First, it’s tricky to hold more than one key at a time. Although I could press adjacent keys with my thumb, pressing a discontiguous selection involves using two or three fingers – a clumsy option. The real problem, though, is remembering what all the keys are supposed to do, or even where they’re located.
The rear-mounted Touch Strip can have up to four functions with adjustable sensitivity on each
The screen is so crisp and bright that the black keys, mounted on a wide black bezel, are almost invisible. The obvious solution would have been to make the keys a different colour to spot them more easily. A far better solution would have been to integrate the illuminated OLED keys seen on Wacom’s Intuos range of tablets, which not only light up, but display the function of the key using either words or custom icons.
The Touch Strip is located on the back of the Cintiq, one on either side, thoughtfully located to be easy to scroll with the fingers. You can set this strip to perform one of four functions, such as scrolling, zooming, cycling through layers, changing brush size, and so on.
A circular button on the front of the panel allows you to choose which of these you wish to use at any time, and a bright white light next to the button gives a visual clue to which is currently selected. Again, there’s a problem here: the position of the light relative to the button hints at its purpose, but when I can’t even see the button clearly, it’s hard to tell the precise location of the light.
The innovative Radial Menu can be setup with multiple submenus to trigger a range of tasks
You can configure the Express Keys to pop up Wacom’s innovative Radial Menu, first introduced a couple of years ago. This presents a virtual menu divided into eight segments, each of which can be user-defined to perform a specific task – switching to an email client, copying a selection, and so on. Furthermore, you can also make each segment trigger a new Radial Menu, and this is where the real power comes in.
So, you don't like that your hand gets in front of the work and that it's not widescreen? I'd hate to see your review of paper.
Also, complaining that this wouldn't make a good primary monitor is like complaining that a Ferrari makes a lousy daily driver. And your comment that it 'might' make sense for 'old school artists looking to transition' is absurd. It's a vastly superior way to interact with drawings; if you're not working directly on paper/canvas/dog's hide then it's the next best thing whether you're an old school, new school, or middle school artist.
This is a tool for people who will use it constantly; your UI gripes are reasonable, but again, difficulty of setup isn't a dealkiller for people who will think, live, and breathe it.
So, just like paper then...
"there’s also the perennial problem that my hand, inevitably, gets in the way of the design."
Have you ever used a pencil and paper?! I thought the whole point was to create a more natural interface for artists?
Shame it's so insanely expensive.
WS vs 4:3
I find WS too big if it's 1600 lines.
Many WS laptops and screens lack height resolution. 1200 vs 768, 1024 or 1080 makes a big difference.
I welcome it being a 4:3. Especially if you want a 2nd screen.
This is an interactive drawing board. When did you ever see a Wide Screen Drawing board?
The advantage of a light pen is of course anti-aliasing. Inherently a light pen works at lower than screen resolution and a touch panel with orientation and pressure stylus can work at higher resolution.
I think this is excellent for serious Artists, slightly less useful for regular CAD and not a good idea at all for people doing only occasional photo editing and no drawing/CAD.
It's a nice tool for professionals in addition to a regular screen, even maybe an addon to serious laptop.
I'd image that the choice of a 4:3 aspect ratio is that it's closer to the traditional photographic sizes than 16:9 widescreen. If fact, I can't think of any professional stills cameras that shoot in 16:9, although I do have a Fuji point & shoot in a drawer somewhere that had it as an option.
in defense of the hand
The idea of this tablet is not that it "replaces paper", but that it "replaces a tablet". And when one uses a tablet (I use a 12"x9" intuos), your hand does not get in the way of the work you're doing, because the input and the result are on different surfaces.
Going "back" to having your hands getting in the way of your art is a legitimate problem. One of the downsides of paper, as well as short brush media like aquarel, is that your tools (hand and arm included) obstruct part of your work while you're working on it. This is not a problem, but it's a minor inconvenience that tablets did away with. Cintiqs reintroduce that minor inconvenience, and as such is something to consider if you've been using a tablet for a while, and are considering the move to a "draw on your monitor" device.