The Cintiq Companion 2 is the second generation in the Cintiq Companion tablet series released by Wacom. With serious graphic designers in mind, this heavy-duty Windows tablet comes with an amazing pen display as well as a good deal of flash memory and RAM to help designers achieve computer-quality results.
The Cintiq Companion 2 comes with a fresh install of Windows 8.1, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of flash memory, a 3.2 GHz processor and weighs in at under 4 pounds. The touch screen has over 2000 levels of of pressure sensitivity to give designers more control over their artwork and has some of the most sensitive angle detection on the market.
In terms of looking at this product strictly as a graphic design tool, the previously mentioned insane levels of pressure sensitivity are more than enough for any graphic designer, no matter the project. The awesome angle detection and included pen also make projects as comfortable as possible. But even casual tablet/computer users can find value in this tablet.
Relative to it’s size and weight, the Cintiq Companion 2 has some of the best specs on the market. Users are carrying the power of a PC in their backpacks. This is one of the most powerful on-the-go tablets currently available. Not only is it an attractive product for graphic design pros, I’d go so far as to say this tablet could replace the average family’s household computer. Simply put, the Cintiq Companion 2 can handle any situation thrown at it.
While these features certainly sound promising in theory, there are issues that potential buyers should keep in mind. Scouring the net, you’ll find – with little effort, I might add – an abundance of customer complaints revolving around issues that might suggest a lack of quality control and testing over at Wacom. Issues with back lights, touch sensitivity and batteries are far from unheard of.
While Wacom seems to be doing a good job at handling customer complaints, it’s still something to consider; nobody likes waiting a week for a tablet, just to send it back and wait another week for a replacement.
One of the Cintiq Companion 2’s best competitors at the moment is the Trust Flex. Comparing the two can be rather difficult as they each keep different features and users in mind, but the Trust Flex is arguably the most innovative graphic design tablet next to the Cintiq Companion 2. That, and anyone considering buying a product in this category has no doubt considered both of these tablets.
The obvious difference is the price. One could buy 10 Trust Flex Tablets for a fraction of the cost of a Cintiq Companion 2.
While the former may have better overall value, I think it’s safe to say that if you have some money to burn, the latter would be the obvious choice. The Trust Flex (as well as many other tablets of its kind) also sacrifices the heavy specs we’re seeing in the Cintiq in favor of more comfortability and maneuverability.
But that’s not what the Cintiq is all about. The Cintiq is meant for those looking for something heavy duty that will remain relevant in the market for the next five years. Something which can run anything the user wants to run. Relative to other tablets in its category, the Cintiq is far from one-dimensional.
As good as this tablet is, there’s one big turnoff; the price. At the moment, it can be had on Amazon for $2499.99 new. As previously stated, this tablet is for those professional graphic designers who are serious about their artwork and who have a serious amount of money to put down on a design tool.
While some can argue over whether or not you’re getting the most bang for your buck with the Cintiq Companion 2, it’s undeniable that, by purchasing this tablet, you’re getting one of the most advanced and proficient tablets on the market. This isn’t the type of tablet that requires you to upgrade every 2 or 3 years; users who purchase this tablet should be satiated for years to come due to it’s near-futuristic features.
Even a dull tool, with patience, can bring out beauty and truth.
Examples of Work By Artists
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Wacom did a great job of capturing just what their tablet is capable of when in the right hands. A great example is this finished picture where the clouds overhead give an awesome representation of the power of the absurd amount of pressure sensitivity.
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While not as in-depth as the previous example, this picture focuses more on the tablet’s Photoshop and Camera integration while still giving users a feel for the pressure sensitivity and deep color through the background work.
If you really want to get serious about graphic design, the Cintiq Companion 2 will give any artist the proper tools they need excel in their work and remain one step ahead of the competition. While sometimes a bit of a hassle and an expense, it just simply can’t be beat by any other product currently on the market and is – to a degree – quite ahead of it’s time.
If you are a web or graphics designer, or you simply enjoy spending your time on photoshop or editing videos, maybe you are looking for a graphics tablet for your fashion illustrations or you are an artist who is need of a digital tablet to draw your billion dollar art, your prayers have been heard and are being answered. This is one of the best, if not, the best tablet for you. The Wacom Intuos4 does it all, but we will get more into that a bit later. First, allow me to explain what a graphics tablet is and what it is used for.
Every graphics professional has owned or owns multiple graphics tablets, so if you are new to the business, sit back, relax, and read on.
To put into simpler terms, a graphics tablet is like a thick magical piece of paper that whatever is written or drawn on will appear on the screen it is connected to. What you draw or write does not show up on the tablet, and that will take some getting used to, but honestly, you just have to find the right tablet for you. And guess what buddy? You just found it.
With a sleek gorgeous design, amazing features, I present to you the Intuos4 Wacom Pen Tablet. One would think that after a few devices, Wacom would run out of ideas, and somehow, they never do. Wacom is a very well-known brand name that makes interactive pen displays and tablets. They have been around for nearly two decades and they have yet to fail. The Intuos4 is an excellent device that every designer or artist should have the pleasure of experiencing. It was so amazing that it was awarded TIPA’s best digital accessory in Europe awards.
Okay, let us be truthful with each other, graphics tablets are not all that hot in the technology sector, at least not like smartphones and personal computers. So in reality, only professionals would fan girl over these features. According to Wacom, just because there is not much competition, doesn’t mean you can’t bring that heat, and let me tell you, Wacom are firing shots every time they drop a new product. Wacom Corporation is a Japanese company that specializes in the making of graphics tablets and similar products. I would like to remind you that Wacom has revolutionized graphics tablets and are one of the top brands out there. Without further ado, let’s get to it. Now let’s get into these mind-blowing, award-winning features.
This is the standout feature and it is by far one of the best designs on pen tablets. I like to call it the effortlessly brilliant ambidextrous design. It has that luxurious look to it that draws you in, as well as modern. With this new layout, all of the controls are placed on one side, making it easier to use all the features. The design is so advanced and pleasant that you know that a group of creative members created it. It is very well thought out. Matte black with a shiny plastic control panel on the side, slimmer than the previous generation, eight labeled ExpressKeys that are programmable, and a customizable Touch Dial.
Tip Sensor Features
Feather touch starting pressure
Wacom was trying to achieve a feather-light starting pressure and they sure did. You can now adjust your pen to your heart’s content, making it as light as you want. The pen is so responsive that you have control with only a single gram of pen pressure. You are given the creative power to adjust brush size, exposure, opacity, line weight and more just by pressing harder and softer. The new Grip Pen is beyond its time.
2048 pressure levels, more natural pressure curve
Accuracy and pixel level details are seen like never before with Wacom setting a pressure level of 2048. The Grip Pen is designed to be easier to use and double the responsiveness.
This is one of my favorite features because I often unknowingly tilt my brushes and other utensils to get what I need with effects, and now, the pen will be able to tell which direction and angle I’m titling and it will automatically tilt 60 degrees from the vertical and that lets me take advantage of brushes. You can access brushes and other artistic utensils without having to make a lot of movement, and that comes in handy a lot. This feature is compatible with Coler Painter, Adobe Photoshop, and basically just any application that supports the feature.
We have all been waiting for this one. Just like previous models, the Intuos4 features a wireless mouse on the tablet, a scroll wheel which is clickable and four buttons that are programmable. Wacom cleverly added illuminated OLED mini-displays that label the key with a function, be it as an icon or a text. Just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, it gets better! The white LED backlit ExpressKey displays float underneath the gloss strip of the tablet and update different applications, making it that much easier to toggle from app to app.
This feature comes in really handy when you need to change brush sizes and move in between layers. The touch ring has the look of a concave version of an iPod Classic click wheel and in the center is a toggle button that lets you switch between four customizable states of your choice. The touch ring is a great a tool that minimizes having to jump back and forth between your tablet and keyboard.
This is one of the most important, if not, the most important feature. Comfort is so important when designing and I can’t say that many products offer comfort, and I am so glad that Wacom took the customer’s comfort into consideration when making this brilliant device. Most brands would stock on so many flawless features that they do not focus a lot on comfort and how an everyday user would feel using the tablet. Intuos4 is the most pleasant and comfortable Intuos tablet yet.
Designers and artists depend on Intuos being the premier tablet in the industry. The Intuos4 pen tablet set the bar higher than ever. Not only is it stylish and great-looking, it is backed up with outstanding performance. This device brings a better and more accurate performance onto the table. Nine out of ten artists who have used this tablet say that it is one the best pen tablet out there and they had a blast using it.
This is the tablet for you if you are a digital content creator. It is the tablet that will make everything for you possible. It is the tablet that has everything you have ever hoped for in a pen tablet. The result of your work will be on point in a way that you have never seen before. You now have control over your tablet. For users who have multiple monitors set up, this is the perfect feature for you. You can switch monitors with a toggle of a button. You no longer have to connect a USB or switch positions, it is as simple as pressing a button. How more convenient can it get?
Customizable Side Switches
You can customize the two side switches (pen buttons) with a different number of functions such as: double clicking, scrolling, left click, right click, etc.
This feature saves you a lot of time and energy. Your commonly used commands and shortcuts are at the tip of your pen…literally. It is programmable too, so need you check an email or anything of the sort, you just have to press a button on your pen.
Starting at single gram of pressure, supports 2,048 levels of pen sensitivity
ExpressKeys have OLED-illuminated labels
User can customize Touch Ring for tasks
Customizable LED display labels that are also programmable buttons
Easy to operate
Comes with a boatload of accessories (10 nibs, 5 button mouse, pen, pen holder/nib holder)
Certain features only work with compatible apps
The nibs wear out very quickly
Glossy plastic panel shows fingerprints
Mouse is a bit awkward
Small Intuos4 Tablet does not have the OLED screen next to the buttons that you find with the other (larger) Intuos4 Pen Tablets
ExpressKeys are less less tactile that previous versions, hard to press
DC 5V less than 300 mA, primarily from USB port or USB powered hub
Four Function touch ring: Both
Pressure Sensitivity Levels: 2048 in both
Mutli-finger touch: up to 5 fingers in the Intuos5 and none in the Int4os4
Express View Display in the Intuos5, not in the Intuos4
Illuminated corner markers in the Intuos5, none in the Intuos4
ExpressKeys: Both have six in the small and eight in larger sizes
Ultimately, the Intuos5 is the better product, considering it is a little bit more advanced, new, and has three or two features that the Intuos4 does not. The main difference is the addition of the multi-touch features in the Intuos5.
The multi-touch feature sure is neat, and it definitely makes up for such a high price, but it is not a necessity. When comparing them side by side, the Intuos5 does not shine any brighter than the Intuos4, they are both significant devices, and essentially do the same things.
Looking outside of the Wacom brand, there are devices that add up to the Intuos4, and at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and how much you are willing to spend. To me personally, the Intuos4 is the better device; not to mention, it provides the same experience that you would pay an extra two hundred dollars for in another device. You could get a much cheaper tablet that does what any graphics or digital tablets do, except the Intuos4 does all those things better.
I know, I was dreading this part too! But don’t fear, affordable devices are here. People always complain that Wacom is too expensive, but really it just depends on you. Whether you want a large tablet or a medium. Luckily, it comes in different sizes, so if you have tiny hands like me, you do not have to spend as much.
Small costs: $245
Medium costs: $499.99
Large costs: $525
Extra large costs: $699.99
These prices may vary depending on warranty, size, whether it is used and refurbished or new, and of course, whether it is wireless or not. This is a quality pen tablet that can stay with you for a long time if you take care of it as you should. I definitely suggest buying something with a higher price and a better experience than buying something that is not all the great for a lower price only to have it die on you a few months or years later. Like I have said before, it depends on how much you are willing to spend and personal preference.
*Also, the small only has a single USB port and lacks LED labels next to the ExpressKeys.
Need you create intricate details at the pixel level? This is for you. This new software feature is fairly new and useful need you activate an area of your tablet maps to a portion of your screen. It also allows you to use much larger strokes that transition into a smaller part of your masterpiece. This is details at its finest.
New Tip Sensor Technology
No other tablet offers a pen as sophisticated as Wacom’s. Their pens are so powerful yet sensitive. You can adjust the activation as low as one gram. This technology is so advanced that it is like drawing or designing on a piece of paper.
This is really beneficial and convenient to the majority of users. Once you learn and get used to using this feature, you will realize what you have been missing out on. Switching between applications has never been easier. You can program eight keys to your heart’s desire and if you happen to forget what one key does, there is an OLED Display that will provide a constant reminder/visual confirmation of they keys function.
I have repeated this word over and over again, and I have realized I have not mentioned the meaning of it yet. Ambidextrous means designed to be used by left-handed and right-handed people with equal ease. Whether you are left-handed or right-handed you will not be facing any problems when using this tablet. All you have to do is rotate the device 180 degrees and select your dominant hand when setting up the device.
Examples of Work By Artists Using the Wacom
I love watching other people at work just as much as I love doing the work myself. I feel pleasure knowing that I made the right choice buying this tablet when I see others enjoying it as much as I do. Also, this step is very important before buying a product you plan on using as your daily drive. It is essential to do research and see what different things people have to say.
Here are a few Youtube reviews and work done on the Intuos 4:
Complete Tutorial on the Wacom Intuos Pro for Photographers:
The bottom line is anyone who is familiar with a graphics pad or tablet will be very happy with this device. The Intuos4 Wacom Pen Tablet is simply magnificent. From design to software, it is by far one of the most powerful pen tablets any graphics designer or artist could have the pleasure of using. Now, I promise I am not over glorifying the excellence of this device. The Wacom Intuos4 is the jump from the Wacom Intuos3.
It Added multifunction Touch Ring trackpad, on-screen radial menus, and eight user-definable buttons with OLED tags called ExpressKeys in a thin, ultralight package, and most importantly, it doubled the pressure sensitive levels. Luckily, the Intuos4 comes in different sizes, so you can choose whichever one fits you best. It also comes with the option of the tablet being wired or wireless. A wireless tablet is the better choice is you prefer a less cluttered workspace, however, it can be a little more pricey.
Performance wise, this device is not only great for digital painting, it is perfect for artists who are heavy users of Photoshop. It allows you to clone or mask with absolute precision, literally down to the last pixel, without having to vary the size of the brush, making everyday brushing so much easier on the average artist.
The 2048 levels of pressure sensitiveness, requiring only 1 gram of pressure to start designing or painting, offers the best simulation an artist or a designer could ever try. The slightest touch transfers to the screen as if it was a magical piece of paper. Not only that, the response in the device is insanely fast.
Design wise, it is even better. Gorgeous, with sleek, shiny plastic, it is an ambidextrous design, so you do not have to worry about not being able to use your dominant hand. The Touch Ring, a circular trackpad that allows you to perform four different tasks of your choice.
My personal favorite thing about the Touch Ring is the LED backlit labels. When you click the middle button to switch functions, your monitor will display an elegant transparent dialog that fades in and out quickly, but remains long enough for you to identify the new trackpad function. It is simply cool. We also have eight programmable ExpressKeys that are located in just the right position: Four above and four below the Touch Ring.
Each key is completely customizable by the user, and each key also contains a backlit LED display. The new rubberized Grip Pen also features the cool black finish akin to that of the tablet; the weight of the pen is almost perfect, and the rubber grip makes using the grip pen more comfortable than ever before, but the rubber grip also attracts dust and lint, so it may be subjected to constant cleaning. However, the pen supports 2048 levels of sensitivity, and can be activated with a feather-light stroke that is as little as one gram, thus it makes up for always having to clean it.
Software-wise, the device comes with a variety of different Softwares, and I personally am grateful for that. All you have to do to get these Softwares (Photoshop Elements, Sketchpad, etc.) is register your device on the Wacom website.
It is utterly amazing that Wacom can pull off something like this when there is not much competition in the business. Wacom proves that just because there is a lack of competition, you should get lazy. They take the customers needs into account. They would take a vision and bring it into life. The Intuos3 was already wonderful the way at wise, and most of us thought the end of Wacom would be with that tablet, but they took what they already and made it better.
So, all in all, this is a perfect upgrade if you are in need of a new tablet. There is no denying that this device has its fair share of flaws but the cons are so easy to overlook with the pros being so remarkable. I recommend this tablet to any professional graphics designers, photographers, artists, animators, etc. This is a great investment and from one photographer to another, this is the one, and you will not regret it.
Looking to go back to school, without having to take time off? Try the Intuos Pro Special Edition. If you can set aside 30 minutes for Lynda.com courses on the weekends for the next 30 days, you can learn some valuable lessons in graphic design using the Special Premium pack included with Wacom’s Intuos Pro Pen and Touch model.
Wacom has also included a one-year free membership to Sketchbook so you can practice and design your best using its intuitive and “powerful” interface for digital art.
The Special Premium package includes a 1 Yr free membership to Sketchbook, drawing and painting software for professional artists illustrators and designers.
30 Day membership to Lynda.com/Video2Brain, a great learning library which includes courses on everything from Photoshop to 3D character design.
Filter Perfect Effects 9 Premium included!
Great Active Area for drawing in Photoshop or any other painting or drawing suite
Zoom with your fingers and manipulate your canvas area naturally using touch
The specs on this one are a little like most Intuos Digital Pens and a bit more Active Area than the Bamboo’s for those just starting with Wacom graphic tablets.
Features of the Intuos Pro Pen
2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
Dimensions: 15” x 9.9 x .5
Active Area: 8.8 x 5.5 in – only 6 inches short compared to standard 8.5 x 11 printer paper
Express Keys, Touch Ring, Time saving settings
Digital Pen included
USB, wireless included
Works with Mac or Windows
Works with Left handed or Right handed users
2.2lbs, Comes in Silver or Black
For more information about the Intuos Pro Special Edition – click here!
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