I received the XP-Pen Star G640 as a gift from the Kusto Detective Agency 2022. Join me while I unbox and explore this small tablet. Will it find a place in my setup, or will it end up in a drawer?
Please note: This is not a sponsored post!
The Table of Content
XP-Pen Star G649 is one of the market’s smallest, thinnest and cheapest graphic tablets. It is only 2mm thick, and the model naming refers to the size of 6×4 inches (ca 15×10 cm). There are no buttons or display on the tablet. The battery-free stylus has two buttons. The tablet connects to the computer with one micro USB connection.
The box has a traditional layout and is easy to open.
Inside the box, I find the tablet, stylus, cable, a lot of extra pen tips, and a tool to change the tip of the pen.
The tablet is thin with only one connection for the USB cable.
4 rubber feet makes the tablet stick stable to the desk.
The small size makes it easily fit in the work environment.
I operate my mouse in front of my keyboard. I therefore place the tablet on the free space to the right of my keyboard. The device can be operated left and right-handed.
The installation in Windows 11 is pretty straightforward. The USB cable is used to connect the tablet to the computer. No installations are required for basic operations. The tablet works as an input device straight out of the box.
To get more convenient use, it is recommended to download and install the driver package. This gives options to customize the basic drawing options, work area, button functions etc. A big advantage of using the driver is the additional pressure option from the pen which enriches the drawing experience.
After installing the driver I get more articulation in the drawing from the pressure sensor. Light pressure gives thin lines, while hard pressure gives thicker lines.
The Comparison: Star G640 vs Surface pen
I have much experience with pen usage on my iPad, Surface, and HP devices. A quick comparison between my Surface pen and the Star G640 stylus:
- + Convenient to have the G640 on my desk next to keyboard and mouse
- + Ergonomic to draw on a flat laying G640 surface
- + Easy to use G640 in all applications
- – Requires some practice to write/draw on the G640 at the desk while the result shows up on the screen
- – G640 is not as response as my Surface pen
- – G640 requires cables and tablet
The Use Cases
This tablet was one of the options provided as a gift in the Kusto Detective Agency 2022. I have had positive experiences with on-screen pen usage on several laptops way back to my first Surface device and as a note tool on iPad. I was curious if the XP-Pen tablet and stylus could give me some extra inspiration in my day-to-day operation and decided to give it a test drive. Just for fun.
As a remote worker, I find this kind of tool ideal for inking sketches, ideas, and concepts in remote meetings, web conferences, and distance learning. The tools work in Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Whiteboard. During presentations, the tool gives an extra edge as annotating tool. The tool can also be used for digital signing in Acrobat.
My question after a quick test, is if this tool will be actively used in my day-to-day operations or if I will remove it from my desk and leave it for my kids to play with.
Historically, I am quite happy with the pen on my Surface laptop. It charges by induction upon storage and it has an unrivaled user experience by writing directly on the screen. Wherever I put the pen on the screen, it leaves notations. It is however limited to the single Surface device.
As a consultant working on managing several types of endpoints, I find the XP-Pen attractive. This tablet is compatible with Windows 7 and never, several Linux distributions, and macOS 10.10 and above. To be able to handle many types of operating systems, I tend to spend time as a user of the operating systems. The wide support for the X640 makes it an interesting input device to keep on my desk.
Time will tell if I find the tool to be a keeper and if I decide to upgrade to a version with a built-in display.