iPad Pro Review

Price: $649.99 + See it on Amazon

This is the new Cintiq 16. A new budget priced drawing display from Wacom. Lets take a look. This device was provided to me by Wacom, but this isn’t a sponsored video so as always the opinions here are my own.

So what is this?!? It’s a pen display. Basically it’s an external monitor that connects to your computer, Windows or Mac and you can draw on it with the included pen.

And what’s new here? Wacom already has their Cintiq pro line: There is a Cintiq Pro 13, a Pro 16, a pro 24 and a pro 32” versions.

This is the Cintiq 16. Notice the lack of the word "Pro" here. Wacom has always done the high end pen displays. They specialize in doing the best of the best. The quality and features are a cut above the rest. Over the last couple years the competition has really improved. And you have all these companies releasing cheaper pen displays.

So what Wacom is doing here is taking out some of those features that push up the price and releasing a budget version of their 16” pen display.

So what trade offs have they made to get the price down, let’s compare the Cintiq 16 pro and this the Cintiq 16. The biggest difference is the screen itself. The resolution is 1920x1080. That’s full HD but The Pro is 4k 3840 x 2160. So the pro has twice as many pixels and is a much crisper image.

The pro also has a laminated display. Wacom calls this optical bonding. Basically what it does is reduce the space between the glass your pen is drawing on and how far below that glass your screen sits. There is more space on this, the standard 16 so there is more parallax, or space between where your pen tip hits the display and where your cursor appears below it. That’s one of my favorite parts of the pro line.

Also the texture they put on the screen is a film on the pros it’s an etched glass and it goes edge to edge.

These might sound like big tradeoffs, but in terms of specs every other 16” pen display available currently has pretty much the exact same specs.

So if that’s the case why get this? Why get a Wacom? For me the most compelling reason is this, the pro pen 2. I said this in my Cintiq Pro 24 review a couple months back but there is something hard to put into words about how good a pen feels and that’s how I feel about this.

How do you describe something that just feels good.? First of all going through all the tests it works flawlessly. As soon as I put it down on the screen it feels natural. Slow angled lines are perfect. No fiddling, no stroke smoothing, exactly the way I want them.

Slow lines, fast lines, keeping a consistent pressure. It’s all there.

The pressure curve feels very natural. In the illustration I’m doing in the background when I’m coloring I’m using a pretty wide brush. But I can use really light pressure to narrow it and fill in the tighter spaces. It’s a little thing but having the feel to do that often takes time you have to learn the pen and how it responds and here I just took to it. Part of that is because the pressure curve is really well balanced. Another part of that is that I was using the Cintiq pro over my holiday break and so it feels exactly the same and and I could just pick up where I left off.

The biggest difference when drawing between using this and the Cintiq Pro is the parallax I mentioned before. From time to time I would go to pick up an ink line where I left off and it’s easier to line those up on the CIntiq Pro.

I should also mention, because I tend to forget, that this stylus has tilt support. You can tilt the pen this way or that way. It’s really handy if you are trying to vary the look of your paint brush shape. Something that is pretty rare in other budget displays.

I really like the 16” size, I’ve said it in other videos but in a lot of ways it’s the perfect balance between having a good sized screen where the interface is big enough where you don’t have any problem selecting layers or brush size sliders but it’s still easy to move around. You can slide it out of the way when you’re not using it.

Having a big 22 or 24” display is cool because it’s so big but they really take up a ton of space. Do I really need that much space? No, it’s just a luxury.

The color spectrum listed is 72% ntsc. The pros are listed in Adobe RGB. Since the screen does have a matte finish to it which makes it really nice to draw on that does dull the color more than a glossy screen would but I’m just fine with that. And This is pretty standard stuff for drawing displays. Most people who want control over color accuracy and if you need super accurate colors for print are probably using a different monitor for color correction anyway.

Along the back there are legs that pop out. This is a pretty good angle for drawing but it’s the only angel you get. There is a stand that Wacom sells for ___. It should be available in the store by the end of this month. It screws into the back of the display. There are 4 holes, I believe they are the vesa standard size.

One thing missing here are shortcut keys. Wacom has been phasing them out on the Cintiqs for a while and replacing them with the remote. The larger Cintiq Pros come with the remote, this one does not, so out of the box there there is nothing in the box.

There is stuff in the box, just not a remote. The remote works with this, in fact it would work with any tablet, it’s just a USB remote that you can program with keyboard shortcuts.

When the Cintiq pros started rolling out about 2 years ago I read about driver problems, it’s hard to tell how wide spread those were. I personally have never had a problem setting these up.

This is using the same drivers as the Cintiq pros, so for me this was super easy to set up, I already had them installed so I pugged this thing in and it worked. This is also good because the drivers have been out for a while and they have been able to work through a lot of the bugs you that are more common when something is first released.

Wacom has their whole software suite. It shows if there are updates, you can get to the settings

Pros and cons:

The pros - definitely the pen here. You’re getting Wacom’s best pen ever on their lowest priced Cintiq ever.

The cons: The express key remote and stand are extras. If you’re using an older Cintiq looking to upgrade this isn’t going to feel like a big step forward like those pro line does.

Overall I personally feel pen quality of a device trumps everything else and everything els here is pretty good. It’s a cheaper version of a Cintiq. I was really surprised at the price. This is a great move by Wacom. I understand why they keep their prices high, they want to be the top of the line product be a luxury brand, an aspirational brand. At the same time there are so many cheap competitors out there now. Making something that has that great pen but dials down the specs makes a ton of sense.

I’m curious to see if they do the same thing in other sizes as well.