review

XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 Review Small Drawing Tablet With Tilt

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Drawing with a pen in your hand - whether a real pen or tablet pen - it's guaranteed to be better than holding a computer mouse in your hand! With a tablet pen, you have pressure sensitivity, which allows you to control a lot of settings such as size, opacity and flow of the brush and, even color dynamics with just the pressure of the pen.
Holding a pen in the hand with the fingers is certainly more comfortable and faster to draw too, thanks to shortcut functions, which really speed up the process. If you're looking for a pen tablet for basic writing and drawing without spending a lot of money, the XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 is a good choice. The included P05D stylus pen has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is the same as the XP-Pen Star G960S tablet, although the Deco Mini 7 has a report rate sensitivity of 220RPS, whereas the Star G960S tablet has 266RPS report rate.
The Deco Mini 7 comes with a pressure sensitive pen, an eight shortcut key tablet and computer software to adjust settings so, the pen tablet feels more like writing. The Deco Mini 7 measures 26cm long, 16cm wide and 9mm high; hence the XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 has a thickness of just 9mm, which is similar in thickness to a smartphone. The weight of the Deco Mini 7 is 307 grams so, it is almost twice as heavy as the Galaxy Note 20 Plus, which is currently the heaviest smartphone on the market.
When buying a graphic tablet you always want to consider whether you need a large active area to draw because if you don't, drawing on a large tablet will feel like hard work because you have to draw with the whole hand.
With a small tablet like the XP-PEN Deco Mini 7, you can easily and effortlessly draw without having to drag the hand too much, which is more convenient and also cheaper since smaller graphic tablets cost less. The XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 provides a very realistic feeling of pencil drawing on paper, thanks to the surface of the Deco Mini 7 being slightly textured. When the nib of the pen strikes the surface it makes a scratching-like sound, just like a pencil does.
The Deco Mini 7 tablet comes with a P05D stylus, which is compatible with the Deco Mini 4 too and, it is a battery free pen; hence it doesn't require power/or charging to operate. Instead, the battery free pen is powered electromagnetically via the active area of the graphic tablet, which acts as a power grid. When the nip of the pen touches the active area, it sends information regarding location and pressure.
Most battery free pens work like this, which is polar opposite to how active stylus pens for capacitive touch screens work. You can actually use your finger on a capacitive touch screen but not on a graphic tablet like the XP-PEN Deco Mini 7. This is actually a good thing because it means, you can place your entire hand on the active area of the Deco Mini 7 without smearing or rubbing your work; hence no need for a smudge guard.

The Deco Mini 7 comes with the PenTablet software which is free to download from XP-Pen's website and can be downloaded here. The software is compatible with Android devices (version 6 and higher), Mac computers running 10.10~10.15 versions and Windows computers running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.
XP-Pen's PenTablet software lets you remap the buttons on the P05D stylus pen so, they can perform different functions other than the default pen/eraser functions. For example, you can assign the pen buttons to perform mouse functions (right click or middle click) and create a shortcut key so, you can open a specific program you want to.
You can also program the P05D stylus pen buttons to perform special key commands or a combination of keys, like CTRL+V for pasting. From the PenTablet software, you can also adjust the pen pressure sensitivity and assign hotkey buttons on the Deco Mini 7 tablet itself. The software also lets you change the orientation of the tablet so, you can have it in landscape, portrait or upside down.
Like most pen tablets without screen, the XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 is made entirely of hard plastic, including the buttons. The active surface area has a subtle texture finish with a hard plastic dotted texture finish. The base of the Deco Mini 7 tablet has a dotted finish (non-textured) with rubber feet on each corner for stability.
The P05D stylus pen is also made of hard plastic with a rubber finger grip section. The P05D stylus is much larger than the XP-Pen PH3 that comes with the XP-Pen Star G960S tablet. The P05D stylus pen weights 14 grams but most of that weight is transferred to the bottom where the pen is thicker. The pen is thinner towards the top where it features a small recession with XP-PEN branding.
In many respects, the XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 is a smaller version of the XP-Pen Star G960S tablet, it even has a 10mm reading height. The Deco Mini 7 tablet also supports 60 degrees of tilt, which most small art tablets don't. The Deco Mini 7 tablet also comes with a detachable and unbranded USB-C to USB-A cable (1.20 meters long) which has a right angled USB-C plug connector.
The XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 tablet has 5080 LPI resolution, meaning the Deco Mini 7 has 5080 pressure-sensitive lines squeezed into one inch of the tablet’s drawing surface. In theory, the higher the LPI the clearer the drawings are supposed to translate from tablet to computer but, in reality anything above 3000 LPI only provides very marginal improvements (i.e. more accurate curved lines).
Accessories include 10 spare nibs and two OTG dongles to connect the XP-PEN Deco Mini 7 tablet to a micro USB and USB-C smartphone/tablet. You can buy the Deco Mini 7 from XP-PEN and amazon.
Anything between 2000 and 3000 LPI will provide more than enough detail, especially if you're just starting out drawing. The Deco Mini 7 tablet is a perfect option for introducing children into the world of digital drawing. The tablet is durable and reasonably priced and, it offers enough performance to keep up with the improvement of the child's drawing skills; hence there won't be a need for a regular upgrade.

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Connect With Gadget Explained