Looking for a Pen Display (Screen) Tablet? If so, you may have heard about the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16″.
Many reviewers praise it for being a generational leap for Pen Display Tablets. But is it really worth the money? Or is it just another overpriced piece of art tech?
In this review, I’ll answer that question, & I’ll share my personal experience using the Pro for a year. I’ll discuss features, pro, cons, what I made w/ it, & I’ll even share some cheaper alternatives (revealed at the end).
Let’s start the review with what comes in the box when you purchase the 16″ Pro.
What’s In The Box
- Wacom Cintiq Pro 16
- Wacom Pro Pen 2
- 4 color rings
- pen stand with 10 replacement nibs(6 standard, 4 felt), and nib removal tool
- Pen Holder
- AC Adaptor
- Power cable
- Wacom Link Plus
- Quick start guide
- Cleaning cloth
If you’d like to learn more about what’s in the box, I have an in-depth unboxing post/video.
Now that you have an idea of what comes with the product, let’s briefly discuss the tech specs.
SIZE & WEIGHT
Height: 10.4″ (265 mm)
Width: 16.2″ (410 mm)
Depth: .57″ (14.5 mm)
Weight: 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) without optional stand
ACTIVE AREA & SCREEN SIZE
Active Area: 13.6″ x 7.6″ (345 x194 mm )
Screen Size: 15.6 inch”/39.6 cm (Measured Diagonally)
10 Free Nibs Inside Stand: 6 standard & 4 felt
Nib Remover at bottom of the stand
RESOLUTION & TECHNOLOGY
The Touch Keys can be used as shortcuts to specific functions. The Touch Keys are located at the top left of your laptop & light up when it is turned on.
Tablet Mode: Allows you to switch the viewing from your computer to your tablet.
Wacom Desktop Center: Gives you access to Wacom Desktop Center where you can manage & customize your device preferences.
Toggle Keyboard: Will display your on-screen keyboard.
Wacom Display Settings: Opens Wacom Display Settings where you can adjust display settings like the brightness and sharpness of your screen.
Touch On/Off: Turns touch options on & off. (Multitouch options availble)
MAC & PC CONNECTION REQUIRMENTS
USB-C supporting DisplayPort Alternate Mode to USB-C port (or Wacom Link using Mini DisplayPort and USB port)
USB-C port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode (UHD), or Mini DisplayPort/DisplayPort (UHD) and USB-A, or HDMI 2.0 (UHD) and USB-A; Internet access for driver download
So since we have the features defined, what’s the drawing experience like?
My experience Using & Drawing With The Cintiq Pro
For your convenience, I’ve divided each aspect of the drawing experience into subcategories. You can use the table of contents here to read about my experience w/ each specific category.
Are The Drivers Any Good?
Short answer yes, but to be honest, I didn’t own my Cintiq Pro the first week it came out. Drivers are always buggy the first couple weeks of release. So I can’t dispute anyone who had minimal issues with them around the time they were released.
I had no problem downloading & using the driver. Once I connected my device & turned it on, a little screen opened on my computer guiding me on downloading the driver. It was simple & user-friendly.
As always Wacoms drivers allow are far superior to the alternative brands because their drivers allow for deeper customization.
Here’s a list of everything the Drivers allow you to edit.
2.Pen Shortcut keys
3.Express Remote Shortcut keys
It’s also significant to note Wacom is currently the only company that allows for customization for different programs.
Which means the functions of shortcut keys & settings will change depending on what program you have opened.
Above is a photo of the different applications I have my tablet customized for.
Each application has its own unique settings.
If you want to add a new application, you simply click the plus sight on the far right of the Application row.
The photos above are an example of customizing a specific express key to have multiple functions depending on what application is open.
If Google Chrome is open notice how the top express key on the pen is programmed to scroll.
& if Photoshop if open it will operate as a keystroke. The keystroke I chose was command + shift + z. Which allows me to undo the last thing I did in photoshop.
If I were using a non-Wacom tablet, I wouldn’t be able to program functions for different applications. Everything would be universal.
Drawing With The Pro Pen 2
The Pro Pen 2 comes with an ergonomic design, pen stand, extra nibs, built-in eraser & two customizable shortcut buttons.
Its universally considered the best Pen(stylus) available by digital artist & reviewers for a myriad of reasons. Starting with its pressure levels.
The pen pressure is phenomenal at 8,192 levels, but numbers aren’t everything.
What’s more important than high pen pressure is the control of that pen pressure given to you by the pen. So often I use tablets with high pen pressure & they feel too overly sensitive.
My Pro Pen 2 offers me a controlled with surgical accuracy & no parallax. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to drawing with a graphite pencil.
It really helped me create crisp, smooth line work. I also like how controlled the pen is when rendering things like soft skin. Bellow is a work in progress I’m working on w/ my Pro Pen 2.
It offers excellent tilt, about 60levels. Admittedly my style currently doesn’t have a lot of use for tilt brushes. But I still provided some examples of tilt bellow.
The Pro Pen 2 is battery-less & uses EMR technology (electromagnetic resonance). If you’re interested in learning more about EMR technology, I cover it in great detail in my post What Is Wacom Technology.
Overall the pen draws smooth, there is no noticeable jitter, parallax, or lag when drawing.
Bellow is a quick video of me drawing w/ the Pro Pen 2 on my Cintiq Pro 16″. I included it to give you a feel of the drawing experience.
The Pro Pen 2 comes with 4 colored rings.
These rings allow you to distinguish your pen from others.
If you work in an office with another artist, this can come in hand or if you own multiple pens, it can be an excellent way to distinguish each pen from another.
Bellow is an example of 3 different pens w/ 3 different colorings making it easy to pick out which pen is which.
The New Pen Stand & Pen Holder
The Pen stand is newly designed. & in my opinion, an improvement from the old Wacom stand.
It comes with a removable bottom revealing 10 free nibs.
The New Design
A lot of other brands copied the old pen stand’s look, so it’s nice to see Wacom switch things up.
Bellow is a picture of the old stand & Huion’s knock-off version. In case your wondering Huion is a Wacom Alternative that made a name off selling cheap Waterdown Wacom clones.
The old Wacom Pen Stand
The Huion Pen Stand that copied Wacom’s design.
Nib Removal Feature
The new stand is nicely weighted, & has a hole at the bottom of it. You use this hole to remove your pen nib.
I included a video from my youtube illustrating how to remover & replace nibs w/ the pen stand.
Pen Rest Options
The video below illustrates the two ways the pen stand can hold your Pro Pen 2.
The Pen Stand is nice but to be honest I find myself using the Pen Holder more to rest my pen.
The Pen Holder is more convenient for me because it allows less clutter on my desk. because it’s attached directly to the tablet at one of two slots.
photos illustrating the options of displaying the pen holder.
The Glare-Free Screen
The screen is made from an etched glass giving it a paper texture & sound when drawing with the Pen.
Emulating the friction created when drawing on paper. A lot of artists prefer this texture because drawing on a glass texture can be slippery & unnatural due to the lack of friction.
Thee etched glass also helps to prevent glare where is HUGE!
I like to keep my studio well lit & my windows open allowing lots of sunlight in. With other screen tablets, the glare can be distracting.
I noticed my iPad Pro has a glare when it’s not at 100% brightness. This glare obscures the image your drawing, making the experience a lot less precise.
This is why I love my Cintiq Pro because I like working in well-lit rooms.
Another issue I had with my previous pen display tablets was screen brightness. When your tablet doesn’t offer excellent screen brightness, you can’t really work in well-lit environments because the ambient light is competing with your screen dulling the colors & details.
Which is another reason I use my Cintiq Pro often, it’s screen brightness & color is excellent! Allowing me to work in well-lit rooms. They also allow you to adjust your screen brightness for those of you that prefer a dimmer screen.
Resolution & Pixel Density
The 4K resolution display was excellent for working on a detailed digital art.
I was also surprised by how high the pixel density was. On previous tablets zooming in would cause the image to get slightly pixelated. I work with a lot of detail, so low pixel density can really work against me.
The color accuracy is also terrific, & honestly a lot better than the 13″ Pro. The color gamut is about 94% Adobe RGB. So basically none of my art looks dull or off-colored when working.
The screen is 15.6″ measured diagonally, where is where the name 16″ pro comes from. It’s the screen size rounder up. It’s not as big as the 24
” or 32″ but this doesn’t mean its small.
In fact, it feels pretty big when you plop it on your desk & start working. It takes up a lot of space on a desk so its the perfect size until I upgrade my work studio.
Cons Of Matte Screen
Fair warning if you’re like me & use lotion the oils from your hand will create marks on the matte screen. It’s not an issue when using the tablet because the light from the screen cancels out any blemishes but when it’s turned off the stains are pretty obvious.
These are easy to clean of with a microfiber cloth, provided in the box .
Overall Product Quality
Firstly the box design is was cool, I like that each Cintiq pro model has different box art. The product was packaged well, tightly placed in plastic.
The front of the body is covered by a matte eteched glass that stretches beyond the screen. The back is made from quality gunmetal.
The overall weight of the 16″ pro is pretty light at about 3.3 lbs. It feels slightly lighter because the design of the tablet creates an excellent weight distribution. I am 185 lbs 5’11” so take that with a grain of salt if your a smaller person, because it might feel heavier for some.
The cords feel durable & provide a good amount of length. Which in all honesty is excellent for me because my studio’s outlets are awkwardly placed in my apartment.
Quality & Astethic Summary
Overall the product feels & looks like a premium product. There’s no cheap plastic or flimsy accessories.
It’s also just a sexy piece of art tech. It looks great on a clean white tablet.
Is The Multitouch Good?
This is a bit of a loaded question, the short answer is yes & no. I would say the multitouch has potential, but in order to experience its full potential, there are a couple of strict guidelines you need to follow. Let’s start with palm rejection.
When my hands are dry the palm rejection works perfectly. As soon as my hands are sweaty or oily from lotion it starts to do whatever it wants. Zooming, panning, rotating, etc.
One thing you can do to prevent this is to use a tablet glove. They absorb sweat/lotion & keep your hand dry.
You can also try limiting the number of functions you have set for multitouch. This should decrease the chance of random functions occurring. For some reason rotate would always randomly happen when I worked on photoshop with a sweaty hand.
The best option tho is the touch button.
As soon as your done with the multitouch hit the touch key & you won’t have any touch issues. I’m happy Wacom included this but I would like to see a day where the touch was more accurate. My iPad doesn’t have an option to turn touch off that I know of. But it doesn’t need to because their touch is incredibly accurate and I rarely have issues with it.
If you have a laggy computer or too many applications open you will have some lag issues. This is always resolved by keeping unnecessary apps closed & having a good computer.
One Last Note!
One thing that threw me off was the amount of pressure I had to apply to make the touch work. It wasn’t anything that would damage the screen but after using my iPad Pro it does feel a little extra.
The Cintiq Pro comes with two strong 40 degree legs.
They surprisingly study but unfortunately, they don’t offer any angles of incline beyond 180 & 40 degrees.
The legs are completely unnoticeable until you press down on them, activating the internal spring mechanism. Popping them out. Without this spring the legs would be impossible to grab & adjust. See the video below for more details.
You can connect your Cintiq Pro via cable. It’s crucial that you read the cables provided so that you know if your computer is compatible with the Cintiq Pro. I included a video below from Wacom‘s youtube that covers connection.
- AC adaptor
- Power cable
- Wacom Link Plus with Micro-USB
- HDMI port and 2 USB-C port
- USB-C to USB-C
- Mini-DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort
- USB-A to Micro-USB
the charger has good cable length which is a HUGE plus! But let’s be honest the cords can be a bit cumbersome.
plugs provide power
Some of you may know this already but for that who don’t Cintiq Pro’s power source is your electric outlet. So there is no battery, it gets it’s power directly from your outlet.
Why the Amazon Reviews Are BS
I won’t spend too much time discussing this here, in fact, I wrote an entire post about Why The Amazon Review For the Cintiq Pro Are Bs if you’re interested in learning more.
Because I already have a post that covers this topic in detail I’ll try to this as short as possible.
I have two significant issues w/ some of the more common complaints I’ve seen in the review section.
The first issue I have is most the complaints are could’ve circumvented by reading about the product. A lot of people are complaining about things like connection issues or laggy UA.
If you read the product before buying, you’d know if it will connect to your computer or not.
If you’re experiencing your lag it’s not the Cintiq it’s your computer. The Cintiq doesn’t act independently, it mimics your computer screen. Meaning if you’re computer is laggy your Cintiq is laggy, & if your computer is fast, your Cintiq is fast.
My second issue about the reviews are a lot of them are lies.
To my knowledge, customer service can fix whatever issues don’t fit into the two categories I described.
I use my Pro almost daily & it just confuses me to see so many blatant lies. Yet Products like Huion Screen tablets, which were a nightmare to use somehow get better reviews.
- No noticeable parallax
- High-Pressure levels + natural drawing experience.
- Virtually lag free tracking
- Great color gamut coverage
- Pro Pen 2 is the best stylus available
- Comes with 10 different kinds of Free Nibs
- Pen Stand is nice & weighted
- Express Key Remote sold separately
- Legs could have more angles of incline.
- Multitouch isn’t perfect
What I Made W/ It
Where to get the cheapest price
Art supplies can get expensive, so I provided multiple links below to make sure you get the best price.
If you would like to learn more about sales, price reductions, or discounted refurbished Cintiq Pros I cover that topic in my article “Looking For A Cheap Cintiq Pro?”
My Final Opinion
My verdict on the Cintiq Pro 16 is it’s a luxury product with great specs & features. It’s not flawless, but…
In comparison to its competition, it’s the closest we’ll get to perfect.
If you’re a Pro or someone who creates digital art often its perfect for you. It’s not too big, not too small, & provides the artist with a quality drawing experience.
If you’re a beginner or hobbyist with a modest budget, you’re better off buying a graphics tablet.
Lastly, if you have an old, slow computer, please do your research before purchasing. Try to speed your computer up, & find out if it will work with the plugs provided with the Cintiq Pro.
Improvements I Would Like To See
I have 2 things I’d like to see in the future in regards to the Cintiq Pro 16
1.A more accurate multitouch
2.Free Express Key Remote For the 13″ & 16″ models
The Next Best Thing
Quick disclaimer, the Wacom Cintiq Pro is the best Pen Display Tablet out right now. Which means any alternative I include in this section is a distant second place.
I’m not trying to spook anyone, I just want the expectations to be accurately set. The Cintiq Pro is a luxury piece of art tech; the alternatives are not luxury. This doesn’t mean they’re cheap they’re just a generation behind both in features & hardware.
Prices The Date This Article Was Published
The Cintiq 16″ (NON PRO version)
The Huion Kamvas 22″
So What Should You Do Now?
Make It Yours!
Or check out my curated list of art supplies I use Daily by clicking the photo below!