Objects of Desire: Wacom Cintiq 21UX
May 2, 2010
By Dan Havlik
Along with customizable Express Keys on either side of the screen's bezel which you can program to launch applications and perform tasks, the new Cintiq 21UX adds rear Touch Strips to control zooming, scrolling, making brush-size adjustments, or rotating the canvas depending on the program you're working in. The Touch Strips are easy to set and adjust using two new thumb-friendly Touch Strip Toggle buttons on the back of the bezel. Meanwhile, an LED light on the Toggle Button tells you the current function of the Touch Strip. (Yes, the Cintiq 21UX was clearly designed by someone with control issues but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.)
More important than the ergonomics is the level of sensitivity offered by Wacom's Grip Pen on the 21UX display. As on Wacom's non-LCD Intuos4 tablet, the Cintiq 21UX Grip Pen provides 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, letting you make photo edits with only the slightest touch on the screen. Wacom says its new proprietary Tip Sensor technology offers "near-zero" (about one gram) starting pressure which makes it feel pretty close to putting an actual pen to paper.
Our biggest gripe about Wacom's touch-screen LCD Cintiq line over its Intuos tablets is the price. While you can get a wireless Intuos tablet for about $400, the Cintiq 21UX will set you back nearly $2,000. Yes, that's a big difference, but for those photographers who want the luxury of making edits directly on the display rather than relying on hand-eye coordination between tablet and screen, the extra cost may be worth it. If we had the money to spend on a Cintiq 21UX, we'd definitely go for it too.
Further information: www.wacom.com