Cintiq 13″HD Review

For an early Christmas gift I decided to give myself an upgrade in the office – a Cintiq 13″HD!  I’ve been dying to purchase one for a while.  I wasn’t sure what size I wanted to get and delayed purchasing one  until the 13″HD came around.

I’m sure a lot of artists out there would much rather spend a few more bucks on a larger version.  I bounced that idea around myself.  But I still ended up preferring the idea of the 13″ for a couple of reasons.   First off, I like the portability.  I have it connected to my laptop and can move the two around the house without too much of a hassle.  And I like being able to sit back in a comfy chair and draw on my lap as well.  My other reason is that this is actually larger than the 4 x 6 Intuos 3 graphics tablet I’ve been using for over 9 years!


Surprisingly, this little baby has been a real workhorse over the years.  I’m still using the original nib believe it or not.  And the only real problems has been some of the finish on it has worn off from use.  And maybe it’s become a little hinky when you use the lasso tool in photoshop.  But I’m used to it and I’m happy to keep it around as my backup now.

But I finally decided to work more digitally – mainly for speed with the work I do through my storyboard agency.  Had one HUGE job that if I had been working fully digital, it would have saved me a few headaches.

Working fully onscreen sounded (and looked) so cool!  I loved the idea of cutting out the disconnect that you get when working on a graphics tablet.

Okay, I went for it and plopped down my cash for a beautiful Cintiq 13″HD!

c2So pretty!!  It comes with a slick new pen and case with a bunch of nibs (the last one went for 9 years so far so I think I should be good for the next century or so).

c3I guess they also slimmed down the amount of cords that came with this cintiq.  It’s easy to set up and all the connecting wires have been combined with the power cord.

c4On the left is the power plug, on the right is the connector that goes into the cintiq, and in the middle are the 2 for your computer.  As you can see, I did need an adaptor for mine.  It’s a Mini Display Port to HDMI adaptor.  I got mine via amazon.  It’s a Kanex that I purchased for about $12.50.  So there I was with my new Cintiq unable to use it yet – waiting around for an adaptor to arrive…

c5Finally, it arrived and I was able to get it up and running in no time at all.  Really easy to install and get to work.

If you are curious about the size, here’s my hand on the screen.  Pretty decent size.  It is definitely HD – great resolution.  Maybe slightly darker than my laptop.  But then again, I usually have my laptop set to full brightness.

c12As you may know, it comes with a stand.  I haven’t used it too much as I’ve mostly been playing around with it  just on my lap.  But when I did use it, it was nice and stable.


Very easy to use.


Here it is fully upright:


And here’s the mid-level.  There’s also the lowest setting, but you get the idea:


The buttons at the side are great!  Very handy.  I know you can set them to whatever you’d like.  I haven’t done that yet, but I know that will be another time-saver.


This is the pen that it comes with.  Great feel to it.  Nice and comfortable.


Pen on the screen.  One thing I noticed is that there is not hardly any gap between the pen tip and the image.  I know that was an issue with some of the larger versions.  I don’t know if there was actually a gap in between the outer screen and inner screen (if that’s what was happening).  But I heard that there was a gap between your pen and where the mark it was making, and that was distracting to some people.  Well, I didn’t notice much of any ‘gap.’  If you had a big complex brush in photoshop and moved it quickly across the screen, there can be a delay between your movement and the line. But I found that to be rare.


I thought this would be an interesting way to give you an idea of how thin this cintiq really is.  The tip of the pen is thicker than the cintiq!  It’s light, it’s thin, doesn’t get hot (at least not that I’ve noticed yet).


Whew, that was a lot to go over.  I wanted to show a few things that I had to hunt for when researching this cintiq when I was deciding if I wanted to buy it.  It’s easy to set up and convenient.  The resolution is great.  Maybe if you are used to a larger screen, this smaller version might feel a bit confining.  But if you want a great deal for a great device, this is the one to pick up in my humble opinion.

Check out my next post for a few sketches I’ve done so far!


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