Photodon screen protectors compared and reviewed

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Painomusterajoitus
2018/01/30
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2018/02/23
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Photodon screen protectors compared and reviewed

This article is a rare exception as it is in English, but I feel more people will benefit from it. And I suspect most people will order from US rather than Finland. My review and comparisons will be purely from a artistic stand point: how well they are suited for digital drawing and painting with a drawing monitor.

The test are done in Photoshop with a XP-PEN Artist monitor I got last summer. It came with a screen protector attached and I love the paper like quality it has. Now it’s become really worn and I’ve been searching for some time for a replacement. Stumbled upon Photodon in some reviews, and as XP-Pen doesn’t offer the possibility to purchase the kind Artist shipped with, I ordered some samples from Photodon. (The sell cheap sample packs in case you want to try different ones before buying). I won’t go into the installation procedure as the samples and the actual protectors come with clear instructions for installation but I recommend you follow them closely.

My sample pack included the ones below (so matte finished MXT and MXG and blue light cut MXB not included):

MXO

Photodon stated this as the one artists liked best of their protectors along with MXH. It’s smooth and clear with a anti-fingerprint coating. MXO is not as slippery as 9HO or MXA, meaning there is some friction to it. And if I chose purely based on how sensitive it is, this did a great job with pastels and watercolors: all subtle details delivered. But there was also some kind of scratchiness with this one, as with 6HS. It felt like the pen occasionally scraped the surface (noise according) and the smooth experience was disrupted. My stylus tip is quite worn out, but changing it to a new one didn’t help. Maybe some defects on the samples, minor scratches?

MXH

My favourite without a doubt. This type will be the one I will attach to my screen after the test. It’s the only one of the samples that has a clear paper like texture to it, a light matte finish (not as much as the original protector that ships with XP-PEN, but noticeable.) versus the less or more rubbery feel of the others. It responds very nicely to stylus pressure so no complaints here.

I am a big fan of the original protector except for the damage it does to pixels. The XP-PEN original blurs them (and the more worn out it gets the worse the blurring gets). Also when compared to these samples it has a sort of gaussian noise thing going on which undoubtedly affects colors as well, to some degree. No such thing to be seen in MXH.

MXA

I suspect many don’t like a very slippery glass-like surface, but my drawing style is pretty fast, so it suits me and this protector felt pretty good. I actually like drawing on for example the Surface Pro glass screen. The experience with this one is very similar to drawing directly on XP-PEN’s screen without a protector, maybe a tiny bit of more friction with MXA. I’m also noticing a slight yellowish cast compared to others when putting a pure white document beneath the protectors. Also lacks some of the sensitivity to pressure the MXO has. Good with inking brushes but not so refined with watercolors and similar. Photodon recommends this to color critical work.

6HS

Thickets of all the samples, very sturdy so it offers some impact protection and doesn’t scratch easily. It’s similar to MXO but is ”slower” to draw on, has more friction and producing those sensitive small detailed differences in for example watercolor is clearly difficult with this as it requires much more pressure with pen than the others. Pressure is difficult to control with this. I can’t recommend 6HS for digital painting or drawing.

9HO

This I liked the least of all the samples. It made very disturbing squeaky sounds especially when pressing a little harder with the stylus. This toned down as I drew more on it, but produced some occasionally and during quickly applied strokes. This might not be a problem with for instance Wacom as they provide many different kinds of nibs to their styluses. Maybe it affects only these hard plastic ones?

Also quite slippery on the surface, which most people don’t like. Nice in other aspects though: it’s similar to MXO in the pressure response to the stylus and gives good results with pastels, shading and such. Photodon recommends it for drawing tablets.

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