Wacom has long been the industry leader in drawing pads. What Adobe is to graphic design software, Wacom is to drawing tablets offering the most realistic drawing experience for artists and illustrators outside of drawing on paper.
We think the Wacom Cintiq 22 is the best drawing pad with a screen for Macs offering incredible screen estate, value for money and excellent Mac compatibility.
In this review, we take a closer look at what it can do.
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Cintiq 22 Overview
Certainly If you’re looking for the best drawing tablet with a screen to go with your Mac that won’t break the bank, you can’t do better than the Wacom Cintiq 22.
The Wacom Cintiq range offers a much more affordable drawing tablet than the Wacom Pro models.
For 4K resolution, the Cintiq 22 can’t compare with the Cintiq Pro but the Cintiq 22 is a lot cheaper and competes favorably with the Cintiq Pro in almost every other area.
Especially if you’re a non-professional designer, student or budding artist the Wacom Cintiq 22 is an ideal drawing tablet offering superb quality and value for money.
Although you can get similar drawing tablets with screens for less, what stands out overall about the Cintiq 22 is the Wacom build quality, incredibly comfortable drawing experience and generous large display.
Cintiq Pro 22 Features
Here’s some of the things we really like about the Cintiq 22 drawing tablet:
- Generous screen estate with a 19.5 x 11.5 inch display and full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution and 16.7 million colors that’s big enough for all canvas size needs. This provides a more comfortable drawing experience than the Cintiq 16 although the image quality isn’t quite as sharp.
- A color gamut of 72% NTSC which is less than the 92% NTSC of the Cintiq Pro but the important thing is the Cintiq 22 can display 96% of colors in the sRGB color profile.
- It includes the Pro Pen 2 which uses an innovative Electro Magnetic Resonance system to power it so it does not require a battery. The Pro Pen 2 has an incredibly high pressure sensitivity of 8192 levels which gives unbelievably high precision, tilt sensitivity and all round realistic drawing experience. The Cintiq Pro comes with the same pen but also allows you to use soft nibs which the Cintiq 22 does not support.
- The laminated anti-glare glass screen gives a real texture to strokes especially compared to other glass screens like the iPad Pro. You can feel the drag of the pen instead of it gliding or slipping across the glass and yet there’s virtually no lag.
- There’s an adjustable stand which we prefer to the Cintiq 16 which uses foldable legs to tilt the display which isn’t as convenient.
- Very reasonably priced considering this is a high end drawing tablet with screen and high specs.
- Can be used as a second external display for your Mac thanks to Sidecar in macOS Catalina.
Cintiq 22 Downsides
Despite all this, there are a few things we don’t like about the Cintiq 22.
- Like most Wacoms, the Cintiq 22 has to be connected to your Mac via USB-A or HDMI ports. Like most drawing tablets with a screen, it’s not possible to connect the Cintiq 22 to a Mac via Bluetooth. You can also connect it to your Mac with a USB-C (Thunderbolt) adapter.
- There’s no touch input or shortcut keys although there are two buttons on the Pro Pen 2.
- The screen brightness can be a bit low if the environment you’re using it in is very bright but it’s fine in normal lighting and especially low light.
- There are sometimes driver problems with Wacom tablet when Apple update macOS although there are simple ways to fix Wacom driver problems in macOS.
These are all relatively minor drawbacks though to what is generally a superb electronic drawing tablet.
Cintiq 22 Pricing
You can check the latest Cintiq 22 availability and pricing here but prices start around $1,199.
There are cheaper models such as the Huion Kamvas Pro 22 which costs around $900 or the XP Pen Artist 22E at $400 and both include shortcut keys. But the build quality of the Cintiq 22 is far better and you’re also benefiting from Wacom’s legendary quality and experience in the drawing tablet market.
There’s also the older Cintiq 22HD which also includes ExpressKey shortcut keys and a rotatable stand. However, the Cintiq 22 has a much better pen and a more satisfying matt screen surface compared to the smooth surface of the Cintiq 22HD.
For those that want the ultimate drawing tablet experience, we recommend also taking a look at the amazing Cintiq Pro 24 which has an incredible 4K monitor and 17 programmable buttons but it costs in the region of $1,899.