I played with the gigantic Wacom Cintiq 24HD last week. It is so well designed and it works so incredibly well that I found myself giggling like a little girl. I drew and drew and I became addicted.
After a while I wanted to lick it. Then I wanted to hump its movable arm. I wanted to take it home, make love to her, marry her in Vegas, have five children, and then divorce to marry her again in Niagara Falls just for kicks. Wacom Cintiq 24HD: I love you.
This tablet is so much better than the previous Wacom top dog, the Wacom Cintiq 21UX. That was good—it's still available—but this one just destroys it. Not just because the new screen is amazing—with a gorgeous 24-inch 1920 x 1200 widescreen IPS panel—or the quality of the design or the usual exquisite control of the pen, with 2048 levels of pressure and 40 degrees of tilt control.
That's all great, but what I like most about the Cintiq 24HD is the extremely good ergonomic design. Unlike the 21UX, the tablet design really fits the way illustrators work in the analog world: It allows you to position it exactly like a drafting table. Its heavy counterweight and spring-loaded mechanism allows it to float in any position, from just above your lap while you sit on a normal chair—it goes below the base level of your table!—to a standup position, just in case you want to draw right on top of it standing up or on a tall stool.
Adjusting its position is extremely easy. So easy that you can buy this tablet and forget about having a secondary monitor if you want. You can have it down to the perfect angle when you are in Illustrator, Painter, Photoshop, Animate or whatever other professional graphic/animation/video/3D software you use, and then lift it to a normal monitor angle and height whenever you want to do other tasks that require that position, like e-mail or surfing the web for a long period of time.
The quality of the IPS-based screen panel—the same technology used on the iPad—is really gorgeous. It gave me consistent color independently of the angle I was looking at it, which is something that is not true in the other Wacom graphic tablet displays. Wacom says that the Cintiq 24HD can be color-calibrated with any professional color management solution.
Around the screen there are improved touch-sensitive old-school-iPod wheels and buttons. With them I could easily change any parameter I want, from zoom to brush size. There's no limit in the personalization of these tools, which can be tailored depending on the running application. A new button on the top allows you to summon an overlay help screen, in case you forget what each button does is in some software package. Next to it, another button allows you to directly open the Wacom control panel. The most useful top button, however, is the one that calls the on-screen keyboard. The combination of side function buttons, the touch wheel and the on-screen keyboard would make it possible to forget about using a physical keyboard, even if you depend on some keyboard shortcuts like I do. The customizable software radial menu—which is common to all Wacom tablets—is the icing on the cake.