Wacom Cintiq 21UX

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 20
Wacom  Cintiq 21UX

Pros

  • Touch screen, rugged stand

Cons

  • Can't achieve full 90 degrees or 0 degrees to the ground, expensive

Bottom Line

This pricey touch screen monitor allows working with images in new ways, but its size and limited positioning options can make it tough to use.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 20 stores)

See all prices

For years I've dreamed of making changes to images in Adobe Photoshop directly on the screen, the way I work on paper. Wacom's 21" Cintiq 21UX touch screen monitor promised to make my dream a reality. But as often happens, things didn't turn out as smoothly in the real world as they did in my imaginings.

This specialty monitor isn't for everyone; Wacom has aimed the Cintiq squarely at graphics professionals, or hobbyists with fat wallets. You can use it with a wide range of applications--everything from graphics and Web design to architecture and video creation.

Testing my shipping unit with Adobe Photoshop was a real treat. I found myself working almost exclusively with the program's brush palette, switching out different tips and making little digital paintings and drawings. The monitor had me using Photoshop in a totally different way, and it allowed me to spend more time following my creative fancy.

The monitor sits on a rugged, swivelled stand that makes it easy to tilt the 8.5 kilogram display from roughly 20 degrees short of vertical (Wacom claims 10 degrees) down to nearly flat.

This flexibility accommodates different styles of drawing and also eases the ergonomic impact of holding your arm up for long periods of time. My arm soon tired after drawing with the monitor upright; however, after I switched to a more horizontal position, my fatigue eased. In fact I found the horizontal position best for drawing. Swivelling back to the upright position (which I found best for reading) was a breeze.

Unfortunately, the monitor doesn't reach a full 90 degrees vertical when in its stand, so I found the glare from overhead lights was always a problem. It also doesn't lay completely flat, so I was always dealing with some tilt.

Another limitation: you can't rotate the screen from a landscape to a portrait orientation to work on Web pages or on long, thin images.

You can connect the monitor to your computer using either the VGA or DVI connector. The analog signal showed some softness, especially when viewing text, but the digital one produced a sharp image with good colour and contrast. When you look closely at the screen, you notice the extremely fine horizontal lines that sense the stylus tip on the screen. At a normal viewing distance, however, these lines aren't apparent.

Thin touch pads on the left and right sides of the monitor frame make it easy to scroll and reposition the cursor. Four programmable buttons--two on each side of the display--access any menu, shortcut or key combination (if the buttons get in the way of your drawing, you can disable them). The control panel for the Cintiq even allows you to configure the buttons for specific applications--so you might have one set of controls for Photoshop and a different set for Corel Painter, for example.

The Cintiq's brightness, contrast and other controls reside in an awkward position on the top of the monitor, which makes it difficult to adjust while you're sitting down. Perhaps the engineers at Wacom considered this when they put Braille-like dots on the controls so that you could feel your way around them.

The reality of working on a display the way I do on paper came up a touch short of my hopes and expectations. Still, at a lower price and with a little more flexibility in positioning, the Cintiq could well become the monitor of my dreams.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?