Cintiq Pro 16
I’ve posted reviews of the new Cintiq Pro before, but here I’ll try to be more critical comparing it to the iPad Pro. Of course the most obvious downside is that you need a computer to hook up to. It shouldn’t be an issue since you have the option to get a MobileStudio Pro instead, but when comparing to the iPad Pro, it is a negative.
To start, the screen has a great feel to it, a semi-matte surface that doesn’t make you feel you’re ice skating around your art. Although I do wish it could get a bit brighter, it’s probably ok if you’re not using it outside. Being more familiar with Photoshop, it was more of natural feel testing the product on a familiar system. If you have an older computer you might notice some lag, but even that is hardly noticeable. The parallax has also improved greatly; it doesn’t feel like I’m drawing through a thick windowpane anymore! Wacom has also managed to improve the colors for the Cintiq Pros. The 16” has a higher resolution than the 13”, but if the 13” is your choice than you might only notice a difference with bright neon colors between the Cintiq and your computer monitor.
The new Pro Pen 2 is a nice upgrade to the older pens, but other than sensitivity, its very similar to the first Pro Pen. It’s not as sleek as the Apple Pencil but feels a bit more natural to use than the common Grip Pen; or you can always purchase the Wacom Classic Pen, similar in size to other traditional tools. The Sensitivity is amazing with higher levels of pressure for smoother thick to thin transitions. The erase functionality on these pens is also a bonus.
I had the chance to test out Procreate for the iPad, and even though my review is mainly on the device itself, the app has to influence my review somewhat. The iPad Pro is great on the go not being tethered to anything, but reviewed as a creative tool, it definitely has its drawbacks.
First, I’d like the screen to get a bit brighter even though it already consumes a lot of battery life. It seems the only good place to use the iPad Pro for art might be a dimly lit room. The image resolution is HD and looks pretty good, but for some reason still has a noticeable “screen-door” effect. I think the feel of the screen is way too slick, similar to old Wacom Cintiqs; which they have now fixed with their matte screens.
The Apple Pencil feels the same way, I love the design and how sleek it is, but when holding it for a period of time it tends to lose grip. I the tilt feature in the Pen did not seem as functional as in Wacom Pens. The pressure sensitivity is also lacking in range. Many of the brushes in Procreate look and work great, especially for an app, but the sensitivity I think could have more levels. Whether that’s the Pencils fault or the app, I’m not sure.
The iPad Pro definitely wins over portability, but putting aside the software used, the Cintiq is a much better choice for any industry creative or student. The pen to screen feels much more natural on the Cintiqs’. I haven’t had a chance to test it, but the Cintiq 16 supposedly looks great in 4K (if you have a 4K capable computer). There is just so much more that is possible with the Cintiq Pro rather than being limited to just apps. Even though the Apple Pencil is beautifully designed, the Wacom Pens are far more advanced.
Overall, the iPad is fun to use, especially with Procreate; but if you’re use to Photoshop, want more power, and you need to do more than simple painting or sketching, then the Cintiq is the obvious choice.