Designer’s Wishlist: Touch Sensitive LCD Display

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Here’s something to start your week off feeling grumpy and unfulfilled for not having one.

Forget those common daydreams involving garden-variety 21″ LCD monitors — it’s time to upgrade those daydreams as you take in the elegant lines of Wacom’s soon-to-be-released Cintiq 21UX Interactive Pen Display.

Apparently this 21.3″ touch sensitive LCD display ‘offers more screen area, greater pressure sensitivity, better pen control, higher resolution, and increased comfort over previous models‘.

I personally found even using a normal pen/tablet was a revelation after years of standard ‘mousage’. While the fine motor skills dexterity is awesome for retouching and the like, the real difference I found was the quality of the line you produce. Essentially ‘mouse drawing’ comes from small movements in the wrist. These muscles are really good at manipulating small objects by small amounts — tasks like watchmaking or sewing — but aren’t particularly good with smooth fluid actions.

Tablet drawing, by comparison, forces you to work from the shoulder and elbow. The effect of this is to give your lines a big, natural flow and weight that is very hard to achieve with only a mouse. In fact, there are great photos of Picasso working with his paintbrush stuck to the end of a broomstick to accentuate this flowing organic effect.

The slightly depressing part is the pricing isn’t so ridulous that you can just dismiss it ‘out of hand’ and get on with your life. With comparably-sized LCD monitors still retailing at around $US800-$1,000 and the larger Wacom tablets coming in at around $US500-$700, the Cintiq 21UX’s pricing (recommended retail: $2,500) really gives you something to think about.

Still, so far I haven’t been able to figure a scheme devious enough to get one onto my desk in the short term.

Alex WalkerAlex Walker
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Alex has been doing cruel and unusual things to CSS since 2001. He is the lead front-end design and dev for SitePoint and one-time SitePoint's Design and UX editor with over 150+ newsletter written. Co-author of The Principles of Beautiful Web Design. Now Alex is involved in the planning, development, production, and marketing of a huge range of printed and online products and references. He has designed over 60+ of SitePoint's book covers.

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