Comparison: Wacom Cintiq vs Cintiq Pro (Which is Better?)

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For a long time, Wacom Cintiq Pro has been a go-to drawing tablet for serious artists.

wacom cintiq vs Cintiq pro comparison

But after increased demand for cheaper drawing tablets, Wacom introduced their affordable range of drawing tablets called “Wacom Cintiq“.

These tablets were aimed at beginners and hobbyists who wanted a quality drawing experience at reasonable prices.

Soon, even professionals and full-time artists started getting the cheaper Cintiqs as they had all the primary features and they cost substantially lower than the Wacom Cintiq Pros.

So if you are looking for a new drawing tablet and wondering whether the Wacom Cintiq can keep up with your daily drawing needs, or you need to get the Superior and expensive Cintiq Pro models – you are at the right place.

For this article, we have created a massive comparison table listing all the major and minor features that different models of the Cintiq and Cintiq Pro offer.

You can quickly go through this list and see for yourself which tablet checks all the boxes for you and which model will fit your needs better.

For further help – we have creat a short guide which will help you understand the features and how they are helpful when drawing.

Specs comparison – Wacom Cintiq and Cintiq Pro

Note for mobile users: Pan left or right to see the whole table, for larger screens –  use the slider at the bottom of the table.

 Cintiq 16Cintiq 22Cintiq
Pro 13
Cintiq
Pro 16
Cintiq
Pro 24
Cintiq
Pro 32
Tablet Dimension (L x W x H)422 x 285 x 25 mm
(16.6 x 11.2 x 1.0 in)
570 x 359 x 40 mm
(22.4 x 14.1 x 1.6 in)
360 x 235 x 13.9mm
(14.2 x 9.3 x 0.55 in)
410 x 265 x 17.5 mm
(16.2 x 10.4 x 0.7in)
677 394 x 47 mm
(26.65 x 15.5 x 1.9 in)
854 x 506 x 53.25 mm
(33.62 x 19.92 x 2.1 in)
Display Size15.6
inches
21.5
inches
13.3
inches
15.6
inches
23.6
inches
31.5
inches
Working Area (L x W)344 x 194 mm
(13.6 x 7.6 in)
476 x 268 mm
(18.7 x 10.5 in)
294 x 166 mm
(11.6 x 6.5 in)
345 x 194 mm
(13.6 x 7.6 in)
522 X 294 mm
(20.55 X 11.57 in)
697 X 392 mm
(27.44 X 15.43 in)
Resolution1920 x 1080p
(FullHD)
Ratio - 16:9
1920 x 1080p
(FullHD)
Ratio - 16:9
1920 x 1080p
(FullHD)
Ratio - 16:9
3840 x 2160
(Ultra HD-4K)
Ratio - 16:9
3840 x 2160
(Ultra HD-4K)
Ratio - 16:9
3840 x 2160
(Ultra HD-4K)
Ratio - 16:9
Color Accuracy72% NTSC
96% sRGB
72% NTSC
96% sRGB
87% Adobe RGB96% sRGB99% Adobe RGB98% Adobe RGB
Brightness210 cd/m2210 cd/m2250 cd/m2250 cd/m2235 cd/m2310cd/m2
Contrast 1000:11000:1800:11000:11000:11000:1
Response Time25 ms22 ms30ms25 ms14 ms8 ms
Display LaminationNoNoUnconfirmed
(possibly not)
Unconfirmed
(possibly not)
UnconfirmedUnconfirmed
Drawing SurfaceTextured plasticTextured plasticTextured glassTextured glassTextured glassTextured glass
ReflectivenessMatte finish
(Anti-glare)
Matte finish
(Anti-glare)
Matte finish
(Anti-glare)
Matte finish
(Anti-glare)
Matte finish
(Anti-glare)
Matte finish
(Anti-glare)
Top Protective layerPlastic filmPlastic filmEtched glassEtched glassEtched glassEtched glass
MultitouchNoNoYesYesYes/ OptionalYes
StylusWacom Pro Pen 2
(Battery-free)
Wacom Pro Pen 2
(Battery-free)
Wacom Pro Pen 2
(Battery-free)
Wacom Pro Pen 2
(Battery-free)
Wacom Pro Pen 2
(Battery-free)
Wacom Pro Pen 2
(Battery-free)
Pen Pressure Levels8192 levels8192 levels8192 levels8192 levels8192 levels8192 levels
Pen Tilt Up to 60° tiltUp to 60° tiltUp to 60° tiltUp to 60° tiltUp to 60° tiltUp to 60° tilt
Buttons on the Stylus2+1 (buttons + eraser)2+1 (buttons + eraser)2+1 (buttons + eraser)2+1 (buttons + eraser)2+1 (buttons + eraser)2+1 (buttons + eraser)
Buttons on the tabletNoNoNoNoNoNo
Expresskey RemoteSupported/
Not Included
Supported/
Not Included
Supported/
Not Included
Supported/
Not Included
Supported/
Included
Supported/
Included
Tablet StandFoldable legsAdjustable Stand Foldable legs/ Optional Adjustable standFoldable legs/ Optional Adjustable standFoldable legs/ Optional Adjustable standFoldable legs/ Optional Adjustable stand
Build Material
(Tablet)
PlasticPlasticPlasticPlasticPlasticPlastic
Weight4.1 pounds
(1.9 kg)
12.3 pounds
(5.6 kg)
2.43 lbs
(1.1 kg)
3.3 lbs
(1.5 kg)
15.87 lbs
(7.2 kg)
28.66 lbs
(13 kg)
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Wacom Cintiq – a brief introduction

cintiq 16 and Cintiq 22: what features you get
Wacom Cintiq 16 and 22. source: Wacom

The Wacom Cintiq is available in two variants

  • Cintiq 16
  • Cintiq 22

Since Wacom Intuos was mainly made for hobbyists and beginners, Wacom tried to provide as many features as they could, while still keeping the prices low.

You have to also add in the fact that, at the time when Wacom was designing their Cintiq – a number of technologies such as a FullHD display were way cheaper than what they use to cost a few years ago. So Wacom had no problem putting them into their newer tables.

All these facts together make the Wacom Cintiq a great value for money and that is why it is a popular choice amongst beginners as well as full-time artists.

It is good that the Wacom Cintiq comes in two sizes as it is suitable for a wide range of usage.

If you want a compact tablet that can easily fit on your existing workspace, the Wacom Cintiq 16 is the right tablet.

But if you are someone who likes a larger drawing area and a large screen at a cheaper cost, the Wacom Cintiq 22 will serve you better.

If you are interested in these two tablets, check out the in-depth comparison between the Cintiq 16 and Cintiq 22.

Wacom Cintiq Pro – what does pro has to offer

wacom cintiq pro16 - drawing tablet for professionals
Wacom Cintiq Pro

The Wacom Cintiq Pro comes in four different sizes.

  • Cintiq Pro 13
  • Cintiq Pro 16
  • Cintiq Pro 24
  • Cintiq Pro 32

Wacom Cintiq Pro has been widely accepted as a professional drawing tablet. It can often be seen in big design studios and is a tablet of choice for high-end tasks like movie grade animated or GC projects.

The pen accuracy is one of the biggest improvements that you get with this tablet. All the Wacom Cintiq Pro models have a stylus accuracy of 0.1 mm compared to 0.2 mm on normal Cintiq.

In terms of raw numbers, this 0.1 mm difference in pen accuracy is small but this small improvement makes the real-life drawing experience that much better. If you upgrading from Cintiq to Cintiq Pro, you will clearly see and feel it.

The next big improvement is in terms of display resolution and color accuracy, particularly in the larger 24 and 32 inches Cintiq Pros.

Compared to the FullHD resolution on the Cintiq, the Cintiq Pro 24 and the Cintiq Pro 32 comes with a QHD (4K) display that is way sharper. These tablets also have close to 99% Adobe RGB color coverage which is superior to the 99% sRGB color coverage on Cintiq 16 and 22.

So basically, you pay more and get superior features and options for massive screen sizes, exactly what full-time artists and professionals want.

Wacom Cintiq 24 (Amazon) is one of the most popular choices amongst all Cintiq Pros and comes with a large 24-inch 4k display.

Analysis: Similarities and differences between Cintiq and Cintiq pro

One of the biggest and probably the most important similarities between Wacom Cintiq and Cintiq Pro is they all come with the Wacom Pro Pen 2.

Wacom Pro Pen 2

wacom pro pen 2 stylus, comes with both Cintiq and Cintiq Pro
Wacom Pro Pen 2

The pro pen 2 is the most capable stylus that Wacom makes and it is often considered one of the best stylus in the market competing directly with Apple Pencil.

Since styluses are so important for digital artists, Wacom deserves full credit for deciding to provide their best stylus in all Cintiq models. That means no matter whether you buy the cheaper Cintiq 16 or the most expensive Cintiq Pro 32 you get the same stylus and the same stylus experience.

Button on the tablet and Expresskey remote

One of the other noticeable similarities between all the tablet is, none of them comes with shortcut buttons on the tablet.

Unlike some tablets brands that have shortcut buttons built into the tablet. Wacom likes to keep things minimal and symmetric. So no matter whether you are left-handed or right-handed you have the same drawing experience.

Wacom expresskey remote for shortcut
Wacom Expresskey Remote

For those who want to use shortcut buttons, all the Cintiq and Cintiq Pros support the Wacom Expresskey remote. For those who don’t know this is a shortcut accessory that has a total of 17 programmable buttons and a touch ring. Plus it connects to the tablet wirelessly.

Check Prices of Wacom Expresskey Remote on Amazon.

Now talking of differences, there are a number of differences between the cheaper Wacom Cintiq and more expensive Wacom Cintiq Pros.

Pen accuracy

One of the biggest differences between the two tablets is in the pointer accuracy.

The tablet is responsible for tracking the location of the pen, while the stylus is mainly responsible for measuring pressure sensitivity.

So inspire of having the same stylus, the Wacom Cintiq and Cintiq Pro have differences in the accuracy of the stylus and it all comes down to the tablet itself.

As mentioned earlier, all the pro models of the Cintiq has a slightly better pen pointer accuracy than the normal Wacom Cintiq.

Higher-resolution screen

In general, Cintiq Pros has options for a larger screen and those larger screens come with higher resolution 4K displays, whereas the normal Cintiqs max out at full HD resolution.

The Wacom Cintiq 16 and 22 comes with a FullHD resolution screen. Whereas, except for Cintiq Pro 13, all the other Cintiq Pros come with FHD 4K resolution display.

Better color accuracy

Waco Cintiq 16 and 22 as well as the smaller size Cintiq Pro 13 and 16 comes with a 96% color accuracy. This is similar to what you get with some of the newer monitors. But since you are getting these tablets for drawing purposes, color accuracy matters.

The Cintiq Pro 24 and 32 comes with color accuracy in the range of 96~99% Adobe RGB. The 99% Adobe RGB is much superior to the 99% sRGB and is capable of displaying wider color ranges.

Magnetic frame

As we mentioned, both the Wacom Cintiq and the Cintiq Pro supports the Wacom Expresskey Remote accessory. But the cool thing about the Cintiq Pro is they have a magnetic side bezel where you can attach the Expresskey remote.

This allows you to stick your Wireless Expresskey remote anywhere across the side of the tablet. These small features can really make a big difference in terms of convenience especially considering the fact that you spend so much time working on your tablet.

Etched glass

matte and textured drawing surface
Drawing Surface: Etched glass with a Matte finish

All the Wacom Cintiq Pro models come with etched glass which has a superior drawing texture compared to plastic films on Cintiqs.

Multi-touch

All the models of the Wacom Cintiq Pro come with multitouch support. Using multi-touch you can do stuff like scrolling, pan, hold, zoom, and rotate the canvas – which can be very helpful while drawing.

In theory, this seems like a great feature, but in reality, the implementation of multi-touch is very gimmicky on these tablets. They are not reliable often they do not performs actions that you want them to do.

More annoyingly, the palm rejections on these tablets are pretty-bad and cause a lot of trouble while drawing.

For all these reasons most of the artists end up disabling this feature by sliding off a physical switch located on the side of the tablet.

Which tablet we do not recommend?

Out of all the models of the Wacom Cintiq and Cintiq Pro, we want you to avoid getting the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13.

Comparing the Cintiq Pro 13 to the Cintiq 16 and 22, you are basically getting an inferior screen since it has lower contrast (ie less range making the colors will look washed out) and a response time of 30 ms, which is hight amongst all the tablet in the list.

The worst part is – even after all these shortcomings, the Cintiq Pro 13 stills costs substantially higher than the Cintiq 16. With that said – the Cintiq Pro 13 is more compact and lightweight that Wacom offers but still, that doesn’t do justice to the price it asks.

Cintiq 16 vs Cintiq Pro 16

If you want a compact drawing tablet, you have two choices either get the 13-inch tablet or the 16-inch tablet.

Since we have already discussed why 13 inch Cintiq Pro is not worth it, we are left with 16-inch tablets that are Wacom Cintiq 16 and the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16.

Here is a quick Pros and cons of these models, which will help you decide for yourself which tablet will fit your needs better.

Wacom Cintiq 16 

  • 1080p FullHD screen
  • Same color accuracy
  • Same pen response time
  • Great value for money
  • Comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2
  • Easy to replace textured plastic protection film
  • Price – check on Amazon

Wacom Cintiq Pro 16

  • High resolution UHD screen
  • Slightly brighter screen
  • Better Pen accuracy
  • Superior drawing texture
  • More compact and lightweight
  • Magnetic sides for Expresskey remote
  • Price – check on Amazon

What is the cheapest Wacom Cintiq?

Wacom Cintiq 16 is the cheapest Cintiq that you can buy. However, Wacom has another display drawing tablet called Wacom One (Amazon) which is even cheaper than Cintiq 16 and has a 13-inch screen. It is mainly used for absolute beginners who are looking for a quality display tablet from a reputed brand.

Wacom One: The cheapest Wacom display tablet (Read Review, or Check on Amazon)

Check out this article for full details on the features of the Wacom One.

Which tablet to get, if you want a larger drawing tablet?

A full Hd screen is fine on a 16-inch screen but when it comes to larger 22-inch displays, having a higher resolution screen is ideal.

The Wacom Cintiq 22 comes has a 21.5-inch screen with a Full HD resolution. Compare that to the Cintiq Pro 24 with a 23.6-inch screen and a resolution of UHD 4K, which is an ideal resolution for a 24-inch display. Drawing on this screen you won’t notice any individual pixels.

So if you are someone who wants a larger screen, getting the Cintiq Pro 24 is a better choice compared to Cintiq 22. But since Cintiq 22 is roughly half the price many people are ready to make the compromise – which is understandable.

Value for money

Considering all the features you get for the price you are paying, the Wacom Cintiq 16 and 22 are the two of the most value for money tablets.

Etched glass on all Cintiq Pros vs plastic film on Cintiqs

The top layer of the tablet has three main tasks

  • Protecting the tablet from scratches
  • Providing a textured surface to work on
  • Reduce reflections and glare

Protecting against scratches

The Wacom Cintiq 16 and 22 come with a plastic film on top of the glass layer, whereas all the Wacom Cintiq Pros come with etched glass.

Now when it comes to protecting the tablet from scratches, glass is a much harder material than plastic. It provides better protection against scratches and it keeps the tablet looking smooth and clear for a long time.

Surface Texture

The plastic used on the Cintiqs, on the other hand, are more resistant than normal plastics but still compared to glass they are easier to get scratches. But on the flip side, since they are applied on top of the glass layer they are pretty easy and inexpensive to replace.

Now coming to texture, the plastic textured film is a no match for the textured feel on the etched glass of Wacom Cintiq Pros. Drawing on the textured etched glass is more pleasing and unlike plastic film, its texture does not fade away on prolonged usage.

Anti-glare

When it comes to minimizing reflection and glares off the screen, both the plastic film and etched glass do an equally good job.

Click to Compare the latest Prices on Amazon

Wacom Cintiq 16
Wacom Cintiq 22
Wacom Cintiq Pro 16
Wacom Cintiq Pro 24
Wacom Cintiq Pro 32

 

 

Aaron Levie

Aaron Levie loves painting. he started as a traditional watercolor artist and later switched to digital. He really likes freedom and control that digital art provides.

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