A few weeks ago Wacom, the industry leader of pen and tablet input devices, introduced there new flag ship product, the Cintiq 24HD. I won’t bore you with the tech specs which can be found here, rather I would like to share my initial thought of a few particular things that surprised me about this new device that set the digital art world on fire! DISCLAIMER: I have yet to test drive one in person and guessing I won’t have the chance due to the limited public retail availability.
I currently use a Cintiq 21UX (Intuous3 version) for almost 2 years now and have loved every second of it. It truly is worth every penny and as you will see, it’s a lot of pennies. Being a tool that I use for hours each day, I’ve become very accustomed to using it and did develop some wants of the next rendition.
The previous and current 21UX models comes in at a screen resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. Although a high resolution for a 4:3 monitor, I craved a higher resolution, especially when viewing artwork that was ‘fit to window’. With most art software and viewing on the 21UX, there are sweet spots of magnification were your artwork would appear crystal clear. But with one more or less steps in magnification, the artwork would appear aliased and disjointed which would lead to my higher resolution crave. The 24HD sports a resolution of 1920 x 1200 with a viewable screen size of 20.41” x 12.8”. If my math is correct that comes in at a pixel density of roughly 94 pixels per inch (ppi). The current 21UX sports a resolution of 1600 x 1200 on a 17” x 12.5” display brings it to the same 94ppi.
So this brings me to the conclusion that the 24HD is no more “HD” than the 21UX. Although the widescreen is great to have those extra 3” of real estate, this is a HUGE disappointment.
The other issue is based on it’s over all physical setup. With my current Cintiq, I’ve installed an ErgoTron moveable monitor arm which is attached to my desk and allows me to move the Ciniq to varying positions such as bringing it off the desk and closer to my lap for a more comfortable drawing position. The 21UX cable routing is ideal for this as it’s a singe cable exiting the top of the monitor. So cable management is a minimum. The 24HD has 2 cable entry points on each side of the monitor. And as far as attempting it to a third party mounting device like the ErgoTron could prove challenging with cable management x2.
Also, this monster weighs in at 85lbs. Now to be far, I’m going to assume thats with the redesigned base which would make sense having a low center mass to keep the monitor stable in varying positions. To Wacom’s credit, that base is also key to the cable management issues I mentioned earlier.
I know it sounds like I’m bashing this incredible product, but I’ve been so impressed with my current 21UX, my expectations with a larger high def version were through the roof. Wacom does with the Cintiq 24HD as what they do with all of their quality products, well thought out engineering, quality construction and delivering what the public wants. The reality is I’m just an unusual power user who can’t wait to get my hands on one.