Wacom unveils two new high-end tablets

Looking for items to add to your Christmas list? Then Wacom has some serious pro designer tech for you…

Wacom's new tablets are not competing with the iPad on price

Typical. You wait around for ages for a new Wacom device, and then two come along at once. Wacom have unveiled two new stylus-controlled tablets, aimed squarely at artists needing powerful graphics capabilities: the Cintiq Companion, which runs Windows 8, and the Cintiq Companion Hybrid, running Android 4.2 Jellybean.

They’re identical in appearance to the Cintiq 13HD but unlike their predecessor, offer a full multi-touch experience. Expected to be on sale in Wacom’s eStore from mid-September, both devices feature:

  • Full HD, 13.3in, 1920×1080 display with multi-pressure touch control
  • Complementary Wacom Pro Pen with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Rear 8-megapixel camera
  • Bluetooth (4.0 for the Cintiq Companion and 3.0 for the Companion Hybrid)
  • Adjustable, detachable stand, carrying case, pen case with nine replacement nibs

The Windows version is the more serious pro tool

The Cintiq Companion is available as a Windows 8 version with 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD ($1,999/£1649.99), or a Windows 8 Pro version with a 512GB SSD ($2,499/£1999.99). Adobe has confirmed that you’ll be able to run Photoshop, Lightroom and other Adobe tools, including the Creative Cloud suite, on both devices.

The Companion Hybrid will work as a standard Cintiq when plugged into a Mac or PC, but also as a stand-alone Android tablet. Wacom Creative Canvas, a new software for painting and sketching, is built in, and it can also run Android apps such as Photoshop Touch. The 16GB version's retail price is set at $1,499/£1199.99 and the 32GB version is priced at $1,599/£1299.99.

Target audience

In short, the Android tablet is aimed at creatives who work primarily at their computer but want the flexibility to sketch on the go, while the Windows device is targeted at professionals who want the full power of all their desktop software wherever they are.

The new devices are squarely aimed at professional designers and artists

Weighing between 3.6 and 3.9 pounds, these new Wacom tablets are the heavyweight option in both senses of the word. Essentially, Wacom has taken the drawing tablet and turned it into more of a proper computer that you can use on the move.

While the high prices are going to limit their appeal to a high-end professional audience, the powerful capabilities on offer are going to make these new devices extremely desirable to designers and digital artists who like the idea of doing some serious work on the move.

If you can't afford it though, and you have an iPad, then you'll be interested to know that Wacom have also released its first pressure-sensitve stylus for Apple's tablet - read about that here.

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Will you be investing in Wacom’s new tech? We’d love to hear your views in the comments below!