Hands-On Review: the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch provides a unique balance between pen and multi-touch input. With the inclusion of multi-touch, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch makes digital writing and drawing much more interactive and intuitive. Instead of using just the pen and keyboard shortcuts to rotate the image, you'll be able to use two fingers, keeping your hands on the screen and allowing you to work more fluidly. Using Wacom's patented electromagnetic resonance method, the pressure-sensitive pen input and capacitive touchscreen is very responsive. Switching between the pen and your fingers feels smooth with little to no delay.


Interactive Multi-Touch and Pen Technology

While you may be tempted to start high-fiving the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch, we found that any gestures that require more than three fingers are borderline cumbersome. Of course, this can be said for any touchscreen, but at least the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch gives you plenty of space to give four-finger and five-finger gestures a try. However, once you start doing finger gymnastics on the screen to try and crop a picture or save a file, it just becomes easier to use one of the ExpressKeys. The most useful gestures turned out to be ones that used only two fingers, such as pinch-to-zoom or rotate image (which requires you to take two fingers and rotate the image in the direction you want). The radial menu (more on this later) can be accessible by tapping the screen with three fingers.

The Grip Pen is included with the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch. The Grip Pen has a rubberized grip for comfort, a tip switch that can be replaced with included nibs, and two buttons located on its side. The rear of the Grip Pen is the eraser. Pressure-sensitive, cordless, and battery free, both the point and the eraser of the Grip Pen can utilize the 2,048 pressure levels on the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch. The tilt range is 40 degrees, with approximately 60 levels of tilt recognition by the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch. The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch does not have a pen holder, so Wacom has provided a pen stand to keep your Grip Pen upright and ready to use.

Before you use the Grip Pen, it is recommended that you calibrate the pen through the Wacom Tablet Properties menu. The calibration test is simple, only requiring you to tap the Grip Pen on the four corners of the screen. It is also recommended that you recalibrate your Grip Pen whenever you change the incline of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch significantly. This ensures accurate and precise input performance.

Full HD 21.5-Inch H-IPS Display

With a 16:9 aspect ratio and Full HD 1920 x 1080 native resolution, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch can display up to 16.7 million colors. Since the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch supports a variety of inclines, the viewing angle of the display has to be considered. Fortunately, the H-IPS display supports up to 178° (89°/89° for both horizontal and vertical). The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch is not a stand-alone tablet, and requires a connection to your Mac or PC computer. For video, you'll need to connect the 29-pin DVI-I connector to your computer, while an additional USB connection is required if you want to take advantage of the multi-touch capabilities of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch.

The display features industry-standard color presets, such the default 6500K whitepoint. The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch also has a 72% Adobe RGB color gamut.

ExpressKeys, Touch Strips, and Radial Menu

While the 21.5-inch screen of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch is certainly the main attraction, the bezel isn't there just for show. In fact, the bezel features numerous ExpressKeys that can improve productivity.

Let's start at the top right corner, which has 3 buttons. The first button is labeled with an "i", and pressing this button brings up an overlay that allows you to see what every other button on the bezel does. You can also access the pen, touch, and ExpressKey settings directly from the overlay as well. The next button is labeled with a picture of a wrench, and pressing it will bring up the Wacom tablet properties. The Wacom tablet properties allow you to choose what pen you want to use, adjust the tip feel, pressure, double-click interval, tilt sensitivity, and set the buttons on the pen itself. There's even an option to customize the eraser of the stylus (if it has one). You'll be able to calibrate the pen you're using to increase precision and accuracy. The third button is labeled with a picture of a menu, and it resembles more of a monitor settings menu, allowing you to customize the brightness and contrast as well as the RGB. You can also select color presets, adjust scaling, or revert back to factory settings.

For both the left and the right side of the bezel, there are 2 sets of 4 ExpressKeys and one ExpressKey between them. That's 9 ExpressKeys on each side, for a total of 18 ExpressKeys. This allows you to set a variety of options and hotkeys. You can also set various hotkeys and shortcuts for a specific application (remember that button in the top right labeled with an "i"? Press that). Located behind the ExpressKeys, on either side, are the touch strips. The touch strips allow you to zoom in and out with precision. Also, the middle ExpressKey acts as a toggle for the touch strips, providing you with the ability to change their function, such as from auto-scrolling to cycling layers.

While not a physical button, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch gives you an option for a radial menu. By default, if you press three fingers on the screen at the same time, you'll get a circular menu with a variety of options. You'll be able to customize the radial menu in the Wacom Tablet Properties menu to fit your needs.

The Stand

At first glance, the stand may look like some sort of bizarre pancake maker, but its unique design allows improved angles for both viewing as well as utilizing the multi-touch and pen input. After you slide the round bearing of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch into the stand, you'll need to secure it in place with the two screws provided by Wacom.

The stand has two levers that allow you to change the incline of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch. When you hold down the left lever, you can push down the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch almost down to 180°. However, the stand prevents the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch from being laid completely flat against the surface of your desk. There’s also some space between the desk surface and the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch while it’s horizontal. You may have to adjust your chair height if the Cintiq 22HD Touch is a bit too high for you. Fortunately, the stand is quite sturdy so there wasn't any noticeable wobbling of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch while drawing or writing. Also, when the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch is parallel to your desk, you'll be able to switch between landscape and portrait modes. There is a slight concern for glare when the Cintiq 22HD Touch is horizontal, so try to avoid placing the Cintiq 22HD Touch under direct light. After you're finished drawing or writing, you can hold the right lever down and push the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch back up to an appropriate incline to use it as a regular monitor.

The stand has four "feet" with wheels that make the transitions smooth and easy. It's recommended that you use a large sturdy desk and have adequate space. Also, the stand is made of metal and has springs to accommodate changing the incline of the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch. Improper use of the stand could result in hand injuries, so Wacom warns that "when the legs of the stand are open, do not under any circumstances attempt to carry the stand by holding the right lever or underneath the discs.”

Cross Platform

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch is compatible with both Mac and PC computers. While the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch has plug-and-play functionality, it's recommended that you install the drivers and download the manual from the included installation CD. While the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch is easy to install, it may take some time to transition from using a Wacom tablet off-screen to drawing on the screen itself. Take your time, to familiarize yourself with the controls and multi-touch gestures (both Wacom's and the operating system you're using, whether it's Mac OS X or Windows).

Professional Uses

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch focuses on facilitating the digital workflow for professional photography, art, and design. By allowing users to draw, write, or edit directly on the screen, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch offers a more natural way for photographers and artists to work.

In the past, users would have to sketch their designs on paper and then use a scanner to import the sketches into their computers. Only after that were they able to trace or touch up their work in Photoshop or Illustrator. With the Cintiq 22HD Touch, Wacom allows you to skip the unnecessary step of scanning and allows you to draw directly into your preferred application. The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch makes tracing easier and much more natural since you’re working on the image itself. Sketching also works fairly well, allowing you to draw and erase your sketches without wasting paper.

We found that long strokes worked flawlessly, but short strokes took some getting used to. It’s possible that moving from a traditional Wacom tablet to drawing on the Cintiq 22HD Touch may confront you with a learning curve. The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch boasts all 2,048 levels of pen-pressure sensitivity, allowing for a variety of stroke depths and intensities. We also found the touch strips on the back to be quite useful, because we were able to adjust brush size on the fly, without having to go into settings. We also found that certain multi-touch gestures facilitate navigating the workspace and kept our hands on the screen, not fumbling around for the keyboard. Overall, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch can definitely make life easier for professional photographers, graphic designers, and artists.

Downloadable Software Bundle

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch is not a stand-alone tablet, and requires a Mac or PC computer. Since it doesn't have an operating system of its own, there is no preloaded software that comes with it. Instead, you'll be able to use the Software Bundle download key, located on the back of the CD sleeve of the included Installation CD at download.wacom.com to download full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, Autodesk SketchBook Express, Nik Software Color Effects Pro 4 Select Edition, and Anime Studio Debut 8. You'll also be offered a 90-day trial of Corel Painter 12. All the license keys for the aforementioned software will be available after you register on Wacom's website, and type in the Software Bundle Key. Wacom will also send you an email with the license keys so you'll have the license keys on file.

Optional Accessories

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch comes with an included Grip Pen, which is the standard for Wacom Cintiq displays. You will also be able to purchase a Classic Pen separately, which is for users who prefer a thin pen. The Inking Pen allows you to sketch your ideas on real paper while capturing a digital likeness of your sketch that you can import to your computer via USB. The Airbrush Pen includes a finger wheel for an additional degree of control. With the proper software support, you will be able to simulate realistic airbrushing. The Art Pen is a specialty tool that reports pen rotation in addition to the tip pressure, pen location, and pen tilt to the application. With proper software support, you will be able to simulate flat brushes, markers, calligraphy pens, and other natural media tools. Please note that while the Grip Pen is included with the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch, the Classic Pen, Inkling Pen, Airbrush Pen and Art Pen are all sold separately. If you’re happy with the Grip Pen, but have worn down the nib, you can purchase replacement nibs instead of having to replace the entire pen.

If you prefer a Wacom Cintiq display that only uses pen input, Wacom offers the Wacom Cintiq 22HD and the Wacom Cintiq 24HD. The Wacom Cintiq 22HD is nearly identical to the Cintiq 22HD Touch in regard to display resolution, screen size, and color reproduction. However, the Cintiq 22HD does not have multi-touch capabilities and relies mostly on pen input. The Cintiq 24HD is also a pen-input-only display from Wacom, but it offers a larger 24.1" screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 1920 x 1200 native resolution. The 1920 x 1200 native resolution on the Cintiq 24HD offers more height, giving you an extra 120 lines of vertical pixels, making it ideal for multimedia applications, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. If you’re tight on space, the Wacom Cintiq 13HD might be a better fit for you. While it may only have a 13.3" screen, the Cintiq 13HD still boasts Full HD 1920 x 1080 native resolution. The Cintiq 13HD is also much more portable than its Cintiq 22HD and 24HD counterparts due to its smaller form factor, allowing you to take it with you while you're on the go. Please note that these Wacom Cintiq pen displays do not support multi-touch input. They are pen-input only.

For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.

Display Panela-SI active matrix TFT LCD (h-IPS)
Screen Size21.5"
Aspect Ratio16:9
Resolution1920 x 1080
Input Video ConnectorDVI-I (29-pin)
Input Video SignalDVI 1.0 Compliance, Analog RGB
Supported Resolutions1920 x 1080
1680 x 1050
1366 x 766
1280 x 1024
1024 x 768
1280 x 800
800 x 600
640 x 480
White Luminance Uniformity75% (min)
Pixel Pitch (HxV)0.009 x 0.009" / 0.2475 x 0.2475mm
Viewing Angle (H/V)178° (89°/89°) / 178° (89°/89°) (typ)
Display Colors16,77,216 colors (16.7 million colors)
Contrast Ratio900:1 (typ) / 600:1 (min)
Response Time14 ms (typ)
Brightness210 cd/m² (typ.), 200 cd/m² (min)
OSD Manual ControlBrightness
Vertical Position
Horizontal Position
Auto Adjust
Back Light
Menu Position
Color Temperature (9300K/6500K/5000K/User/Direct)
Plug and PlayDDC/CI
Reading TechnologyElectro-magnetic resonance technology
Active Area18.87 x 10.68" / 479.2 x 271.3mm
Lines Per Inch5080 lpi / 200 lpmm
AccuracyCenter: +/- 0.5mm
Edge Area 1 (20mm from edge of display area): +/- 2.0mm
Edge Area 2 (3mm from edge of display area): +/- 4.0mm
Pen Tilt Range60 degrees (all pens)
Reading Height0.2" / 5mm (or more, center)
Maximum Report Rate133 points/sec.
Grip Pen
Pressure Levels2,048
Pen Tip Travel0.04" /1.0mm (max)
Eraser Tip Travel0.08" / 2.0mm (max)
Physical Dimensions (LxD)6.17 × 0.59" / 15.65 × 1.49 cm
Weight0.60 oz. / 17 g
Multi-Finger Touch
Technology TypeProjected Capacitive
Active Area18.71 x 1.05" / 47.52 X 26.73 cm
Resolution254 lpi / 0.1mm per point
Accuracy+/- 1mm, center
Maximum Report Rate100 point/sec.
USB HubIntegrated, USB 2.0 powered Hub with one external port (500mA)
Cover PlateAG etched glass (tempered glass)
Power ManagementVESA DPMS
Input Voltage100 - 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz
Output Voltage12 V DC
Power Consumption45W (max.)
0.5W or less in sleep mode (USB non-connected)
0.5W or less in OFF mode (USB non-connected)
Temperature and HumidityOperating: 41°F to 104°F / 5°C to 40°C; humidity: 30% to 90% (non-condensing)
Storage: -4°F to 140°F / -20°C to 60°C; humidity: 30% to 90% (non-condensing)
(max. storage humidity is 38% at a temp. of 60°C)
(max. storage temperature is 42°C at a humidity of 90%)
Dimensions25.6 x 15.75 x 2.66" / 65 × 40 × 6.75mm (±0.5mm) (excluding the stand)
WeightTablet: 14.77 lb / 6.7 kg
Stand: 14.99 lb / 6.8 kg
Total: 29.76 lb / 13.5 kg



I really cant afford dropping that much on a pen display anyways,  So I've used the previous gen XP-PEN 22E Pro, and it was a very nice cintiq clone tbh. For the money ($400-500) it was a nice experience. If I was spending almost double that, I'd get the Wacom.

Wacom actually has some new smaller, more affordable picks now. Maybe a little smaller but the Wacom One Creative tablet and 16 Creative Pen Display are in that price range and our reviewer found them very nice.

Please, Where I find the best price in new york (Manhattan) to buy this equipment?

I just purchased this device in early 2015. Be aware that this product shipped in early 2013, which means the specs were drawn up in 2011 or 2012.  The promotional offers shipped with the unit have all expired.

I am endeavoring to find out what the most recent Wacom products are - it seems like the Companion.  Wacom Customer Service said the 27" unit was more recent, but that's just way too big.

Two questions:

If you need the DVI wire to connect to your computer how do yu connect to a projector at the same time? Will a DVI splitter work?

When you use the touch/gesture feature on the cintiq to zoom in will the zooming show up on the digital projector display? Too much zooming can cause view fatigue. 

The tablet requires either a DVI, or VGA (with an adapter sold separately) to  operate. If you also need to run a projector it would be best if you had an alternate video output from your computer. You would then have the option to either mirror, or extend your displays.

If you only have one output, and it’s DVI, you would need a splitter. (http://bhpho.to/1l5bYRn) Using a splitter will mirror the two displays. In your case if you zoom in on the tablet, it will zoom in on the projector.

When I use the splitter can I attach an adapter DVI to Female HDMI and not lose signal quality?

DVI and HDMI use the same video signal, just a different connection. There will be no loss of quality with an adapter.

I purchased this for my daughter for Christmas. I am very disappointed that she can't use it because of the DVI-D cable. Her laptop does not have a DVI-D input. On your description of the unit you do not note that that may be an issue and you do not list an adaptor as an essential accessory. My desktop does have the input but it is running Vista which does not support the software. So here we are waiting two more days for an adaptor from Amazon. I have been a B&H customer for many years, spending many thousands of dollars. I must say that I am extremely disappointed that your product information did not make this issue known to me when I purchased it. Also, one would think that a product that costs as much as this one does would have more universal compatibility. But that is the manufacturers issue, not yours.

Yes, Sir same surprise the tablet cost me $3000 Canadian...and I am having a 17 inch laptop windows 8.1....you are read an adaptor is a must....can you please advice me about the adaptor I am willing to buy one....thanks

Please send an e-mail to [email protected] with your computers model. We will be able to assist you in locating the proper adapter for your system.