The Wacom Cintiq 12WX is one that falls into the middle of these categories. It is an interactive pen display rather than a USB graphics tablet, which allows you to draw directly onto the screen of your application rather than having an external pad that acts as an input to a separate screen. Imagine if you could take your flat screen monitor, angle it to suit and then draw directly into Corel Painter with a cordless pen. That is the benefit an interactive pen display gives you over a graphics tablet. But it is not too expensive or large to be a professional product, and not too small or feature lacking to be a consumer item.
The Wacom Cintiq 12WX houses a bright 1280 x 800 pixel LCD screen, which is a diagonal equivalent to a 12 inch monitor. Onto this screen, you use the supplied cordless pen or stylus which is sensitive to 1024 levels of pressure, giving you finer control over your strokes and marks. The display also allows for 16.7 million colors to be displayed, as per a normal TFT flat screen monitor.
The Cintiq 12WX can be used flat, like a pad or at an angle which can be defined by an adjustable stand on the rear. The connection to your PC or Mac is via a standard USB cable, DVI or VGA and an additional power connection is also required. It also has a pretty long connection wire too, so you can quite comfortably rest it on your lap whist drawing or find the perfect angle to suit you.
As with all other graphics tablets, you simply move the pen over the display and the location is tracked as you move. When you place the pen onto the screen, it is as if you were clicking with your mouse apart from the extra levels of pressure you can apply if you are using a supported graphics program. When you then move the pen, a mark is left on the document you are working on. It is exactly like drawing on paper really and requires no further explanation.
The Wacom Cintiq 12WX also provides 10 programable buttons that are under your left or right hand as you draw which allow you to select zoom levels or layers within Adobe Photoshop. These can also be customized to launch applications too if needed.
The pen is a standard Wacom “grip pen” and features 2 buttons for mode switching or right clicking and also the ability to turn it over to rub out a mistake, which is taken care of automatically as you do it. No need to swap to the eraser tool with this baby. A pen stand is also provided to stop it from rolling under the desk when you leap up to answer the phone.
Overall, the Wacom Cintiq 12WX is a great interactive pen display and everyone will benefit from drawing directly onto the screen. Compared to using a standard graphics tablet, the Cintiq 12WX is light years ahead and it is definitely one of those products that you will love immediately.
There have been complaints of issues where the pad gets hot and has issues with tracking the motion of the pen, but these are few and far between and overall this is an excellent product if you are interested in moving into digital artwork or image editing.