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Wacom’s Cintiq series has always provoked debate in the ImagineFX office and among our arty friends, some of who are passionate advocates of Wacom’s pen-on-screen technology. So when the new Cintiq 24HD was finally hauled onto the ImagineFX art desk, we were keen to see if the attractive design and impressive screen size weren’t the only improvements.
It came as no surprise that Wacom looked to the award-winning Intuos4 in terms of styling and controls, the Touch Ring being a welcome addition to the new Cintiq’s design. Having the more ergonomically pleasing ring enables you to assign functions like Brush size, Zoom and Rotation – the later being essential because you can’t physically rotate the Cintiq screen – replacing the Touch Strips found on older models. You can only assign three functions per ring, unlike the four stages on the Intuos4, but thanks to the direct access keys you no longer have to toggle through those options.
Other new bits to press include three understated buttons located above the top-right corner of the screen that take you to some useful features. The first overlays an annotated diagram of your Express Key, Touch Ring and Pen layout, and if you want to assign new functions you can access the Wacom Settings menu from here also. The following button brings up a floating QWERTY keyboard, so if you know all your software shortcuts then this is a great way to streamline your workflow. The final button takes you directly to the Cintiq Settings menu, negating the need to find it through your OS.
Replicating a more natural drawing experience has always been the Cintiq’s core appeal to digital creatives. After all, the more relaxed you feel while drawing for prolonged periods, the less likely you are to lose workflow momentum. The Cintiq 24HD offers various ergonomic features to put you at ease: you can rest your arms on the wide bevelled edges, the Express Keys are well spaced and being able to extend the screen over the edge of the desk to rest it in your lap is a laid-back masterstroke.
Yet the most impressive update has to be the new 1,920x1,200 H-IPS panel that delivers where previous displays fell short in both clarity and colour gamut. Specifically, it’s now 92 per cent Adobe RGB, a welcome increase from the 72 per cent sRGB of the Cintiq 21’s. The screen has a matt anti-glare finish, but that’s not at the expense of colour accuracy.
The Cintiq 24HD is the combination of improved technology standards and Wacom’s unwavering commitment to evolve and innovate based on how artists use their products. Put simply, it makes you want to start painting. Yes, there’s still that wince-inducing price tag, but if you’ve finally found that two grand you misplaced earlier, then this should be your first Cintiq. If you already own a previous model then our advice is to avoid seeing the 24HD in action… unless you already know someone in the market for your second-hand Cintiq.
- a-Si Active Matrix TFT LCD (H-IPS) panel
- 1,920x1,200 resolution
- 518.4x324mm active area
- 178 degrees viewing angle
- 16.7 million colours
- DisplayPort, DVI, VGA and USB interfaces
- 5,080 lines per inch resolution
- Radial menu software