This is the Cintiq Pro 24. Wacom’s top of the line, almost, drawing display. This unit was provided to me by Wacom for this review. This is not a sponsored video so as always my opinions are my own.
So what is this? It’s a pen display. It’s a giant pen display. Think of it like a computer monitor that sits on your desk that you plug into a Windows or Mac computer and you can draw on it using the included pen.
Like the name says it has a 24” screen, but that’s just the screen, the device itself is gigantic. It takes up most of my desk and it’s so big it’s a little hard to film. That is literally the best problem I’ve ever had.
The actual dimensions corner to corner are more like 30”. There is a lot of extra space around the side. It seems like every device nowadays is trying to get rid of as much of the bezel as possible letting the screen go edge to edge. But here I think it’s a good thing. So all you bezzle snarks out there calm down.
When you’re drawing having your hand fall of the edge of your display is a bad thing. The smooth consistent flatness of it gives your hand room to slide especially when hitting tools along the sides.
Also on these newer displays Wacom has been doing away with the express keys and instead including their handy dandy express key remote. This is more flexible, if you want the keys lower or on the right side instead of the left you just move it.
It’s also magnetized with a rubbery grip along the bottom. It really gripps the display, you’re not going to accidentally going to knock it off.
Well you CAN knock it off, but you know what I mean.
I don’t want to spend to much time on the remote, but it’s uber customizable. A ton of buttons, modes customizable for separate programs, you can really go to town. It’s also battery powered, rechargeable and last a good long while, I charged it up a couple days ago and it’s still at 100%.
The 24” screen is a high density display 3840 x 2160. Wacom is the only company out there right now making screens at this high of a resolution for pen displays.
And it looks good, when you get something this big, it really is notice on these big displays. With a drawing display you’re usually hoving right over it, it’s not at an arm's length away like a normal monitor so having this resolution does make a big difference, it’s much crisper.
Another thing Wacom has done with this screen is reduce the amount of space between the glass and the screen below it. And when you get the screen and the pen calibrated right it really does take away the parallax you see on some pen displays.
I don’t know a whole lot about color and profiles, but this does have 99% Adobe RGB color gamut and the colors do look good right out of the box.
You’re probably noticed along the top there are some light up icons. These are touch buttons that only light up when the display is on. You can do things like bring up the screen properties or an onscreen keyboard, the wacom settings.
There is also a touch icon that lets you toggle on and off touch mode on the display. You can get this with or without touch. The one they sent me does have touch. It does cost more, a lot more to get the touch option.
I don’t think the touch is a good fit for me. I’m going to dive into the touch features later in this video. Because first I really want to talk about what I do the most on this which is drawing and using the pen.
This is using Wacom’s Pro pen 2 which I’ve used several times now on their latest Intuos and Mobile Studio Pro. This is a pen that feels very good. It checks al the boxes in terms of functionality. You have 8000 levels of pressure sensitivity It has full tilt support It doesn’t require batteries or charging And in a nutshell feels really great to draw with.
Sometimes the feel of a pen can be hard to put into words. And we use numbers in order to describe if something is good or not. And putting the pen to the screen for the first time it just felt so natural and organic, it’s hard to describe that feeling. It’s the feeling I get with the Apple pencil, occasionally with a 3rd party device but not very often.
It doesn’t feel like drawing on paper but like paper the pen does exactly what you want it to do when you want it to. The lines are always better smooth, the pressure feels perfectly calibrated.
I feel like the rat in Ratatouille trying to explain how food works. Oh man it’s depressing when you realize rats are better at explaining things than you are.
Wacom is one of those devices I grade pens against. I get really smooth lines pressure feels good. The only thing I could ding this for in my pen test is that it blobs up a little on really fast hatch lines, but by slowing it down just a little you can get rid of that pretty easily.
The texture you’re drawing on feels really good. It’s etched glass, I’m not sure if it’s REAL etched glass or if that’s just what they call the coating on it. But it does give a little bit of texture.
The screen does get warm, not hot, just kind of warm. This time of year I like it because my office is cold. In the summer I would probably wear a drawing glove so my hand doesn’t stick. The other thing that you will definitely notice is that this has a fan in it. It doesn’t run all the time but occasionally kicks on for a couple seconds at a time. I timed it and it usually blows for about 20 seconds every couple minutes. It’s not super loud, but definitely notice. It’s about as loud as my PS4 when the fan is on. That’s the best description I can come up with. Should have the rat do it for me.
It naturally sits at a pretty comfortable angle for drawing. It has legs but no stand, there is a really awesome ergo stand Wacom offers, I’ve watched them demo it, it looks great but it’s also extra.
Settup was pretty easy. The Cintiq comes with a bunch of cables to hook it up. You can go the HDMI and usb rout. I decided to try the USB-C cable since it will drive the display and functionality all with one cord.
In order to set it up you have to pull off this back plate. At first It feels like it might break when you take it off but it won’t, it’s designed to pop in and out.
The reason this big space is back here is there is something called the Cintiq engine. It’s a ful blown Windows PC that slides into the back of the cintiq turning it into an all in one similar to tan iMac or something like that. It’s a cool idea, I don’t have one of those to test and they are pretty pricy. Since I have a pretty good computer to run this on I’m better off just hooking it up to what I have. But as a concept I like the idea of doing an all in one with this, your cintiq display should outlast your computer so being able to swap one out is pretty cool.
Since the price is pretty hight It would be cool to see some enterprising PC maker come along and make something more affordable that fits this.
The biggest gripe I hear about Wacom in the comments are the drivers. My experience setting this up and Wacom in general has been pretty smooth. When I set this up I uninstalled the last tablet I tested, the Veikk 1560, and then installed these drivers, rebooted and it worked perfectly. Did that on both Windows and on Mac and I’ve had zero problems it worked exactly the way I expected to.
As a reviewer It’s hard to judge technical issues. If you go to a forum or reddit page it’s hard to tell if there are isolated conflicts a couple users are having or if it’s a widespread issue. But my personal experience has been very positive and it was very easy to get set up with little or even no fiddling.
SO what are the pros? It’s huge and the display is beautiful. There is little to no parallax, lots o’ pixels. This really is top of the line, it comes with a hefty price tag but if you’re willing to pay for the best you know you’re getting the best. I love drawing with Wacom’s pens I still hold them up as my gold standard for drawing. This is no different, this is really an amazing drawing experience.
Cons: There is only one BIG thing here I really didn’t like. That is the touch features. It just picked up my palm far to much. I was accidentally rotating the screen or toggling off a layer. It was nice to pinch and zoom or pan around and Wacom makes it super easy to toggle on and off. And I tried a workflow where I would reach up and turn on the touch to move and zoom and then then tap it again to turn it off while drawing because that’s where it got in the way. After a few minutes I figured might as well just use the express keys to zoom and pan it’s easier. And since the remote is so nice it was just a better workflow. There are some nice things things you can do with touch, especially using this on Windows which is built for a touch input. Having the on screen keyboard right there, and navigating was nice but for my workflow, which is mostly drawing it hindered more than helped. And for a whopping $500 more for an illustration workflow I don’t think it’s worth it, it’s probably better to go with the less expensive non-touch version of this Cintiq. The rest of my cons are more knitpicks or even preferences. Coating refracts light when you get in really close to the screen. For me this isn’t a con, but for some people it will be. The etched glass can dull the colors but that same texture that feels really good to draw on. It’s a tradeoff, some won’t care for it, I like it. There is a fan on this, It keeps the display from ever getting really hot so that’s a good thing but you can hear it, not crazy loud, but it’s definitely there. No stand/mount - I know I’ve used larger drawing displays like this as my main monitor too. When I’m not drawing it I can just prop them up. It’s going to take some extra hardware to do that here.
Ultimately you’re paying for quality, if you’re are going to spend this much you just want it to feel good and from the second you plug it in and the pen first hits the screen it does that it just feels great. That is what you’re buying.
If you’re going to pay a premium price you want a premium looking and feeling product and it does, it does look elegant on your desk.
And there are a lot of details that probably don’t matter but are really nice to see. The light but buttons along the top that are completely hidden until the display turns on. The little color rings you can put on your stylus to customize it. The extra USB ports along the side. Just nice touches.
There is even a headphone jack, they don’t even put those on phones any more because… uh.. Capitalism?
In the end this sets the bar for me in what a drawing display should be and it meets those expectations. If you spend 8 hours a day drawing and you can afford it it’s a great product with very little compromise.