Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cintiq 24HD: the moving and locking mechanisms.

As you may already know the Cintiq 24HD does not allow rotation of the screen. This could be a problem for some users, even if I have to say that I don’t miss this function because all the programs that I use offer a good “canvas rotation” function that work very nicely with the Cintiq Touch Ring.

My first suggestion it to download and read the useful Cintiq 24 HD manual, that you can find here (English PDF, The download size is about 6.4Mbytes. The manual doesn't come with the Cintiq 24HD, in the box there is only a Quick Stard Guide. The bundled CD/DVD has no PDF manual in it.

The support station has a nice cable management system in it that saves you from “chaotic cable situation”. This component of the Cintiq 24 HD is the counterweight that allows you to move the Cintiq to very comfortable working position, like a drawing board. Exactly what you see the the Wacom Youtube video.

What you don’t see is that the support stands on some pads that have very poor antiskid performance, this allows you to move the heavy weight of the Wacom Cintiq with one finger when it stands on a smooth surface like the desk in the following video:

I don’t know if I like this thing or not: it can be useful in some working conditions, but maybe some user may want their support station to don’t move so easily. This “sliding ability” is desired by by Wacom and it is also mentioned in the Cintiq 24 HD User Manual. 

The support of the Cintiq 24HD one is structured in four tilt levers and two very strong metallic support arms that allows many different working positions. The following image comes from page 19 of the user manual that I have liked above.

The two support arms have only one blocking position (vertical, about 80°) and, if you release them with a control that is in the center of the support station, you can’t block them in any other position. The four levers (two on each side) allow you to block the tilt between the screen and the metallic support in many different ways. This mechanism works fine, and you can place the screen of the Cintiq in many different position. But you have to be careful not to abandon the screen in a wrong position, because the support will not block the screen from moving, you will have to block a screen in a position where it is standing properly. You will have to make the screen and the support base touch each other. The support/lever system seem very solid, also if I don’t like very much the fact that the, once you release the control of the supports, there are no blocking other positions that the initial one. You can still use the levers to block the screen in any tilt position, as I wrote.

You can create an angle of 90° making the screen perfectly perpendicular to the support (and to the desk). You can even set the screen to an angle of more than 90° like you can see in this picture:

Green line is the actual screen position. Red line is desk direction and perpendicular to the desk direction. Blue lines show other possible tilt positions (not all, you can also tilt on the other side). Of course, as I said, you can make the screen perfectly perpendicular to the desk but you need to unlock the arms and let the screen touch the basement.

With the arms locked in position (there is only one lock position) the screen does not go to a perfectly perpendicular position. The picture above shows the “most perpendicular” position that you can get when the support metallic arms are in their blocked point.

If you are not happy with the support system you will find information on the manual on how to mount the Cintiq 24HD Screen on a VESA MIS-E 100/200 compatible support. 

Also after many hours of work your arms and back will not hurt. I have to say that this is the better ergonomic tablet that I have ever tested. One bad thing that I have noticed is that the screen gets a little bit hot, something that you can feel. Don’t know if this is related to the  that I reported

The good:

1) You can position in many comfortable  working positions. It is very nice to work with this digital drafting table.

2) Nice ergonomics. Perfect for long working sessions.
3) Feels very solid.

4) VESA MIS-E 100/200 compatibility.

The bad:

1) The arms have only one locking position and their movements are not controlled by some sort of damper.

2) The support feet slide too much.

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