Which Used Cintiq? 12Wx, 15X, 18SX, 21Ux

I have never owned my own personal Cintiq, but would like to have one for occasional use at home/freelance. I currently have a tablet laptop that works well with airbrushing, but lacks great sensitivity. I’d like to invest in a Cintiq to improve my abilities,work, and portfolio.

Can I get some opinions on these models? Budget is ideally between $200-$800. I’m curious what features are most valuable in this range, if the 15x will do, or if I should just stick with my laptop and save up for the 21UX.

15x- Used $300-400
18SX- Used $650 (never heard of this model)
12WX- Used $600, New- $900-$1000
21UX- Used $ 800, New- out of budget


I would save for the 21UX…the 15 and 18 are very old models, and quality and reliability will be questionable. Cintiqs tend to suffer from cable fatigue over their life if used frequently, so I wouldn’t buy a very old model.

The 21UX will have the best resolution and will be a worthwhile longterm investment (and a tax writeoff if you freelance).

Thanks cyberdemon

The 15x I came across said it has new power (and adapter), usb, and dvi-vga cables. Would that resolve the cable fatigue issue? What’s the biggest difference between new and older models that I should be concerned with?

Older stylus design (I believe), no touch strips or buttons (which are pretty useful), not sure if the pressure sensitivity on that generation was the same or not.

There are also several generations/revisions of the 21UX, if my memory serves me correctly the first generation was prone to scratches and you could tell because the glass design went to the edges and wrapped around the keys. (Don’t quote me on this). But something to keep in mind if you’re buying them second hand.

Anyone who has one of the older models might be able to comment. I know I have a newer model but we have had 2-3 21UX’s in our studio already start to fail because as the cable wears out you start to get glimmering pixels and stuff.

go Big or not at all

The 15 and 18 are so old, I think they went out of production in like 2007 or 2008. They are not as sensitive perhaps 512 points of sensitivity. and they are not high res (if I remember correctly on all of that). The 12ux is way newer but not as portable as they like to make it seem in marketing stuff but nice. The 21 is where it is at. Maybe look at business repo sites and ebay/ CL to find one on the cheap. Another route is to get a tablet PC with a wacom screen and use that.

I must say, it depends on how you work in the analog sense. For me, I sketch on letter size printer paper. Thus, the Cintiq 12wx is what I use and it’s a very intuitive shift when moving from physical paper to sketchbook pro. A coworker of mine uses the 21 and I have never been able to get used to it- too much screen to deal with. It’s easier to move the 12" around and also move my arms around the screen. It’s cheaper too! But definitely not portable with all of the cables and adapter you have to deal with.

Just my 2 cents :slight_smile:

Good luck on your search!

Thanks for your help! Like you, I really only sketch on letter paper and I don’t plan on using it on the go. I’d love the 21, but it seems like the 12WX is most fitting for my needs/budget.

When you are in PS ad AI the 21 is nice. I like to look at both the facing pages when I am using InDesign so the lager the better.

Yeah, don’t forget that in real life you don’t have toolbars, so being able to display your drawing on part of the screen while keeping your toolbars visible is nice. The tablet PC/12" size you really have to jump back and forth between hiding them and showing them.

I can’t be bothered to use Ebay to bid and all that. Too Busy and Id rather be in the gym. Consider the use a favorite little utility for searching Craigslist called ‘craigspal’. It will let you search specific states or cities depending upon how far you are willing to drive. I travel a great deal doing training classes around the county. I plan to be in Seattle next month and Ill search for a specific K2 ski binding … Ill search all of Seattle using the CraigsPal utility. On the other hand as spring becomes closer I plan to drive to Northern FL and can use CraigsPal to search the cities in the path (and states) along the way. I may find a good deal on a Wacom tablet or a Trek Fuel along the way and with any luck it’s less than an hour out of my way. Try it. It’s a free download. I purchased the Pro version myself.