Wacom Cintiq 21UX graphics tablet
Forget about the iPad: the Wacom Cintiq 21UX is the digital sketchpad most artists will want.
- Hands-down the best way to draw and paint digital artworks
- Screen glare issues, large and heavy if used on your lap, pricey
Every artist, designer, animator and compositor will want a Wacom Cintiq 21UX. It makes drawing, painting, designing and rotoscoping like being a kid with crayons again – it's just so much fun to use. Its price will put many off, but if you can afford it you’ll quickly learn to love it.
Price$ 2,848.00 (AUD)
Despite costing more than many workstations and being about as portable, the Wacom Cintiq 21UX is so much more than a sketchpad. It’s an easel and a full set of Grumbacher paints and brushes to the iPad’s 2B and a Moleskine sketchbook – it enables you to create final artworks, not just roughs.
The Cintiq 21UX puts an iPad/iPhone-style bezel around a 21-inch screen that’s also touch-sensitive. Like the iPad, it has a 4:3 screen that feels odd if you’re used to widescreen displays – but its 1,600 x 1,200 resolution is enough to prevent tools from Photoshop and Painter to After Effects and Nuke from feeling cramped.
The design doesn’t come from Apple though – it’s from Wacom’s Intuos4 line of tablets, and is more appealing than the muted greys of the 21UX’s predecessor, which confusingly had the same name.
It’s not just the design that Wacom has overhauled: the new 21UX works better too. The level of sensitivity has been doubled to 2,048 – so you’ll really be able to fine-tune effects in tools such as the new wet paint system in Photoshop (or the long-standing one in Painter).
Possibly more importantly, the older model’s parallax effect – where the point where your pen appears to touch the screen seems to float over what you see in Photoshop – has been reduced dramatically, giving a more natural, tactile experience.
Despite having a good colour depth, the screen of the 21UX screen has one major flaw – it’s a heavy gloss that shows considerable glare under bright sunlight or studio lights.
Another issue is the Cintiq’s thickness and weight. Even without the base, the main unit weighs more than a 17-inch laptop – and it’s as thick as your arm. This makes it more than a little unwieldy to use on your lap. Thankfully though, on a desk it’s a lot easier.
The well-designed based has two paddles like a steering wheel that allow you to quickly tilt the 21UX to vertical, and you can quickly rotate it to avoid having to draw strokes at odd angles. If you’re looking for something more portable, check out the 12-inch Cintiq 12WX.
Along both side of the bezel are the ExpressKeys and Touch Toggle, with Control Strips behind.
As a leftie, I’m glad Wacom has put ExpressKeys, Display Toggles and Control Strips along both sides of the Cintiq. While many left-handed creatives have learned to use right-handed mice, for drawing the use of your natural hand is a must.
Every artist, designer, animator and compositor will want a Cintiq 21UX. It makes drawing, painting, designing and rotoscoping like being a kid with crayons again – it’s just so much fun to use. Its price will put many off, but if you can afford it you’ll quickly learn to love it.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Huawei Y5 (2017): Full, in depth review
- 3 LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- 4 First Look: Nikon D850
- 5 OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung announces Australian availability for its 49-inch CHG90 QLED Monitor
- BenQ Announces the EW3270ZL Eye Care Monitor with Immaculate Colour Reproduction
- AbleGamers' Player Panels could make future games more disability-friendly
- Dell's luscious new 4K monitor is bold, bright, and HDR-infused
- Samsung's 49-inch mega-wide display may displace multi-monitor setups
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Jabra Elite Sport (2017) review
- How to download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right now
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTDevOps Engineer/ LeadOther
- CCSAP FICO ConsultantACT
- FTSenior Project ManagerOther
- FTJunior DeveloperQLD
- CCUser Research - QualitativeACT
- TPSenior Business Analyst (x2)NSW
- FTSOE ArchitectOther
- FTChange Manager - must have experience working in Fin ServicesOther
- FTCampaign ManagerOther
- FTPython Developer - FinTech/TradingOther
- TPChange ManagerVIC
- CCPartner Marketing ManagerNSW
- CCScrum Master - Digital/ Marketing ProjectsNSW
- FTService Desk Level 2 Support ConsultantACT
- TPBusiness Analyst - RoboticsNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCOracle WebLogic AdministratorNSW
- FTWindows DevOps EngineerQLD
- FTRPA DeveloperOther
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- CCCognos/Datastage DeveloperQLD
- FTCommunications Officer (Social Media Focus)Other
- CCXamarin Mobile Developer - East MelbourneNSW
- FTOracle Developer / EngineerACT