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Wacom Cintiq 13HD Review of the Graphics Tablet Product test

This Review of the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display is written from the view of a hobby animation guy.

Thoughts on getting a Wacom Cintiq 13hd in the first place

I got in contact with Adobe Flash pretty late ( short before it started dying for most usecases), but I somehow was always fascinated by the things you could achieve with it.

When I started learning Flash I did not own a descent graphics tablet – just some 50 Dollar no name tablet that I bought for a first test.
Later on I bought another tablet/pad which sucked as much as the old one did, but had a little more workspace.

As I never was a professional artist (and probably never will be one) I always hesiated buying a professional tablet / interactive pen display, especially because
my daily job is coding in PHP, Javascript and so on, which is a really time consuming work either, so I thought: you will buy this thing, and before you made use of it, it´ll be outdated
or so anyways.

Aside to my profession of coding I always liked painting and drawing as well as animating – but it was always hard to do on the PC, without a good graphics tablet
and because of the time issue that I generally have by doing programming for a living, having a family and some friends as well as hobbies, I really wanted to make art in the most reusable way, which definitely means: digital.

I did it, I bought the Wacom Cintiq 13hd

So one day, after looking up and down on amazon, ebay and pretty much the rest of the web, searching for Wacom alternatives , talking to designers who had worked with Wacom graphics tablets
I decided to buy the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display.

Wacom Cintiq 13hd – the price and alternatives

The price still seemed a bit high for a hobby which I practice randomly (sometimes I rather abuse my body by going skating to keep the mind and body balance), but compared to the 24 inch versions or a Windows 8 pen Tablet like the MICROSOFT Surface Pro 2 Windows 8.1 or the Wacom Companio (which is available as a Hybrid between an Android and a PC/Mac Screen Device) it was the best choice to make I guess.

For quick sketches while traveling I still own the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 which is enough for that purpose.

The Wacom Cintiq 13hd has arrived

So the next morning my Wacom Cintiq 13hd arrived.
I directly unpacked it.
It came with an (outdated – they always are with every piece of hardware I guess…) drivers dvd some cables, the pen, some spare leads, a box for the pen, the stand for the tablet… and … finally – the tablet itself.

I installed the drivers (FIRST), which i downloaded in an updated version from the acom site and threw everything except of the tablet, cables and pen in the corner and plugged it into my laptop. First thing : open Photoshop and Flash and start painting.
Feels strange, yet good in the first impression.
There are plenty of options to configure in all the programs that support the Wacom Tablet, starting from program specific pressure or tilt sensitivity over custom brushes to use and so on.

Getting used to it

What felt strange in the beginning, was that the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display does not support touch input, which I was used to from the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 on the one hand, but on the other hand, this was somehting that really bugged me ever since, as you really often zoom in or out while painting, even with the settings to prevent it being switched on.

So after some random painting i went into doing some quick animations and started one bigger side project (music video for my brothers hardcode/punkt band).

This would not have been possible without a tablet, and would have been a pain in the ass with preparing everything on paper or doing the line work by mouse – I don´t even wanna think about that option.

The Wacom Cintiq 13HD in action with Adobe Flash and Photoshop
The Wacom Cintiq 13HD in action with Adobe Flash and Photoshop


Although I am not using the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display as much as I´d like to (time issues again) it was really worth the investment.

If you ever bought a shitty graphics tablet before, before buying another shitty one, save some money, wait a month or two more, and get this incredible piece of technology.

But if you are constantly traveling and wanna be creative on the way, you should think about a fully featured Windows 8 Tablet with a pen. But this is directly more thatn double or triple the price.

I am fine with my combination of the laptop and the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display as I would not start working in a cafe or pub, because I like to have a quiet environment to work.

PS: You really want to have a Smudgeguard with your tablet, as it stops your skin from distracting your line strokes and it´ll clean (and keep clean) your tablet while painting.