View Full Version : Cintiq 12WX Users: Still love it?

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 05:54 PM
I'm teetering on the edge of getting a Cintiq 12WX for Painter and Photoshop. I know a couple posters here (or more) have had this tablet since late 2007. So, how are you liking it 4 months+ down the road?

Among any other comments you might have, I'm interested in whether it feels a bit too small. I find the portability potential a plus, but not if the small size is annoying on a daily basis. Also, how are the ergonomics?

I'm a professional illustrator, if that helps you frame your observations, and I currently use an Intuos tablet, 6 x 8.

Thanks in advance for any insight. As we all know, $1000 is a relatively significant cash outlay.

04 April 2008, 08:59 AM
ive had mine for a month or so, so i dont know if my opinion is what you're looking for, but i love mine. it feels nice, and it makes things so much easier compared to the intuos, which i have as well. i was worried about the size too, but its much bigger than i thought it was. if you're a professional, i suggest getting it. im not a professional, but i use mine daily and love it. hope this helps

04 April 2008, 11:25 AM
I've had mine for a few months now, I love it. Size os fine for me, it's very similar to the 6x8 so if that doesn't feel cramped you should be OK.

My only real complaint is that the screen scratches too easily, I already have a few scratches on mine. Get a microfibre cloth and clean the screen before every use.

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 11:48 AM
This is helpful guys, thanks. Honestly, I really want to just go for this little tablet. I only wanted to hear if there was a big wave of delayed buyer's remorse after having the Cintiq for a while. The advice about the microfiber cloth is a good tip.

Anyone else got 1-3 months' experience they can relay? I'll probably jump for this tomorrow (Tuesday).


04 April 2008, 12:42 PM
i do not own one but have had access to one and have to say after years of using a standard wacom.... i am not sure after the first times using if i like the fact that my hand covers part of my drawing as i draw......i like the clear screen that you have with a wacom.

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 04:24 PM
but I'm hoping that this tablet is small enough to easily maneuver around the hand blocking my line of sight. After all, when I use paper (which I still do of course), there is the same issue. I find drawing a controlled line on the traditional Wacom to be difficult, whereas it's much easier on a piece of paper. Maybe I can find a online store that has a 30 day money back guarantee just in case it's not what I thought it would be.

I see that Wacom has a 16% restocking fee, which seems like a steep price to try out a product that is expensive, is not that easy to find in the real world (for demo/try out purposes), and for that reason, had better d*mn well be satisfactory to me!

04 April 2008, 08:19 AM
You do have to give it time. During the first few hours of use I wasn't really convinced, partly because people raved so much about the big Cintiq that you are almost expecting a religious experience. Despite the fact that it is more immediate than drawing on an Intuos, it does take a little getting used to - it isn't really like drawing on paper, not at first anyway.

After about 3 or 4 hours of use you get used to the quirks, such as the thickness of the glass and the slick surface, and you then start to ignore them. Once you reach this stage, it really does become like drawing on paper.

It also requires a lot less concentration than drawing on an Intuos, which is the biggest advantage in my opinion, I used an Intuos for 5 or 6 years every day and was very comfortable with it, but drawing on the Cintiq is less tiring and more enjoyable. I don't find my hand getting in the way to be a problem, but you can actually use the 12WX as a "normal" tablet by using the display toggle function anyway, although in practice that's not something I find myself doing very often.

04 April 2008, 11:55 AM
i think the thing i like best about it (still) is having better control over pressure and tilt. you can do it by feel intead of questioning about how the software is translating your hand motion. i've used wacom tablets for about 10 years so i was very comfortable too, but not having to guess about these things is great. you end up not noticing, or thinking about, the tip of the pen or the cursor but only looking at/concentrating on the quality of the stroke you're making. its great.
also i find it much better to use the felt nibs. it has more traction and gives a bit when you push. the plastic nibs can be a bit slick.

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 12:05 PM
I'm going to make a decision by the end of the day.... Among other things I need to think about how my setup is going to change.

I'm using a two monitor system (and a G5 Mac tower) for my illustration and design work. The design work is an essential part of my income, and though my illustration work is growing, I'm not giving up the design work anytime soon! So I think the G5 & two monitors will have to stay as is. I suppose I could consider getting a dedicated video card to run the Cintiq.

I also have a MacBook Pro, so I'm considering using the Cintiq with that computer as well.

Anyone have any thoughts about adding a new video card to my G5 to run the Cintiq? I used to keep up on Mac hardware, but I'm really out of the hardware loop these days.

04 April 2008, 12:57 PM
I think that it is not possible to use a cintiq with 2 other monitors.. I wish it was, cause I also use dual screen and wouldn't like to lose one of them for a cintiq.

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 01:04 PM
I think that it is not possible to use a cintiq with 2 other monitors.. I wish it was, cause I also use dual screen and wouldn't like to lose one of them for a cintiq.

Are you sure about this? I got a reply in a mac hardware forum that suggested putting an ATI PCI card (9200) in one of my PCI slots to connect the Cintiq and still allow my two monitor setup.

Maybe I should email Wacom tech support to ask this question...

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 04:10 PM
according to Wacom support, using a 2nd card, thus giving me 2 monitors plus the Cintiq, will work. I'm just trying to confirm now, that even though the ATI 9200 PCI card doesn't list 1280x800 exactly [from Wacom, the Cintiq Native resolution: WXGA (1280x800)] that this is not a problem.

Sigh. It's hard to do this stuff without a whole bunch of technical knowledge. And you get a lot of different answers.

04 April 2008, 08:38 AM
I use the Cintiq as a third monitor, with a dedicated PCI card, however I'm on a PC. I'm pretty sure that the Cintiq will only work at its native resolution so it's pretty crucial that your card supports it.

04 April 2008, 09:17 AM
Oh, I was talking supposed you have only one gfx card. So, you can have lets say 2 geforce cards in sli with the one of them driving 2 monitors and the other one for the cintiq as a kind of autonomous vga config ?
i'd really like to see this working :)

04 April 2008, 12:04 PM
Oh, I was talking supposed you have only one gfx card. So, you can have lets say 2 geforce cards in sli with the one of them driving 2 monitors and the other one for the cintiq as a kind of autonomous vga config ?
i'd really like to see this working :)

Yes this works. There are many guys at the office who have this setup. Whether they are running in SLI mode or not, I don't know, but running the Cintiq off a second video card is completely doable.

04 April 2008, 12:19 PM
Ofcourse this configuration is needed for the 21'' cintiq as well, right?
so... before I smash my piggy bank for either of the 2 cintiqs, I should think about a nice pair of gfx cards...

04 April 2008, 01:13 PM
Mac users, I am just thinking out loud here but can't you run 2 monitors on 1 card and just use a Mini-DVI to DVI-D adapter for the Cintiq?

04 April 2008, 01:33 PM
I wonder though... could it be possible to use 2 monitors and a cintiq having a single gfx card
(powerfull enough) and a vga splitter, like this one :

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 02:07 PM
so that's not too bad.

I'm a little confused about the Cintiq 12WX "native resolution" issue, as I don't see ANY video card out there that lists 1280 x 800 in its list of supported resolutions. Lots of HIGHER resolutions, but not precisely what Wacom specs for this tablet.

Can anyone enlighten me about this little (or not so little) detail?

In a Mac forum, I was told that there are utilities that will set a custom resolution for a graphics card, but I'm not at all sure if that is an acceptable way to get to 1280 x 800

I've emailed Wacom about this.

edit: You can see the specs for the graphics card I'm looking at:
ATI specs for this card (

The resolution list includes 1920 x 1200 in both analog and digital. This is exactly 1.5 x 1280*800. Does this help me? I've emailed Wacom about this too.

edit: Wacom does not want to help me figure this out, unfortunately.

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 02:32 PM
I wonder though... could it be possible to use 2 monitors and a cintiq having a single gfx card
(powerfull enough) and a vga splitter, like this one :

I guess I'd be a little suspicious of a splitter. If I'm going to spend $1000, I may as well spend $112 more, so long as I get confirmation that the resolution question is answered.

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 03:27 PM
I'm still curious about the size questions about the tablet.

For those of you who have had the 12WX for a little bit, how do you now feel about the size? I've read comments that it's just a bit too small (lots of panning, scrolling, zooming needed) and I've read comments that it's perfectly fine, wonderful, in fact.

Some of the too small comments are from people who've been used to the larger tablets.

Anyone want to post about this?

I realize that my Intuos 6 x 8 is similarly sized, and I like it fine, but it MAPS to my color monitor which is 21", so I'm not sure this is really the proper comparison, if you know what I mean...

04 April 2008, 04:34 PM
I'm also worried about this issue. I've also got an Intuos 3 6x8 mapped to my left 21'' screen and it's nice to work with. BUT, what about a similar sized screen-wacom, whould it be fine to work on it, at least for non-design/illustration heavy needs ?.. mostly need a wacom for 3d sculpting stuff and some PS also..
and I think a 21'' is rather too big for my desk/needs :)

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 07:48 PM
I REALLY REALLY wish I could try one of these. Not too likely!

04 April 2008, 01:57 PM
ive been using my 12wx for about 2 months now, and i haven't wished once that it was any bigger. the size is great for me, no matter what size pic im working on. the box it comes in is huge though, so be careful when getting the bigger ones lol!!!

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 02:23 PM
thank you milkweed. this is the sort of thing I want to hear.

I still haven't jumped. I'm doing okay with my old trusty Intuos, but I think it's time to try the Cintiq.

I'm a little concerned about the timing (US & world economy). If illustration work is affected, and how could it not be?, then I may regret this decision. If I wait a couple months, we'll be that much closer to the inevitable economic recovery.

04 April 2008, 02:34 PM
So, milkweed, what kind of programs have you used with your cintiq? are you comfy with your interface on these apps?

04 April 2008, 09:18 PM
Okay here is my opinion. I think if you have the money to get one you should get one. I use a 12 inch tablet. And I recently got the tablet you were talking about. When I look at my 12 inch the actual area that actually drew on was not all that large. Now with my new tablet, I am drawing much more efficiently. You do not realize how much translation in your brain is doing when you are drawing from a tablet to the screen. Now that I am drawing on the actual screen I am spending less time sketching and more time refining. So like I said it takes a little while to get used to it but if you have money to get your tablet do get one today.

Brucie Rosch
04 April 2008, 09:22 PM
I think I've just gotten 2 new illo assignments, and I've had assignments consistently since I began my new marketing push.

It's time to admit I'm succeeding at this, and treat myself accordingly by giving myself better working tools.

05 May 2008, 01:51 PM
Anyone know this product ?

05 May 2008, 02:20 PM
I haven't heard of this tablet - however, although it has pressure support, usually only the Intuos and Cintiq tablets have support for tilt.

05 May 2008, 04:08 PM
While itís the perfect size WACOM dropped the ball on this Cintiq terribly. The 12inch 1280◊800 screen is tough on the eyes IMHO. The biggest issue that Iíve also heard from other users is the poor accuracy and jitter of the pen in the corners and along the edges. Iíve owned the larger Cintiq 21 and am used to a small amount of jitter but the 12WX was terrible. When I contacted WACOM their tech support who also had a tablet nearby reported that theirs was just as bad. They attributed it to the internal switched power-supply for the display and that there was no way to fix the problem.

Needless to say I returned mine without the re-stocking fee after a brief discussion of the shortcomings with a sales manager. Perhaps when WACOM actually fixes the power-supply and/or switches to an LED backlight Iíll be back singing the praises of the 12WX.

05 May 2008, 08:08 PM
Hey y'all;
I've been using the 12wx for a couple of months. I've also had the 21ux and the 6x11 Intuos.
I do freelance storyboards and illustration, and instead of working at home I much prefer to work at various cafes and coffee shops around Hollywood. Other times, my agency will send me to one of several ad agencies to work on-site, or I might be on-site at a movie shoot.
The intuos has been a great portable tablet for my Macbook Pro, so I was excited when the smaller Cintiq came out.
Almost as soon as I got it, I did a job where drawing directly to the screen was absolutely necessary (mimicking a refined pencil--sketch style) so it paid for itself almost immediately. It was a job I couldn't have done on the Intuos.

So far my biggest problem with the 12wx is all the wires to set up... I wish it ran off the USB like the Intuos... probably a long shot since it needs so much power for the display, I know. Maybe an LED version in the future will use less power? I would buy that.
It's actually embarrassing to go to a coffee shop and pull out the huge bundle of wires and breakout box to set up the tablet, and it makes portability on-site almost impossible.
Also, it's been freezing my machine when I scroll rapidly in Photoshop (CS and CS3). I'm guessing this might be a Leopard problem, I still need to test it on Tiger to see if I can duplicate the freeze. Painter doesn't freeze when rapid-scrolling though.
They also moved the touchstrips to the outside edges and took away the ability to drive them solely with the pen tip; both bad moves IMHO.
So between the freezing and long setup times, I find myself leaving the 12wx at home alot and still taking the Intuos instead. I've gotten so used to the Intuos over the years that I don't even think the direct drawing on the Cintiq really makes much of a difference for me.
When I know that I'll be sitting somewhere in the same spot all day (like at an ad agency) then I'll bring the 12wx, but if I'm going to a cafe I'll usually take the Intuos.
But for people that work in the same place often or haven't gotten used to the Intuos, I can see the 12wx being a good buy.

05 May 2008, 09:03 PM
Really enlightening reply kookookrayzy, thank you so much :)
Yes, I have read elsewhere too about the crazy wiring of the 12wx, well, for my rather stable
position needs it would be fine I guess.
Another thing I'm still thinking about, is which one of the 2, 12wx or 21ux would be more suitable for non-illustration purposes, that is mostly sculpting and texturing; apparently
it's eventually all about the cost and how soon it will pay for itself..
if you are able to spend the money for the big one, you go for this, otherwise you get the small one.. oh, and the real estate of your desk also counts :)

05 May 2008, 11:13 AM
i just bought my cintiq 12wx, before this i used a intuos3 a5 (non widescreen). i didnt have the intuos for long (roughly a year), i found that i used the intuos alot more as a mouse than for drawing with, i just couldnt get used to drawing on the monitor without seeing where my pen was, so i started saving up for a cintiq, though i would have loved to get the 21 inch (which i cant afford seeing as i'm a student) i was able to save up for the 12xw.

i've had it for a few days now and i find it soo much better than the intuos. just the comfort of being able to draw directly on the screen has increased the ease and quality of my work tremendously. how ever it is not without its defects. cables are definetly anoying, but i hardly take it out with me anyways so that hasent been that big of an issue for me, what has been a big issue is the amount of heat it generates, at the bottom of the screen it tends to heat up quite a bit, in exactly the spots where you tend to place your hands, also the small cooling vents at the back of the tablet often get blocked when you have it on your lap, also resulting in quite a bit of a heat buildup. right now during the summer it tends to get quite uncomfortable. but IMHO the benifits deffinetly outweigh the downsides. so if your not planning on taking it with you everywhere i'd recomend getting it.
but then again i've only had it for a few days.

05 May 2008, 11:58 AM
Well, I've been using for quite a bit now the same non wide Intuos 3 like you, ravenger373, and I am really happy with it.
(I've set it to my left of my two 4:3 monitors (both same inches and resolution) and this combo is really efficient for my work.)
Now, my main concern would be how comfy a 12xw would be, replacing my Intuos 3 A5 as for real estate of moving my pen on.
You also mentioned the heat factor and I am really worried about it.
You see, you live in the Netherlands and you say you have a heat problem during the summer. I can't imagine myself screaming loudly enough about the heat issue during our long, melting hot Greek summers! I should work into an ice box or something :scream:

05 May 2008, 07:05 PM
heat issue-- keep it on your desk not your lap.......the 12 works great better in photoshop than painter because you can have a 'live' version of your work zoomed out on you main monitor and a zoomed in version for detailing on your tablet

05 May 2008, 01:47 AM
ok new thought pattern after 30 days my cintiq started acting strange....shift in calibration and unable to make straight lines on certain areas of the tablet.......... so a call to technical support and the manager and wacoms solution was for me to return it for my money suggestions of repair or replace just a flat out 'yeah it wont work for what you need to do obviously' so i suggest waiting to get one.....

05 May 2008, 05:59 AM
Wow! unbelievable! that's definitely a bad sign :sad:

"'yeah it wont work for what you need to do obviously''

"Obviously" you got this tablet to work with it in the only way someone can, that is draw on it!
you didn't ask for a toaster! I wonder what did they thought of to tell you that :hmm:

05 May 2008, 07:29 AM
That does seem odd. I don't want to put two and two together and get five but their European Support Forum has been down "due to maintenance" for six or seven weeks, also unusual. Discussed in the Painter forum:

Edit: Oops, this is the Painter Forum.

Brucie Rosch
06 June 2008, 01:00 PM
...after starting this thread... for various reasons:

- hot summer coming (heat on lap issue!)
- weird reports about jittering, calibration
- Wacom's tendency to go silent or be unhelpful
- economic downturn

I'm concerned that the economy will cause illo jobs to dry up for a while, and I'd rather buy expensive tools when the recovery is a few months underway...

06 June 2008, 05:19 PM
i just say wait till wacom comes out with the next generation of the tablet

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