When the Cintiq first came out, I vividly remember an illustrator friend of mine saying “It’s not a matter of if I’m going to buy one, it’s a matter of when I’m going to buy one.” Perhaps a lot of designers and illustrators have found themselves in the same boat and have waited for the price (and maybe even the form factor) to come down a bit without sacrificing quality. It’s hard to argue that the $999 Cintiq 13HD may just be the most accessible, versatile, and ergonomic Cintiq to date.
The Wacom Cintiq 13HD
The tablet itself is roughly half the size of the larger Cintiq 24HD and weighs in at a minuscule 2.65 lbs (3.5 lbs with detachable stand). At $999 retail, it’s half the price of the Cintiq 22HD ($1999) and $1600 less than the 24HD ($2499).
The Cintiq line has been the subject of drool-worthy conversations for designers and artists for years. While some may prefer an Intuos tablet in favor of having a better screen to look at, there are definitely times where having a Cintiq would be the better choice. The new 13HD is an interactive pen display that allows you to create directly onto the 13.3″ HD display. Similar to the larger Cintiq models, the 13HD also includes the customizable ExpressKeys, the Rocker Ring, and the Home Button. At a resolution of 1920 x 1080, a 178 degree viewing angle, and a 16.7 million color render count, the LED display offers enough pixel-punch to keep most designers and artists happy.
From an industrial design perspective, the detachable stand adjusts to three separate working angles to keep your neck spasms at bay. Additionally, the display can be folded-in completely to offer a flat working surface similar to a piece of paper (perhaps my personal favorite feature). Wacom is also supplying their new Pro Pen with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition, and a new ergonomic design. A nice touch for this model is a compact carrying case that includes storage for your extra nibs and color rings to help you identify your pen amongst others in the office. I have been secretly griping about the transportation options for my tablet for a few years now and it’s nice to see them taking strides towards meeting the needs of a modern-day traveling designer. Setup is of course simple with a 3-in-1 cable.