Saturday, 13 March 2010

Wacom Cintiq 21UX (2nd Gen) - Hands On Review

Initial Impressions

Due out later for sale officially this month, I had the opportunity to appraise and test out the 2nd Gen Cintiq at the Wacom booth at GDC San Fran 2010.

Worthy ergonomic improvements, with improved scratch resistant glass and Intuos 4 pen/nib and tactile handling including 2048 levels of pressure and rear mounted touch strips.

What's Different
//The Rear

The great thing about Wacom is the continuing feedback and evolution of its digital tablets with each iteration. Thus, with this 2nd Generation Cintiq, the good folks at Wacom have relocated the sensitive touchstrips to the rear. Brilliant. Straightforward. Intuitive!

Crucially, this next logical evolution in improved product design actually feels very comfortable and intuitive to use when set to zoom (non painting side). The angle of reclination, and natural angle title is smoothened and thus I found painting again a intuitive case of rotating the tablet, much like one would angle a piece of canvas/sketchboard which makes development of hand drawn sketching and lines a more naturalistic process - especially handy for the drawing of digi marker and final illustration designs for transport and environmental drawings.

Previously with the 1st generation Cntiqs, I personally felt that the Cintiq was better in use for drawing of organic shapes and less intuitive for environments/sketching per se. Thus, the use of an improved surface & tactile feedback is certainly what (I felt) the Cintiq should have been in terms of optimized digital tablet for everyday industrial use. i.e I'm finally a Cintiq convert.

Design from Intuos 4
  • Pen stylus, nib and holder - appear the same as a Intuos 4 (in terms of styling, grip and nib choice/selection and containment). Compatibility with the Intuos 4 range - unverified/unknown - the Pens have now 2048 levels of pressure. Translated into actual use, the stylus has improved tactile feedback and naturalistic feel
  • Matte greyblack styling & ambidextrous configuration - the dual orientation layout allows for easy customization for both left and right handed artists (or the lucky ambidextrous few)
  • Express keys & Rotary select button (Show select key) - displays the current key selection on-screen. (I am not sure if the key selection (dot) utilizes a simple LED or OLED design used in Intuos 4. Suffice to say, it is styled similarly)

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