Review: Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13


Hey guys, I've managed to borrow a Wacom MobileStudio Pro from my friend Ben Qwek for this review.

When the MobileStudio Pro was first announced, I wrote an article talking about issues you should look out for. Now that I've used the device, I'm able to share with you my findings.

Before I start the review, let's look at the different configurations available.


There are two sizes, 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch, with the following configurations as listed:

13.3-inch MobileStudio Pro:

  • i5 chip, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage: £1,399 / €1,599.90 / US $1,499.95
  • i5 chip, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage: £1,649 / €1,899.90 / US $1,799.95
  • i7 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage: £1,799 / €1,999.90 / US $1,999.95
  • i7 chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage: £2,299 / €2,699.90 / US $2,499.95

15.6-inch MobileStudio Pro:

  • i5 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage: £2,199 / €2,599.90 / US$2,399.95
  • i7 chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage: £2,749 / €3,199.90 / US$2,999.95

You have options for Intel i5 vs i7 processors, 4 - 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage and the option of either Intel Iris Graphics 550, Nvidia Quadro M600M 2GB or the M1000M 4GB.

The huge price jump from the 13-inch 256GB and the 512GB model is the inclusion of the Intel® RealSense™ R200 3D scanning camera in the latter.


My friend uses the model with 13.3 inch screen, 16GM RAM, 512GB storage and Intel Iris Graphics 550.

What's included and not included

The box comes with

  • Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13
  • Wacom Pro Pen 2
  • pen case with 3 replacement nibs, color rings and nib removal tool pen holder
  • AC Power Adapter + power cable (USB Type C)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Cleaning cloth

Build quality

The unit weighs 1.42kg and feels very solid. Build quality is excellent

Because of the size, it's very portable. You'll want to get a sleeve for it though if you want to bring it around because it's expensive and you won't want any scratches on it.


On the back are huge hard rubber feet with good friction. The horizontal ventilation holes are hidden very nicely on the device, some along the edge, and some behind the raised rubber feet.

The surface finishing is mostly matte.


The Expresskeys have a firm feedback when pressed. There are 11 buttons total, include the 5 buttons on the rocker wheel. You can customise the buttons to any functions or keyboard shortcuts that you want.

Only the 512GB model has a fingerprint sensor that you can use to unlock the device at a touch.


The buttons and ports on this side are for volume, orientation lock, power and comes with 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.


On the other side there are 3 USB Type-C ports. They can be used for charging, or for connecting to an external monitor, or connecting to a Mac or Windows computer for use as a normal Cintiq — as in using the MobileStudio Pro as the external monitor instead.


To connect to another monitor or computer, to have the tethering option, you need the Wacom Link adapter that's sold separately.


This is the 3D camera. I don't use it so I've nothing to say. The model that has the 3D camera is significantly more expensive.

Screen


The 13.3 inch screen has a resolution of 2560 by 1440. Aspect ratio is 16:9.

I've mentioned in many of my other reviews for drawing tablets that such high resolution on small screens can be a downside when using older software that hasn't been updated for such high-res screen. For example Adobe CS6 and older software will have small user interface elements, such as small buttons and menus.

I used Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC and both look great. The menus and buttons are large enough and easy to click with the stylus. Individual pixels are not discernible and such high resolution (220PPI), graphic files, photos, vector art all look sharp.


The matte screen diffuses reflection and has a nice texture to draw on, a texture similar to their Wacom Intuos tablets. Shown in the photo is my glossy screen phone placed on top the MobileStudio Pro.

Colour reproduction is excellent with support up to 96% Adobe RGB. So this tablet is definitely fit for high end print production work where you need to compare printed proofs.

The only downside to the screen is the brightness. The brightness of 250cd/m2 is satisfactory but could be brighter. When working indoors, it's not going to be a problem though. Anyway, I use the tablet mostly at 50% brightness. The matte surface also affects the brightness. Glossy screens usually look brighter and more vibrant.

Battery life

Battery life depends on your usage. I was told by Ben then you can get 4 hours if you draw continuously. If you do processor intensive tasks, open lots of apps in the background, Youtube, music, all those things are going to affect battery life of course.



Charging is via any of three USB Type C ports available. The power brick is quite big.

Wacom Pro Pen 2


This is the second generation stylus for the Wacom digitizer displays.



It's nice to hold with the huge rubber grip. Two buttons are on the side.


Eraser is on the back. No battery is required to use the stylus.




The pen case includes a few replacement nibs, an in-built nib remover, and several coloured rings if you want to change the ring at near the nib section for aesthetic purposes.


This is the small pen holder that can be attached to the side of the tablet. I'll be very careful not to break that small extrusion inside the hole.

The Wacom Pro Pen 2 supports up to 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and 60 degrees of tilt range and level.

Customizing the settings


Just like other Wacom tablets, the MobileStudio Pro has lots of settings you can change, e.g. touch gestures, pressure curve, shortcut button mapping, etc.

Drawing performance

Drawing performance and functionality is excellent.

If you've used their Wacom Intuos products before, you can expect similar top level performance and sensitivity, except this time you're drawing on a screen. I've not actually used their Cintiq products so I can't compare. But without comparing to the Cintiq, the performance here is definitely more than satisfactory.


Parallax is minimal as the glass screen is quite close to the display. The cursor will always be beneath the pen tip but when you look at it from the side, it may not. So to get the best performance, it's best to calibrate the screen to remove the parallax error totally. Next is to customise your own pressure sensitivity curve — default settings work fine for me.

Drawing on the matte screen with the plastic tip provides a nice tactile feeling. It has just the right amount of friction that's close to that of pen on paper.

The stylus is accurate, responsive and has no glitches.


I've tried Photoshop CC and the strokes are smooth, tapers nicely and pressure sensitivity works as expected.


Same applies to Medibang Paint Pro and Adobe Illustrator.

The MobileStudio Pro has a touch screen and can support finger gestures, e.g. pinch to zoom, rotate, pan. Finger gestures depend on the support of apps that you use. Finger gestures work well with Photoshop, Illustrator and Medibang Paint Pro when I tried.

The hovering distance is around 1cm. Palm rejection is almost flawless, at least when I used the tablet I did not experience a single incident creating an unwanted stray stroke.

Unlike many other Windows tablets that I've reviewed, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Lenovo Miix 510 and Acer Switch Alpha 12, the MobileStudio Pro does not have any problems with drawing slow diagonal lines. In short, the lines from the MobileStudio Pro will always come out the way you expect them to be.

Was I able to detect any difference between 2048 vs 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity? Nope. Wacom's pen technology has been very good ever since their stylus supports 2048 levels of pressure. Their old pens are already very good. I can only say that this Pro Pen 2 is slightly better but there's no way for me to perform any conclusive tests.

Accessories not included

Wacom sells three accessories to go with the MobileStudio Pro. They are the keyboard, Wacom Link adapter and stand.


The stand offers three positions. I know of another stand that will work well with the MobileStudio Pro and that's the Artisul stand.

The Wacom Link is very useful since it allows you to connect to an external monitor, or allows you to use the tablet as an external monitor to your other computers.

Conclusion

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I've reviewed a lot of drawing tablets.

I can say confidently that the Wacom MobileStudio Pro is the best tablet that I've used. The price tag is certainly quite high but you do get what you pay for. You can certainly get other tablets at lower prices, but you will not be getting the drawing performance of the MobileStudio Pro — and if you do let me know.

I've not seen any other tablets that's able to match the MobileStudio Pro in terms of accuracy, except perhaps for the Lenovo Yoga Book but that's unpowered and has a small screen.

The MobileStudio Pro runs on Windows 10. You can use it with Mac also but you will need to connect it via the Wacom Link adapter (USD $69) to your Mac.

I don't really have much complaints except perhaps for the brightness which I feel can be brighter. Maybe battery life can be better too. Those are subjective.

The 13.3-inch model is a good size and highly portable. It's a delight to use it with apps that have been updated for high resolution screens. Should you need a larger screen, there's the 2.2kg 15.6-inch model with 4K resolution.

In terms of drawing performance, it gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me. If you're a digital artist who needs accuracy or who wants the best tablet to create digital art, definitely check out the MobileStudio Pro.

Pros
+ Sturdy build quality
+ Design looks great
+ Has 3 USB Type C ports
+ Matte screen that provides tactile surface to draw on
+ Has microSD slot for additional storage expansion
+ Nice weight for its size, 15.6-inch is much heavier
+ Large rubber grip on the back
+ Compact pen case with all the pen accessories inside
+ Wacom Pro Pen 2 has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ Pen has tilt sensitivity
+ 2560 by 1440 resolution is great, provided you use apps optimised for high res screens
+ Lots of customisation for the pen and shortcut buttons
+ Screen has good viewing angles and colours (96% Adobe RGB)
+ Able to install desktop and tablet apps
+ Snappy performance
+ Silent fan operation unless you're rendering video
+ It's not too warm when operating
+ Lots of different configurations available, but no 1TB storage option

Cons
- Battery life of 4 hours continuous use
- Brightness of 250cd/m2 could be higher
- Be careful not to break to small extruded part on the small pen holder
- Only the 512GB model has the fingerprint sensor
- No stand included

Availability

You can check out more reviews on Amazon from these direct product links below:

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

Wacom Link adapter
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

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