As the gold standard for art tablet hardware, Wacom’s products are ubiquitous at studios worldwide. Despite this, there has been a long-standing gap in their offerings between the Intuos tablet line and the Cintiq pen displays: the former are affordable but lack a built-in display, while the latter are prohibitively expensive for hobbyists, students, and smaller studios.
Wacom is looking to bridge that gap with their latest release: the new 16.6-inch Cintiq 16, aimed at “professionals, students, and enthusiasts on the brink of something big.” It comes with the same Pro Pen 2 Stylus as the Pro models, retaining the familiar 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity. Priced at $650, the Cintiq 16 is $150 less than the Cintiq Pro 13, and a whopping $850 less than the similarly-sized Cintiq Pro 16.
Some corners inevitably had to be cut to lower pricing. The Cintiq 16 offers a significantly lower-quality screen than the Pro version, supporting only a 1920x1080 resolution (compared with the 3840x2160 supported by the Cintiq Pro 16). It also takes a hit to color gamut (72% NTSC, compared with 94% Adobe RGB), and screen brightness (210 cd/m2), though contrast ratio and viewing angle range are the same. The Cintiq 16 is also substantially heavier than the Pro version, weighing in at over 4 lbs (1.9kg).
The Cintiq 16’s specifications put it in line with other lower-end pen display solutions such as the Huion Kamvas (the Cintiq 16 costs $70 more than the most comparable Huion product). Despite the higher price point than its competitors, Wacom’s reputation for quality hardware makes it an exciting option for artists on a budget.