Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New Graphic Tablet (Much Cheaper And Just As Good As A Cintiq)

Wacom Cintiq 12WX
A long time ago I made what was then an expensive but worth while purchase. A brand new 12Wx Wacom Cintiq. This tablet acted as a monitor and allowed me to draw directly on to the screen with a specialized pen as if I were working on paper. This was sometime before an Ipad and long before a Surface Pro was invented and worked better than either of them. The Cintiq made it very easy for me to learn how to use digital software. The only draw back was that I could only afford their smallest version, a 12 inch screen. As time went on and newer models were developed the price went up. There were Cintiq alternatives but none worked quite as well. Up until recently there was not a stylus that would work well with an an Ipad and I had no wish to do illustration work with just my finger. The Surface Pro was okay but did not work quite as well as a Cintiq. Both have made improvements though and I hear are a real challenge to Wacom's Cintiq but I had already purchased an earlier version of both and was not about to spend more money  on a continually developing product.

Then there is the issue of size. I wanted to work larger, if I was going to purchase another monitor it would have to be at least a 19 inch screen.

After finishing a couple of illustration assignments I had some extra money to spend and I started seriously researching Cintiq alternatives. I spent days looking at YouTube reviews and reading reviews on different tablets that were in the running for an inexpensive quality alternative. The biggest obstacle was that most, if not all models had issues with installing the drivers and that those drivers did not work with all Graphic software. Also unlike the Cintiq their pens were either battery operated or had to be recharged. There were also issues with the screen on some models. Either the resolution was on the low end or the screen would appear unclear depending on the angle its viewed.

There were some models that seemed okay except that I would always have to deal with the challenge of the drivers and a rechargeable pen.

Monoprice 22 inch HD Pen Display
Then I happened across a couple of reviews for the Monoprice 22 inch HD Pen Display. It was....

1- A large 22 inch HD screen. with no issues about angle of view or resolution.
2- There were no issues with the driver and it worked well with all the software I had- Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage, Manga Studio (Clip Studio), Mischief, Paint Tool Sai, Photoshop, Rebelle.
3- Even though the Amazon page said the pen was rechargeable the pen in fact did not need to be recharged. It worked just as well as the Wacom pen and was in fact similar in weight and size.
4- To top it off it was less than a third of the cost of a 22 inch Cintiq. The 22 inch HD Cintiq cost $1,799.95 and The Monoprice 22 inch HD cost $470.31 (you would of course have to figure out the tax but the shipping is free for items in this price range on Amazon). Even the 13 inch HD Cintiq cost more at $799.95!!!

When I finally got the display I set it up immediately and it worked as expected. Below is a YouTube video I made to demonstrate the monitor. I thought this was important to share for those who who wanted to buy a Cintiq but were put off by the price and especially to those who are used to working with traditional tools but would like to learn how to create art digitally. A tablet like this makes the transition much easier.


10 comments:

  1. I buy quite a bit from Monoprice for work and some for home. Some of their inexpensive products can be very useful. They have the best pricing for lots of computer and home theater cabling of anyone I know.

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  2. Got myself a YiNova 20" tablet display in January. Under $1k. Really like it. Sure it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the more expensive displays, but it does the job I need it to do and does it unobtrusively. No buyer's remorse here. :)

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    1. The important thing is that you have what works for you. It's great to find an alternative to the pricey Cintiq monitors. I enjoyed my Cintiq but when I wanted to finally get something larger I did not want to shell out over $1,7oo. for their 22 inch. I was glad I found this.

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  3. Thanks for posting this.
    Here's a link to the company's page for the product (as it's a bit buried):

    http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=14481

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  4. Can it be used as a standalone like the Cintiq companion 2?

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    1. No. At 21 inches in think that would be a bit cumbersome. This is more close to the 22 inch Cintiq HD which is priced at over $1,700. so the it's a big drop in cost for a similar item.

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  5. Wacom is the best, it is risky to spent money on cheap clones.

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    1. I would think so too, reading into these "Cintiq Alternative" tablets and the way their configured and often containing drivers that don't work half the time and often drivers to a completely different brand/model could be used instead.

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    2. Having Had a Cintiq as well as several other Wacom tablets I would know the difference. I spent some time researching the alternatives before I made my purchase. One of the biggest concerns was the issue that I kept hearing about with the drivers. Although in most cases people seemed to be able to fix the issue by loading the current drivers from the makers website (although I suspect that in some cases there was also a technical learning curve that could not be overcome), I really didn't want to go through that headache so I shopped around for the Monitor which had the least amount of issue's. This one fit the bill and it did everything I wanted it to do including working straight out the box. I understand that some artist, especially those who are accustomed to short cuts would want all the bells and whistles that come with a Cintiq- The Monoprice does not have all those time saving programmable buttons (which I never used) or the eraser at the top of the pen (which I almost always used) but other than that it works just as well. For those on a budget and for those that don't necessarily need all those added features as well as for those artist who are making the jump from traditional art to digital this monitor is a more than reasonable alternative. The only thing cheap about this monitor is the price.

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  6. Wacom drivers are terrible on a PC. I've been using them for 16 years and they're still buggy as hell. Cintiqs are even worse. If drivers are the issue, get the monoprice or the iynova.

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