Wacom Cintiq 21UX
- Touch screen, rugged stand
- Can't achieve full 90 degrees or 0 degrees to the ground, expensive
This pricey touch screen monitor allows working with images in new ways, but its size and limited positioning options can make it tough to use.
Price$ 4,299.00 (AUD)
For years I've dreamed of making changes to images in Adobe Photoshop directly on the screen, the way I work on paper. Wacom's 21" Cintiq 21UX touch screen monitor promised to make my dream a reality. But as often happens, things didn't turn out as smoothly in the real world as they did in my imaginings.
This specialty monitor isn't for everyone; Wacom has aimed the Cintiq squarely at graphics professionals, or hobbyists with fat wallets. You can use it with a wide range of applications--everything from graphics and Web design to architecture and video creation.
Testing my shipping unit with Adobe Photoshop was a real treat. I found myself working almost exclusively with the program's brush palette, switching out different tips and making little digital paintings and drawings. The monitor had me using Photoshop in a totally different way, and it allowed me to spend more time following my creative fancy.
The monitor sits on a rugged, swivelled stand that makes it easy to tilt the 8.5 kilogram display from roughly 20 degrees short of vertical (Wacom claims 10 degrees) down to nearly flat.
This flexibility accommodates different styles of drawing and also eases the ergonomic impact of holding your arm up for long periods of time. My arm soon tired after drawing with the monitor upright; however, after I switched to a more horizontal position, my fatigue eased. In fact I found the horizontal position best for drawing. Swivelling back to the upright position (which I found best for reading) was a breeze.
Unfortunately, the monitor doesn't reach a full 90 degrees vertical when in its stand, so I found the glare from overhead lights was always a problem. It also doesn't lay completely flat, so I was always dealing with some tilt.
Another limitation: you can't rotate the screen from a landscape to a portrait orientation to work on Web pages or on long, thin images.
You can connect the monitor to your computer using either the VGA or DVI connector. The analog signal showed some softness, especially when viewing text, but the digital one produced a sharp image with good colour and contrast. When you look closely at the screen, you notice the extremely fine horizontal lines that sense the stylus tip on the screen. At a normal viewing distance, however, these lines aren't apparent.
Thin touch pads on the left and right sides of the monitor frame make it easy to scroll and reposition the cursor. Four programmable buttons--two on each side of the display--access any menu, shortcut or key combination (if the buttons get in the way of your drawing, you can disable them). The control panel for the Cintiq even allows you to configure the buttons for specific applications--so you might have one set of controls for Photoshop and a different set for Corel Painter, for example.
The Cintiq's brightness, contrast and other controls reside in an awkward position on the top of the monitor, which makes it difficult to adjust while you're sitting down. Perhaps the engineers at Wacom considered this when they put Braille-like dots on the controls so that you could feel your way around them.
The reality of working on a display the way I do on paper came up a touch short of my hopes and expectations. Still, at a lower price and with a little more flexibility in positioning, the Cintiq could well become the monitor of my dreams.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Miofive 4K Dash Cam review: This friendly road watcher is ‘here for you!’
- 2 Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: This 4K monitor plays nice with consoles
- 3 Firewalla Gold review: Powerful home network security in a tiny box
- 4 Alienware AW3423DW review: Quantum dot OLED renders rival monitors obsolete
- 5 Acer Aspire 5 review: An affordable laptop that’s enjoyable to use
Latest News Articles
- DisplayPort’s new labels avoid the confusion plaguing HDMI cables
- Dell’s latest 4K USB-C hub monitors get contrast-boosting ‘IPS Black’ powers
- Alienware’s ultrawide OLED monitor is perfect PC gaming excess
- Something for everybody in Acer’s new models
- Samsung's curviest Odyssey gaming monitors are coming to Aus in August
PCW Evaluation Team
Set up is effortless.
The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.
Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
- Best Click Frenzy mobile and Internet plan deals
- Microsoft’s iconic browser Internet Explorer is being killed off in June
- Best Unlimited Internet Deals in 2022
- 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