Wacom Cintiq 21UX graphics tablet
Forget about the iPad: the Wacom Cintiq 21UX is the digital sketchpad most artists will want.
- Hands-down the best way to draw and paint digital artworks
- Screen glare issues, large and heavy if used on your lap, pricey
Every artist, designer, animator and compositor will want a Wacom Cintiq 21UX. It makes drawing, painting, designing and rotoscoping like being a kid with crayons again – it's just so much fun to use. Its price will put many off, but if you can afford it you’ll quickly learn to love it.
Price$ 2,848.00 (AUD)
Despite costing more than many workstations and being about as portable, the Wacom Cintiq 21UX is so much more than a sketchpad. It’s an easel and a full set of Grumbacher paints and brushes to the iPad’s 2B and a Moleskine sketchbook – it enables you to create final artworks, not just roughs.
The Cintiq 21UX puts an iPad/iPhone-style bezel around a 21-inch screen that’s also touch-sensitive. Like the iPad, it has a 4:3 screen that feels odd if you’re used to widescreen displays – but its 1,600 x 1,200 resolution is enough to prevent tools from Photoshop and Painter to After Effects and Nuke from feeling cramped.
The design doesn’t come from Apple though – it’s from Wacom’s Intuos4 line of tablets, and is more appealing than the muted greys of the 21UX’s predecessor, which confusingly had the same name.
It’s not just the design that Wacom has overhauled: the new 21UX works better too. The level of sensitivity has been doubled to 2,048 – so you’ll really be able to fine-tune effects in tools such as the new wet paint system in Photoshop (or the long-standing one in Painter).
Possibly more importantly, the older model’s parallax effect – where the point where your pen appears to touch the screen seems to float over what you see in Photoshop – has been reduced dramatically, giving a more natural, tactile experience.
Despite having a good colour depth, the screen of the 21UX screen has one major flaw – it’s a heavy gloss that shows considerable glare under bright sunlight or studio lights.
Another issue is the Cintiq’s thickness and weight. Even without the base, the main unit weighs more than a 17-inch laptop – and it’s as thick as your arm. This makes it more than a little unwieldy to use on your lap. Thankfully though, on a desk it’s a lot easier.
The well-designed based has two paddles like a steering wheel that allow you to quickly tilt the 21UX to vertical, and you can quickly rotate it to avoid having to draw strokes at odd angles. If you’re looking for something more portable, check out the 12-inch Cintiq 12WX.
Along both side of the bezel are the ExpressKeys and Touch Toggle, with Control Strips behind.
As a leftie, I’m glad Wacom has put ExpressKeys, Display Toggles and Control Strips along both sides of the Cintiq. While many left-handed creatives have learned to use right-handed mice, for drawing the use of your natural hand is a must.
Every artist, designer, animator and compositor will want a Cintiq 21UX. It makes drawing, painting, designing and rotoscoping like being a kid with crayons again – it’s just so much fun to use. Its price will put many off, but if you can afford it you’ll quickly learn to love it.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Dell's monstrous 70-inch touchscreen monitor takes aim at Microsoft's Surface Hub
- Dell's 4-screen multimonitor setup looks like one enormous 43-inch display
- Foxconn to pay over $US6bn for a majority stake in Sharp
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Kogan forced to pay $32,400 penalty by ACCC
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPMobile DeveloperWA
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- FTTechnology Testing Services ManagerVIC
- FTFull Stack PHP Developer - Focus on Front EndQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantWA
- CCIT Solutions ArchitectQLD
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- TPAgile Project Manager. Sharepoint / PeoplesoftNSW
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- CCCloud Security Solutions Architect - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- TPTechnical WriterQLD
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXACT
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTData AnalystQLD
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)WA
- TPPHP DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT