on January 11, 2012
This is a preliminary review, since I just received my 24HD tablet last night, but already it seems worth the large cash investment. As a bit of background, I'm a professional animator and illustrator who does a fair amount of freelance work from my home office. I use an Intuous3 tablet at work, and I love it and have never had a problem with the disconnect between tablet and monitor. That said, nothing quite beats being able to work directly on the screen. I've owned the 12WX Cintiq for a few years, and while I've enjoyed the Cintiq experience of drawing directly on the screen, the working area is simply too small and flawed (there is a terrible mouse shake on the edges of the screen that has been noted by many reviewers on the 12WX's product page) to allow me to do what I really need to. After lusting after the 24HD since it's debut last October, I finally bit the bullet and invested in it.
This Cintiq, first of all, is ENORMOUS. It comes very well packed in a huge box; the risk of any damage during shipping is minimal, and there are good picture instructions for removing it from the box safely (it weighs in at close to 70 pounds, so it's recommended you get a friend to help you move it from the box to your desk). Its working area is the same as a 24" widescreen monitor, with a healthy border around the outside for all your programmable express keys, which have been redesigned to be even more functional (I'm relieved at the lack of the touch strips, which I always end up disabling). The industrial design is great; unlike the 12WX, which had cables and adaptor bricks spilling all over the place, all the cabling is already hooked up out of the box and is neatly contained inside the Cintiq's support arms. Only three cables stick out the very back: power, USB and video. It's a nice, clean design that's very easy to hook up. I was up and running in less than 5 minutes! There are instructions included for how to disassemble this setup if you ever need to swap out or replace the cables. There's also a new pen design that's quite nice, and all the various nibs are neatly stored in the pen's stand so you can never lose them.
The Cintiq's screen itself is gorgeous, with an interesting soft texture to it that feels more like paper than you'd expect. Apparently it's a special coating that CAN become scratched if you allow grease and dirt to build up on it and then use the pen, so I'm going to take pains from the outset to keep the screen very clean and free of oils from my hands. I'm happy to report the the mouse shake flaw of the 12WX is completely gone; you can draw all the way up to the edges of the screen with no problems, and the pen sensitivity, at over 2,000 levels, is the best I've used yet from Wacom. Color also seems very accurate, though I don't do a lot of fine color work that requires advanced calibration, so I can't speak as much on that area.
Because of its size, this Cintiq has the bonus of completely replacing my monitor, and so is now my primary computer display, which certainly makes my video card a lot happier! It was designed with this use in mind; the clever weighted base and support arm design allows the screen to sit completely upright as a monitor for normal use, tilted down into your lap as if it were a large drawing pad, or any angle in between that you could want.
Bottom line, this is an amazing product that will definitely boost my workflow. As I use it more I'll be able to speak to durability and other details of it, but for now it's made quite an impression. Good job, Wacom!
on February 22, 2012
As the flagship model in Wacom's Cintiq line (and pretty much all the rest of their tablets), I was expecting a high-end, professional product. What I got was a dream come true. The look and feel of this thing screams luxury, with solid machined aluminum armature, silky smooth satin finish screen, and a sturdy (and heavy) counterweighted base. As other people have stated, it is a mammoth machine, so make sure you have the desk real estate. It also functions perfectly well as your primary monitor (in fact it defaults to this setup the first time you turn on the tablet). Initial setup is a breeze, and I had no problems installing drivers or updates. The included digitizer stylus functions flawlessly, and the replacement nibs in the pen holder are a big bonus, although as of writing this I have used the same felt tip nib everyday for three weeks and it still looks brand new. It also performs perfectly with any sort of digital media creation program you could wish for: Photoshop, Painter, GIMP, Open Canvas, Sketchup, Alchemy, Sketchbook Pro, Sculptris, Zbrush, and Blender just to name a few.
I have found the ergonomics of this tablet to be very pleasing. I slide the base of the device to the edge of my desk, and then "hang" the tablet over the edge and into my lap. This position is very comfortable, which allows me to focus on my drawing and painting instead of how much my back hurts! The screen itself is bright and vibrant, although it doesn't match up to the iMac's screen in terms of brightness, resolution, or color clarity. I have yet to run any color calibration software on it, but from what I've heard from other 24hd owners, that usually takes care of the problem.
The only thing that I find even remotely "negative" about the tablet is the noise of the fan, which is negligible, and only really "loud" upon startup. It soon quiets down to a manageable level, and I'm sure it's necessary to keep the internal components cool. The top of the 24hd does get a bit warm after hours of continuous use, but this too is only a minor issue. Also, the screen takes about a minute to warmup and reach it's maximum brightness.
Overall, I have been very pleased with my purchase. I have used other "lesser" tablets at computer stores or at friends' houses, and I must say that I am extremely glad I waited and saved up to get the 24hd. It outperforms all others I have tried, plus my friends are all green with envy when they come over! They always ask me if they can draw on it. In closing, if you are a digital artist who has always felt confined by your toolset, or if you have longed for a time where the only thing that limited you was your talent, then I HIGHLY recommend that you get yourself a Cintiq 24hd. It's very big and very pricey, but it's a worthwhile investment that is bound to pay for itself in the long run!
Side note: I went through tekserve.com to order mine. They are a fantastic computer hardware company based out of New York. They sell the 24hd at MSRP ($2600), they have loads of cheap shipping options, and their customer service is top-notch. I HIGHLY recommend them!!!
on February 15, 2012
Of course this is a gorgeous, lovely graphics monitor. I spent over eight hours on it the first day I received it. Just a couple tips for Mac users:
1) if you have a newer iMac you likely have a mini-DisplayPort on your desktop so be sure to get an adapter cable. I didn't realize this and so had to wait another day for AMZN to ship one out to me. Be advised said miniDP-to-DVI cables are NOT cheap. I opted for the StarTech.com MDP2DVID Mini DisplayPort to DVI Dual-Link Active Adapter - USB Powered which was a few bucks cheaper than the Apple branded one and didn't have nearly as many reported problems with firmware and performance. Note that the "dual link" feature ups the price of what would normally be a ~$10 cable but I'm highly satisfied with the performance; the image transference is flawless.
2) On said iMac, I found that mirroring the monitors works best for me with little tweaking of my iMac's display settings.
3) Be prepared...this Cintiq is HUGE. I knew, of course, that it was 24" but goodness! I'm now in the market for a new computer desk because the setup I currently have going where the Cintiq sits in front of the iMac leaves me queasy and biting my nails in worry each night that my husband may bump into the desk while walking around the living room in the dead of night and send my beloved toys heading for the floor :)
4) Out of the box (and once I had the DVI cable) I had an issue where, upon powering the Cintiq up, I kept getting the "no display input found" message. I was close to tearing my hair out thinking I hadn't set something up correctly when I finally broke down and called Wacom tech support. FYI: Wacom's tech support ROCKS! Now, bear in mind I did register this device prior to calling (while installing the software) so I'd highly recommend doing this. The guy on the other line was extremely patient while I tried for about 10 mins to pry the left rear panel off the back of the Cintiq and we found the problem right off (he nailed it from the beginning of the call after some very good probing questions): the USB cable that runs to the side of the Cintiq beneath this panel was loose. After securing it, the Cintiq came up just fine and he even walked me through how to calibrate the pen and set up the quick settings on a Mac (if you have an Apple computer and have called any non-Apple tech support for help using a product alongside a Mac you know EXACTLY what I mean). I was very impressed with Wacom tech support, needless to say.
As for the Cintiq itself, I'm totally in love with this device and satisfied with every penny spent on it. No regrets here! Any artist (professional or otherwise) should do him/herself a huge SOLID and buy this instrument. I've drawn on tablets for about a decade (Wacoms and a tablet PC) and this is by FAR the best one of them all. The customization of the pen tool alone makes this thing worth the price. I churned out several character designs in one night on Manga Studio (you can set application-specific actions with the tool!), which is more drawing in a single work day than I've done in YEARS; it's just that easy to draw on. The pen glides across that huge screen, there's ZERO lag between the Cintiq and my computer (cable could have something to do w/ that, too) and the adjustable stand was probably the most useful innovation they could incorporate aside from the two-sided wheels for us lefties;)
One last thing, after about eight hours on this thing I came back the next morning to see some smudges on the screen (while it was off) that I wasn't aware I'd left with my hands. I've opted for the POSRUS Antiglare Touch Screen Protector for Wacom Cintiq 24HD Pen Display DTK2400; I thought initially it wouldn't be a big deal, but honestly after spending $2700 on this puppy, the mere thought of anything being left on the screen was unacceptable. As soon as I get the screen protector I'll leave a review of that item on its own page.
on July 2, 2013
I make cartoons on a weekly basis. I'm left handed and use shortcuts like a madman!
I upgraded to the Cintiq 24HD from an Intuos 4 Medium. Here are my thoughts after 2 months of owning this expensive investment:
The screen is sweet, the pen is nice, and I was able to use my classic Intuos 4 pen without problems! I love having the monitor on my lap! The large screen gives me room to add extra detail to my work and I don't have to zoom in as much as I did with my previous tablet. I really like the anchor weight for the monitor, it feels sturdy! 1920x1200 resolution is wonderful. That said, here are a few personal preferences that I'm not fond of:
I dislike the button placement compared to the Intuos 4. The buttons are mirrored on both sides of the Cintiq and there's less of them than the 22"HD. I loved having all my shortcuts on one side of the screen so I could have my drawing hand free of pressing buttons and it prevented me from accidentally touching them while I worked (an issue I had with Intuos 3). I don't have that issue much since the Cintiq is so big, but it's a lot more efficient to click the tool I need with the pen than to stop drawing and press the buttons on the side of the screen. Because of the placement I don't use the buttons on half of the screen.
The buttons are a bit unresponsive when I scrub through frames of my animations. If I tap too quickly it doesn't register. I have to slow down to 1 tap every second just to get the buttons to work. All the buttons are like this!
5 shortcuts on each side isn't enough for me. I had to resort to using my keyboard which is either placed beside the monitor cramping my hand or under my monitor where I can't see what I'm pressing. Since the screen doesn't lock in place, (It's either up straight like a regular monitor, resting on your lap, or on the edge of your desk) the weight is always resting on my arms. Even on a bigger desk, putting my keyboard off to the side just forces me to twist while typing. Using a keyboard with this tablet feels awkward.
Drawing on the screen is a great gimmick that improves the quality of your work, but the lack of buttons and odd placement slows down my work flow. Keep that in mind if you're used to using short cuts. It may sound like I'm being nitpicky, but button placement is key to getting my work done quickly and efficiently. For $2,600 I feel that I should at least bring up these preferences.
If you don't use shortcuts, then this tablet will be a real treat for you.
on December 10, 2014
You're probably thinking that this thing will be like using a Wacom device but with the added ability to draw right on top of what you see. It's better than that. No one tells you what it's really like to lean over this 24-inch monster. No one tells you that it's like being INSIDE the application, like you're standing waist-deep in the canvas area, surrounded by palettes and icons and menu items.
See, right now, you're probably making the mistake of comparing it to your iMac or other 27"-plus monitor and thinking, "24-inches isn't all that." Except you forgot that this is the monitor you work pressed up against. How far do you sit back from your current monitor? Three feet? Five? From a pure perspective standpoint, that would make the 24HD comparable to at least a 50-inch. That's what it feels like; you aren't working in Photoshop or Zbrush. You're SWIMMING in it.
Which is why I'm stymied by much of the negativity I'm seeing in other reviews. Fan noise? I hear it kick in for three seconds when I turn it on, and then I never hear it again. Resolution? Admittedly I was concerned about this as well, but once you're standing knee deep in this thing, I can't imagine you'll even think about it anymore. To tell the truth, I'm wondering now if a higher resolution might make it more difficult to draw, since icons and palettes will only get smaller and smaller as the resolution goes up. Screen brightness? Yeah, it looks dim compared to an iMac's Halogen LED lighthouse panel, but again, when you're right on top of this thing working, you'll never hear yourself say, "Man, this thing could be brighter." If I worked this close to my iMac, I'd probably have third-degree burns and flash-fried retinas after about an hour or two. The 24HD is plenty bright enough, thank you very much.
Every concern I had about the 24HD was born out of reviews I'd read on the internet, and every one of them vaporized five minutes into actually using it. Photoshop has gone from the software middle-man between me and my art to the clothing I wear while creating it. An hour or two of Zbrush or Mudbox, and you just might catch yourself trying to wash clay off your hands in the nearest sink.
Is it perfect? No. The express keys do sometimes stick (about once an hour on average), and you'll need two desks now...BOTH for the 24HD, but for at least a week after you get it, they couldn't wipe the smile off your face with a crowbar.
I also invested in some Duralar sheets, which I cut and secured over the screen with black masking tape. I did this out of fear that, in time, the nibs might scratch up the screen like they used to with the older 21UX. I haven't seen a single case of that occurring with the 24HD, but I'm not taking a chance.
Get it...it's amazing. Pinky-swear.
on November 9, 2013
I am a digital illustrator and graphic designer and was born and bred with Wacom graphic tablets. I have them all, from the Graphire (remember those?), to the Bamboo, upgraded to the Intuos and in the past 10 year have dived into the world of the on-screen Cintiqs. It is true that the Cintiqs will be the end-all, you will never use anything else for digital painting. But there are different models and sizes and all of them are expensive. I hope my review will help explain my human experiences with the Cintiqs which I have had the opportunity to work with. In all cases, my experience with each model has been over a year, full time, everyday. And just so you don't have to skip ahead, yes the 24HD has been my favorite. I will not be reviewing the technical specs of these tools as you can find comparisons anywhere else, but instead I will comment on the user experience and hope you can make your choice that way. As a disclaimer, I wear glasses and have bad eyesight so my experience with adjusting these things may not be the same as yours.
I started out with the Cintiq 12WX and the upgraded to the 13HD. You can find comparisons of the high def colors and screen specs anywhere else, but physically both of them are pretty much the same. They are quite small, about the size of a legal pad and you can lay them flat on the table, or prop it up (using a sort of picture frame leg thing on the back) on your desk. The propping thing does nothing for me, it just hurts my wrist. Try propping up a legal pad on the table like a picture frame and see if you like it. Some place the tablet on their laps. I also have a separate computer and keyboard for shortcuts (not a laptop) so this affects my station. As I use the Cintiq often, it is practically my primary display and therefore must be placed in front of me. I don't even use a mouse. Suffice to say, the easiest way for me to work is to place the small Cintiq flat on the table and the keyboard below. This results in me having to hunch over the tablet and over time, really hurts my back. My colleagues have a variety of ways to combat this, with pillows and ergonomic chairs and things but many complain of the same issues of hunching over the small Cintiq eventually. The screen is also pretty small and cannot display much, which can present a problem to artists who need lots of windows open for references or netflix or chatboxes. A secondary display is almost necessary. It can almost be claustrophobic. It's a cheaper Cintiq and very well made, but require a little posture adjusting to get used to. I used these two Cintiqs for over 3 years. I would buy it again only if I had to.
At the same time, I use a 21UX at home on an iMac. This is an older model but like the 22HD touch, it sits on a kind of propped up lazy susan thing and stays ON the table. The angle changes from high to low and twists left to right and that's it. I cannot comment on the 22HD touch as I do not have it, but I would like to mention my use of the 21UX which I assume is based on the same design. As it props up high on the table, my posture is much improved as I can sit up and lift my hand to use it. With a lumbar pillow on my back, it is actually comfortable. However, as you can probably imagine, my arm gets tired after a while! Since the 21UX stands on propped legs, the actual usable screen is a good 5-7inches from the table. In order to utilize the whole working surface of the 21UX, all 17x12inches of it, the arm has to be lifted and cannot rest. This results in tired elbows propped on the table and using only the bottom half of the screen, and I just move the document using the spacebar. I rarely use the top half of the surface. There is another thing to note, and I am not sure if they have solved this problem: it gets hot! The screen gets hot enough that it is uncomfortable for the arm to stay on it for a long period of time. It has to constantly move. Of course, I love my 21UX but I feel these little problems are worth mentioning. Perhaps a taller person with longer arms will not have the same problem. I have used the 21UX for over 4 years, and still use it at home. I would buy it again if this one breaks. But then...
The 24HD came along. This product was ordered for me at work to replace the small Cintiqs. I use a Mac Pro at work. Good lord! First off, this thing is huge. Like seriously. You need real estate on your desk for this thing, or else it's just going to break. I wouldn't put this thing on one of those flimsy glass computer desk things. It weighs like 8 pounds! Be sure to have a sturdy surface to prop your baby.. and in most cases this Cintiq will be worth more than the desk anyway. There is also an option to drill into the desk to secure it further.
This may not be a good gift for a beginner. Sure, it is an amazing tool but takes up so much room that said beginner will not have space for anything else if s/he decides digital drawing is not for him/her. It's not like you can ignore a 24HD if you don't like it. Heck, even the box it came in is bigger than I am. This is a tablet for someone who is deep in the world of digital art and is willing to give up a good chunk of desk space for it. A beginner would probably be happier with a more portable 12WX. I would, if I was a beginner.
The 24HD is made in a way that it is adjustable in angle and height. You can choose to lean over it, or prop it up, or angle it steeply or otherwise. It's hard to explain with words, but if you youtube it, you can see all the different ways to set it up. It's by no means perfect, but a LOT better than the others. I have mine set up just right so I don't have to sit up and tire out my arms, and don't have to bend down too much to hurt my back. With lumbar support, I bend down from the hips just right to comfortably paint.
Did I mention this thing is huge? It really is overwhelming. It does get hot as well but I don't think it gets as bad as the 21UX. The buttons on the side are not comfortable to press and requires a bit of pressure, so I just ignore them. They come preset with a bunch of default settings, which is pretty intuitive, but I am set in my ways with my old keyboard shortcuts and sticking with it. Which brings me to the conundrum.. where to put the keyboard? Definitely not below the Cintiq, there is no space for it. Under it is not feasible as well. Th obvious question is to put it over the top. It's not as uncomfortable as it sounds. A colleague puts his on his lap. Another bought duct tape to tape it over the top. There are devices specially made to prop up a keyboard over the top. I have found the perfect solution: An apple keyboard. These keyboards come with a little slot at the top to prop up the keyboard at an angle. Just slide it over the Cintiq and it stays propped on, no need for duct tape or fancy devices. It is also surprisingly sturdy! That's what I call a happy accident.
I have been using this 24HD for about 3 months now, and let's just say I am quite in love with it. When it is all set up on your desk, it feels like an entire studio is all there on my finger tips. With the other Cintiqs I am always aware of it being a tablet, but with this guy.. I don't know. I get past that and go straight to my painting. There is no delay, no stylus shakiness, no fuzzy screens, no offset between point and stylus and the screen is coated with that lovely texture that comes with all Cintiqs.. a soft toothy texture that feels like fine paper. If you have the money and the space for it, this Cintiq will end your other Cintiqs. I am going to get one for myself now that I am a convert, and if I have to get it twice over, I will.
on December 8, 2012
I'll start with the positive, since there aren't too many negative things so far.
It saves me so much time when I'm drawing or coloring digitally. I'm an art student, so I use it often. There are so many great features that after a month of owning it, I'm still learning it all. Being able to change the tilt of the screen is extremely helpful. I get tired of sitting in one position for too long, so changing the tilt keeps it fresh and keeps me from being uncomfortable. It took me two years to save up enough money to buy this, and it was definitely worth it.
I only have a few negative things to say about it. First, it's huge and heavy. I'm a tiny girl, so I definitely needed a second person to help lift it up onto my desk (the instructions it comes with said so too). And because it's huge, it takes up a lot of space on a desk. Also, it gets dusty fairy quickly. Setting it up was a huge pain, but it's because I didn't know what the real problem was. I used the VGA plug to connect the Cintiq to my pc, and every time I did the screen on the Cintiq would say "No Input Signal." If anyone ever has this same problem, the solution is simple: update your graphics card driver. It took me days to figure that out, so I don't want anyone else to go through the same thing.
on July 25, 2014
Whenever one has to start a review of anything with a qualifier, it has to be something worthwhile. Let's get the good out of the way: Wacom continues to show why they are the standard for creative tools. The 24HD is a wonder to work with, with incredibly smooth pen strokes, brilliant colour display, easy to use shortcut keys and is very easy to position to where you want it. I am glad I bought it and don't regret the decision as it paid for itself inside of a month. I highly recommend it to any professional artist able to afford it.
That said, I have 2 major complaints.
First of all, the drawing surface. While it is very smooth to draw on and gives no resistance issues or sticking on the strokes, a big problem I have is that the surface is made of a softer plastic than the pen nibs. This means in short that the pen will always leave small scratches on the surface. Over time, it begins to build up and can affect the feel of the pen strokes. I actually got a full on scratch on mine without applying too much pressure. Scratches however are not covered by the warrenty and sending it in to be replaced/fixed will run you another hundred some-odd dollar fee on top of the high shipping cost.
Second and worst of all: the support. I had to have my unit shipped to me 3 times. The first time was due to multiple stuck pixels, which are not covered by wacom's warranty unless in major clusters. Thankfully I was able to return it to Macmall with no hassles. The second unit I got had a scratch on the screen and still more dead pixels. At that point, I decided I would call Wacom and have them fix it as scratches were covered. That said, they did not offer a return shipping label and I was hit by an additional 80 dollar fee to get it fixed (the 24HD weighing 28.6KG does not help this). Upon its return, not only did the screen have NEW dead pixels but the left adjustment handle had been chipped and a piece broken off.
After that hassle, Wacom simply shipped me a new unit. It works perfectly.
While I do highly recommend this unit, I will not say that wacom is the best when it comes to customer service and I long await the day when they have actual competition that some can say surpass their quality for less.
on February 14, 2012
This tablet is the best in the market, and one of the largest. It has a beatutiful 24" screen, and unlike the 12WX, it does not have the edge wiggle that occurs when the pen reaches the edges of the tablet. The color, after calibrating, is very accurate. When it arrives, the box is massive and getting the tablet out can be a bit difficult, just make sure to read the insert to properly take it out. It comes with "light" versions of some software, like Photoshop, Corel, and Sketchbook by Autodesk. Keep in mind that these are not the full version of the software, but "light" and for most that will purchase this tablet, it really will not be used. But for those who do not have any programs, these will work just fine for basic drawings and designs. Although you can not rotate the actual tablet when drawing, you do have a rotate option on the tablet itself that rotates the image, without having to rotated the actual tablet. I would caution those wanting to purchase this tablet, that there are many companies selling this for above $2600, and I would not purchase this tablet for a penny above,...well maybe a penny over. Unfortunately, this is one of the few products that Amazon does not have a good price on, one seller is selling this for $3100 plus an insane shipping charge, I would look elsewhere.
on November 21, 2013
I love this Cintiq. I don't really have any complaints other than the fact that I got 1 dead pixel toward the center of the screen. I'm going to let that slide, but if another one shows up I'll be contacting Wacom for a replacement. On a normal monitor I probably wouldn't care, but with the Cintiq you generally have it very close to you while you're drawing on it. Also, for $2,500 I would expect it to be perfect. Otherwise, great piece of technology that is really invaluable for any digital artist. If you can afford it, I suggest buying one. Sell that old iMac if you have to, that's what I did!