Price When Reviewed: £2,895 plus VAT
The Cintiq 18X is Wacom’s latest interactive pen display, which lets you navigate, design, sketch and write directly on the screen. Not only is it bigger than the 15X model, it has a new stand and cable system that make it more comfortable to use. The new model’s 18.1-inch TFT screen can provide a maximum SXGA resolution of 1,280-x-1,024 pixels with 24-bit colour, whereas the Cintiq 15X can muster a top resolution of only 1,024-x-768. You can use the Cintiq 18X in a dual-display set-up, but the amount of desktop space available should be adequate for most applications. The 18X’s LCD is top notch, with an anti-glare coating that reduces reflections and creates a small amount of friction for that pen-on-paper feel. Wacom’s new stand is an innovation. Unlike the 15X’s attached stand, the new model has a separate stand onto which you slide the display. It can be adjusted to various positions from almost vertical to nearly horizontal (13 degrees) and can be rotated through +/- 180 degrees. A combination that should suit most users’ preferred working position. The Cintiq 18X has a single cable that carries power, USB/serial and monitor cables – a major improvement over the 15X’s cluttered system. Users can easily unhook the display from the stand and work with it on their lap without being entangled in three separate trailing cables as before. An improved stylus is also included. Thicker than previous pens, it has a rubberized grip that feels more comfortable to use over long periods. As with Wacom’s other models, the pen is cordless, battery-less, and supports 512 levels of pressure. Encased in a dark grey/purple casing, the 18X will cut a dash on anyone’s desktop. It’s let down only by the rather large red power button on the front, and menu controls on the back of the display that are far too fiddly to use for adjusting brightness and contrast. At £2,895, Wacom’s innovations don’t come cheap, even factoring in the saving of a separate monitor. Yet the Cintiq 18X will let you work faster and more intuitively than a traditional mouse-&-monitor set-up.