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XP-Pen Star05 Digital Drawing Tablet Review

| Categories: Featured Posts, review, Video Games, You Draw | 26 Comments »


I won’t deny that my past experience with drawing tablets has been bad, to say the least. But now, XP-Pen wants to change that. Around a week ago, XP-Pen was kind enough to send SideArc a review copy of their Star05 Wireless Graphics Drawing Tablet. So of course, below is our review.


The Star05 is a beautiful device. It is a sleek off-black, and very smooth. The beveled edges are a nice touch. It’s overall design is very minimalist, which is something I personally enjoy. It doesn’t have any parts that stand out too much; nothing looks out of place. This device has a subtle structure and overall, it is just so good looking.

In regards to size, the Star05 is 11.7 x 7 x 0.4 inches. With an Active Area of 8 x 5 inches, it is pretty large- which in this case is a good thing! While it isn’t the biggest tablet, it’s not too small; nearly perfect in size actually. My only complaint here is that I wish the active area was slightly larger.

The Stylus is pretty basic; nothing particularly stands out other than the lack of batteries, which is great. Sadly, it also lacks the eraser end; something I do miss. Overall, the pen is pretty decent as it looks good and the writing aspect of it is fantastic.

In terms of looks, you will not find a better tablet than the Star05. Below you can view some pictures of the Star05-



Installation– Installation’s pretty easy. Plug in the device, install the drivers and it is ready. The only problem is one in which pretty much all tablets have: You have to delete other tablet drivers, though it’s relatively easy to do. So in short, the installation is simple and quick.

Drivers can be obtained through the provided disk or It should be noted that though the Drivers for the Star05 are currently not working, you can still use the device with the Star04 driver.

Actual Drawing The first thing I noticed when picking up this beautiful device is that it feels a lot like a drawing pad. This is a huge plus for me. Most Graphic tablets feel fragile, or otherwise odd when holding. This one, I just grab and hold like I would a drawing pad; it feels really natural and comfortable.

When it comes to drawing, the device is just as exceptional. The setup is easy; you can adjust pressure by going into the settings menu. The pressure feels pretty dang good, which is not something I say about the other tablets I have used. Many tablets are either far too sensitive or not nearly sensitive enough. The Star05 hit the balance perfectly.  Beyond the pressure, the tablets drawing is very smooth. You don’t have lag or latency while drawing, even during long, continuous strokes.

When drawing, I noticed that I did not feel disconnected from the actual drawing. I’m not sure what it is about the tablet, but it feels very nice to draw on; much more natural than your average tablet.

Thanks to the size, you have plenty of room to put your hands on the tablet. In my experience, it is far more comfortable to use than other tablets. On top of that, it is solidly built; it doesn’t feel like it will break if you hold it and it feels very good in your hands, somewhat reminiscent of a drawing notepad.

You don’t have to worry about batteries because you only need to plug it in and charge it via USB.  You can actually do this while drawing, allowing you to go back to the sweet wireless capability. The lack of batteries is fantastic. Besides looking better, it also makes the tablet feel better.

The Star05 also has six touch buttons; the best of which is the undo button. There are also buttons for Brush+, Brush-, Switch, Pen-Walker and Grab. These shortcuts are fantastic and help speed up productivity by quite a bit.

Overall, XP-Pen’s new tablet is just fantastic to use. It feels so smooth and the sense of connection to the actual drawing is wonderful. There is not much to improve upon for this device; the only thing missing is the eraser on the stylus.


After having spent a good amount of time with this product, I can easily say that this is the best drawing tablet I have used. The drawing feels fantastic, it looks great and works well with the programs I tested it with. My only issue with it is the lack of an eraser, though that is in no way a deal breaker for this outstanding device.

If you are in the market for a wonderful, up-to-date drawing tablet, you can’t go wrong with XP-Pens Star05.


You can buy the Star05 Drawing Tablet here.

View XP-Pens Facebook here.

Below is a video review of the product so you can see it in action-

  • Jacob Kellogg

    This has been so amazing for Substance Painter. I can’t see how I lived without it now. It speeds up my work in there by at least 10x for all the detail work.

  • This actually looks nice and is surprisingly affordable. I bought a cheap pad long ago but never use it because it uses a stupid floppy mouse pad as the drawing tablet. This looks so much better and like something I can actually use when I’m on the sofa.

    • Jacob Kellogg

      I had one of those….I ended up putting it away after One day. It was a huge disappointment. I didn’t use a table for over a year after that.

  • GUN®

    Mmmm, been looking into getting one of these, this review may have just swayed me.

    • Jacob Kellogg

      Glad to hear!

  • Ryuuga Hideki

    I’m going to have to show this to my wife as a possible upgrade. Sounds like it’s pretty good!

    • Jacob Kellogg

      It really is! Was honestly surprised!

  • Leon Evelake

    Used to use a old school one in school these things are sweet

    • Jacob Kellogg

      Yeah, I used them in school too. I think they were Wacom. Wasn’t a fan of those particular ones.

      • Leon Evelake

        I liked it but it was 15 years ago. Not as good as new stuff
        Or the screen one

        • Jacob Kellogg

          The Graphic Monitors are amazing, I really need to review one of them soon.

  • bungalo

    So wait. You draw on it and it draws on the screen. That sounds like it would be hard.

    • Jacob Kellogg

      It sounds hard and honestly is at first. But once you get used to it, it becomes second nature.

  • Mog in the Machine

    What kind of battery life does it get in wireless? And how does the wireless work, is the USB cable also the wireless receiver?

    • Jacob Kellogg

      To use the wireless you just plug in the little wireless dongle. That’s it, the charge cord is separate. It runs pretty dang smooth in wireless mode too. The battery…I have used it for hours straight so far, and not dead yet.

  • TimesTicking

    Whatever happened to the good old paper and pencil?
    I assume when you draw you are looking at the screen instead of the tablet? It kinda feels like blind drawing.

    • Leon Evelake

      In school I used one before they upgraded to a type where you draw directly on a normal ish screen.
      It’s a weird thing to get used to.
      I used it to clean up amd color pictures I hand drew…nut after a few months I was getting where I could draw on it as well.

      And that’s a 16 year old type
      They defiantly have some cool uses

    • Jacob Kellogg

      There are some that let you draw with pencil on paper and it converts it to an Image on the comp.

      This is kinda as you described. But you get used to it pretty fast oddly enough.

  • Leon Evelake

    If we ever do more youdraws you can make use of this

    • Jacob Kellogg

      It will help a LOT!

  • adan

    Wow.that is super cool!

    • Jacob Kellogg

      It really is!

  • Edward

    Hello, in terms of performance, is the star05 as good (or better) as the intuos 6 series? (draw, comic etc)

    Also, i read that the RPS are lower when you go wireless with the star05 (from 250 to 150) is it really noticeable?

    • Jacob Kellogg

      It is noticeable when y ou go wireless, it also depends on how many things get in your way by the computer.

      When I was sitting a few feet away ( 3ish) there was no real difference. But at over 10 with metal and fans and such it had slight issues on occasion.

  • Theo Sudarja

    Does it support touch gestures?

    • Jacob Kellogg

      I don’t think so as many of those require multi touch. Though I have used it to completely browse my computer.