New Wacom Cintiq 21UX: 2048 Pressure Levels, Back Touchpads

I'm a fan of Wacom's Cintiq display tablets, so I'm excited about their new 21-inch model, the Cintiq 21UX. According to Wacom, it has better pen performance and ergonomics. The two back touch-strips have me intrigued.

They say their new Grip Pen has their new Tip Sensor technology that requires near-zero pressure to start painting, which is great to get a more natural feeling. It also has 2048 levels of pressure - doubling the previous model. The tablet itself has been redesigned, with eight programmable keys on each side of the tablet, over the bezel.

The coolest addition, however, are the two touch strips on the sides of the tablet, on the back of the bezel itself. These are like mini-trackpads, which can be used for four functions depending on the application. You change the function with your thumb using the round button on the front of the tablet - an LED displays the selected function - and use your middle or forefinger to manipulate the touchpad up and down. For example, you can use it to control the variation of a brush, then click the round button, and use it to control the speed of the airbrush, while using the pen with your other hand. Smart. Can't wait to try it.

The tablet display allows you to position the screen at any angle between 10 and 65 degrees, and it can be detached to use any VESA-compatible mount. I would definitely want to have one mounted on a hydraulically-assisted arm, to be able to position it in front of my main monitor at any time.

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