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New Wacom tablets offer features for photographers



Wacom just broke free from the computer with two new Cintiq Companion graphics tablets, both of which offer features that may appeal to photographers.

Each tablet is equipped with a 13.3-inch, full HD display as well as an 8-megapixel (rear) and a 2-megapixel (front) HD camera. The touchscreen displays are compatible with Wacom pressure sensitive pens. Unlike other Wacom tablets, however, these Companion models operate as standalone devices so you can take them on the road.  

Both new Wacom tablets are equipped with an 8-megapixel HD rear camera and a 2-megapixel HD rear camera.
More controls are available on the Companion graphics tablets, which comes with a three-way adjustable stand.

The Companion runs on Windows 8/Windows 8 Pro (included) and comes with a 256GB or 512GB solid state drive. For photographers, this means you can run full-featured applications such as Adobe Photoshop. It's equipped with two USB 3.0 ports, video out, wireless, Bluetooth, a headphone jack, microphone and two speakers.

The Companion Hybrid is an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean tablet that is also PC and Mac compatible, like the traditional Wacom Cintiqs, so you can easily hook it up to your computer as a touchscreen display.  Like its sibling, connectivity is available via wireless and Bluetooth; it also features USB 2.0 and HDMI ports, headphone jack, microphone and video out. You'll need to hook it up to a computer to work in Adobe Photoshop and other full software applications. As a standalone, you'll be able to use compatible Android apps for photo and video editing.  

Wacom also announced the new iPad-compatible (3, 4, Mini or newer) Intuos Creative Stylus. The stylus communicates with the iPad via Bluetooth 4.0 Smart, although its pressure sensitive and shortcut button features will work only with compatible apps.

You'll have to dig deep into your pockets if you want one of these tablets, though. The Companion Hybrid will set you back $1499 (16GB) or $1599 (32GB); the Companion is priced at $1999 (Windows 8/256GB SSD) and $2499 (Windows 8 Pro/512GB SSD). The Hybrid should be available mid-September; the Companion in October on the Wacom eStore. An optional Bluetooth keyboard is available for both tablets.


Total comments: 12
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (Aug 23, 2013)

I'm concerned about the visual feedback lag. I was using another Android tablet with a wacom pen and it was sluggish.

If this performs like other Android tablets then too bad, this doesn't really cut it as a standalone cintiq. Good idea, but they need to address that lag if it isn't optimized with this one.

John Driggers
By John Driggers (Aug 21, 2013) he screen wide gamut and can you profile it for soft proofing? If not, then what's the point? If so, then this is a hot item.

1 upvote
By Shamael (Aug 21, 2013)

Thanks for the information, price noted, affair closed. 500$ for 256 gig ssd. A 500 gig Vertex 4 from OCZ cost around 350$. So, who are they fooling here? A Fuji tablet PC is half that price with a 700 gig primaray disk and a 1 tb secondary, and a wacom screen. just buy wacom pen, load the driver and you're done with I7 power Cpu, for just 2300$. Maybe they should put a wooden frame around it and a Hasselblad logo on top.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By Ayoh (Aug 21, 2013)

Its much cheaper just to buy a HP 2740p/2760p for <$1000 to get the same or better functionality. Ive been using one for 2-3 years and it now runs an i7 CPU, 16GB ram and 1TB SSD drive.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By straylightrun (Aug 21, 2013)

Can you do detailed illustrations with that?

By Tan68 (Aug 20, 2013)

I bought a Watcom tablet. It came in a blue box.

I asked the boy in the store to show me to the tablets but not this kind (and gestured to Nexus-whatever). He had the grace to correct a customer and tell me what I meant was 'pad'.

The back of my blue box calls the device a 'tablet' so I don't know what he meant by 'pad'.

Maybe the older Wacoms are 'pen pads' and we just don't know it... Personally, I agree with the author's use of tablet here. However, the new tablet tablets are a little confusing. 'Companion tablet' helps. Maybe TABLET v. tablet...

By martindesu (Aug 21, 2013)

The smug shop assistant is wrong.

By straylightrun (Aug 21, 2013)

One is a computer running Windows 8, the other is a tablet running Android.

By brdeveloper (Aug 20, 2013)

Basically a Surface Pro more expensive and - maybe - with a better Wacom pen?

Looks like badge-engineering - like the Hasselblad Stellar:

Or Panasonic LX x Leica D-Lux and so on...

1 upvote
By DWMurf (Aug 20, 2013)

What... Watcom?

By DWMurf (Aug 20, 2013)

Glad they changed Watcom to Wacom. I've made embarrassing typos in headlines myself, except I usually acknowledge my mistakes.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
Pavel Sokolov
By Pavel Sokolov (Aug 20, 2013)

WATCOM assembler, mmmm. Old good days.

Total comments: 12
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