Wacom’s Cintiq 12WX; Touch-Sensitive Screen, And More Page 2

Users of the Intuos3 tablets will notice an extra ExpressKey on the Cintiq 12WX. By default, this is set as a display toggle. Normally, you will want to work with the pen confined to the tablet display, giving you an exact match between placement of the pen and the display. But, if you're working on multiple displays, if you need to access something on the other display, check mail, etc., it's not convenient to put the pen down, grab a mouse and make your selections. By using the display toggle, you can activate the entire display area across both screens to make selections on your other display with the pen.

Both Touch Strips and ExpressKeys are fully customizable. I use the Touch Strips to zoom and change brush sizes in Photoshop, two tasks that they are ideally suited to. If I'm using a web browser, they automatically switch to scrolling the window.

As usual, a nice software bundle is included with the Cintiq 12WX, featuring Adobe's Photoshop Elements, Corel's Painter Essentials, a special set of Nik's Color Efex Pro filters, and a set of Wacom's Brushes that are optimized for the pen. At this price, most buyers will already be using Photoshop, which lowers the value of the bundled software, but I've never bought a product because of the programs included. This is all about productivity, and here the Cintiq shines. At $999 it won't fit into everyone's budget, but if you're a pro and spend your non-shooting hours editing images, the Cintiq will pay for itself in short order. As a reviewer, I get to play with lots of fun products. Most of them go back at the end of the review without hesitation. The Cintiq 12WX is one of the rare items that comes through that has me digging out my wallet to buy.

System Requirements
· Windows 2000, XP, or Vista (32 or 64 bit)
· Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or later
· Available USB port
· Available DVI or VGA connection

For more information, contact Wacom Technology Corporation, 1311 SE Cardinal Court, Vancouver, WA 98683; (360) 896-9833; www.wacom.com.

Jon Canfield is the author of several books on digital imaging and printing. A popular instructor at BetterPhoto.com, Canfield also teaches workshops for the Panasonic Digital Photo Academy (www.digitalphotoacademy.com). You can reach Canfield via e-mail at: jon@joncanfield.com.