Wacom MobileStudio Pro Review
Author: Aaron Rutten - Published May 22, 2018 | Watch my Review Video
The MobileStudio Pro
I've been working with the 16 inch enhanced MobileStudio Pro for about a year and I have a lot to say about it. I also want to address some of the questions that were sent to me by my audience. Quick disclaimer, this is not a sponsored review. The MobileStudio Pro was sent to me by one of my generous viewers.
Overview of the Features
First, we'll take a look at an overview of the features. The MobileStudio Pro is a display tablet. That means that it has a built-in screen that you can draw onto. It also has a built-in Windows computer. You can draw on the tablet with a battery-free, pressure sensitive Wacom Pro Pen 2 with over 8000 pressure levels, virtually no lag and no parallax. MobileStudio Pro can sense a range of pen tilt angles and it can even sense rotation, although the Wacom Art Pen is required for rotation. That's sold separately. The MobileStudio Pro 16 has a 4K resolution screen and it supports multi touch. The screen supports 94% of the Adobe RGB color gamut for very accurate color. There are USB-C Ports on the side. The MobileStudio Pro can be connected to a desktop or laptop with optional Wacom Link. That makes it PC and Mac compatible. So that means that the MobileStudio Pro can run anything that Windows can run. And if you use the optional Wacom Link, you can run Mac software as well. There are eight Express Keys, one Touch Ring. There's an option for a stand. The MobileStudio Pro also has Bluetooth 4.1 and wireless. There's front and rear cameras, internal speakers, and a microphone.
Overview of the Specs
Next I'll give a quick overview of the specs. The MobileStudio Pro comes in two sizes, 13 and 16 inches and there are also several versions. The 13 comes in Entry, Standard, or Enhanced version, ranging from an i5 processor with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage up to an i7 processor with 16 gigaby tes of RAM and 512 gigabytes of storage. The 16-inch model comes in Standard and Enhanced, ranging from an i5 processor with eight gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of storage, up to an i7 processor with 16 gigabytes of RAM and 512 gigabytes of storage. Besides the screen size, the main differences between versions are: The 13-inch models have a screen resolution of only WQHD or 2560 by 1440, compared to the 16-inch models, which are UHD, sometimes known as 4K, which is 3840 by 2160. The 13-inch models also have a weaker Intel Iris 550 graphics card, compared to the 16-inch model, which has either an NVIDIA Quadro M600M or Quadro M1000M graphics card, depending on the version you choose. The Enhanced versions of the 13 and 16 include an Intel Real Sense camera, which can scan objects and can convert them into 3D models Although I'll be focusing on the MobileStudio Pro Enhanced version in this review, I'll try to make this a useful review for owners of the other versions as well. So please make note of the differences, since I'll be taking mostly about the MobileStudio Pro 16.
The MobileStudio Pro 16 has a sixth-generation Intel Core Processor, the RAM it uses is DDR3, the hard drive technology is SSD or Solid State Drive. There's an option for expandable storage using an SDXC card or an external hard drive. There's a fingerprint sensor on the Enhanced versions, as well as a RealSense Camera on the Enhanced versions. MobileStudio Pro 16 also features NVIDIA Quadro Graphics.
So that's kind of a quick overview, but now let's dive a little bit deeper into the specs and features.
Let's start by talking a little bit about the screen. In terms of screen quality, the MobileStudio Pro 16 has an active drawing area that 15.6 inches diagonally. The overall size of the tablet itself is 16.5 by 10.3 by .75 inches. The screen resolution is UHD, also sometimes known as 4K. They're basically the same thing with only a minor size difference. 94% of the Adobe RGB color gamut is supported, the tablet can sense screen rotation, so it can flip from landscape to portrait mode. This can be locked with a switch on the side.
Some apps like Rebelle can even use the accelerometer to control the direction of the paint dripping on your canvas. The display technology is LED, and one downside to that is that there can be some color distortion from pressing too hard on the screen. In order to fix this, you'll probably want to calibrate your pen in the Wacom Tablet Properties and set a custom pressure curve so you don't have to press so hard to get maximum pressure. The backlight is mostly sealed except for a tiny bit up in corners. It's not really that noticeable unless the screen is completely black. And unless you look really closely, you probably won't even notice it. I haven't had any issues with dead pixels. The viewing angle is great, you can look at it from all kinds of different angles and the picture still looks good. The screen is made of etched glass, which reduces glare and gives you the right amount of tooth or friction to make the drawing experience feel more natural. It's not so much tooth that it's going to wear down your nibs quickly, but it's just enough to make the pen not feel slippery and it's not too sticky on your palm. The surface is meant to be drawn on, so it does not need a screen protector.
As far as the brightness of the screen, it's drastically better than the previous generation Cintiq Companion 2. It's very easy to see both indoors and outdoors. In regards to screen glare, indoors there's far less glare than even the Cintiq 27. I can see my reflection in the Cintiq, but not in the MobileStudio Pro 16. Even with the matte screen, the colors are not dulled and the details are not clouded. The image is sharp, colors are vivid, and saturated colors really pop.
MSP16 Screen (front) compared to Cintiq 27 QHD screen (back)
Blacks are also fairly rich at any brightness level and whites are bright as long as the brightness is turned up to 100%. MobileStudio Pro performs great outdoors. The image on the screen was noticeably easier to see compared to the Cintiq Companion and Cintiq Companion 2. You can really see that in this side-by-side comparison of me painting outside.
Now let's talk a little bit about the quality of the pen. The MobileStudio Pro comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2. It has 8192 pressure levels and it can detect 60 degrees of pen tilt It has an eraser end, which also has 8000 pressure levels and it can be used to erase or you can toggle to a secondary brush like a blender if your app supports it. There's two buttons on the barrel of the pen, which can perform commands and shortcuts like resizing your brush. The pen is much larger than a pencil, it's closer to a paintbrush or a marker in thickness. It's not too heavy, not too light. It's weighted very nicely and feels very balanced. There's a latex-free silicone rubber grip, which is comfortable to hold, and overall, the pen quality is excellent. I've never had a Wacom pen fall apart and it's comfortable to use for hours on end for daily drawing.
The pressure levels are smooth as butter for brush size and opacity. It does feel more difficult to get a range of thick to thin lines compared to previous generation pens with lower pressure levels, but fortunately, the 8000 pressure levels gives you a lot of headroom to set a custom pressure curve. I highly recommend doing this. Now, one of the selling points of the MobileStudio Pro is it has virtually no pen lag. You will see that there still is a little bit of pen lag, but it's barely there and it's much better compared to a lot of the other display tablets out there.
This lag can also be accentuated by the digital art application that you're using, especially if you have smoothing or stabilization applied to your brush or if you're using very large brushes or very large canvas sizes. This might slow down your computer overall, which will create some additional lag.
Now let's talk about parallax. The MobileStudio Pro is supposed to have no parallax, and that's true, there's not any added parallax other than what you would see naturally. But the cursor does stay aligned with the tip of the pen, even at the edges of the screen with your view centered. Now of course, you'll want to make sure that your pen is properly calibrated to your screen, otherwise you will get some unnecessary parallax. What is parallax? Well, it's just part of nature. If you're looking forward with a fixed point of view and your pen is right in front of you, your cursor is going to appear to be right underneath the tip of your pen, but if you keep your head still and you start to move your pen far to the left or far to the right, you'll start to see that that cursor starts to stray away from your pen tip. If your tablet has additional parallax, then the cursor's going to stray away from the pen tip even more than it normally should.
Now let's talk a little bit about performance. As far as the overall performance, some tweaks are needed to get the MobileStudio Pro running optimally. It can feel sluggish right out of the box. This is not necessarily a flaw of the MobileStudio Pro, because many computers come pre-configured to prefer power saving over performance. Some things you'll want to do that'll really help is go into your power settings and enable high performance mode, make sure you install all the latest Windows updates, including the Fall Creators Update. Make sure your Wacom tablet driver is up to date, Make sure the NVIDIA Quadro driver is up to date. You'll also want to keep an eye on your task manager and make sure there aren't any apps that are using the CPU and RAM and if they are, just make sure that they're disabled or closed, Because one of the things I found is that Windows Update likes to run in the background and it uses up a lot of your CPU and slows down your other apps. The main culprit here is the Windows Module Installer Worker and it hangs out in the background and hogs your CPU, and that causes your other applications to lag a little bit. Another thing you can do that'll have a huge impact is going into your NVIDIA control panel and set your GPU to use the Quadro instead of the integrated Iris graphics for any apps that can utilize GPU. For all other apps that don't use the GPU or for apps that you'll be multitasking with, set that the the Intel Iris graphics. If you're going to be recording while you're creating art or live streaming, then you're definitely going to want to set the encoder in your broadcasting software to NVENC, which is the NVIDIA encoder and that'll make sure that you're encoding with your GPU rather than your CPU, otherwise, if you try to stream and make art using your CPU, then it's just really going to slow down. If you're interested in learning more about optimizing your MobileStudio Pro, check out my optimization video for detailed instructions. As far as crashing and overheating and stuff like that, I've only had one random restart and I'm not really sure what caused it, because I've done a lot of testing and I've ran a whole bunch of applications and really, really overloaded the CPU and have not had any crashes. I did read in the forums that there was an early batch of MobileStudio Pros that had a flaw that's covered under warranty, so if you're experiencing frequent crashing, just exchange it for a different one.
Now we'll go a little more in-depth into some of the components. The MobileStudio Pro 16 Enhanced CPU is an Intel i7-6567U processor at 3.3 gigahertz and it's a two-core processor, not quite as powerful as it should be. I'd personally like at least a quad core, but it does the trick.
As far as memory, the MobileStudio Pro 16 Enhanced has 16 gigabytes of DDR-3 RAM. I consider 16 gigabytes to be the minimum amount of RAM that you'd want nowadays, 32 would be a lot more useful, considering that this is touted as being great for 3-D art and video editing. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's underpowered, but it does feel noticeably weaker than my i7 desktop with six cores and 32 gigabytes of RAM.
GPU (Video Card)
Personally, I think the Quadro GPU is given too much credit in regards to the MobileStudio's performance. It's the CPU and the RAM that make the most difference in overall computer performance, not the GPU. The GPU is important as well, but it can only be used in certain circumstances and really all it does is just take some of the burden off of the CPU. If you're doing video editing, heavy-duty Photoshopping, or making work in 3-D, the Quadro M1000M GPU is awesome. However, if your art app doesn't support GPU, then the Quadro really won't have much to do and your bottleneck will be the CPU, RAM, and SSD speeds.
Moving on to storage, the MobileStudio Pro has an internal SSD drive. Depending on the version you choose, you'll have between 256 or 512 gigabytes of storage. Either option will be more than enough to install applications and store artwork. You'll probably want to dump your artwork to an external storage drive so the SSD does not fill up. Only one drive means that you can't take advantage of scratch drives to improve performance, however, you can use a USB-C external hard drive as a scratch drive, but performance won't be as good as it would be with an internal drive. Plus, these add extra bulk to your tablet. In regards to the GPU or the video card, the 16-inch model has either an NVIDIA Quadro M600M with two gigabytes of GDDR5, or if you have the Enhanced version, it'll be an NVIDIA Quadro M1000M with four gigabytes of GDDR5. The 16-inch Enhanced model comes with both the NVIDIA Quadro M1000M and the Integrated Intel Iris 550, and both GPUs can be used in tandem and you can set which apps use which chip. The Quadro GPU works great to boost performance for video editing, illustration, graphic design, effects, 3D work and other CPU or GPU intensive tasks. The GPU takes much of the burden off of the CPU in applications that support it.
Now as far as fan noise, there's a huge improvement over the Cintiq Companion 2, which was a little noisy and it had a high-pitched cut. You can hear air blowing out of the MobileStudio Pro during high CPU usage, but otherwise it's hardly noticeable.
It's worth mentioning that a i7 processor is not a weak processor. Powerful processors need heavy-duty cooling and a compact fan is the only option for a tablet. So some fan noise is to be expected. As far as temperature goes, the MobileStudio Pro is noticeably warm on back right half of tablet. Depending on how you're holding it, that might be where you place your hand, and if your hand's over the vent, you're going to notice that it begins to feel very warm at high CPU usage, almost up until the point where it feels like it might burn you. If it's sitting on your lap, then it starts to feel warm on your leg. There's also a hole on the side of the tablet near the vents, which is used to connect the pen holder and hot air shoots out of this. And if your hand comes close to this hole, it amplifies the fan noise. So you'll probably want to have this thing on a desk or on a stand of some sort.
In regards to multi touch, you can use your fingers to touch navigate, rather than use a mouse. You can zoom in and out of your canvas, you can pan and rotate your canvas, and some art apps even let you use your finger to blend while you're painting. You can easily switch between drawing and using multi touch, but you cannot use multi touch at the exact same time as you're drawing. The multi touch works pretty well in most applications.
Now I want to discuss drivers. The drivers that came pre-installed with the MobileStudio Pro did not work very well. As of May 2018, new drivers have addressed some of the bugs and my MobileStudio Pro is working well with the latest Windows 10 updates.
Now let's talk about the build quality of the tablet. There's a mixture of materials being used, there's some hard plastic and some metal and there's rubber in some places, like on the back of the tablet. This makes it so the tablet doesn't slide around on your desk, and it also helps you grip the tablet. The edges are nice and rounded and it just feels really nice to hold in your hands. It feels very solid and very durable. You can definitely tell that a lot of work went into the design. One thing I noticed about the tablet surface and the screen, is at times, it does appear to look like it's covered in scratches, but this is just residue from when you're drawing on it and this can be easily wiped away with included cloth. It's a little bit on the heavy side at 4.85 pounds. The larger size and weight makes it more difficult to hold while you're standing and drawing, but it still works. But it's definitely more comfortable to use an easel if you're standing. Unfortunately, there aren't any mounting holes on the back to mount this to an Ergotron arm, but since this is meant to be a portable tablet, you probably wouldn't want to fix it to an Ergotron arm anyway, and if that's how you were going to be using it, then you might as well get a Cintiq Pro.
Express Keys & Touch Ring
Now let's move on to the external components. The MobileStudio Pro has some express keys. There's eight buttons and a vertical orientation that can be used to invoke global and application-specific commands, there are four on the top and four on the bottom and then in the middle, there's a touch ring that has four buttons, which can perform two commands each. For example, you can undo or redo. You can zoom in and zoom out and you can resize your brush. So that makes a total of 16 shortcuts that are possible.
One key difference between the MobileStudio Pro and the previous Cintiq Companion 2 is that there is a touch ring instead of rocker ring. So the rocker ring was just four different buttons whereas the touch ring is touch sensitive and it gives you a little bit more control over zooming in and zooming out. Now for undo and redo you may want to go ahead and set the sensitivity a bit lower. In the center of the touch ring there's a Home button which you can use to open the Windows start menu. This is not reprogrammable to do anything else other than open up the Windows menu. There is an optional express key remote you can buy if you want additional express keys. And the tablet can be flipped so the express keys are on the right or the left side making this an ambidextrous tablet.
Moving on to the USB-C ports. There are three USB-C ports that are all on one side of the tablet. USB-C is better and more versatile than previous generations of USB, but there are some downsides. Such as USB-C is not compatible with older USB devices unless you have an adapter. So you might need to buy new USB-C compatible devices such as flash drives. The center USB-C port also functions as a charging port. With the charging cable plugged in, there's enough room to plug in two additional USB-C devices. However, if I unplug the cable, I'm not able to fit two USB-C devices side by side.
There are also two cameras on the MobileStudio Pro. There's an eight megapixel camera on the front and a five megapixel camera on the back. However, your phone probably takes better pictures than these cameras do. They're Not very good quality, but they're better than nothing. I recommend getting a third party webcam if you're going to be livestreaming.
SD Card Reader
There's also an SD card port on the side which can be used to expand your storage. An SD card is not as fast as an SSD, but it's a good way to expand the storage without adding bulk to your device. If you're planning on using this for photography or video work, it's nice to have that SD card port because then you can preview your photography and videos on the MobileStudio Pro. Unlike the previous generation Cintiq Companion Two, there's no longer a micro SD slot, so if you're using micro SD cards you'll have to plug them in to an SD card adapter which is usually included with the memory card. And personally I'm fine with this because on my original Cintiq Companion I actually got the micro SD card stuck inside of the tablet and couldn't get it out and I had to send it in to get it repaired.
Microphone & Headphone Jack
There's an internal microphone on the side of the MobileStudio Pro as well. The hole is on left side opposite the webcam, over by the express keys. Fortunately, it's not near the fan vents so you're not going to have to worry so much about picking up fan noise. However, the side of the tablet is not that great of a placement. This is really not the world's best microphone, so probably want to get an external USB microphone if you need to do any serious voice recording. There is a headphone jack which you can plug headphones into but this headphone jack does not support an external microphone or a lavalier microphone. You'll need a separate USB audio adapter and a USB-A to USB-C adapter in order to be able to plug in a microphone.
There are speakers on the MobileStudio Pro. But they're not very good quality, they're thin and tinny, they do not have any bass. And I really do not recommended these speakers for mixing audio. You'll want to get some headphones or some external speakers instead. The maximum volume is pretty decent. It's loud enough hear even at a distance. And there are volume buttons on the side to turn the volume up and down. There's also a power switch on the sides. It slides rather than pushes in to prevent accidental powering on. You can use this to turn the computer on or you can toggle between sleep and awake.
There's also a security slot which can be used along with an optional security tether to lock your tablet to a surface to prevent theft. The security slot also doubles as a connector for a pen holder, but we'll come to that in just a little bit.
The MobileStudio Pro comes with a power brick as I mentioned earlier, it needs to charge by connecting through USB-C and it must connect to the middle USB-C port. The power brick looks nicer than previous generation, it looks more customized and less like a generic power adapter. The cable's pretty long, it's about six feet or so.
Now let's talk about battery life. It's not great, but it's okay considering that this is an i7 computer. The battery does last longer if you dim the screen, use power saving and you don't run processor intensive applications. With the screen dimmed to down to 0% and a low cpu load, I was able to get about four or five hours of use out of it. With the screen brightness maxed out and a heavy cpu load I can only get about one to one and a half hours. That's really not that much battery life, so you'll want to do is you'll want to buy an Omnicharge 20 which can extend your battery life another one or two hours It takes about two hours to fully charge the lithium battery. And I haven't had any battery issues as far as the battery not charging or anything like that. The only real problems is that the battery life is kind of short.
Depending on which version you get there are a variety of sensors on the MobileStudio Pro. There's optional GPS with an electronic compass. There's an accelerometer which can tell which direction your tablet is turned. There's an ambient light sensor which can automatically adjust the screen brightness. And there's a gyroscope.
Now let's discuss some of the accessories that come with the MobileStudio Pro.
Next is the pen case. It's definitely more secure than the older pen case, the pen is a lot less likely to fall out if the case gets dropped, and thats happened to me several times with the Cintiq Companion 2.
It's also a little bit harder to access the pen. It's easy to pull off that nib holder on the end instead of opening the pen case. The pen gets kind of stuck when you try to remove it.
Personally, I like the older pen case overall but fortunately I can use the older pen case with the Pro pen too.
Speaking of nibs, let's talk about nibs. The MobileStudio Pro only comes with three replacement nibs: Two standard nibs and one felt nib, plus the one that's already in the pen for a total of four nibs. Now my Cintiq Companion Two came with 10 nibs. My Cintiq 27 came with 11 nibs. So why so few nibs now? Well to be fair, I rarely change a nib and if you're using proper technique, you shouldn't be going through nibs that often either. 11 nibs is kind of overkill. Three or four is probably enough for most people. And if you need to, you can order more nibs. Unfortunately, the nibs are a different size for the Pro pen too, so older nibs will not be compatible.
The MobileStudio Pro comes with this little pen holder accessory, its part metal, part plastic. And as I mentioned earlier, you can stick it in the hole for the security slot and this allows you to connect your pen to your tablet, which is a really awesome accessory. I love this. You can put your pen in two positions, it can be upright so you can quickly grab it or you can slide it in so it stays with your tablet. If you have it next to your tablet though, it won't fit in the protective pouch accessory which we're going to talk about in just a little bit. The pen will also partially block the USB ports. The pen holder accessory is made out of plastic with a little metal bit on the end. That's something that could probably get crushed and broken if you're not careful with it. It does fit on the end of the pen case, which is really handy, but it could also come off and get lost if you're not careful. If you want the pen holder to be on the other side, you can always flip the tablet around to make it ambidextrous. And one of my viewers mentioned that the pen holder can damage the screen if its not attached properly, so just be careful with your tablet.
Wacom MobileStudio Pro Stand (Optional)
Moving on to the stand, which is not included. You can get an optional stand which connects securely to the back of MobileStudio Pro and it can be folded flat. Its a way better stand than what came with the Cintiq Companions. The stand will allow you to position your MobileStudio Pro at about three or four different angles. It sits very comfortably on a desk or in your lap, which I enjoy. This is an essential accessory in my opinion. If you want to learn more about the MobileStudio Pro stand check out my video review.
Wireless Keyboard (Optional)
Another accessory that's not included but would be very handy to have is a wireless keyboard. Especially if you're going to be doing a lot of typing. Wacom makes a great low-profile Bluetooth keyboard that's thin and small enough to fit in the optional pouch accessory. If you don't want to have to lug around a keyboard with you there is an on-screen keyboard that you can use.
Carrying Pouch (Optional)
If you need something to protect your MobileStudio Pro which you probably do, then you'll want to get something like this optional pouch accessory. You can slide your tablet into it, zip it up and it's nice and protected. The pouch is the same as the previous generation for the Cintiq Companion Two. It can hold your tablet, your keyboard and your pen. It will keep the screen from getting scratched, but it's not rigid or waterproof, so you'll still want to be very careful with your tablet, even though it's in the pouch.
Wacom Link (Optional)
Also not included with the MobileStudio Pro is the Wacom Link accessory which allows you to connect the MobileStudio Pro to your desktop or laptop so that you can use it as a regular Cintiq. A USB-C connection is required in order to be able to use the device with 4k resolution. And your computer must support a USB-C video and data connection or the video quality will lower to QHD if you use Mini DisplayPort.
Thumbprint Sensor (Optional)
On the enhanced version of the MobileStudio Pro there's a thumbprint sensor lock. This is integrated with the Windows home key and it can be used to unlock your computer in place of a password or PIN. You just place your thumb on it and it logs into your computer. This makes logging in really fast and easy and it's more secure than a password.
RealSense 3D Camera (Optional)
Also on the enhanced version is a RealSense R200 3D scanning camera which comes with a one year trial of Artec
studio. There's also free scanning software that you can get. I'm guessing most people are not going to use this 3D camera so I'm not going to talk too much about it in this review, but I will follow up with a video testing how it works.
Compared to Alternatives
So that's an in-depth look at the specs and features. Now let's talk about how the MobileStudio Pro compares to some of it's alternatives. If you wanted something similar to the MobileStudio Pro there's the iPad Pro or the Surface Pro. There's even cheap Chinese imitations out there. Personally I think the MobileStudio Pro blows all of these out of the water because the iPad Pro lacks power and it doesn't have a very good software selection. The Surface Pro has an inferior pen and its geared more toward being general purpose rather than specifically for artists and designers. And the cheap Chinese imitations often have a lower resolution, lesser pen quality, more glare, less accurate color, cheap build quality, pressure levels that don't perform as well and the pen may require batteries or charging.
Compared to Cintiq Pro
How does the MobileStudio Pro compare to the Cintiq Pro? The MobileStudio Pro is essentially a Cintiq Pro with the addition of a built-in computer and integrated express keys. If you already have a powerful computer and you don't plan on leaving your studio, get a large Cintiq Pro instead. You'll get more bang for your buck. Besides the advantage of having a larger screen to draw on, the screen on the Cintiq Pro 24 and 32 is a bit better as well. it's an IPS UHD high brightness panel rather than LED so I don't think you'll get the same distortion on the screen when you press down hard. The Adobe RGB color gamut is 99% rather than only 94%. Although most people probably won't notice this small of a difference, but it gives you peace of mind I guess. And the Cintiq Pro 24 and 32 support up to 10 bit color which is 1.07 billion colors versus the MobileStudio Pro's measly 16.7 million. Again, this sounds like a drastic difference, but the average user will do just fine with only 16.7 million colors.
Now for my conclusion. Let's discuss some of the pros and cons. The pros are: the MobileStudio Pro screen is a huge improvement over the Cintiq Companion 2 in regards to outdoor visibility. I use the MobileStudio Pro primarily for painting outside the studio and it works really well for that. It definitely feels like an upgrade from the Cintiq Companion 2. The UHD resolution shows up much clearer on camera and the image is crisp and clear while drawing. The 8000 pen pressure levels are buttery smooth. And the etched glass feels really nice to draw on and it reduces the glare both indoors and outdoors. Now the cons. The MobileStudio Pro needs some optimization to live up to the hype. It felt disappointingly slow at first until I optimized it. It should really come with a better pre-configuration or at least instructions explaining how to do so. The MobileStudio Pro also lacks power. A quad core CPU and 32 gigabytes of RAM would go a much longer way. However, the drawing experience is unparalleled, so it's kind of a trade-off. The CPU and RAM are not expandable. Which does not make the MobileStudio Pro very future proof. The Enhanced version with Quadro M1000M is essential because the CPU can easily get overwhelmed and the GPU takes some of the burden off of the CPU.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is it worth it?
Now, there's a question that I get asked a lot and that is, is it worth it? And that's a hard thing to answer because you really have to determine whether or not this is going to meet your needs. In my opinion it's a great device and it's worth buying. If you consider that you're getting a Cintiq and a Laptop, the price is steep but fair. When compared to cheap Chinese alternatives, the MobileStudio Pro seems overpriced, but if you closely compare the specs and build quality and watch a few reviews, you'll see that the alternatives are cutting corners and are not able to provide the same quality as you'd get with the MobileStudio Pro. You'd be better off getting a used Cintiq Companion 2 rather than a cheap imitation of the MobileStudio Pro. Or if you already have a laptop, get an Intuos Pro Large or a used Cintiq 27 QHD. That's just my opinion, so take it or leave it.
Which model should I buy?
So now you're ready to buy the MobileStudio Pro, which version should you get? If you're doing light drawing with applications that aren't demanding on the CPU and GPU, just about any of the MSP versions will work great. The QHD resolution of the 13 inch model is good enough, but the MobileStudio Pro 16 is much clearer and shows up better on camera if you're recording. If you're streaming, recording your screen while making art, multitasking or doing CPU intensive tasks like painting on large canvases, creating 3D, applying Photoshop effects and video editing, then you'll want to get the Enhanced 16 inch version so that you can utilize the Quadro GPU. Where can you buy a MobileStudio Pro? There are links throughout this review you can use to buy one online. This is not a sponsored review, but if you use my affiliate link to purchase your MobileStudio Pro, it benefits my channel without costing you anything extra.
Do you have any tutorials for the MSP?
And the last question I want to answer is, do I have any videos about how to use the MobileStudio Pro? Yes, here is a link to my playlist on YouTube.
So that's my review of the Wacom MobileStudio Pro, if you found this information helpful, go on over to patreon.com/digitalartreviews and join me on my mission to create more reviews of products like this. And if you'd like to watch the video version of this review, check out my YouTube Channel.
© 2018 Aaron Rutten. All Rights Reserved.
Aaron Rutten, Digital Artist