Thursday, January 10th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Wacom launches new $650 Cintiq 16 pen display

Wacom has launched the Cintiq 16, a new 15.6-inch pen display aimed at “professionals, students and enthusiasts on the brink of something big” – and its cheapest Cintiq to date.

At $649.95, the new model comes in $150 less than the existing Cintiq Pro 13, and less than half the price of its 16-inch sibling, the Cintiq Pro 16.

The cheapest Cintiq so far, but with a lower-quality screen
The new device bridges the gap between Wacom’s Intuos line of graphics tablets and the existing Cintiq Pro range, providing buyers with a – relatively – high-spec device for a – relatively – low price.

For their $650, users get a pen display that looks very much like a Cintiq Pro 16, and comes with the same Pro Pen 2 stylus and its 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity.

Where it differs is the quality of the screen: the Cintiq 16 has a maximum display resolution of 1,920 x 1,080px as opposed to 3,840 x 2,160px for the Cintiq Pro 16.

The color gamut is also lower: 72% NTSC, as opposed to 94% Adobe RGB – while NTSC and Adobe RGB cover slightly different colour spaces, they’re approximately the same area.

In addition, at 210 cd/m2, the brightness of the Cintiq 16 is lower than the Cintiq Pro 16, although its contrast ratio and range of viewing angles are identical.

Other compromises include a lack of touch support, the lack of a built-in pen stand, fewer replacement nibs with the stylus, and weight: at 1.9kg, the Cintiq 16 is over 25% heavier than the Cintiq Pro 16.

Still not as cheap as the competition
Those figures put the Cintiq 16 on a par with historically lower-specced product ranges, like Huion’s Kamvas series of pen displays.

However, it still doesn’t quite match them for price: while the closest-sized Kamvas offers the same screen resolution, pen sensitivity and colour gamut, it’s over $70 cheaper.

Of course, what the Cintiq 16 does have is Wacom’s long track record in delivering quality art hardware – and the cachet of the Cintiq product name itself.

But with a target user base for whom price is a primary concern, it will be interesting to see whether cost or cachet ultimately wins out.

Pricing and system requirements
The Cintiq 16 is available in Wacom’s online store right now, priced at $649.95, plus $79.99 for the optional adjustable stand. It is compatible with Windows 7+ and macOS 10.12+.

Find full specifications for the Cintiq 16 on Wacom’s website

Updated: This story originally incorrectly listed the Cintiq 16 as a 16.6-inch display, not a 15.6-inch display.