Just recently I was presented with the opportunity of obtaining a brand new Wacom Cintiq Companion through salary sacrifice at my day job of teaching Japanese to primary schoolers. As a huge fan of concept art and always wanting a wacom cintiq, I figured why not, and jumped at the chance. The Cintiq Companion will help me with editing my photography on the go with the additional benefit being having an awesome, powerful tablet to use at school with my students.
Now the first thing you’re probably thinking after having googled for a Cintiq Companion review is that this guy must be insane, buying a high-end piece of equipment to be destroyed by the grubby little fingers of primary schoolers! But really that’s a secondary application of this amazing piece of machinery, as it’s mainly for my photography and learning the art of digital painting and concept art. The latter of which I’ve recently enrolled in an amazing concept art course run by CDW Studios in the Adelaide CBD. The instructors are industry professionals in the field and I’ve already learnt a whole heap in the first 2 weeks I’ve spent with them.
Cintiq Companion Unboxing
First thing you notice about the Cintiq Companion’s box is that it’s a neat little package, kind of expected for such a high-end piece of equipment. Everything is there, from the Cintiq Companion itself right through to a microfiber cloth and power adapters for all kids of different power points across the globe, I guess for travelling artists. As the Cintiq Companion is a tablet, that stands to reason I guess as you’d want to use your Cintiq Companion everywhere you go!. Anyway, watch my video for the unboxing.
Cintiq Companion use and responsiveness
My main concern on buying the Cintiq Companion was it’s response rate. The last time I had used a Cintiq, it was the Cintiq 12wx, which through my own perception had this horrible lag between the pen on the screen and what actually happened as a result. And with that being a stand alone input device for a PC, and the Cintiq Companion being it’s own PC and input peripheral, I was sceptical on how responsive it would be. But I needn’t worry as this little thing is very powerful and extremely well made. The Windows 8 interface, as it was designed for lends itself very well to the tablet and runs Photoshop CS5 like a champ. It’s solid state drive really adds an incredible zip to program opening and closing performance, not to mention the incredible boot time the Cintiq Companion has.
When painting in photoshop, the response rate is really like putting pen to paper, its actually quite incredible how much, or how large an image can be on the Cintiq Companion and it still have no lag when using the pen. The only hang up about the responsiveness I have is when using a pen, it sometimes takes a while to realise that you’re trying to use your finger to select, say the crop tool in photoshop while painting on the other side of the screen. But thats ok, as when coupled with the $50 bluetooth keyboard, one can just use the keyboard shortcuts, but it does make it awkward when sitting on my pillow pile.
Hopefully the video can demonstrate how great it is to use.