My first day and impressions of my Wacom Cintiq 22 HD Touch

This article is not a Wacom Cintiq 22 HD review trying to give a mark to the product. It’s just a share of my first impression and real experience with the digital tablet. You will see the plus and minus I met as a new Cintiq user who wondered for pretty long if I should buy a Wacom Cintiq.


Cintiq 22 HD or 24 HD?



Two different formats. XL or XXL?

The Cintiq 22 FULL HD is the digital tablet I started to target.
Then I saw the 24HD Touch for sale, second hand at Singapore.gumtree.sg at a similar price.

It was worth considering both.

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 (as we were classmates for 4 years at CREAPOLE-ESDI Design school in Paris).

Rotate the Wacom Cintiq 22 to draw

Rotate the Wacom Cintiq 22 to draw

Adrien warmly advised me the 22HD as:

  • It’s much easier to maneuver.
  • You can rotate the screen.

The 24HD is awesome but really big and heavy (40kg). Also, its adjustable stand doesn’t allow rotation.

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

The day after I went to an IT shopping mall to look for trying these 2 digital tablets.


Touch or no touch?

I had to choose between two versions 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 and type on the screen.

However, according to Adrien, it is really common with the Touch version 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 pay more for an option I might deactivate?

Wrong usage of the Wacom Cintiq

What you see on the picture above (I took it from the Wacom official website) is 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. 


Buying the expo model?

The IT shop I went to gave me an offer. The price of the 22HD Touch EXPO model for cheaper than a NEW 22HD without Touch. Plus, I wouldn’t need to wait for him to order a new one. I could bring back home the graphic 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, but nobody bought it. I guess such material is pretty much for professionals.

The tablet was in great condition except for some fingerprint on it. Hehe. So I took the offer and bring back my new “20kg toy” at home with ”a banana smile”!!


FIRST IMPRESSIONS AFTER UNPACKED

I am super excited but also intimidated. Will I do a good usage 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.

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 from the wall.

My desk with Wacom Cintiq 22 and iMac

My desk with Wacom Cintiq 22 and iMac

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 a vertical position.
The Cintiq 22HD in vertical position allows you to free some space for sketching on paper (Impossible with Cintiq 24HD).


DIGITAL PEN CALIBRATION

When you plug your tablet, you need to calibrate the pen to the screen. It was really easy, and relevant. And I always love the pen pressure sensitivity of Wacom’s products.

The Wacom Companion or my Asus tablet EP 121 tends to have a bug. The pointer getting further from the tip when you draw near the edges of the screen. This lack of precision was annoying. So I kept drawing only in the center.

With the Cintiq 22HD,
the digital pen calibration is perfect on 100% surface of the screen.


DRAWING LIKE PAPER FEELING

Wacom pen Cintiq with the set of nibs

Wacom pen Cintiq with the set of nibs

Wacom Cintiq 22 HD Touch nibs

Wacom Cintiq 22 HD Touch nibs

Wacom provides a set of nibs.
The felt nibs give a sensation closer to drawing on paper. However, it gets used with time, so you need to replace it once in a while.


Inclination and rotation of the tablet

Being used to Screen tablet, I thought I would adapt very fast to the Cintiq. But my first lines were clumsy. It gets better after a 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 bothers 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 rotating 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 an XL one.

To avoid drawing “like a contortionist”, I moved myself to my wheelchair to adjust my body position. Let’s see in the next few weeks how I will adapt better.

One of the main obstacles to progressing in the drawing is a bad posture.


UPDATE: I bought an ERGOTRON arm for my Cintiq. It’s like a mechanical arm that gives the free movement of the Cintiq.

Ergotron arm with my Cintiq 22HD

Ergotron arm with my Cintiq 22HD


The custom side buttons

Wacom added some side buttons. You can use them as a shortcut for your software. eg. Undo/redo, save.. any functions you need for Photoshop.

I thought it was a great idea but after testing them for a few hours, I have just deactivated the functions. Why? Because:

  • I am so used to the keyboard shortcuts.
  • Plus there are not enough buttons to cover the 12 main keyboard shortcuts I use the most.
  • I sometimes accidentally press a button while manipulating the tablet.

Left hand on the wireless keyboard for the shortcuts, right hand for drawing.

I feel lucky. Most of the shortcuts I use for Photoshop is on the left side of the keyboard.

  • Left side: I use the letters C, V, B, N, S, T, A, Z, F, D, TAB.
  • Right side, I only use 3 shortcuts: I, +, -.

I recommend you guys to practice Photoshop and Illustrator with the shortcuts. It won’t be natural at the 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 a few cms 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 much bigger digital workspace. Today is Day 1, I notice that I have lost in fluidity, the flexibility of movement, and speed. It is not as intuitive as I thought at the start. I am switching from the 13″ to 22″. I need to continue to practice more at it and get familiar with 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

Chou-Tac

Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

15 Comments

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply October 9, 2019

    Hi I recently purchased a wacom pro 24. It is my first cintiq and im finding it very hard to adjust. It does not feel like paper at all to me and it just feels strange to draw on. Is this something you get used too or did I make a mistake.

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply October 9, 2019

      Hello Andrew,

      That is a very cool first Wacom tablet you have.

      I had the chance to try it, and I personally went to choose the 21. Because you can rotate the screen while you draw. I like to get a similar feeling when I draw on paper and tablet as well.

      Don’t worry, the Wacom 24 is still amazing. However, you will need more time to adapt to it.
      The surface is huge and rotation is not possible.

      It is more like a traditional painting format.

      To get used to it, you will need to adapt your arm movement. I invite you to warm up with circles ellipses, straight lines… exercises you can find in the Designer Starter Kit.

      Remember to move your whole arm and use the ghost drawing – move your elbow backward for circles and ellipses.

      You may have the TOUCH option available.
      I personally do not like it much on WACOM. It is not very responsive like iPad Pro. I have the TOUCH option on my tablet 21 and I decided to deactivate it.

      Feel free to try to get your own opinion.

      About the surface paper feel, try the felt nib. It is awesome 🙂

      Another alternative to me if you can’t get used to it, it would be giving back the Wacom 24 and get a smaller one such as the 21 or 13 which is also great!

      Hope it helps!
      Cheers,
      Chou-Tac

  • John

    Reply Reply April 22, 2017

    1.Recently Im wonderring that if it is worth to buy the Wacom DTHW1620H Mobile Studio Pro 16″ it that great?

    2.and i saw one of them sold on Amazon. why this one so much cheaper than others.
    https://www.amazon.com/Wacom-DTHW1620H-Mobile-Studio-Windows/dp/B01M5BBZ2E/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1492843947&sr=1-1&keywords=wacom+mobile+studio+pro

    3.I dont wanna connect to a Computer to use it. Or I just have to suffer >_<

    Dear Chou-Tac~~~ can u give me some suggestion?

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply April 22, 2017

      Hello John,

      I did not had the chance to try it yet. However from what I saw from artist reviews on Youtube, it seams solving most of the big issues its predecessors have (Wacom Companion).

      I did tried to sketch on the Wacom Companion, and it was really decceiving.

      Anyway, this version seams to be great, I would highly recommend you to make a try !
      Make sure the pen is not jittering, no lag when you use a big brush on Photoshop, that your nib and cursor are matching with precision, and there is no big gap appearing when you nib goes on the side of your screen.

      The extra thing is make sure the battery life is enough for you. To me it’s still too low. I wish having a tablet I could bring all day without charging. Note that the charger seams not too big, still pretty ok to carry.

      If you need portability, I may consider the 13″ though.

      Cheers,
      Chou-Tac

      • John

        Reply Reply April 24, 2017

        thannnnnnnnnnnks Chou~Tac~
        that really help a lot!
        im wondering where i can try it in Singapore~its hard to find.
        And i wanna the 16″ because i can ues it all the time i think?
        if the DTHW1620H doesnt work out , maybe i will wait,just uesing my wacom intuos.

        the Cintiq 22HD seems too big for me?
        how u feel about it as uesing for sometime?

        • Chou-Tac

          Reply Reply April 25, 2017

          Yeah, it’s super tough to find places where you can try Wacom tablet in Singapore.
          I used to go tu Funan before. This is where I bought my 22HD.

          As you might know, Funan is not like before anymore.

          To me the 22HD is very big.I use it with an Ergotron arm.
          Actually I am even considering selling it to get the Mobile Studio Pro 16″ instead.

  • Renau

    Reply Reply November 26, 2016

    I am going to buy the 22D or 22D Touch for my daughter and was thinking the latter. The review on the touch are not great though- screen issues, etc. Any feedback on which way to go? Thank you!

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply November 27, 2016

      Hello Renau,

      I never heard about issue with the screen because of the Touch.

      My Wacom Cintiq 22HD has the touch, and I personally never use this function. I simply deactivated it. It’s actually working very well, but it happens I do palm conflict sometime, and it irritates me hehe. (Even though I am a pretty zen person)

      It’s to me just a question of being used to it, and I have been personally trained using Photoshop or other softwares with the left hand on the keyboard to get all the shortcuts I need.

      If your daughter is already an experienced user of Photoshop, I would recommend her to use the keyboard. Otherwise, she can start training with the Touch, it is a great function for zoom in and rotate the Canvas. 🙂

      Hope it helps !

      Cheers,
      Chou-Tac

  • 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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