Wacom has announced its most affordable pen display ever, the $649 Cintiq 16. The new display shares the same stylus as higher-end products and is meant to be an entry-level introduction to pen displays for young creatives and hobbyists. It’s got a 15.6-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 display, and its stylus, the Wacom Pro Pen 2, has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and never needs to be charged.
The Cintiq 16 is an entirely new device, distinct from the similarly named Cintiq Pro 16. It’s geared toward artists who want to make the transition from drawing on screen-less pen tablets that plug into computers, to physically drawing on the displays themselves. Previously, the steep price difference between Wacom’s intro line of Intuos tablets (which range from around $80 to $100) and its Cintiq line of pen displays (which started at $800 for a 13-inch display) meant that it was harder for artists to make the jump to more professional devices.
Wacom has been restructuring its lines of pen displays and tablets in recent years. The once-introductory Bamboo tablet line now refers to smartpads that convert handwritten notes to digital files. Meanwhile, the Intuos line has since been rebranded to Wacom’s line of tablets for beginner doodlers and people just starting to explore digital art tools. The Cintiq 16 is the next step for hobbyists who have graduated from the Intuos line, but it’s also well-equipped for young professionals and designers to use as their main device.
The main difference between the Cintiq 16 and the Cintiq Pro line is screen resolution and color accuracy. The Cintiq 16 is a 2K display, while the Cintiq Pro 16, 24, and 32 displays are 4K. The Cintiq 16 also has a 72 percent NTSC color gamut while the Cintiq Pros display around 90 percent Adobe RGB, meaning that the colors produced on the Cintiq Pro are more accurate and true to life. The Cintiq Pro may be necessary for artists who work in animation or produce work to be printed, but if you’re not too concerned with color accuracy, the Cintiq 16 is a pretty great alternative.
The Cintiq 16 comes with a 3-in-1 cable with HDMI and USB connectors that you can plug into your PC or Mac. It doesn’t have any customizable ExpressKey buttons or touch support, so you’ll either have to use keyboard shortcuts or buy the separate $100 ExpressKey Remote, which comes with 17 programmable buttons. Even with the added accessory cost though, Wacom’s Cintiq 16 is going to be a big deal for artists, and it’s available now for $649.
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