Wacom DTU-2231 Artists Review

Discussion in 'Artists' started by T-ravisty, May 7, 2014.

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  1. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    First off, sorry for the delay… Life just got in the way and other matters took precedence, as it does.

    Anyway, let’s start from the beginning… Who doesn’t like a good ‘ol ramble?
    The Wacom Cintiq for most digital artists/creative people is one of those big expensive luxury items that costs an arm and a leg.
    I first started my delve into digital art with a Wacom Intuos 4 which I bought when I started my studies in multimedia, I loved it to pieces and the idea of being able to draw on the computer with a pen blew my mind (I had been drawing with a mouse for ages).
    Anyway, I eventually got sick of the disconnect between the user and the image – the concept of not looking where you drew didn’t make any sense to me.

    I eventually came across Tablet PC’s and the folks on tabletpcreview were champs in steering me into the right direction.
    It really was by accident, I was actually after a laptop that had external removable batteries as I was finding it difficult to get a full day of study done (I was travelling a total of 5 hours a day 4 days a week to class so a lot of my work was done on the train along with whatever breaks and whatnot).
    Anywho, I was pointed in the direction of a Lenovo x230t, I managed to find one on Gumtree (Australian trading post website) and found a refurbished model for AUD $850 (bargain as they were AUD $2200 at the time new).

    The x230t blew my mind, being able to draw on the screen… Wow… Awesome…
    I had owned it for about a year and had done heaps of work on it, however the screen was tiny at only 12.5” and it really wasn’t doing my eyesight any good over extended periods (I already had gotten glasses thanks to this field of work, but also genetics… I still blame the monitors though).

    That’s when I decided I needed something bigger.
    Cintiq’s are pricey as hell with their cheapest latest models starting at AUD $2200,near-impossible with my wage and I really couldn’t justify the cost over other facets of living.
    I hunted for used Cintiq’s but they average AUD $1500+; very rarely could you find them for under AUD $800.
    I looked at cheaper alternatives from Yiynova, Monoprice, Bosto, ect… But all had too many issues with them for me to really throw the money down.

    I continued my search for a Cintiq progressively over many months, looking on eBay and all the Australian trading post websites using search phrases like “Cintiq” and “Wacom”.

    I eventually found a plumbing company selling 2x DTU-2231’s for AUD $450 each.
    I bought one and then directed a mate into purchasing the other, I could’ve bought both and sold one for a profit but I know how difficult it is with money and how much of a luxury item this is so I thought I’d be kind for a change.

    Anyway, there’s the ramble.
    Let’s start the review.

    The Wacom DTU-2231 (renamed PL-2200) is the business-class version of a Cintiq.
    It’s in no way advertised for media creation; however it’s still capable of it.
    These are advertised for business workers for spreadsheets, surveyors, landscapers, ect.

    Specifications:[/B]
    • 21.5” TFT LCD 1920 x 1080p monitor
    • 16.7 million colours
    • 200 nits
    • DVI input and output
    • 512 pressure levels
    • 2x USB ports
    • 15-72° tilt
    Pretty much a dumbed down Cintiq 22HD.

    Now this uses the older Wacom tech, the same in tablet PC’s (although tablet PC’s have 256 pressure levels).
    I had been using the X230t for a year now and was used to how it felt, the less pressure levels of the newer Cintiq’s (2048, 1024) didn’t bother me -there’s been much discussion previously of how the pressure levels mean moot and that the only real difference is the pressure ignition of the newer models being 1gm of force and the older requiring 3gm of force.

    I told you I’d ramble. Bare with me.

    Anyway, it feels the EXACT same to draw on as my x230t, just bigger… My god… I have so much space now!

    Build:
    It’s sturdy as hell, just like any other Wacom tech, it’s solid.
    It has a tilt stand at the back which you pull a lever to adjust.
    There’s a nice pen holder at the top-back of the machine.
    It has your standard monitor menu buttons which you can use to adjust the settings of the display.
    There are 2x USB 2.0 inputs on either side of the display.
    There are 1x DVI in and 1x DVI out ports along with the USB data cable on the back left with the cables facing to the left.
    There are no side buttons, like on the Cintiq’s (however I use a Razer Nostromo which I’ve setup or various art programs).
    The power button is to the top right of the screen border alongside a button which blinks blue when the digitizer is active.

    Display:
    The colours are bright and vibrant when you’re directly facing it.
    The newer models of these are IPS, this however is not.
    The viewing angles are still pretty good though, it’s just like any other TFT screen - the colours change depending on your angle.
    The DTU-2231 boasts 16.7 million colours on a Full HD (1920 x 1080) 21.5” matte finish screen.
    There’s very little reflection and only if it’s direct light.
    The pen is as accurate as my x230t, maybe 1mm or less difference on accuracy here and there, but 9/10 it’s spot on.
    As per usual there’s a 2-5mm offset when on the edge of the screen, as with most tablet PC’s and Cintiq’s or Cintiq alternatives.

    There’s maybe2-3mm space between the plastic screen and the actual monitor underneath.

    The brightness of 200 nits is beautiful to work on when the curtains are closed or on a cloudy day or at night.
    When on a sunny day it seems to be just that little bit too dim to work with comfortably.

    Adjustment:
    The DTU-2231 has what I assume is the same leverage mechanism on most Cintiq’s, minus the swivel feature.
    The DTU-2231 can adjust its height from ~15-72° via the lever at the top-back of the screen.

    Overall thoughts, concerns and wants:
    After using it for over a week now I’ve since noticed that the one thing I’d really like on it would be side-buttons.
    I find that I tend to hold the edge of the screen with my left hand a fair bit while drawing and that sometimes it’s a pain to have to use the Nostromo, however I’ll have to live with it.

    I have this one weird issue that when I have Google Chrome open fullscreen I get these odd coloured lines across the screen.
    It’s the only program that does it.

    I’d love for this to be IPS as I’d like to recline more at times when drawing, I’m considering of getting an Ergotron arm at some point to hopefully get around this.

    Overall, at AUD $450.00 I think I did pretty damn well… So I’ll try not to complain.

    Night viewing angles:
    Night_01.jpg Night_02.jpg Night_04.jpg Night_03.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
    balistic and thatcomicsguy like this.
  2. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    DTU-2231 for $450?!? Did they fall off of back of a truck? LOL You f'n scored, dude. Congrats.
     
  3. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Haha, yeah, I was like that too!
    Pretty much the people selling them had complete NFI - I feel like they could've easily sold them for ~$800-1000 each.
    But I wasn't going to tell them that. ;)

    Also, I forgot to mention!
    I'm able to use both the DTU and x230t screens at the same time, the drivers play nicely together which is great!
    Means I can use one screen for menus and ref or whatever and still have it pen-active.

    P.S - I'll add more photo's later today/tomorrow.

    Will repost all the same details on TPCR, but for now, here's the full one.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sh...DTU-2231-Artists-Review?p=3811910#post3811910
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  4. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Apologies for the more than double posting, I'm only able to attach 5 images per post.

    Day viewing angles:
    Day_01.jpg Day_02.jpg Day_03.jpg Day_04.jpg
     
  5. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Build:
    Lowest.jpg Hightest.jpg Model.jpg Stand.jpg Top.jpg
     
  6. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Build Continued:
    L_Side.jpg

    Accuracy:
    Acc_01.jpg Acc_02.jpg Acc_03.jpg
     
  7. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    As a right handed guy I hate it when the cursor is to the right&top of the nib. I prefer it to be slightly below and to the left of the nib... That thing seems to have (by standard) a pretty good accuracy on the corners tho.

    Swiped from my Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk
     
  8. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You and I both.

    The accuracy is pretty solid, it really only has a 2-5mm gap on the right-hand-side of the screen and a little on the top, maybe 2mm offset.

    I'm considering getting a Ergotron LX arm for this as I'm really wanting to recline more when drawing, see how I go... It's a bit of an investment to get it shipped to AUS... Gotta love them postage fees.
     
  9. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    You mentioned needing to hold the screen with your left hand while drawing and that clashing with the need of using the external shortcut keyboard with the same hand.

    You may want to see if you can find and inexpensive programmable key strip that you can stick on the left bezel of the screen. I've seen some on Amazon that are a strip of 1 row of around 10 keys that are plugged in via USB, but that costed around 90US! That way you can still hold your screen and press keys with your left thumb.

    Swiped from my Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk
     
  10. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Never heard of this. LINK? Sounds amazing.
     
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