Wacom Cintiq 22 Review

This review is not sponsored by Wacom, but they did send me this tablet unconditionally to review as I please. As always, all opinions in this review are my own.

Overview

Because the Cintiq 22 is nearly identical to the Cintiq 16, which I’ve reviewed separately, I’ll only briefly list the specifications and features of this version. Feel free to watch my full review of the Wacom Cintiq 16 to get a more in-depth look at this device and what it can do.

The Cintiq 16 and the new Cintiq 22 were designed as a solution for artists and designers who want the quality of a Wacom display tablet, but may not require some of the advanced features included with the Cintiq Pro line. The Cintiq 22 is a perfect entry-level display tablet for anyone who wants to work directly on screen. This device works great for drawing, painting, animation, design, video editing and more.

Drawing on Cintiq 22 with Corel Painter 2020
Drawing on Cintiq 22 with Corel Painter 2020
  • Pen: Pro Pen 2 with 8192 Pressure Levels
  • Optional Pens: Wacom Art Pen, Pro Pen Slim, Pro Pen 3D, Pro Pen, Classic Pen, Airbrush, Grip Pen
  • Pen Tilt: Supported
  • Barrel Rotation: Supported with Wacom Art Pen
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 HD
  • Color Gamut: 72% NTSC
  • Adjustable Stand: Included

Compared to Cintiq 16

Size:
The most obvious difference between the Cintiq 16 and Cintiq 22 is the size of the display. The active drawing area of the Cintiq 16 is approximately 15.6 inches diagonally, whereas the Cintiq 22 is 21.5 inches diagonally.

cintiq 16 and 22 active drawing area

Weight:
Now as you might expect, there’s going to be a difference in weight has well. The Cintiq 16 is a little bit over 4 pounds without the optional stand. The Cintiq 22 is a little bit over 12 pounds without the optional stand.

Cable Management:
The Cintiq 16 has a 3-in-1 cable that attaches very securely to the tablet. We see the same compartment door on the Cintiq 22, but instead of a 3-in-1 cable, Wacom has chosen to go with 3 individual cables for HDMI, USB and Power. Personally, I really like the cable design on the Cintiq 16 and I miss seeing it on the Cintiq 22. Although, I have heard more than one complaint from viewers regarding the cable for the Cintiq 16 which is a proprietary cable and could be expensive to replace. You can get replacement HDMI and USB cables anywhere for cheap, so perhaps that’s why we see 3 separate cables here. And, perhaps, individual cables add more flexibility in terms of cable length, since a one-size-fits-all cable is not a solution that works for everyone. I can also imagine that a 22 inch screen probably won’t be shuffled around the desk as much as the Cintiq 16 would.

connections for cintiq 22


I think I prefer the more secure connection because honestly, the connections are a little bit loose on the Cintiq 22. I would be worried about accidentally yanking those cords and possibly breaking one of the connections or the cables. This is the kind of design that I’d expect to see on a Cintiq imitation, not on a genuine Cintiq. So I’m a little bit disappointed that they didn’t go with the cable that comes with the Cintiq 16. Now there is a little compartment door that closes on the cables. It does prevent the cables from getting tugged a little bit but not quite as much as I would like. My solution has been to use the twist ties that come included with the cables for the Cintiq 22. To twist tie the cables together and make my own three-in-one cable.

Legs:
One of the most noticeable differences between the Cintiq 16 and 22 are the legs on the back of the tablet. The Cintiq 16 has two legs on either side that fold out to angle the tablet upward a bit. These legs are nowhere to be found on the Cintiq 22. They are, however, present on the Cintiq Pro 24 and 32

Optional Stand:
Another difference is that the adjustable stand is included with the Cintiq 22 whereas it must be purchased separately with the Cintiq 16 at a price of $80. The stands are very similar. The stand for the Cintiq 22 is a little bit larger and it can be angled between 16-82 degrees. The Cintiq 16 stand can be adjusted to a 19-68 degree angle. I think it was a good idea to include the stand because it is essential in my opinion. So keep that in mind if you’re trying to decide between the 16 or 22 inch models of the Cintiq.

wacom cintiq 22 stand

VESA Mounting:
Just like the Cintiq 16, the back of the Cintiq 22 has mounting holes for a VESA-compatible stand, so you could easily mount this display to an Ergotron Arm instead of using the official stand.

The Cintiq 16 requires a VESA mounting plate included with the stand. The Cintiq 22 does not require the plate.

Exterior Features:
On the exterior of the Cintiqs, you’ll notice that there is a power button on the front of the Cintiq 16. That power button is located on the top edge of the Cintiq 22.

You’ll also notice that the bezel is a bit wider on the bottom of the Cintiq 16 but not quite as wide on the Cintiq 22. There’s also a bit more of a buffer zone in between the bezel and the active drawing area on the Cintiq 22. This makes it more difficult for you to accidentally run your pen off of the active area and into the bezel.

Now there are a couple of other differences such as the viewing angle which varies by a very small amount and the power consumption, which is a little bit higher on the Cintiq 22. But other than that, these tablets are nearly identical.

Which Size Should You Choose?

Only you know the answer to this question. If you’re an artist, take a look at what you’re using now. Do you draw in a sketchbook? If so, what is your most common paper size? Do you paint on canvas, if so what size canvas? Do you draw on a tablet without a display? How large is the tablet’s active area? If you draw with a mouse, how big is your mouse pad? Compare that to the size of the Cintiq 16 and 22 and take into consideration the size difference. This should give you an idea of how much gesture space you’re used to.

cintiq 16 vs 22 size difference

You’ll also want to consider how much screen space you need. Depending on the software you use, the UI may take up more or less of your screen. In the case of art applications, your brush palettes will occupy more of the screen on a Cintiq 16 than it would on a Cintiq 22.

I’d say in this case, bigger is better if your priorities are comfortable gesture space and adequate screen real estate.

However, if you prefer a smaller tablet that is more portable, then the Cintiq 16 would certainly be an advantage.

Price and Alternatives

Price: $1,199 USD

Downgrade: $629 less for a Cintiq 16 plus the optional stand, if you don’t need a large screen.

Upgrade: Add $700 for Cintiq Pro 24, but you’d need to add in the cost of a $500 stand on top of that.

wacom cintiq 16, 22 and pro 24 comparisons

Conclusion

PROS:

  • Stand is included
  • Large screen
  • Best pen available for a drawing tablet
  • Color is accurate (Pre-Calibrated)
  • VESA Mount-Compatible

CONS:

  • Cable and connection were better on Cintiq 16
  • No Express Keys on exterior (Can get optional remote or use keyboard or on-screen eys)
  • No way to magnetically dock Express Key Remote

I’d say overall, I’m happy with the design changes made for the Cintiq 22. Sure, I’ll miss the nifty 3-in-1 cable, but the included stand more than makes up for that. If you’re looking for a large display tablet that will give you all of the essential features you’ll need to make digital art and design on the computer, the Wacom Cintiq 22 is what I would recommend.

If you’d like a more in-depth look at the features of the Cintiq 16 and 22, or if you want to see how the Cintiq performs compared to similar display tablets. Check out some of my helpful drawing tablet reviews.

Cintiq 22 In-Depth Video Review

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