you could program, so you have to use the keyboard for that. The drawing surface friction makes drawing easier, specially for beginners, but it’s a matter of preferences whether you would prefer that or a slippery surface on your tablet.
See Deco Fun in XP-Pen’s web store:-
Quickly go to:-
Pros Of Deco Fun
- Affordable price
- Easy installation
- Nice & beautiful colors
Cons Of Deco Fun
- No programmable hot keys
Once I unboxed Deco Fun. I connected the USB cable to my computer, then downloaded latest driver from XP-Pen’s website. Once I installed it & restarted my computer, I was only able to move the cursor when certain applications are active. I was able to solve this problem very easily by disabling the Windows Ink option from the XP-Pen software. This is a common fix for graphics tablet issues like this one, and it didn’t affect the performance of Deco Fun in any way. The Windows Ink option is marked here:-
And the installation was done. It was the part I dreaded the most, since it’s common to run into all sorts of issues there. No matter what brand you use. I used a Windows machine for my testing, but Deco Fun also works on MacOS & Linux. The driver page lists the following supported Linux distros, but given how distros are made, I suspect it will work on many others:-
- Red Hat
- elementary OS
- ezgo Linux
Deco Fun also works with Android & ChromeOs devices.
Now it was time to start drawing. Deco Fun felt like any of the other graphics tablets I reviewed in this blog. The cursor follows the mouse religiously, and the pressure sensitivity & tilt worked quite well. Disabling Windows Ink earlier didn’t affect any of that. Deco Fun supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity & 60 degrees of tilt. Although the XS model, the smallest one out there, doesn’t support tilt at all.
As you draw with Deco Fun, you feel friction as the pen make contact with the tablet surface. This can be good or bad depending on your preference, I am just telling you how it is. Such friction makes it much easier to draw lines accurately if you got used to it. Getting used to a graphics tablet takes time, and if the surface is slippery, then getting used to it & drawing accurately can take even more time, despite that, some artists like that such glassy/slippery type of surface. As it makes it easier to draw in flicks. One advantage of slippery surfaces is how longer the pen nibs last with it. Something artists tend to have concerns about. I am not saying that nibs don’t last with friction surfaces, but they last less with them. You can make nibs last longer with these surfaces by drawing more gently, and by rotating the pen once the nib start to erode. I have discussed this in details in a dedicated article in case you’re interested:- How much Wacom nibs lasts? And how to make your graphics tablet nibs last longer
One the top of Deco Fun, there’s a small led, the led lights on every time you click or draw a stroke with the pen. If you’re hovering the pen over the tablet surface, which is common for moving the cursor around, the led blinks. This is a common feature of XP-Pen tablets, including one I used before (The XP-Pen Star 05). Some artists may find it annoying, but you can always cover it if you like.
No Hot Keys
Deco Fun has no programmable hot keys you could customize to do various keyboard shortcuts. So you will have to either click on the icons & menus of your drawing program, or use the keyboard to input various shortcuts.
Again, whether those keys are important or not is a matter of preferences. Some artists use them all the time. They can be convenience & makes you do all thing only from your tablet. That makes it easier to place the tablet on your lap & draw away. Some artists prefer to have the keyboard on the side, and use it to input all sorts of shortcuts, and ditch the hot keys altogether. After all, the keyboard supports more shortcuts that any graphics tablet hot keys can ever give do.
I personally prefer the hybrid model. I use such keys when I do tasks that don’t require many shortcuts, like sketching, and use the keyboard all the time whenever I start coloring & shading.
Depending on which camp you are in, the lack of hot keys can be a good or bad thing. If this was your first tablet, I think it’s better to have some hot keys to experience them on your own, but the lack of them won’t prevent you from drawing & creating great artworks.
The P01 Battery-Free Stylus
Deco Fun comes with a battery-free pen(P01), which takes power from the tablet itself. You don’t need to insert a battery or charge it using a charging cable or anything of that sort.
There are two buttons on the side of the pen. These keys activate the eraser tool & right-click by default. You can customize them to do any shortcut or mouse click you want. I always make them do Undo & Redo for me.
You can program these keys per application. For example, you can have them do Redo & Undo in Photoshop, but make them do right-click & zoom in Krita, and so on.
There are popup messages that appear every time you press one of the pen buttons. They indicate which button you pressed:-
If you find these popups annoying, you can disabling them by checking the Disable Message option from the XP-Pen driver program. You can see that option here:-
The pen comes with 10 spare nibs, or 11 if we counted the one that comes pre-installed in the pen. They can last you for quite some time before needing to buy more. No less than 1 or 1.5 years, maybe way more if you preserve them (these are rough estimates by the way).
Comes In Different Colors
Deco Fun comes in 4 colors:- classic black, space blue, apple green & carmine red. I had the Apple green one, as I found it the most beautiful in my opinion. So all the pictures I took is of that color, but you can see all the colors here:-
3 Sizes To Pick From:- XS, S, L
Deco Fun comes in 3 sizes:- XS, S & L. L is the size I picked to review. It has the active area of 10 X 6.27 Inches, which makes it equivalent to medium tablets from other brands. I always recommend that size for drawing, as it’s the best size for most people (but as usual, people have preferences). I included the active drawing area for the other models in the specifications table below, along with other useful info.
To talk about tablet sizes in some details, picking the right tablet size can be tricky. The very best way to know is to try various sizes on your own, but since that’s not possible for many, I try to give guidelines that will hopefully help. As I mentioned earlier, most people would be happy with medium tablets (L in case of Deco Fun). It gives you accuracy without requiring you to move your arm around to draw (drawing with your arm can increase accuracy actually, but that can be annoying for many). Most people use at 15-inches monitors or larger, so a small tablet may not be the best option. If your monitor is a bit smaller, you will still be fine with a medium tablet. Smaller tablets can be great if all you ever plan to do is photo-editing or to use the tablet as a mouse replacement. If you are interested, I talked about tablet sizes in details in a dedicated article:- What graphics tablet size to get? Including Small VS Medium VS Large size comparison
Tried In Various Drawing Software
I have tried Deco Fun with various drawing programs. Including Photoshop, Krita, Paint Tool Sai & Adobe Illustrator. It worked fine with all of them, and it will likely work well with many other drawing programs, as well.
To show how pressure & tilt sensitivity works in Deco Fun, I recorded a short video showing them in Photoshop, using two pressure sizes to showcase pressure. I applied more pressure with each stroke, notice how the stroke width changed each time I pressed more with the pen. I also tried one brush that supports tilt sensitivity, notice how the brush shape keeps on changing along with the stroke width as I drew:-
Deco Fun Specifications (All Sizes)
|Deco Fun XS||Deco Fun S||Deco Fun L|
|Tablet Dimensions:-||182.4 X 134.7 X 10.5mm||210.5 X 159.8 X 12.9mm||315 X 222.9 X 12.5mm|
|Active Drawing Area:-||4.8 X 3 Inches||6.3 X 4 Inches||10 X 6.27 Inches|
|Pen Type:-||P01 battery-free stylus||P01 battery-free stylus||P01 battery-free stylus|
|Tilt Sensitivity:-||Not support||60°||60°|
|Eraser on pen||No||No||No|
What Is In The Box?
- Deco Fun tablet
- The L-Shaped USB-C table
- Nibs removal tool
- 10 X space nibs (not counting the one in the pen itself)
- User manual & Quick Start guide.
Deco Fun is a good tablet for the price it offers. As long as the lack of hot keys won’t bother you, you can do well with it. Specially for a first tablet. I know some people can be hesitant about getting their first tablet, which makes me happy a tablet like this exists.
I hope you liked my Deco Fun review, and see you again in another review. Please subscribe to my mailing list using the form below for more updates & promotions~
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