I like to think that starving artists starve for one of two simple reasons. Simple reason number one is that not many people tend to buy art, the other reason is that maybe the artist has very little talent. Either way, being an artist is not the hottest field to be in if you are looking to make the big bucks. Think about it, even if a artist becomes the talk of the town, most of the time, said artist is long gone and dead before their work is even realized. Sounds win win to me.
This brings the Wacom Cintiq to mind, why? because they are expensive as hell and is just seems like an oxymoron. To be fair, they are targeted at the professional digital artist (professional being the operative word). Many of us do not fall into this professional category though, yet i’ll bet that every artist on the planet damn well knows what a Cintiq is and wants one to call their own. Take myself for example, I would love to own a Cintiq and I am no where near close to being a professional; simply put, its a hobby damnit, I just like coloring stuff.
So I like to color, yay! I guess i’ll go buy some crayons and sticky tape because that $1000 12″ Cintiq is too rich for my blood, let alone the $4500 24HDtouch. I would rather put a down payment on a house or buy a life time supply of Mambas. Sooo here I am, stuck with this crummy $50 bamboo. Dont get me wrong though, its not that bad and its still light years ahead of using an iPad with one of those stupid rubber pens. I will tell you what though, if I could erase a part of my memory eternal sunshine style, I would erase the part of me knowing that Cintiqs even exist, that’s how much I want one (sadface). I’m sure that there is at least one, maybe even two people on the planet that feels the same.
Moving along to Cintiqs for po folks. Of course there are similar products from competitors that are very reasonably priced when compared to Wacoms offerings, but you have to go to the Chinese knockoff sites to get one, who wants to do that? I want to be able to pick one up at Bestbuy and be able to return it if it turns out to be a big piece of crap. Anyhow, buying anything from Chinese knock off sites just seems risky and I don’t like risk, I like to color remember?
I have been eyeballing the 10.something inch Microsoft Surface Pro since it was announced. It has a penable digitizer that apparently has “wacom tech built in” (whatever the hell that means), a Intel i5 processor, the portability of an iPad and had a kickstand that apparently sounds like a Bentley car door when you close it. At $1000 its the same price as Wacoms 12″ Cintiq, which BTW is ONLY a monitor, comes with like a half dozen buttons and a kickstand that probably sounds like the door of a 1985 Chevette. Microsoft is offering an entire computer, tough choice. Still, $1000 just to have something Cintiq-like that I can draw on is one hard sell. The Surface Pro is not the poor mans Cintiq I speak of though, I’m talking about something way cheaper, I’m talking about the Lenovo LT1423p.
This year at CES, Lenovo has been showing off 2 monitors that have Wacom digitizers, both of them are portable, both look like tablets, both have 1600×900 13inch IPS panels, both 300nit, both have pen input, both have 10 point multi-touch, both of them connect to any computer running windows 7 or 8 and they are going to be selling for $350 and $450. The $350 model will connect to your computer via USB 3.0 and the $450 model will have a built in battery that will connect to your computer via ad hoc over your WiFi network. The release date? The wired version will ship sometime this quarter while the wireless version will ship in June. I’m interested in the wired version and hopefully “sometime this quarter” means tomorrow.
There are some caveats though. There is no pen rotation, no matte finish, no buttons and will only have 256 levels of pressure sensitivity with the included stylus. Not top notch professional equipment by any means but it should suit those who are using that drawing/paint application just fine. One more thing worth noting is that there’s no word if other Wacom pens will work with either of these “monitors”, hopefully they do (crosses fingers). Other than that, 256 levels is still very accurate, not having pen rotation is not a deal breaker and at just $350 you just cant go wrong. Find a matte screen protector to throw on it and call it a day.
The funny thing is, that the folks at Lenovo aren’t marketing these towards folks that want to use it for those drawing/paint applications. They are marketing them towards folks that want to have touch functionality with their non-touch windows 8 computers. Very interesting indeed, Its either that these will be heralded by the community as the small and cheap version of the Cintiq 24HD touch, or Wacom will not include drivers so that these can compete with its Cintiq line. Hopefully Wacom throws us a bone.
Either way, I may just pick up a few.