Wacom cintiq companion...good or bad?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Bubble7, Mar 28, 2014.

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  1. Bubble7

    Bubble7 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Sorry I don't know which section I can ask about Wacom product, so I open a question here!
    Is there anyone own one of this Wacom tablet? window8 or Android version,
    please share your opinion, I'm wondering is the Wacom tablet act just like another window tablet PC,
    with problem of stylus on the edge...or this never happened because its Wacom:D?
    also please share your drawing experience on this device!
  2. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The edge jitter/drift problem is prevalent to all Wacom hardware, be they UD, DTU, DTF, DTZ, or DTK series. So, It doesn't matter if it's Tablet PC using UD/Feel IT digitizer or Cintiqs and Companion using DTK series digitizer, you will get some degree of edge drift and jitter.

    Having said that, if you are not a simple minded monkey, you ARE smart enough to easily work around the edge drift issue. It's really something that is blown out of proportion IMO. You simply don't have to make marks or write, or draw or paint on the edges. You can move your wirting area or canvas towards the middle of the tablet and not have to deal with this issue, IF YOU ARE A FUNCTIONING HUMAN BEING.

    Now, as for the Companions, I got into a big trouble with Wacom over negative videos of the Companion at the launch period, and pretty much ended my working relationship with them because I refused to take down my negative videos. But I stand by them still.

    Here's my assessment of the Companions:


    1. Use of DTK digitizer - allows for tilt and higher levels of pressure. That matters very little in practice, but hey, they decided to put their newest digitizer in there.

    2, Quality construction and quality parts - solid feel, high end materials, nicely put together.


    1. Expensive for their functionality - Did you notice how fast they droppped $200? WHat does that tell you about tehir margins? At the end of the day, even with their new lower prices, $1800 and $2300 are too expensive for 13" slates with such low amount of RAM and low powered ULV ultrabook parts. Even the Hybrid is too expensive for mere 13HD with Tegra 4 SOC, some memory and battery. But then again, 13HD itself is over priced so this goes without saying.

    2. No Cintiq connector on the Win 8 units - This is pure bunk. How do you not have enough room for that with 13" size? You can ONLY use the tabelt ability with the low end ultrabook parts it comes with. No Cintiq action with more powerful computers. Might as well carry your laptop around with the Hybrid version. Too much crap to carry? If only there were more powerful hardware that also had pen functionality running Windows 8 in this world.... Wait a minute! That's called Tablet PCs! L to the O to the L.

    3. The Cintiq connector on the 13HD and the Hybrid is a disaster of Quality control. Basically, it's a bad design flaw that pretty much guarentees that you will break the connector and will cost you $50 for a replacement. It's so easy to break off that connector, it's not even funny. The unit's connector at Comicon debut did't even last a day.

    4. The battery life is too crappy for something that has a trapped battery. You should really work near a plug if you intend to do something heavy duty. If you do light sketching, it will probably do you OK for 5~6 hours. Just don't whip out battery hogs like Painter.

    5. NOTHING is upgradable. The RAM, the SSD, the battery, they are all trapped in and it's a pain in the ass to crack open the case because there are no screws on the outside. Need for RAM or SSD? Tough titty. Buy a new model in 2 years, sucka.

    6. Heavy as a convertible, but itr's a tablet! It's 4 lbs BEFORE things like the stand,keyboard etc... You can have a full voltage cobvertible like the T902 for the same weight.

    7. The screen's textured anti reflective glass cover is too fuzzy and makes for not so satifactory viewing experience. Everything looks too muted and not so crisp.

    At the end of the day, it's too weak and not convenient enough to justify it's price, weight, and battery life IMO. If you go Windows route, you can have cheaper and just as powerful Tablet PCs for lower price. If you go the Hybrid route, you need to also carry a laptop, so you are goning to carry A LOT of weight to do your work.

    I personally think that a smarter use of your money is buying a used full sized Cintiq for your desktop, and carry something like the Asus Vivotab Note 8 for on the go sketching need, or just get something more powerful and versatile like the Fujitsu T902.
    JJ Sims and stoneseeker like this.
  3. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Agree with Shog, you just get better value out of other existing products in the market.
    I think one minor advantage of the Companion products would be the peace of mind of knowing you are using the only "made-for-art tabletPC" out there, so if the digitizer does something it's not supposed to in regards to digital art and content creation, customer service at Wacom won't ignore you or tell you its not intended for those purposes, etc.

    But did you know there are whole threads dedicated to people who own the Companion and Hybrid in the artists threads?
    here: Artists

    As pessimistic as Shog and I may be toward the Companions, there are a few happy users and artists over there to talk to about them. The power button is a common complaint since its easy to hit and lose your work.
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    On the flip side, it seems to me that most buyers have been exceptionally happy with the product-- something you don't find often. Most other tablet pcs that are suggested by users often have issues- fans, touch input problems, repeated drift problems or black holes, BIOS issues, etc. I am not an expert, but from my general cursory browsing of the forums, these buyers are happy customers. The Cintiq Wacom threads here are not full of endless complaints. That's something to ponder.

    I also think the bezel buttons provided are a positive that is greatly loved by some, and considered a clear productivity boost. Others consider its benefits negligible or a detraction. I suppose that's for you and your work flow to decide. I'm surprised you didn't ask in the threads dedicated to the device though-- I'm sure you're bound to get a good, full range or responses to your query. Something to be suggested.

    Beyond that, yes, I think Shogs idea of getting a true, light, portable Atom windows tablet for sketching, and more powerful (perhaps used?) desktop Cintiq is something to ponder, and probably the easiest way to spread your money around.
  5. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Second the pro of the Bezel Buttons.

    Also I think the Hybrid is the better choice because it can still be used as a Cintiq and can run off its battery while in Cintiq mode.

    However a con I would like to point out, (again) is the dimness of the screen. Not to beat the dead horse, but the low screen brightness has been my biggest obstacle with considering this device. Its fine for indoor studio use, but for a "mobile" tablet I have grave concerns about how the screen visibility would hold up in bright situations. Most other Tablet PCs are now at 300-400 nits as a standard, with some hitting the 600+ range, so in comparison 210 nits is quite low.

    Now to be fair, I haven't seen a single user or read any review knocking the Companion because of the low brightness. However a lot of pictures & videos I've seen of the Companion clearly demonstrate how dim the screen is. There is one video comparing it to the Surface Pro 2 and the companion is staggeringly dim in comparison. Which again for lighting controlled Studio use would be fine, but for an out an about tablet....I just don't think it will suffice, at least for my needs. There's also the matter of Wacoms advertising of the Companion, namely with artist's using the companion in very bright outdoor settings, which I can't imagine the Companion's screen would hold up well under.

    Now I have yet to see the Companion in Person, so its not really fair of me to knock the device until I can put it thru its paces, but I have seen the standard Cintiq 13HD in person...and compared to my $500 Thinkpad Tablet 2, the difference in Screen Brightness is staggering.

    I've been asking for awhile for Companion owners to do brightness comparison shots of the Companion compared to other Tablet PCs like the Samsung Series 7 Slate in bright/out and about shots, but so far no ones been able to do a picture comparison shot.
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