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Wacom to release multi-touch mobile tablet in summer 2013

By dpreview staff on Mar 4, 2013 at 19:37 GMT

Graphics tablet maker Wacom has announced on Facebook it will launch a mobile multi-touch tablet this summer. While it has not posted any details about this device, Wacom's social media post says it will include a pressure-sensitive pen, multi-touch options, an HD display and 'other valuable features that you haven’t seen in other tablets'.


Wacom's announcement on Facebook:

"We’ve heard you shouting out loud for a Wacom mobile tablet for creative uses. Well… we’re listening. We’ve read your email and spoken to many about an on-the-go dream device. It will come. This summer. We’re working 24/7 on it. And yes, it has a real pressure-sensitive professional pen, smooth multi-touch, an HD display, and other valuable features that you haven’t seen in other tablets."

Comments

Total comments: 32
Shivaess
By Shivaess (11 months ago)

I have a feeling this will be more like the Asus EP 121 which was a Wacom

0 upvotes
N13L5
By N13L5 (Mar 7, 2013)

This sounds great!

I do hope this will be a widely accessible product, not another stratospheric $3000 device you can only sell very few of.

Wonder if they're going to rely on Windows Pro or something else like Ubuntu or Android..

I could deal with Windows, as long as its not RT.

0 upvotes
Just a Photographer
By Just a Photographer (Mar 5, 2013)

What Wacom forgot to mention is that it will also get a very professional price tag. Looking at the product that come closest to this new Wacom tablet (the Cintiq pressure displays). You can be sure that this new device will be priceless....

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Mar 5, 2013)

"it has a real pressure-sensitive professional pen, smooth multi-touch, an HD display, and other valuable features that you haven’t seen in other tablets"

Given that this is a list of traits seen already in other tablets (most notably the Surface Pro) I am not eagerly anticipating this being a market-changing device.

0 upvotes
Photohobbyfun
By Photohobbyfun (Mar 5, 2013)

Why is everyone assuming this is going to work with iOS or even Android?

You can't use either of these for most serious work.

This has to be something that is going to work with eith windows or Mac.

The question is whether they are going to release a full blown PC or something that will work remotely like the Lenovo tablet that was announced a while back which is basically a screen with a digitizer that uses your desktop for computing power.

0 upvotes
hindesite
By hindesite (Mar 5, 2013)

Using terms like "mobile" (not portable) and "on-the-go dream device" (not accessory or peripheral) would indicate to me that this will be a self contained tablet device.

OSX and IOS are both not going to happen. Win8 is a possibility. So is Ubuntu. Android is possible but probably unlikely, but would be more than adequate for non-serious work.

1 upvote
BJN
By BJN (Mar 5, 2013)

Serious work in what sense? I'm betting that it will be targeted at people who generate a lot of quick turn projects for web publication, and as a mobile sketch pad. That's "serious" for some creative professionals. Nobody's going to be doing high power/bandwidth image or video editing, illustration, or layout via a tablet on any of the current platforms. But there are lean Adobe apps for image editing, sketching, wireframing, etc. and a decent pressure-sensitive input option would be useful with apps like that.

A good tablet that can support color-managed content can already be used productively for web content creation. iOS is not an option for a Wacom-branded tablet - Apple doesn't do platform licensing. I'm dubious that Wacom can pull off a tablet that's good enough at Wacom's typical pricing to be successful. They have a hard enough time getting the bugs out of their Intuos5 tablet drivers and I doubt they have the depth to pull off a solid tablet.

0 upvotes
MichaelRose
By MichaelRose (Mar 5, 2013)

I'm not worried about Wacom's 'Tablet' functionality, I am worried about the very same issue that Microsoft has so far seemed to overlook: a lack of memory to support an OS and Graphic applications.

I currently run LR 4.4 R1, PS CS6E, and Win Vista Ultra x64 with 12 GB of memory– and it is not quite enough!

It seems like a Tablet would have to have at least 8GB of memory and prefferably an option for 12GB – 18GB to really perform well when running an OS, Graphics, and [Productiviry applications]. (Less I/O to Storage will definitely *prolong Battery life* and *greatly increase performance*!)

With just a single SSD for storage supplimented by Memory Cards (SD/µSD), and External Drives (USB2/3 or Firewire)– it seems to me that the Microsoft Surface and Wacom device won't sell unless they have enough memory.

I'm watching the Notebook/Ultrabook/Tablet market closely, I have $1,000 to make a purchase, I like the Microsoft Surface, but it lacks memory and has a small SSD!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Mar 5, 2013)

No ultrabook is going to give you workstation power, memory, or storage. You can configure an x64 workstation with plenty of ram, cpu power, and graphics card power. It's impressive what you can put into a tablet or ultrabook, but you can't cram the power of a workstation into a slim, light tablet that needs to run on battery power.

2 upvotes
MrSkelter
By MrSkelter (Mar 5, 2013)

They said tablet. They're not in the PC business. This will be an accessory like this other products. It'll work with an iPad or phone and because it's Wacom it'll be considered the industry standard.

Your iPad will be the display. The Wacom tablet will provide the touch sensitive, pressure and angle sensing input.

0 upvotes
hindesite
By hindesite (Mar 5, 2013)

Oh, come on.

Who is going to have a tablet for their tablet, yet still not be able to do any serious work?

If you hadn't noticed, just about anybody can get into the PC/tablet business these days. Very small Chinese manufacturers can do it; the barriers to entry are very low wrt to producing hardware. The real barriers are marketing and building a support ecosystem.

1 upvote
hindesite
By hindesite (Mar 5, 2013)

'bout time.

Wacom really dropped the ball on this one. At one stage, they were the defacto digitiser on just about every tablet sold - back in the TabletPC days.

They totally ignored the move to touch interfaces and mobile devices, and even lost interest and market share on the few TabletPCs still sold.

2 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (Mar 5, 2013)

Dropped the ball? Hardly. They have their digitisers in more devices now than ever. I don't know what you are thinking of, but Wacom digitisers have not been superseded by capacitive touch panels - they do vastly different things.

0 upvotes
hindesite
By hindesite (Mar 5, 2013)

Yep, dropped the ball. They let N-Trig get a toehold when dual input started to gain ground. (And, I'm glad they did - something needed to drive the price down). Sure, Wacom are in more devices now, as the market is vastly bigger, but their share of the market has declined. They had near 100% of the TabletPC market. Now both Wacom and N-Trig have a growing presence in Android tablets and phones. For example, Wacom is used in the Galaxy Note, N-trig is in Thinkpad tablet.

Of course digitisers have different uses to capacitive input; I've used TabletPCs for years so I'm aware of that. But there is sufficient overlap that Wacom should have had a far larger presence in touch in the early stages.

Graphic input digitisers are a very small market when compared to 2.5 million phones and tablets being sold per day. Letting any of that huge market get away is dropping the ball.

1 upvote
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Mar 5, 2013)

Neat. I probably won't be able to afford it. Although if I could- a Surface Pro would be stiff competition for it, for design work and less photo work, as it's made using wacom tech and it's very very pretty.

0 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (Mar 4, 2013)

As long it isn't priced as Cintiq products, I'll consider it.

2 upvotes
gandulfc
By gandulfc (Mar 4, 2013)

I'm not a fan of their products but I use them. The wacom inkling was advertised to work great with sketchbook pro.... didn't work at all... i don't know if they fixed this yet... asked on their forums... no answer... sent them an email... no answer, I wasn't the only one apparently seeing their forum

i have a graphic tablet from them, works good, so i'm not hating, but they should have some customer service

fix your other products first, and then bring the tablet, i'll buy it if it rocks, hell, works

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (Mar 5, 2013)

That isn't exactly Wacoms fault (though the customer service part is of course). Fact is their capacitive pen IS better than the generic ones, still doesn't make them great - just the best of a bad tech (for that purpose).

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Mar 5, 2013)

Wacom's forums are intentionally designed to be poor for discussing hardware and driver issues. Wacom's support often doesn't even know what their products are supposed to be able to do. I don't see that Wacom has the infrastructure to support its current products well, let along its own tablet computer.

0 upvotes
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (Mar 4, 2013)

It needs to have a standard RGB colorspace. Apple's decision to have iOS operate with its own color rules might make some technical sense but it makes my nifty iPad photo apps next to USELESS. Spend as much time as you want perfecting color balance with Snapseed, Photoshop Touch or whatever, the photo will look quite bad when you send it to your PC or an online photo site. The problem is pretty fundamental to the software/hardware in Apple portables so I see little hope for a change. Cross fingers that Wacom does not make the same mistake.

1 upvote
BDTROUT
By BDTROUT (Mar 4, 2013)

I wouldn't give them one more dime of my cash,,,I bought into Wacom about five years ago and have had nothing but problems with compatibility and popular raw editers. It was not just me, it is well documented throughout the editing field, and they wouldn't even respond to our problems.

0 upvotes
joel avery
By joel avery (Mar 4, 2013)

As long as you can easily move files in and out of it the OS truly doesn't matter. Still, I'd prefer a full Windows 8 implementation so I could run the "real" Photoshop CS6 anytime, anywhere.

In any case, I've had a Cintiq on my desk for almost a decade. The ability to "take it on the road" easily would be a dream, like Heliconius said, a dream come true.

joel*

1 upvote
abortabort
By abortabort (Mar 5, 2013)

You have been able to do this for a long while now. While not a 100% cintiq replacement, Wacom have been peddling their wares to PC tablet makers for over a decade.

0 upvotes
Gabor Szantai
By Gabor Szantai (Mar 4, 2013)

Considering the 2/3 of creatives use iOS/OSX an Android tablet would be a suicidal decision. Then what?
Would it be only an external touch display?

0 upvotes
Andrew Booth
By Andrew Booth (Mar 4, 2013)

Apple will never support a proper pressure sensitive pen... so what are you going to do?

Android/Windows 8 are definitely good enough to run editing apps... and with wacom+HD display they make a more functional combination for this purpose than an iPad.

And I'm an iPad owner...

1 upvote
hindesite
By hindesite (Mar 5, 2013)

What has iOS and OSX got to do with this? Is the tablet going to be one of those 3rd party hardware devices running iOS or OSX? Oh wait...there aren't any.

Android makes perfect sense if you aren't an Apple fanboi; but it could more likely be running Win 8 or Ubuntu.

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Mar 7, 2013)

Android makes no sense unless they plan on coding software from the ground up. It will be W8 and either look like all the other tablets in the crowded micro field, or it will be a bigger version with capacitive buttons in the bezel (like the Cintiq) and money put into the color accuracy of the display. That way everyone running Adobe products on Win can instantly use the full featured packages they already own on a top-notch, made-for-artists screen.

0 upvotes
Heliconius
By Heliconius (Mar 4, 2013)

As a designer, this was my dream since I met tablet ^^

.. and the reason why I didn't buy one yet..

1 upvote
Andrew Booth
By Andrew Booth (Mar 5, 2013)

You should look at Lenovo's tablets. They're integrating the same Wacom stylus... but they're not Wacom.

I'd trust Lenovo more than Wacom to build a decent tablet!

1 upvote
hindesite
By hindesite (Mar 5, 2013)

They are N-Trig.

0 upvotes
sjogro
By sjogro (10 months ago)

I dont want a Windows tablet. *shruggs*
They might pull it off if they have Adobe in their pocket for a nice software suite on some Linux or Android-based "Wacom OS". Who knows. More likely though it will be a knock-off suite that's "Adobe compatible".
I hope Wacom is able to see (and work on) the fact that a lot of people are disappointed in their offerings. Seems like a lot of people rely on their products without really liking the products. Pricing seems to play a big role here.
I probably would love to work on a Cintiq 24HDt but a $3500 drawing board that needs to be attached to a $2000+ computer to work exceeds my taste, bankbalance and rational morale.
Therefor it would be interesting for them to introduce a tablet that reaches a wider range than just creative professionals. Just for the sake of sales numbers.
I wonder what Wacom defines as a dream device. What did they call that Inkling thing when it was launched? :-/

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
kevphil
By kevphil (9 months ago)

I think the tablet will be a stand-alone computer. Because of reasons stated elsewhere, it will almost certainly be Windows 8. I think "Creative Pros" (illustrators and some types of designers) can very much benefit from creating layouts (if nothing else) on the tablet and bring them into their main systems for finish. Further, a lot of final art could well be completed entirely on the Wacom. I agree it needs 8-12 GB RAM, close to a 300 ppi display, good (4-hr) battery life and a light enough weight to lie comfortably in the user's lap.

I believe WACOM can build such a beast. If it's < $1K, I'd buy it.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 32