[ NOTE/UPDATE ONE YEAR AFTER : I removed the Ergotron arms ; it was finally unstable and the Cintiq was wooblying too much ... 10kilos get affected probably the solidity of this arm after some month... Also the switch of position between the two tablets and the USB switch were a pain , and makes me keep one setting constantly : tablet mode, and not Cintiq . Nowaday I use the normal footer of the Cintiq on a dual screen setup . Too bad, I like watching those photos ]
My quest to make the Cintiq21Ux usable reach to the end.. ( I hope ) . finally. Since I purchased the Cintiq21UX in June 2011, I must admit I didn't used it a lot ; this device have really serious ergonomic problems in my opinion or for my usage. As you probably already read ; I started to hack on it a gamepad to make more buttons on it
to replace most of keyboard shortcut I use. But, it was really to difficult to adapt myself to this way to work, and the Cintiq just 'not works' for most of computer job I have to do in my daily freelance task.
So, my graphic tablet Intuos4 A5 get speedly connected back to my system and I could use Cintiq as a hight-quality screen. And most of my production since this summer was done like it. Too bad... because I must admit the Cintiq21UX is particulary pleasant with Mypaint ; mostly for detailing artworks with thin brush ; I also like it for sketching , draw thumbnails in production. But this 2 steps are or at start of a painting, or at the end, and changing the work positions is not easy... In fact , there is 2 major issue to do a switch between the two :
1) Cintiq screen embeded tablet makes magnetic noise on all tablet I could use on the desktop ( I tested Intuos3/Bamboo/Intuos4 ) , it makes jittering on the cursor. My only solution, was to unplug the USB of the Cintiq ; this turn off the embeded tablet on the Cintiq and makes the Cintiq behaves as a simple LCD screen.
2) The original Cintiq21UX footer is like a easel on wheel. The Cintiq get very high compare to the table level , and to bring it in front of your eyes you have to remove all on your desktop. Also this footer and the 9 Kg of the Cintiq hurted the wood of my desktop a lot.
With this 2 issue, here is what you have to do to switch the 2 working positions :
- crouch under the desktop to unconnect the other tablet USB
- clean desktop
- organise the new position
- relaunch driver ( here a xsetwacom script )
Of course, easy to do it the first week 2 or 3 time by day; but then usage and lasyness dictature choose the position witch fill the more task : the normal tablet position.
I started few weeks ago, back from Viewconference , to discover several Youtube videos about user who connected ergonomic arm to their Cintiq.
So, I decided to give it a try, and it works pretty fine. Here are the photos :
Here is my normal working position, the one who fill 90% of my needs with Intuos4 A5 mapped only to the Cintiq21UX screen.
Too bad the Cintiq is 3:4 screen and my Intuos4 16:10 ; with my mapping I loose a little part of the active surface.
The Ergotron LX arms ( + an extension ) when folded
The Ergotron LX + Extension unfolded. Surprising to see the screen is stable and don't move. This Cintiq is almost 9Kg.
So now I can just grab the screen and put it in a comfortable position to work. It flies over what is on desktop.
To unactivate or desactivate the Cintiq/Intuos USB, I found this type of device ; a USB hub with on/off buttons.
This make me solve the problems of conflicting jittering between the 2 tablets.
The Ergotron arms is also able to rotate fully the tablet in portrait mode.
I don't really use it, but I think I will play with Xrandr and build soon a script to have a Mypaint big portrait workspace.
Cintiq and Ergonomic : a future ?
Me demoing on the new Cintiq24HD in Viewconference 2011 ( Turin / Italy ) on Wacom booth
After testing the Cintiq24HD ( external link to Wacom product page
) , I observed many improvements ; the surface is not warm at all, the screen is bigger and offer a total immersion with an amazing rendering of colors, and the huge footer of the tablet allow to set the tablet to a comfortable angle.
Also, with my experience, I know this device would not fit into my needings, because of lake of flexibility ; as you can see on the photo I have to take the keyboard on my leg for keyboard shortcuts ( or if I need to answer a Chat/email ). This Cintiq is a real drawing table, but I'm affraid you can do only one task with it : draw. A bit too restrictive compare to my computer usage, where I write, play game, watch movies , do 3D ...etc...
So, just my opinion , but a 21UX + a Ergotron arm is much more better.
And more than all ; a classic tablet in front of a screen with a keyboard is still my choice n°1 !