At this screen size, unless you really value the built-in LCD, you might be better off with a cheaper drawing tablet.

Priced not far shy of a thousand pounds, Wacom's Cintiq 12WX is the newest, smallest, and cheapest Cintiq drawing tablet to date.

As with previous Cintiq models, you can draw directly on its built-in LCD screen with a digitizer pen; Cintiq's drawing pens are finely tuned to the features of major graphics programs. The Wacom Cintiq 12WX looks and works great, but you pay a hefty premium for a screen that isn't particularly roomy yet still takes up lots of space to use - especially in comparison with other, more affordable tablets.

The Wacom Cintiq 12WX is light (2kg), with a 12.1in display area that resembles the screen of a high-quality 12in laptop and has a native resolution of 1280 by 800.

However, although the Wacom Cintiq 12WX is compact relative to its larger cousins, we were taken aback by the amount of desk space we had to clear for it.

The display is encased in a 16-by-10in frame, and we also had to create space for the video control converter unit, a modem-size device that bridges your computer's DVI or VGA input and the Wacom Cintiq 12WX. (On larger Cintiqs, the converter is built into the display.)

Add the USB cord that connects the converter to your PC, and you have quite a bit of clutter.

The large, tilting surface of the Wacom Cintiq 12WX looks good and is comfortable to use. We had fun using it as a second monitor, especially when we allowed clients to draw on the screen while we handled back-seat driving with a mouse.

The Wacom Cintiq 12WX supports the same intuitive and interactive pressure-and-tilt sensitivity as other Cintiq and lower-priced Intuos tablets do. You use the same pen, retaining the same functionality, with all tablets, and Wacom works closely with software publishers to add support for new features in such programs as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and Corel Painter and CorelDraw.

Wacom sees the Wacom Cintiq 12WX as an affordable entry to the Cintiq series for designers who want to upgrade from its Intuos tablets. The display is remarkably crisp, and the colour profiling of the Cintiq 12WX seemed more accurate than that of an Intuos tablet.


Is the Wacom Cintiq 12WX worth twice the price of a comparable-size Intuos tablet? Only if you value the built-in LCD.