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Hands-on review: Wacom Cintiq 16

By Tom Richmond
Mon 4 Mar 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Wacom are one of the go-to manufacturers of graphic tablets. Their new Cintiq 16 model comes at a price-point which opens the brand up to budding digital artists, whilst still holding appeal to those who are looking to upgrade.

Normally famed for their high-end products, the Cintiq is less than half the price of the more premium ‘Pro’ models. Despite this, out of the box, the Cintiq 16 feels sturdy and high-quality.

Setup

The Cintiq 16 is incredibly easy to set up. Once you have linked the tablet up to your device via USB type A and HDMI, all you need to do is install the correct driver for your computer and you’re ready to go. Previous issues with Wacom’s drivers seem to be a thing of the past.

It would have been nice to see USB-C introduced to reduce the amount of wires required, but I suspect most users would set up the device once in their studio so this isn’t a major issue.

The only way to mount the Cintiq 16 out of the box is via the 19 degree legs on the underside of the device and I found that these would occasionally give way. A way around this is to purchase a stand from Wacom’s website, which allows you to work at different angles.

The tablet

The anti-glare screen on the Cintiq 16 is full HD with a resolution of 1920x1080 and a screen size of 15.6”. The specs demonstrate a clear downgrade from the Pro models, but would still satisfy the majority of users.

Other than the power button, there are no additional buttons on the device. This makes the device feel a lot more compact and less daunting to use - a plus for those using a graphic tablet for the first time.

The display features a matt finish and is not etched like on some of the Pro models Wacom have released in the past. I’ve been impressed by how durable the device feels and I didn’t get tired of using it after for two hours straight.

The response rate of the device is good, but unsurprisingly, I’ve experienced better with products costing twice the amount of the Cintiq 16.

Wacom Pro Pen 2

Accompanying the tablet is the market-leading Wacom Pro Pen 2 which is simply is a joy to use. The best compliment I can pay the pen is that it feels practically the same as using a conventional, analogue pen. 

With 8192 pressure levels and tilt support, the accuracy the pen provides is phenomenal.

The Pro Pen 2 is (by far) the best digital pen I’ve used and, when not in use, it sits in a removable holder on the right hand side of the device which contains an additional three nibs for to keep you covered for a few months. 

Oh, and there’s no need to charge the pen either!

Overall

The Wacom Cintiq 16 is a great option for anyone looking to get into the creative industry. It’s at a price point which makes it considerably more affordable than other high-end graphic tablets, especially considering the exceptional Pro Pen 2.

It would also be worth considering if you’re looking at upgrading from a more basic drawing tablet. I have no doubt you’ll find the transition across as pleasing as I did.

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