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Wacom mobile tablet: "Cintiq Companion"

edited August 2013 in The Toolbox
Wacom's been teasing for a few months that they have a "mobile tablet" product in the works, to be released "this summer". 

Over the last few weeks they've released on Facebook a few badly-scripted comic strips, each of which drops a few hints:
1) There will be two versions, at least one of which has an Android logo on the box. 
2) It's "designed for an optimized workflow of creative professionals", which would certainly be a first in the Tablet PC industry, who so far has catered exclusively to executives, nurses, and (lately) consumers.
3) It will have SSD storage (duh), and will use Intel Core i7 and/or nVidia Tegra system processors.  The i7 almost certainly means Windows 8, and plenty of horsepower.  The Tegra implies Android.  Possibly in the same device.

And now they've announced when they're going to announce it: August 20.

From the above crumbs of information, it's possible that it won't suck.  It'll still need a display that's at least 13" diagonal, and it better have some "Expresskeys" on the bezel to simulate pushing Shift or Alt on the missing keyboard.  And of course it needs to run real Windows apps.
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Comments

  • Hmmm.... my birthday is Aug. 22nd....?  Interesting.
  • edited August 2013
    Two more strips, dropping more hints:
    4) The art makes it look 15" diagonal, and they're bragging about how big it is.  It supports programmable on-screen gestures.  The display is "HD" (presumably 1920x1080).  It's hard to tell from the Engrish dialog, but I think they're saying it has two cameras. I-)
    5) It will run Adobe CS, Painter, and some other app whose badly-drawn icon I can't make out.  So, full Windows 8.  And it comes with a full-size stylus (not the undersized kind that you can stow inside a tablet).
  • This is definitely getting my attention.
  • edited August 2013
    There's a glamour video out with actual photos and some specs.  It's call the Cintiq Companion.  Capsule description: a Cintiq 13HD with your choice of Windows or Android computer attached to the back of it.

    They're apparently taking their cue from Microsoft's Surface (not a great idea), by offering two versions: Cintiq Companion* (a full version of Windows 8, Intel Core i7) and Cintiq Companion Hybrid (Android, Tegra CPU ... which is at least better than Windows RT, because there are apps for it).  The Hybrid can also be used either as a mobile device running Android or as a dumb Cintiq attached to your Mac or PC, which makes more sense as a product than just a big Android tablet with a really good digitizer on it.
    • The screen is 13.3" (same as their latest just-a-Cintiq), which is better than most tablets, but 15" really would have been much nicer.  The device looks reasonably slim, but with a bit more bezel than needed for handling, so a little bulky.  Resolution is 1920x1080 like the Cintiq HD13.
    • The same stylus as the current Cintiqs, which is better than the toothpicks that come with the Surface and Samsung's tablets.  2048 levels of pressure, so it's better than the digitizers on everybody else's Win8 tablets (which use 10-year-old Wacom tech).
    • Also multitouch input on the screen, which should be nice for zooming, but might be tricky for scrolling.
    • Programmable on-screen buttons.  Four physical buttons (good for use as Shift- or Alt-) on the bezel, plus a circular rocker with center button which defaults to up/down/left/right+select, but can probably be reprogrammed.  This is a feature from a lot of old-school tablet computers that manufacturers have been way too quick to dump in their haste to mimic the iPad.
    • Windows version only: HDMI and DisplayPort so you can hook up a second screen.  (The Android version itself is the second screen.)
    • USB and Bluetooth for connecting other devices.
    • Wifi of course.  Front and back cameras for some reason.
    • 4-position detachable stand.
    • It isn't available yet ("mid-October"), but they're taking pre-orders for the Android version at $1500 with 16GB storage, and $2000 for the Windows model with 256GB storage (with bigger options for more money).  By comparison, the Cintiq HD13 is $1000.
    So nothing particularly earth-shattering, and the price is unsurprising.  But I can't really find fault with it, and if I had $2000 sitting around that I no other use for, I'd be happy to use one.

    By the way, Samsung has announced a device that beats this on a few points.  The Ativ Q has the same size screen, but an amazing 3200x1800 resolution, detachable keyboard included, and runs both Win8 and Android.  A German retailer is taking pre-orders for €1600 ($2150).  On the down side, the stylus and digitizer aren't as good, and it doesn't have on-bezel buttons ... typical Tablet PC failings.

    *Why do companies do this?  It makes is so difficult to refer to just the one that doesn't have the extra bit on the end of the name.  Manga Studio 5 not-EX.  Cintiq Companion not-Hybrid.  Apple used to have the MacBook not-Pro-or-Air.  Not-Uncanny X-Men.  Not-happy Jason.
  • But it's not "portable" in the sense that it has its own power source, right? It needs to be plugged in to the wall, yeah?
  • edited August 2013
    Battery powered.  They say 4-5 hours, so figure 3.
  • Hmmm... interesting.
  • It seems like a toy I would like to have but will never be able to afford.  Gonna have to wait for the inevitable contest to win one from the company, and take my chances that way.
  • Fuck you PC only Cintiq!
  • Well, it isn't Wacom's fault that Apple won't let them make one that runs OS X.  If that's what you really want, you can get a ModBook for just $1200 more.  ;)
  • @JasonAQuest - True.  Then...  Fuck you Apple only hardware!
  • Wacom did just put out a pressure sensitive stylus to use with the IPad though.  So it's not a giant middle finger from the company to Apple folks.
  • And you can use the Android version of the Cintiq Companion as a regular 13-inch Cintiq attached to your Mac.
  • @JasonAQuest  True.  But, uhm... Fuck Android!
  • these new additions from wacom, just seem like sketch tools. i really couldn't see myself being able to use these with my published stuff. they seem small. and working on an ipad.... no thanks. transferring large files is always a pain and i really don't like apple's os for the IPAD. I'm sure they're useful to some, but I'm sticking to my intous for now.
  • I'll set aside the question of whether it's suitable to be published, but I've done a whole lot of work on a tablet screen smaller than the Companion.  It's cramped, but still usable.
  • I'll confess, I'm liking the look of the Adonit Jot Touch 4 as an iPad drawing solution more than the Wacom stylus offering. Although the Jot doesn't work with as many apps (yet) the precision point and USB recharging both seem like definite advantages over the Wacom.

    I don't own an iPad but I've used the Sketchbook apps on both my phone and desktop and I could see the iPad/Jot/Sketchbook Pro combo working well, which might just be the excuse I need to buy one… :-)
  • The kid in me says, "New toy!" 
    The rest of me asks if I would really be able to use this effectively in my work, especially since it's PC or Android only. I really like my large Intuos... but the Cintiq technology is something that I'd like to try my hand at.
    At least the price ensures that this won't be an impulse purchase. :)

  • @JimCampbell now how am I supposed to convince my wife that I need to spend $90 on a stylus?  It looks so... awesome...!
  • @JimCampbell That stylus looks awesome. Thanks for the link!
  • I bought a 13 inch Cintiq less than a year ago, so no upgrade is in my future any time soon, but I could sort of see using the companion as a way of upgrading to an HD cintiq AND getting a tablet I could sketch on all in one purchase. THough I could buy a new Cintiq and an Ipad for around the same or less.

    @anthonyperuzzo Everyone's needs are different, so this isn't a prod, but I do all my work, storyboards and comics, an a 13 inch Cintiq. At original art size I get about a tier and a half on screen at one time. It works for me

    What I AM jonesing for is an upgrade to the HD/retina/whatever they're calling it model. Maybe I wouldn't get the urge to blow up larger than original art size while inking if my screen was sharper.
  • edited August 2013
    What I AM jonesing for is an upgrade to the HD/retina/whatever they're calling it model. Maybe I wouldn't get the urge to blow up larger than original art size while inking if my screen was sharper.
    I zoom in to larger-than-actual for inking for the same reason artists (even the near-sighted variety) have traditionally worked at larger-than-print size on paper: it makes my clutzy fingers more precise.
  • edited August 2013
    I zoom in to larger-than-actual for inking for the same reason artists (even the near-sighted variety) have traditionally worked at larger-than-print size on paper: it makes my clutzy fingers more precise.
    Oh, I do it for the same reason, too, but I try to not go too far above original art size (my digital pages are 10 x 15) to minimize adding extra pen mileage to my workload. When I realize I've been inking at 4 times print size for an hour I know I've been giving myself extra work that's not needed.  
  • edited September 2013
    *Why do companies do this?  It makes is so difficult to refer to just the one that doesn't have the extra bit on the end of the name.  Manga Studio 5 not-EX.  Cintiq Companion not-Hybrid.  Apple used to have the MacBook not-Pro-or-Air.  Not-Uncanny X-Men.  Not-happy Jason.
    And now they've done it again. Wacom has renamed (and cosmetically redesigned) their tablet line, so instead of Bamboo and Intuos, they have Intuos and Intuous Pro. So if you want to refer to just their consumer-class tablets, you now have to say "Intuos not-Pro".
  • Yeah.  Wacom wrecked my dream of some day walking into a tech store and saying I want the big Bamboo. . . .

  • The pro on the end of the word doesn't even mean that it's going to be any better than the "consumer-grade" version.
  • Wacom's accounced the Cintiq Companion 2, which is part of their game of catch-up/fall-short/surpass with Microsoft's Surface line.  The screen is higher resolution, now matching the Surface Pro 3's.  It's lighter, but the CC2 still weighs twice as much as the SP3. They've dropped the price substantially, but the entry-level model is still $500 more expensive than the cheapest SP3.  But it still has a nice array of buttons and better stylus/digitizer combo, which beats the SP3's ridiculous minimal interface.
  • It has definitely caught my eye. I like the fact that it is designed to sync with either Mac or PC. I think I want to start tucking money away for this.
  • @JasonAQuest Where did you see the price drop? The news site I found listed the 256 and 512 at the same price as the companion 1. The only difference I could see was the 64 gb and 128 options giving a cheaper entry point.

    I would definitely like a price drop on the 512 version.

    Interesting that the new version can be plugged into a desktop and used as a standard Cintiq, but from the specs I would need to upgrade my computer to take advantage of it.

    I'm probably in the market for a new computer this year as my iMac from 2009 has been acting up for awhile and a portable option is very tempting.

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