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It's been almost 4 years! Since I've just upgraded to 27QHD, I decided to write a full summary review of Wacom's Cintiq 13HD. HEAD OVER HERE TO READ IT!
Hello everybody!! Guess what!! I got myself a Wacom Cintiq 13HD! A screen graphic tablet! After many years of waiting for a miracle, Wacom have released a model that's actually affordable! Now let's only hope that this life-investment will pay off soon...
I decided to write a few words about this newest marvel of graphic tablets. Is it worth the money? Does it improve digital drawing? Let's find out.
Note: if there's anything you wish to know that I didn't cover, just ask!
1. HOW DOES IT LOOK?
I love Cintiq 13HD's design. Simple and pretty, definitely gives you a high quality feeling. I upgraded from old Intuos3 so there's no surprise that I'm enchanted by its looks. It resembles a bit Intuos5 I suppose, and is almost as thin. The new pen looks fancy. It has four rings in different colors to choose from, so that you can, um, "customize it". A bit useless but cool. Other than that, it's a regular Wacom pen, though a bit lighter than in previous tablets. Now the stand. It looks very... plastic and cheap - but *fortunately* you don't get to look at it much. It has three levels of support and feels rather stable, so I have nothing to complain about.
2. IS IT PORTABLE?
It's very light and handy, and doesn't have many cables with it - so it does seem very portable, given that you buy a proper bag. I'm not sure if Wacom's bags for Intuos series are compatible, but it looks like so.
3. WHAT ABOUT THE CABLES?
There's one cable with three ends (usb, hdmi and power supply) plus a surprisingly small and light power brick (or shall I say: 'bricky'). They don't provide any adapter within, so before making the purchase make sure that your graphic card has a HDMI port - or simply buy the adapter yourself, they're rather cheap. I decided to buy the most simple graphic card with full hdmi port, so that I was sure it would work with no problems!
4. SO... DOES IT WORK WITH NO PROBLEMS?
Almost. You just install the drivers, plug it in, turn on the button and ta-daaah! It's detected as another monitor. I also had to flip the screen vertically in the Windows settings because I'm left-handed, so remember about it and don't panic if everything suddenly becomes upside-down. After a quick calibration (which takes literally a few seconds) it's ready to use like a regular Wacom tablet (but with a screeeen! )
I just noticed one issue - sometimes when you draw, a random stroke can appear with no sensitivity detected. It only happens once per tens of strokes, and I guess it's an easy fix with the next drivers update.
5. HOW IS THE SCREEN?
AWESOME. Very bright and sharp. You can customize its temperature and slightly adjust contrast and brightness, so that's very helpful if you want it to fit your other monitors. However, I noticed one thing - not sure whether it's good or bad, but definitely worth mentioning: no matter how you adjust the settings, the darks will always be brighter than on regular screens. It might help with painting dark pictures, but the result will look different on Cintiq and on other monitors. Something to get used to I guess.
6. ISN'T 13HD TOO SMALL?
Naah. Obviously it depends on your preferences, but as long as you hadn't used A3 or any bigger tablet before, the size won't bother you at all. The high resolution (1920x1080) can contain a lot of things on i. You only have to get used to the different size ratio between the monitors - something that seems small on Cintiq 13HD will in fact be much bigger on 21' monitor and in the web.
7. WHAT ABOUT THE BUTTONS?
Wacom did a veeery weird thing removing all the touch strips from this series. So yeah, prepare for no finger smoothing to change your brush size or zoom in/out. Is it hard to get used to? A bit. I already had been used to using buttons for everything, since touch strips on my Intuos3 broke long time ago. So don't be discouraged, just give it some time. There are nine buttons in total: four regular, and five within a "rocker ring". But there's also a radial menu included, so you can program the infinite amount of shortcuts if you prefer. Again, something to get used to!
8. OK, NOW THE IMPORTANT PART - HOW DO DRAWING AND PAINTING FEEL?
Fantastic. 8D I won't be original by saying that it literally feels as if you were drawing on paper - but hell IT DOES. Especially in Paint Tool SAI. I suddenly realised how long I hadn't drawn this way, because it feels sooo natural and awesome! Does it fasten my workflow? Well, definitely in drawing. I haven't painted for long enough yet, because I'm currently overwhelmed with drawing-only commissions. I just started a little portrait and I admit it was hard at first. I'm very used to my old settings and my old pen 'feel', so it will probably take me a while until I'm able to paint in the pace I did before. One finished picture should be enough!
9. IS THE GAP BETWEEN THE PEN AND ACTUAL CURSOR VERY HUGE?
I had my biggest concerns over this matter, but once you calibrate it - in fact, you'll probably do it a few times - it becomes imperceptible. It goes a few milimeters off towards the edges, but nowhere far. From what I remember when I was testing Cintiq 21UX, they improved the technology A LOT.
10. DOES IT GET VERY HOT?
I heard there were some heat issues with old Cintiqs, but don't worry - I had 13HD turned on for the whole day and it just got warm. Later I opened the window, and in a few seconds it became cold. So there's no way it will become too hot. ^^
11. IS IT EASY KEEP IT CLEAN?
I'm extremely cautious with keeping pricey things as good as new, but so far the Cintiq looks as if just taken out from the box. They give you a small cloth to keep the screen tidy, but honestly, I would expect at least a screen cover with such a tablet and price! So I took one of my old scarves with a smooth surface and now use is as a protector. It covers the whole screen with a few layers and works perfectly! xD
12. IS IT REALLY WORH THE PRICE?
Well - of course it *could* be a bit cheaper, but hey, it's still FOUR TIMES (yikes!) less than for 24HD. O_o If you're a professional or pro-wannabe artist who thinks it's high time to upgrade from your regular graphic tablet - don't hesitate much. It will make your workflow a pure pleasure (once you get used to the new buttons and looking directly at the screen xD) and motivate you draw even more! at least that's what it did to me.
For now, I'm definitely 100% happy with the purchase.
very nice design
just a few cables & easy to install
awesome screen quality
DRAWING DIRECTLY ON THE SCREEN
no touch strips
no protecting cover included
can take some time until you get used to it
minor drivers issue (to be fixed soon, I suppose)
That's all for now! I hope you enjoyed this review and will find it helpful if you hesitate whether to buy it or not.
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also desktop center will not show me preferences anymore just save settings and that. i cant go back ..i need settings wth?
I'm a first time user. lol I have no idea what I'm doing.
I haven't been able to calibrate this thing right yet. First, I go into the calibrate settings and select the drop down box to pick which monitor I'm setting up (which would be the Cintiq), I don't see any names of the monitors in the drop down. They are just labeled 1-3. When I do click on one of them, whatever I select just goes blank. I hit calibrate and it goes to the wrong monitor, not the tablet. I make the tablet the main monitor in the display settings and the calibration window goes there, but even after hitting the crosses, the pointer is still 4 inches away from the pen. The drivers are all up to date so I don't know whats wrong.. :<
I just tried disabling my other two monitors, leaving only the tablet active and it seems to work as intended, but I need to be able to use my other two monitors for other things.
Anyone else had this problem with their tablet?
But now i have a question:
Is the quality of Sai in your Cintiq also so bad? I tried everything but it's not as clear as in my pc...
Great review! I've had my Cintiq 13hd for a few months now. I had a question. I saw that you mentioned you can adjust the brightness. How exactly did you do that? I used to work with the Cintiq 12wx and that had its own little control box for the display.
Oh, and if you run the setup again, the driver installer will download a new version of the driver. Wacom Desktop Center comes with it. You can also tweak the display settings (and much more). Hope this helps.
i bought one today and now im trying to get it work in paint tool sai, but i have one problem im not able to solve for myself, maybe you can help me?
When i started to draw in pts for the first time, it was really great but as soon as i wanted to change the brush a gap between cursor and pen appeared and it got bigger everytime i moved the pen. it was hard to select anything, it only worked when i selected a tool via my laptop. but not with the cintiq as the gap was too huge to even get on the canvas again?
i tried to re-install the tablet driver and calibrate it for the 10th time, but it didn't change anything ;n;
Do you maybe know what this could be?
now it works really good and without any problems!
thank you so much for your quick reply <3
the only problem im having is when i try to use PTS the mouse wont be any were near the pen anymore. re-calibrating it doesnt fix it :I
You've had your 13HD for about half a year; do you still love it? Would you still recommend it?
I'm in the market for a Cintiq as an upgrade from my Intuos4; I'm working on a graphic novel and with the vast amount of drawing ahead of it, I'm thinking it will make it a little less cumbersome. However I'm still concerned about the size; is the 13HD really a big enough size? When you work in your program are your tools and panels/palettes a useable size without taking over the entire screen? And can you use it in your lap at all, or do you need a desk?
I'm really struggling to decide between a new 13HD and a used 21 CX. So hard
but is there any way to adjust the pen pressure? (I used an Intuos with the scrolling wheel -a lot). I saw in a review video that they adjusted it, but I wasn't sure how, and if it was indeed the tablet. (and the keyboard works too, right? - If I would put the keyboard above the tablet for shortcuts on the keyboard as well?)
Annd one more question if you don't mind (If you used the Intuos before): Do you prefer the Intuos or the Cintiq?
It works as it should just so you know, but I just thought it would be more amazing than this.
But I'm happy that you are able to enjoy yours - it feels like I am the only one that doesn't. :/
I agree though that it should be way less expensive, but there's really no competition for Wacom nowadays (there are those Yinova screen tablets, but I heard terrible reviews about their responsiveness and lack of support). Ability to draw directly on the screen was definitely too tempting for me :S
Anyway, if you really no longer wish to use this tablet, better sell it quickly while it's still new and pricey