My Cintiq 13HD review with Questions and Answers
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By Anako-ART   |   Watch
22 65 24K (1 Today)
Published: May 3, 2013


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. :w00t: HEAD OVER HERE TO READ IT!



Hello everybody!! Guess what!! I got myself a Wacom Cintiq 13HD! :la: 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... :lol:


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!


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.


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.


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!


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. :D After a quick calibration (which takes literally a few seconds) it's ready to use like a regular Wacom tablet (but with a screeeen! :dummy: )
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.


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.


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. :P


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! ;)


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!


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.


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. ^^


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! :doh: 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


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.


:bulletred: very nice design
:bulletred: just a few cables & easy to install
:bulletred: awesome screen quality
:bulletred: radial menu

:bulletred: no touch strips
:bulletred: no protecting cover included
:bulletred: can take some time until you get used to it
:bulletred: 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. :meow:


CSS by newklear edited by Anako-ART
anonymous's avatar
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MrBiteo's avatar
MrBiteoHobbyist Artist
Hey, I just got my Cintiq 13HD yesterday, but when I turn it on, all I get is a text reading "No imput signal" and the LED light keeps blinking. Do you know how I can fix this?
Tropicanine's avatar
TropicanineHobbyist General Artist
mh nvm solved it but i still have trouble if i dont work in a sync screen. using both single is not showing up sai,skype etc. i can open from tablet but it doesnt show. 
also desktop center will not show me preferences anymore just save settings and that. i cant go back ..i need settings wth?
Tropicanine's avatar
TropicanineHobbyist General Artist
so i us eit left handed turned it around, had to flip the 2nd screen in the display setting sof windows to get it the right way round and now this... i need help srsly..…
nuovahealth's avatar
Hello, How thick is the glass for this cintiq?? How possible is it to pop the screen or crack the glass from pressing down/ squeezing with thumbs and fingers on it... specially around the corners of the screen. I have busted up so many lsd monitors before from just pressing down on the edge of corner of it currently I am using a hard glass monitor to stop that from happening which If I can find a tablet like this then I would be okay...but I cannot really find any information on how well the cintiq would cope under my heavy hands.
Shamysoza's avatar
ShamysozaStudent Digital Artist
The "strokes" mentioned earlier with no sensitivity can be taken off. Just open your wacom properties, and turn off double click distance, and you should be good to go.
GeminaArtifex's avatar
GeminaArtifexStudent Digital Artist
I just today got the same cintiq. And the pen pressure isn't working. And I tried opening preferences but it won't. 
Shaylex's avatar
ShaylexHobbyist Digital Artist
I just recently got a used Cintiq 13HD, but it's registered in the previous owner's name. I'm trying to see if Wacom can fix that part. However, I'm also having trouble bringing up Photoshop onto the display. It shows up on my computer just fine, but not the cintiq. I calibrated the pen okay, and I can bring up other programs, like games and such. But even then, I can't really click on a lot of things because it just won't process it I guess. And then with Photoshop, it's just not showing up at all.

I'm a first time user. lol I have no idea what I'm doing.
kaimie's avatar

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?

Mizukitt's avatar
MizukittStudent Digital Artist
Did you ever fix this problem?? I currently have it now and I want to cry and tear something apart because I can't fix it..... 
DefectedMarionette's avatar
DefectedMarionetteStudent Filmographer
So this is probably weird getting a comment on this a year later but..... I just got the cintiq 13hd and I've been trying to figure out how to use it with SAI  (the pen and cursor won't line up on the tablet screen it's irritating) and I was wondering if you could maybe help me out? I've tried calibrating but nothings helped. 
Dheelis's avatar
DheelisHobbyist Digital Artist
It's possible to fix this. Just go to the misc.ini of Sai, open it. Somewhere says: OldWacomBug:0 or something like that, just change the 0 to 1 and tadaaa!! The cursor will be under the pen!

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...
LaraMuk's avatar
LaraMukProfessional Digital Artist
found your journal through google while trying to figure out a bug.  i was wondering if you have any problems with the tablet screwing up your settings when you start up your computer? I am left handed as well, and ever since the new driver update, every time i turn on my computer the tablet inverts all my actions and it will not let me flip it to left handed orientation despite the fact that i have the screen rotated 180 degrees.  its very frustrating.  i was wondering if you are experiencing this because if its related to the new driver update, i want to revert to a previous driver X.x

the only way ive found to fix it is to load a back up of my settings, which makes the driver tell me to reboot my computer, and then i have to recalibrate it after the reboot and it will work ok until i shut down my computer and try to use it again next session.  i have to go through this back up, reboot, recalibrate fiasco every time i go to try and work on projects and its driving me absolutely mad. :(
Tropicanine's avatar
TropicanineHobbyist General Artist
mh i know this is long ago, could you fix it? got the cintiq today and..…; i have it legft handed use, flipped over for the buttons and i flipped the screen in display settings of windows..hence its the only option i had to do it?
LaraMuk's avatar
LaraMukProfessional Digital Artist
i accidentally found the solution one day haha :). i also had it switched to the left handed options, but for some reason the screen calibration was set to a monitor and not to cintique, so every time i started the computer it would cause odd problems. i discovered that one day and corrected it and now its fixed! :D
Tropicanine's avatar
TropicanineHobbyist General Artist
i have it running allright now used as a second screen, but there are smaller things annoying me. like when i paly/close a game the preference "buttons on right side" switches back to left and the screen is upside down. also when i start my pc it is set back. i can correct it quickly but its quite annoying.  i also have the tablet sometimes stop working entirely. like i dont get the mouse or pen and cant do anything than turning it off and on and then it will work again but that is very annoying as well
LaraMuk's avatar
LaraMukProfessional Digital Artist
huh, thats odd. i dont have any problems with it anymore since i figured out the calibration issue, but i use it solely for artwork and dont really game on my computer. im not sure what the problem would be :O.
Brazen24's avatar
Brazen24Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm planning to buy a Cintiq 13HD. I have a question tho,  Do I have to have a Laptop to work with it. I see every on the internet, a Cintiq next to a PC or Laptop. Cause I don't want to have to carry laptop and the Cintiq 13HD wherever I go. And what is the storage size on the tablet. Always on the go.
Anako-ART's avatar
Anako-ARTProfessional Digital Artist
Well, for Cintiq 13HD you obviously NEED a computer to plug it into - this is a regular tablet like Intuos or Bamboo, just with a screen. What you may want instead is Cintiq Companion - a stand alone hybrid with Windows 8. You'll find all the information about it on Wacom's official website:… . :)
Brazen24's avatar
Brazen24Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you. Cintiq Companion is rather to too expensive...and I'm a beginner. so I'll settle for a Intuos. Thank again for replying
Dj-Rodney's avatar
Dj-RodneyHobbyist Digital Artist
[Edit] Ah! Never mind, I've found the settings! :)

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.
WeAreOurselves's avatar
WeAreOurselvesHobbyist Digital Artist
This is almost a year late, but if you're using the old drivers, you have to use the CD. There's a "Program Files" folder there. Look for LCDSettings.exe and you can tweak the display settings for Cintiq 13HD.  This is a standalone program -- you can copy it anywhere on your hard drive so you wouldn't have to depend on the CD every now and then.

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.
Dj-Rodney's avatar
Dj-RodneyHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much for the reply my friend! I did have it figured out shortly after. Haha
WeAreOurselves's avatar
WeAreOurselvesHobbyist Digital Artist
Great :)
Lavendulan's avatar
LavendulanStudent General Artist
Hi! Thanks for the review. I'm definitely considering getting one of these someday. My only question is if the tablet comes with a program like photoshop? Or do you have to download one separately?
anonymous's avatar
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