Wacom Cintiq 24HD interactive pen display
The ultimate keyboard shortcut
Review So the Wacom Cintiq 24HD shows up at my door and it's huge. Seriously, this marriage of 24in display and graphics tablet tech needs two people to lift it out of the packaging and there are step-by-step instructions on just how to do it. This is definitely a professional piece of kit and, costing around £2000, I reckon unless you're Rankin's personal retoucher or head of concept design at Audi, this is probably out of your price range. Suddenly I'm popular, as everyone I know wants a go.
A touch of class: Wacom's Cintiq 24HD
Wacom's Cintiq models are described as interactive pen displays. High-end graphics tablets for creative types – of independent wealth or gainfully employed by a design studio in Hoxton – the tablet surface is also a screen and the Cintiq 24HD is the company flagship that features an eye scorching 24-in HD widescreen display (1920 x 1200 pixels).
The counterweight stand accommodates overhanging operation
Nowadays, say the word 'tablet' and thoughts turn to handheld devices prodded by pinkies and covered in fingermarks. However, the Cintiq is old school and rightly so: I use a pen stylus and work on the surface of an LCD screen trying to replicate the feeling of sketching on a paper resting on a drafting table. I know this sounds weird but after a few hours and relying on good calibration this is a really superb creative experience.
Accepts DisplayPort, DVI and VGA connections
Installation was surprisingly simple, already attached to the Wacom is a DVI cable and USB for connection right into my PC. It also supports DisplayPort and HDCP, so you can use it as a monitor to view Blu-ray movies and other copy-protected content. Leisure use aside, my main problem was finding somewhere to put this beast that didn't involve squashing ferrets and was close enough to my PC to avoid hazard.
Next page: Co-ordinated moves
It's not a resistive panel. All Wacom tablets use the same technology (patented of course :p), based around electromagnetic resonance.
I have a the 21UX sibling (2010 model), and I tell you now, if you're an illustrator or you do artwork on computer in any volume, you have no idea what you're missing.
They're not perfect, calibration is a bit annoying sometimes, especially when Wacom release new drivers that muck everything up, but for speed of working, and just getting into the art of it, Cintiqs are awesome. I'll be entombed with mine.
The only downer is software support. They're great with Painter and Photoshop, but Sketchbook Pro (and Design) should be amazing - and they are to a point, but because neither Sketchbook has customisable controls, you can't set up the screen's shortcuts at all, and it they have no Cintiq profiles of their own (brush size rotates the screen, wtf...).
The only thing stopping me from getting a 24HD is the weight and the fact that you can't mount it on an arm (21UX can be, and the standard base allows for rotation...important when drawing on paper). So it should be mentioned that 24HD is more like a draught board...much more suited to anyone working on a board.
Not a mistake
Did you see where it needed two people to get it out of the shipping carton?
digital drawing board
This absolutely needs the mechanical drawing board machinery (draughting machine) to be _the_ CAD input device. What's 24" -- about A3. When will there be an A0 mode?
Cintiq v iPad v Intuos
I have the 13" Cintiq. Don't obsess about screen resolution - it's just techy nonsense for those who like to read the brochure rather than do any artwork. I find the lag and the need to reset periodically more of a nuisance, plus the power brick and cables which make an already overcrowded desk a snake pit.
I'm also not thrilled at staring into a computer screen all the time I draw, which can be tiring (but others may have different experience).
For these reasons, I still use the Intuos more. After 12 years of using a Wacom, the draw-here-look-there thing is second nature (it felt natural after 30 minutes, tbh).
The iPad looks very interesting, especially after seeing the way Hockney and others use it (search YouTube for demo examples). It doesn't overcome the screen glare but it gets rid of the cables. I just need a way of getting the final drawing off the iPad once it is finished which doesn't necessarily involve wireless or another computer. Never mind HD, retina displays etc - I'll settle for a USB socket on the iPad 3.