Review: Wacom Cintiq 13HD Pen Display Tablet

We have Javier Fregoso who's reviewing the Wacom Cintiq 13HD for us.

My name is Javier Fregoso and I'm a graphic designer and illustrator. I've been using Wacom Intuos tablets since 1999 and the Cintiq tablets 7 years ago and never went back.

For the occasional traveling or working on another studio I use my Macbook Pro and an Intuos 3 tablet that I bought used 8 years ago and it still works great. When I’m in my studio I use my laptop next to my desktop computer that’s connected to my Cintiq 21UX. Using the old tablet next to the Cintiq was fine but I had to switch pens and it was messy, sometimes I forgot I was using the Intuos 3 pen and I switched back to the Cintiq with that pen and the driver crashed, stopped working, forced me to restart or at least unplug and replug the Cintiq again. Also I wanted to work on a Cintiq all the time anywhere, but the Cintiq Companion was too expensive and for the work I do (mainly packaging design) I need to work on Mac because that’s what the printers use.

I bought the Cintiq 13HD a year ago. Here’s my review from a digital artist’s perspective

I have to say, Wacom did a great job with its packaging design. I usually don’t keep boxes of products unless they are a great design example, in this case the print quality of the box and the unpacking experience was fantastic.

Contents:

  • 13HD Tablet
  • Stand
  • Power supply
  • USB-HDMI-Power cable
  • CD and quick start guide
  • Pen on a nice case with extra pen nibs and nib clip

Design of the tablet connection ports and cables.

The design of the tablet is top notch quality and looks great, ports are accessible and easy to use, express keys and power switch have a nice feel. You know that you have a quality product in your hands, feels light but solid.


The stand

That’s the only thing it feels cheap and not so well designed compared to all the rest of the stuff that came on the box. But I have to say that after a year of use it feels solid and it does its job really well, it’s always on the back of the tablet so you don’t see it that much. I keep it on 50 degrees position. It works but yes it looks cheap and it’s not a great piece of design. I’d love to have a small stand that rotates and it’s easy to move similar to the 21 UX.



The stand has 3 positions 22, 35 and 50 degrees. I only use the 50 degrees position that is similar to my 21UX and works great for me. I found that the tablet needs to be on top of something (just a couple of inches) to be able to work on the entire surface. The 22 degrees position can work on a desk for sketching but the other two don’t work great when you try to draw a the bottom of the screen since your hand gets stopped by the desk and it’s quite annoying. I use a Yoga Brick under my tablet, seems to work fine, you can also use some books or something solid.

Stylus

The stylus is great, it has a great feel to it, nice weight distribution for drawing, it’s one of those things that feel familiar after so many years of using Wacom pens, I like it better than my 21UX stylus which became all gooey on the top part and I don’t use anymore since the new stylus works great with both Cintiqs. They did some work on the design of this new pen but not much and it’s great, a good hybrid between the Intuos 3 and my Cintiq’s 21 UX stylus.


Top to bottom: Cintiq 13HD stylus, 21UX stylus, Intuos3 stylus

The stylus comes in a great case,