Best Digital Drawing Options for Artists

Janice Lin

As a digital artist, I have been trying to upgrade from a normal drawing tablet without a screen to a drawing monitor. The top brand for digital drawing technology is Wacom. Wacom has a monopoly over professional digital drawing tools. They patented their pen technology and everyone followed them afterwards. For the longest time, they had no competitors because nothing was ever as good as a Wacom drawing tablet. Even today, many would argue that they are still the best and have the smoothest digital drawing technology. My first and only drawing tablet is from Wacom. It is a Intuos 4 (this is their line without screens) and I bought it nine years ago. It is heavily used and was dropped many times, but it still works. Wacom has very sturdy and reliable products. They have a wonderful line called Cintiq. However, during my research, I came across an alternative, the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. As someone who is not a huge iOS fan, I wanted to choose the Wacom Cintiq, since it allows users to connect it to their PC and to use whatever program and operating system they have. It gives users a lot more freedom. Although the Cintiqs are beautiful, the Apple products also have their benefits.

iPad Pro 12.9 in

The iPad Pro 12.9 in was released in September of 2015. The price starts from $799. The display is a retina display with a resolution of 2732 by 2048 with 264 ppi. It has an 8-megapixel rear facing camera and can record 1080p HD videos. It’s front facing camera can take 1.2 megapixel photos. With this device, it is necessary to purchase the Apple Pencil which is about another hundred dollars.

iPad Pro 9.7 in

The iPad Pro 9.7 in was introduced on March 21st 2016. The price starts from $599. The display is also a retina display, but it has a 2048 by 1536 resolution with 264 ppi. It has a 12-megapixel rear facing camera that can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second. It also has a 5-megapixel front facing camera. This iPad also has a true tone feature that adjusts its screen colors based on the ambient lighting. It is also necessary to purchase an Apple Pencil.

Wacom Cintiq 13HD

The Wacom Cintiq 13HD is a 13-inch drawing display. It was released on March 19th 2013. The price was originally $999, but after a couple years and the improvement of similar tech, it is now $799.95. It requires connection to a PC. The Cintiq 13HD comes with a pen, stand, and case with extra nibs. The pen allows for 2480 levels of pressure sensitivity and it has an eraser end. The resolution of the screen is 5080 lines per inch. The screen size is 13.3 inches diagonally.

The rapid improvement of technology makes it very difficult to decide what to spend money on. Apple has announced that there will be an iPad Pro 2, which is rumored to come out in March of 2017 at the earliest. This line will most likely be more expensive than the first generation of iPad Pros. Wacom has also released multiple new products. There is a newer version of the Wacom Cintiq called the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 and 16. The Pro 13 is the price of an iPad and its Apple Pencil. It is not very portable, but has 8192 pressure levels on its pen (this is a huge amount; the Apple Pencil only has 2048 levels of pressure). As a hobbyist, the idea of spending even close to $1000 on something to just draw on, is daunting. It is very difficult to decide what to spend this money on without knowing how they feel, especially since Wacom does not have physical stores. Although consumers can see what an iPad Pro feels like, if they aren't a Mac user, all their programs that they have worked with on their preferred OS are wasted. IPads can only connect to Macs, which limits Apple's consumer pool. I would buy the iPad if I could connect it to my windows computer. There wouldn't even be a dilemma. To learn more about iPad Pros click here and to learn more about Wacom Cintiqs click here. Here is some more information for things that were mentioned above: 9.7-inch Press info, iPad Pro 2, and Cintiq 13HD release.

Specifications
iPad Pro 12.9 in iPad Pro 9.7 in Wacom Cintiq 13HD
  • Dimensions
    • Diagonal Length: 12.9 in
    • Length: 12 in
    • Width: 8.68 in
    • Thick: 0.27 in
    • Weight: 1.75 lbs
  • Storage
    • 32 GB (Only available with WIFI version)
    • 128 GB
    • 256 GB
  • Wifi and Cellular Data or Just WIFI available
  • Resolution
    • 2732x2048 with 264ppi
  • Ammenities
    • Home/touch ID sensor
    • Four speakers
    • 8 MP Rear facing camera
    • 1.2 MP Front facing Camera
  • Dimensions
    • Diagonal Length: 9.7 in
    • Length: 9.4 in
    • Width: 6.6 in
    • Thick: 0.24 in
    • Weight: 0.96 lbs
  • Storage
    • 32 GB (Only available with WIFI version)
    • 128 GB
    • 256 GB
  • Wifi and Cellular Data or Just WIFI available
  • Resolution
    • 2048x1536 with 264ppi
  • Ammenities
    • Home/touch ID sensor
    • Four speakers
    • 12 MP Rear facing camera
    • 5 MP Front facing Camera
    • True Tone Display
    • 4k Videos
  • Dimensions
    • Diagonal Length: 12.9 in
    • Length: 12 in
    • Width: 8.68 in
    • Thick: 0.27 in
    • Weight: 1.75 lbs
  • Storage
    • 32 GB (Only available with WIFI version)
    • 128 GB
    • 256 GB
  • Wifi and Cellular Data or Just WIFI available
  • Resolution
    • 2732x2048 with 264ppi
  • Ammenities
    • Home/touch ID sensor
    • Four speakers
    • 8 MP Rear facing camera
    • 1.2 MP Front facing Camera
Pros Cons
iPad Pro 12.9 in
  • Large Screen
  • Double the RAM of the 9.7 in: More Layers
  • Easier to Draw on
  • Fast performance
  • Very easy to draw on
  • Can take notes
  • Can be used for other Purposes
  • Has Four Speakers
  • Not Very Portable- too large
  • Very Expensive: ~$1100 with Apple Pencil with 128 GB
  • Glassy Screen: Needs Matte Screen Protector
  • Fragile
  • Requires Case for Protection
  • Lays Flat/No Stand for Drawing
  • Cannot connect to Windows PC: Can't use my Drawing Programs (Can only connect to Macs)
  • Has a long Charging time
iPad Pro 9.7 in
  • Portable
  • Cheaper: ~$750 with Apple Pencil with 128 GB
  • Fast performance
  • Very easy to draw on
  • Can take notes
  • Can be used for other Purposes
  • Can take video in 4k
  • Harder to draw on: Hand always at the edge of iPad
  • Less RAM
  • Glassy Screen: Needs Matte Screen Protector
  • Fragile
  • Requires Case for Protection
  • Lays Flat/No Stand for Drawing
  • Cannot connect to Windows PC: Can't use my Drawing Programs (Can only connect to Macs)
Wacom Cintiq 13HD
  • Connects to my Windows PC
  • Not Very Fragile
  • Screen has a Matte Finish
  • Cheaper than large iPad
  • Comes with a Stand
  • Do not need to buy a Pen: Comes with it
  • Not Portable: Requires PC connection
  • Bulky Second Monitor
  • Not Touch Screen
  • Performance depends on PC

Works Cited

"Apple - Press Info - Apple Introduces 9.7-inch IPad Pro." Apple - Press Info - Apple Introduces 9.7-inch IPad Pro. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.
"Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display." Cintiq 13HD. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.
"IPad Pro - Technical Specifications." Apple. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.
Rogerson, James. "IPad Pro 2 Release Date, Price and Everything You Need to Know." TechRadar. TechRadar The Source for Tech Buying Advice, 28 Feb. 2017. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.
"Wacom Releases Cintiq 13HD 13-inch Compact Pen Display for $999." Dpreview.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.


Links to other pages

My Introduction
My Brief Resume
My Interests