CES 2019: Wacom Introduces Cintiq 16HD Pen Display

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Wacom has debuted its latest pen display, the Cintiq 16HD, at CES 2019. This display is a solid addition to an already impressive roster, one that satisfies the needs of users who want something larger than the Cintiq 13HD, but not quite as hulking as the Cintiq 22HD. We spent some time with the Cintiq 16HD before its official launch. Here's how it fared.

Semipro

Even though it doesn't carry the same professional endorsement as its big brother, the Cintiq Pro series, the Cintiq 16HD can serve the needs of many creative professionals—in addition to hobbyists and students. It comes with the same Wacom Pro Pen 2, so you get similar stylus performance to the Pro series, and it can support most of the same computer setups, whether you're using a Mac or PC. The big difference is the display, which, as the name suggests, is a 1920 x 1080 HD screen with 72% NTSC color—totally serviceable, but not as sharp as the 4K-capable Cintiq Pro units. It also lacks the ExpressKey features of the more robust models, but if you're someone like me, who programs shortcuts into the stylus itself, this is a non-issue (though if you do prefer ExpressKey functionality, it does support the optional ExpressKey Remote).

Setup

I found setting up the Cintiq 16HD to be relatively easy. Granted, I've tested several Wacom devices, so the process is kind of old hat, but still, it was straightforward. I installed it on my MacBook Pro, which meant I had to use a separate USB-C to HDMI adapter. But other than that, it was just a matter of installing the driver and plugging in the handy, new 3-in-1 connection cable. Take a couple of minutes to calibrate the pen and display settings, and you're all set.

Performance

Whether you're talking pen displays, pen tablets, or pen computers, Wacom products are known for a high caliber of performance. The Cintiq 16HD keeps that tradition alive with a very natural on-screen experience that does a great job of replicating real-world drawing and illustration. A key factor behind that lifelike experience is the previously mentioned Pro Pen 2, which, thanks in part to its 8,000-plus levels of pressure sensitivity, can pick up even the slightest stroke, and helps eliminate any parallax, as well as other common stylus side effects, such as pooling or rippling.

Final Verdict

The Wacom Cintiq 16HD is a great pen display for users who prize overall performance above highest possible screen resolution. Its stylus is second to none and, even though resolution and color accuracy aren't as jaw-dropping as the top-tier Cintiq Pro models, they are definitely sharp enough to facilitate finely detailed drawings and pro-caliber work. Factor that performance with the current cost, and the Cintiq 16HD is arguably the best value you're going to get out of a pen display.

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