Wacom’s Cintiq line of drawing tablets is the cream of the crop when it comes to digital graphics editing and creation, and the 12WX long reigned as an impressive entry-level option for those with limited budgets and/or available work space. But the 12WX is over five years old, and both display and drawing tablet tech has advanced, which is why it’s excellent news that Wacom is introducing the all-new Cintiq 13HD today.
The 13HD has more in common with the recently-launched and larger 22HD and 24HD tablets than the outgoing 12WX; it features 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity on its 1920×1080 HD LED 13-inch display, versus just 1024 on the 12WX, which had a maximum resolution of 1280×800. The 13HD crams as many pixels as the 22HD boasts into a screen that’s 40 percent smaller, resulting in a much higher pixel density for crisper text and image rendering.
The Cintiq 13HD also comes with an integrated stand, which locks in at four viewing angles, including flat, 22 degrees, 35 degrees and 50 degrees, and can be used on either a hard flat surface like a desk or your lap. It’s the only Cintiq that’s really lap-appropriate, in fact, so if you’re looking for something with relative portability this is the way to go.
Wacom will begin selling the Cintiq 13HD direct from its own online store and through select partners at the beginning of April, and it will retail for $999.95. That might sound like a lot to pay for a drawing tablet that still requires either a Mac or PC to work, but it’s a bargain compared to the $2,000 you’ll pay for the next-level-up 22HD. I owned the 12WX myself, and was a huge fan, so I can’t wait to get one of these in for testing closer to launch.
Remember that Wacom has also teased a standalone drawing tablet to be unveiled later this year, so combined with this 13HD release, which has been hotly anticipated in the digital arts community, the company is shaping up to have a very big year indeed.