Purely Professional Is this the best-looking, best-performing and most amazing tablet ever? And if so, is it worth the huge price tag?
After a few false starts into the tablet PC market, Wacom has finally achieved its goal and released a new tablet that’s the answer to a lot of artists’ prayers. The MobileStudio Pro is a fantastic piece of kit that offers a portable drawing device with very few drawbacks.
The tablet is reassuringly sturdy, yet light enough to sit on your lap or be carried around in your backpack easily. It runs Windows 10 and desktop programs such as Photoshop very smoothly. Even when using demanding 3D programs, the MobileStudio Pro’s fan noise is significantly less than previous Wacom offerings. At the very worst, the device is no louder than an external hard drive.
The screen quality is amazing, with QHD resolution on the 13-inch model and 4K resolution on the 16-inch. It has six ExpressKeys and a touch ring, and three USB-C ports that enable charging from any port. The screen does become a little warm, but it’s not going to cook your lap, and the fans are positioned well in both portrait and landscape mode. The SD card slot is great, not only for transferring files across, but also for adding increased storage capacity.
The Wacom Pro Pen 2 is a thing of beauty. The levels of pressure sensitivity are staggering: an unprecedented 8,192 levels of sensitivity. The screen is so thin that parallax isn’t an issue and pen lag is virtually nonexistent. If all this weren’t enough, the pen never requires charging. We can honestly say there’s not a stylus on the market that can adequately rival the Pro Pen 2.
However, the device is not without its minor faults. The speakers are functional, but lacklustre. The battery life is purported to be six hours, but after continuous use it’s realistically somewhere around four hours. A further niggle is that in the UK you have to buy an adaptor for the two-pin power plug supplied. Considering the
hefty cost you’re already paying, this feels a tad egregious.
This small example links to our biggest gripe about the MobileStudio Pro, and Wacom’s hardware generally. While truly the best quality products available, they’re always excessively expensive and don’t include everything you may need. For example, the MobileStudio Pro has no USB ports, so the Wacom Link (around £60) is necessary if you want to use the MobileStudio Pro as a Cintiq monitor and your Mac/PC doesn’t have a USB-C port, but this has to be purchased separately. Similarly, no stand is provided, and no protective carry case included.
For pricey kit that’s intended to be carried in backpacks, the absence of such items is unforgivable. But of course – you’ve guessed it – you can purchase them additionally. The MobileStudio Pro is lovely to use, but we wish Wacom would offer a complete package for its high cost.
The Wacom Pro Pen 2 is a thing of beauty. We can honestly say there’s not a stylus on the market that can rival it
With six different models to choose from, all capable of running desktop software, the MobileStudio Pro is a designer’s dream.
The sensitivity of the Pro Pen 2 has to be seen to be believed. Even the lightest stroke will be picked up.
The power slider is designed so that you will never accidentally turn the MobileStudio Pro on while carrying it around.
The Radial dial and ExpressKeys are all programmable so you can tailor them to your workflow. All three USB-C slots work for charging the unit, so you won’t have to switch cables around when you need to charge the tablet. As well as transferring files, the SD slot also enables you to expand the storage options on the MobileStudio Pro. Select models include the 3D RealSense camera that means you can scan an object into, say, ZBrush and refine it from there.