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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    Great review. I should have mentioned those thing:
    -Chinese Tablet usually come out with a straight (?) pessure curve that you have to pess hard to get full pressure. They release driver that you can adjust the pressure curve so the max pressure could be lighter (or you can adjust in CSP, Lazy Nezumi... for a more detailed pressure curve setting) Wacom calibrated their pressure curve out of the box and if you are used to it, using a non calibrated Chinese tablet could be strange. It can be fixed in the driver, and most importantly IAF is as good as Wacom.

    -About the off set thing... Wacom also always tell us to put hand in the same posititon angle when calibrating. It's an EMR thing with the pen sensor not at the tip(which is plastic) but slightly above, so the cursor posititon have to take in account the pen angle and if it change the cursor could offset a few pixel. It happen in my older tabletpc but not Samsung Note so probably Wacom fixed it (not sure as have never had a Cintiq)

    I think the main advantage of iPad is the portablity. You can grab it from your night stand, draw on the couch or at the coffee shop or anytime so you can spend more time with it. If you want to use the Cintiq you would have to sit attached to the desktop or bring clunky combiation of laptop and a small Monitor and even have to watch out for the battery. Though like that I could get more into working mode, and I really find drawing with EMR better than iPad, but the iPad would be a nice thing when the lazy bug kick in :p
     
  2. wytn

    wytn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I watched a couple of reviews i hadn't seen after that (including the MobileTechReview one) and read a few other things, they mention the display's color inaccuracy / that it needs to be calibrated, the pseudo "parallax" but nothing about the pressure issue.

    Mischief is probably abandoned now and it doesn't have a general pressure curve setting, nor the current free Autodesk Sketchbook on Mac. (And this one looks like it is nearly abandoned too.)

    In the three softwares i had to edit the curves directly for each brush. Changing the pressure curve in the settings panel of the driver either way didn't result in a really big change.

    Having set the pressure sentitivity in both the drivers settings + with each brush only got me half way like it should be.

    // I had meant to use Lazy Nezumi years ago but in the end i didn't need it, i never tested it. (And i don't think there's a Mac version.)

    I couldn't use/test the XP-Pen further today, so i still have to see if the general pressure curve setting in Clip Studio will make it better. That and testing it on Windows. And maybe i'll install a recent PS.

    The Windows' drivers settings panel has a lot more options than Mac drivers from what i saw.
    To Be continued.
     
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  3. wytn

    wytn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    After a *very* quick test on Mac with Clip Studio Paint & Krita, their overall pen pressure customizations *seem* to do a good enough job. So i guess no big problem here.

    Another even quicker test with CSP on Windows, the drivers for Windows are *possibly* better in terms of sensitivity.
    The Pentablet drivers on Windows let use one of the express keys as a switch/toggle (with 4 different settings IIRC) for the red dial thingie. (Didn't notice if it was the same on macOS.)

    I was surprised to see that XP-Pen have Linux (apparently beta) drivers available on their website. (Haven't tested.)


    Anyway, this "XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro" is fine, it seems, overall. (Only quick first impressions yes)


    Note: A VESA mount would have been practical. The box includes an HDMI to miniDisplayPort adapter for Macs.

    For the use i might have of it i'm not 100% sure for now that i will keep it but it's a different matter. I still have some time to think about it, and hopefully draw some more with it before deciding. I'd like to test it with some 3D softwares too if i can.
    And if i don't keep it, let's say if in two years i wanted to buy (again) a Pen Enabled Display/Cintiq/Cintiq-like alternative, even/possibly a bigger size, i'd go with that brand/technology again if it's still the same overall quality/experience.


    I must also note that quickly doodling on my Thinkpad Yoga 12 (2015) after that felt "nicer" ("better"?), as if it was more precise, but... it was just a feeling i think. Not really anything "better" that i could notice at that moment.

    And TBH when i go back from doodling on the iPad to the Galaxy Book 10" for instance, i still feel like a sight of relief when going back to the good old feel of the EMR / Pen on the GB10, so... : )

    ***

    On another note, as i plugged the XP-Pen on my Thinkpad Yoga to quickly test stuff (before installing anything new on my Desktop PC), of course there was a moment i accidentaly used the XP's pen to reach to click on the TPY's display...

    And you can call me stupid, both are EMR techs, ok, but i didn't expect the TPY's Wacom digitizer to pick up the XP's pen at all, i didn't expect the pen to be able to do anything at all:




    And it seems to "half register" clicks on this vid' as you can see? Just weird. It seems like a different pressure sensitivity thing actually. The Wacom digitizer thinks the pen is hovering over the buttons i guess. Also, the distance from the pen's tip to the screen before it registers its presence is ridiculously short.

    (Note: The XP-Pen's Display was still plugged and running meanwhile, and just in case i mention i think i have Wacom's drivers for graphic tablets installed on it too.)


    And then this was in Clip Studio Paint:



    It was set up as "Wintab" mode. I already had adjusted the pressure curve for testing on the XP's display before that.

    What i tried to show in this video is that the pen's tip 'click' event seems to register as "ALT" in this case (at least sometimes), here, so it you can see the color picker. It actually also sometimes just 'click normally'
    Weird again but heh. (And i mean, i'm not pressing the ALT key on the keyboard by accident.)
    So yeah it drew a few times . Absolutly not sure i didn't click on one of the pen's buttons at some moment or another, no idea. I didn't spend an hour trying to replicate it.

    (I wonder... The XP-Pen's drivers have a default express key set up as ALT. Probably unrelated tho.)


    Anyway. I'm not sure what would be the point, except having a very cheap but still nice stylus (with two buttons but no eraser), but it should be possible to write/hack a driver for using one of these on a Wacom's EMR digitizers...

    Or possibly simply write something like a "translation layer" for the events.

    On Linux it should be easy enough to see which events get registered... Compare them to the ones sent by a Wacom stylus. Or a Huion pen... (See with that GitHub repo of Huion drivers for Linux...)

    Anyway, anyway. Big a** textwall again. (i need to get a several months night's sleep)


    Edit : Simply applying quite a bit of pressure on the pen and the pen's nib simply registers as a right click on Windows...
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  4. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @wytn nice review. I don’t have a Mac so I only know how the driver work in windows and it’s good for me. How close is the cursor to the pen tip with laminated display? When you rotate the pen, how far the cursor offsets is compared to your TPY? How does the XP- Pen feel compared to Apple Pencil? Is the shortcut ring useful?
    Also I tried to use XP Pen pen on EMR tablet PCs but only cursor show up with no mark.

    @Marty I just found a touch screen Cintiq alternative available, we just have been forgetting about them o.o. I have forgotten Yiynova due to their not so pretty design, thick glass, wobbly active pen and high price. Apparently they came up with 5 version with touch:

    -MVP16U+DF 15.6 inch FHD-2048 level pressure- AAA battery pen-399$
    -MVP16E+DF 15.6 inch FHD - 8192 level pressure- rechargeable Pen-449$
    -MVP22U-DF 21.5 inch FHD -2048 level pressure-battery pen
    -MVP27U+DF 27 inch FHD - 2048 level pressure- AAA battery pen -1149$
    -MVP27+QD 27 inch QHD -8192 level pressure -AAA battery pen -5980 yuan China only ( @thatcomicsguy is this the long awaited sub 1000$ QHD pen and touch monitor for big screen artist?)—>if price mark up to 1200$ in US it might not be worth it

    Unfortunately they are still sticking to battery powered pen tech, and their review section on Amazon is kind of dead. I didn’t have very good experience with their battery powered tech, but I probably got one of their worse device, and some recent devices using this kind of pen tech was praised a lot without wobble, like Brad review on the Gaomon pd1560. Though with all alternative maker jumping ship to battery -free EMR, their device seem outdated, both on looks and digitizer tech.

    Here is the spec sheet of the 27” QHD version. It’s currently only available in China, but with English spec sheet already available, it’s likely to be exported soon.

    [​IMG]
    All of the devices available above have an USB power out port, and Yiynova came up with some interesting method to mount mini PC to the back of the device to turn it into AIO. You can mount Atom PC Stick, Celeron J3455 mini Pc or an intel I7 box depending on how much power needed. To use that kind of power, the monitor probably have to be powered by a bulky 12V brick though, so complete portable with battery pack might not be possible.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    PS: there seem to be laptop power bank that can output high V so if we can find one that can output consistent current, a fully portable solution might be possible. A really big battery might get you stopped at the airport though ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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  5. wytn

    wytn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One more quick little update.. (and sorry if it's messy again, i have a rather annoying big-ish headache today)

    and @crazycat I may have to go back to you later about your questions.

    A couple of things...

    I'm still very disappointed in the Mac drivers even tho i expected things like little drivers glitches. There's a new Mac driver released a few days ago i installed. The express keys are still not really usable on a Mac with an AZERTY layout for me.
    The new Mac driver even has a default setting that makes the settings panel crash each time i use one of the keys for instance. It can be 'fixed' but doesn't make the keys more usable to me.

    But to more important matters...

    I did some inking over a character sketch (tested both on mac & windows, with the same PSD) and i found i wasn't precise enough when inking. Even zooming a lot (on this 15.6" display) i couldn't be precise at all in my inking lines.

    I had to go back and compare with my Thinkpad Yoga 12 (2015) and.... On its 12.5" display, i could ink precisely without even having to extra zoom. For me in that test, the difference is huge.
    So that mostly conclude my tests here...

    Maybe it's something that be could made to work with? I mean, there's always a way to make use of our tools even with their imperfections. I don't want to nitpick about every thing all the time, it's counter-productive in the end...
    But for me in this case, i don't see an improved experience over using my TPY & its 12.5" display (and nothing better when using it plugged to my more powerfull MBP)

    So yeah I've been already leaning a lot toward sending it back very soon (for other unrelated reasons), but... now, if i'm sure i'd rather draw on my 12"5 Thinkpad Yoga, i don't even see why i'd keep it.


    @crazycat

    The gap between the pen nib and the cursor... is not better than on my Thinkpad Yoga 12.
    Other than that, it's probably closer to a non 2018 laminated iPad than my Mini 5.

    I'm seeing less gap on my Galaxy Book 10 than on the TPY12 or the XP-Pen Artist 15.6"

    When rotating the pen on the XP-pen the cursor offsets less than on my TPY. The difference is quite noticeable.
    Although as it doesn't translate in more accuracy for me...

    I like that red dial/ring shortcut. I liked having it set as UNDO/REDO on Windows for instance. (Hence the bummer when using the XP-Pen on Mac). Other than any predefined settings, you can set any keyboard shortcut for the dial's "left" and "right".
    But having a non-touch pen display... i think, we might just be better to skip the 'express keys' and keep that non-drawing hand on the keyboard as we used to anyway. Or maybe set up a cheap bluetooth thingie as a wacom-like remote

    I don't really know what to say about the Apple Pencil 1 in comparison...
    The Apple Pencil 1 is a lot better anyway, sure, but the feel you get on a 2018 iPad or a laminted/Pro iPad is different too. I only have a tiny bit of experience with it on the 2018 and the Mini...
    The Pencil's nib / glass feel is very different...


    Overall it's a while i've been thinking an older used iPad Pro 12", if cheap enough, would be a really great tool. And so sure i'd pick an older/used iPad Pro 12" over this. But it's not a fair comparison. In terms of price or OS/apps.

    And between an older used iPad Pro and a Wacom Cintiq 16? I have no idea.

    I'm still curious about testing a Wacom Cintiq 16. (Currently at ~450€ here - without the stand - but still has VESA mounting holes)

    At least with Wacom i know i can count on their drivers and more extensive settings/options and the continuous support/updates over years.
    If in a couple of year the compatibility is broken with macOS, i might end up with an unusable device. It should be better on Windows but i'm still a little wary...
     
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  6. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hey, thanks for the list @crazycat. I knew Yiynova made some touch-capable units several years ago, but I remember struggling to find actual videos showing touch in action.

    But I found out there's lots of videos out now! ;)

    MVP22U+DT @3:55


    and the MVP16U+DF working with TabletPro's sidebar:


    PS. Did you also know Yiynova also puts USB power in the back specifically to support PC sticks, just like your idea...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Ok tempted to buy a Yiynova now...man, I need to stop reading your posts. :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  7. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great to see that the FHD/non-touch barrier has been broken by a manufacturer other than Wacom (and Dell)!

    With any luck this spreads to Huion and XP-Pen soon, esp since I'd never get a battery powered pen or a non-laminated display.

    The Dell Canvas seems to be available for roughly €1250 now.

     
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  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's probably inevitable that Touch, EMR and 4k are coming to the alternative brands. The alt brands have been making steady, reliable gains over the past couple of years.

    (And yeah, check out that mini PC card plugged into the back of the Yinova! They were the first to see the potential.)

    I'm happy with the resolution of the Dell, (QHD). 4k would probably be interesting, but not necessary in an alternative board. Just something with a solid driver and no bugs in the line quality or pen would make me happy. I might wait for that day to arrive rather than pull the trigger on a Cintiq Pro, because in my saner moments I realize that's the smart move. And also... 27" is a great size.
     
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  9. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm rather stunned by the price drop on the Dell; if I'm not mistaken it floated around 1800 forever. This makes it something of a steal even compared to the Chinese brands, which are currently much lower specced.
     
  10. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Apparently, the Canada dept didn't get the memo...3,463.74 Canadian buckaroos. Sigh, at least we got maple syrup.

    So in the end, how did things go with the Tecra-tiq? Was your old flame rekindled, or did you go back to your beautiful (slightly abusive) girlfriend? :p
     
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