Early this month, Wacom teased us with a video of its “Next Big Thing” slotted for August 20, with rumors of a true, standalone tablet in the works. Wacom has now laid rumors to rest and announced a new line of tablets for mobile creatives. The Cintiq Companion and the Cintiq Companion Hybrid tablets give professional artists and hobbyists the ability to remain productive even while on the go.

The Cintiq Companion Hybrid is an Android-powered tablet that focuses on mobility and adaptability. Powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 chip and running Android Jelly Bean, the Cintiq Companion Hybrid allows artists to work in whatever situation they’re in. When hooked up to a PC or Mac, the tablet acts as any other Cintiq tablet, like the Cintiq 13HD. But alone, the tablet still maintains its productivity with Android creative apps, including a new Wacom Creative Canvas app for sketching and painting. Transferring work to and from work computers is made easy with the pre-installed ASTRO File Manager app.

The Cintiq Companion, on the other hand, runs a full Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro system, running on a 3rd gen Intel Core processor and an Intel HD 4000 GPU and 8 GB of RAM, giving users complete access to regular versions of their favorite apps, such as Adobe Photoshop. Both the Cintiq Companion and the Cintiq Companion Hybrid comes with the usual assortment of tablet features such as WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, an 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 2 megapixel front camera. They also sport Wacom’s popular controls such as ExpressKeys and Rocker Ring.

There are still some details left out in the announcement, such as screen size and resolution or specific Android version. The Cintiq Companion Hybrid will be available from Wacom’s eStore mid-September at $1499 for a 16 GB model and $1599 for the 32 GB variant. The Cintiq Companion will be available later in October and will be priced at $1999 for a configuration running Windows 8 with a 256 GB SSD and $2499 for a Window 8 Pro and 512 GB SSD.


    • There is no other manufacturer is even remotely near Wacom’s prowess in its purpose-built niche. Wacom’s customer service and support is unrivaled. I’m using an old Wacom tablet (well, over a decade in age) and Wacom still keeps its drivers current with the latest operating systems offered by computer OS software manufacturers. More companies should be like Wacom.

      • yeah – they’re good but their tech isn’t particularly new and they’ve already licensed out their digitizer tech to Samsung for the Galaxy Note line. So it’s a matter of bridging the i/o from the tablet to the computer – which may or may not be against the agreement Wacom has with Samsung.

        The kicker is that you can buy two Samsung devices for the price of one Wacom. And with the Android market these days – the devices are practically archaic after two years – so I don’t care how long Wacom supports their devices – it’ll cease to be a useful _hybrid_ in two years…

        And I’ve also used Wacom since the early 90s. I’ve always felt they were overpriced but they were also the best on the market. Now, though, digitizer tech has gotten to the point where they really don’t have that much of a lead and entering the tablet market feels like Wacom trying to stay relevant.

      • I’m a little split. On the one hand, I agree that the prices seem…overblown, but I also know that Wacom just works so well/comfortably. I wouldn’t agree that they’re losing their edge, as I’ve never encountered any tech as accurate or natural feeling as my Wacom Intuos. The iPad has a really accurate screen, and I’ve considered getting one(along with a Sensu brush) for my sketching, but I’d be willing to bet that this tablet would be more accurate, and more easily used for professional grade work – I don’t know the specs, so it’s hard to say for sure. It is possible that the difference between a touch screen that works fairly well(such as the iPad) and a Wacom screen which feels just like drawing on natural medium involves technology and materials which justify the price. It could just as easily be that Wacom is unscrupulous and charges an unreasonable premium simply because it can. All I know is that if the hybrid ends up being more accurate feels more natural than an iPad or comparable device and, even more importantly, the sketching app in the hybrid allows for high resolution illustrations(very much unlike all of the iPad apps I know of), then it might actually be worth the price tag – it is, after all, intended for professionals, not hobbyists.
        Regardless, I can’t wait to play with one of these.


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