Mar 6th 2013 By: Caleb Goellner
Wacom has dominated the professional grade interactive pen display and digital drawing tablet markets for decades, but in a post iOS/Android world, its had more and more competition from increasingly capable tablets like the iPad (which has no built-in pressure-sensitivity) and the Windows Surface Pro (which currently supports pressure-sensitivity akin to Wacom products). Until now the company has merely catered to these devices with the Bamboo and Bamboo Feel stylus lines, which aren't always capable of meeting the needs of most comic artists and cartoonists. According to posts on the company's official Twitter
pages, though, that's going to change this summer.
From Wacom's official Facebook
We've heard you shouting out loud for a Wacom mobile tablet for creative uses. Well... we're listening. We've read your email and spoken to many about an on-the-go dream device. It will come. This summer. We're working 24/7 on it. And yes, it has a real pressure-sensitive professional pen, smooth multi-touch, an HD display, and other valuable features that you haven't seen in other tablets.
Wacom's promise of a device with an HD display and multi-touch would deliver a device more powerful (and potentially, more useful) than Wacom's current entry-level pen display, the Cintiq 12WX, which has no touch screen functions and bears a native resolution of 1280 x 800 vs. the much higher pixel densities found on tablets with proper HD and retina displays. Wacom's larger and more expensive Cintiqs do offer HD, but the only model that currently offers touch capabilities - the Cintiq 24HD Touch - retails for about $3,700 and contains no operating system or software of its own. All Wacom products are, in essence, monitors that rely on interfacing with existing computers rather than independent devices, keeping them all from being "on-the-go" to the extent that modern tablets are.
Would-be users are already responding to Wacom's social media postings with a wish-list of features and capabilities they'd like to see on the "dream device," including a long-lasting battery, a textured screen, PC/Mac connectivity and interface options, pre-installed software and, perhaps most importantly, a competitive price tag.
Considering Wacom has just discounted its Cintiq 12WX by 25 percent
"for a limited time," the company may be looking to move a new product into its roughly $1,000 price bracket. If this potential new tablet does wind up in that price range, those used to spending $500-930 for an iPad or $900 to $1000 on the Surface Pro shouldn't have to sneeze at the potentially viable new illustration tool. If not, many comic book artists and cartoonists may stick with their current digital art tools or turn to competitors such as Yiynova for more affordable alternatives.