Cintiq 13HD Touch
This pint-sized Cintiq tablet offers a sublime digital drawing experience, at a price that won’t make you swear
Price £720 here are few people who would use the words ‘Cintiq’ and ‘affordable’ in the same sentence, but you might be surprised to learn that the smallest model in Wacom’s desirable screen-based tablet range actually qualifies for that label. The aim of the Cintiq 13HD Touch is to deliver the first-rate drawing experience of its bigger siblings for a price that most active artists could justify.
A Cintiq is essentially a monitor you can draw on: plug it into your Windows
TCompany Wacom Web www.wacom.eu or Mac computer and you’ve got a second screen that recognises the nib of the supplied pen and, to a limited extent, the touch of your fingers as well. This 13-inch display gives you a drawing area of roughly an A4 sheet: plenty for everyday sketching and painting, although anyone in the habit of creating large-scale digital paintings may find the size a constraint.
The build quality of the screen unit is very good, although the cable connection feels a little delicate. The cable itself is a handful: at one end, it splits into three to accommodate the power connection, USB 2.0 for the pen feedback and HDMI for the video link. (If your computer isn’t new enough to offer a built-in HDMI port, HDMI adaptors for your connection type are readily available.)
The stylus is Wacom’s Pro Pen design, and it feels solid and balanced. Nine replacement tips and a pen holder are included. Wacom’s standard driver and software enable you to calibrate the pen and adjust its feel: you can also customise the handful of buttons to one side of the display to trigger favourite commands in each art program that you use.
Although this Cintiq costs far more than a similarly sized Intuos tablet, the difference in your experience is like night and day. Screen-less tablets like the Intuos always require you to relearn how to draw: looking ahead at a screen while your hand is below never feels entirely natural. Drawing on a Cintiq is as carefree as using a sheet of paper. You can purchase a Cintiq 13HD without touch-sensitivity for about £140 less, but the first time you use two fingers to zoom into or rotate your digital canvas, you’ll know the extra expense was worth it. July 2016
The pen provided with the 13HD Touch is nicely weighted, making it a pleasure to draw with.
Customise the functions of the Touch’s ExpressKeys to avoid switching back to your keyboard.