Dell Canvas 27: Is it a cheap Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Touch?

Is the Dell Canvas 27 a Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Touch with a Dell logo? It sure looks that way. I'll share my thoughts on the Dell Canvas and I'll try to predict whether or not it is a re-branded Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Touch. We'll look at the similarities and differences in the two devices and I'll share some ideas on what the future might hold for screen tablets like the Dell Canvas and Wacom Cintiq. Watch the full tutorial for more details.

 

First, let me say that my opinions are purely speculative based on the information that's out there.

No detailed specs have been released for the Dell Canvas 27 yet, so we can only guess as to the quality of the product.

 

What is the Dell Canvas 27?

Dell Canvas 27 is a 27 inch QHD display that allows artists and designers to work on a large screen using a pen and touch. It debuted at CES 2017 and several videos show it's appearance, but not much is known about the technical specs at this point. I'm one of many digital artists who couldn't help but notice that the Dell Canvas 27 looks nearly identical to the Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Touch which has been on the market for a couple of years. It also comes with a remote control puck that is strikingly similar to the Microsoft Surface Dial. So the question is... Is Dell copying designs created by Wacom and Microsoft? Or is the Dell Canvas simply a re-branded Cintiq 27 with a Dell logo slapped on it? We won't know for sure until it's released near the end of March, but we can guess for the fun of it. First let's take a look at the similarities and differences between the Dell Canvas 27 and the Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Touch.

 

Similarities between Dell Canvas 27 and the Cintiq 27

  •  QHD 2560x1440 resolution
  •  27 inch screen
  •  Nearly identical shape and appearance
  •  Has a magnetic remote
  •  Has a pen that supports pen pressure
  •  Has tiny legs and can be flat or at a slight incline
  •  Is a display-only and requires a computer and software to be functional

 

Differences between Dell Canvas 27 and Cintiq 27

  • Dell Canvas is thinner and likely lighter than the Cintiq 27 - +1 Dell
  • Dell Canvas only works with Windows 10 and is not compatible with Mac. Cintiq 27 works with Windows 10, 8 and 7 and IS compatible with Mac OS and Linux. - +1 Wacom
  • No eraser on Dell Canvas pen - +1 Wacom

 

The Dell Canvas 27 comes with a puck instead of a remote. Unlike the Surface Studio, the dial only works while on the screen. Who the heck wants to cover the screen with their hand and a giant puck? And who, besides Wayne Gretzky, wants to juggle a puck all day? Honestly, I think the whole dial thing is a gimmick to be innovative with actually being that practical to a power-user such as a professional illustrator. Maybe it's fun to play with for the hobbyist, but I wouldn't use it. I don't use the Wacom remote that often for the Cintiq 27 because I prefer my keyboard, but it does feel a lot more comfortable to hold for a long period of time. In my opinion, +1 Wacom

 

 

Does Dell Canvas have the same specs and build quality as the Cintiq 27?

 

SCREEN

 

  • Does it have glare reduction?
  • Does it have a grainy tooth texture that grips the pen but lets your hand glide without resistance?
  • Is it as bright or brighter than the Cintiq 27?
  • Does it support 97% of the Adobe RGB color gamut and does it support 10 bit color?
  • Is the resolution the same as the Cintiq 27: 5080 lpi?
  • Does it have a native color management accessory?

 

 

PEN

 

  • How many pen pressure levels does the pen have? Is it 2048 like the Cintiq 27, or will it be 4096 like the most recent Wacom tablets are?
  • Will the pen support pen tilt?
  • Does the pen require a battery or charging? Wacom pens do not.
  • Does the pen have 2 customizable barrel buttons?
  • Does the pen feel comfortable and is it weighted to suit artists who draw often and for long periods of time?
  • Are the nibs replaceable and how much do they cost?
  • Can you use other styles of pens and nibs like you can with Cintiqs?

 

 

INPUT/OUTPUT

 

  • Are the ports USB 3.0 and how many are there? The Cintiq 27 has 5.
  • Does it have touch buttons on the top right to turn touch on an off quickly and invoke the on-screen keyboard?
  • What display connections does it support? - The Cintiq 27 offers DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D & Mini-Display Port
  • Does it come with the same cables Display Port and HDMI and adaptors as the Cintiq 27? (DVI-D TO HDMI, Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort)

 

 

BUILD

 

  • Legs look thinner and perhaps flimsier. Even though it's supporting less weight, if corners were cut to lower the price point, it may not be worth the savings to have a leg snap off during an intense drawing session.

  • Honestly, anyone who is serious about either of these tablets will get a stand or an Ergotron LX. That's something to keep in mind because it's an added cost of a hundred or so dollars. Plus you may need to purchase a VESA adapter. I have links to those in the video description.

  • Does the Dell Canvas 27 have the same rubber grips on the bottom-back of the tablet to help it grip the edge of a desk while in vertical orientation? This is essential to keep the tablet from sliding side-to-side while using the display attached to an Ergotron arm.

 

 

DRIVERS

 

  • Will the drivers be Wacom Drivers or Dell drivers?
  • Will the drivers be updated regularly and will they be as reliable as Wacom drivers?
  • Does it have the same compatibility with art software as far as pen and touch support?

 

 

Is Dell a Competitor or a Partner?

Wacom is known to license their digitizer technology to many companies who could be viewed as potential competitors including Microsoft so why not Dell? In fact, Dell sells Wacom products on their website, including Cintiqs. I say Dell is a Wacom partner, not a competitor.

 

 

My Precitions

 

1. I think the Dell Canvas 27 is a re-branded Cintiq 27 with lesser build quality.

2. Wacom Cintiq 27 price will likely come down as a new 4k and a possibly larger Cintiq is released and QHD resolution becomes more obsolete.

3. Note that MobileStudio Pro has 4K and pen with 4096 pressure levels. And there is a new line of smaller Cintiq Pros that are thinner, just like the Dell Canvas 27. Once of which, has a 4K screen. Maybe Wacom will release a 27 inch Cintiq Pro as well at a price point that is competitive with the Dell Canvas 27.

 

 

Should I buy the Dell Canvas or the Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Touch?

It depends on whether or not the build quality of the Dell Canvas 27 is the same as the Cintiq 27. I say wait and see. Wait for the complete specs to be released and then give the Cintiq 27 QHD time to come down in price. Or you may find that Wacom releases something better than either the Dell Canvas 27 or the Cintiq 27 QHD Touch, such as a 27 inch Cintiq Pro.

 

Personally, I prefer Wacom products because they are designed for artists and their build quality is excellent. Wacom is constantly leading the charge when it comes to innovation and has a passion for improving the digital art experience by taking feedback from professional artists like myself. So if it were me choosing between the Dell Canvas 27 and the Cintiq 27 QHD Touch, I'd choose the Cintiq 27.

 

© 2017 Aaron Rutten. All Rights Reserved.

Aaron Rutten, Digital Artist

Seattle, WA