$400 Cintiq (kind of)

So I’m 99% sure that this thread should be put in to the “software and tech” forum but it might just be discussion worthy enough to stay where it is. Apologies though if it needs to be moved!

My new favourite ID Instagrammer http://instagram.com/the.well didn’t fail to deliver again and thought I’d share his latest revelations with with all of you.

It appears that there is a Cintiq equivalent that costs 1/4 of the price. Its call the Monoprice Interactive Pen Display and looks as though it would be perfect for those that wanted to use the same features as a Cintiq but didn’t want to drop $2000 of their hard earned cash. It costs just under $400

I’m thinking this would be perfect for college students, juniors, people just learning how to sketch digitally. Even if you’re a pro this might be perfect for your home setup when your work has the real deal but you’d much rather put that $1600 saved on something more useful.

I myself am not much of a digital sketcher and have made do with a cheap Wacom and my iPad, my school didn’t have any Cintiq’s either and as much as I’ve wanted to start using one I just couldn’t afford to spend the hefty price tag at this point in my career.

I’d be interested to hear what someone who is more used to using one would have to say about it but thought this might be worth a share:


Looking at the stand design, it looks like this is a very similar design to the Yinova one that was posted here a while back at a slightly lower cost.

Certainly seems like a good entry level tablet. With that said, I view a Cintiq in a similar way as a nice piece of furniture. You can buy an Eames chair, and expect it to last 50 years, or buy an Ikea chair that will probably snap in half after 3 years.

A Cintiq is tough to swallow as a student, but then again I go back to when I was a student and a laptop cost $3000 to meet the minimum student requirements. Now most $500 computers are more than enough for a student, so $2000 for a tablet isn’t so bad compared to $200k worth of tuition.

You’re getting a bigger screen, a proper IPS panel for good color reproduction, the hot keys which are very useful, and a nicely designed pen. Also you can generally find used 21" Cintiq’s in pretty good condition for around $400-600 on Ebay or Craigslist. The cables on the 21UX sometimes wear out due to rotation, but other than that they’re pretty bulletproof.

Exactly how I got my 21UX. Saved an eBay search, a few months of careful bidding and finally snagged one for about $400. If you’re in no rush, definitely the option I recommend.

Yeah, I am aware of these and glad that they are getting some publicity. Monoprice/Huion/Yiynova are some much smaller companies that are starting to make pretty good knock-offs/alternatives to the very dominant Wacom tablets. Ray Frenden, an illustrator, does a few reviews of Wacom alternatives. Seems like a few of them are def. worth getting for entry level illustrators and people who want to start getting into using digital illustration tools without destroying their wallets or people who simply want to try something other than a Wacom. Build quality is not quite as good, but they are all improving due to recent growth in popularity. Reviews from Amazon are mostly positive, but as others are well aware with Wacom products you usually get what you pay for, a quality product. Competition is good so I hope these underdogs can help push each other for better products at a reasonable price.

Ray Frenden’s site (mentioned earlier)

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of that thread, I should have had a better look before posting!

I agree with you about buying quality products but to use your analogy in this scenario:

I’ve got three friends coming for dinner and need a dining setup in my pre-war studio apartment that I just moved in to. I could just about scrape together enough cash to buy one nice ‘named designer’ chair and granted it would look fantastic and just make my friends sit on the floor, getting a few pizza’s in OR I could go to IKEA and buy a complete dining set with table included for a fraction of the price, then use the cash saved to buy some nice bottles of wine and quality bit of steak with enough change to throw around for a weekend away. Then when I am a little older and living in my larger much nicer house buy a set of ‘named designer’ chairs to go in my separate dining room.

If I could I would love to buy a Cintiq but the reality is I just can’t swallow the price tag for what I’d be using it for at this present moment in time. Granted I’m a firm believer in “start as you mean to go on” and “making the investment in yourself” but I think spending around $400 just to practice and get up to speed, you can’t really go wrong.

Plus, it may take me a while to save up the cash where as this way I can get going a lot sooner than I would have.

Well that’s why I also suggest looking pre-owned. It’s more along the analogy of buying a 2nd hand BMW vs a new Kia. It’s not about not feeding people because you only have 1 thing instead of 3, it’s about buying 1 quality thing instead of 1 not so quality thing. Which is still fine, but most people don’t take into account Ebay/Craigslist.

Keep in mind a Cintiq will keep it’s value, so if you get one at work and decide to stop working yours at home, you can sell it for probably close to what you paid used. I would not expect the Monoprice ones to carry much of a resale value down the road.