XP-Pen Magic Drawing Pad review: a solid digital drawing experience on the go

XP-Pen’s first standalone drawing tablet delivers an enjoyable digital illustration experience, but could do with a little more processing oomph

XP-Pen Magic Drawing Pad
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

A lack of top-drawer photo editing apps and a matte, textured screen keeps me from recommending the XP-Pen Magic Drawing Pad solely for image editing. But, if you’re looking for an affordable standalone tablet for light editing and digital art then it’s a decent little device. The matte screen and X3 Pencil Pro combine to deliver a paper-like drawing experience that beats the iPads and Galaxy Tabs of this world. And the fact that it operates as a standard tablet makes it a great all-in-one device to take on your travels.


  • +

    Textured screen surface is a pleasure to draw on

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    Decent internal storage is expandable via microUSB

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    Can be used as an everyday tablet

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    X3 Pro Pencil doesn’t require charging


  • -

    Some of the best photo editing apps aren’t Android compatible

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    CPU could be faster

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    Textured screen can hinder photo editing

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The XP-Pen Magic Drawing Pad is the most recent pen display from the Shenzhen-based manufacturer and one that represents a bold move into uncharted waters. This is XP-Pen’s first standalone tablet. Unlike the best drawing tablets and pen displays, it isn’t a passive peripheral. Instead, it runs independently via an Android operating system. XP-Pen isn’t the only tablet manufacturer to release a standalone drawing device – the Huion Kamvas Slate 10 comes to mind – but the more premium price point and svelte form-factor make one thing abundantly clear. XP-Pen isn’t pulling any punches. 

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Launch Price$499.99 / £449.99 / €659.99
SizeW 7.5 x L 11 x 0.3in / W 192 x L 279 x D 6.9mm
Display12.2 in, TFT LCD (IPS)
Display resolution2160 x 1440
Display color16.77 million, 77% NTSC, 109% sRGB, 82% Adobe RGB
Display brightness360 nit
ConnectionsUSB-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, WLAN
Pen pressure levels16,384
Pen resolution2540 LPI
Camera13MP (rear), 8MP (front)
Audio2x microphone, 4x speaker
Memory 8GB (RAM), 256GB (ROM), external microSD (up to 512GB)
Operating systemAndroid 12
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FeaturesLack of photo editing apps aside, this little tablet comes with a fantastic variety of accessories and functions as both a pen display and consumer tablet.★★★★
DesignSolidly built and the textured screen and X3 Pro Pencil combine to provide a really enjoyable drawing experience.★★★★
PerformanceDespite having 8GB of RAM, Stylus lag and the odd slow down suggests a Magic Drawing Pad successor could do with a CPU upgrade.★★★
ValueBoasts better specs than the cheaper Huion Kamvas Slate 10 and is more affordable than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+ and Apple iPad Air. ★★★★
XP-Pen Artist 16 (2nd gen)

XP-Pen Artist 16 (2nd gen)
A passive pen display like the Artist 16 connects directly to a computer, so you don’t have to worry about app compatibility or processing power. You get plenty of screen real estate, shortcut keys to help improve workflow and higher colour gamut than the Magic Drawing Pad to boot.

Apple iPad Pro (6th gen, 2022)

Apple iPad Pro (6th gen, 2022)
If you require the best tablet device for image editing money can buy, then a 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the way forward. Add in a sumptuous screen, up to a huge 2TB of internal storage and the M2 silicon chip delivering power to the point of overkill, this could replace a MacBook.

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Mike Harris
Technique Editor

Mike is Deputy Editor for N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, and brings with him over 10 years experience writing both freelance and for some of the biggest specialist publications. Prior to joining N-Photo Mike was the production editor for the content marketing team of Wex Photo Video, the UK’s largest online specialist photographic retailer, where he sharpened his skills in both the stills and videography spheres.  

While he’s an avid motorsport photographer, his skills extend to every genre of photography – making him one of Digital Camera World’s top tutors for techniques on cameras, lenses, tripods, filters and other imaging equipment, as well as sharing his expertise on shooting everything from portraits and landscapes to abstracts and architecture to wildlife and, yes, fast things going around race tracks.