Wacom Cintiq 12WX Review

Wacom’s Cintiq 12WX combines the best of graphics tablet technology with an excellent interactive display in a portable format that makes it both very versatile and easy to use.

Any graphics professional or computer artist will know a graphics tablet is an indispensable tool and Wacom’s introduction of the Cintiq range and now the Cintiq12WX you have a more portable option in Wacom’s line-up, a line-up that includes the much larger, Cintiq 21UX. The 12WX balances the needs of portability and ease of use while maintaining the overall usefulness of the device.

The 12WX is simply an interactive, pressure sensitive display-come graphics tablet that combines an excellent 12.1-inch TFT colour LCD screen at a relatively affordable price. The 12WX’s slim line dimensions (405x270x17mm) it about the same size as Wacom’s own Intuos3 A5 Wide, graphics tablet. 

In use, it allows you to draw directly onto the display a-la a “normal” graphics table but importantly, removing the sometimes-disjointed feeling you get when using a more traditional graphics pad and PC screen. At around 2-kilos the thing’s not too heavy to use comfortably on your lap thus making the mobile/portable use a very attractive prospect, rather then one of numb legs. 

24-bit colour provides enough scope for it to be used as a primary monitor or one able to mirror an existing display set up and it can work equally well in a multi-monitor array as a second or third but crucially an interactive screen option.
Because the 12WX behaves just like a “normal” pen graphics pad, you get a pressure sensitive Grip Pen that can work at a variety of angles and has 1024 pressure levels that combine well with the system’s 5080 lines per inch resolution. A range of nibs provides a variety of styles and “feels” when drawing, from paintbrushes to felt-tip pens for example.

And, as with Wacom’s Intuos3 range, the 12WX includes 10 programmable ExpressKeys (five a side) and two Touch Strips one each side. The “Keys” allow fast activation of predefined settings such as keyboard shortcuts for CTRL, ALT, or SHIFT function/combinations and to help quickly activate other features such as the display toggle.

In terms of driver software, just like all Wacom’s tablets there’s a broad range of controls over the tablet and pen behaviors which include the sensitivity, adjustments, for pen tip or eraser “feel”, tilt sensitivity and assigning controls to any of the buttons or modifier ExpressKeys.

There a single cable that connects to the 12WX’s powered hub, which has a USB port and a DVI-I port. All cabling necessary is provided including an additional VGA cable with all the supplied cables being long enough for most tasks and desktop sizes at around six feet in length.

Taken on price alone, the Wacom Cintiq 12WX looks expensive. But once out of its box the quality of the display, the build quality and the sheer versatility of the device quickly becomes apparent and makes the Cintiq 12WX an indispensable tool for any graphics professional on less generous budget or for those needing a portable solution to their graphics art production.