review

XP-PEN Deco Mini 7W Review Wireless Pen Tablet

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Many people aren't aware that pen-tracking without-actually-touching-the-tablet is a universal feature across screenless graphics tablets. This means, you don't have to guess where the cursor is going to land the on-screen when you draw on a non-screen tablet, which eliminates one of the biggest dilemmas when choosing a pen tablet over a pen display. The pen tablet you see pictured is XP-PEN's new Deco Mini 7W, which is the wireless version of the Deco Mini 7 that came out last year. 
The Deco Mini 7W is identical to the regular Deco Mini 7 (dimensions: 260mm long, 160mm wide and 9mm high) with the exception of a small power button (next to the charging port) for toggling between wireless and wired modes. There is also a status led to feedback battery status, which is useful for telling when battery is low. The status led will flash red when the battery is down to 10% capacity.
The Deco Mini 7W is also a little heavier at 330 grams, compared to the 307 grams weight of the Deco Mini 7 due to the built-in 1000mAh lithium battery, which can retain battery power for up to 15 days in standby mode. The Deco Mini 7W drawing tablet provides up to 10 hours of wireless use and takes 2 hours to charge via 5V/2A. The Deco Mini 7W drawing tablet has stable, 10-meter range wireless connection, thanks to using 2.4Ghz radio frequency connection rather than Bluetooth connectivity.
The Deco Mini 7W ships with the same P05D stylus pen, which is a battery-free drawing pen. Considering there is no battery inside it, the P05D stylus pen is on the heavy side (14 grams). The P05D pen has a rubbery thick body shape that is mostly suited for drawing. If you plan to jot notes, as well as draw, it's worth checking out the G960S graphic tablet, which comes with a ballpoint-pen like stylus. 
The Deco Mini 7W uses the same PenTablet software as the Deco Mini 7W, which is needed in order to remap the functions of the pen stylus and tablet's hotkeys, which are located on the left side. Having the hotkeys on the left is convenient because you can use your right hand to draw while the left hand to activate the hotkeys. If you're left handed though, you can flip the Deco Mini 7W tablet around and change the orientation from the PenTablet software.
From the PenTablet software, you can also adjust the pressure sensitivity of the pen, which supports 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, as well as four functions: run program, right click, middle click and pen/eraser. The tablet hotkeys can be customized too, like shortcuts to quickly access programs or command functions such as CTRL++(Zoom in), which is useful to zero in on small details. Before installing the PenTablet software, it is a good idea to save your work because the software automatically forces the computer to shut down without warning. Also, you may also have to uncheck Windows Ink from the PenTablet software if the pen does not register on the tablet.
As well as wireless connectivity, the Deco Mini 7W integrates a USB-C port for wired connection, making the regular Deco Mini 7 version redundant. There is no details yet on pricing but, if prices are similar the new Deco Mini 7W will effectively "kill" the regular Deco Mini 7 version.
They both have the same 5080LPI resolution, tilt function, 220 RPS report rate and 10mm reading height. Both the Deco Mini 7W and Deco Mini 7 are also compatible with Windows (Win 7, Win 8 and Win 10), Macs (OSX 10.10 and higher) and Android (6.0 and higher) operating systems.

The included cable is also detachable and dual function: charging and wired mode. The cable features a 90 degree USB-C plug connector and USB-A straight plug connector and measures 1.20 meters long. If you're still on the fence about getting a pen tablet like the Deco Mini 7W or a pen display like the Artist Pro, it comes down to preference.
If you're just starting out though, getting a pen tablet will work out cheaper but it will take longer to draw on until you get the hang of it. A pen display is much easier to draw on and you can get crisp lines very quickly because you can see what you're drawing on the tablet without having to look down like you do with a screenless pen tablet. You can buy the Deco Mini 7W from XP-PEN

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