Wacom Cintiq alternatives - A closer look

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by whazzup, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Extreme fish hooking only happen in Procreate. There are still some but can easily be mitigated in Medibang or sketchbook. Also I'm not used to the gesture and all the basic features that you have to look up online to find where it's hidden. While the touch based UI give more screen space, having to pull around to find some basic tools is tiring, I still prefer a more desktop based UI like medibang / Clip Studio /Anfinity Photo. It just suck that a paid App had such a bad Stabilizer / streamline system, otherwise I would have tried to learn learn to get used to the UI.

    About your Dell Canvas, such an expensive device shouldn't have such a flaw, so change to a Cintiq 24 HD is a good idea. Unfortunately there is nothing fit your need in the alternate market. At the moment, the biggest EMR panel the Alternative can make is 15", and they can't get resolution higher than 1080p (though this can change since just 3-4 years ago the biggest was 13"). Also Brad Colbow said that the new Wacom Pro Pen 2 still feel the best of all the tablets he tried. If you don't want to bow down to Wacom, you can try exchange (is warranty transferable?), that way your money still wouldn't go to Wacom ;)
     
  2. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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  3. YVerloc

    YVerloc Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Know of any 18+ inch 4K mpp panels? I’ve been itching to try cobbling something together.
     
  4. wytn

    wytn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yesteraday i was contemplating the Artist XP-Pen 12 (11.6") currently on sale at 150€. But the 11'6" size wouldn't be super interesting to me even tho for that price i was tempted to just impulse buy it anyway.
    I also looked into the Huion Kamvas Pro 12 & 13 (sales -?- at 230 versus 250, come with their adujustable stand & i've been needing one. It *seems* decent enough... Maybe.)
    The latest Artist XP-Pen 15.6 isn't even really that much more expensive (i mean, for something where the only choices were Wacom cintiq prices before) and currently at ~345 (minus 25€ but i'd would also have to add the price of an adjustable stand) so i would skip it for now. Yesterday i couldn't find a trace of the Kamvas Pro 16 which is available today... but still a little expensive.

    I think i might just get that Kamvas Pro 13 which go for 200€ today and see...
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  5. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Wow, now that you mentioned it the XP-Pen 15.6 Pro is on sale for 327$ Amazon ( only 3h left). And that is the freaking bonded display with scroll ring version !! :eek: That is like half the price of the “budget” Cintiq 16 and even cheaper than Chinese price!

    If you don’t mind the size, get the XP Pen Artist 15.6 pro, it’s like best value for money right now ( the Huion equivalent is like 50$ more expensive). If I lived in US I would definitely not able to resist an Impulse buy.

    Also @thatcomicsguy I take it back that the biggest EMR panel of the alternative currently being 15.6”, apparently Huion is releasing a 19.5” model with bonded display. Still 1080p unfortunately.

    Though this is a step into the right direction, that someday we can hope to buy a 24”-27” EMR QHD+ display for sub-1000$ :D
     
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  6. wytn

    wytn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Where do you live? My prices are Prime sales on Amazon FR

    I see Amazon DE has the latest XP Pen 15.6 at 321€ also for instance.

    The Kamvas Pro 16 is at 383€ on Amazon FR, it looks like it's a sale but not a Prime one. (And this Huyon model doesn't come with their usual stand)
     
  7. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I was just looking up Amazon US, Amazon is not available in my country. The XP-pen 15.6 got better price than Huion, sale or not, and their specs are practically the same. It’s really a good deal.
     
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  8. wytn

    wytn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I thought 15.6 might be too cumbersome yeah, i lack some space/desk-space currently.

    But I ordered it in the end, it was too tempting. The 15.6" size should make more sense to me/be more useful anyway. Anything below that size i might as well just stick to what i already have.

    And about the Kamvas 13.3", given the possible wobbly lines trouble (fixed by a firmware update generally, it seems, but possibly not for every everyone!?), possible drivers woes, the touch strip/area thingie that i thought i wouldn't like at all / wouldn't find useful. It looked like it's not super accurate. — Not the most important for such a pricebut that XP Pen circle in comparison seemed a lot more useful (+ more customizable express shortcuts). And i don't remember right now but i think i had a few more concerns about the Kamvas 13. (Also odd that Huion already removed both 12 & 13 models for the Display Pen page of their main site.)
     
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  9. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Nice! Please write a review when you received it, especially how the pen feel in use. I wonder if it's possible to use Huion's EMR pen on XP-Pen and vice-versa and get more choice on pen as they seem to use same tech :D
     
  10. wytn

    wytn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yeah i wouldn't be surprised at all they use the same digitizer/tech.

    I read a thing somewhere that mentionned that their (previous active tech, i think) pens worked on both... But it was more hinted at than really said out loud.

    Ok so... initial impressions. FWIW as it's only initial impressions and not after weeks or months of use AND it's a bit long. Possibly too long.

    i tested it only a few hours with my Mac today. I don't have my usual drawing apps on the MBP for now. I only have Autodesk Sketchbook (the latest & free desktop version), Affinity Photo that i have never used for drawing, and i found i still had Mischief installed & managed to find my old license. I'll have to reinstall Clip Studio at least anyway. I don't have PS installed as i haven't used PS in years.

    I'll also have to test stuff on a Windows PC (On my TPY or a Desktop).

    Disclaimer: i have never used a Cintiq, can't compare to that. I can only compare it to the Wacom EMR of the Thinkpad S1 Yoga (2015) or the Galaxy Book 10 (& older Wacom implementations, Asus Note 8, etc). And i guess.. Any Wacom graphic tablets i used/use. And the Apple Pencil 1.

    First thing, i was initially a bit horrified to see how bad i had to press on the pen to get to get 100% pressure. A reboot made it a lot better. I'd say it mostly fixed it, but only "mostly".
    – Note: The Mac installer of the drivers doesn't force or even mention a reboot – or i missed it. Silly me didn't think about it right away. (I rarely reboot except when forced)

    I'm saying it's only *mostly* fixed as it's really not as bad, it's not absolutely terrible, BUT... Depending on how are configured the brushes in Sketchbook, Affinity Photo or Mischief, it would still require me to press really too hard on the pen than i'm used to reach that 100% pressure of a brush.
    I also set the pressure curve in the drivers settings to be sure, so i could draw as lightly as possible. I really draw lightly generally i think, having to sometimes press too hard on the pen would totally make digital drawing/painting impossible. Like trying to stab the screen.

    -> it's not a situation i ever encountered, not on the Thinkpad Yoga or the Galaxy Book 10.
    But as said before, it doesn't seem terrible so far as long i can set up/customize brushes, it doesn't seem it should be much of an issue – But i still worry a bit, more time will be required to know.

    i'll also have to see if it's the same thing on a PC with Windows 8/10. It might just be macOS/mac driver thing, currently...

    I don't really know what to say about the IAF, it's OK / good enough for me. I have no problem with it, it seems to register my usual light strokes. It's not a thing i ever focused on or had trouble with my previous digital drawing/painting experiences.
    If i pay a little closer attention to it now, i think that yes it could be better, maybe the IAF is better on both the iPad Mini and the GB10.

    In terms of display/digitizer, it's supposed to be laminated, and hm... It's strange, it doesn't seem to have a gap between the glass and the display itself (that i can see) although the experience when handling the pen seems to be closer to the one i have on the Thinkpad Yoga than on my iPad Mini+Pencil (which isn't really much of a surprise)

    But it also brings me to another thing. Out of the box, there was (perhaps) a slight offset with the pen, so i ran the calibration process. I ran it 3 or 4 times as the result was a bit puzzling.

    it's the second thing that i was initially a bit afraid of. Depending on how i hold the pen when calibrating, after that, if i don't hold it exactly the same way, i end up with something that looks like an offset, or something that looks like it could also be parallax.

    After this initial doubt when testing, i didn't have any actuall problem when drawing tho!

    It's a thing *i see* if i pay attention, but not something i pay attention to (or 'feel') at all when i'm drawing as i don't have any problem with precision. I mean, it draws when i intend it to draw so i simply forgot about it when drawing.
    Maybe it's just a thing i'm used to on Wacom EMR and it's close enough to not bother me?

    A thing i didn't really test so far, drawing really tiny tiny things, like drawing details without zooming. Seems like it may lack some precision in this case.

    Things i have to spend more time on: more painting (+brush fiddling) & less 'line'-drawing.

    In terms of display, my MBP is plugged on a 24" Dell Ultrasharp (1080p), i don't calibrate my screens, so i have no choice but to trust my MBP's display or the Dell for colors' accuracy. That Dell is supposed to be pre-calibrated. I also don't deal with any print process. At least for now. My MBP's screen and the Dell are very very close imho, overall the MBP's display (2015 retina) seems more contrasty than the Dell. But i've noticed that on really many Apple laptops or other products, they all have more contrast than everything else non-Apple.
    I mention that as i quickly compared some paintings on the Dell and the XP-Pen (displays were mirrored) and the XP-Pen doesn't seem to be too bad at all in terms of colour. i didn't double-check my Dell's settings, but the one thing i noticed is that the XP-Pen Pro 16 has stronger reds/oranges. It's really more obvious simply with red tones.

    I initially intended to take a longer & closer look at the colors using photos, but it will be for another time.

    Just now, testing/customizing a few more brushes in Affinity Photo and i can see that the pressure curve/100% issue should not be a big problem with decent/recent drawing/painting software.

    Another thing perhaps worth mentioning. On MacOS, the default shortcuts (on the left side of the display) are meant to trigger keyboard shortcuts based on a US/QWERTY layout.
    Mine is not. I often switch to a QWERTY layout or others for specific things. But i wouldn't do that for drawing software: My usual instinctive CMD/CTRL-Z becomes a CMD/CTRL-W on QWERTY. (Woops)

    But yeah the express keys are customizable, although there are only customizable on a per app basis i think? i have only took a very quick look, I'm 100% not sure, this setting panel looked a little messy/not super clear. For that reason I haven't really used them yet, will see later.

    Oh, almost forgot, the Pen itself? It's OK. The two buttons could be more prominent, it wouldn't hurt. It's not as bad as some totally flat ones, but could be better too. I have no worries about this tho at least.
    I like the shape of the pen, it rests well in my hand. It's nice to use. Overall no complaints (so far, again). i can compare it to the Wacom's tablets (Bamboo & Intuos) pens i have (if it makes sense), it feels lighter than those.
    I have an oold Wacom EMR pen (UP-817E), maybe a little heavier but i'm not sure, the buttons are more prominent and more practical, although i don't really like its odd shape.
    The XP-Pen shape is really close to the latest Cintiq pens apparently.

    XP-Pen weight: 14/15gr.
    My Bamboo/Intuos pens: one is 10gr and the other is 14/15gr.
    Strange huh?
    The Wacom UP-817E: 11gr

    What's the weight of Cintiq pen?

    I'd guess the size and weight repartition in these pens affect the overall feel of the pens' weight. Or i need to change the batteries in my scale, or it's not actually sentitive enough to such small weights. Who cares, it's OK.

    What did i forget? Ah yes, the pen's nib slightly (very very slightly) retracts when drawing. It makes some sort of clickety-click sounds. Didn't find it bothering today. it's clearly not like the Apple Pencil 1 hollow thunks on a 2018 iPad. Not the same kind of sound.
    Note: Currently i have AC & fans running here.
    Another nib thing. The nib itself a little loose, like it's not very tightly secured. Looser than all my Wacom EMR pens' nibs.
    Not sure if it could be a problem/defect (it doesn't look like it). Or if it could be related to that pressure thing/issue i have. I'm still a bit perplexed by this. Could it be a defective pen or something similar? No idea. Will have to investigate.


    Initial impressions over... Will have to test/use more to know more, be more certain.
    If the pressure thingie end up not being a problem or is 100% resolved, this thing will do a perfectly fine/decent job for its price.

    I would be curious to test the cheapest of the newer Wacom Cintiq 16 (non pro) now, if only for comparison-sake. i don't remember ever seeing a Wacom Cintiq in stores around here, only their graphic tablets. I think i will just do with a video review on Youtube or something :p

    Perhaps more later in some time if i have new things to say, or rectify my initial impressions.

    Hm, one last thing? I think i feel closer 'at home' (which would be Wacom EMR on third party devices i guess) in terms of digital drawing/painting with such a drawing experience than with the Apple Pencil.

    It's strange. By now I've heard from several persons who spend their days drawing/illustrating/doing comic works that they prefer to draw on their iPad Pro now, so much more than their (older model) Cintiqs... They wish they could do 100% of their work on an iPad Pro instead.
    I still find this a little odd/surprising but i'm also really really far from being a pro or to draw as much as them—or even 10% as much as them. So... My 0 cents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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