Wacom's first generation MobileStudio Pro was a big step up from their older Companion models, especially considering there were 2 sizes, and high-end versions had a 3D Camera built in. However, the unit had some draw backs that a few users took issue with. Just like the Companions, the MobileStudio couldn't be upgraded and customized. And unfortunately, not too many people used the 3D camera on the higher end models. There was also a whole ordeal with the stands not being included or even available at launch.
Wacom has listened quite a bit to the community since then and is vastly improving their models each step of the way. So far, only the 16 inch MobileStudio Pro Gen2 is available to order and I've heard the 13 inch should be out later this year. Wacom took customers' feedback and will now include a stand with each unit. Whether this drives the price up, I'm not sure.
They will also produce less model variations and provided a way for consumers to upgrade the RAM and storage through a backplate on the unit. The basic specs for the 16 inch include: 16GB of RAM (upgradeable), a 512GB SSD (upgradeable), an Intel Core i7-8559U CPU, and NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4GB GPU.
These specs are pretty good for avid users of 3D programs like Zbrush, Maya, and AutoCad programs. We recently had pro artists Justin Fields and Dean Deakyne over at our store for a workshop and they both took turns using the new MobileStudio Pro. Justin used Zbrush extensively and Dean switch over to Substance painter on the same model, with very few hiccups. I know Justin already has early access to a 16 inch that he tells us he loves and uses almost daily. I know not everyones experience with Wacom is the same, but take it from the pros, this new Mobile Studio Pro is "pretty damn good."
As I said in my first review for the Mobile Studio Pro, it is an incredible machine for the average 3D mobile artist. However, for an illustrator, this can be overkill at a $3500 price point. We have yet to find out how much the 13 inch will be, but it should be considerably cheaper compared to the 16 inch. This might make it a bit more feasible for an Illustrator but it is still a powerful machine geared towards higher end users. Someone who just wants to sketch or draw without photoshop will probably opt for the iPad Pro instead.
It's also a bit thicker than the first Gen, so if you're carrying this all day, you might start to feel the weight after a while. I have not been able to test battery life, but the MSP Gen1 battery was pretty good, and the spec list says the Gen2 has an average battery life of 5 hours of moderate use. Thats pretty good for a plane ride or bus trip!
As long as you understand what it is and who it's targeted for, then there's not much I can find disappointing with this new design. I had hoped that it wouldnt be delayed and the 13 inch would be released at the same time, but these things happen. Maybe Im use to the delays in launch but hopefully it doesn't bother anyone else as well.
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