Cintiq 13HD Review

Going to have a go at this review thing.

I thought it was finally time to retire my trusty Intuos 3 after roughly 6 years of service (and still going strong!). My decision making was certainly fast forwarded when the work place decided to treat us with the Cintiq 24HD.
After that, my mind was set on acquiring a screen tablet for home use but I certainly wasn’t about to drop $3000+ on one… Enter the Cintiq 13HD.

Here I’ll be giving my impressions after a few days of use and also comparing it against it’s behemoth brethren.

The summary:
PROS: beautiful display quality, device is solid and well designed, light-weight.

CONS: no touch strip/ring, screen surface seems worse than the 24HD, the adjustable stand is trash.

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Size comparison against my Dell 17″ laptop

Firstly, whoever supplied the display panel components are fantastic; it’s just brilliant.
This is where the 13HD actually has the advantage over the 24HD; cramming the 1080p resolution into a 13″ screen obviously yields a much higher pixel density screen, while it’s certainly no ‘retina’ quality display, it looks noticeably nicer than the 1920 x 1200 resolution of the large Cintiq spread over a 24″ screen (which to me feels like looking at the screen through a fine mesh, due to the fact that you’re working up close to the screen).

Viewing angles are no problem, as you might expect from an IPS panel and the colour range/accuracy looks great to me; at a glance it seems to be identical to my Dell 22″ 2209WA which is well above the average panel.

I do feel that the 13″ screen is still on the small side for doing any serious work (especially on larger canvases) but that’s not unexpected.
Wacom needs to make this tablet again but a little bit bigger.

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I have encountered some issues with the screen surface. I’m unsure whether it’s a different material to what’s on the 24HD but it definitely feels ‘grittier’ which results in more friction against the hand.
What’s more concerning is that there are already micro scratches on the screen, and not from use but from wiping with the supplied micro-fibre cloth.
The 24HD I have at work does not have a mark on it after months of heavy use and wiping with tissue paper.
I’m not amused in the least.

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The stylus has received a cosmetic upgrade, which looks spiffy indeed but otherwise functions the same as always. If you’ve used a Wacom tablet before, you know what to expect.

Something that I’ve been pining for is the touch strip/ring which are present on the Intuos 3 and 24HD respectively.
It’s something that I’ve grown so accustomed to that I didn’t realized how I relied on them ’til they were gone (I’ll have to write a tragic song about this).
I only had one purpose for the touch interfaces and that was brush size adjustment but it was something I would be using constantly.
I know some people don’t use any of those shortcut keys at all, so this will evidently not be a problem for these strange folks.

The replacement rocker-ring and other buttons have a pleasant ‘powdery’ surface but are otherwise standard affair, if somewhat on the stiff side (what is it with Wacom and their stiff buttons?).

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Manufactured trash

The saddest part of the package is no doubt the adjustable stand; it’s flimsy, it does its job barely, it’s poorly designed.
Certainly not fitting with Wacom’s supposed ‘premium’ quality standards.

To sum it up, if you do a lot of digital artwork and are in the market and have an expendable $1000 lying around, go for it.
Otherwise, you may like to wait for something better or cheaper.

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