Cintiq Companion Review

This is not a comparison, I haven't actually tried other tablets.  This is just my first impression on the "Cintiq Companion."

Some Spec:  Display size 13.3 inch, 1920x1080 Resolution, Intel Core i-7, 512GB solid state drive, Intel HD graphics 4000, 8GB ddr3 ram, 3.9lbs.
What comes in the box: Cintiq Companion, charger, pen, pen case, soft case, and a small screen cloth.
I also purchased the Bluetooth Wacom keyboard.

I decided on the 512GB mainly on how much hard-drive space I would actually have after all my programs were installed.  With windows and all the garbage I install on my computer, it roughly totals around 100GB.  So if I purchased the 256GB, I'd only have probably 150GB left.  I probably would have been fine with that, but I'm paranoid and would rather not worry about having a full hard-drive. So $500 for double amount of hard-drive space... I don't think it's worth it. So why'd I buy it?? ...I'm nuts.

Moving along, I think the case is alright, I'm more of a fan of hard cases. However, it's nice that it's included in with the purchase, instead of needing to buy it additionally.  My complaint is that there is no space for the power cord.  If I didn't get the keyboard I could put it in that pocket.  But I got the keyboard, so I'm out of luck.  I understand the idea of it being at a full charge and a portable device, so I don't really need to have my charger. But I'd like to be able to pack everything together...just in case.

I actually didn't have a good start with the Companion.  I started it up and it prompted me for the windows 8 product key.  And I had no idea where it was.  It wasn't with the software package.  I had to ask my friend who also bought a Companion, if she had the same problem.  She told me the windows key was on a sticker on the charger.  What the heck?! I'm not sure why there's no instructions to look on the charger.  Not good.

 I'm really disappointed in the "stand." You can set it at three different angles, but the design feels super flimsy to me.  Plastic joints/hinges always makes me worry, I'm not sure how long it's going to last if I keep bending it back up and down.

 Now the keyboard! The keyboard is a basic keyboard, it is a nice small compact size.  My complaint that it's a bit too basic.  I'm used to illuminated keyboards now, it would have been nice if it had that feature.  Now this is a super personal opinion.  I'm left handed, so with my current workflow I use right side alt and ctrl constantly. On the Wacom keyboard they put an extra key in between the alt and ctrl.  So it completely ruins my hand placement.  It's too far of a reach for my thumb and was very uncomfortable.

So I decided to try out the Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810.  It is a little bit bigger than the Wacom keyboard, but still fits in the sleeve pocket. It's way more comfortable for me to use, and the atl and ctrl are next to each other! yay!

Other problems I had, which I still can't determined what caused it,  my pen and touch actually stopped working for me on three occasions.  The first time was when I was trying to save the on-screen Wacom settings.  So I believe the driver crashed? I had to restart with my keyboard.  Once it rebooted all was well.  Two other times I was using Photoshop CC, and same thing happened, my mouse disappeared and touch wasn't working. Also, the express keys and windows home key weren't working.  I updated the driver, and I haven't had problems yet... I will update if it happens again.

Other weird/random things. I can get about 5 hours of use on a full charge in balanced mode.  I haven't tried power saver mode yet.  It is a portable tablet, but at least for me, I wouldn't want to ever stand and use it.  I definitely need a desk. The pen is actually surprisingly lighter compared to the Cintiq or Intuos pens.  I prefer the weight of the other pens instead. The speakers are on the back, so sound quality to me, isn't that great.
Screen display I believe is on par to the other 22/24HD Cintiqs. I don't have a technical comparison, I'm just basing it on how my eyes see it.  The pressure sensitivity is great as always.  I do have minor complaints about the calibration, the cursor and pen tip slightly misalign around the corners.  I heard other people were having similar issues, but I haven't looked into resolving it.

This isn't much of complaint about the Companion itself, but more of windows 8.  I'm totally not used to it and had a hard time adjusting to it.  I wish the box came with a windows manual/guide or just something.

I think that's most of my thoughts. Overall I'm happy, because I finally have a portable photoshop all-in-one, instead of the laptop/tablet duo.  If you're an artist looking for a portable Cintiq, here is it! ...for windows users. It IS a huge chunk of change.  If one of your friends has it, definitely ask to try theirs. Otherwise you can always buy it and return it.

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