Wacom Cintiq 24HD hands-on (video)

We've felt a strange attraction this 24-inch slab of professional graphics wonderment ever since we caught it trying to sneak its substantial bulk through the FCC. How do we feel about it now that it's all official, priced up at a daunting $2,500 and we've had some time with it in the flesh? Check out the galleries below and then head past the break for our hands-on video and impressions plus full PR.

The H-IPS panel might not sound that special on paper -- 1920 x 1200 resolution, 550:1 contrast, 178 degree viewing angle -- but those specs overlook the gentle matte quality of the anti-glare display, which is clearly designed to be stared at closely for hours on end. Drawing with the battery-free and cordless pen delivers 2048 degrees of sensitivity and feels about as natural as it gets on this type of device, though there's that inevitable tiny lag between touching the screen and seeing the result.

The 24HD is three inches bigger than last year's Cintiq 21UX, covers a greater color gamut at 92 percent of Adobe RGB, and costs $500 more. But again, none of this really explains how outlandish the 24HD really is: at 65 pounds it's by far the heaviest 24-incher we've never tried to lift, thanks to huge bezels for resting your elbows on and housing large scroll-wheel controls, as well as a sturdy spring-loaded base that lets you work in a myriad of positions. You'll only have to wait til early October to see it in stores, but our hands-on video above should hopefully keep you sated in the meantime.

Update: Looks like it's on sale now in the US!

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Wacom® Launches Cintiq® 24HD For Creative Pros

New Cintiq offers spacious 24-inch HD widescreen display with brilliant colour and breakthrough ergonomics for creative professionals seeking the ultimate digital pen-on-screen work surface

Wacom's all-new Cintiq 24HD brings control, comfort and productivity to a whole new level with best-in-class display performance and ergonomic comfort. The Cintiq 24HD is engineered to meet the high-demands of designers, illustrators, animators, video editors and other creatives looking for Wacom's most advanced pen-on-screen experience. It joins the Cintiq 21UX and Cintiq 12WX as part of Wacom's complete lineup of interactive pen displays.

In the Cintiq 24HD Wacom delivers a host of new features to enhance workflow and user comfort. The new 24-inch HD (1920 x 1200) widescreen display provides realistic colour for colour-critical work. The ergonomically designed counter-weighted stand allows users to adjust the incline and height of the Cintiq for multiple working postures, even allowing the display to extend over the edge of the desk and float just above a user's lap.

Furthermore, the frame around the screen is designed to be a resting place for the hands and arms, providing easy access to the Touch Ring and shortcut and modifier Express Keys™ located on both sides of the Cintiq. The Cintiq 24HD incorporates Wacom's most realistic pen experience, featuring 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and 40 degrees of tilt control.

"The Cintiq 24HD is a wonderful example of what can be done when expert design experience and quality engineering are intelligently combined with user feedback from the professional community," says Guido Möller, product manager professional brands at Wacom Europe.

"All the right elements have been incorporated into our new flagship product to help expand its capabilities and to improve its appeal in such markets as animation, photography and video production where a wide format, colour-accurate, high-definition display is a crucial requirement."

Screen Play

The Cintiq 24HD boasts an eye-catching and sophisticated industrial design that places an emphasis on operator control and comfort. The new 24-inch high-definition, widescreen display is ideal for creative pros working in media, entertainment and motion graphics. The Cintiq's new display specifications meet the needs of today's television, film, animation and video game development industries," states Guido Möller. "Videographers are now able to edit full HD video which will translate into tremendous productivity gains." Additionally, the new Cintiq 24HD delivers a wide colour gamut which will be appealing for photography and design professionals who demand accurate and spectacular colour representation when drawing or editing with the Cintiq pen. For those needing to calibrate colour, the Cintiq is compatible with popular colour calibration devices from industry leading manufacturers. In many cases, the screen's quality and size will render obsolete the desire for a second display.

Making a Stand for Comfort

Ergonomic comfort is crucial for creative professionals and the Cintiq 24HD addresses this with a highly adjustable and versatile stand that allows users to work in a variety of common positions, thus reducing fatigue. Intuitive handles and spring-assisted lift make display adjustments quick and easy. For example, users wanting to feel connected to their work can securely extend the display surface over the edge of the desk so that it rests comfortably just above their lap, providing an optimal position for many types of work. When employing the Cintiq for more conventional display uses such as email, the display can quickly be repositioned to a nearly vertical position. The Cintiq can also be raised slightly above the desk to accommodate a keyboard underneath to help reduce desk clutter. "The new stand on our Cintiq 24HD helps define the whole pen-on-screen experience by effectively allowing users to customise work positions that support freedom of movement for hours upon hours of comfortable work," according to Guido Möller.

Pen Performance

The Cintiq 24HD pen features Wacom's proprietary Tip Sensor technology, offering users near-zero (one gram) starting pressure and virtually the same natural feel and feedback one would experience when working with traditional brushes or pens. The pen's 2048 levels of pressure enable pressure-sensitive effects, such as controlling line weights or opacity. When combined with pressure-sensitive software applications from such developers as Adobe®, Autodesk®, Corel®, or Pixologic®, the Cintiq is capable of producing life-like artistic results. The pen also features a pressure-sensitive eraser and two side switches that can be customised for common commands such as double-click and right-click.

Additional Features and Accessories

The wide bezel of the Cintiq 24HD not only gives users a natural resting place for their arms and hands while working, but provides easy access to the customisable, application-specific ExpressKeys and Touch Rings located on each side of the display's frame. These user-defined features are instrumental in helping improve workflow and boost productivity by placing commonly used shortcut commands at the fingertips. Guido Möller notes that "these tools save valuable time by minimising keyboard dependency and allowing the user to keep focusing directly on the screen and the work at hand."

Wacom's family of accessories provide additional input options to the Cintiq 24HD. The Art Pen supports the pen rotation feature within Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well as Corel Painter 12, delivering natural brush effects, such as those that a calligraphy pen would produce. Cintiq 24HD accessories are available for purchase at Wacom's online store.


The Cintiq 24HD, priced at £1,999.99 incl. VAT is intended to begin shipping in the UK in October.