First day with a Wacom Cintiq 22 HD Touch


This article is not a review trying to give a mark to the product. It’s just a share about my first impression and real experience. You will see the plus and minus I met as a Cintiq new user.

22HD or 24HD ?

Two different format. XL or XXL ?

The Cintiq 22HD is the tablet I started to target. Then I saw the 24HD Touch for sale, second hand at with a reasonable price. It was worth considering.

I asked opinion to my friend Adrien Wira, designer at Adidas about which tablet would fit me better. He owns the Cintiq 22HD, saw people using the 24HD and he especially knows the way I sketch (we was classmate for 4 years). He warmly advised me the 22HD as it’s much easier to manoeuvre. You can rotate the screen. The 24HD is awesome, but really big and heavy (40kg) and you can’t rotate it.

We concluded that getting the 24HD was like buying a luxury Porsche that would be hard to control.

The day after I went to a IT shopping mall to look for trying these tablets.

Touch or no Touch?

I had to choose between two version of the tablet: a Touch and non Touch. Take note that the Touch version is about 15% more expensive !It makes the Cintiq like a big Ipad. You can Zoom in and out with your fingers, make also a keyboard appears. According to Adrien it is really common to have a conflict between the palm recognition and the pen. It means your palm would accidentally draw on your canvas. Kind of irritating. Why paying more for an option I may end to deactivate? What you see on the picture below (I took it from Wacom official website) is actually impossible. You can’t use the zoom when your pen tip is on the screen. I guess it was also the first day the guy met the Wacom as well. Ahah.

The shop gave me an offer. The price of the 22HD Touch EXPO model for cheaper than a NEW 22HD without Touch. Plus, I could bring the tablet immediately (any new Cintiq in Singapore needs to be preorder, there is no stock in any shop). The expo model was out for 2 months in a non crowded shop. It was in a great condition except some finger print on it. So I took the offer and bring back my new 20kg toy at home with ”a banana smile”.


I though I would be more excited. It was a mix feeling of Wow! and intimidation. Will i do a good usag
e of that machine? Time will tell. Cintiq or not Cintiq I aim to improve my skills. 🙂

Monster Size

The tablet is wider than my shoulders. You rotate it like a truck steering.
My Asus EP121 vs the new Cintiq22HD.

Plan to get a Cintiq ? Plan a big desk.

The way each device is oriented when I draw on it.

My desk being against the wall, the corner of the tablet was bumping it when I rotated it. So I shifted the desk of 15 cm form the wall. I recommend a deep and wide desk to set up your tablet and your computer.  If you need to sketch on paper you can just put the Cintiq back in vertical position.
The Cintiq 22HD in vertical position allows you to free some space for sketching on paper (Impossible with Cintiq 24HD).


When you plug your tablet, you need to calibrate the pen to the screen. It was really easy, and relevant. The Wacom Companion or my Asus tablet EP 121 tend to have the pointer getting further from the tip when you get near the border of the screen. It was annoying, as you loose in precision. So I kept drawing only in the center. With the Cintiq 22HD, the calibration is perfect, anywhere on the screen.


Wacom Cintiq 22 HD Touch nibs

Wacom provides a set of nibs. The felt nibs give a sensation closer to drawing on paper.

Inclination and rotation of the tablet

Being used to Screen tablet, I though I would adapt very fast to the Cintiq. But my first lines was clumsy. It get better after few hours of practice. Why?

I tried the tablet in multiple positions. I am not able today to draw with the vertical position. A small inclination bother me. It happens that the 22HD can’t be fully horizontal. I need to practice some more for my arm to adapt to the new angles.

I am used to rotate the paper fast when I sketch. My previous tablet is portable so I could rotate the screen easily. Now, I feel more restricted in my movement. I can rotate the screen, but it is now a XL one. To avoid drawing “like a contortionist”, I moved myself on my wheel chair to adjust my body position. Let’s see in the next few weeks how I will adapt better.

the custom side buttons

Wacom added some side buttons. You can use them as shortcut for your software. eg. Undo/redo, save.. any functions you need for Photoshop. I though it was a great idea but after testing them for few hours, I have just deactivated the functions. Why ? Because I am so used to the keyboard shortcuts. Plus there is not enough buttons to cover my 12 main shortcuts I use the most. I will slowly try to input some side functions such as the screen capture.

Left hand on the wireless keyboard for the shortcuts, right hand for drawing. I feel lucky. Most of the shortcut I use for Photoshop are on the left side of the keyboard. Left side: I use the letters C, V, B, N, S, T, A, Z, F, D, TAB. For the right side I only use 3: I, +, -. I recommend you guys to practice Photoshop and Illustrator with the shortcuts. It won’t be natural at start for sure ! But in my opinion, it’s worth it. You will save a lot of time.

Conclusion about the touch option

The tablet can detect the presence of the pen few cm from the screen. When detected, the touch option is automatically deactivated. It is quite smart. However, I felt that it is not as reactive as I wish when I want to zoom in or out. It is not as good as Ipad.

I feel kind of excited having a such bigger digital workspace. Today is Day 1, I notice that I have lost in fluidity, flexibility of movement and speed. It is not as intuitive as I though at start.  I am going to continue to practice more at it, and get familiar to this wonderful machine.

If you already a Cintiq user, please let me know about your experience.
Feel free to leave a comment.

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About The Author


If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my career, I believe that they can also help you to learn, and help you with your projects. Whether Design is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.


  • Peter Martins

    Reply Reply September 25, 2016

    Bonjour Chou-Tac,

    I just bought my very first graphics tablet. It’s a second hand 21UX (2nd gen). It bigger than I thought! I really didn’t sketch much on A3, so it looks so big. But actually it feels natural, and having all that extra space on the tablet is great.

    I’m just learning my way around Sketchbook Pro. I just focusing a lot more on my sketching skills, and hope that developing sketching skills on paper and tablet will make me a more valuable industrial designer.

    How are you going along with yours after 2 years?

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply September 25, 2016

      Hey Peter,

      I believe you made a great choice for your Wacom graphic tablet as the 21 is to me a better size than the 22 which is a even bigger.

      The Wacom 21 is easier to rotate, so the feel get more natural to me. 🙂

  • Vlad K

    Reply Reply August 25, 2016

    Thank you very much for so informative topic
    I am going to buy one at the same 22 H and it is a very important for me to know your opinion
    Thanks again

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply August 25, 2016

      Awesome, enjoy your new Wacom tablet 22HD! 🙂

      It’s gonna be fun 🙂

  • Ashley

    Reply Reply November 15, 2015

    Nice post, very useful!

  • Chou-Tac Chung

    Reply Reply November 5, 2014

    Hey! Glad you came visit the blog and that you dowloaded the Kit. Anytime, let me know about your progress. I am sure your skills will be back very soon. Thanks again for selling me the Cintiq. Sure I do like it. – From the buyer of the 22 HD. 😉

  • Koh Kew Siong

    Reply Reply November 5, 2014

    That fast u r back n start using it, I am Happy that you like it…
    Just DL theDesignerStarterKit, long time never draw, hope can start up soon…
    fr the Seller of 22HD 🙂

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