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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- AbleGamers' Player Panels could make future games more disability-friendly
- G-Sync HDR displays go ultrawide and ultra-fast with the 200Hz Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ
- Dell's luscious new 4K monitor is bold, bright, and HDR-infused
- Samsung's 49-inch mega-wide display may displace multi-monitor setups
- More high-end GPUs are now compatible with Dell's 8K monitor
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Ford Everest Trend RWD 3.2L Diesel review
- Ford Everest Trend in its natural habitat
- Linksys Velop mesh WiFi review
- 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
- FTSupport AnalystOther
- CCJava EngineerNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorOther
- FTSenior Operations Support OfficerACT
- FTDrupal DeveloperQLD
- CCSAP Hana DeveloperSA
- TPReporting AnalystQLD
- FTSenior MS Dynamics CRM DeveloperOther
- FTAccount Manager (Infrastructure Transition) - MULTIPLE ROLESSA
- FTBusiness Development ManagerOther
- FTTeam Lead / Senior Software Engineer - Python, Perl, LinuxOther
- FTCommercial / Contract ManagerOther
- FTBig Data ArchitectOther
- FTFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTBizTalk Technical Lead - BRISBANEWA
- CCSAP BO LeadNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantOther
- CCServiceNow SpecialistQLD
- CCJava webMethods DeveloperWA
- TPProduct OwnerVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerACT
- FTProject ManagerACT
- CCChange ManagerNSW