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Gear & Apps

Wacom Releases The Most Powerful (& Beautiful) Stationary & Mobile Models Yet

By Kishore Sawh on January 10th 2015

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Wacom tablets are one of the essential pieces of kit I suggest to have in your arsenal, no matter how much of a fledgling photographer you are. Frankly, in a creative industry where everyone is incorporating retouching into their process, you must as well, though to what degree is up for debate. And we’ve said, with frequency and with no diminutive amount of stress, how much a Wacom tablet will improve speed, accuracy, and quality of your workflow.

So, since we’ve established that really, you must use one, the question is which do you get? Wacom’s tablet line covers a skill and price spread as wide as the skill and pay grade between Roger Federer, and your local youth tennis group. Perhaps somewhat strangely. I tend to recommend one that costs around $80 for most photographers, the Intuos Pen & Touch Small. You can read our full review of it here, and also of its much larger brother the Intuos Pro Large here.

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But, if neither of those will do, there’s always the Cintiq Line, which offer a unparalleled amount control, and ability, and Wacom has just introduced 2 new ones, which are the most powerful in the company’s 30 year history: the Cintiq 27QHD and Cintiq Companion 2.

Cintiq 27QHD

The Cintiq 27QHD has a palatial 27 inches of screen real estate to play with, while keeping a slim profile and built in stand. It has edge-to-edge glass and Wacom refers to it as a digital art desk. That’s a good description given the size and 2.5K display that handles 97% of the AdobeRGB color space. The move away from having the express keys actually on the surface is a big move, but the functionality has not been lost since the express keys now come in the form of an Express Key Remote. The remote has a three-mode touch ring, and 16 customizable buttons.

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Despite its size, it is still lighter than its predecessor, the Cintiq 24HD, and capable of standing on its own (though you can get a separate Ergo Stand for it for $399). For those who already have previous stands, they will work with this too. Even without the stand, however, it comes with 5 USDB3 ports for you to connect peripherals to. If you’ve decided this is the one for you, and you’re ready for a wallet shriveling experience, you can have the Cintiq 27QHD Pen for $2299.99, and the Cintiq 27QHD Pen & Touch for $2799.

Cintiq Companion 2

The companion series is likely the best option for the majority of photographers, and Wacom claims the line is really the result of customer feedback. The Companion 2 is smaller, lighter, and generally more powerful than the one it replaces, with a whopping 5 versions to choose from.

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It has a 13.3” display that has the same gorgeous 2.5K resolution as its bigger brothers, but with the express keys built in, 2 USB3 ports, SD and Micro SD slots, and a Mini-DisplayPort. This certainly makes sense given the portable nature of the device. What’s probably the key new feature is the ability of this Cintiq Companion 2 to be used as a stand alone device, or connected to a PC or MAC when you’re staying in one spot.

Coming in at a starting price of $1299.99 and all the way up to $2699.99, it becomes more accessible to more of us. And, if I may interject here, that this would be my suggestion for photographers who want the Cintiq Experience.

Both new models begin shipping next month.

You can read the full press release here, and find out more from Wacom and their entire line on their site.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Josiah Dewey

    How would it work if I were to hook it up to a mac with it being windows base?

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  2. Jason Boa

    Yum !!

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  3. Kai Dean

    I am lucky enough to currently own the predecessor to the companion 2 and I owned the one before that too, and I have to say they are awesome devices for photographers, the Cintiq is really great for precise up close editing, I love it, this new one sounds very interesting with its extra USBs and SD card slots. I also own an Intuos 4 regular tablet which I use in tandem with the Cintiq (there is not a mouse in sight on my desk) . Before anyone thinks I am rolling in cash I am very fortunate to work for a company that buys me these toys for my day job as a graphic designer and I happen to work from home too so I get use the toys for all of my photo editing.

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  4. Jacob Jexmark

    I need a Cintiq 27QHD in my life.

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  5. Rafael Steffen

    This is one of the most amazing tablets I have ever seen! Just rocks!

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  6. robert garfinkle

    @ JOHN CAVAN –

    Thanks, helps understand better exactly what they are – is it true, that they have color accuracy?

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    • John Cavan

      I don’t have one (I wish!) but I understand that they can be calibrated and the very large color space will give greater accuracy over more traditional displays.

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  7. robert garfinkle

    This comment might go a little sideways, but that would be typical me. bare with it, thanks.

    It’s funny, not only am I a technology nut but I’m in the field too – I am a web developer by trade with an extensive history maintaining systems (analyst) etc.. Photography is a hobby for me at best.

    Yet I’ve known about Wacom for quite a while, and every time I see one I think that would make the best tablet on the planet – of course that would be like saying “hey, with the right lens, a camera would make a great way to watch TV” (the epitome of pixel peeping… throwing in some commercials) – thus pulling function out of form into the abyss of ridiculousness.

    To punctuate my point – this article suggests that even for me, it’d make sense to get one as it looks to be a great way to edit, correct? And like I said, being the technological wizard I wannabe (and getting paid for it), you’d think along with my “geek” capabilities I’d want this alongside my gear bag. But the truth is, at the moment, I should be focusing on taking good photos – so that sometime down the road when I might have a clue as to how to use photo editing software it’d be worth me getting a Wacom system so that I can do something with it – or what it was meant to be used for…

    but, and obviously I’m not finished here yet, and so thouest does not yet escape from my silliness of a post – I will draw you back into the ring of Wacom would make a killer tablet.

    I own a Dell XPS 18, it is an 1600.00 18.5 inch diagonal tablet, I did not get it to save space. I got it to display photos first; and secondary to my purchase decision was as a powerful enough workstation so as to do my job. Essentially putting multi-purpose behind the purchase…

    So, do I think a Wacom is a perfect tablet to display photos, yes, for sure – that is on the premise that the color pallet of a Wacom unit is accurate (accuracy counts). But my thinking could be way off here.

    C’mon, if Wacom (or other mfr) made a unit just for showing off portfolio, would that not be great?

    But I’d probably hold off anyway, as in my current fledgling state, using one as proof, with great color accuracy, to show off how much I don’t know about photography at this point, would be par for the course…

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    • John Cavan

      Wacom Cintiq tablets are not standalone devices, they’re basically very capable pressure sensitive pen tablets with a high resolution display on them that plug into your computer. Very handy for artists and the like since you pen edit directly on them while functioning as a display, but their big advantage over basic computer tablets like the Dell is the pen related features, I haven’t seen one match the sensitivity yet.

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    • Perry Smith

      I can’t reply to John’s reply?

      The press release says that the Companion is a full Windows 8 machine — not just a tablet.

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    • robert garfinkle

      im all over it.

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  8. J D

    *insert Homer Simpson drooling sound*

    I’d love one of those for sure.

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  9. John Cavan

    I have a couple of their tablets (love them) and wish I could justify the price of one of these… Sadly, I cannot, but it’s great to see such powerful devices with such color depth out there.

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