For a student, buying the Wacom Cintiq is most of the time a dream. It’s so expensive. Let me tell you more about the alternative Wacom product I used to have.

However, note that it seams to be tricky to find a retailer if you don’t live in Japan.

The Wacom tablet I get cheaper than a Cintiq

Below, a picture of my previous Wacom screen tablet, Wacom DTI 520 that I bought in Japan, in 2007. I though it would be good to share with you few words about it. If I am not wrong most of you never heard about this tablet before.

Wacom DTI-520 – 15” – I broke the glass, so I taped a new one from a photo frame. It was just perfect. I removed the pod behind, to turn the tablet like a sheet of paper. I could use it in horizontal and vertical position as well.

Wacom is known for its graphic tablet for artist. However they also produce screen tablets for professionals such as medical care, accountancy, retail shop and so on. Something that Wacom do NOT advertise publicly.

wacom-dti-520-originalWacom-dti 520-white

Pro and cons

The look, the size and the price are different. However, the pen is also pressure sensitive. 😀
4 times lesser sensitive than the Cintiq, but personally I havn’t notice any difference).
Feel free to have a look at some artworks I did with that tablet on Pinterest.

choutac-chung-wacom-dti520-the Design Sketchbook

  • The pro:
    – Perfect screen sizes that you can’t find in the Wacom Cintiq series:
    Wacom Cintiq are available in 13”, 22” and 24” while the DTI series provides the intermediate sizes 15” and 17”. Which are to me perfect. Cintiq 13” is too small, and Cintiq 22” tend to be too big and heavy.
    – They are much more affordable.
    – The precision of the pen is perfect. (The portable Wacom Companion is not)
  • The cons:
    – No option made for artist such as side buttons.
    – If you don’t live in Japan, it may be quite tricky to get it (You may try Ebay, or any official Wacom reseller of your region). If you live in US or Europe you may look for these reference number instead: Wacom PL-521 LCD tablet or Wacom PL-720 LCD tablet,

    I found the official Wacom reseller for Singapore : Persol, Wacom retailer. You may want to contact them.

New version available

Note that the DTI series has been replaced by slimmer tablets. I havn’t personally tried them, but it may be worth considering.

Wacom Persol

If you are a student on the budget I would recommend you guys to explore more about these tablet instead of taking by default the 13”. It’s up to you !
If you know where we could get these tablet, please let us know in the comment! Thank you.

By Chou-Tac

Hello! 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 is to help you all along with your design projects and journey! Leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at : ) Chou-Tac

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