Xencelabs has announced the Pen Display 24 Studio Series, a new drawing tablet combined with a display that competes directly with Wacom’s Cintiq series.
The company says that the new Pen Display 24 has enhanced glare reduction, fingerprint resistance, an edge-to-edge drawing surface, Pantone Color and SkinTone validation, silent and fanless operation, and comes with a tilting stand (it is also VESA mountable for those who prefer that).
Xencelabs, a relative newcomer in the high-end tablet space, has to this point only produced standard desktop pen tablets, and the Pen Display 24 Studio is its foray into display tablets, a far more expensive but highly-sought-after product line that is aimed at professional illustrators and photography retouchers.
Since it is both a monitor and a tablet, pen displays have typically not been as color accurate as a standalone reference monitor. That changed recently with the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27, but Xencelabs promises particularly high performance as well. The company says the display delivers 1.07 billion colors in 4K (up to 3,840 by 2,160 pixels of resolution) and it also supports six industry-standard color spaces. The company did not specify if this color is created via 8-bit plus FRC or if it is true 10-bit. It additionally is Pantone Verified, which is especially helpful for illustrators working in product design.
The pen display includes both HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity.
Xencelabs says the screen is optically bonded to minimize parallax and produce a bright, clear image with no “sparkling” effect that may cause distraction or eye fatigue. The display is also edge-to-edge tempered glass treated with Xencelabs’ “Super-AG Etching” which it claims provides the right amount of friction for a natural drawing feel as well as allows it to have “exceptional glare and reflection reduction” and is able to deliver clarity even in bright rooms with overhead lighting. The surface is also not interrupted by any buttons or seams and the aforementioned anti-fingerprint coating reduces streaking and smudging that comes as a byproduct of use.
The continuous surface is uninterrupted by buttons or seams. An anti-fingerprint coating reduces streaking and smudges caused by everyday use.
The Pen Display 24 Studio ships with a pen in two sizes, one that comes with three buttons while the other has two and an eraser button. Xencelabs says the three-button pen is particularly useful for 3D work or for artists who prefer more pen buttons, and either can be matched to a user’s preferred sensitivity and initial activation pressure is adjustable to as low as 3g.
Another differentiator from competitor display tablets is how Xencelabs integrated its Quick Keys unit. Just as is the case with its standard pen tablets, controls for the the Pen Display 24 Studio aren’t attached directly to the device by default and can instead be moved to wherever an artist wants them located. An adjustable clip holds the Quick Keys in place and allows it to be attached anywhere along the four sides of the display if desired.
“The Xencelabs Quick Keys allows artists to incorporate shortcut keys into their workflow through an easy-to-use interface. The integrated OLED display lets users see button assignments at a glance,” the company explains.
“There can be up to 40 shortcuts per application using the set button which allows users to group eight keys into five different sets. The physical dial offers four function modes for zoom, rotation, brush size, and other functions. Button settings switch automatically when a new application is activated with the pen.”
Settings can be accessed via one of the three programmable LED buttons on the top of the display itself and by changing color, these buttons also provide a reminder that the pen buttons or Quick Key button assignments may have changed when a different application is in use.
Unlike the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27, the Xencelabs Pen Display 24 Studio includes a Tilt Stand which can be tilted at any angle between 16 and 72 degrees and can be adjusted with one hand. It can also be VESA mounted as long as the attached arm can handle the display tablet’s 12.8 pound weight.
The Xencelabs Pen Display 24 Studio will cost $1,899 and is expected to start shipping in the second quarter of 2023.