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Obraxis
11-27-2012, 04:28 PM
Wacom PL-1600 (aka DTU-1631 in the USA) Quick Review

Hey all,

I finally had a chance to do my quick review of the Wacom PL-1600 (aka DTU-1631 in the USA).
You can probably tell from Googling, it's very hard to find a review of ANY kind on this device, as it seems not many people are picking this up as a possible Cintiq alternative...

Which it very well should be. It's pretty fantastic.

Designed initially for the Tablet Displays for use in Banks and other display places, this device could easily serve as a cheap Cintiq. It's even more impressive that it comes form Wacom themselves. The screen comes in a brown box with the Wacom logo emblazoned on it's sides. nothing too fancy, but you're not paying for a fancy box.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_box.jpg

You do however get the specs and contents listed on the side:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_side_of_box.jpg

Inside the box you have a number of accessories: DVI to DVI, DVI to VGA, A to B usb cable, power brick and EU & UK power plugs. You also get the quick start manual and driver disc. Great thing Wacom have done is include 4 extra Pen nibs! That should keep most artists busy for a long time! :-)
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_box_contents.jpg

The size of the display is a really good size, about the size of an A4 piece of paper with just over an inch thick border. The only button on the front of the screen is the power button (unlike a Cintiq).
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_main.jpg

The build quality of the screen itself it's superb. Being made of strong plastics, glass screen and metal hinges. The power brick however let's the superb screen down. It's made of cheap nasty plastic, feels light and easily breakable. I think you would need to take care if moving the PSU around too often.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_power_brick.jpg

Installation of the unit was a breeze. Just connect the unit to your PC with either DVI or VGA adapters provided & install the drivers on the provided CD. Note if you have a Mac Laptop or iMac you will need a displayport/lightning adapter (~5 on eBay).
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_installing_bright.jpg

The screen quality itself is good. Colors are well reproduced (thought not perfect) and response time from both the screen and pen are on-par with a genuine Cintiq. Screen brightness is great as well. BUT you ask, how is it in photoshop? I've made a quick YouTube video showing how the pressure sensitivity is:
6iYhbIHWAus

One of the things you may need to adjust are the pressure sensitivity settings. thankfully they are exactly the same as any other Wacom. 512 levels of pressure seen more than adequate for drawing work.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_options.jpg

And finally, a size compairson against a trusty convenient 500ml Coke bottle:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6702975/reviews/wacom_pl1600/pl1600_size.jpg


RESULT: Overall for less than half the price of a Cintiq, this comes highly recommended.

Specifications: 7/10 - Missing some of the button and features of an actual Cintiq, but with 512 pressure levels that's more than enough for most people.
Usability: 8/10 - Works great with Photoshop and other pen pressure-sensitive programs.
Quality: 8/10 - Great build quality of the actual screen, let down by a poorly built PSU.
Price: 9/10 - At around 844 online, this is a bargain compared to an actual Cintiq.

Overall: 8.5/10 - If you are a student or simply can't afford a Cintiq, this device from Wacom should be all you need and more! :)

gamedeveloper
11-28-2012, 12:16 PM
Thanks for this! Would love to see a profile pic of the unit standing as well as some pics/comments on its adjustability/ergonomics.

I can only wonder about the display quality differences from a Cintiq...

CKPinson
11-28-2012, 12:52 PM
Do you think this option would be good attached to a laptop? As in: light and doesn't get hot- I know you said it's lighter and what not but light enough for this? Doesn't have a weight listed.

Also, how about this vs the 21.5 incher?

After weighing my options with other devices not meeting my needs/desires and the cintiq 24hd costs a lot.

How about using with various apps: Mud/Zbrush?
Thanx for the review- I've wondered about this my self!

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