Another year, another CES. after playing musical chairs with their Intuos family and Bamboo styluses, Wacom has reinvigorated their Cintiq lineup with muted fanfare and a more intimate booth. After lusting for a Cintiq 24HD for what seemed like forever they debuted a bigger and more amazing Cintiq 27QHD, a flagship graphic display that’s not only bigger but adds some unique premium flourishes to the no-nonsense formula.
It’s pretty damn big at 30.3 x 18.3 x 2.14 inches and has a shiny bezel that will eat up desk space, HDMI has been added along with USB 3.0 too. The resolution has also been bumped up to 2560 x 1440 and comes with 96% accuracy of the Adobe RGB gamut if you stick with DisplayPort. The most profound feature though is the new ExpressKey remote that replaces the standard set of buttons previously found on the unit itself, the ability to program up to five of these to a single 27QHD tablet, and backwards compatibility with previous models.
In its current form, the 27QHD has the same orientation as an typical artist’ desk which is roughly a fixed 15-degree tilt. When drawing the angle was fine with no awkward feel to my wrist after a brief 20 minute session, and I imagine that most designers will have very little issues also. The multipurpose stand from the 24HD returns and can be easily installed for tilt, height, and pivoting, but isn’t included in the package and will set you back an additional $300.
Other than that, it’s business as usual sporting the same 2048 pressure levels and accuracy. My brief hand-on experience was great and the remote but to be expected if you’ve ever used a 22HD or 24HD, and of course you either opt for a touch-based model or traditional — as long as you have at least $2399.99 to spend right now.
The Cintiq Companion 2 also debuted featuring raised ExpressKeys, compatibility with Mac computers through mirroring, and updated internals. Details were mum but Wacom has expanded the range from a basic Intel Core i3 CPU model with embedded 4400 HD graphics and 4GB of DDR3 memory, to an Enterprise-ready version with a Core i7 featuring vPro technology and TPM chip security. Expect to see these heavily refreshed versions to arrive sometime this Spring.
For people who were interested, the Android-based Cintiq Companion Hybrid has been discontinued and the 24HD is confirmed to be dropped in the coming months as well. Expect Popzara to go hands-on with the latest renditions later this year.