Apple Pencil

Linda Dong, a former designer at Apple, has spoken her mind on the iPad Pro, particularly when it comes to comparing it with Wacom’s Cintiq line of tablet form-factor displays. Dong, who begun her tenure at Apple as a UI design intern back in 2009, worked at the Cupertino firm up until April of this year.

Today, via a guest post on Cult of Mac, she chimed in on how the iPad Pro compares to Wacom’s Cintiq line—a range of tools that are used by many a graphic designer across various industries. How does the Cintiq line compare to the iPad Pro in her eyes? Let’s just say that she’s not very bullish on Wacom’s offerings…

cintiq13hd pm

Regarding the Apple Pencil versus the Cintiq stylus

The Apple Pencil … has a much narrower body and tip, allowing the stylus to not obscure the drawing itself. I would also argue it provides more freedom of drawing motion.

On the Cintiq’s screen quality

The screens aren’t Retina, the color is whack, the brightest it can display is not very bright and there’s a lot of reflection. Most importantly, the screen itself has a huge air gap between the pen and the digital screen, causing parallax.

On actual drawing

Latency latency latency. As in all that latency I can visibly see as I wait for my stroke to catch up with my Cintiq pen.

This is the game-changer with the Apple Pencil — barely any latency, so you actually feel like the pencil is leaving ink and can see the outcome of your drawing as it’s happening.

I highly recommend that you head over to Cult of Mac and read the entire piece. Yes, she worked at Apple, and probably has some amount of bias, but remember that she’s a graphic designer, and as such, has likely had plenty of time to form this opinion about Wacom’s tablets.

Nearly all of the points that she brought up don’t actually require hands-on experience with either tablet in order to see. Yes, Wacom tablets are heavier than iPads (the 13 HD is 1.2 kg (2.64 lbs), while the iPad Pro is 1.57 lbs—over a pound lighter. Yes, the Wacom tablets have vastly inferior screen fidelity and resolution. And the list goes on. Even Wacom’s top of the line 27″ tablet that starts at $2799.99 has less screen resolution than the iPad Pro.

Of course, until a designer actually goes hands-on with both side-by-side, it’s hard to comment on how effective each device is on a head-to-head basis, but based on Dong’s comments, and just by glancing at the tech specs on Wacom’s site, it looks like the iPad Pro is well-positioned to make significant inroads into the professional graphic design space.

Speaking of positioning. It’s now quite clear why Apple priced the entry-level iPad Pro at $799.99.

Cintiq 13HD

When you consider that the iPad Pro does way more than simply act as a drawing input device, then $799.99 is beginning to look like a pretty reasonable pricing point. Granted, you will need the Apple Pencil as well, which is a $99, but that combined with the iPad Pro is still cheaper than Wacom’s Cintiq 13HD Touch model. That’s right, the $799.95 Cintiq 13 HD doesn’t support fingertip touch input.

What do you think about the iPad Pro? Can you see this device making inroads into the territory historically dominated by Wacom?

Source: Cult of Mac

  • Darthque

    I think it’ll put pressure on Wacom to improve their offerings. In turn that’ll cause apple to improve Theo offerings and the consumer (us) will benefit

    • bgk17

      Agreed.

  • The Fluffy Alpaca

    Yes indeed. This is huge for set design industry! If the iPad pro is as great as Apple claim, this is definitely a reasonable competitor against wacom products. Don’t forget that you get an iPad as well as the drawing functionality. That is a great deal if you ask me.

  • I’m glad it’s a game changer for graphic designers because it’s the only logical use case for an iPad Pro I could come up with. To do more than just edit a video or edit some photos you need a real computer i.e not an iPad Pro…

    • That_Fruitarian

      We use them all the time in healthcare.

      • I suppose iPads are productivity machines so I could see how they’d be useful in businesses and in healthcare.

        What I don’t see is why the average person would want to go out and buy one though. I for one certainly don’t want one.

        Perhaps everyday people aren’t the target audience for the iPad Pro and it’s only meant as a machine useful to businesses and graphic designers? In my mind it’s priced far too close to the MacBook Air and unless you need the extra portability of the iPad I see no reason why anyone should go out and buy one…

      • Micrones

        I agree with you, the target audiences are a little bit more professionals and not everyday people.

        The point is no matter how much Apple wants to project the IPad Pro, it is best suited for certain industry and cannot match the dexterity and productivity expected from a desktop or laptop.

        Even certain businesses cannot do serious work with the Ipad no matter how big it gets.

        Serious spreadsheet analysis or modelling even using Microsoft office cannot be done on an iPad.

      • Rowan09

        Because most people have no need for a traditional computer anymore. I would have bought one of it had at least 500GB of RAM and a usb slot.

      • Kurt

        iPad Pro is the next PING! It will be a huge flop. For less money you can get a superior product, the Surface Pro which is better looking, better screen (more accurate colors).

      • Rowan09

        It doesn’t have a better screen by the way and define flop? Because if that’s the case the Surface Pro must also be a flop. You’re anti-Apple anyways so it doesn’t matter what they do, it’s wrong according to you.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    A little late for this article. Already covered in the event.

  • Chindavon

    I’m a graphic designer and I will have to sell one of my kidneys for the iPad Pro, Pencil, and Keyboard.

    • Mark S

      Wow you must not be compensated very well at your job.

      • Chindavon

        No I don’t

      • Mallouk Malek

        most of the graphic designers don’t get paid well. they always get treated as someone who print some stuff. even tho these stuffs are every AD we see whenever it’s printed or animated.

        I’m not a graphic designer but i know a lot 😀