It's wonderful to have a decent drawing tablet for art and creative work. It's even better to have a large enough surface on which to work and get in finer details, drawing directly on the screen. Wacom's Cintiq line offers that ability to draw directly on the screen, getting you right up close to your work, just as you would on paper. Having reviewed several Wacom products over the years, I thought it would be nice to have a look at the Cintiq Pro 24.
First Look and Set-up
First of all, the Cintiq Pro 24 is big. The screen size, measured diagonally is 23.6 inches, but then there is the bezel area around it, bringing full measurements to 26.65 x 15.5 inches. As large as it is, it's far lighter than I would have imagined (about 16 lbs.), and it is quick to adapt to. It does not come with a stand, but you can purchase the Cintiq 27QHD Ergo Stand , or the Flex Arm from Wacom (which I am also reviewing here). There are two sturdy legs that fold out of the back of the unit to give you a decent angle, though.
The Cintiq Pro 24 comes in two models - with or without touch functionality. The model I'm reviewing does not have touch. The price jumps considerably with the touch version, but I'm not too fond of touch on a large screen as I tend to accidentally move my canvas while drawing. There is also a Cintiq Pro Engine (a PC unit that connects by sliding into the back of the Cintiq, essentially turning it into an all-in-one).
The unit ships with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, a pen stand/holder that also holds the nibs (6 standard and 4 felt), and the excellent ExpressKey remote (more on this later). You also get a variety of cables to ensure you can connect to your computer, including: DisplayPort to DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C to USB-C, Micro USB (to charge the ExpressKey Remote).
Using Adobe's After Effects on a large screen is awesome!
You will definitely need to have a large desk space available to set this unit up, lest you don't have the need for much desk area. And this is the smaller of the latest Cintiqs (there is a Cintiq Pro 32 available as well). There is a quick-start guide that helps in the easy set up of the unit. I downloaded the latest drivers from the Wacom website, and I was up and running in minutes.
There are 4 touch buttons at the top-right of the display that light up when the unit is on. These call up things like the Wacom control settings, on-screen keyboard, and display settings. With the control settings open, you can customize the Pro Pen and the ExpressKey remote.
If you've used a Wacom tablet, then you know about the ExpressKeys that allow for quick and easy function access, and are always a huge time-saver. But, with the Cintiq Pro 24, Wacom has a beautifully-designed remote, which you can place anywhere around the bezel (the remote will cling by way of the magnetized backing, so it won't slide off as you have the unit angled). This also makes it more comfortable to work no matter if your right or left-handed.
The remote provides plenty of customizable ExpressKeys, plus a touch ring. The remote works on a charge via an included USB cable you connect between the remote and the Cintiq. The real beauty of the ExpressKeys is that you can completely customize key settings for each program you use. And, you can even save your device settings to the Wacom Cloud, so if something were to go awry and your settings revert to default, you can quickly get back up and running again.
Cintiq Pro 24 In Use
First of all, the 4K resolution of this unit is incredible. Video looks fantastic, and the creative programs I use appear wonderfully. I have tested this unit with several programs, including: Corel's Painter, Adobe After Effects, Affinity Designer, and Rebelle...and everything worked like a dream.
The Pro Pen 2 provides 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and has excellent tilt recognition. Drawing/painting on the Cintiq Pro 24 feels great, with just the right amount of friction on the etched glass surface. And, very, very little parallax.
The large bezel on this display is excellent, as there is support for your hand as you work at the edges of whatever it is you're working on. This is the absolute best drawing experience I've had so far of anything that I've used.
The Flex Arm is absolutely fantastic. With a little bit of initial set-up, I was using the Cintiq Pro 24 in all kinds of positions (even flipping the unit portrait-wise). Positioning of the Flex Arm is fluid, and gives nice, sturdy support while drawing on the screen.
The included cable ties help stow neatly all cords. Considering the size of the Cintiq Pro 24, getting something like the Flex Arm is a great idea to free up desk space, while also providing comfort in any position you like to work in.
Equipped with cable ties
I really have been quite impressed with the Cintiq Pro 24...as I expected to be, quite honestly. I have yet to see anything that equals the quality of Wacom products. Though pricing of the Cintiq Pro 24 (currently $2,499.95 USD) could be daunting, if you have a need for a large drawing surface area, and something you can depend on in your daily work, then this is definitely a solid investment.
Be sure to check out the Wacom website for more info on the Cintiq Pro 24, as well as their other creative products.
Nick C Sorbin (Nick Charles) is a former Managing Editor of 9 years for Renderosity's CG Industry News. By day, a mild-mannered Certified Pharmacy Technician working in both home infusion and a hospital ER, contrasting creative outlets as a digital artist, sculptor, musician, singer/songwriter, and Staff Writer for Renderosity Magazine. Read his articles