Is the Wacom Cintiq Pro the right tool for creative artists?


Creative artists take delight in not solely their work, but in addition within the instruments they use to create their work. A nice tooth brush, a smartphone, and even software program are typical instruments of the commerce at this time. I used to be despatched one more fascinating machine to evaluate just a few months in the past. (Yes, I mentioned just a few months in the past. More on that later.)

Anyway, the oldsters at Wacom despatched me the Cintiq Pro pen show. I used to be excited to open up this bundle. And after utilizing the machine, I started contemplate the specs in addition to the real-world use. Is this machine for all artistic artists? Allow me to share my expertise.

First, the nerdy stuff

I used to be despatched the Cintiq Pro 16, which is about 16.5 x 10 inches in dimension. The display is a crispy 15.6-inch show that provides a UHD decision. The colours are vibrant however not overly saturated. Brightness is just a little low for my style at 250 nits, nevertheless it’s satisfactory.


Connecting the machine requires an A/C energy provide in addition to a USB-C connection to your laptop computer or desktop laptop. If you would not have a USB-C port in your computing machine, you possibly can set up the Wacom Link dongle, which lets you convert USB-C to both USB or mini show port.

The machine works with each Windows or OSX. Sorry, Linux customers—there is not any assist on your OS. The Cintiq requires driver and configuration software program as anticipated upon set up. The Cintiq Pro 13 has a 1080p display and a 14-inch type issue. So it is barely smaller and perhaps a just a little extra transportable.


The stylus is comfy with a mushy rubber grip and consists of two buttons that may be programmed for numerous features. I simply use the default settings of mouse-click performance. This permits me to make use of the stylus as a extra ergonomic mouse after I’m not creating content material. Even the guidelines (nibs) are detachable and replaceable primarily based on dimension.

SEE: Getting started with drone photography (free TechRepublic PDF)

Use circumstances for the Cintiq Pro

The Cintiq pen show is designed to permit artistic artists to make use of it as a standard pill—the place your stylus actions are acknowledged in your laptop display—however you may also lengthen your laptop display to the pen show. This lets you create and manipulate your digital artwork straight on the Cintiq, much like utilizing an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. Similar, I say.

Designers operating Adobe Illustrator or InDesign could benefit from the Cintiq, because it lets you be up shut and private together with your graphics. The ergonomic tilt of the show sits in tandem together with your laptop computer or laptop display and is nearer to you bodily. You can get a greater view of your pixels with out having to lean ahead and squint at your laptop monitor. Yes, I’ve executed the squint a number of instances myself.

Photographers utilizing Photoshop could benefit from the Cintiq for a similar cause. Being capable of manipulate photographs with a tighter view of the mission and pixels permits for extra precision tuning with the stylus in hand.

My expertise with the Cintiq Pro

The feel and appear of the machine is fairly superior. It’s not good, nevertheless it’s nonetheless an incredible expertise. I previously mentioned how much I love using my Wacom tablet for photograph modifying. The Cintiq provided one other dynamic for my photograph modifying as soon as I acquired it attached. That was my largest problem to begin.

Between my travels and masking different initiatives, I did not have sufficient time to battle with putting in the Cintiq on my main desktop Windows 10 laptop. As beforehand famous, the Cintiq is designed to hook up with your laptop over USB-C. This is to permit you most efficiency at excessive resolutions. Well, my main laptop doesn’t have a USB-C port. So I had to make use of the Wacom Link and join through my laptop’s full dimension show port. Sadly, this meant having to purchase a mini show port to full dimension show port cable, because the Wacom hyperlink utilized mini show port. Not full dimension.

So I used my cable, and the show was acknowledged by Windows, however the stylus would not work. Next, I attempted utilizing the Wacom Link with a USB cable, accepting the truth that I would not get full efficiency on the machine at UHD decision. The show fired up, however once more, the stylus would not work with it. Finally, after talking with Wacom, I related each cables to the Wacom Link. This labored. Too unhealthy it meant I had additional cables round my desk, nevertheless it labored efficiently.

SEE: How to get started using Adobe Lightroom for your photo editing (TechRepublic)

Using the machine with Lightroom was the very first thing to come back to my thoughts as a result of I am completely horrible at utilizing Adobe Illustrator. I used to be curious to see how Lightroom would look on a 16-inch show at UHD decision. It seems to be fairly crispy, however the menus are REALLY small. I expanded the panels as greatest I might. This was useful however nonetheless wasn’t good. If you are aware of the Lightroom keyboard shortcuts, the interface would not be a lot of a difficulty for you.


Stylus eraser (Image: Ant Pruitt)

I wished to course of numerous varieties of photographs on this machine. Some easy nonetheless life pictures, panorama pictures, and a few headshot portraits. All three of those photographs have been shot otherwise and in my workflow, processed otherwise. My main instruments embrace Lightroom’s adjustment brush. This works nice with a stylus. On the Cintiq, I did not see modifying broad panorama pictures as helpful for me. On my broad pictures, I haven’t got to spend a lot time dissecting every pixel so long as I nailed the main focus and publicity.

The Cintiq gained effectiveness when modifying nonetheless life photographs and even this skyline panoramic because of the composition. I might make the most of the comb instrument to have a look at the sky and gadgets within the foreground.


Where the Cintiq Pro shined in my workflow was with portrait images. Work on a shopper’s portrait with the flexibility to zoom in was actually environment friendly. I might see tiny imperfections to brush away a lot simpler. I might improve the mannequin’s distinctive options, resembling hair and cheekbones, sooner and extra fantastically—a lot simpler than a mouse or my very own Wacom Intuos pill. I really loved utilizing the Cintiq Pro for headshot images.


Image: Ant Pruitt

The Cintiq Pro shortcomings

The main shortcoming of the Cintiq Pro is the truth that it is not a tool I can suggest for each photographer or artistic artist. As nice because the efficiency was for me modifying the portraits, I am unable to see somebody who makes use of Adobe Illustrator being excessive on the Cintiq. When drawing on the display, you’ve got a slight little bit of latency with every stroke. This is not an enormous deal for me as I edit photographs, however somebody meticulously designing a brand would in all probability be annoyed. I imply, the pen instrument within Adobe merchandise is difficult sufficient to cope with; including latency to the enter machine simply will increase the problem.

The configuration software program is easy and straightforward to make use of, however I discovered one sort of setting particularly would by no means save after a reboot: the “touch” settings. The Cintiq Pro lets you use it as a pen show or as a pill machine, which permits for touch-enabled performance. If you are attempting to make use of this as a pen show the place you are drawing on the display, you disable contact. A number of instances the aspect of my hand triggered a menu swipe or zoom whereas attempting to color an adjustment layer. I might disable contact within the configuration software program or on the machine with its capacitive button and it will be a greater expertise for me. Sadly, if I rebooted my laptop or the machine, the configuration can be misplaced.

The Cintiq 16 is not transportable. It’s positively designed to be a static machine on your workstation. Sure you possibly can journey with it, nevertheless it’s the dimensions of a 16-inch laptop computer. And you will should pack your laptop computer to make use of with it. So you are primarily carrying two laptops on the street. The Cintiq Pro13 is smaller, however you are still confronted with the actual fact of carrying two laptop-size units.

Having a USB-C connection in your laptop is by far the only solution to work with the Cintiq product. My expertise with attempting to get the Wacom Link to work was relatively irritating. When I plugged the Cintiq right into a laptop computer I do not normally use for modifying—which occurs to have a USB-C port—the machine labored with out a hitch.

The ergonomics of the machine is nice, however do not confuse the Cintiq Pro with a laptop computer. Trying to apply it to your lap isn’t suggested, as you are wanting down at a harsh angle. This might be unhealthy in your neck. Also, be sure that your desk area is at a really perfect peak. Trying to make use of the Cintiq on a floor that is too tall or too low will have an effect on the benefit of use.

SEE: How Adobe proved me wrong about AI in photography (TechRepublic)


You can get the Cintiq Pro 13 for $999 and the Cintiq Pro 16 for $1,499. I feel that is a powerful piece of , nevertheless it’s relatively dear. I loved utilizing it with portraits, however I do not know if I loved it sufficient for $999 or $1,499. If all I did was portrait images, I might make investments on this machine as a result of it will provide an important ROI as a result of how a lot sooner I might course of portrait pictures. As any artistic artist is aware of, the extra environment friendly your workflow is, the extra jobs you will get executed. Without any doubt I can nonetheless suggest the Wacom Intuos because it has a a lot lower cost level (underneath $100). No, it would not provide a show display, nevertheless it nonetheless has nice efficiency with its stylus.

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Your take

Have you gotten a Wacom machine on your artistic toolkit? Share your opinions on the Cintiq Pro or any of the opposite Wacom units with fellow TechRepublic members. Leave a remark under or tag me on Twitter.

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