Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wherin I give my impressions of the Cintiq Companion

When I told some of my artist friends that I had ordered the new Cintiq Companion from Wacom, they have wanted a review. After all, this new tablet promises to be an incredible tool for artists and designers of all stripes.  And it ain't cheap.  So, the more input you receive before you plunk down your hard earned cash, the better!  Keep in mind, my review is from the point of view of a person who has been using an iPad nearly exclusively for about three years now. 
First off, the Cintiq Companion is one solid piece of work.  Nothing feels cheap about this device.  The seams are all tight and the buttons feel springy and firm.  About the size of two iPads side by side, the Companion is a convenient size for drawing on.  I have gazed at the much larger Cintiq monitors for a long time, but getting this ultra portable model, I do not feel cheated for screen real estate.  The pen is the usual Wacom 2048 levels of sensitivity and supports a tilt function as well.  It works beautifully and is a pleasure to draw with.
The Cintiq Companion comes in two flavors;  Windows 8 or Android.  I am not familiar with Android products, so I chose the Windows version.  Plus, I wanted to be able to  use full fledged PC software and not just apps.  (As an iPad user, I am not looking down on apps!  The iPad is a powerful machine for doing art, even with it's limitations in memory.  It is definitely a very affordable and valuable tool.  If I hadn't needed to make larger files than it could accommodate, I would still be using it!)
I have used Windows 8 on a desktop once or twice, and did not enjoy it.  However, the tablet format makes it all make sense. I find it terribly easy to use and speedy as well, booting up in seconds.  Installing and uninstalling apps and software is easy and the setup fairly painless.  Battery power is very good, and the six hours it claims is pretty solid, even though I really doubt I will be operating away from an outlet a lot.  It does make it convenient for drawing on the couch whilst covered in small dogs, though!
Overall, I love this device.  I'm using Sketchbook Pro 6 on it and am just floored. The ease of drawing on a piece of paper and the ability to edit digitally make this a win on all levels.  The only thing I would change about it is the travel case it comes with:  it needs a strap!  It is not awkward to carry, but a strap would make it perfect.  I'm certain, however, a more luxurious version of this bag WITH said strap will be offered as an accessory in the near future.
Okay, nuff said!  Back to doodling!

1 comment:

  1. Nice review Steve. Now I am wondering out using it to to edit photos.