Computers / Hands-on Review

In the Field: Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Pen Display


For digital artists, few names are as revered as Wacom. By bridging the gap between real-world illustration and digital, the company didn’t just change the game, it essentially invented a new one. Now, 20 years after the release of its first Intuos tablet, Wacom looks poised to shake up the market once again, this time with the newly unveiled Cintiq Pro 24. We happily got our hands on one for an in-the-field review. To see how it fared, read on.

Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Creative Pen & Touch Display

Rated “P” for Professional

Before we dive into the review, it’s worth pointing out the type of user for whom this new pen display is meant. See that “Pro” in the name? That’s not a buzzword or marketing gimmick. That’s “pro” as in “professional” or “prosumer.” Make no mistake about it: The Cintiq Pro 24 was not designed for dabblers or part-time artists. It’s not intended as a hobbyist machine or underutilized add-on for the creative weekend warrior. No, this is arguably the most capable pen display ever created, and as such, its role is clear: to give creative professionals the tools they need to realize their artistic vision, regardless of scope, difficulty, or medium.

The Setup

Similar to previous versions, setting up the new 24-inch Cintiq Pro ranges from straightforward to slightly more involved, depending on your workstation. I have a 2017 iMac, so installing mine was just a matter of plugging in two cables and downloading the new driver. After that, it’s a quick walk-through to calibrate the pen and display settings, and you’re all set. If your setup isn’t wired for USB Type-C, or if you prefer to go another route, that’s OK, you’ll just have to make a few more connections, for which the Cintiq mostly provides cables.

By the Numbers

In terms of specifications, the Cintiq Pro 24 features some eye-catching numbers. For starters, its dimensions are roughly 27 x 16", with a diagonal screen size of 23.6" (hence, the 24). Speaking of the screen, the new display offers 4K graphics with a color accuracy listed at 99% of the Adobe RGB, which is both unprecedented in this series and just kind of ridiculous—in the best possible way.

Now, if you’re wondering how the size and screen specs stack up against previous Cintiq Pro models, check out the table below:


Screen Area


Color Gamut

Display Colors


Cintiq 13 Pro

11.6 x 6.5"

1920 x 1080

87% Adobe RGB

16.7 million

250 cd/m²

Cintiq 16 Pro

13.6 x 7.6"

3840 x 2160

94% Adobe RGB

16.7 million

250 cd/m²

Cintiq 24 Pro

20.6 x 11.6"

3840 x 2160

99% Adobe RGB

1.07 billion

350 cd/m²

In terms of connectivity, there’s a port to facilitate just about every type of connection you can think of, including four USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C, an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort, two additional USB Type-A ports on the rear, and an audio headphone jack.

Another important spec is the sensitivity levels of the included Pro Pen 2. Wacom lists it as having more than 8,000 levels of pressure sensitivity—that’s literally double the levels of the 2017 Surface Pen, which itself is a very capable stylus. I’ll talk more about what’s it like to draw with the Pro Pen 2 down below, but it’s safe to say the response is about as true to life as you can hope for.

The Performance

Now, as someone who is on record calling the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil the two best tools for digital illustration, I am going to have to eat some crow here: I was wrong. The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are wonderful tools for digital artists, but the Cintiq Pro 24 is hands-down the best creative tablet I’ve ever used.

For starters, the screen is so vibrant it seems to enhance whatever project you’re working on. The combination of size and near-perfect color accuracy made even the smallest details visible. Plus, the etched-glass material Wacom uses really does provide a much better tactile experience than other displays—it feels like you’re working on paper.

Then there’s the Pro Pen 2 input, which is so precise it feels like you’re really drawing on the display; if there’s any parallax at all, I couldn’t detect it. Nor did I run into any other common side effects, such as rippling or pooling. The touch commands and multi-touch gestures, too, were also incredibly accurate and useful—though there’s a bit of a learning curve.

Then there are all the less glamorous features that can make or break a piece of technology: the connectivity, the ergonomics, the add-on features. From the ease of setup and integration to the small-but-much appreciated details like the magnetic ExpressKey Remote, which not only is a huge time saver but also sticks to the screen so the perpetually absent-minded user (read: me) doesn’t lose it, the Cintiq 24 Pro never misses a step.

The Verdict

Perfection is always going to be an abstract. Nothing is ever going to be 100-percent without flaw or criticism. But with the Cintiq Pro 24, Wacom has gotten darn close. Looking back on my time with the display, my biggest (and really, only) complaint is literally how hard it was to lug this behemoth home through rush-hour subway service. Other than that, I’d be hard pressed to articulate a legitimate criticism. It isn’t cheap, and its wealth of power and features designates it as a pro-level tool, but if you’re looking for the very best creative tablet on the market, look no further.


have you tried this with cintiq engine? can't decide if i should get tablet and desktop or allin one like microsoft studio or dells all in one

We got our demo unit before Wacom announced the Cintiq Pro Engine, so we didn’t get to try it out. From what I can glean, the Engine looks like a powerful add-on, but personally, if I was choosing between a tablet and desktop vs. a standalone tablet, I’d opt for the former over the latter. The convenience of a standalone can’t be overstated, but for me, sometimes I just need a “regular” desktop computer to do non-design work.

How does the screen of the Cintiq Pro 24 feel in comparison to the display of the 5K iMac – regardless of their different purposes and specs?
Do you still notice a kind of foggy coating on the new Cintiq Pro?
I perceived that on the 27 QHD next to a 1080p iMac, although I dimmed my iMac to 50% brightness.

Honestly, I didn't really notice it. Don't get me wrong: I know the effect you're talking about and you can still perceive it, but it was so slight I totally forgot about it. Or I became accustomed to it so I stopped noticing.  

Touch or no touch? Looking for feedback - can’t decide. This would be many, many steps up from my Intuos4. 

Personally I decided to go for the touch version of the Cintiq 27QHD and I like it a lot. I’m mainly using my left hand to zoom and pan, which creates a natural interaction with the workspace / canvas. Gestures can also be powerful if configured wisely, but the basic touch functions are more pivotal.

It’s no problem to use other kinds of input like the ExpressKey Remote or the pen itself to navigate on the canvas quickly. Some people turn off touch or got the non-touch version because touch felt sluggish or distracting to them. It depends a lot on your preferences, but I can recommend it.

Given the choice, I would also go the touch option for many of the reasons E.R. points out. Depending on the project, sometimes I will disable the touch features, but I like having the option of whether to use them or not.

Man, I want one of these so bad