Article June 2003 (- 4 years, 4 months) by Liberto
Last Updated: June 3, 2007 October 2007
eclectic content

Q: How precise is the Wacom Cintiq?


Per *1, the Wacom Cintiq 21UX has a Movement Resolution of 5,080 dpi (dots, or pixels, per inch) ; if this is a volume computation, this would mean that it's sensitivity is actually ____

The most often touted sensitivity claim is "1,024 Pressure Levels".

" The Wacom Cintiq 21UX is a 21" monitor with 0.27 mm Dot Pitch / Pixel Pitch."


Compare and Contrast to:

Wacom Cintiq 18sx monitor (per x2):

Movement Detection Technology Electromagnetic
Movement Resolution 508 lpi (lines per inch)

The Wacom Cintiq 18sx in a monitor with a 0.28 mm Dot Pitch and " 512 Pressure Levels".

Aiptek 8000U  (HyperPen 8000U Wacom competor)

The Aiptec website (x4) defines the precision of their Aiptec 8000U as follows:


Max. 3048 lpi / 120 lpmm


0.42 mm (Overall with Pen)

Max. Pressure Levels

512 Levels

Max. Reading Height

8 mm (0.32")


Gateway S-7125C

Tablet PCs do not list the sensivity of their screens, which suggests it is very poor.

Comparative Technologies [x3]:

  • Acoustic pulse recognition (APR) touchscreen overlays
  • IntelliTouch and SecureTouch surface-wave touchscreen overlays
  • CarrollTouch infrared touch sensors
  • AccuTouch five-wire and AT4 four-wire resistive touchscreen overlays
  • Projected and surface capacitive touchscreen overlays
  • LCD and CRT touchmonitors in various form factors
  • CRT touchmonitors with iTouch touch-on-tube surface-wave technology
  • All-in-one touchcomputers

Would you like further details on these comparative technologies? [Yes]

For an simple explination of "dpi" and it's relation to "dot pitch", I recommend this page.

See also: A description of "graphics tablets":
New "digitizer" technologies and a summary of "state of the industry":

"Active digitizers have wonderfully high resolution, the cursor follows the tip of the pen without the pen even touching the glass, and you can do right mouseclicks by pressing and holding the pen. However, if you lose the pen you're out of luck and it's sometimes not easy to hold a pen. Capacitive touchscreens can be operated with a finger, making them very quick and handy. But there is no cursor tracking and they are not suitable for writing. So why not combine the two? It's been done before. Other manufacturers have dual digitizer systems. Problem is that switching between the two digitizer modes isn't always very intuitive. ..." more / continue reading


Update, 2007: Wacom refuses to lower their prices, even though the technology has remained largely unchanged for over 5 years:

Cintiq 21UX Wacom DTF-521 Intuos3 12x19 HyperPen
8000U Pro
Intuos3 12x12 ThinkPad X61 MultiView + MultiTouch WVA XGA TFT X60
MultiView + MultiTouch TN XGA TFT
MultiView + MultiTouch WVA XGA TFT
Price* $ 2,500 $ 1,625 $ 750 $ 80 $ 530 $ 1,900    
Levels of
pressure sensitivity
"Pressure Levels")
1024 512
1024 512 1024 ??    
Active area 21.3" Diag. LCD
108 square inches 12" x 19"
- 228 square inches
8" x 6" 12" x 12"
- 144 square inches
Diag. LCD
Diag. LCD
ExpressKeys 8   8   8 note: "XGA" is supposed to mean
1024 x 768
Touch Strips 2   2   2      
ToolID Yes   Yes   Yes      
QuickPoint No   Yes   Yes      
Accessories Yes   Yes   Yes      
Mouse None   5-Button   5-Button      
Pen Grip Pen   Grip Pen   Grip Pen      
Pen tilt support Yes   Yes   Yes      
Work on screen Yes Yes No   No      
Price*     $ 750 8" x 6" $ 530      

*Wacom estimated street price


You might want to check your facts on "WVA" (which, presumedly, means "Wide View Angle") : this is, I believe, not referring to the pixel size or screen size at all, but rather refers to the angle at which you can tilt the tablet screen before you get the "washout" effect.
As Chris wrote : "It definitly does not mean WUXGA like you claim in your article".

Consider the following choices from Lenovo for ThinkPads: 1.
ThinkPad X60 MultiView + MultiTouch WVA XGA TFT
ThinkPad X60 MultiView + MultiTouch TN XGA TFT

i.e. it's a choice between either "TN" or "WVA".



[*2] h

recommended links (further reading) :

(same thing for Motion Computing: overpriced for old technology...)
"Configure: Motion Computing LE1700 Tablet PC" = 2 GB, Intel Core2 Duo LV Processor L7400 ; $3,130 :