Wacom’s new entry-level Cintiq pen display is more attractive than ever


posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 3:51 PM EDT

Wacom's lustworthy Cintiq pen display lineup now has a new entry-level model, with the introduction of the Wacom Cintiq 13HD. List pricing is unchanged at US$1,000 or thereabouts, but compared to the previous Cintiq 12WX, you now get a lot more for your money, making the 13HD an interesting proposition for photographers on a budget.

Most notably, the LCD screen has been upgraded, which is great news. Built-in screens make the Cintiq series more intuitive than the company's pen tablet lineup; you see the results right beneath the pen tip, just as you would with an airbrush or pen. The Cintiq 13HD's screen is now both 20 percent larger, has much smaller pixels for a crisper image, and provides both greater brightness and wider viewing angles.

Wacom's Cintiq 13HD pen display has a larger, clearer, brighter screen.

The earlier 12WX had a 10.3 x 6.4-inch screen with 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, a 0.2mm dot pitch, 180 cd/m2 brightness, and 85-degree viewing angles off-axis either horizontally or vertically. In its place is a new 11.75 x 6.75-inch display with 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, 0.15mm dot pitch, 250 cd/m2 brightness, and 89-degree viewing angles.

Despite that larger screen, the Cintiq 13HD is also quite a bit smaller than its predecessor. In all, Wacom has managed to shave about 1.25 x 0.75 x 0.17 inches off the new model, partly by switching to a more compact control layout with four ExpressKey buttons and a four-position rocker ring with central home button. Overall size is now 14.75 x 9.75 x 0.5 inches, without the bundled, detachable stand, and the Cintiq 13HD weighs just 2.65 pounds.

The 13HD also ships bundled with a more sensitive pen than did its predecessor.

Wacom has also bundled the Cintiq 13HD with the same more sensitive pen used on its other recent displays, which can detect 2,048 pressure levels for both pen and eraser functions. By contrast, the pen included with the 12WX had only half the sensitivity, detecting 1,024 pressure levels for either function. And where the 12WX had a proprietary video output connected to a video control box with DVI port, the Cintiq 13HD now sports a standard HDMI port.

The Wacom Cintiq 13HD ships in the US market from April 2013. More details on the Wacom website.