|The Wacom Cintiq Companion|
Wacom just announced three new products, two of which being Cintiqs that feature tablet functionality (the other being a Wacom stylus pen designed for finer stylus use on iPad tablets). I was very happy to see the first two products, as while their tablet functionalities are not terribly essential to me, I have been looking into getting a Cintiq 13HD, and I'm glad I waited. While many Wacom users are happy about this news, I've been noticing many people complaining about these products, namely about their prices.
The price of the full-featured Windows 8-powered Cintiq Companion is $1,999 (256 GB) and $2,499.00 (512 GB), while the hybrid version Cintiq Companion hybrid, which acts as a normal Cintiq 13HD for your desktop and a lightweight Android tablet on-the-go, is priced at $1,499.00 (16 GB) and $1,599.00 (32 GB).
The Cintiq Companion has 8 GB of RAM and an Intel CORE i7 processor, while the Cintiq Companion Hybrid has 2 GB of RAM and NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor. The former is designed with fuller features to allow for fuller computer-independent work while on-the-go, and the latter is designed more as a Cintiq 13 HD that gives you some portability for light work while on-the-go.
|The Surface Pro (from Microsoft)|
The big difference is that a Surface Pro (like most other tablets) simply isn't a Cintiq. I mean that both in its design and aim. Its touchscreen (for digital art's sake) is nowhere near that of Cintiq quality. Its picture quality (for digital art's sake) simply isn't Cintiq-quality. And its compatibility with art software simply isn't that enjoyed by Wacom tablets, which many software like Photoshop and Mudbox seek to design their user schemes around.
|The Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid|
If you need heavier, fuller usage of the Cintiq on-the-go, that's why they have the Cintiq Companion available, which does feature Windows 8, a third-generation Intel CORE i7 processor and 8 GB for more power. More power is simply going to cost more.
The Cintiq Companion's screen is bigger than the Surface Pro (13.3" vs. 10.6") which offers 2048 levels of pressure (twice more than Surface Pro's mere 1024 levels) and 75% Adobe RGB (compared to Surface Pro's 55% AdobeRGB). The Companion has 8 GB RAM (while Surface Pro has only 4 GB), it uses an i7 processor (Surface Pro uses an i5), and it has much bigger SSD sizes of 256 GB and 512 GB (Surface Pro only has up to 128 GB).
The Cintiq Companion also has available an optional compact wireless keyboard, which, when coupled with the Companion's four levels of adjustable height, offers a wider range of comfortable positions than the Surface Pro does. (See the first picture at the top.)
The Cintiq Companion is technically offering more than the Surface Pro, even as a tablet. But again, it's not trying to be the first name in tablets to the average consumer--just artists and professionals looking for extra functionality with their Cintiqs. The Cintiq Companions are just different beasts entirely from consumer-level tablets.
I think when folks compare these Cintiq products to normal tablets, they're kinda missing the point. The point of these products is that they are first and foremost Cintiq graphics tablet--the other tablet features are just those highly-requested by artists seeking a little portability.
I would think that the expectation is that most serious artists and working professionals are either going to make the money to buy these or do what they can to buy these, knowing that these products will easily pay for themselves after a while.
As for me, I'll certainly be looking into acquiring the Wacom Companion Hybrid with 16 GB, as for most of my work would be on my notebook computer, I won't need as much SSD space for my use. I'll consider its multi-touch features to be an equivalent of a Cintiq 13HD Touch, which, for only $500 more, isn't a bad deal to me.
Though, I personally think once you reach the $2K price mark, I'd personally rather have a Cintiq 22HD, as I don't rely on work on-the-go that much. I can't think of many scenarios with myself where I'd need a Cintiq so much while on-the-go that I'd pass on getting a much better at-home Cintiq.