Software and Hardware
Wacom has “listened to creatives” to build its most beautiful Cintiq yet. We find out if its beauty is only skin deep…
The ever-so-slightly etched glass surface produces a nice ‘bite’ for the stylus, in addition to reduced glare
Price £1,891 Company Wacom Web www.wacom.com
With the new 27-inch QHD Cintiq Touch, Wacom’s told us that it learned important lessons from users’ feedback on 2011’s 24HD Cintiq. So has it borne fruit?
The first thing to note on the 27QHD (that’s Quad HD, a step-up from full HD) is its size. It’s a massive 77x47cm, and with a 16:9 aspect ratio compared to the 24’s 16:10, the active screen is a touch wider. Thanks to a stunning edge-to-edge glass design, however, the 27’s total width is the same as the 24. Despite this, the 27QHD Touch is actually cheaper than the 24HD Touch (£1,891 compared to £2,182). So Wacom clearly wants the 27 to replace the 24 as its standard Cintiq.
The borders have been reduced around the active screen, which are now magnetised strips to place your slinky new remote on. And the ever-soslightly etched glass surface produces a nice ‘bite’ for the stylus, in addition to reduced glare.
The grip pen is pretty similar to the 24’s, but the new ExpressKey Remote is a great replacement to the old screen’s border buttons. Now that there are no active areas on the screen borders, there should be less interruption to your work by accidentally resting your elbow on the edges of the device.
Another improvement is the 2,560x1,440 pixels resolution, and you can really see the difference. Brightness was perfect as soon as the 27 was turned on. The colours, we are assured, also come correct right out of the box, so there’s no need for a lengthy calibration process.
There are five USB ports, comprising four USB 3.0 ports and an additional USB for the ExpressKey Remote dongle, and a HDMI input. The remote, which offers 17 customisable buttons, including the wheel, is a great addition and with Wacom’s cloud service you can back up your personal settings.
The Touch side of things proves to be a disappointment. When we played with it in Photoshop, the two-finger pan was fine, but the two-finger zoom and rotate had issues: it wasn’t as responsive as we’d hoped, with the rotate actually moving the canvas off screen. Furthermore, you can’t use these touch functions when using your pen, although you can make changes if you use the pen with the remote. This could be a problem caused by either Adobe or the Cintiq drivers, so we imagine it’ll be fixed by an update soon.
Overall, however, this is a beautifully designed and extremely powerful device that justifies the high asking price. In short, it’s the best Cintiq yet.
The Cintiq 27QHD with accompanying pen, holder, ExpressKey Remote and keyboard.