The XP-Pen Star G640 Sketch is a screen-less tablet made by X-Pen, a company making headway for digital artists around the world. As an owner of a Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Medium, it's instantly clear to see that X-Pens own G640 is made to compete directly with Wacom’s low-end Intuos series tablets.
But the question is, does the G640 Sketch have what it takes to take on the Wacom empire?
The short answer is yes. Yes it does.
The device itself is a sleek and minimal slab, that won't take up much room on your desk. Whilst this is always a good thing in terms of clutter, it's one of my biggest gripes with the device itself. The 6 x 3.75 drawing area is a bit too small for my liking, but it's not unusable by any means, I just prefer a larger work area.
The texture on the tablet is rough, and is pretty close to the paper-like feeling of the Wacom Intuos. Whilst 'rough' sounds like a bad term, it is actually the opposite. The texture grips the nib of the pen, making drawing more accurate to actual pen and paper, and less like ice-skating around a glossy screen.
I admit, I absolutely prefer drawing on a real screen with my Surface Pro 3, but there's a definitive charm of drawing on the likes of the G640 Sketch. I first started digital drawing this way, and it takes a great deal of concentration to master.
Luckily, the G640 Sketch comes bundled with a great stylus, the XP-Pen PN01 which is made of a simple matte plastic. It is a fairly light battery-free pen but it feels quite durable and dependable. It's very comfortable and the buttons protrude from the surface of the pen making it easy to identify and use them without having to glance at your hand.
X-Pen also very handily include twenty replaceable nibs, so you're all set right out of the box!
If you're just starting out as a digital artist, then I highly recommend the G640 Sketch. It's unobtrusive, a dream to set up thanks to the easy-to-download drivers from the XP-Pen website, and the drawing experience is easily as good as the far more expensive Intuos line from Wacom.
But if you're more used to drawing directly onto a screen, then XP-Pen also do a wide range of HD Pen Displays more inline with the Wacom Cintiq line.
I'm yet to use one of XP-Pen's HD Displays, but if they're as well made as the G640 series, then I may move away from the Surface and Intuos completely.
XP-Pen Star G640 Sketch
Summary : Overall, the XP-Pen Star G640 Sketch is a great screen-less tablet for artists, and is easily recommended over Wacoms Intuos line; with the exception of the size.